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From lounging on an urban beach that hints at the best of Miami to ambling around an old stone city, these are Forbes Travel Guide’s editors’ picks for the best things to do in Tel Aviv.
1. Tayelet. From the recently developed Namal (port) area in the northern part of town all the way down to the ancient port city of Jaffa, the Tayelet — or the beachfront promenade and beach itself — is one of the many things that make Tel Aviv such a special place. Reminding us somewhat of Miami Beach but still unmistakably Mediterranean, the city’s urban beach is blessed with cotton-soft sand, soothing waves, well-maintained paths for biking, blading and walking and countless beachside restaurants, bars and cafés as far as the eye can see.
2. HaTachana Complex. With its eclectic collection of upscale shops, restaurants and cafés, this newly converted train station is the latest talk of the town. Featuring inspired architectural design and a charming open-air ambience, HaTachana is built for wandering around its many twists and turns and, of course, for browsing and tasting along the way.
3. Jaffa. An ancient stone city that hangs like a precipice over the crystal Mediterranean waters, this area has become a famed artist colony and eccentric marketplace. The elevated Old City offers beautiful views of both the ocean and the Tel Aviv skyline sprawling to the north, with mosque turrets and ficus trees offering subtle Middle Eastern accents. This is another area perfectly fit for wandering to your heart’s content.
4. Bauhaus Center Tel Aviv. Another reason Tel Aviv is often dubbed the “Miami of the Middle East” is its noteworthy architecture influenced by the Bauhaus school. In fact, Tel Aviv features the most Bauhaus-style buildings in the world, most of them built in the 1930s by Jewish refugees from Germany. This picturesque area, known as The White City, was named a UNESCO World Cultural Heritage Site, while the center itself is chock full of historical tidbits; the gift shop is also excellent. Make the most of your visit by joining a guided tour of the area.
5. Palmach Museum. A truly unique historical museum covering the underground military history of Israel’s initial defense and inception, the Palmach is laid out in several underground chambers and available to visitors by appointment only. This museum offers a multimedia experience like no other, including scale models and actors.