48 hours in Tel Aviv: What to do and when to do it

Are you planning a visit to Israel and you have only 48 hours in Tel Aviv? Don’t worry! We understand your stress level, so we put together a selection of the best things to do in the White City in that short amount of time.

Check out the activities we recommend you do when you only have 2 days in Tel Aviv, but before we start with the tips, you have to promise something: you will come back again! In order to make it simpler for you, we divided our recommendations by days and time, and before you start shouting at us… we know! There are many things that are not on this list. If you have any doubts about why – go back to that promise you just made.

Are you ready? Take note of the things you cannot miss in your 48-hour visit to Tel Aviv

Day 1 in Tel Aviv: Food, culture, beach, and fun!

Set the alarm for 8 am, so you enjoy some extra minutes of sleep! Wear some very comfortable shoes and get ready to walk and talk a whole lot, because you will have a very active day.

8:00 – Leave your apartment, hotel, hostel or Airbnb and go towards the Carmel Market. The Carmel Market is a unique place where you’ll be able to find an amazing, wide range of colors, types and smells both of Israelis and fruit. We recommend you take small change with you to be able to buy “Too-tim” (strawberries) and Halva on the go.

Stay in the market for a while, buy some souvenirs and chat with the not always funny people behind the stands. You’re not going to find another place with such a mix of personalities, people, and colors. This is one of the ultimate Israeli experiences.

10:30 – Exit the Shuk (that is how we say “Market” in Hebrew) and go to the adjacent street of Nachalat Benyamin, a hipster-style street full of artists, crafts, little coffee shops, street musicians and generally chilled people. Walk around the little stores and art stands, and make time for coffee or a cup of green tea. Up to you!

11:45 – Time to leave Nachalat Benyamin and to go towards Rothschild Boulevard. Just follow Allenby Street until you get there, it is almost impossible to get lost, but if you do, just ask anyone in the street “Eyfo Rothschild?”, and after telling you the entire story of their family, they’ll give you the right directions. Rothschild Boulevard is an amazing street where you can find everything: From restaurants and bars to the exact same place in which David Ben Gurion declared the independence of Israel on May 14, 1948! Walking on the path for pedestrians, in the middle of the street will enable you to see how the classic Telavivian lives his everyday life. Bicycles, dog walkers, couples, elderly people playing bowls, etc. Rothschild is an amazing place to appreciate the beauty of living in Tel Aviv!

13:00 – After walking around Rothschild, it is time to walk towards HaBima, one of the most important theaters in the city. You can find HaBima at the end (or at the beginning, depending on the point of view) of the Rothschild Boulevard. HaBima is a theater where the most amazing plays and operas are shown, as well as many art exhibitions. It is surrounded by a beautiful park with some sort of underground garden where classical music is playing 24/7. Totally worth it!

14:00 – Hungry? Don’t worry, many options are around! This time, we won’t go towards Ibn Gabirol St (We’re saving it for tomorrow!), but instead, we’re walking in the direction of the Dizengoff Center. With HaBima behind you, just walk straight to Dizengoff Street, but before getting there, let’s make a quick stop at the Miznon, a phenomenal place we talked about previously when mentioning options for Israeli Street Food. When you get to King George Street, just make a turn and walk until you find this outstanding pita place with dozens of options to pick from. One of the owners is actually the most famous judge in the local version of MasterChef. Give it a try, and most likely, you will want to come again.

16:00 – Time for shopping! Just go back towards the Dizengoff Center and walk on Dizengoff Street. You’re going to find many options for stores, souvenirs, ice cream shops, bars, and yes… more coffee places to sit in. There are always tons of people walking around Dizengoff, and it becomes extremely interesting for anyone to see, appreciate and analyze the variety of styles and kinds of peeps walking on one street.

18:30 – let’s chillax for a bit! If you’re still on Dizengoff, walk until you find Ben Gurion Street and prepare yourself to go to the beach. You’ll pass by David Ben Gurion’s Tel Aviv house and you’ll be a few meters away from the beach. Stop for a few minutes, take a deep breath, walk around the “Tayelet” (the first person commenting in the comments below what “Tayelet” means wins a special prize!) and just feel the wind and the breeze. This is that time of the day when you just need to sit and relax.

