The Middle East That Never Sleeps

by Joseph Sutton (Syracuse University)

Students love to travel abroad on weekends. Whether it’s Rome, Barcelona, Paris, London, or Amsterdam, there’s always another bustling city to see. And then there’s Tel Aviv. With its tasty restaurants, intense nightlife, and young community of hip entrepreneurs, Tel Aviv is on the top of my list for places to visit.

You must try the Israeli food. The fresh pita, falafel, and hummus dip is mouthwatering. Don’t forget to eat your heart out in Tel Aviv. You can do this at the Shuk HaCarmel, which is the main market in Tel Aviv. Filled with fruits, nuts, olives, spices, candies, pastries, clothing, and so much more, you won’t regret a visit here. Moving on to an inspiring museum, The Tel Aviv Museum of Art is Israel’s leading museum of modern and contemporary art, and home to one of the world’s largest collections of Israeli art. Tel Aviv is also called ‘The White City’ because it is uniquely built with a collection of over 4,000 buildings that include Bauhaus architecture from the 1930s.

Hamburger from the famous ‘BurgerBar39’ in Tel Aviv.

Some clubs I can recommend include Story, The Cat & Dog, and FashionClub. My favorite club in Tel Aviv is called, ‘The Block.’ It is widely considered the best nightclub in Israel and has won the award for ‘Best Party of the Year’ three times in a row, according to Time Out Magazine Tel Aviv. More impressively, this club’s sound system is named fifth best in the world, according to England’s BBC Radio 1.

Nightclub in Tel Aviv.

During my stay in Israel, I had the chance to visit the cities of Jerusalem and Tel Aviv — about a 1 hour drive away from each other.

Partygoers draped from head to toe in costumes and face paint spread through the streets of Tel Aviv and Jerusalem. I happen to be there during the festive, Jewish holiday of Purim. If you don’t know Purim, think of Mardi Gras, but instead it’s in Israel. The Jews celebrate it to commemorate the defeat of Haman’s plot to massacre the Jews as recorded in the book of Esther. Therefore, everyone dresses up in funny costumes and dances through the streets.

The Friday rush in Mahane Yehuda Market in Jerusalem.

Take advantage of the beautiful beaches in Tel Aviv. Go for a run on the boardwalk or take a surf lesson in front of the Hilton Hotel, where you can rent a board and wetsuit. Be sure to check the surf conditions there before going out.

Are you ready to take on Tel Aviv? The flight from Rome Airport (FCO) to Tel Aviv – Ben Gurion (TLV) is 3 hours and 50 min. That’s not too bad for a hot and sunny weekend to lay on the beach. But don’t lay on the beach for too long, because there’s so much to explore…

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