- Tel Aviv is the bustling and vibrant capital city of Israel. The New York Times called it the ‘Mediterranean Capital of Cool’, and Lonely Planet describes it as having ‘an air of perpetual renewal’, constantly refreshing itself with exciting new things to see and do.
- Tel Aviv is also the cultural and commercial capital of Israel, with a population of over 400,000 and thousands of international guests experiencing it all year long. Thanks to Israel’s near-constant bright and warm weather, there is no bad time to go to Tel Aviv, either to relax on the lovely sandy beaches and dip your toes in the Mediterranean, or visit the trendy bars and restaurants that are scattered across the city. While certainly having a dedicated market for the young and trendy, Tel Aviv is also steeped in a rich history with plenty of historical sites and architectural wonders to visit, making it a great place for everyone.
Car Hire in the Tel Aviv International Airport
The Tel Aviv International Airport is also known as the Ben Gurion Airport, and it is the biggest of the three international airports in Israel. It can be found 19 km (12 miles) southeast of the city on Highway 1, which is the main highway between Jerusalem and Tel Aviv, which makes it easily accessible via the bus, car, train or taxi.
The airport has a dedicated section for car hire agencies, which is on the first floor in the arrivals hall. The agencies available on site are; Avis, Budget, Cal Auto, Eldan, Europcar, Hertz, and Shlomo Sixt, ensuring that you are able to collect your hire car and whiz off into the city as soon as possible to get your holiday kickstarted. If your driver’s licence is not in English, in order to drive your hire car in Israel, you must have an International Driver’s Permit.
Guide to Tel Aviv
With so much to see and do across Tel Aviv, one of the best ways to get a full sense of the city is by booking a guided tour day trip. There are plenty on offer, whether you are interested in the history of Tel Aviv and Israel itself, or primarily interested in witnessing some spectacular views, there will be something for you. A particularly popular choice is the Tel Aviv to Masada and Dead Sea Day Trip, complete with an exciting cable car ride. Other options include the brilliant and informative Israel Day Tour of Old City Jerusalem, ready to take you to sites such as the famous Western Wall and the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. Lastly, why not spend a day on the Nazareth, Tiberias, Sea of Galilee Day Tour. You will see spectacular architecture, the country’s coastal plains, and much more. The tours aren’t particularly cheap, so you might not be able to get to all of them on your trip, but each option is great and if you do your research before, you will have a day to remember for years to come.
A coastal city and sandy beaches
As a coastal city, Tel Aviv is littered with plenty of sandy beaches, many of which offer a particular and unique experience as you soak up the sun. Gordon Beach is largely the most popular choice, a favourite of locals and tourists alike, offering a quintessential beach experience with ocean-front restaurants, plenty of sun-loungers, and ice-cream shops. The Hilton Beach is near its namesake hotel, and is split into three sections. It has the only official dog-walker beach towards the north, an unofficial gay beach in the centre, and an idyll for surfers in the south. If you are looking for beach-side activities, the south of the Hilton Beach is the place to be, with the bay frequently used for various kayaking and windsurfing opportunities, as well as lessons for first-timers. If sitting on the beach or enjoying the sea isn’t your thing, take a leisurely stroll down Tel Aviv Boardwalk, popping in an out of cosy cafés, or take your bike and take in the waterfront that way.
Parks, Picnics & Dog Walkers
Tel Aviv is ready to offer a splash of greenery, ready to showcase the diversity of the country’s terrain in just this city. The Independence Park is a gorgeous park that readily attracts picnics, dog-walkers and children looking to have a run around. It’s a great way to enjoy the outdoors on a budget, regather your energy for the next action-packed activity, and just get a breath of fresh air. Another winner for families is Safari Ramat Gan, offering a taste of Israel’s famous Serengeti plains. It is the cross between a zoo and a safari, with an opportunity to drive through and see animals like flamingos, rhinos and hippos. On the zoo side of things, there are kangaroos, monkeys and elephants, as well as a petting zoo to truly get up close and personal. Combine Safari Ramat Gan with the Independence Park for a day that will keep the kids excited and have them ready for bed when you want them to be.
