Enjoying City Life

Tel Aviv is one of the most vibrant and thrilling cities in the world. This chapter takes you through the best ways to find your new home in the city and provides some ideas of how to make the most of living in the city.

Finding Your Home

Tel Aviv is a relatively small city that can easily be explored on foot or by bike. Nevertheless, it encompasses a wide variety of neighborhoods offering a diverse range of accommodations, vibes, styles and costs. This neighborhood guide will help you make sense of the city’s different districts, so you can choose the neighborhood that’s right for you.


HaTzafon HaYashan (“The Old North”)
A large neighborhood in the center of the city bordered by the Yarkon River to the north, Bograshov St. to the south, the sea to the west, and Ibn Gabirol street to the east. It is home to many distinguished cultural and entertainment venues and popular with young families who want a high quality of life without compromising on the urban lifestyle.



Lev HaIr (Center of the City)
This neighborhood lies at the very heart of the city and is known for its vibrant nightlife, excellent restaurants, bars and cafes, and many shopping options.


Ever HaYarkon (“North of the Yarkon”)
A quieter residential area on the northern side of the Yarkon River which is more upper-class and suburban. The residential area (composed of a few small neighborhoods) is close to Yarkon Park.


North Yafo
North Yafo ( Jaffa) is known for its nightlife, restaurants and bars. Yafo’s old city, including its ancient port (one of the oldest in the world), is undoubtedly among the most attractive spots in the city for tourists. The Yafo flea market (Shuk HaPishpeshim) is a local highlight, with vendors selling anything you can imagine.


Florentin
Known for its countless bars and booming nightlife, Florentin is the center of the alternative scene in Tel Aviv. The Levinsky market is located at the fringe of this neighborhood.

Neve Tsedek
Neve Tsedek is located by the beach and in walking distance from Yafo and Carmel Market. As the first Jewish neighborhood built outside the walls of old Yafo at the end of the 19th century, it is one of the oldest districts. It is also one of the prettiest gems in the city, with picturesque single story, red-roofed houses, narrow alleys and bright colors that create an atmosphere reminiscent of European villages. This harmonious neighborhood is a popular haven for tourists and locals alike.

South of Tel Aviv – Shapira, Neve Sha’anan, HaTikva
Considered to be working-class neighborhoods, these southern neighborhoods are home to many recent immigrants and refugees, as well as young students attracted to affordable housing combined with a community feeling. As the residential area for many migrants, these neighborhoods also offer the largest variety of African, Southeast Asian, Chinese and Indian food and restaurants.


East Neighborhoods – Bitzaron, Nahalat Yitzhak
Bitzaron is a relatively old neighborhood which was successfully rejuvenated and has recently enjoyed a resurgence of popularity among young families looking for a small village-like atmosphere.
Nahalat Yitzhak is located on the border of Tel Aviv and Givatayim. Its calm and cozy environment appeals to many young families. It is located within walking distance of central locations like the Shalom train station, the Sarona-Azrieli district and the Ayalon Highway.

Signing a Rental Lease

Rental contracts are usually signed for one year. If you require a space for a shorter period, it is possible to sublet apartments. It is important to note that rental contracts usually include deposits and securities. The house owner is usually in charge of any maintenance required on the house during your tenancy. You may want to have a lawyer look through your contract before signing, especially if the contract is in Hebrew. A standard rental agreement recommended by the Tel Aviv- Yafo Municipality is available online. Rent is commonly paid by check; you may be asked to provide post-dated checks in advance for the beginning of each month.
tel-aviv.gov.il/en/Live/NewResidents/Pages/rent.aspx

Additional Payments- What Bills to Expect

Aside from the rent, there are additional services and payments to keep in mind, such as electricity, water and sewage, gas and Arnona (the municipal property tax). You may need to register or connect with the relevant suppliers. Note that services and bills are often in Hebrew, so it may be useful to consult with someone fluent in Hebrew.


Internet
There are several Internet service providers in Israel. Some leading companies include Bezeq Benleumi, HOT, Unlimited, Partner, Cellcom, Netvision, 012 Smile, Xphone and Triple C. The first five companies also provide Internet infrastructure, whereas with the other companies you will also need to sign with an infrastructure company.


Communication
Communication services are relatively cheap in Israel. You may be able to get a cell phone package that includes unlimited calls in Israel and abroad, text messages and data for under 50 NIS or 14.2 USD a month, depending on the operator. You can order a SIM card and register online via the operator’s website.

