Tel Aviv

Tel Aviv - a city that encapsulates the history of the Middle East in an ultra-modern package

Israel's second city after Jerusalem, Tel Aviv is a newcomer in Middle Eastern terms, having only been founded in 1909. In that time, it has grown into a sizeable city of over 400,000 people and a centre for finance, research and development, new technology and the performing arts. Building began just outside the ancient port of Jaffa, which has been inhabited for nearly ten thousand years. Jaffa is now an integral part of Tel Aviv, making for a fascinating contrast between the old and the new. You can fly to the city from Johannesburg or Cape Town in as little as 17 hours 30 minutes, with flights arriving at Ben Gurion Airport.

The local time is the same as in South Africa and the currency is the Israeli New Shekel, divided into 100 agora. Air France and the Israeli embassy can provide more information on customs regulations and visas

One reason why Tel Aviv is such a popular holiday destination is its excellent climate. There are more than 300 sunny days each year and even in the Winter-time the temperature rarely dips much below 10°C during the day. There are plenty of beaches, easy access between which is provided by the Tel Aviv promenade. Tel Aviv is therefore seen as an all-year round destination, with many Europeans heading to the city for some Winter sun. Airplane tickets may not be at their cheapest at this time of year as a result.

Tel Aviv - take a holiday in a city where modernist architecture meets vibrant nightlife scene

One of the most fascinating aspects of Tel Aviv is its diverse mix of urban architecture. During your stay, be sure to visit the White City, a UNESCO World Heritage site. This is a collection of more than 4,000 buildings constructed in the Bauhaus style by Jewish architects who emigrated from Nazi Germany before the Second World War. There's even a dedicated Bauhaus Museum you can visit to learn more about this part of the city. Old Jaffa, in contrast, contains one of the oldest ports in the world, the place from which Jonah was said to have set sail before being swallowed by the whale.
Tel Aviv has always been a hub for the entertainment industry. Lovers of the performing arts, including opera, theatre, ballet, classical music and the globally-famous Batsheva Dance Company are well-catered for here. In the same vein, if you stay in 'the city that never sleeps', you'll soon see that it lives up to its nickname with an array of late-night opening bars and clubs, especially in the vicinity of Tel Aviv port.
Israel has the highest number of museums per capita in the world and Tel Aviv is home to some of the most important, including the Eretz Israel Museum, the Tel Aviv Museum of Art and Beth Hatefutsoth, the museum of the Jewish diaspora.
To journey to Tel Aviv is also to travel through the cuisine of the world. Although typical Middle Eastern and Mediterranean dishes like falafel, couscous and hummus are common, recipes from the many countries from which the Jewish diaspora has emigrated are also a feature on the food scene here, including Russian and Ethiopian. If you'd like to try a local speciality, halva, a sesame paste-based confectionery, which is sometimes used in ice cream, is a delicious treat.
Israel is a small country, meaning that you can cover a lot of ground using a rental car. For more information on this option and advice on local accommodation , the Air France site has what you need.

Tel Aviv's most helpful travel and tourism websites in the one place!

These websites are just the ticket for travellers bound for Tel Aviv: