Israel with Kids (1) – Tel Aviv

February 9, 2011 at 12:57 pm

The next stop after Georgia and Turkey was Israel.

Tel Aviv beachfront at night

Tel Aviv beachfront at night

Israel is an ideal destination for families. Facilities are excellent, it’s small enough to see a large part of the country in a short space of time, and it is very well developed.  It is however pretty expensive.

Tel Aviv is the largest city in the country.  If you want to see the “real” face of Israel, then you had better go to Tel Aviv. It’s brash, it’s noisy, it’s exciting and it’s non-stop. Tel Aviv is busy day and night.

For families, the beach has to be high on the list of things to do – long with soft white sand and the warm Mediterranean sea. What we enjoyed most was going at night. Pubs and cafes put out chairs right on the beach, and you can sit at the waters edge, eating and drinking. A favourite summer snack – watermelon with feta cheese, eaten together!

Next best is the Carmel Market – this is a true Middle Eastern market – vendors screaming out the prices for their tomatoes, cheeses, fruit, and higher up in the clothes section, underpants! We bought a great knock-off Barcelona hat. Favourite snack – shwarma – turkey or chicken or lamb on a revolving spit – the most expensive portion comes in a plate, but with unlimited salads, it can feed a family of 4!

Neve Tzedek is a gentrified part of Tel Aviv that is just made for walking – boutiques, small cafes and restaurants – the tiny streets are easy to wander through and cars are uncommon. Eat at Susanna’s – a restaurant where most tables are outside under a huge old tree.

Tel Aviv of course has parks, a zoo, and malls. But it is the lovely tree-lined streets and boulevards that make it so interesting.  It is simply the beating heart of Israel.

PS These days I plan great family trips to Israel and Jordan. Click here for more info.