Tel Aviv might be a big, dynamic city, but just a few steps away from the hustle and bustle are some truly gorgeous beaches. Some of them are where the city's cool kids go to see and be seen, others are deliciously low-key and relaxed. Some are equipped with nothing more than white sand and gentle waves, others come with the full caboodle of shady pavilions, snack bars, playgrounds, and lifeguards. Most are free, but even the one beach that does require a fee (Hatzuk, in case you were wondering), offers plenty of return for your investment, including some great facilities and adjacent parking. Whether you're heading to Tel Aviv for the first time or the hundredth, these are the Tel Aviv beaches you shouldn't miss.
First up, the only beach to require upfront payment before you can enjoy its facilities: HaTzuk. Fortunately, the facilities are good enough that you won't mind stumping up for the entrance fee. Complete with shade pavilions, 2 lifeguard stations, manicured lawns, snack stations, sun loungers, and water sports equipment for rental, it ranks as the most well-equipped beach in Tel Aviv. Unlike most Tel Aviv beaches, HaTzuk doesn't have breakers to keep the waves calm, making it one of the best spots for surfing in the area. The only downside of the beach is that its position on the north end of town makes it slightly harder to reach than many of the city's other beaches.
Tel Baruch Beach
Like HaTzuk Beach, Tel Baruch Beach is located in the northern part of town. As a result, it's only really accessible by taxi or car. Fortunately, it's got enough to offer to make it worth the drive. The wide, sandy beach is well maintained and has a relaxed, kid-friendly vibe that makes it a popular choice with families. If you travel here by car, you'll find plenty of parking spaces adjacent to the beach. As haaretz.com notes, you'll also find plenty of amenities, including a volleyball court, several lifeguard stations, lawns, a cafe, and a playground.
As igoogledisrael.com writes, Metzitzim Beach is something of a legend among Tel Aviv beaches, thanks largely to the classic Israeli movie from the 70s the bears its name. Popular with both locals and tourists alike, it tends to attract a cool, young crowd - during the summer months especially, it's one of the key places in Tel Aviv to see and be seen. Amenities are in good supply, with a playground, restrooms, sun loungers, and a great little beach bar called Metzitzim that does a fine line in sunset cocktails.
According to TimeOut, Jerusalem Beach has earned itself the nickname matkot beach in recognition of just how popular the Padel ball game is here. You can join in with the rest of the players if you want, or you can just enjoy the beach's classic combination of sand and surf if ball games leave you cold. Once the sun starts to set, head to the beach cafe Tzfoni BeTayelet for some light bites and drinks.
Located just a little south of Metzitzim beach is Religious Beach, a segregated, walled beach that caters to Tel Aviv's religious community. Women attend the beach on Sunday, Tuesday, and Thursday; men go on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, and on Shabbat, when the religious steer clear of the beach, it becomes just a regular beach where anything (and anyone) goes.
If you like water sports, you're going to love Hilton Beach (which, as the name suggests, is located just across the way from the Hilton Hotel). If you want to improve your windsurfing or kayaking skills, the Sea Centre Club provides classes for all skill levels. It even has dedicated classes just for kids. If all the activity leaves you with an appetite, you'll find a good selection of restaurants and cafes scatted along its shorefront.
Gordon Beach is unquestionably one of Tel Aviv's best and most popular beaches. With a gorgeous promenade, a good selection of beachside restaurants, bars, and shops, and enough amenities and facilities to keep you well supplied in drinks, snacks, sun loungers, and other beach essentials, it's a great place for the whole family. Just be aware that as you'd expect of the most central beach in Tel Aviv, it can get very busy during the summer months.
A popular destination with both tourists and locals alike, Banana Beach is a fun, bustling beach with plenty to recommend it. Although it's pleasant enough in the day, it's at sunset that it really comes alive. Once the sun starts to settle over the horizon, the Banana Cafe sets out chairs and tables across the beach, with romantic lights studded between each one. For a round of sunset cocktails, it's unbeatable.
On first appearances, Dolphinarium Beach doesn't exactly look like much. Facilities are almost non-existent, and although it's pleasant enough, it can't compete with the beauty of Tel Aviv's other beaches. So, what makes it so popular? The atmosphere. Chilled, fun, and blessed with a personality that's all its own, this is a beach that makes up for its nondescript looks with bags of charm. If you had to pick a day to go, make it a Friday, when the beach gets invaded by a troupe of performance artists and drummers who put on quite the show. Although amenities are limited, the Bluebird Beach bar does a tempting selection of drinks and beach food.
If you like being at the center of the action, head to Bograshov Beach, a bustling stretch of beach that offers stunning views over Tel Aviv's cityscape on one side and the ocean on the other. Regardless of the day or the season, there's always something going on at the beach, making it a great spot to indulge in some people watching. Thanks to its prime central location, you're never too far away from a restaurant, a shop, or a cafe.
Quiet, peaceful, and imbued with a relaxed, chilled vibe, no list of Tel Aviv's best beaches would be complete without a mention of Alma Beach. The long stretch of sand is rarely crowded, and while the amenities are limited, its atmosphere and beauty combine to make it one of the city's must-visit beaches. Just be aware that there are no lifeguards on patrol, so keep a close eye on the kids if you're traveling with the family.
Written by Liz Flynn
Read more posts by Liz Flynn