Destinations / Europe/Middle East / Israel

The Ideal 2 Days in Tel Aviv Itinerary For Your First Visit

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Tel Aviv is a bustling, modern city with an outdoor-oriented lifestyle, amazing food on every block, great beaches and tons of cultural institutions. We spent a month in Tel Aviv sightseeing during our most recent visit and still didn’t go everywhere!

But if it’s your first trip and you only have 10 days in Israel to see the whole country, you’ll want to be speedy here and see just the most distinctive elements. This Tel Aviv itinerary will show you options for one day in Tel Aviv or 2 days in Tel Aviv (which is what I’d recommend). It includes all the best things to do in Tel Aviv so you won’t miss out! If you’re staying for an additional night, you can add on one of these great day trips from Tel Aviv.

We recommend that you grab a car from Welcome Pickups to get your to the city – after an excruciating flight you won’t want to rent a car for your time in Tel Aviv, and you won’t need it to explore the city anyway.

If you’re considering driving elsewhere in the country, don’t miss these critical tips for renting a car in Israel.

One Day In Tel Aviv – A City Of Neighborhoods

Start strong with a traditional Israeli breakfast at one of Tel Aviv’s many trendy cafes. Beat your jet lag by spending morning strolling south along the tayelet to neighboring Yafo – enjoy stunning coastal views from atop the Sultan’s Garden, get lost in the narrow alleyways and poke into the many boutique art and craft galleries – don’t miss our favorite, Adina Plastelina, where they use a special type of polymer clay to mimic traditional Italian millefiore style. Stop in for an incredible modern Turkish lunch at Onza – it’s some of the best food we’ve eaten in Israel – then continue exploring the Yafo flea market.

When you’re ready to move on, head back north – but not too far. Your next stop is in the charming neighborhood of Neve Tzedek, a former artist colony established in 1887 (predating the city itself by more than two decades). Wander the small streets, grab a coffee or an ice cream and make your way to the nearby original train station, where you can play on century-old train tracks and peruse the galleries and boutiques.

Another worthwhile stop in the area is Shuk HaCarmel, where locals have been buying their groceries for more than a century – Ronnie’s great grandmother even had a bakery here in the 1920s! You’ll also find vendors selling almost anything you can imagine, from kitchen supplies to toys to Thai elephant pants and Judaica items.

Read next: what to pack for Israel in each season

Stop by the beach to sit on the steps with hundreds of Tel Avivians watching the always-spectacular sunset before making your way out for dinner. Tel Aviv offers an amazing selection of restaurants ranging from traditional Israeli food to Asian specialties. It’s hard to go wrong, but walk a little away from the major tourist thoroughfares for better food and more reasonable prices.

2 Days in Tel Aviv – Fun, Foundations And Foodies

Grab a quick breakfast (including local favorite iced coffee) at Aroma Cafe on your way to one of the city’s amazing beaches. The sand is heavenly soft and the water is pleasant (though beware of the hoards of jellyfish that invade in late summer).

The city has invested huge sums of money in bringing life to the beach – you’ll find a great mix of locals and tourists enjoying cheap chair and umbrella rentals, playing spirited games of matkot, reading from mobile library carts and sharing sand toys from the communal boxes. We like Bograshov beach, but every section of the Tel Aviv seashore has a unique personality!

Check out even more great ideas for visiting Tel Aviv with kids

Next up head inland toward Rothschild Boulevard, Tel Aviv’s first official neighborhood back in 1909 and still one of its hottest addresses. If it’s a Tuesday or Friday, be sure to walk there by way of the Nahlat Binyamin craft fair, a favorite for tourists and locals alike. Even if the craft fair isn’t going, this is a great area for checking out some of the best street art in Tel Aviv.

Pop into a falafel or sabich stand along the way for a cheap, filling lunch. Once you hit Rothschild, it’s a great opportunity for some people watching, either in the wide, park-like median (complete with pocket playgrounds for the kids) or over a drink at one of the many sidewalk cafes.

For an interesting perspective on Tel Aviv, grab this cool self-guided audio tour and tasting. You’ll learn about the city’s diverse immigrant history, taste unique dishes in the Levinsky Market and see some of the best street art in the edgy Florentin neighborhood.

Cap off the day by strolling over to one of Tel Aviv’s newer hot spots, the Sarona Market. This foodie-haven has everything you could possibly want – top-notch ramen, a whisky bar with hundreds of varieties to choose from and the best cookies we’ve had anywhere in the world (trust me, when you travel for a year with two young kids, you try a lot of cookies).

You’ll even find some small shops with unique kitchen wares from around the world. It’s an especially great place to visit if you’re traveling with people whose taste vary, as there’s plenty of communal seating you can use regardless of where you bought your dinner.

Sarona is somewhat far from most of the city’s hotels and rental apartments, so hop on a bus or an Uber to take you back across town for the night. If you still have a little energy, head back to the tayelet to listen to street musicians with waves crashing behind them, sit at a beachside lounge with your toes in the sand while you enjoy a drink, or even head out to one of Tel Aviv’s legendary clubs.

Where To Stay In Tel Aviv

There’s a seemingly-endless supply of hostels, hotels and Airbnbs in Tel Aviv to suit every budget! We prefer to stay close to Bograshov beach, but there are different areas to meet every need and personality. Check out some of our top picks:

Best Airbnbs in Tel Aviv – Includes options from $100-$250 per night, all with fantastic reviews and many Superhost or Verified

Beachfront Hostel ($) – **Top pick for solo travel in Tel Aviv**
Perfect for 1-2 travelers, great location, modern interior, nice rooftop terrace to watch sunset over the Mediterranean, includes breakfast and even beach towels!

Rena’s House ($) – **Top pick for couples visiting Tel Aviv on a budget**
Located near Rothschild Blvd, Neve Tzedek and Florentin in a pretty hip area, “aparthotel” studios have a kitchenette, breakfast included (except Shabbat)

Sunshine Suites ($$) – **Our favorite place to stay in Tel Aviv with kids**
Fantastic location near beaches, restaurants and shopping, free parking, clean modern apartments with washer/dryer, perfect for families

Artist Hotel ($$) – Convenient location on Ben Yehuda Street near the beach, newly renovated interior, great common spaces (lounge, library, fitness center), gorgeous breakfast and afternoon snacks included

The Vera ($$$) – New gorgeous boutique near trendy Neve Tzedek, breakfast/wine/coffee/tea are all included, free bikes to borrow

65 Hotel ($$$) – Beautiful boutique hotel on Rothschild Blvd (the poshest street in Tel Aviv), fantastic breakfast, great city views from the roof deck

Market House ($$$) – Possibly the most beautiful hotel interior in Tel Aviv, trendy Jaffa location, extensive gourmet breakfast, free bikes, quick walk to the beach, family rooms available

Use the interactive map to find vacation rentals and hotels in Tel Aviv


Tel Aviv Transportation Options

Tel Aviv is a fantastic city for walking! In most areas the city has wide sidewalks, and it’s almost completely flat until you get down to Jaffa.

If you want to travel to the opposite corner of the city and don’t feel like walking, the bus system can be a big time saver. For all public transportation in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv, you’ll need to purchase a reloadable Rav Kav card.

Money-saving travel resources:
Find the cheapest flights on Skyscanner
Book your discounted rental car on RentalCars.com

Check out these helpful articles to plan your upcoming trip to Israel:
The perfect 10 day Israel itinerary
3 days in Jerusalem itinerary
2 days in Tel Aviv itinerary
Where to stay in Israel
50 things to know before you visit Israel
What to pack for Israel in each season
When is the best time of year to go to Israel?
10+ must-read tips for renting a car in Israel
20 foods you have to try in Israel
25+ best books about Israel
Where to stay in Jerusalem
What to do in Jerusalem on Shabbat
Israel with kids: the complete guide
Visiting Jerusalem with kids
Visiting Tel Aviv with kids
Best day trips from Tel Aviv
Best day trips from Jerusalem
Your Israel itinerary for (more or less) 10 days

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