Learning Hebrew

“Starting to learn Hebrew from the very first day was a powerful key to better understand one’s mind and words. I cannot enough recommend that step.”- Alexandre Bonay | Managing Partner, Siemens Dynamo, Tel Aviv


Learning Hebrew is a critical component of your integration process including finding a place to live, advancing in your career and building relationships with local Israelis. In addition, Hebrew courses often discuss Israeli politics and culture, and thus familiarize participants with Israeli society.
The traditional way to learn Hebrew is at an Ulpan (which literally means “studio”), a school for the intensive study of Hebrew. Ulpan courses are offered at different levels and intensities to accommodate different schedules. Each course takes place between two to five times a week, and students can choose from morning, afternoon or evening classes.
There are two Municipal Ulpans in Tel Aviv-Yafo in the city center: Ulpan Gordon and Ulpan Neve Tzedek. You may also consider other schools, such as Citizen Café TLV, This is Not an Ulpan, UlpaNoya, Ulpan Bayit, Ulpan La-Inyan, Berlitz and more

Transportation

Tel Aviv enjoys relatively convenient and efficient public transportation. It’s important to remember that in Israel public transportation does not operate on Shabbat (from Friday afternoon until Saturday evening), however some alternatives are available in Tel Aviv. This section will help you navigate your way with public transportation in the city.


Buses
There are several bus operators in the city; two of the most prominent are Dan and Egged. You cannot pay with cash on buses, only the plastic Rav-Kav card or corresponding app. Rav-Kav cards are available in two types: generic and personalized. Both of them can be loaded with credit but personalized cards may be loaded also with a daily, monthly or yearly pass. The personalized Rav-Kav is available free of charge and features the owner’s photo. It ensures the amount loaded on the card will be refunded in case of theft or loss. The card may be issued at the three Al-Kav centers:

• 35 Ibn Gabirol St., corner of Ha’Neviim St.
• At Tel Aviv train stations
• Tel Aviv New Central Bus Station


A generic Rav-Kav (without a photo) costs 5 NIS or 1.35 USD and is available at
major bus and train stations as well as dedicated points of sale like Ben-Gurion
Airport and the Tourist Information Offices in Tel Aviv:
• Jaffa: 2 Marzuk and Azar St.
• Boardwalk: 46 Herbert Samuel St.
• Independence Trail: 11 Rothschild Blvd.
• Sarona: 11 Alluf Mandler St.


Your Rav-Kav must be loaded before you get on the bus. You can load your card via the website (ravkavonline.co.il/en/), the HopOn app, and at designated payment stations such as automatic self-service machines throughout the Tel Aviv metro area, train stations, Casponet ATMs and Tel-o-Fun stations, and in chain stores such as Super-Pharm, Cofix, Super Yuda, Tzomet Sfarim and more.


Railway
A major method of transportation in Israel is the train network, operated by the Israel Railway Company. The railway runs between Tel Aviv and Israel’s major cities like Jerusalem, Haifa, and Be’er Sheva, as well as smaller cities. There are four train stations in Tel Aviv: HaHagana, HaShalom, Savidor Center and Tel Aviv University. The Rav-Kav is also valid on trains. A fast rail between Tel Aviv and Jerusalem, which began service in December 2019, shortens travel time between the two cities to just 30 minutes.


Taxis
Taxis may be hailed throughout the city or ordered through dedicated apps. Most taxis will only accept payment by credit card if the order was made by app. By law, taxi drivers must operate a meter.
“Sherut” Shared Taxis These shared yellow minivans drive along common bus routes and are available on Shabbat and at night (fares are higher at these times). “Sherut” taxi lines are also available between Tel Aviv and other major cities like Jerusalem, Haifa, Netanya and more.


AutoTel
A public carsharing service operated in Tel Aviv. Dedicated AutoTel parking spots are located across the city, so you don’t need to hunt for parking. Users are billed per minute of driving (as well as a monthly fee, depending on your subscription plan). You can sign up for the service via the AutoTel website.
autotel.co.il/en/


Bicycles
Tel Aviv’s flat topography and comfortable climate make it a great location for bicycle and scooter riding.


Tel-O-Fun
Throughout the city, there are over 75 green Tel-O-Fun bike stations. This municipality-run bike sharing option enables riders to pick-up and drop-off a bicycle as needed. Yearly, monthly and daily subscriptions are available. There are also several private companies which offer bike and electric scooter sharing services throughout the city: “Telobike,” “Mobike,” “Bird,” “Wind,” “Lime” and “Bike.”
tel-o-fun.co.il/en/


Light Rail System
The Tel Aviv Metropolitan Area Mass Transit System is the heart of a transport revolution that will drive economic, social and urban growth. The system is comprised of three light rail lines, parts of which will be underground. The Red Line will be the first to be launched in 2021 and will connect Tel Aviv-Yafo to other cities in the Metro area.
nta.co.il/en/home

Education

Whether you choose to live within Tel Aviv-Yafo or outside of it, the Tel Aviv Metro Area offers your children some of the best international schools in Israel.


The city of Tel Aviv-Yafo provides progressive educational services to all of Israel’s sectors: Arabs, Jews, secular, religious, children, Israeli-born and new immigrants alike. The vast majority of children in Israel study in public schools whose language of instruction is Hebrew or Arabic, but some private schools offer education in other languages.

