South Tel Aviv and East Tel Aviv are two overlapping areas of Tel Aviv.
When referring to "South" Tel Aviv, people commonly mean the part of Tel Aviv which is south to Yehuda Halevi and Harakevet streets - excluding Jaffa which is considered a separate part, although it is also "below" those streets. "East" Tel Aviv is the part east of Ayalon Highway (excluding the part north of the Yarkon River). The two areas overlap in the southeastern neighborhoods.
South Tel Aviv has been neglected for decades, rendering large parts of it an industrial urban wasteland. However, since the early 1990s, and following a massive housing price increase in central Tel Aviv, a gentrification process has changed the face of many areas in south Tel Aviv - as many artists, students, and eventually middle-class (and in some cases upper-class) families moved in. Another factor greatly affecting South Tel Aviv's character is the influx of migrant workers from Africa, China and Southeast Asia, whose presence diversified the area significantly.
See Tel Aviv#Get in for details of how to reach Tel Aviv from other Israeli cities or from the airport.
By train: 1 HaHaganah train station serves South and East Tel Aviv.
By bus: buses throughout the country as well as across the city converge on 2 New Central Bus Station, Levinski Street. A vast sprawling case study in how not to design a transport hub. Construction dragged on for 26 years, the shopping mall and office space failed to let, and the layout for travellers is one big mess. It's become populated by migrant communities and an ethnic indoors market with hundreds of stores offering everything from phone cards to fake Versace sunglasses. There's a Yiddish Museum and one chamber has become a bat cave. Most inter-city buses leave from the main (north) wing of the 6th floor. Local buses leave from the main (north) wing of the 7th, while inter-city buses for Galilee leave from the south wing of the 7th.
A dense network of bus lines operates through the Tel Aviv city centre, branching out to other districts and suburbs. A map of routes is available here. In addition, Google Maps has up-to-date bus schedules and an efficient routing feature.
South & East Tel Aviv is not the quintessential tourist spot, but it is a fascinating urban landscape with notable nightlife interests and a chance to encounter Tel Aviv's bustling migrant community. South Tel Aviv is now a rapidly gentrifying area.
- 1 Florentin neighborhood. A previously run-down but beautiful area, which is now gentrifying. Full of old, often colourful, Bauhaus buildings in various states of disrepair, however many of them are being renovated and restored to something approximating their former glory. The area is being completely redeveloped, and some construction of new apartment blocks is also taking place. This has caused some controversy with the locals who want to preserve the culture and atmosphere of the area.
- 2 Lehi Museum, 8 Stern. A museum describing the right-wing Lehi militia which operated between 1940-1948. This building was the hiding place of Lehi leader Avraham Stern when he was killed by British police in 1942.
- 3 Artist Workshops (Graffiti Haven), Florentin (South of Eilat Street, East of Elifelet. Roughly following HaMehoga). For those with a passion for street art or an alternative hippie or punky side, this small quarter of artist workshops is covered with unusual, colourful, surrealistic, and political high-quality graffiti.
- 4 Levinsky Market, Levinski Street, between Hertzl St. and Ha'aliya Street. An extremely colorful outside market boasting a variety of spice shops and ethnic restaurants.
- 1 Water ski, Biranit St 16, ☏ , ✉ email@example.com. Wakeboarding and waterskiing, for amateurs and experts. Open all year round, but it might be unpleasantly cold in winter.
- 2 Yad Eliyahu arena (Menora Mivtachim Arena, previously Nokia Arena). This arena is home to the Maccabi Tel Aviv basketball team. Tickets can be bought from the team's web site.
- Graffiti tour. A number of tour guides offer tours of the graffiti and urban culture in the Florentin neighborhood. (Don't worry, despite the graffiti this neighborhood is perfectly safe.)
The Florentin neighborhood still has a lot of wood-working and furniture workshops, although in the center many of these are closing and are being replaced with an eclectic mix of upmarket designer boutiques selling custom-made t-shirts, designer clothes, tattoos, home decor and design. There are several small art galleries, offering a range of styles such as modern art, sculpture, and installation pieces. If you are looking to buy accessories for your home, but not from a large chain, you will find lots to choose from in the small independently owned stores on Herzl Street. These sell everything from bathroom and kitchen accessories, mezuzot, hand-painted items, door handles, and more. Herzl Street is famous for its bespoke furniture stores, where you can buy all types of furniture at a range of prices and qualities, even made to your specifications. Further up Herzl Street, there are small toy shops, and clothes stores for bulk purchases. Most of these stores claim not to sell to individuals, but if you see an item you like, you can always try haggling.
- 1 Levinsky Market (Florentin, between Herzl and HaAliya streets, 10-min walk west from the Central Bus Station). The best place in Tel Aviv to buy spices, dried fruits, and different kinds of legume. This small market is stretched along Levinsky Street.
- 2 Hatikva Market (in the southeastern "Hatikva" neighbourhood). The most "authentic", non-gentrified market in Tel Aviv. A good place to find Iraqi-Jewish cuisine, as well as the usual fruits and vegetables and other market staples.
