In Tel Aviv, every day is beach day. Did you know that National Geographic listed Tel Aviv as the 9th best beach city in the world? If you have ever visited Tel Aviv you are probably not surprised, the city has 14 km (9 miles) of seashore with 16 beaches to choose from! During the season (April to October) there are lifeguard services and you can rent a bed for most beaches. Two beds and an umbrella will cost you about 25 ILS. Also, there are ice cream vendors walking up and down the beaches; make sure to try their pineapple-coconut ice cream, trust me you won’t regret it ;) Along all those kilometers of Mediterranean seashore, you can certainly find your kind of beach. There are wild beaches with cliffs without any amenities, upscale beaches with clean facilities, beaches for volleyball lovers, dog beaches, a gay beach, etc etc. You name it and it’s probably there! This is the guide to Tel Aviv’s best beaches!
Safety at the beaches
Safety first! I don’t recommend swimming at a beach without lifeguard services, the sea shore is filled with rocks and can have dangerous currents. If you are not sure whether you are on a declared beach, look for the lifeguard stand. The stands have flags that are also spread out along the beach, indicating the sea conditions: blue or white flags indicate a calm sea, red means the sea is not calm, but you are allowed to swim; but a black flag means the sea is too dangerous for swimming. Also, in July and August there can be jellyfish (meduzot); they are not dangerous but their tentacles leave little marks that can sting a bit. Lastly, like at every beach in the world, don’t leave your valuables unattended when you go for a swim. Especially during the season when tourists flock to the city, there are pick pockets active. Though pick pocketing is not very common in Israel, I’ve heard of many instances at the Tel Aviv beaches (especially those next to the center area).
1. The unnamed beach
This is such a hidden gem; the beach doesn’t even have a name! It is located behind sand dunes and high cliffs called 'Top of the hill' in Google maps. If you walk down from the top, follow the path on the left side of the benches and you can enter the beach below the cliff. The distance from Tel Aviv center is seven kilometers, so you can get there by bike or car. The reason why this beach deserves its first spot is because of the views! You arrive on the cliffs, with the most amazing views on the sea and Tel Aviv. Trust me, if you are a fan of sunsets (like me) go there! I also prefer this beach the most for a picnic or a long walk, because it’s quiet. Be ware though, there are no lifeguard services and no facilities, so I wouldn’t recommend it for swimming.
2. Frishman beach
This is the middle of the three most famous beaches in the center of Tel Aviv (Gordon, Frishman & Bograshov). They have their names from the street that ends in that particular beach. Frishman beach is easily recognizable because of its’ colored lifeguard house and is my favorite. The crowd is a mix of tourists (mostly young professionals) and local Tel Avivians and there are volleyball nets with daily games. The facilities here are good and the vibe laid back, the beach club is one of the best of all Tel Aviv beaches in my opinion.
The other two beaches surrounding Frishman, Gordon and Bograshov have a different vibe. Gordon is the poshest beach of the city, with more tourists and flaunting locals. Bograshov beach is quite touristy, with so many French speaking tourists you feel like you’re in France! The atmosphere is very nice, but expect more families with young children here.
3. Nitzanim beach
This is the northern most beach below the Yarkon river. Right behind this beach is the Namal (the port, which is very nice to visit by the way, blog coming up soon about it). The beach is clean and so are the facilities; there’s a very nice restaurant on site and a new children’s playground. The crowd is mixed, but you can mostly expect locals living nearby. The atmosphere is relaxed and beach is situated in a little bay, so the sea is quite calm.
4. Dog beach
Dogs are such an important part of life in Tel Aviv, they even have two beaches specifically designed for them! One is just north of the Hilton (between the gay beach and the religious beach) and the other beach is the most southern beach before you reach the port in Yafo. For dog owners these beaches are a must, because these are the only two beaches where dogs can be released and swim! Usually it’s a zoo on there, with lots of happy dogs playing and swimming. Even when you’re not a dog owner I can highly recommend visiting, watching the dogs alone is pure happiness!
5. Geula beach
This beach is oftenly mistaken with Jerusalem beach, which is one of the city’s most famous beaches at the end of Allenby street. Jerusalem beach has never appealed to me though the facilities are very good (there are play grounds for children and an outdoor gym); it’s a loud beach, with groups of tourists and many teenagers. Just south of the beach club you find Geula beach, which is right in front of the Royal Beach hotel. It mainly consists of locals living in the southern neighborhoods of Tel Aviv and it has a very relaxed atmosphere. It probably is the widest beach in Tel Aviv, so even on very crowded days, this beach doesn’t feel packed.