April 6, 2011

A Holy Land Trip To Tel Aviv

Now that you have decided to take a Holy land trip, one of the places that you will want to visit is Tel Aviv.  A modern city, there are many businesses and cosmopolitan features making it a great choice for Israel travel.  The city of Tel Aviv is one of the country’s greatest cultural capitals because of its flavor for both the old and new Israel and its modern, vibrant character.

Located on the Mediterranean coast, Tel Aviv-Yafo is the 2nd most populated city in all of Israel.  The historic town of Jaffa became a quite expensive place to live.  Therefore, in the 1880s, Jewish immigrants founded the city of Tel Aviv which grew and eventually overcame the domination of Arabs in the town.  Eventually, in 1950, Jaffa became known as Yafo and the two towns joined into one single municipality of Tel Aviv-Yafo. However, the city is often referred to as just Tel Aviv.

Most people who visit Tel Aviv come and go through the Ben Gurion International Airport.  A first-rate facility, it is the most accessible to the city. International travelers use taxis to get into the city after arriving at the the Ben Gurion Airport.  Taxi rates are reasonable, but if you have extra baggage, plan to pay more.

Buses and trains are also available for transportation and they can be easily accessed from the terminal.  Travel times will vary on the weekends due to the Shabat, the Sabbath.  The train will from the airport to Tel Aviv in about ten minutes.  After you arrive in the city, you will have the same choices in transportation.  The bus stations begin service at 5 AM and if you will be staying for a lengthy period of time, you can get a monthly free pass to help cut down on travel costs.  Bus drivers are able to communicate in English and can help you find your way around.

Tel Aviv is a similar to other European cities because your first impression is going to be a mix of the old and the new.  Located on the coast of the Mediterranean Sea, the city is a small-scale metropolis with a beautiful skyline and beach.  An international city, Tel Aviv is known by some as a party town, while others consider it one of the more religious cities in Israel and the Middle East.

In other words, you are going to see much diversity here in many areas.  There is suburban housing, but also corporate, highly urban areas.  As with any city, you will eventually notice the more historic sections of town and the separation from the more metro areas.  Tel Aviv is a spacious city with many of the landmarks in one section near the beach.  To unwind at night, people walk through the night strips.

There is a wide range of hotels in Tel Aviv – from budget hotels to luxury 5-star hotels.  There is truly some place for everyone to stay, regardless of your budget.  Much of where you stay will depend on where you want to spend most of your time while in the city.  For example, if you want to spend a good deal of time at the beach, there are some hotels that are within a minute’s walk.  For those staying for lengthy periods of time, the budget hotels are perfect. 

If you want to spend about $100 per night, you can stay in some mid-tier restaurants which are nicer than the budget motels.  This might be a 4-star hotel or historic house that has more style, historic connotation and excellent amenities.  Of course, the 5-star hotels have suites and large conference rooms that are perfect for business meetings.  Many of these are located right in the center of the financial district of the city.  If you check online, you may be able to find a great deal at one of the higher priced hotels.

There are enough restaurants in the town to keep you eating well.  There are western fast food restaurants for those hungry for food like “back home.”  However, the local establishments will offer you the Israeli cuisine.  If you aren’t sure about some foods, don’t be afraid to ask questions and try some new dishes.  There are cafés where you can get some of Tel Aviv’s excellent coffee, a sandwich, and snack and be on your way.  If you have questions about which restaurants to visit, your hotel staff will be able to make recommendations for you.

Tel Aviv is an amazing city to visit.  Many tours in Israel include visiting Tel Aviv due to its rich history and beauty.  One will never run out of things to do In Tel Aviv.  The history and culture offers much to travelers.  The beachfront offers places to swim and there are several marinas where yachts can launch when entertaining an exciting boat party on the waters of Tel Aviv’s Mediterranean Sea.

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