|Photo by Israeltourism via flickr|
Kate Bussmann, The Daily Telegraph, June 01, 2015
With its sandy beaches, packed bars and thriving art scene, this liberal, lively city is a magnet for a young, cool crowd.
Two blocks from the beach, the Artplus Hotel is part-owned by a collector of contemporary Israeli art, and his stamp is everywhere: murals cover the corridors and video installations play in the lobby. Book the frescoed room 308, or 309, which turns into a planetarium at night. Rooms from US$178
Part of the same group, the Center Chic Hotel is smack in the middle of things, with plenty of bars, restaurants and shops on your doorstep. The bedrooms are supremely comfortable and beautifully decorated. From US$178
With one of the best locations in the city, the modern, chic Yulia is right on the promenade in the newly restored Harbour district. The seafood is, as you would expect, excellent.
Order the “salads” (as the locals deceptively call them) at Ha’achim, and you will regret having ordered a main: a huge selection of Middle Eastern meze will arrive. Try to save room for malabi, a creamy, rosewater-infused dessert. Ibn Gvirol Street 12
Take a walk through the pretty Neve Tzedek neighbourhood and stop at Anita, an ice cream parlour and one of surprisingly few kosher eateries in the city. Shabazi Street 23
Eames chairs and display cases of cartoon figurines make unlikely but somehow coherent bedfellows at BuXa, a cool basement bar on one of the liveliest streets in Tel Aviv. Sderot Rothschild 31
Don’t be put off by the stern receptionist at the Cold War-esque Imperial Hotel : in one corner is the door to a tiny, award-winning bar with colonial decor, a soundtrack that veers from Elvis to Aerosmith and a very adventurous cocktail menu.
In Sarona, a historical district that’s being redeveloped, you’ll find Jajo, one of a small chain of bars with serious menus. Hugely romantic, it’s underground in a 150-year-old winery.
The Tel Aviv Museum of Art has an impressive permanent collection, including pieces by Ai Weiwei, Anish Kapoor, Roy Lichtenstein and Richard Prince, and until September is hosting an exhibition of David Hockney prints.
A short drive from the city, the Design Museum Holon is well worth a visit. Designed by Ron Arad in stunning Cor-Ten steel, it features a changing repertoire of fashion, product and design shows.
Book a street-art tour by Helena Margolova and you’ll see pieces that address history, politics, feminism or just petty rivalries through media ranging from spray paint and stencils to oversized Braille and (in the case of local hero Maya Gelfman) wool.
Pick up eminently wearable womenswear by Tel Aviv’s own Maya Bash, a fashion talent sure to break through over here soon.
Neighbouring Jaffa could not be more of a contrast: it dates back nearly 10,000 years and its Arab roots are still strong, as you’ll find if you wander through its flea market and alleyways.
EasyJet from Gatwick, Luton and Manchester from £128 return.
This article was written by Kate Bussmann from The Daily Telegraph and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.