Tips for Backpackers in Tel Aviv Israel
BACKPACKING TEL AVIV
Tel Aviv is the largest city in Israel after Jerusalem; it has a population of over 438,800 compared to Jerusalem’s 882,600. It sits on the coast of the Mediterranean Sea and is considered Israel's technological and financial capital.
Tel Aviv is known to some Americans as "The Miami of the Middle East." It is one of the most gay-friendly cities and is also the most liberal city in Israel.
Tel Aviv is described as having a Mediterranean climate, and it gets a lot of sunshine. Summer lasts from June to October, and August, the warmest month, has temperatures that typically range between 77° and 87° F. January is the coldest month with temperatures that usually range between 50.4° and 63.7° F. Tel Aviv’s winter, December through February, is the rainiest season of the year. Snow and freezing temperatures are extremely rare.
Most people traveling to Tel Aviv take the plane. The nearest airport is Ben Gurion International Airport, which is nine miles southeast of Tel Aviv and is located in the city Lod.
As for travel documents, visitors from Canada and the US will only need a passport that is valid for at least six months past their date of arrival. Travelers will only need a visa if they plan on staying for longer than three months. Proofs of vaccination are only required if a traveler has recently been to a country suffering an epidemic of Ebola, cholera, or yellow fever. Israel, in general, prides itself on its healthcare system and many doctors.
After landing at Ben Gurion, the least expensive way to reach Tel Aviv is to take the Egged Company public bus to Tel Aviv’s New Central Bus Station. Taking the train is somewhat more expensive, but it is faster, more convenient and will take travelers to any of four stations within the city.
After arriving at a bus or train station, the traveler will have to take a sherut (shared taxi), bus, or taxi to their accommodations. The sherut is actually a minivan that follows a regular bus route. They drop people off at any point along said route, and they operate 24/7 every day – even on Saturdays. The sherut is also less expensive than a conventional bus.
Tel Aviv also has a shared bike system called tel-o-fun. People rent bicycles, which are always available, for a set time. The first 30 minutes are free; after that, cyclists have to pay a combined access and usage rate. Travelers can return the bike to any available station.
The Israeli currency is the Israeli new shekel (ILS) and was formerly called the New Israeli Shekel (NIS). At this writing, a single Israeli new shekel is roughly comparable to a little more than a quarter of an American dollar. The average bus ticket costs around 6.90 ILS, or well under $2.00.
Taxis are technically supposed to use meters, but not all of them do, and many seize opportunities to try to swindle tourists. The prudent traveler will thus bargain with the driver for a reasonable fare – and walk away if the driver refuses to budge.
Where to Stay
Tel Aviv also has a number of hostels. The Ha Yarkon 48 Hostel, which is located downtown along the street of the same name, is near a bunch of nightclubs and is within walking distance of the beach. Visitors can choose from private rooms that can accommodate up to five people or dorms that accommodate three to eight people. At this writing, a dorm starts at 85 ILS ($23.07), while a private room starts at 260 ILS ($70.57) per night. Dorms come with bunkbeds, while private rooms have double beds. The hostel offers free WiFi. It also has a dining area and fully-equipped kitchen.
The Little Tel Aviv Hostel is also located in the center of town near the historic neighborhood of Neve Tzedek. It offers a mixture of dorms, private rooms, and a triple room. The dorms have bunkbeds and can accommodate up to six people. They also have shared bathrooms and showers, while the triple room and private rooms have private facilities. The hostel provides free WiFi, a common kitchen, a bar, and an on-site restaurant.
Tel Aviv has hundreds of places of entertainment, whether pubs, clubs or anyplace that will make you feel that you have undoubtedly reached the big city!
Tel Aviv is not only a weekend, as we know from other cities. The city of Tel Aviv gives you the opportunity to feel pleasure every minute of the day and every day of the week, hundreds of places of entertainment , Nightclubs that will open doors for entertainment that only the city of Tel Aviv can offer.
Tel Aviv grew from the south to the north, so the southern part of the city is much older than the northern part. Jaffa was once a small town in its own right until it was swallowed up by the growing Tel Aviv in the early 20th century. It is home to both a large Arab community and one of the world’s oldest ports.
Neve Tzedek, which is north of Jaffa, is the oldest Jewish neighborhood in Tel Aviv. It is a historical district with a lot of restaurants and shops.
Tel Aviv has another port simply called Namal Tel Aviv or the Tel Aviv Port that has become a tourist attraction in its own right. It was established in 1936 as Israel’s first new port and was renovated at the turn of the last century. It now has many nightclubs, restaurants, and shops.
As Tel Aviv is on the coast of the Mediterranean Sea, it boasts several beaches, with Metzitzim Beach being the northernmost. It is popular with families on account of its volleyball courts and shallow waters. Religious Beach is designed for the more devout and conservative residents of Tel Aviv; the beach is sexually segregated, so men and women can only use it on specific days. Gay Beach is popular with the gay community, and Jaffa Beach, which is famous for its large waves, draws surfers.
Tel Aviv boasts a large number of markets and shopping malls, and many of the markets have a distinctly Middle Eastern flavor. Some of them also have distinct specialties. The Levinsky Market, for example, is known for its legumes, dried fruits, and spices, while the Hatikva Market is known for Jewish-Iraqi cuisine. The best way to save money at the market, aside from not buying anything, is to learn how to bargain.