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 artworks and murals pepper bohemian neighborhoods, and boutique hotels and eateries ooze with quirky sophistication and sleek style. It’s also a great base for exploring, whether you’re looking to spend a day in Jerusalem or tour Petra. 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 start your dive into visual hedonism, and our tours of Tel Aviv show you its hidden side.
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’s a stop on our two days in Tel Aviv itinerary as well. The museum houses a huge collection of Israeli art, classical and contemporary international works, and boasts a delightful sculpture garden. Particularly intriguing is the museum’s permanent collection, visitors can expect to see works from Cubism, Russian Constructivism, German Expressionism, and Fauvism.
There are also works from the Impressionist and Surrealist movements. It features key works by Joan Miró, Claude Monet, Gustav Klimt, Pablo Picasso, and. Jackson Pollock. Work by Roy Lichtenstein adorns the entrance lobby. While there, don’t forget to check out the Herta and Paul Amir Building on the western side of the building. The work of architect Preston Scott Cohen, the futuristic, spaceship-like gallery covers 18,500 square feet and 5 floors.
27 Shaul Hamelech Boulevard, Tel Aviv, Israel
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 were popular between 1920 and 1940. These buildings came from German Jewish architects immigrating to Israel after World War I. The name literally means “construction house”, and contains elements of Modernism. Above all, the 4,000 pieces feature unpainted surfaces, flat roofs, outdoor living spaces, and ribbon-style windows. Especially enticing are the examples in an area of Tel Aviv known as the White City. It’s a UNESCO World Heritage Site with an exhibition gallery and architectural tours. Some of the most impressive examples include Jacobson’s Building, Bialik Residence, Avraham Soskin House, and the Rubinsky House. See it all on our Bauhaus architecture tour.
White City, Tel Aviv, Israel
Old City – Jaffa (Yafo)
If you want to glimpse the Tel Aviv of old, move to Jaffa, or Yafo as the locals know it. This historic area of Tel Aviv is home to narrow alleyways, over 50 art galleries, and design shops. When there, don’t miss the eclectic Illana Goor Museum. The world-renowned artist’s home contains a vast collection of paintings, antique furnishings, and sculptures. Hiding down peaceful lanes, discover the Gallery of Original Ethiopian Art, the Bauhaus Center, and the Aharon Farkash Gallery. It’s also home to a number of the best bars in Tel Aviv to see the city come to life after dark.
Old City Jaffa (Yafo), Tel Aviv, Israel
If you prefer a design aesthetic with a side of grit, the Florentine neighborhood in south Tel Aviv is a must-see. Renowned worldwide for its creative array of street art, Florentin is a young, hip area where the creative class live, eat and play. Learn the meaning behind its best street art on an urban street art tour. A stop at Levinksy market is non-negotiable, as well. To that end, our Levinsky market and cooking tour is the perfect complement to a day in Florentine.
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 chicly decorated throughout. The brasserie is helmed by owner Itzik Hengal. It attracts visitors who have visited the museum of art, the Israeli Opera, and CEO’s from nearby offices. Because it’s part of the museum wing, it’s earned the title of “Best Designed Restaurant” in the world. 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
Known as one of the most creative chefs in all of Israel, Uriel Kimchi founded Popina in 2013. The restaurant is designed with clean, sleek lines, retro stained-glass windows, exposed stone walls, and a charming garden. Certainly, 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. Sip a Popina Old-Fashioned or Green Delight cocktail in the garden. Vegetarians and vegans will discover a menu to suit their needs too. When you enjoy dishes like polenta pizza, pumpkin jam ravioli, and vegetarian steamed buns with truffle aioli, your taste buds will thank you. For more of Tel Aviv’s foodie havens, check out our guide to the city’s best restaurants.
3 Ahad Ha’Am St., Tel Aviv, Israel
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. Above all, it is elegant and understated. Cool, crisp white linens contrast with bold color splashes in the artwork and local textiles. When it comes to dining, there’s a Japanese tapas bar on the roof. Or visit the famous Alena fine dining restaurant specializing in European and Mediterranean dishes. For relaxation, the hotel’s rooftop pool with sea views or the wellness center ticks all the boxes.
23-25 Nachmani St , Tel Aviv-Yafo, Israel
Brown Beach House
Just a short walk from the beach, the Brown Beach House will mesmerize with its exotic interiors and vibrant atmosphere. The hotel has 55 guest accommodations with spacious sun terraces. They glow with a mix of muted and bold colors and signature furniture pieces. Lobby 65 with its wall-to-wall bookcases, a profusion of plants, and wicker chairs is perfect for cocktails, while the Beach House offers breakfast infused with Israeli and Mediterranean flavors. Because the intimate hotel spa also offers single or couples treatments, it’s the perfect way to relax after a day of exploring. If neither of these fit what you need, see Where to Stay in Tel Aviv for a curated guide, or check out our full list of fabulous hotels.
64 Ha’Yarkon Street, Tel Aviv, Israel
A winding warren of alleyways, Shuk Hapishpishim offers an assortment of goods. While there, trawl antique shops full of old furniture, art from across the city, and old rugs. First, see the flea markets offerings spread out on the ground and mismatched tables. Next, check out some of the high-end boutiques by Israeli designers that line the area. Lastly, be sure to head to the expansive covered market. You can find everything from authentic Turkish rugs to Judaica souvenirs. In conclusion, it’s the best place to find a gift for everyone on your list, and one for yourself, and a gem in our Tel Aviv design guide. For a more thorough dive into Tel Aviv shopping, check out the full guide.
Tel Aviv’s Delightful Design
Our Tel Aviv design guide is the best way to explore this incredible city. From haute hotels to tantalizing tours of Tel Aviv, the city that never stops is your playground! Ready to explore more beyond design? Check out this comprehensive city guide. But if you’d rather have someone show you the ins and outs of the city, you can’t go wrong with the Ultimate Tel Aviv Urban Tour, which covers architecture, street art, and more.