International Schools:
Tel Aviv-Yafo
Tabeetha School- Elementary and High School (English)
Collège Français Marc Chagall- Preschool to High School (French)
Collège des Frères de Jaffa-  Preschool to High School (French)

HaKfar HaYarok
EMIS: Eastern Mediterranean International School- From 10th grade (English)

Even Yehuda
Walworth Barbour American International School in Israel (WBAIS)- Preschool to High School
 (English)

Herzliya Pituah
TreeHouse International School- Preschool to High School (English)

Families in the City

Tel Aviv is considered one of the most family-friendly cities in Israel, with its residents enjoying a high sense of personal security. According to the OECD Regional Well-Being Index, Tel Aviv has one of the highest scores on personal safety, ranking 9/10 points in safety
(OECD Regional Well-Being, Tel Aviv, https://www.oecdregionalwellbeing.org/IL05.html)


Tel Aviv has excellent weather year round, receiving 318 days of sunshine. Families spend a considerable amount of time outdoors, with children enjoying the many playgrounds across the city, the sandy beaches and the many outdoor activities.
The Tel Aviv-Yafo Municipality emphasizes investment in and development of communities and neighborhoods throughout the city. Within this framework, numerous activities are organized at community centers, sports centers, public libraries, youth centers and more. These activities promote quality of life and environment, tolerance and acceptance of differences, development of life skills, partnerships, and quality cultural and recreational activities for all ages.


Activities in the community centers include:
• Daycare services and summer camps
• Recreational activities such as dance, theater, music lessons and performance
• Sports and physical activities
• Peer programs
• Volunteering programs
• Library services
• Single-parent family groups


For more information about family-friendly activities and attractions in Tel Aviv please go to visit.tel-aviv.gov.il


The Department for Immigration Absorption
The Department for Immigration Absorption at the Tel Aviv-Yafo Municipality is devoted to helping each new resident build his or her home and future in Tel Aviv-Yafo. Its unique team is fluent in English, French and Russian. The department offers a variety of services in key areas such as assistance with finding housing, employment and learning Hebrew.


For more information:
Department for Immigration Absorption, Tel Aviv -Yafo Municipality
tel-aviv.gov.il/en/Live/NewResidents
Olim@mail.tel-aviv.gov.il

Explore The City

Tel Aviv has a unique energy to it. The Non-Stop City was hailed as the “Mediterranean Capital of Cool” by the New York Times thanks to its vibrant nightlife and amazing culinary scene alongside miles of beautiful sandy beaches and unique Bauhaus architecture. The city combines culture and history together with a booming technology and innovation scene.

For more information: visit.tel-aviv.gov.il


Beaches
Very few cities in the world can offer both a bustling metropolitan hub and a beach. Tel Aviv offers exactly that – a truly dynamic, nonstop urban center located right by white sandy beaches with a true Mediterranean beach culture. The city’s small size means that no matter where you are, you are usually no more than a 15-minute walk from the beach. The city has 13 beaches, with top level beach facilities, restaurants and beach sports. All beaches are accessible, free of charge, and have Blue Flag status - a symbol of exemplary environmental standard.


The “White City” – UNESCO World Heritage Site
Tel Aviv, which was founded just over a century ago, boasts the world’s largest concentration of buildings in International Style (popularly known as “Bauhaus”). This unique phenomenon drove UNESCO to declare the historic “White City” zone of Tel Aviv a World Culture Heritage Site. Tel Aviv’s unique architectural heritage and characteristics define its layout, making it a “human-scale” city – walkable, intimate, green and easy to navigate.


Jaffa
The ancient city of Jaffa is full of historical sites, restaurants and intrigue. From attractions that backtrack through years of ancient history to a laid-back, yet vibrant nightlife, Jaffa offers a range of attractions including mosques and churches, ancient clock towers, artists’ studios, museums, trendy restaurants and the flea market; the list of things to do in this new-old city is never-ending.


Nightlife
Tel Aviv is globally recognized as one of the world’s leading cities in terms of nightlife and foodie culture. Tel Aviv is home to some of the world’s most esteemed cocktail bars, nightclubs and new-style restaurants, on par with the world’s top cities. Museums and Cultural Institutions
Home to the world-acclaimed Tel Aviv Museum of Art, the Israeli Opera, the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra, the HaBima National Theater and the world-famous Batsheva Dance Company, Tel Aviv is Israel’s cultural center. New museums and cultural institutions that opened in 2019 include the Peres Center for Peace and Innovation, the White City Center and the Steinhardt Museum of Natural History.


City Tours
The Municipality operates the City Tours bus service year-round, offering a selection of 35 guided tours which cater to tens of thousands of tourists a year. In addition to regular programming, special tours are curated and operated during large-scale events and conferences in the city tailored to specific interests, from graffiti art to LGBT history and from romantic love stories to environmental sustainability. The Municipality also operates free weekly tours for English-speaking tourists.


For more information: visit.tel-aviv.gov.il
To receive a free guide to Tel Aviv, visit one of our tourist information offices:
*Jaffa - 2 Marzuk and Azar St.
*Boardwalk - 46 Herbert Samuel St.
*Independence Trail - 11 Rothschild Blvd.
*Sarona - 11 Alluf Mandler St.