Tel Aviv is Israel’s New York (one of its nicknames is “the Big Orange”) and at first glance can seem like any other big city. But it is the heart of modern Israel, “the capital of Mediterranean cool,” and I have come to truly treasure it.
If New York and Miami Beach had a love child, it would look a lot like Tel Aviv! Also, if you start in Tel Aviv, which I recommend, you will have a couple of days to recover from a long flight and jet lag without feeling like you’re missing the must-see historical sites. A good resource for planning your Tel Aviv trip is an on-line guide, in English, designed for visitors to the city; the address is www.telavivguide.net. You can find information there on hotels, restaurants, must-see sites, nightlife, and a host of useful tips. The site also has an interactive map of the city; you click on sites, and are referred immediately to a web page on that particular item of interest.
Other good sites include www.visit-tlv.com and www.telaviv4fun.com. Tel Aviv is the center of gay and lesbian life in Israel, and LGBT visitors should check out www.gaytlvguide.com, and for LGBT information beyond Tel Aviv, see http://tourism.glbt.org.il/en. Finally, print a great discount pass to many Tel Aviv sites and attractions at http://www.visit-tlv.com (lower left-hand corner, “City Pass”). You need to get this guide stamped at one of the tourism offices on arrival, but the discounts can save you a lot of money while touring the city.