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Sophisticated Israel

Akiva Weiss, recognized as the founding father of Tel Aviv,

had a vision that it would one day become Israel’s New York City. This booming economic, artistic and cultural center is proof positive that his prophecy has come to pass. Driving along its Mediterranean coastline, with cafes, palm trees and luxury hotels fronting sandy beaches, there are soaring buildings and new ones being built. Tel Aviv’s star is definitely on the rise. 


This vibrant city is attracting both the young smart set and well-traveled sophisticates. It’s also gay friendly. Visitors can now choose from an ever- expanding variety of chic restaurants, outdoor cafes, art galleries, fashionable boutiques and luxe hotels.


Tel Aviv is eminently walkable. Stroll the tree lined promenade on charming Rothschild Boulevard, like New York’s 5th Avenue, with striking architecture and posh cafes where the glamorous gather after dusk. The so-called White City district has gotten a facelift with its newly renovated Bauhaus buildings designated a World Heritage Site.


In picturesque, refashioned Neve Tzedek, people socialize in cool European style coffee houses by day and party at swank bars and dance venues by night. Don’t miss Suzanne Dellal Centre’s beautiful courtyard and lively Shabazi Street. Chic boutiques, cafes and stylish restaurants are flocking to this
‘in’ neighborhood. 


Food lovers will be delighted by the slew of innovative chefs crafting delicious creative cuisine- all washed down with glasses of fine Israeli wine. 


Visit the remodeled Tel Aviv Museum of Art and the sleek Design Museum Holon. Tuesdays and Fridays the action is at the lively art and crafts bazaar on Nachalat Binyamin Street for artisanal jewelry and handicrafts. For au courant lsraeli and international designers, head to fashionable Dizengoff Street. 


After sunbathing and a dip in the sea, cocktailing or dining in a seaside café with music, is the perfect way to view the golden sunset. Top it off with a lovely stroll along the
beachfront promenade. 


Called the city that never stops, Tel Aviv’s nightlife is renowned. With plenty of 24 hour cafes, piano bars, jazz and Middle Eastern venues, you can drink and dance the night away with the beautiful people. The Israelis know how to have fun. The ancient port of Jaffa enchants with its exotic ambiance. Wander the reconstructed old city with quaint shops on winding cobblestoned streets and alleyways named after zodiac signs and the must see Ilana Goor musem/shop. The hot district known as the Flea Market is bustling with creative types, art galleries, high-end eateries, and one-of-a-kind boutiques and yes, a flea market. Grab a bite at local favorite Café Puaa and enjoy the scene. 


While the holy sites of the world’s great religions continue to draw millions, Jerusalem has become a trendy destination. A wave of new stylish restaurants, bars, boutiques, galleries and lively nightlife has the chic-ness quotient on the upswing. 


The options for entertainment, socializing and dining now reach far beyond the lively outdoor cafes lining Jaffa Street and the Ben Yehuda promenade. Upscale wine bars and restaurants are open until all hours. The fashionable outdoor Mamilla Mall affords many opportunities to shop in style – not to mention cool bars and bustling cafes.


The Mahane Yehuda Market offers every variety of fruit, vegetable, spices, dates, nuts, tahini, sweets, cheese and bread, and houses stylish eateries and upscale boutiques.


You can spend days visiting the museums. I was dazzled by the Israel Museum with a rich program of exhibitions, events and activities. In addition to the wondrous Dead Sea Scrolls, you can see Picassos, Kadinskys, Van Goghs, Warhols, exquisite Mayan artifacts, fantastic collections from around the globe, striking jewelry and fashions. 


With year round cultural festivities, drama, art, and music including the ravishing international Sacred Music Festival, there’s always something new and exciting in Jerusalem.

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