Going to Tel Aviv, Israel, is a big mystery to me. I often hear people saying how dangerous the middle east is can be, especially with the conflict between Israel and Palestine. Is it really dangerous here or are people just being overly paranoid for no reason? The only way to find out is to explore the place myself and get to the truth.
Tel Aviv Beach
After the exhausting 20 hour flight from Vancouver to Tel Aviv, Karen and I spent our first day in Israel sleeping in.
We didn’t leave our hotel until 5pm to begin exploring the city. Since our hotel was only 2 minutes away from the beach, we began our route along the Tel Aviv beach, with our destination being the Old Port City of Jaffa.
After navigating our way through the streets. we finally made it to the beach.
The first thing we noticed while walking along the beach is that everyone is so damn fit. There are outdoor gyms and playground everywhere. People were running, swimming and surfing. The Tel Aviv beach has a very Miami feel to it, as everyone seemed to be very image oriented, and took the time to make sure they look good.
We also noticed that the beaches are absolutely stunning. I can see people from Europe or nearby colder countries heading over to Tel Aviv for a sunny getaway.
As we drew closer to the Old Port City of Jaffa, the buildings started to change. It went from modern buildings to more slum looking. Some of the alleyways by the slums looked pretty sketchy that I’m sure you would assume that you will get stabbed if you walk through it. However, in an ironic twist of event, you see little kids playing in the “murder waiting to happen” looking alleyways which put Karen and myself at ease as we walked through them.
The people in this area are also very playful and would often times photo bomb Karen and myself every time we took pictures.
Old Port City of Jaffa
When we finally arrived at the Old Jaffa, we were mind blown! The place looked amazing. I felt like I was transported back in ancient times as I walked through the alleyways.
Old Jaffa is a very old Port dating up to 7500 BCe. The port was used as a strategic military position as well as a merchant port. It was definitely fun to explore this place and see the architectures. Looking at the buildings, it looks like a good mix of ancient dwellings and roads combined with modern technology.
One unexpected surprise for Karen and I was the cost of food. During our exploration, Karen started getting really hungry so we went to buy some Israeli pizza that cost us $7.50 for one small slice… We came to the conclusion that Israel is an expensive country and should be treated like traveling to western Europe.
Once it started getting dark, Karen and myself started our walk back to our hotel. We were a little apprehensive at first because we didn’t know what to expect. “Is our life in danger?” is one of the many thoughts that came to my mind as we begin our trek back to our hotel. Ironically, the complete opposite scenario happened to us. The city came to life at night and people started partying in the beach. You can hear people parked by the beach blasting loud music and having a barbecue. The aroma from the barbecue and the loud sounds definitely caught our attention.
Tel Aviv at night
Random people were dancing in the street and one guy looked at Karen and myself and started yelling “NI HAO” to the both of us. We also had other people yell out “konichiwa” thinking we were Japanese.
That evening, my sisters arrived to Tel Aviv to join us for the next two weeks of travel. We took them to Old Jaffa the next morning before heading to Jerusalem.
In the end, we never felt unsafe in Tel Aviv and the only danger I can think of is to your wallet because everything in the city is so expensive.
Tel Aviv Spending Stats
We spent a grand total of $42.67 for the two nights thanks to using our Best Western Points to get free accommodation. Our hotel stay included a breakfast buffet which we use to load up on food to eat later on the day. We also paid 190 shekels for our taxi ride which comes to about $63.33 Canadian.
Tel Aviv is definitely not a cheap travel destination and you should treat it like you are going to Western Europe.