Shop at a Shuk
They may be popular with tourists, but the local shuks in Tel Aviv are favoured by locals. Shuk HaCarmel is by far the best-known, and it’s an excellent market to shop for fresh fruit and vegetables, trinkets, spices, and speciality produce. There are also lots of eateries to give you a fair taste of the local cuisine.
Shuk Bezalel – just next to the Carmel Market, is great to shop for bargain clothing. It has all kinds of products, and the atmosphere is colourful and unique. Find it at Beitlehem St 1.
Another popular shuk is the Port Market in at the Port of Tel Aviv. It offers all kinds of fresh produce, meat, seafood and fish, gourmet cheeses, spices, and beverages imported from all over the world. It’s on Ha-Angar St 12, not far from the carousel.
Sarona Market is a popular market with a fantastic food court where master chefs serve everything from sushi to ethnic fare. It attracts both tourists and locals, and although it is on the pricier side, it’s worth seeing for its modern ambience and quality produce. It’s on Aluf Kalman Magen St 3.
The second-hand market in Givon Square is another favourite place to shop among the locals. It operates only Tuesdays and Fridays and sells antiques, jewellery, rare books, coins, and other curiosities. The square itself is a lovely place to sit down by the fountain and watch people passing by. There are also several cafes and bars around the plaza, so you’ll find plenty to do to experience this part of Tel Aviv like a local.
Have an Israeli Breakfast
Breakfast is big in Tel Aviv. A sabich with hard-boiled eggs, fried eggplant, tomato and cucumber salad, tahini, and amba sauce generously stuffed inside a pita is a must-try. Hummus is another popular dish – especially in the Capital of Hummus, which is how the Yemenite Garden neighbourhood is unofficially known.
You can also have breakfast at Beit Kandinof in Jaffa – in what they call a centre for contemporary art that combines culture and food for the ultimate dining experience. Try them out for brunch when they serve delicious house breads, Hameiri cheese, olives, herring, baba ghanoush, tabbouleh, skordalia, fresh salad, and tzatziki.
You’ll also want to try out HaBasta at Carmel Market. They source the ingredients fresh from the shuk and offer a menu with Mediterranean and international influences. Try the charred okra and the Swiss potato rösti.
Manta Ray is another locals’ favourite for brunch with a view of the sea. Try the shakshuka with halloumi, the Israeli salad with feta, and the crisp hearts of lettuce and kale served with Gilboa cheese and apple vinaigrette. Or you can choose the assorted morning mezze to have a taste of something traditional and a complete breakfast experience. They even have cocktails that add a plus of eccentricity to the menu. If you want, you can start with a Bloody Mary or with a Breakfast Martini.
Walk Down the Promenade
Nothing beats the views from the beautiful Tayelet – The Promenade, which has a few sections from the Tel Baruch Beach till Jaffa. The part called Lahat is the main and was renovated in 1982. It stretches from Gordon Beach to Aviv Beach. There’s plenty of people watching to do here with the views of the sea in the background. You can sit on the beach and sip a cold drink at one of the bars and cafes lined up along the boardwalk. Or go swimming and sunbathing. The beaches are very clean, with lifeguards on duty, and offer all kinds of leisure opportunities. Play matkot or volleyball, and you will experience the beach like a local. At Gordon Beach you also have an outdoor fitness area if you are in the mood to train like a local.
Picnic in the Park
Tel Aviv has several charming parks, and the locals love picnicking. Hayarkon Park attracts millions of visitors every year. It has a sports complex with a climbing wall, playgrounds, a lake where you can rent a pedal boat, a small zoo, and other facilities. Hiking, cycling, and picnicking are favourite pastimes here.
Gan Ha’atsmaut – the Independence Garden – boasts striking views of the sea and ample room for picnics. The sunsets here are spectacular.
Shop for picnic supplies at Sarona Market and enjoy them al fresco in one of its musical benches by a pond. The Ben Tsiyon boulevard is a locals’ favourite for picnics too.
Check Out the City’s Thriving Art and Culture Scene
Tel Aviv loves art so much that it transformed it into a way of life. All around the city you will see fantastic graffiti and art galleries galore. You can go to the Tel Aviv Art Studio (Gordon 31) or Studio MIRA (Yehuda Hayamit 33) for art classes with the locals.
At the Suzanne Dellal Centre you can attend a modern dance show performed by the talented Batsheva Dance Company. There are concerts and events every week around the city. You can either go to one of the cool clubs, like The Block or Barby for live music and to party out late. If you plan your visit or go with the flow, Tel Aviv doesn’t disappoint.