After a holistic, soul seeking adventure around Israel I decided to end it in Tel Aviv. Truthfully the city didn’t excite me because it’s nothing new, I’m from London – I am a big city girl. Of course I’d heard that Tel Aviv is the wild city of Israel, the free city, the hipster city where the best parties are but by now I was pure, I was baptised, I was so saintly I certainly wasn’t looking forward to seeing drunks and highs masquerading the streets. What I didn’t expect is that Tel Aviv was to transform me into a drunk masquerading the streets and that it would take three weeks to recover. It was as if I was a different person to whom I became these past couple months. I partied, drank till I was stupid, kissed, loved, ate, chilled, listened and connected. I hooked up with 3 people in 5 days (busteddd!) and some lasted longer than others (I apologise if you’re reading this and thought I was bae, I’m definitely not bae material). I don’t know how I did it. I had no behaviour control, no caution warning, no limits. The good times just kept rolling.
Honestly.. Tel Aviv is awesome awesome awesome. If you like to do all of the above then go there. It is not like rest of the country as I had previously seem it. Tel Aviv is in a strange perplex delirium where alternative, secular and hip all fight for primacy. It’s not cultural or particularly interesting – you can go to Jaffa for your dose of culture and magic. Even the ‘must see’ Tel Aviv central market is truly unimpressive. I didn’t even think about going to the museums. You will not learn about historical facts in Tel Aviv, in fact the only thing you’ll learn in Tel Aviv are the new scanty limits you push yourself to. The nightlife is the one. I danced my ass off to hip-hop, dancehall, pop, house and loved every moment of it.
So what makes Tel Aviv awesome?
That’s all I can say. It’s a place to escape the countries uptight tension and be free. Tel Aviv welcomes alternative cultures with open arms and embraces them to extremes. De facto, the more alternative you are, the more ready Tel Aviv is to receive you. You will notice that it is a very alive city, filled with parties running all night for every genre and subculture. It is (a bit) multicultural and very multi sexual. There’s a huge gay scene, to the point where practically everyone I met was gay, lesbian, bisexual or sexually free. I spent my days laying with friends on the beach absorbing the heat of the sun and watching the sea wash over on sand while drinking, playing games and scheming.
Go to the gay beach!
Yes, there is a gay beach – everyone is gay and it is good vibes. It is by the Hilton beach which is by the Hilton hotel.
Tel Aviv is Vegan paradise. It seems like 80% of all people in Tel Aviv are vegan. The food is better than anywhere else in Israel and cheaper plus. All the falafel spots are outstanding – lively, authentic and extremely tasty. I recommend Superfalafel which is really a small stall where you will wait at least 20minutes untill you reach the counter because it’s so busy and Falafel Gina. While street food in Tel Aviv is the cheapest in Israel, everything else will cost you dearly.. DEARLY. You can easily drink 500 Shekels within 2 hours so I recommend buying a bottle and predrinking somewhere before you hit the streets. Transport wise, unlike Northern Israel where I spent most of my time hitch hiking to get around, in Tel Aviv you can walk everywhere or take a bus or shared taxi. Easy.
Florentine is Tel Aviv’s hippest neighbourhood. Apparently it is the second hippest neighbourhood in the world and I definitely don’t agree with that, but it has got swag. The few streets are full of street art and you can clearly see the blend of traditional culture with a twist of contemporary style. It is a typical example of a ‘bad’ neighbourhood turned hipster. Like Hackney in London or Williamsburg in New York. It has a plethora of restaurants, bars and 24-7 nightclubs. Behind Florentine is South Tel Aviv which is apparently the ghetto.
I visited the ‘Ghetto’ of Tel Aviv – South Tel Aviv and was very aware that I wasted my time. Israeli’s warned me not to walk through there at night, something might happen – I could get raped, robbed or both. Nothing happened and it just looked like a very safe neighbourhood in East London. Perhaps it’s because I can (kinda) pass as East African that my walk through the ghetto was safe. People didn’t even look my way. I must have blended in a little bit, they probably thought I was somebody’s niece or sister who came to visit. The only interesting thing I did see were two street prostitutes being picked up in cars from their corner, I’ve never actually seen prostitute success, they always seemed flat and artificial, like party extra’s waiting for the real people to arrive. Oh and I did see some junkies… Scary.
Israeli people in Tel Aviv are cool, but it’s not effortlessly cool. They weren’t born cool, the learned it and mastered it. You can tell it’s not really natural, like the way people from Copenhagen or Barcelona are. Because the country is torn in conflict with a billion things including religion, war, sexuality, finances, territory, politics etc… It’s like the citizens of Tel Aviv force themselves to be cool, quirky so it comes off a bit extreme and overdone. That is just my personal observation though as a tourist looking for an awesome time, you certainly won’t be disappointed. …But if you’re looking for history and culture go to Jerusalem
In plain English my trip to Tel Aviv was full of acts of sin and sun. Oops.