Tel Aviv Tips

Any suggestions for what to do around town?

|The Volokh Conspiracy |

I'm teaching a short class at Tel Aviv University on U.S. free speech law (with an emphasis on online speech), and would love to hear tips on what to do around town. Please post below, or e-mail me at volokh at

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  1. Get punched in the face by cops. Get punched in the face by ultra-orthodox. Get punched in the face by zionists. Alternately you can get stomped on the neck. Whichever you choose, it’s a great introduction to free speech in Israel.

  2. Have an excellent meal at Azura, 1 Mikveh Yisrael St.

  3. SIghtseeing or relaxing? For sightseeing, the original White City of Bauhaus architecture is nice. There’s Independence Hall. Ben Gurion’s home. Old Jaffa. That’s just off the top of my head, I’m sure others can come up with more.
    Plenty of museums and cultural attractions. There’s the beach but somehow I don’t think you’re the beach type. The Diaspora Museum in Ramat Aviv, on the campus of Tel Aviv University, is a very good museum.

  4. Best coffee: Cafelix. Go to the Florentin or Jaffa location. Sip a coffee, have a pastry, and do some morning reading among a more local crowd.

  5. There is a lot to see in Jerusalem, of course, and Tel Aviv is where most of the night life is, but, if you have the time, think about driving or riding north, rather than South. The excavation and restoration of Caesarea is an amazing work-in-progress, but also give serious thought to visiting Haifa. The Baha’i Gardens are magnificent, and if you forgo the views from the top of Mt. Carmel, and instead stroll in the area two or three blocks from the Bay, you’ll encounter both Jewish and Arab owned businesses, and witness what you are far less likely to see in other cities in Israel– Jews (secular and observant) and Arabs (Christian and Muslim) who live and work side by side, often as friends. Strike up conversations, and you’re likely to discover that almost as many Arabs as Jews use second person plural pronouns when referring to Israel or to Israelis. When I lived there, in the late 90’s, the mayor was a retired IDF general and the deputy mayor was a Christian Arab, both of whom had run as Labor Party candidates. It there is any city in Israel that suggests what MIGHT be possible, it’s Haifa.

  6. Drop by and see the Rothschilds, ask them to send us some good weather for Christmas – nothing too icy, but enough snow for sledding.

  7. Tel Aviv Tips
    Any suggestions for what to do around town?

    Tell them to ditch Mr. Netanyahu and the right-wing belligerence or get ready for life without America’s political, military, and economic subsidy.

    That would not be as much fun as the nightclubs, restaurants, and historical sights, but it would be a moral deed.

  8. I’ve never been to T.A. But I’d definitely take a day or two to jump on a bus and visit Jerusalem, if you haven’t been before. (Just like if an Israeli said she was going to be in San Jose, California for a short period . . . I’d tell her to take a day or two to also explore San Francisco.) J’s Old City is a pretty interesting place to visit–even for us secularists.

  9. Oh you will want to visit the Carmel outdoor Market. Take a bag and buy some supersize dates and figs, fresh pastries, and about whatever other you desire. A stroll along the Mediterranean to Joffa is also refreshing.

  10. I always loved the beaches. Especially the dog beaches. Then again we were there with our dog to escape the heat in Jerusalem.

  11. Visit the Tel-Aviv Central Bus Station. It is a monument to the myriad of ways a government can hinder its future in the name of helping its people. It is tempting to call it a showplace for last gasps of the socialist vision of Israel, but there is nothing exclusively socialist about it. Rather it just concentrated the more tawdry aspects of government promoted development in one place. A lesson we could learn from when it comes to supporting sports stadiums and such.

  12. Agree that the diaspora museum is worth a visit.

    Beit Bialik, the house of the Hebrew National Poet, Hayyim Nahman Bialik, built in 1925. Bialik was born in northern Ukraine under the Russian Empire. The house is a museum on a quiet, tree-lined residential street, away from the TA hustle and bustle.

    A little south of TA, near the Weizmann Institute, is the Ayalon Institute. This was a secret underground bullet factory on the grounds of a kibbutz during the British Mandate. It’s an interesting commentary on the futility of gun prohibitions. The entrance is hidden under a washing machine in the kibbutz laundry. Bullets were smuggled out in milk tankers. The workers, who were supposedly working in fields all day, got sunlamp treatments to keep up their farmer tans.

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