Tel Aviv with Kids: 4 Days of Food and Fun
Incredible beaches, bustling markets, cafes on every corner--and parks galore, Tel Aviv is an incredible (and incredibly family-friendly) destination. Whether you want to see art and architecture, taste the local cuisine, explore history ancient and modern, or just hang on the Mediterranean coast, Tel Aviv really has it all....and this itinerary will help you feel more local than tourist. (NB: This itinerary assumes no guide and no car...but happy to help you plan with either or both of those).
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Where to stay
The Vista at Hilton Tel Aviv
Soak in stunning panoramic views of the Mediterranean Sea from The Vista, a luxurious and contemporary retreat nestled within the Hilton Tel Aviv, offering upscale accommodations, exceptional service, and a prime location for an unforgettable stay in the vibrant city of Tel Aviv.
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Food & beverage or spa Credit (value varies by property).
The Carlton Tel Aviv
Experience unparalleled luxury and sophistication at Carlton Tel Aviv, a prestigious hotel situated along the vibrant Tel Aviv beachfront, offering elegant accommodations, world-class amenities, and breathtaking views of the Mediterranean Sea for a truly indulgent stay.
$100 Hotel Credit per Stay (to be used on services such as spa, dining, or selected amenities valued at $100 or more)
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The Norman Tel Aviv
Luxury hotel near the Tel Aviv Museum of Art featuring modern decor, a French Mediterranean restaurant and a rooftop infinity pool.
$100 food / beverage credit.
Upgrade & extended check-in/out whenever possible.
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Day 1: Arrive in Tel Aviv
Cue up Omer Adam’s Tel Aviv and feel the vibes as you arrive in Tel Aviv. From Ben Gurion, you can take a cab, or the new super easy train.
Many flights to Tel Aviv arrive in the morning–if you’ve booked with FORA and have early check in, head to your hotel for a quick shower…and then head to the beach!! If you’re staying at the Hilton, that’s an easy choice–otherwise, I’d probably head to Gordon Beach or Banana Beach. The walk along the Promenade/HaYarkon is gorgeous in and of itself.
While the beachfront restaurants are not going to give you the best food or most “authentic” atmosphere, they are going to give you incredible views and an easy option for your first meal in Tel Aviv. You could check out LaLaLand or Louille at Gordon Beach, Gazoz Beach Restaurant, or Mezizim Beach. Or, just grab a smoothie at one of the many beach kiosks and bask in the sun.
(If your flight arrives in the later afternoon, start here!) After a nap and a shower at your hotel–you’ll want it after the flight and the beach–it’s time to head to dinner. For this first night, keep the beach theme going and head to the Namal–the old port of Tel Aviv. Reimagined as a pedestrian mall, you’ll find lots of restaurants, shops, and a cute carousel if you’ve got littler ones. And, most importantly, it’s got incredible sunsets and an outpost of Golda ice cream.
Day 2: Start with the old
After stuffing yourself with your Israeli breakfast (the best!!!), head south to Jaffa. Start in the Old City–let yourself wander the streets and alleys, and make sure to grab a family photo or 6 at one of the Insta-ready frames set up. Walk over the Wishing Bridge, and then make sure to catch the view of Andromeda’s Rock. Both the Greek myth and the Biblical story of Jonah and the whale are said to have taken place here, so revel in those cool facts.
Strong recommend to NOT eat near the port; it is mostly tourist traps, and there is better food to be had. Head out to Abulafia Bakery, or Dr. Shakshuka if that’s more your vibe. Then, head to Shuk HaPishpishim (flea market) to browse and bargain.
If everyone–or anyone–is up for you, you could take a stroll along Rothschild Boulevard to see the “White City;” early settlers to Tel Aviv in the 1930s brought the trendy Bauhaus style from Germany, and with over 4000 Bauhaus buildings, Tel Aviv’s “White City” is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. If your crew is more the shopping type, head to Sheinkin Street, where you can see the architecture and wander in and out of boutiques and cafes.
(With kids especially, I always recommend some downtime at the hotel–take a dip in the pool or even head back to the beach.)
Keeping in today’s theme of Old Tel Aviv, head to Sarona Market for dinner. While the bustling indoor food court (think Chelsea Market in New York x10) has all the vibes of new Tel Aviv, the buildings around it were part of the German Templar colony of the late 19th century. Bonus for kids: There is a great playground right outside the market entrance.
Day 3: Modern history
While Independence Hall is closed until at least 2024, you can at least stop by and see the facade of the building where David Ben Gurion declared independence for the State of Israel in May of 1948. From there, head to Kikar Rabin, where a memorial tells the story whose effects Israel is still feeling today.
While the morning might feel heavy, a visit to the ANU Museum at Tel Aviv University won’t. First, the campus is beautiful – with gardens all around. And the museum itself, renovated and rebranded from the former Beit HaTefutzot, is interactive and super family-friendly.
From there, if your kids have it in then for another museum – the Palmach Museum nearby is also interactive and the audio-visual experience is very cool. Note that visits to the Palmach Museum are guided, so you should make reservations in advance.
From TAU, you could head to HaYarkon Park, where you can rent bikes or boats, check out the petting zoo or bird sanctuary, hang at a playground or….if you are really adventurous, check out Meymadion Water Park.
And, for dinner, try HaKosem or Port Said – both popular, delicious, classic Israeli food with a modern and trendy twist.
Day 4: Food and fun
You’ll be full from breakfast, so we won’t start immediately at the shuk. If today happens to be a Tuesday (or a Friday, but that’s more crowded!) head to Nachalat Binyamin and stroll the craft market that sets up there weekly. The magnet guy is my favorite for souvenirs/gifts, but you’ll find jewelry, Judaica, and more.
While Shuk HaCarmel is directly adjacent to Nachalat Binyamin, I am going to suggest you head south to the Florentin neighborhood and browse Shuk Levinsky instead. While Shuk HaCarmel is still a great place to catch the market vibes, it has become overrun with stalls hawking tourist tshirts and cell phone cases. Shuk Levinsky will feel more authentic, and a better place to really taste Tel Aviv. Book with me, and I’ll make sure you get hooked up with the best shuk tour out there. Also, if you have older kids, I strongly recommend doing a cooking class–again, book with me and I’ll connect you with a fantastic cooking studio, where you’ll cook, connect, and eat for hours.
For the post-lunch time, in a slight departure from the food theme, your kids might enjoy one of the graffiti tours of Tel Aviv. Israelis tend to be political and opinionated, and the walls of Florentin and other neighborhoods have become an incredible canvas for some of the challenges of Israeli life.
It’s for dinner that I suggest heading to Shuk HaCarmel. While the main market stalls close for the night, the side streets are bumpin' with restaurants, which remain crowded late into the night. HaBasta is probably the best known, but with kids, I would suggest Merloza instead.
Need to Know
Looking for more travel inspiration? Check out Fora's guide: A Foodie's Ultimate Guide to Tel Aviv, Israel.
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This guide is part of our ongoing series on travel to Tel Aviv.