Tel Aviv, Israel

Living in Tel Aviv

Iyna Bort Caruso

Of the many ways Tel Aviv has been described, most monikers focus on the city’s vibe: “Mediterranean Capital of Cool,” “Miami of the Middle East,” even “Mediterranean Manhattan.” 


In contrast to ancient Jerusalem, modern Tel Aviv has a youthful vibrancy that fuels a dynamic nightclub scene. It’s an epicenter of fashion and a destination for foodies who fill cafes and crowd the well-regarded street food stalls.


Tel Aviv is located in central Israel on the Mediterranean coast. It was founded in 1909 as a suburb of the port city of Jaffa (or Yafo). Eventually it outgrew Jaffa to become one of the country’s largest cities--and a global city. Tel Aviv is Israel’s financial and tech center with one of the largest economies in the Middle East. It is also a hub of scientific research supported by a largely secular, well-educated population. Most embassies are located in Tel Aviv or nearby.


The city is green and sunny, perfect weather for beach-goers. More than a dozen beaches stretch along its entire western edge. Some beaches are known for live music, some for their laid-back serenity and some for great surfing conditions.


The streetscape is an evolution of design, from Euro-style homes and domed Orientalist buildings to contemporary residential towers by world renowned designers and architects such as Philippe Starck and Richard Meier.


Of all the building styles, Tel Aviv is most celebrated for its modernist architecture. “The White City,” named for the color of the buildings, is a collection of 4,000 International Style structures recognized as outstanding examples by UNESCO and named a World Heritage Site. In the 1920s and ‘30s, German-Jewish architects settled in Tel Aviv and introduced Bauhaus’s asymmetric and simple design. In the heart of the city center, modernist buildings line the most famous and arguably the most beautiful street, Rothschild Boulevard.