Tel Aviv is like the hipper and trendier cosmopolitan cousin of Jerusalem, the heart of Israel's traditional and religious culture. Known as the city that never stops, Tel Aviv Israel has a well-deserved reputation as Israel's party town and is one of the most liberal cities in the Middle East. Adventurers who travel to Tel Aviv find it a modern metropolis, Israel's economic center, with some glimpses of ancient charm thrown into the mix.
Founded in 1909 by a group of Jewish residents of the ancient seaport town of Jaffa, Tel Aviv Israel grew up alongside and eventually absorbed Jaffa. Under Ottoman rule until the end of World War I, Tel Aviv fell into British hands in 1921 and since has flourished as a center for commerce and industry. Its white modernist buildings built in the Bauhaus style in the 1930s through 1950s have earned it a designation as a UNESCO World Heritage Site and the moniker, the White City. Those planning Tel Aviv vacations should plan to visit this architectural treasure in the city center. Visitors who travel to Tel Aviv in the summer may catch the White Night Festival in late June or early July. During this event, shops, restaurants, and other establishments stay open into the early hours and the city parties all night long in celebration of its Bauhaus architectural heritage. To get a bird's eye view of Tel Aviv's buildings, head over to the Azriely Center in central Tel Aviv where for a reasonable fee you can climb to its tower lookout.
Modern as it is, Tel Aviv Israel is not without it's own fascinating history, and all Tel Aviv vacations should include a visit to the old port of Jaffa. One of Israel's destinations for historic Judaism and Christianity, Jaffa was the port from which the biblical prophet Jonah departed on his fateful sea journey that landed him in the belly of a whale. It was also the location for the Apostle Peter's vision that allowed early Christians to not follow some of the religious restrictions of Judaism. In Greek mythology, Jaffa was where the princess Andromeda was chained to be sacrificed to the sea monster, before she was rescued by the hero Perseus. Travelers who tour Tel Aviv should not neglect the historic port of Jaffa, which stood as a fortified port city for more than 4,000 years.
Beach-lovers who travel to Tel Aviv Israel will be highly gratified by the city's happening beach scene. Tel Aviv is located along a fifteen-mile (25-kilometer) stretch of Mediterranean coastline, and especially during the summer, Tel Aviv vacations mean parties on the city's many beaches, among the prime attractions of the area. The local reputation for nightlife doesn't disappoint. This hedonistic city is filled with clubs and bars, whether travelers are looking for live music, dance parties, or want to relax with a few drinks. New bars and clubs open often, and visitors should glance at local listings or ask locals which establishments are trendy at the moment. Tel Aviv is also a center for musical culture with a philharmonic orchestra, an opera, and many concert and music venues.
Those who love to shop will not be disappointed in Tel Aviv's malls and markets, ranging from posh fashion houses and air-conditioned malls to local flea markets and produce markets. Whether a Louis Vuitton purse or a richly ornamented hookah is more your thing, you will find it in Tel Aviv. Travelers will also be pleased with the range of Tel Aviv hotels, including luxurious accommodations near the sea and budget hostels catering to students. Known as the New York of Israel, a trip to this fascinating metropolis is a must. Beautiful beaches, sophisticated culture, and parties galore await travelers who make the White City their next destination.