Here are the highlights from my week in Tel Aviv in mid-March (Purim week).
Tips and Tricks:
* Either buy a local prepaid cell phone or add global services to your regular cell phone
* Add global data to your cell phone. WIFI is great but not available when you're walking around.
* Bring several converters if you want to recharge multiple devices at night (phone, camera, laptop, etc.)
* Pack light if you plan to take trains and buses. No way to avoid lifting and carrying luggage unless you stick to taxis.
* For first time visitors, pick a tourist hotel. It may cost more but will offer the help in finding tours and activities that you won't get from a business or boutique hotel.
* Get shekels from bank ATM in airport so you can pay taxi in shekels and have shekels for tips
* Don't assume taxi drivers speak English. Write down destination name and address and hand paper to them.
* Taxi drivers will offer a flat rate or meter. Ask for the meter. It's was always cheaper or within 1-2 shekels of the flat rate.
* Don't rely on Google maps app for walking directions!
* Carry a cheat sheet of shekels to dollars conversion ( 1 NIS, 10 NIS, 20 NIS, 50 NIS, 100 NIS, 200 NIS). Helps for quick decisions.
* Free tour offered in Old Jaffa
* Walk along beachfront promenade between Jaffa and Tel Aviv
* Sunset on the beach
* Carmel Market
* Ninhalat Binyamin art market (near Carmel Market, on Fridays only)
* Walk along the promenade on Rothschild Street - feels safe at any hour and is lively with locals walking their dogs and cafes.
* If not a (mall) shopper, skip the Tel Aviv Pier and Hashalom.