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Tel Aviv is not your usual Middle Eastern city. This modern metropolis is all about the sun, sea and party after party.  At just over 100 years old, Tel Aviv is a mere teenager on the scale of world cities, and it shows.

This is not your typical Middle Eastern city of crusader castles, mosques and churches. Instead it is one of colourful high-rise apartment blocks, cutting edge skyscrapers and a clutch of Bauhaus and Art Deco structures that look like they came fresh from Miami Beach. And just like its Floridian counterpart, Tel Aviv’s heart is where the beach is, making this one of the most popular holiday destinations in the Eastern Mediterranean. 



The Tel Aviv Museum of Art, always worth visiting to see the work of the country's best artists and international names who have worked in Israel, will be showing Andy Warhol photographs until October 21, and there are several other temporary shows alongside the excellent permanent collection.

The Holon Design Museum is worth a trip out of town, often missed by visitors because of its slightly remote, but perfectly accessible, location (check out bus timetables). A summer show will feature the best in speaker and other audio design, and some interactive installations related to sound. www.dmh.org.il

The newest place to wander, sip and nibble on street food is the Rothschild-Allenby Market with nearly three dozen food shops and street food vendors. The whole world is represented, from the ramen of Asia to the curries of Africa, and there are many intimate seating areas as well as space for pop-ups to ring the changes.

Key Areas

A stroll down Rothschild Boulevard even beats walking the length of Tel Aviv's prom; this leafy thoroughfare is broad enough in its pedestrianised central reservation to accommodate cafes to sit and people-watch. Do avoid the bike lanes, though!

Tel Aviv beaches come into their own in summer, and the beach library is a welcome addition to the beach volleyball nets and clean white sands. Watch out for the impromptu parties which fire up every Friday afternoon and last into the evening, the Tel Aviv equivalent of "the weekend starts here".

Head north by bus to Tel Aviv's attractive university campus, home to both the Diaspora Museum, which movingly tells the story of Jews in exile across the world, and also the innovative Palmach Museum, which tells the story of the struggle to establish an independent state of Israel. You need to be prebook the Palmach Museum, www.palmach.org.il.

Day Trips

Autumn is a beautiful time to head north into Israel's longest-established vineyards, where the beautiful little wine town of Zichron Ya'akov is a destination in itself. Drive there on the Haifa road or take the train to Binyamina, then a taxi to the fabulous Elma Hotel, which offers elegant minimalist-modernist rooms in a landmark building incorporating a concert venue, an art gallery and terraced gardens overlooking the Med. Guests get discounts on performances. www.elmahotel.com

The Carmel Valley Spa, Israel's finest, is a great place to head to on a Saturday, not only because the shops and some restaurants are closed in Tel Aviv, but because every Saturday night double room booked comes with two free treatments. Hire a car and explore the artists' colony of Ein Hod, the beautiful little wine town of Zichron Ya'akov, and the world-class Baha'i Gardens in Haifa next day.

Haifa is a lovely place to escape to in spring, easily reached from Tel Aviv by train (the Carmel station is best placed for sightseeing). There are good museums, including one devoted to the arts and crafts of Japan and another dedicated to Israel's maritime history, but the star turn is the beautiful Baha'i gardens which tumble elegantly down the slopes of Mount Carmal, a wonderful afternoon's walk.

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Tel Aviv Airport Guide | Visit Israel

*Prices shown are per person based on two people flying on the same booking. Fees & charges may apply. Min 4 seats available per flight, one way inc. taxes.