If you’re looking for a city that’s got it all, look no further than Tel Aviv. Kilometres of immaculate beach and clean water fringe a city that celebrates its ancient history without compromising on a flourishing modern-day culture. This is a city that is infused with both history and hedonism, a tangible contrast that gives Tel Aviv an exciting edge.
Here are the spots that made our list:
Among other things, Tel Aviv is famous the world over for its beaches, and it’s easy to see why. Nearly 200km of coastline offers stunning views of the Mediterranean, while landside you can see ancient times compete with modern in the old and new Tel Aviv skylines. There are world-class surfing hotspots, quaint beachside restaurants serving traditional Israeli fare, boisterous clubs for partygoers, and nature reserves. Of course, this impressive swathe of sand has been divided, officially and unofficially, into several very distinct beaches, each with its own appeal drawing its own kind of action.
Gordon Beach: Characterised by its long, wide stretches of clean sand and picturesque views, the bustling Gordon Beach is the ideal place for a weekend by the sea. You can get a great view of the sunset before you stroll down to the many lively nearby bars and cafes for an evening cocktail or two.
Address: Gordon Beach, Tel Aviv-Yafo
Photo: Dennis Jarvis
Hilton Beach: An unofficial ‘ gay-friendly’ beach, Hilton is one of Tel Aviv’s smaller beaches and draws a trendy crowd of surfers and kayakers in the south, dog owners to the north, and young hip locals everywhere. The beach is thought of as having been ‘divided’ into surfer-friendly, gay-friendly, and dog-friendly zones, each of which draws a different crowd.
Address: Hilton Beach, Tel Aviv-Yafo
Banana Beach (Aviv Beach): With a bohemian feel and beachside service for food and drinks, Banana Beach is a remarkably tranquil place to grab a spot to sit and spend a day under the sun before watching it set in the evening. If sitting around on a beach isn’t your thing, you can rent a surfboard for the day and hit the waves.
Address: Banana Beach, Tel Aviv-Yafo
Frishman Beach: Usually a quieter choice than Gordon, Frishman Beach is exceptionally clean and offers all the amenities you would need from a city beach, including a lifeguard, which makes it perfect for families with younger children.
Address: Frishman Beach, Tel Aviv-Yafo
Nordau Beach: Known as the ‘religious’ or ‘separated’ beach, Nordau was created to meet the needs of the religious communities in Tel Aviv who can’t, due to the practice of modesty, visit a mixed beach for men and women. Because of this, women can use the beach on Sunday, Tuesday, and Thursday, while men can go on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. The beach is open to everyone on Saturdays.
Address: Nordau Beach, Tel Aviv-Yafo
Metzitzim Beach: With lots of recreational activities on offer, the area is sometimes busy with families, in particular at the weekends. However, Metzitzim is nevertheless a great choice for a chilled day at the beach sipping on an iced coffee or cool beer.
Address: Metzitzim Beach, Tel Aviv-Yafo
Photo: Dennis Jarvis
Bograshov Beach: Busy Bograshov Beach is always a hive of activity, and a great place to get some sun while doing some people watching with the Mediterranian on one side, and the modern Tel Aviv skyline on the other. There’s a lot of very good restaurants nearby too.
Address: Bograshov Beach, Tel Aviv-Yafo
Jerusalem Beach (Geula Beach): This might not be the most restful beach in Tel Aviv due to the frenzy of matkot games taking over the sand, but it is certainly the place to be to get away from the tourist crowds and witness a slice of true Tel Avivi life. You can snack at Jaffa’s famous Arabic bakery, Abulafia, or enjoy the sunset from the beach cafe.
Address: Jerusalem Beach, Tel Aviv-Yafo
Alma Beach (Charles Clore Park Beach / Yafo Beach): Further outside of the centre, Yafo beach is a peaceful spot for those wishing to escape the crowds. Famous for its spectacular views of Jaffa and for its surf, this particularly chilled out beach doesn’t feature sunbeds or lifeguards. It may not be ideal for younger children, but it’s certainly fun for adults as the waves can get very high. Be warned, though – unlike the more central beaches, Yafo doesn’t have any wave breakers, so on windy days you can expect high waves and plenty of surfers. As with the rest of Old Jaffa, there’s plenty to look at as you wander around the port and beach area too, with a thriving fishing community and a working port still very reminiscent of ancient times and ways of life.
Address: Alma Beach, Tel Aviv-Yafo
Dogs Beach: Whether you own a dog or not, this is the place for dog lovers. North of Hilton beach, dogs are allowed off the leash to play with one another in the sand, and watching them while the sun goes down is sure to put a smile on your face.
Address: Dogs Beach, Tel Aviv-Yafo
Tel Baruch Beach: A good beach to choose if you want to beat the crowds, Tel Baruch is one of Tel Aviv’s more ‘local’ beaches. Rent a bike or take a surfing lesson if you’re in the mood for some exercise, otherwise, relax and enjoy the view from the beachside cafe.
Address: Tel Baruch Beach, Tel Aviv-Yafo
HaTzuk Beach (The Cliff Beach): The northernmost of Tel Aviv’s beaches, and bordering Herzliya, The Cliff Beach is well outside of the usual tourist haunts and makes for a peaceful spot for a say out in the sun. There’s ample parking and pleasant grassy areas if you don’t like to picnic on the sand. There’s a small children’s playground and a restaurant serving the usual beachside fare. Pull up a chair – or a low yellow sunlounger – and join the many others who are doing just that, to enjoy a day of sun at the beach with the best facilities in Tel Aviv.
Address: Hatsuk beach, Tel Aviv-Yafo
Photo: Yuval Mendelson
Trumpledor Beach: An ‘undeclared’ beach – meaning that there are no lifeguards or other facilities – Trumpledor beach is a lot calmer and less busy than its northern neighbor, Bograshov. It features an unusual statue on the promenade next to the main area of the beach.
Address: Trumpledor Beach, Tel Aviv-Yafo
* Off the Beaten Path:
Ajami Beach: South of Old Jaffa lies Ajami, a charming beach neighborhood that offers a welcome respite from the city action. Winding stairways and alleyways lead down to Ajami beach and the Maronic Church, offering some beautiful views of oceanside historic buildings now accommodating a modern-day beach community.
Address: Givat Alia Beach, Tel Aviv-Yafo
Tal Gur is a world traveler and personal development enthusiast. An adventurer at heart, after trading his daily grind for a life of his own daring design, Tal spent a decade pursuing 100 major life goals around the globe. His journey continues as a location-independent blogger, lifestyle entrepreneur, and coach. Tal’s published two books: One Year to Freedom, a 1-Year Roadmap to Living Life on Your Own Terms; and, his most recent book and bestseller, The Art of Fully Living – 1 Man, 10 Years, 100 Life Goals Around the World.