20:00 – Head back to the place you’re staying at and take a shower. You know you need it! Whenever ready, head out again towards the Port of Tel Aviv. The Namal is a fantastic place to walk around in the evening. Right next to the sea and full of restaurants it becomes a great option to have a nice meal or one last drink before going to sleep. It is located very near the Sde Dov airport, so don’t be alarmed if you feel or even see a low flying airplane just above your head when sitting in one of the restaurants there. It is normal… haKol BeSeder!

22:30 – Go to sleep. We have a long day planned for you tomorrow!

Day 2: History of the City, Art, and Jaffa!

8:00 – Good! You know it is time to wake up and leave the place you’re staying at! This time, we’re going to start the day with some art. Take a cab or a bus to the Tel Aviv Museum of Art, located on Shaul HaMelekh Street. Enjoy the permanent exhibitions and breathe in the heart of the artistic life of the city.

11:30 – Right next to the museum you’ll find the Opera House and let us tell you a secret. There is a secret path between the museum and the Opera House, where you can walk and appreciate how the museum itself is a piece of art! Walk around the area and prepare yourself to enjoy a bit of the history of the city.

*Note: If you look around, you might be able to see the Azrieli towers. Both the Museum of Art and the Opera House are very close to this complex and to the Ministry of Defense (which is also one of the biggest military bases in the country).

12:15 – Walk towards Ibn Gabirol Street from Shaul HaMelekh and visit the glorious Rabin Square. Rabin Square is attached to the Tel Aviv Municipality. It is exactly there where all the protests happen, where the most amazing street parties take place, and also, where the former Prime Minister, Itzhak Rabin was assassinated… giving his name to a place previously called “The Kings Square”. In that place, you’ll see Rabin’s memorial, and you might take a minute to think, meditate or pray if you feel like it.

13:30 – You are on Ibn Gabirol and it is lunchtime! There are several options around but we truly recommend walking towards Sarona. Sarona is a historical place which was turned into an outdoors complex of restaurants, shops and other places of business, located on Kaplan St. Getting there would only take up a few minutes from Kikar Rabin (Can you guess what “Kikar” means?). Take a while to fully explore this locale, notice that there’s also an indoor section which houses a modern, newly founded market. There are endless food options here.

15:00 – When in Sarona, you are just about in the middle of the city. Very close to two train stations and with the possibilities to either go north or south. Today, we’re going south to walk around the old city of Jaffa. Walk from Sarona (after paying the bill for your lunch! You don’t want to know what we do to those who leave without paying in Israel) towards Menachem Begin St and take any sort of public transportation to Jaffa. Ask to get off at the Clock Tower, and if you’re taking a taxi don’t accept a ride without the meter running. Don’t rely on the drivers and their idea of a fixed price.

When in Jaffa, walk around, enjoy the view, make a wish at the Wishes Bridge (Remember we mentioned it when we talk about dating in Israel?), visit the “Shook haPishPeshim” (Flea market), and have lots of fun! Wait for sunset and watch it from the highest point of Jaffa, it is a breathtaking experience!

19:00 – The sun is gone and night starts to fall gradually. If you still have some energy, go for a run in Park Hayarkon. It is unbelievable how much energy you can gain from a good run in the evening! If not, go back the place you’re staying at and prepare yourself for your last dinner in Tel Aviv!

20:30 – It is up to you! You now know the entire city. It is your decision where to go to and what place to visit again before leaving. Don’t worry, you made us a promise and we’re sure you’ll have another chance to be here and to visit all of those places you couldn’t see this time. The White City won’t move… and it will be waiting for you!

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It doesn’t matter which places you visited, you’ll always have a better time if you can order, speak and communicate in Hebrew. If your Hebrew isn’t there yet, starting out with Rosen’s interactive live courses might be a good idea. Learn Hebrew today and we guarantee a (more) fun trip to Israel tomorrow!

If you know about any other place that should be on this list, just post it in the comments below and we’ll add it to an upcoming selection of places. We hope you have a great time!

About the author

Arie Elbelman R.Arie was born and raised in Chile, and immigrated to Israel in his early twenties. He wants to take an active role in the development of this young and smart country. Arie believes that the best way to shape our present and future is to live with more horizontal hierarchies, to smile a whole lot, and to always, always respect each other.

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