If you follow Cuts for Him on Instagram, then you would have noticed that I have been doing quite a bit of travelling especially in the past few months. Unfortunately, I have not been blogging about my travels as frequently as I should. However, be assured that I will write articles about all those places I have visited to tell you about my experiences.
So in the month of June, I was blessed to be invited to what I would describe as one of the best weddings I have ever been to. This was a wedding between a great friend of mine Cyril and his beautiful wife Shahar which took place in Tel Aviv. The wedding itself deserve a separate article of its own so I won’t go into much details here. I promise I will do a post on it as it was my very first Jewish wedding.
We left London on the 13th of June for Tel Aviv on board an overnight BA flight from Heathrow airport. Having the privilege of flying business class (courtesy of the girlfriend) gave my flying experience a whole new meaning. Loved every bit of it. It was my very first time to fly business class and was truly amazing. From the champagne upon arrival in the aircraft to the ability to do a horizontal (lie down), it was an experience like none other. BA crew were very courteous and made us feel looked after making sure we were well fed and had enough to drink. Honestly, this experience made me not want to ever fly economy again, ever lol.
Anyway we landed in Tel Aviv Wednesday morning and proceeded to immigrations and border control. I have heard many things before about the Israeli immigration checks and so prepared myself mentally for any eventualities. To my delightful surprise, the checks themselves did not last long at all. I got granted entry permission as soon as I got to the front of the queue. I picked up my checked in luggage shortly after.
Instead of getting a taxi from the airport, I jumped on the train towards the city which was very reasonable compared to hiring a taxi. Trains from the airport are modern and clean with option for wifi. For latest prices and timetables see Israeli railway website.
When taking a train from Ben Gurion, head to Level S (the lowest floor), which can be reached from the Arrivals hall by lift, escalators or stairs. You can also purchase tickets from the ticket machines located on Level G.
Hotel and Accommodation
So fast forward to my hotel which was 5 minutes (literally) from Gordon beach. The location couldn’t have been better for the price per night. However, I must say that the facilities at the hotel are very basic. The room has an en suite bathroom, a TV, and a kettle for making tea and coffee and that’s it. The wifi signal was strong and reliable especially at night. Unfortunately, the hotel did not have a lift so if your room is not on the ground floor then you will have to carry your luggage up and down the stairs. Based on what I am used to, its fair to say the best thing about this hotel was its location. Apart from Gordon beach being a walking distance, there are plenty of cafés and restaurants all around it. It is situated in a quiet street away from the hustle and bustle of Tel Aviv.
From my research hotel prices are not very cheap when compared to western Europe. But then again, why compare them to western Europe eh. Expect to pay anything between £72 to thousands of Pounds.
Moving around Tel Aviv is fairly straightforward. Fortunately for us, we walked to most of our destinations which happened to be the beach lol. For the journeys that were a fair distance, a taxi was called. Always remember to ask the driver to run the meter before you move.
Please note that there are no public transports on the sabbath. So if you are going to be out and about or even travelling to or from the airport, make sure you make adequate arrangement.
Food and drinks
Pleasantly enough, there was a huge diversity of food in Tel Aviv. From simple humus and bread to great steak houses and everything in between. As always, try to avoid the tourists trap spots. This will not only save you money but it will give you a great chance of eating authentic local cuisines. A meal along the beach will cost you on average £15.
What to do
Tel Aviv is always alive with loads of things to do day and night. Instead of sightseeing like I usually do in Europe, I walked to two of Tel Aviv’s famous markets, Sarona and Camel Markets. Sarona is very new and modern with air-conditioned shops. It has all the high end brands organised in beautiful rows. Sarona is certainly on the more expensive side of town. Camel market is your typical bargain hot spot. Very unassuming with loads of street food and much more laid-back. If you want to pick up souvenir for a bargain then Carmel market is your place.
It goes without say that I spent 70 percent of my time in Tel Aviv on the beach. This may come as a shock to many but Tel Aviv has one of the most beautiful and clean beaches I have been to. There are plenty of activities on the sand to include the famous footvolley. Oh and if you going to be walking on the sand during the day, make sure you have some form of footwear on. I found out the hard way just how hot the sand was.
The night life is vibrant with many bars and other hangout spots to go to.
I usually do not add this category when review a trip but I feel like I need to on this one. If I had a pound for every time someone asked me if it was safe when I told them I was going to Israel, I would most definitely not be a millionaire but I would at least pay for another holiday lol. I guess all we hear in the news that is middle east related is war or some form of violent activity. Israel actually turns out to be one of the safest places for me to visit. Upon arrival into the city, there is no semblance of anything you see in the media. So to cut a long story short, Tel Aviv is safe and secure.
As a christian, there was no way I was going all the way to Tel Aviv and not make a trip to the holy city Jerusalem. However, I will do a separate post on my trip to Jerusalem and the dead sea soon. My experience to both places truly merits their own posts.
Fun facts about Tel Aviv
- Population is 432, 892
- Founded in 1909 with the name Tel Aviv meaning Spring hill
- Third largest economy in the middle east
- Has the largest number of sushi restaurants after New York and Tokyo
- One of the world’s top party city nick named the Miami of the middle east
So there you have it, my experience of Tel Aviv. Please tell me in the comment section below what you think.
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