For a dose of culture, Tel Aviv has a number of museums and galleries ready to take you deeper into the city. The Tel Aviv Museum of Art is a brilliant choice, the leading modern and contemporary art gallery in the country with an eclectic and bright permanent collection perfectly complemented by frequent exhibitions. Highlights include Jackson Pollock and Wassily Kandinsky works. Beit Hatfutsot Museum, previously known as the Diaspora Museum and now revamped as the Museum of the Jewish People, is on the Tel Aviv University campus. A standout exhibition is definitely the permanent dedication to ‘Trailblazers of the Jewish People’, one that you will need to book tickets for in advance, but is certainly worth the effort.
Jaffa is the origin of Tel Aviv, with the latter being formed in the early twentieth century as a suburb of Jaffa. Now Old Jaffa is a lovely place to visit, with plenty of restaurants and charming lanes making for a lovely day out. While in Jaffa, a real must is visiting the Jaffa Flea Market, which has been relatively untouched despite the thorough revitalisation of Old Jaffa in recent years. With a wealth of creative and colourful street stalls and boutiques, it will be hard to wander around without bringing home an item or two. It offers a lovely way to commemorate your trip and remember it always. Carmel Market is another great choice for a similar experience, known by many as the heart of the city. It is primarily the foodie sister to the Jaffa Flea Market, packed to the brim with delicious and fresh offerings that make for a unique dining experience. Forego booking a restaurant for lunch one day and take your time tasting the locally sourced products that are waiting for you.
Eating Out in Tel Aviv
Yaffo-Tel Aviv in Jaffa is run by one of Israel’s most beloved and respected chefs, Chef Haim Cohen, a detail likely unbeknownst to most tourists but a sure enough reason to try out his delicacies. The menu revolves around the clay oven, known as a tabun, which helps give the fresh and local ingredients the rich flavour that characterises Cohen’s work. Each element is blended together perfectly for a gorgeous final dish. Some favourites include the crab gnocchi and mushroom risotto.
Dok in Sarona is an intimate restaurant that constantly serves its food alongside a buzzing vibe that makes eating here or just having a drink an experience with a great atmosphere. The chefs do not cook in a secluded kitchen, but are instead central to your experience by making everything in a sushi-bar style. Like a number of other restaurants in Tel Aviv, all of its fare is derived from locally sourced ingredients, giving it an authentic taste. There aren’t many seats on offer, so be sure to show up in good time if you want to enjoy Dok’s food.
Santa Katarina in White City has a charm that is irresistible. You can find this restaurant behind Tel Aviv’s Great Synagogue, and enjoy the flavourful menu either inside or out. The food is eclectic and inventive, offering many modern updates on classic Mediterranean comfort food, so it is no wonder that Santa Katarina’s dishes are frequently prize winning. Enjoy a refreshing cocktail alongside various delicious lamb meals or the ceviche with salad – everything is a winner here.
Thai House is situated in the city centre, and it is one of Tel Aviv’s most well-loved restaurants. The attention to detail serves their food brilliantly, with almost every item on the menu locally sourced and the coconut-milk being squeezed freshly on the day. There is plenty to choose from on their menu, with dedicated sections for their seafood, meat, and vegetarian and vegan options. Try the delicious Pele Pad Pickeng or Pad Pak Cayau and leave happily sated.
Brut in White City has a menu that is constantly updating, revitalising their dishes and ensuring their continued popularity. Their wine list is dominated by Israeli wines, offering a different taste of the country, and the chefs are frequently whipping up innovative specials. The best way to experience what Brut has to offer is not to look at any menus in advance, but show up on the day and be wowed by what they have come up with. The friendly staff are on hand to answer any questions you have and ensure that you have the best meal possible.
FAQ’s about Car Hire in Tel Aviv
How much does it cost to hire a car in Tel Aviv?
The average price of car hire in Tel Aviv is 98 shekels (£22/€20) per day, depending on your requirements and the time of your booking.
Which car hire company in Tel Aviv is cheapest?
Alamo frequently offers the cheapest prices, as does Budget, and with both of the agencies situated within Tel Aviv International Airport, you’ll be sure to get the best deal and be ready to drive out almost as soon as you land.
Which Tel Aviv car hire company is the most popular?
In Tel Aviv, the car hire agencies booked most frequently are Alamo and Europcar, both of which are available in Tel Aviv International Airport.
Where can I find the cheapest car rental company in Tel Aviv airport?
By searching on Enjoy you can compare all the best prices, often at special rates lower than you can find anywhere else.
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