Truly Tel Aviv

Nicknamed Israel’s Nonstop City, Tel Aviv charms everyone from beach-seekers and nightlifers to history and architecture buffs

In Tel Aviv, more than 120 bike stations furnish full-day rentals for $4/day (credit cards accepted) complete with locks.
While Tel Aviv may conjure images of conflict, there’s a softer side to Israeli’s second-most populous city that in-the-knowers might prefer to keep a secret. With 300 days of annual sunshine and eight-plus miles of stroll-worthy beaches, this ancient port town offers all the lures of a Mediterranean hotspot. Named one of the Top 10 Beach Cities in the world by National Geographic, the “Capital of Mediterranean Cool” by The New York Times, and home to some of the globe’s best looking inhabitants by Traveler’s Digest, Tel Aviv wins over sand- and surf-seekers by day and party-goers by night.

Scratch below the glamorous surface to take in the history of Old Jaffa, the gate to Israel that dates back to the Biblical tales of Jonah and Solomon and the Greek myth of Andromeda, who lay chained to the port’s jutting rocks as a sea monster’s snack-in-waiting until rescued by Perseus. The view of Andromeda’s Rock is best enjoyed over an alfresco meal of your own at the new Jaffa Port Market which features an international array of dining options and local craft beers.

Admirers of the Bauhaus period will find great delight in the White City architecture–Tel Aviv’s collection of more than 4000 international-style buildings designed by German Jewish architects in the 1930s who immigrated after the rise of the Nazis and that UNESCO proclaimed a World Heritage Site in 2003. Explore Rothschild Boulevard to view the design trademarks of the period, like asymmetry and ribbon windows, adapted to the Mediterranean climate with heat-reflective colors and flat, roofed terraces.

After sundown, head to the Jaffa flea market to watch the port transform into a Fitzgerald-era Parisian scene complete with diners and revelers filling up café tables, cocktail bars, and moonlit alleys.

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