48 hours in Tel Aviv

Trip_blog
24 Aug, 2021

Tel Aviv is the second largest city in Israel and has a lot to offer travellers. A city of immigrants, Tel Aviv is home to a diverse mélange of culture and innovation. While it goes without saying that the city has thousands of years of history, Tel Aviv is also packed with skyscrapers and is at the cutting edge of the tech industry.

Contents

Flights to Tel Aviv
Exploring Tel Aviv
Museums
Markets
Beaches

With a Mediterranean climate, the city can be visited during any month of the year. The weather in Tel Aviv is generally sunny, with relatively high humidity and temperatures around 30°C in the months from June to October. While rainfall can occur during the winter, highs during the first three months of the year tend to linger at around 17.6°C.

What’s more, the city is compact and easily navigated by foot or by cycling. Bikes are tourist-friendly and easily rented. Simply hop on and the bike lanes will lead you through all of the main districts and to the beaches, museums, and markets that characterise this amazing city.

48 hours in Tel Aviv

Flights to Tel Aviv

Tel Aviv is served by Ben Gurion Airport (TLV) which is around 15 km from the city centre. If you’re flying in from the UK, you’ll have several options to choose from. Many airlines operate direct flights to Tel Aviv from London, including British Airways and easyJet.

Recently, new direct flights to Tel Aviv from London have also been popping up, including one operated by Virgin Atlantic and one by Arkia, Israel’s second largest airline. The flight from London to Tel Aviv takes around 4 hours and 50 minutes. A direct flight from Manchester to Tel Aviv is also offered a few times per week by easyJet.

Once you’ve arrived at the airport, you have several options for getting to your accommodation. A taxi ride into the city will set you back around 120 Israeli new shekels (£25), but you can also take a direct train ride from the airport to one of Tel Aviv’s downtown stations in less than 20 minutes for just 13.5 Israeli new shekels (£3).

Not sure where to stay? For a convenient location in the city centre, consider the Crowne Plaza. If you plan to spend your weekend by the ocean, Melody Hotel is within walking distance from Hilton Beach. If you’re just looking for somewhere to crash for the night, book a stay at The Spot Hostel, which offers cheap dormitory beds and single rooms.

48 hours in Tel Aviv

Exploring Tel Aviv

If you’ve flown in for a weekend trip, be sure to maximize your time in this vibrant city by planning ahead by deciding what you’d like to do in advance. Here are some of our top recommendations:

Museums

The Tel Aviv Museum of Art is the place to go to get a taste of the city’s contemporary art scene. This museum is home to the world’s largest collection of Israeli art, though it also features works from internationally renowned artists like Pollock, Degas, and Monet.

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Three museums can be found in Bialik Square, which is named after Hayim Nahman Bialik, the national poet of Israel. While admiring the architecture of this historic part of the city, you can make stops at the Museum of the History of Tel Aviv-Yafo, the Bialik House, or Rubin Museum of Art.

If you can’t squeeze in time for a museum visit, you’ll still be able to get a feel for the city’s cultural roots just by walking through the city—street art is everywhere. Head to the Old Jaffa neighbourhood for a higher concentration of large, camera-friendly murals and graffiti art. This district is also packed with restaurants and nightclubs, so you’ll likely find yourself in the area at least once during your stay.

Markets

Markets (known locally as “shuks”) are a central part of the local lifestyle and should definitely not be missed by tourists. At markets, you can try street snacks, purchase souvenirs, or even have a sit-down meal.

Carmel Market is the largest shuk of its kind in Tel Aviv, and it’s your one-stop for anything ranging from fruit to electronics. The hustle and bustle can be a lot to take in when you first arrive, but you’ll get into the swing of things as you explore the streets and alleys. Take in the fragrances of fresh fruits and browse through a selection of classic Middle Eastern spices and seasonings. Satisfy your sweet tooth with a bite of baklava or halva, or try samples of an eye-opening variety of olives.

Souvenirs can be picked up at the Jaffa Flea Market (Shuk Hapishpishim) near the ancient port. The market is known for its vast selection of antiques and eclectic trinkets, and you’ll also find jewelry, collectable coins, and Persian carpets. If you tire out after an afternoon of browsing, stop by one of the trendy shops nearby for a chai or glass of wine.

If you decide to make a purchase at one of Tel Aviv’s shuks, but sure not to accept the first price. Haggling is the norm here, so don’t be shy and start by throwing out a price even lower than the one you’d be willing to pay.

Beaches

Relaxation is essential during your trip and can relieve the stress of a cramped flight or a long day of sightseeing. One easy way to accomplish this in Tel Aviv is by heading to one of the beaches that dot Israel’s Mediterranean coastline. There are plenty of beaches to choose from and they’re all close to the urban centre.

Metzitzim Beach is equipped with all of the essentials for a fun-filled afternoon, including golden sands, beachfront restaurants, and sunbed rentals. If you’re travelling with children, Metzitzim Beach is an excellent choice as it has relatively shallow waters and is patrolled by lifeguards during the day.

Frishman Beach is another popular choice for swimming and sunbathing. There, you’ll also find workout and sports equipment, in addition to plenty of restaurants and cafés where you’ll be able to enjoy anything from a refreshing drink to a seafood dinner. Be sure to take a stroll down the boardwalk as well.

48 hours in Tel Aviv

If you have any time left during your weekend break in Tel Aviv, head to the Azrieli Observatory for a birds-eye view of the city or take some pictures at the historic Great Mahmoudiya Mosque. Between sightseeing, spend your time diving into the local cuisine. In addition to hummus and falafel, Tel Aviv is famed for its shakshuka (poached eggs in a tomato-based stew) and shawarma (grilled meat and vegetables in pita bread).