Tel Aviv is not the largest city in Israel, but it is the most important one. It is also the most western city, one could even call it positively cosmopolitan. The city was founded in 1909 as a counterpart to the Arabian Jaffa. That historical town is located to the south of Tel Aviv and it is now a part of the municipality. The city is beautifully situated on the Mediterranean and it has a beautiful sandy beach. Along the beach, there is a boulevard with many bars and restaurants.
In Tel Aviv you will find a lot of architecture in the so-called Bauhaus style: sober, without frills and functional.
The city's population has grown explosively. In 1922, the city had only 15,000 inhabitants. Less than a century later that number - including the suburbs - has grown to almost one and a half million, or a quarter of the country's population.
Tel Aviv is located in central Israel on the Mediterranean. The city is built on the south bank of the Yarkon river. The country's capital Jerusalem is located 60 kilometres to the south-east of Tel Aviv. Haifa lies some 100 kilometres to the north.
Tel Aviv is the economic engine of Israel. Especially the 'new economy' plays an important role: software development and biotechnology. In addition, many companies are active in avionics, electronics and chemistry. According to Newsweek Magazine, Tel Aviv is one of the Top Ten technology cities in the world. The average education level is very high.
The most important airport of Tel Aviv is also the country's most important airport: Israel: Ben-Gurion International Airport, which is located 25 kilometres to the south-west of the city, along the motorway to Jerusalem. There are bus and train connections between the airport and the city, but most people take the so-called 'sherut', a shared cab which waits until there are seven passengers on board before leaving. Traveling time to Tel Aviv is about 20 minutes.
The city's other airport, Sde Dov, is used exclusively for domestic flights. There is, among other things, a regular connection to the seaside resort of Eilat on the Gulf of Akaba in the extreme south of Israel.
Due to Tel Aviv's serious traffic problems, a start has been made with the construction of a metro system. The first train was supposed to be operational in 2012, but these kinds of projects often suffer delays in Israel. For now, you will have to take the bus. Buses are frequent and on time, insofar as the busy traffic allows them to be. A day ticket is only valid after 9 am, after the morning rush hour. Most buses follow a circle that begins and ends at the central bus station, next to the main train station.
Regional buses depart from the gigantic bus station in south Tel Aviv ('Tahana Merkazit'), near the Hahaganah train station.
Buses do not drive on the Sabbath (from Friday afternoon to Saturday evening), but the 'sherut' are still available. These minivans follow fixed routes and you can get on and off anywhere you like.
Tel Aviv has wide streets and boulevards, but during rush hour traffic tends to grind to a halt. In addition, car drivers in Tel Aviv have an impatient and aggressive driving style. It is not uncommon for drivers to overtake cars in front of them by driving onto sidewalks. Most attractions and bars and restaurants are close together, which means that driving in the city centre is not really necessary.
Finding a parking space in the street may be hard. Park only where there are blue or white lines on the curb. All other colours indicate that there are parking restrictions. You need a special card, with which you can indicate on what day and time you have parked your car. These can be bought at newspaper stands, petrol stations and post offices.
It is better to park your car on one of the many informal parking areas, for instance near the beach to the south of Opera Tower and along the road to Jaffa.
In the city centre there is a wide range of accommodations available: from simple youth hostels to luxurious five star hotels. Especially on and around the famous Hayarkon Street there are many accommodations available. Nevertheless, we do recommend booking your hotel room in advance. Tel Aviv is a popular destination for foreign as well as domestic tourists, and it also attracts a large number of business travelers.
For more information about Tel Aviv, we recommend Google, and the following sources: