Swim in a saltwater lido on the beach and make like a local on the Tayelet boardwalk
Hit the beach
It’s strangely easy to overlook Tel Aviv’s beach, when there’s so much eating and drinking to be done. Don’t – it’s marvellous. A seam of gold, riffling between the White City and the warm blue of the Mediterranean. It’s scalloped into sections, each with a distinct flavour: Gordon hosts massive Pride beach parties, and has volleyball nets and a saltwater lido, Maravi has waves and excellent seafood at Manta Ray restaurant, while Banana Beach’s fine pale sands are close to Carmel Market and, on Friday afternoons, its southern end sways to the beat of drummers heralding in Shabbat.
Walk the White City
A walking tour might sound boring as hell, but the Bauhaus Center’s guided or self-guided tours of the White City – Tel Aviv’s extraordinary, UNSECO-protected collection of Bauhaus and Modernist buildings, built by the emigré architects who constructed their European avant-garde designs on Middle Eastern sands – gives essential insight not just into the history and fabric of the city, but into the character of its people. It’s like a fast-track immersion into the soul of Tel Aviv. If you haven’t got time for the tour, visit the Bauhaus Center and take a walk to some of the highlights.
The Tayelet (Hebrew for “Promenade”) is a 4km seaside boardwalk running from north Tel Aviv Marina to Jaffa Port. Join locals and run the length of it, early morning while it’s still cool and the world is waking up (or weaving home from the night before), the perfect go-slow way to see the city away from the traffic-jammed thoroughfares. Hate running? Borrow a bike from your hotel and cycle instead; or just walk, making pitstops at bright and breezy beach restaurants along the way: Parakalo and Calypso are both stand-outs.
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