The Holiday Season in Tel Aviv
Are you looking for a unique and exciting way to spend Christmas this year? If so, then consider celebrating the holiday in Tel Aviv, Israel! We can tell you that this vibrant city has so much to offer during the Christmas season. From delicious food and drink to festive events and activities, there’s something for everyone to enjoy. Here’s a quick guide on how to spend your Christmas days in Tel Aviv through the eyes of our Spotter Kathrin:
Christmas in Tel Aviv
Kathrin: “Christmas in Israel is a magical time that is celebrated even though most of the country is Jewish (or Muslim) and only a small percentage Christian.
Being from Germany of course, I really miss the traditional Christmas markets, but I am trying to get into the Christmas spirit in Tel Aviv or around the country with the nice events that are more and more every year.
And even though there are fewer decorations in the street like in Europe, don’t forget Israel is actually the holy land and the birthplace of Jesus.
One thing I am trying not to miss is the annual lighting of the Christmas tree in Jaffa! This year on the evening of the 19th of December at 18:30 on the clock square in Jaffa. Usually, there is a whole event around it with songs and a few places selling Sahlab (a local sweet hot milk drink) or hot tea – no mulled wine, unfortunately!
The weekend of the 16th/17th of December I plan to go to the local artisan market (“Winter Pop-up”) at Uriel Acosta Street 23 in Florentin, hopefully, to find some nice things like posters, art stuff etc. for presents. Also, I might go for a day trip to Jerusalem and check out the Santa House, open from 17-20:00 the whole of December.
Every year the Teder Club (Derech Jaffa 9) also has a Christmas market. It’s less traditional, but usually a lot of fun with clothes, records, food, alcohol and many other things – on the 24th of December.
Although I am not religious at all, sometimes I feel like going to a church on Christmas Eve, for example, the Lutheran (protestant) Immanuel Church at Bar Hoffman 15 at the German American Colony has services on both the 24th and 25th – also the catholic St. Peters church atKdumim Square in Jaffa.
The last year I missed it, but this year I really want to see the Christmas Parade in Jaffa on the 27th of December – starting at 17:30 on Yefet Street in Jaffa.
No matter how you choose to spend your Christmas in Tel Aviv, you’re sure to have an unforgettable and truly unique holiday experience. So why wait? Start planning your trip today and discover all that this amazing city has to offer!”
Explore the City
Ramesses – Open-air bar
“Ramesses is a lively, open-air gastro bar and a fun place to hang out in. It is located in the Greek market in Jaffa, not far from the flea market, that’s become a great Tel Avivian nightlife hub in recent years.
The place is designed for outdoor seating in any season and is spread across a small street in the market, with its kitchen at one end and two bars at the other. Tip: Even if you sit outside, don’t miss the wall paintings inside those bars, they are brilliant.
There’s always good music playing in the background and a nice, chilled atmosphere, even when the place is full.”- Tal Bright
Edith Wolfson Park – The white sculpture park
“This large, beautiful park is at an unexpected location, right on the eastern edge of the city.
What I like most about Edith Wolfson Park is the series of sculptures placed on a hill right in the centre of it. These are big, white, modern sculptures.
When I was a kid, we used to call it “The White Park” after those white sculptures. Each sculpture represents a different geometric shape and the layout was meant to depict what Tel Aviv looked like in its early years (in a very abstract way…)
The tower in the middle of the park is open to visitors and anyone can climb to the top for a great panoramic view of Tel Aviv and nearby cities.
The park also has a nice artificial lake and plenty of shaded areas to relax in.
It’s a lovely and spacious park, a perfect place to unwind or to go for a run on any day of the week. It may get a little busier during weekends, but maintains its chilled atmosphere.”- Tal Bright
Shuk Betzalel – Bargains market
“As you visit the center of the city, near the streets Allenby – King George, and near Carmel market, you can find a small and cheap market that is mostly dedicated to clothes and accessories, Shuk Betzalel.
The complex was supposed to become luxury neighborhood designed by architect Joseph Tischler, and when this didn’t happen, the market was opened in the 20s of the last century.
Nowadays a new Luxury neighborhood has been built so the market is always changing.
At the market there are a few stores that sell leftovers from big companies at under value prices. In the summer time the market is flooded with swimwear at ridiculous prices (do not worry, all year round there are two stores that sell swimwear) and in the winter you can find tights in different patterns and sizes.”- Shiella Maler
Dede – Florentin’s local food
“Dede is a weird local place in Florentin. Don’t expect great service or gourmet food when you get there, but you will definitely get Florentin vibes. Dede is owned by two brothers.
The main course in Dede is named (well… how surprising…) Dede. Dede is a crispy omelette filled with 3 types of cheeses/meat or vegetables.
They also have great burgers and nice pizza. During Happy Hour (18:00 – 20:30) you will pay 50% off for drinks – you should definitely try TapuGin (fresh apple juice with Gin).
Dede feels like your best friend’s place – it’s super cozy, and the owners are friendly and fun. It is a fun place to visit to feel Florentinian vibes. It’s chill, cozy, friendly, and very casual. The place is dog- and smoke-friendly, and it is very common to find local neighbors grabbing an after-work beer and food.”- Idan Teram
Park Hayarkon – Tel Aviv’s green lung
“The largest urban park in Tel Aviv and its most essential green lung, Park Hayarkon, is massive and has a lot of hidden gems to discover.
Apart from jogging, cycling or picnicking, as you would in any other park, Park Hayarkon also has a river by the same name running through it and all sorts of boating activities going on (though swimming in it isn’t a good idea, at least not until the water is cleaned of pollution).
It’s hard to say what my favourite thing about this park is… it holds many surprises. The park is home to some quite unique gardens that are open to the public and are well worth a visit. These include a rose garden, a rock park and a cacti and succulent garden.”- Tal Bright