- 3 Raw Art Gallery, 3 Shvil Ha'Meretz Street, Building 8, 4th Floor, ☏ .
The Florentin neighborhood has a lot of small, privately owned bars, restaurants and coffee shops, many of which are open very late, and even all night.
- 1 24 Rupi, 14-16 Shocken St.. Exemplifying the south Tel Aviv notion of chic, this is an Indian guest house-type restaurant/lounge established by Israelis enchanted by the India vibe, serving Tali and other Indian dishes.
- 2 Basilicum. Great freshly made pizza with myriad toppings, open very late. Your pizza is made in front of you according to your specifications, usually with a lot of style. Florentin Street.
- 3 Bugsy. A small bar/cafe/restaurant, depending on the time of day. Named after famed mobster Benjamin 'Bugsy' Siegel, Bugsy features a rather wide variety of food. Particularly recommended in the morning is the 'Bugsy Brunch' consisting of steak, eggs, salad, bread and sweet potato wedges. The coffee and drinks are excellent. At night, the restaurant becomes a bar as well, and is often packed. Corner of Florentin and Washington.
- 4 Casbah. A laid back, indoor/outdoor spot with good indy music, moroccan inspired dishes, and wifi. Florentin Street.
- 5 City Break. Coffee shop serving great sandwiches with bread freshly made on the premises, cakes and salads. Herzl and Florentin Street.
- 6 Dixie, Totzeret Ha'aretz St., ☏ . One of the first restaurants in Tel-Aviv famous for being open 24/7, serves American food, including steaks, hamburgers and an excellent side-dish named home-fries.
- 7 Florentin 10. Coffee shop and restaurant by day (check out their business lunches), bar by night. Florentin Street.
- 8 Hummus Beit Leichem. Vegetarian, kosher hummus restaurant on the corner of Florentin and Vital Streets.
- 9 Hummus Eliyahu, Levontin 2. Very delicious warm hummus with chickpeas, tahina and/or fava beans. Basic meal includes a refill, but it's not comparable to the Subway Coke refill you are used to in Europe. ₪26.
- 10 Lenny's. A popular coffee shop and (at night) bar. Vital Street.
- 11 Perla. Slightly more upmarket (but not much), beautifully designed modern bar/ restaurant. Florentin Street.
- 12 The Salon (סלון), 8 Maavar Yabok, ☏ . Expensive but worth it.
- 13 Yoko Sushi Bar, Florentin St. 5, ☏ . Eat a quick snack of freshly-made sushi. Florentin Street.
- The Hummus Bar. Home made hummus, meat and vegetable dishes. Small wooden tables and chairs. A sort of trendy take on the Israeli workman's cafe. Vital Street.
- London Bakery. You can't sit here to eat them, but you can buy amazingly good, very rich cakes baked on the premises. Vital Street.
In the past few years, the neighborhood of Florentin has become a hub of trendy bars, coffee shops and restaurants. Lately, some of the old industrial workshops and tiny factories have closed (as have some of the more hippyesque places, e.g. the shanti rooms on Florentin Street), and are being replaced with hip boutiques, sushi bars and new bars and restaurants. In particular, the area around Vital and Florentin Streets has about 30 small places, mostly pubs, in an area of only a few hundred square meters. There are also some restaurants, great pizzerias and gelaterias. Everything is open almost till morning. The place is less known to tourists and has a "local" touch of small neighborhood with a young population (therefore the prices are lower than in the center and beach areas of Tel Aviv). It's not a sightseeing place, so it's better not to visit during a day when it's quite boring and noisy. But it changes completely at night, and then is more than worth a visit.
- 1 Block Club, 157 Shlomo (Salame) St, ☏ . Usually open Th and F nights and featuring big name international DJs weekly.
- 2 Duplex Club, 10 Ha'shakh St, Florentine neighborhood, ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. 3 venues club
- 3 Havana Club, 126 Yigal Allon (Light Lamp 4) Tel Aviv, ☏ , ✉ email@example.com. Latin music and salsa club. ₪50.
- 4 Udna (Hoodna), ☏ . A great, chilled-out pub.
- 1 Florentine Backpackers Hostel, Elifelet St 10, ☏ . Florentine is the less chaotic and less dodgy, but more friendly alternative to TLV Overstay. They also run the party hostel concept, where every night there is a gathering with beer (to buy from the hostel) and happy hour on the roof, and afterwards they go out in one of the bars/clubs of Tel Aviv with mostly free entrance. Quiet from 23:00. Largest dorm: 8-bed. Member of ILH. Dorm bed from ₪60.
- 2 Overstay Hostel TLV, Derekh Ben-Zvi 47, ☏ . Overstay TLV is cheap but they get it back by having their own bar and charging you ₪20 for the beer, ₪7 for towels, etc. It is one of the loudest hostels in the country - they have music running constantly, which consequently results in each conversation being very loud. Come here if you do not rely on sleep to survive and are looking for a place to party. Member of ILH. Dorm bed from ₪59.
- 3 Florentin House, 6 Florentin St., ☏ . Dorm bed from ₪112.