Just getting into Tel Aviv, Israel’s second most populace city, is an experience in and of itself — the airport is one of the most secure in the world, with all the searches, delays, and inspections that goes along with that — but it’s definitely worth the effort. Among the most interesting sights in the city are the numerous opportunities for indulging in shopping, architectural ingenuity, and restorative port-side refreshments and views. The following suggestions should help get you started.
1. Jaffa Port. Tel Aviv’s pleasant port features a small marina with houseboats and other watercraft as well as a picturesque waterfront. Also nearby are Summit Park (popular with newlyweds and couples), Kedumim Square, Ilana Goor Museum, Andromeda’s Rock, and a noteworthy flea market.
2. The White City. The largest single gathering of Bauhaus and/or International-style architecture in the world, the so-called “White City” neighborhood in central Tel Aviv was born after Jewish architects were persecuted by the Nazis in the early 1930s, causing an exodus to the Middle East. No trip to the city is complete without a trip to this peculiar assemblage of buildings. Be sure to stop into the Bauhaus Center and the Bauhaus Museum when you go.
3. Shuk for Shopping. Along with a visit to the craft market at Nahalat Binyamin Pedestrian Mall, the so-called Camel Market (or “shuk”) is a good bet for travelers looking to sample Israel’s incredible mix of ethnicities and cultures. The cheap and colorful clothing stalls and massive fruit and vegetable section are best visited on Tuesdays and Fridays, when the highest volume of goods are on display.