Tel Aviv, hugging the western coast of Israel, is a magnet for design and architecture enthusiasts. Its UNESCO World Heritage Site contains a collection of over 4,000 buildings, highlighting the unique Bauhaus style. Modern art works and murals pepper bohemian neighborhoods, and boutique hotels and eateries ooze with quirky sophistication and sleek style. If you’re a lover of art, design, and architecture, you’ll adore everything about this vibrant ocean-side metropolis: let our Tel Aviv Design Guide get you started on your dive into visual hedonism.
Tel Aviv Museum of Art
The Tel Aviv Museum of Art was originally built in 1932 in the home of the city’s first mayor. It was moved in 1971, but is still a haven for art lovers from across the world. It houses a huge collection of Israeli art, classical and contemporary international works, and boasts a delightful sculpture garden. In the museum’s permanent collection, visitors can expect to see works from the Cubism, Russian Constructivism, German Expressionism, and Fauvism periods. There are also works from the Impressionist and Surrealist movements, with key works by Joan Miró, Claude Monet, Gustav Klimt, Pablo Picasso, Jackson Pollock, and Roy Lichtenstein, whose work adorns the entrance lobby. Don’t forget to check out the Herta and Paul Amir Building on the western side of the building. Designed by architect Preston Scott Cohen, the futuristic, almost spaceship-like gallery covers 18,500 square feet and is spread across 5 floors.
27 Shaul Hamelech Boulevard, Tel Aviv, Israel
Tuesday/Wednesday – 10.00-18.00, Thursday 15.00 – 21.00, Friday 10.00 – 14.00 and Saturday, Sunday & Monday – Closed
Tel Aviv’s Bauhaus Architecture
Tel Aviv is home to some of the most well-preserved Bauhaus architecture in the world. The Bauhaus style buildings, of which there are over 4,000, were built between 1920 and 1940 by German Jewish architects who moved to Israel after World War I. The name literally means “construction house”, and contains elements of Modernism with unpainted surfaces, flat roofs, outdoor living spaces, and ribbon-style windows. Most examples can be discovered in an area of Tel Aviv known as the White City – a UNESCO World Heritage Site with an exhibition gallery and architectural guided tours. Some of the most impressive examples include Jacobson’s Building, Bialik Residence, Avraham Soskin House, and the Rubinsky House.
White City, Tel Aviv, Israel
Daily 24/7 – tour times may vary
Old City – Jaffa (Yafo)
If you want to glimpse the Tel Aviv of old, head to Jaffa, or Yafo as it’s locally known. This historic area of Tel Aviv is home to narrow alleyways, over 50 art galleries, design shops, and the eclectic Illana Goor Museum. The world-renowned artist’s home contains a vast collection of paintings, antique furnishings, and sculptures. Tucked away down peaceful lanes, you’ll also discover the Gallery of Original Ethiopian Art, the Bauhaus Center, and the Aharon Farkash Poster Collection Gallery.
Old City Jaffa (Yafo), Tel Aviv, Israel
10.00 – 16.00 Fridays and 10.00 – 17.00 Saturdays
Nestled at the edge of Tel Aviv Museum of Art’s sculpture garden, you’ll discover the fine-dining venue Pastel. The restaurant has an intimate bar, a wide open terrace, and is decorated in chic design throughout. The brasserie is helmed by owner Itzik Hengal and attracts visitors who have visited the museum of art, the Israeli opera, and CEO’s from nearby offices. The award-winning restaurant has earned the title of “Best Designed Restaurant” in the world, due to it being part of the museum wing. It comprises three seating areas, each offering unique dining experiences. These include an indoor central space, the terrace overlooking the sculpture garden, and the cocoon – a hidden bar with an intimate atmosphere. The extensive menu includes Basque tomato soup, Agnolotti with butter, and Mediterranean linguine with local sea fish confit.
Sderot Sha’ul Hamelech, Tel Aviv, Israel
Daily – 12 Noon until 12 Midnight
Known as one of the most creative chefs in all of Israel, Uriel Kimchi founded Popina Restaurant in Neve Tzedek in 2013. The building is designed with clean, sleek lines, retro stained-glass windows, exposed stone walls, and a charming garden. The open kitchen takes center stage, allowing diners to interact with chefs and see their food as it’s being prepared. You can dine on shrimp burgers, gin and tonic tartare, roasted filet, and green tortillas while sipping a Popina Old-Fashioned or Green Delight cocktail in the garden. Vegetarians and vegans will discover a menu to suit their needs too. Dishes such as polenta pizza, pumpkin jam ravioli, and vegetarian steamed buns with mushrooms and truffle aioli are sure to tempt tastebuds.
Ha’Am, Tel Aviv, Israel
Sunday to Thursday 18.30 – 23.00, Friday from 18.00 hours and Saturday 12.00 – 15.15 and 18.30 – 23.00
The Norman is a luxurious boutique hotel in Tel Aviv, located next to the expansive Rothschild Boulevard. The main building showcases the best in Modernist architecture from the 1920’s with wooden pergolas and clean lines. The neighboring section of the hotel is more eclectic with Renaissance accents and an Eastern feel. Guest rooms are elegant and understated, dressed in cool, crisp white linens with bold color splashes in the artwork and local textiles. When it comes to dining, there’s a Japanese tapas bar and the famous Alena fine dining restaurant specializing in European and Mediterranean inspired dishes. For relaxation, the hotel’s rooftop pool with sea views or the wellness center ticks all the boxes.
Nachmani St 23-25, Tel Aviv-Yafo, Israel
Brown Beach House
Just a short walk from the beach, this contemporary boutique hotel will mesmerize with its exotic design interiors and vibrant atmosphere. The hotel has 55 guest accommodations with spacious sun terraces, decorated with a mix of muted and bold colors and signature furniture pieces which exude a tropical ambiance. Lobby 65 with its wall-to-wall bookcases, profusion of plants, and wicker chairs is perfect for cocktails, while the Beach House offers breakfast infused with Israeli and Mediterranean flavors. An intimate hotel spa also offers single or couples treatments – the perfect way to relax after a day of exploring Tel Aviv.
64 Ha’Yarkon Street, Tel Aviv, Israel