Vacations often involve more spending than people plan for, but your upcoming trip to Tel Aviv doesn’t have to put unnecessary strains on your budget. If you know where to look, Tel Aviv has many options that will cost you either nothing or next to nothing, so you can keep your wallet in your pocket and give your cash a chance to go farther.
Tel Aviv is full of great spots to walk around and enjoy the sunshine. Park Hayarkon is the city’s primary green space, with sprawling grassy areas for playing ball and a playground for kids to enjoy.
After a picnic lunch, consider renting bikes, boating on the lake or visiting the bird zoo to end your day with a fun activity.
If it’s particularly hot while you’re here, there is only one place to be in Tel Aviv, and that’s the beach. Many of Tel Aviv’s beaches are free – Metzitzim Beach, Gordon Beach and Hilton Beach are some good options – and if you order food from the beachside café, you can get access to a chair and umbrella included. Tel Aviv’s beaches are beautiful, clean, family-friendly and within walking distance of many Tel Aviv hotels.
Towards sunset, take a stroll down the Tel Aviv-Jaffa promenade and watch the residents of Tel Aviv go by. For dinner, stop at any of the seaside restaurants or cafes where you can watch the waves as you dine.
Another way to admire the sea is with a visit to the Tel Aviv Port. The wooden boardwalk affords breathtaking views of the Mediterranean. Take a break at one of the restaurants located right on the edge of the water, and get in some people-watching. On Fridays, there’s an outdoor farmer’s market, featuring fresh and organic produce.
Ancient and adjacent
Jaffa Port is the most ancient port in the Middle East and was the region’s main transport hub for thousands of years. The neighborhood surrounding the port evokes the Old City of Jerusalem in its architecture. Wander the winding alleyways and duck into doorways to see artists hard at work. Make a stop at the Old Jaffa Museum of Antiquities to see exhibits of archaeological discoveries made in the area.
The Jaffa Flea Market is a gem that many tourists unfortunately overlook. This market offers a hodge-podge of products, from high-end antiques to discarded ironing boards. You don’t have to buy anything to enjoy a walk through this colorful market. Sellers hawk everything from jewelry and furniture to scarves and scissors.
Get shown around
Free walking tours are also available in Tel Aviv. Try Tel Aviv Greeters for a tour provided by a local resident who will show the city as he or she sees it. Or take a tour of the Tel Aviv University, including its elegant architecture and beautifully landscaped gardens. For a bit of history, take in the Ben-Gurion House, where you can learn about the life of Israel’s first Prime Minister and the story of the establishment of the State of Israel.
Tel Aviv has so much to offer, even without spending a lot of money on tourist attractions. Walking through the city like the locals do gives you the opportunity to see what life is really like in cosmopolitan Tel Aviv.