Tel Aviv is a beautiful city in all respects, it’s highly unlikely that I’ll ever stop mentioning that I’m in love with it. The only thing that can ruin your stay there is the prices. But it would be a shame not to enjoy it! Where to stay, where to have breakfast, where to go for cocktails, what to bring back from the trip, except for hummus, and how to get what you can out of the city – let’s start from the Florentin area.
Tel Aviv is conventionally divided into several districts: Southern, Florentin, Neve Tzedek, Rothschild Boulevard, North, along with Jaffa and the ‘Shuk ha Pish Pishim’ market. From this list, Southern Tel Aviv is the most controversial and is considered disadvantaged. Lewinski and the area around the central bus station is the habitat of illegal immigrants, and although there is local charm, it’s better to spend your vacation in another place.
For instance, Florentin area is adjacent to the South, but it is preferred to be a hype hangout by young people, so it will definitely feature bars, cafes, tattoo studios and torrents of beautiful people with dogs. In addition, the beauty of Florentin is that it is much cheaper than other areas, while it is within easy reach of everything in the city: the flea market, the romantic Neve Tzedek, the old Jaffa, the beaches and the promenade, the Rothschild Boulevard, and if you don’t feel like walking, then all the main transportation routes go through Florentin.
Where to stay
If you are into partying with unfamiliar people, hostels are an excellent option. Another thing is that miscalculation with a hostel is a common thing – two-by-four rooms and fragrant socks of neighbors can spoil the mood big time. When you take a look at Florentin House (Florentin St 6) – there you can find women’s dorms, and mixed ones, and double rooms, and triple rooms, and even suites with a terrace on the top floor. All clean and beautiful, towels included, free wi-fi and an excellent restaurant downstairs.
If you want an aesthetic retreat, I strongly advise you to rent an apartment from Moran. You can find them on airbnb, there are several options. I was amazed by the studio on the first floor with access to the patio garden, high ceilings and a separate bathtub. As a bonus from the hostess you will get a welcome wine and an advice on leisure activities.
Where to eat
You can start a gastronomic trip from the Boutique Central bakery (Florentin St. 22), one of the few places, where they brew good coffee. In the legendary Casbah (Florentin St. 3) you can treat yourself to some proper breakfast with a special zest, you can find shakshuka, and malahuah, and the famous Israeli breakfast, when the whole table is filled with plates. In the afternoon – huge wok or shawarma on a plate portions, and you can get discounts during happy hours.
The wonderful open-air kiosk Kiosko (Frenkel 31), pasta in a cheese wheel in Shoko Lulu (Vital, 3), pizza with garlic and spinach in Aba Aben (Sderot Washington, 30), absolutely stunning Beit Romano (Derech Jaffa, 9, second floor) and Dalida (Zevulun St. 7) with true Tel-Aviv culinary art experiments. The choice that suits all tastes, follow the crowd – the more people, the more delicious the food is. When in Romano and Dalida – make sure to book table in advance.
AM:PM stores are opened 24/7, but they are slightly more expensive than Super Cofix (Herzl Str. 102), where you can spend a 100 shekels a week, including 10 shekels spent on food.
Where to drink
Florentin is full of cheap drinkeries. Take a walk along the Vital street or through Abarbanel and Florentin. A more serious drinks can be found in the Beit Romano (try Polish Mule based on Zubrowka), as well as in Dalida. A small lifehack – in front of Dalida there is a small door that hides the nameless, but mega cool outcast bar. There is only one table inside, where the guests sit, the cook works and the barman shakes cocktails.
Cocktails, tacos and vibrant interior in Diego San (Ha-Mashbir St. 2).
A little further, but still quite close – Herzl 16, a café that serves cocktails and is located in the historical building with the first elevator in the city.
Pay a visit to the phonograph shop (HaKishon St. 70) or the art gallery Florentin 45 Contemporary Art Space (Florentin 45), crash a party in Teder (Derech Jaffa, 9, first floor), where sometimes design fairs took place. The store of the fashion brand KeKe Fashion Design (Shalma Rd. 43) or the bookstore on Vital Street, but in case it is not enough and you just want to beautify yourself – go visit Pauline for a manicure and Alice – for a massage.
Or just take a walk and take a picture with graffiti on the background. You can get the whole album of pictures.