10 Reasons Why Tel Aviv Is Our Favourite City Break For 2019

10 Reasons Why Tel Aviv Is Our Favourite City Break For 2019

In partnership withVirgin Atlantic

top-notch dining, a notorious nightlife scene and epic
stretches of golden beach,
Tel Aviv
has overtaken popular coastal cities like Barcelona
and Lisbon and sprinted to the top of our holiday hit list. Hands
down the city break for 2019, this storied capital seems to have it

Giving us even more reason to rave (in every sense) about the
sunny city, Virgin Atlantic‘s new service from London to Tel
Aviv is now available to book, with the first flight departing from
Heathrow on 25 September 2019. The direct flight – with connections
to destinations throughout North America, including New York, San
Francisco and Seattle – means there’s really no excuse not to
hotfoot it there pronto.

Still need convincing? Here are 10 reasons why we’re about to
book flights (again).

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Thrifting is practically a sport at Jaffa Flea Market

Olei Zion St, Tel Aviv

Jaffa’s flea market, known as Shuk Hapishpeshim, is a treasure
trove of antiques, second-hand items and one-off finds. A mishmash
of junk and gems, the market is also home to some of the most
interesting fashion offerings in town. Head to Jaffa to scout out
the increasing number of homeware concept stores which have cropped
up in this bohemian district. Alongside an array of Tel Avivian
fashion designers, contemporary design lovers should seek out Saga
and Elemento before frantically checking Virgin Atlantic’s baggage

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Port Said is packed with local food spots

Tel Aviv

Block out an evening to visit Port Said, a spot packed with
locals eating and drinking but often overlooked by tourists.
Outdoor dining Israeli style, eat standing up or at a communal
table – you can take it as a given that the dress code is “casual”
and you may end up sitting on the pavement. What Port Said lacks in
ceremony it makes up for in character. Dine at Beit Romano, where dishes are served in cartons and
the vibe is unanimously cool. Caveat: you’ll more than likely end
up drinking with a lively crowd until the early hours, so come
prepared to get stuck in.

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It’s home to Israel’s first dedicated design museum

Holon, Israel

Head south to The Design Museum Holon – Israel’s first museum
solely dedicated to design. Conceived by Israeli architect and
industrial designer Ron Arad, the structure – five dominant bands
of COR-TEN steel – is impressive in itself. Inside, you’ll find a
dynamic collection of works by knowns and lesser-knowns. With an
archive of nearly 20,000 objects, there’s a lot to get through. The
museum is open between 10am to 6pm most days, but closed on Friday
afternoon and Sunday so plan accordingly.

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Israeli designers like Galia Lahavare and Inbal Dror are on the rise

For a little fashion fix sample some, well, Sample. Founded by sisters Einav Zini and Nofar
Muchluph, the inclusive brand transcends age and body type, and the
duo have gained a reputation as one of Israel’s greatest fashion
exports. While in town, brides and bridesmaids should pay a visit
to Inbal Dror and Galia Lahav‘s boutiques. The
bridal brands to know, Dror delivers styles which are whimsical yet
seductive, while Lahav draws up a more dramatic silhouette – lace
and beading galore. All going well, you may be booking an extra
seat on your return journey for a bridal gown, or better yet, a

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The beaches (and beach clubs) are ace

Deciding to go to the beach is the easy part. Deciding on which
beach to drop towel is substantially harder. LaLa Land is a local favourite, but sundowners at
Manta Ray are equally appealing. If you lean towards the latter,
grab dinner at Cantina restaurant after sunset; the pizza is
particularly good. Alternatively, commit to a day-long beachside
rollick and set up camp at Brown Beach House for
retro-resort-meets-urban-design surrounds.

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Hanna House runs some next-level fitness classes

Somewhere between Soho House and Soulcycle, Hanna
offers a packed schedule of barre, yoga, pilates, HIIT
classes, alongside some more conceptual workouts. Stick around
post-sweat session to really make the most of their facilities,
including a free meeting space, treatment room and even an in-house
babysitter. If you’re running close to the wire – your late-morning
Virgin Atlantic flight beckons – make a pit stop at Eats
and grab one of their “morning boxes” – scrumptious
vegan-friendly food to eat as you dash to the airport.

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The city is home to a number of brilliant hotels

A spate of openings has put Tel Aviv on the map as a boutique
bolthole whatever your budget. The Norman is a place to see and
be seen, with a sophisticated feel and plenty of outside spaces
bringing the air of a countryside retreat. The Alma, meanwhile, was
originally designed as a private residence and draws a boujis crowd
to Tel Aviv’s White City district (it’s all very bauhaus here),
acting as a great launch pad for exploring the city. For
understated luxury, head to The Vera, with its neutral hues,
duo-level rooftop and bespoke furniture from local designer Tomer
Nachson. For more pocket-friendly options, The Dave is a great spot to grab
a beer and let your hair down, while art lovers should bed down at
the Diaghilev for rooms with urban

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Miznon restaurant originated here

Those who have visited Miznon in Paris or New York will
know just how good the food is here. But Chef Eyal Shani set up the
original restaurant in Tel Aviv and the menu – which ranges from
pittas packed with fillings such as chicken liver and ratatouille
to a show-stopping roasted cauliflower dish – is enough to tempt
you into visiting twice during your stay. In fact, there’s really
nothing stopping you from refreshing your Flying Club account and
perusing your iCal to book your next Virgin Atlantic flight for a
taste comparison across the pond.

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Opa makes us want to convert to veganism

Somewhat scruffy but undeniably hip, vibrant Levinksy Market is
home to Opa. The restaurant’s modern facade sets it
apart from an otherwise ramshackle row of grocery shops and
knick-knack stores – and its cuisine is equally “other”. Food,
prepared by chef Shirel Berger is clean, minimal and locally grown.
All vegetables are sourced from one family-run farm 40 minutes
outside Tel Aviv and the menu presents whatever is picked that week
– expect anything from mint Jerusalem artichokes to oyster
mushrooms in tapioca. Dishes are intended to please the eye as much
as the palate – and interiors are just as delectable. Neutral
plaster walls and buffed-concrete flooring complement ceramics by
Telavivian makers, while decorative lights designed by Craft & Bloom set a suitably seducing mood.

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Nightlife, nightlife, nightlife

Whether it’s early evening or early morning, Tel Aviv caters to
all your party needs – and then some. Start with rooftop sundowners
at Speakeasy, then head to Drama, the capital’s
self-proclaimed “recreation area” featuring a cocktail bar,
mingling yard, gallery and dance floor. For something a little more
rustic, The Beer Shop is well-stocked with
20-30 craft beers served in anything from thimble to litres
measures, while Japanese-inspired Herzl 16 is another favourite
thanks to creative cocktails and live-music performances. If you’re
keen to check out Tel Aviv’s homegrown DJ talent, party alfresco
with locals at Kuli Alma – a
beer-garden-slash-nightclub where the only indoor area is the dance

The Lowdown

flights from London Heathrow to Tel Aviv Ben Gurion
Airport are available to book now,
with the first flight departing on 25 September 2019.