Travel Tips 5 Unusual Things to See and Do in Tel Aviv Israel for Tourists

Here are 5 travel tips for tourists in Tel Aviv, these are not major sites or important Tel Aviv landmarks but simply things that the average tourist in Tel Aviv would miss unless a local Israeli pointed them out to them. They are also small enjoyable extras that might give a Tel Aviv tourist a more unique travel experience.

1. Yotvata – Israeli Dairy Restaurant

Yotvata is a kibbutz in the Israeli Negev desert along the Aravah road close to Eilat and if you are traveling down to Eilat by car you can stop in at the kibbutz and try their dairy products, but there is no need to go so far south, as the kibbutz has restaurants throughout the country.

This Israeli kosher dairy restaurant specializes in fruit and milk shakes, amazing salads and pastas as well as light meals. The freshness of their fruit and the quality of the Yotvata dairy products make this a delicious Israeli eating experience. The Yotvata portions are enormous so be sure to share your meal with a friend, and the best thing on the menu is the fruit smoothie which comes in a jug not a cup so that too can be shared. In Tel Aviv you can find one of their restaurants on the promenade opposite the beach and next to the renound Mike's Place. Through Israel you can't miss their logo of two green palm trees with an orange sun between them.


2. Murals by Rami Meiri

As you meander through Tel Aviv (and some other major Israeli cities) you can see murals by Israeli artist Rami Meiri. His distinct style and use of white to highlight his paintings makes this street art stand out. Most of his murals depict stereotypical Israeli characters and local flavor as well as his most famous image of a face breaking through a brick wall.

He has painted in obscure places and in several businesses and restaurants but the most famous of his works can be seen at number 5 Hayarkon Street, Tel Aviv; Nachalat Beanyanim Street (next to the shuk hacarmal), Tel Aviv; Yehoash Street, Tel Aviv; along the Tel Aviv beach front; kiosk Habima, Tel Aviv; the corner of Dizengoff and Ben Gurion Streets, Tel Aviv; the corner of Even Girol and Arlozorov streets, Tel Aviv; Nikui Rosh Pub, Tel Aviv; in the Tel Aviv port and the corner of Ben Yahuda and Ben Gurion Streets, Tel Aviv. Most of his murals depict stereotypical Israeli characters and local flavor as well as his most famous image of a face breaking through a brick wall. Although not an Israeli tourist site these murals are amusing and add to your understanding of Israeli life.

3. The Gaudi - Crazy House -  Building

At 181 Yarkon Street Tel Aviv you can see a very unusual building in the style of Gaudi, however the building was built in 1989 and designed by Leon Geneva. It appears to be a normal building which has been wrapped up or had white organically shaped pieces attached to its sides. There is also a fence around the building of the same style. The building is sometimes referred to as the "Crazy House". On the opposite side of the street is a bench in the same design style so you can have a seat while examining this work of art. The building is still in use as an apartment building but is not open to the public.

4. Fish and Chips at Molly Blooms

The Tel Aviv beach front area and HaYarkon Street, one street away, is where most of the hotels are and there is no shortage of pubs and bars catering to English speaking Israeli tourists, but one of them has a particularly English attraction – fish and chips. OK so they are not wrapped up in newspaper, but The Irish Pub, Molly Blooms on Hayarkon Street opposite the Tel Aviv Dan hotel serves fish and chips English style. The pub has dark wood décor in imitation of the British pubs, and serves a variety of British dishes. There is even vinegar to smother your chips with, so when you're feeling homesick for some British grub make your way to The Irish Pub. They are open from 16:00 and late into the night. The only other Irish owned and run pub in Tel Aviv is the Leo Blooms.

5. Tel Aviv Central Bus Station - Old and New

There is an old and a new central bus station in Tel Aviv, and each has a unique atmosphere. The new central bus station, in south Tel Aviv, is the largest in the world and includes a shopping mall, although it does have character, the old bus station will show you a side of Tel Aviv that few Israeli tourists ever see. The area of the old bus station is crowded with foreign and illegal workers mostly from Africa and the Far East. These new "Israelis" bring their own brand of style to the area. There is the smell of exotic foods and spices in the air; brightly colored clothes displayed outside of small stores; eastern music with lyrics in several languages blasts from large and small CD machines, and a myriad of small unique stores to ogle at. The actual bus station does not function any more but the surrounding area provides plenty of action and shopping opportunities in what is referred to as a shuk or market but is really a collection of open front stores. Have a look down the side streets where you will find each street has shops dealing with one type of product, for example one of the streets has only shoe shops. When in the old Tel Aviv central bus station keep your belongings close and try not to stand out, as this is where the poorer and more desperate Tel Aviv residents gather as well as an unsavory section of the Israeli society. If you are hesitant to venture into this area of town then take a look at the new central station as there are some good bargains and flea market like stores there as well, but in a safer environment.

Tel Aviv old central bus station (Tuchana Hamerkazit Hayashan) can be found at Har Zion Boulevard, and stores open after 09:00.

Explore Tel Aviv on foot and you will discover many unusual and unique buildings, shops and places that are in the Tel Aviv tourist areas but often go unnoticed.


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lucia anna
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Posted on Jan 3, 2010