Given the extensive length of our trip to Israel, we have chosen to break it into four parts, one for each general location we visited. This post is about Tel Aviv: the White City.
We stayed at Rothschild 22 in Tel Aviv, which was a perfect location and a lovely hotel. The only problem was the existence of a rooftop bar adjacent to the hotel which blasted music every night. Based on TripAdvisor reviews, we requested rooms on the other side of the hotel when we made our reservations (many months in advance). Suffice it to say, they did not honor this request. The included breakfast in the morning was excellent (dairy, not kosher).
One of Rich’s few requests for this trip was to eat meat as much as possible. We ate at some fantastic restaurants including Yashke Shawarma on Nahalat Binyamin, Goshen, Maganda, and Meatos. Maganda is definitely the most special and highly recommended. We ate Shabbat dinner at the David Intercontinetal which was kosher, pay in advance, and expensive, but not the best quality. We recommend making friends in Tel Aviv for Shabbat meals.
In terms of activities within Tel Aviv, we loved Independence Hall, the Rubin Museum, and Ben Gurion’s House. We would skip Old Jaffa, the Palmach Museum (a bit too Disney-esque), and the Rabin Center, which was just too big.
For activies around Tel Aviv, do not miss Yemin Orde Youth Village (make reservations), the First Aliyah Museum, and the Ayalon Institute. You can skip Caesarea, though. You’ll see enough Herodian ruins in Jerusalem.
Shopping in Tel Aviv was great. Walking around Neve Tzedek is the perfect way to see beautiful merchandise during a lovely stroll. The Eretz Israel Museum also has a great gift shop (confession: we only visited the gift shop and can’t comment on the museum itself). The Photo House is awesome, and don’t miss the Nachalat Binyamin Market (second confession: we went twice).
All in all, we loved Tel Aviv. Four and a half days was a good amount of time, but you can probably do the recommended activities and shopping in three. Make sure you’re there Tuesday or Friday for the Nachalat Binyamin Market.