Last updated March 13th 2016

There’s really no place in the world like Israel. The Jewish people’s homeland is filled with warm hearts, beautiful landscapes, delicious food and beaches that extend forever. Simply put, I have never before lived in a country that has so much to offer people of all ages, lifestyles and cultures.

Tel Aviv in particular is a vibrant city bursting with a unique energy that cannot be found anywhere else in the world. If you’re lucky enough to find yourself visiting or living in Tel Aviv any time soon, here are 10 different spots that I think are certainly worth the visit:

Best Beach – Topsea – If you’re looking for a beach with a laid back vibe that’s great for people watching, then Topsea is for you. White lounge chairs and blue umbrellas line the sand, yet beach goers also have plenty of space to layout on their own towels. Music can be heard throughout the beach from the nearby café, giving Topsea a hip atmosphere. Topsea also doesn’t get as crowded as some of the other larger beaches like Gordon and Frishman. If you’re in the mood to “chill” and people watch without being bothered by lots of tourists, then Topsea is worth the visit.

Topsea TLV

View of Topsea

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Best Market – Sarona Market – If Whole Foods and New York’s Chelsea Market had a child it would be Tel Aviv’s recently opened Sarona Market. Filled with olives, nuts, dates, breads, spreads and a whole lot more, Sarona features some of the best food products Israel has to offer – and you can even nosh on various samples throughout the market while you shop. Food and home good stores can be found on both the right and left sides of the Market, while the main middle aisle is filled with coffee shops, bakeries, noodle bars and other various sit-down restaurants. With about 90 different stores and restaurants, Sarona certainly is a foodie’s heaven that proves to be fun for every one due to its diverse offerings. Plus, Sarona is air conditioned, making it a great spot to visit on a hot and humid Tel Aviv summer day.


Sarona Market

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Best Street Art – Neve Tzedek – Located in the south of Tel Aviv, Neve Tzedek is an art lovers dream come true – and the best part is that some of the most amazing creations can be found on the walls and streets that line the area. Don’t be surprised to see graffiti murals and mirrors all across the historic area. Be sure to stroll down the multiple alleyways to find some real hidden gems.


My favorite Hamsa in Neve Tzedek

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Best Gym – Kolna Peer – Tel Aviv is filled with fitness buffs, so finding a good gym is a must. My favorite gym is Kolna Peer. Located in the “Old North” neighborhood, Kolna Peer provides gym goers with a wide variety of classes and gym equipment all at an affordable rate. The atmosphere is laid back and dance music is often playing in the background to keep members energized. Not a gym pro? Don’t worry – The trainers at Kolna are always friendly and willing to lend a hand. The gym is also equipped with TRX’s, stretching mats and a variety of medicine balls. Grab a shake or a quick bite at the gym café after your work out, as the options are healthy and delicious.


Kolna Peer Gym

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Best Sushi – TYO – Finding good sushi in Tel Aviv isn’t always easy, which is why I was pleasantly surprised to stumble upon TYO (The name TYO stands for the airport code for Tokyo). Considered to be an authentic Japanese restaurant in Tel Aviv, TYO’s trendy atmosphere and delicious offerings make this restaurant a must for sushi lovers. TYO offers various special rolls, along with classic rolls, sashimi, nigiri, delicious starter dishes and more. Not only is the fish tasty and fresh, TYO also has a great drink menu with a variety of wines and unique cocktails. So what makes TYO so good? TYO’s master sushi chef, Yama Sun, previously worked at the NYC hot spot Moto. TYO is great for families or a date night – be sure to sit at the bar located in the middle of the restaurant for a more intimate dinning experience.


Delicious sushi at TYO

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Best Salon – Highlights – If you need a haircut, blowout, highlights or anything else hair related, then Highlights is the place to go. Owned and operated by a family of South Africans who have been in the business for years, Highlights offers affordable rates and can accommodate all hair types. I love Highlights because it reminds me of home (America), as the salon is clean and “English-speaking friendly”. Be sure to ask for Tristan or Jonathan when you go to Highlights.


My hair after a blowout at Highlights

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Best Night Lounge – Aria First Floor Bar- Looking for a trendy bar in Tel Aviv with a New York feel? The first floor bar at Aria is the place to go if you want to listen to a DJ while sipping delicious cocktails. In addition to drinks, Aria offers a variety of delicious small plates such as ravioli and calamari. The best part about Aria is that the DJ is situated in the middle of the bar, giving the entire venue a unique and fun atmosphere.


DJ in the center of Aria

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Best Cocktails – Imperial Craft Cocktail Bar – If you love cocktails, then the Imperial Craft Cocktail Bar is the place for you. Located inside the Imperial Hotel, this cocktail bar offers a variety of unique cocktails that are appealing to both men and women. The bar has an intimate setting that is perfect for date nights. You can even ask the knowledgeable staff for customized cocktails as well.


Cocktails at Imperial

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Best Date Restaurant – Popina – You should definitely try Popina if you’re looking for a great dinner spot to take your next date. Located within the romantic Neve Tzedek neighborhood, Popina is one of the best restaurants I have tried in Tel Aviv. An open kitchen sits within the middle of the restaurant and the menu offers a variety of fresh Mediterranean dishes. Courses can be ordered cured, steamed, baked or slow cooked and each dish has a suggested cocktail beverage offering. There is also an option for the Chef’s tasting menu, allowing adventurous restaurant goers to taste each of the best dishes.


Popina with view of the open kitchen

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Best Day-Time Café – Movieing – Sitting at cafes during the day is incredibly popular in Tel Aviv. Yet with so many to choose from, deciding on a place to go can get confusing. Located at the popular corner of Dizengoff and Yirmiyahu, my favorite café is Movieing. With plenty of space outside, Moving offers a relaxed atmosphere with tasty food and drink options.


Fresh juice and lemonade with mint at Movieing

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What’s your favorite place in Tel Aviv? If you think there’s a place that I should add to my list, please be sure to leave a comment below. Have some feedback? Let me know what you think! Comment or contact me to share your thoughts. Finally, be sure to follow me on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to stay in the loop.