It was Purim, when I first arrived in Tel Aviv. Fred Flintstone picked me up from HaShalom train station, and the first thing I saw in the city was a man dressed up as a hotdog, offering me a hug (let it be stated here that in Purim it is customary to wear a costume).
Of course I fell in love with this city right away.
I fell in love with the green boulevards, with the laid-back and good-looking people in the boulevard coffee shops, with the perfect running route by the beach.
I decided to move here. Visiting a boutique in Neve Tsedek, I bought a bracelet that said in Hebrew “Time is Now”. The shop keeper kindly advised me that Tel Aviv is a fun city to visit, but not to live in.
Do you know that feeling, when you are finally in a space or place where you had imagined yourself before?
I am not sure if it is all because of the magic of Purim, but Tel Aviv was something completely different than I had imagined – and I had done my homework, from reading my Lonely Planet cover to cover, to checking the Google Street View.
Attractions In Tel Aviv: the city has many different sides
You can see the contrasts most strikingly on the streets, where a fancy new skyscraper stands tall next to a rustier building that is just begging for some street art.
But the city has a lot to offer for everyone, whether you are a plant loving tree-hugger (check out all the vegan restaurants!), a sports addict (check out all the Gyms and TRX spots around town!) or anything beyond or in between, really.
Tel Aviv is just as colourful as its logo, it is vibrant, fun, and flirty.
At first, I was constantly worried about being underdressed. Tel Aviv is HOT, already in spring time, and skimpy outfits seem necessary for survival during the hot hours. But I didn’t want to be or seem disrespectful.
I was yet to hear about the invisible geographical line here, within which it is considered normal (for men) to be outside without a shirt. Dress code in Tel Aviv? Good news for the fans of casual wear and the surfer look: T-shirts and flip flops.
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However, do not let the casual appearance and looks fool you – people mean serious business in here.
People are ambitious, most work very long hours, and many have, have had, or are currently planning a start-up. Tel Aviv is a city that never stops, they say.
It can also be a very expensive city – luckily, the best falafel in the city costs six shekels on King George street, a box of hummus fifteen in Shuk HaCarmel, and the city offers some very cool bars, where a magical bracelet gets you as many drinks as you want, until you and your table feel you have had enough, or the waiter starts to cheekily ignore you.
I wish I had known? Not more than I did when I first came to town. The best thing in the world is to explore and have adventures with an open heart and mind, to see where that gets you.
And it is the most fun in places where you are a little bit out of your own comfort zone.
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