Cheap flights to Tel Aviv
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.
Tel Aviv's lively Carmel food market can be a zoo, but it's delicious when you visit at lunchtime with a guide who knows the best stalls. Tourist Israel organises a lunchtime tour every Tuesday starting at 12.30 - expect a bowl of some of the best hummus in town and a few extra stops for drinks and treats along the way. A tad pricey at NIS150 but fun; www.touristisrael.com.
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.
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.
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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