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  >  Destinations  >  Israel  >  Tel Aviv: Expect the Unexpected

I can’t say that I had ever planned on visiting Tel
Aviv.  I had always wanted to go to Jerusalem, and Tel Aviv was just
a means of getting there.  That was true, until I got there.

Tel Aviv is a haven for great restaurants, nightlife and
beaches.  The city seems to be constantly on holiday.  During the
day, it was hot – it meant less people on the streets but the beaches were
buzzing.  Hanging out on a beach chair with a cocktail, swimming, or
playing matkot was
the thing to do.

Starting around 9-10pm, even more of the city came to life.
The restaurants were filled with locals and tourists alike, and the party
continued into the bars and clubs.  In addition to the usual restaurants,
bars and clubs, you could also saunter down the street in the late hours to
find crowded cafes and joggers out and about.

TA’s cuisine is fantastic — everything
from traditional Jewish and Middle Eastern to amazing sushi.  We
never had a bad meal. The people are also very friendly.  They
are proud of their culture and city, and happy to share it with you.

Tel Aviv is also an easy access point to culture and sight
seeing.  While there is not much to see in TA itself, one can easily make
trips to Jerusalem, Bethlehem, Massada, Galilee, Golan, Jericho, Dead Sea and
Petra.  These trips are fantastic 1-2 day trips, and transform the visit
culturally and socially – as these places are so different from Tel Aviv.
Unfortunately, I didn’t have the time to do them all, but did manage to
get to Jerusalem, Bethlehem and the Dead Sea

Jerusalem & Bethlehem

I spent a day between the two.  We first walked crossed
the border to Bethlehem, where there was another guide waiting to take us to
visit Shepard’s Field, the church of Nativity and manger’s square.
Following the visit, we spent the afternoon back in Jerusalem, starting
out at the Mount of Olives, walking along the city walls and down narrow,
winding streets through the various quarters of the old city.

It is an amazing day, walking through thousands of years of
history.  We soaked in breathtaking panoramic views while gaining a true
view of religious history.

The Dead Sea

this is often combined with other sight seeing, we decided to make it a day of
relaxation.  Following the drive through the Judean desert, we spent the
day getting swedesh-hot stone massages at the dead sea spa, covering ourselves
in the mineral rich Dead Sea mud, and of course, floating in the dead sea!