Yesterday I mentioned that Tel Aviv is Israel’s beach and party city. But, wait, there’s more.
Tel Aviv has enjoyed a revival of some of its older neighborhoods. The flea market quarter, for example, still has the flea market, and it appears all of Israel has emptied its attics to stock the vendors there. But the shabby neighborhood that once surrounded it is now ideal for strolling thanks to hip cafes, restaurants, and clothing stores.
What locals call Tel Aviv’s SoHo is Neve Tzedek, just a stone’s throw from the David InterContinental where I was staying overlooking the Mediterranean. Here’s a neighborhood of charming, quiet streets with restaurants that beg you to linger.
It’s adjacent to the so-called White City, named for the significant number of Bauhaus-style buildings. Its main avenue, Rothschild Boulevard, is a lovely avenue divided by a tree-lined center strip with benches and coffee stands. A new Richard Meir-designed high-rise is under construction there, by the way.
Named the world’s third hottest city last year by Lonely Planet guidebooks, Tel Aviv boasts a large gay community, lots of artists, and more bars than synagogues. Put it on your bucket list.