This is where The Girl From Oslo was shot: from hip nightlife to the best hotels in Tel Aviv
Hot locations from the Netflix series The Girl from Oslo, plenty of direct flights, and long sandy beaches make Tel Aviv an attractive destination.
"We have long wanted to travel to Tel Aviv for many different reasons, including recommendations from friends who have been here before," Lars Erik Oterhals from Norway told Picolo.com.
He is in Israel's second biggest city together with his husband.
"It's also warm here when it's winter and cold at home in Norway," he adds.
The couple is among an increasing number of people who are taking a trip to Tel Aviv. Direct flights from most major European and American cities are making the Mediterranean city a popular destination.
In addition, there are now up to 15 flights daily between Tel Aviv and the US, such as non-stop flights from New York, Miami or Los Angeles. Recent figures show that there have never been so many travellers on this route, with an increase of as much as 28% compared to the previous record, set in the winter of 2019, according to Simpleflying.
But it's not just Americans who are heading to the vibrant and international city. The Norwegian-Israeli drama series The Girl From Oslo, which has been a major success on Netflix recently, has also made Tel Aviv a hot destination.
Will this be the big city that 'everyone' wants to visit in the years to come?
Where is The Girl From Oslo being filmed?
The Netflix series The Girl From Oslo is a popular search term these days. The series is directed by Uri Barbash from Tel Aviv and Stian Kristiansen from Stavanger.
The series has been filmed in locations ranging from Oslo and Eidsvoll in Norway to Tel Aviv, Eilat, and Jerusalem in the Middle East. The plot centres on a young Norwegian woman named Pia who is kidnapped by ISIS together with two Israelis. Pia's mother, played by Anneke von der Lippe, takes up the fight to get her daughter back. She is aided by intelligence leader and politician Arik (Amos Tamam).
Of course, it is not the drama surrounding the Israeli and Norwegian state's negotiations with the terrorists that makes you want to travel to Israel, but the viewers get to discover unique landscapes and exotic cities, not to mention the bustling life in Tel Aviv.
The city is known for its gourmet restaurants, blue sea, fantastic urban beach, positive energy, busy markets, and intense nightlife.
"This is really an exotic place – a liberal enclave that is very different from the rest of the region," says Oterhals.
Things to do in Tel Aviv
One of the things that makes Tel Aviv unique is the many and greatly varied beaches that line the big city.
Givat Aliya, located in the old town, is suitable for those who want to avoid the big crowds and is also a dog-friendly beach. Charles Clore Beach is more for those who love being active, with both a fitness park and a skatepark nearby.
If you are looking for a lovely spot that is easily accessible, you should go to Bugrashov Beach. It is easily accessible by public transport and has parking, hotels, restaurants - basically everything you need.
Jerusalem Beach can only be described as amazing. Here, you will find both locals and visitors from around the world, as well as plenty of food and drink on offer. If you are looking for sun and swimming, you are spoiled for options with 13 different beaches in Tel Aviv.
Not everyone heads there first, though.
"We haven't actually been to the beach," says Oterhals.
He and his husband nevertheless enjoyed the atmosphere:
"We went for a walk along the promenade, drinking wine at the beach restaurant Cassis and watching the sunset. In Tel Aviv, you just have to walk around and experience the city, the people, the atmosphere and the food."
Tourists from all over the world
It is definitely the atmosphere that draws visitors from all over the world. In addition to beaches, the city is known for its delicious food. With its many bars and cafes, Tel Aviv abounds with tasty bites for foodies. Staples include falafel, shakshuka, shawarma, tahini, and hummus.
For really good falafel, you need to seek out HaKosem. There is often a queue around the block, but it is really worth the wait for those seeking the city's best falafel, according to Oterhals.
Another recommendation is to have lunch at Café Noir, an intimate bistro in the heart of the city. Two childhood friends started the bistro with the goal of bringing European and Israeli cuisine together. Here you will find everything from seafood and druze pitta with lamb to risotto.
Bicicletta is another excellent destination if you want to go to a bar where you can enjoy good food. Try their delicious crab burgers
Popular Old Jaffa
In addition to beaches and food, there are certain other things you should experience. For those who are only there for a few days, a walk along the promenade is recommended. Stroll through the narrow streets of Kerem HaTeimanim and stop by Carmel Market. Here, you will find everything from spices and clothes to electronics.
If you like to walk, you should start in the city's oldest quarter, Old Jaffa. Although this is a popular area for tourists, it's worth the trip for its galleries and restaurants.
If you are looking for shopping, Tel Aviv's largest shopping centre Azrieli Center Mall is a good option. Here, you will find over 150 shops and a rooftop amusement park for children.
If you have several days in Tel Aviv, you must take a day trip to Jerusalem and Bethlehem. Check with your hotel for a guided tour.
Tel Aviv's nightlife
Once you've shopped, soaked up the atmosphere, and finished eating, you should be ready for cocktails and local beer. Kuli Alma is a great choice if you want to experience music and art. Here, there is a mix of locals and tourists, and you will find an outdoor gallery and variety of DJs.
Three other hip nightspots you should head to now, according to travel company Tourist Israel, are Salon Berlin, Herzl 16, and Beer Bazaar, for its local beer. If you love what's trendy and are ready for an all-nighter, then Teder.fm is the place for you.
The very best Tel Aviv hotels
If, on the other hand, you want a bar close to where you are staying, the Imperial Hotel is the place where you should book. The hotel houses the Imperial Craft Cocktail Bar, which many people on travel forums write is the best cocktail place they have been to. It's both intimate and exciting.
Hotel Saul is a bright and minimalist hotel right next to the beach, which also has a café on the ground floor. Israelis have a passion for coffee, so you should definitely start your day with a freshly brewed cappuccino. Stay at The Vera if you want a massage, roof terrace, and bar, all in one place.
Is Tel Aviv safe?
As the second largest city in Israel, many people wonder if it's safe to travel there. Yes, it is safe to travel in most parts of Israel, including Tel Aviv. There are also no longer any corona restrictions related to entry into the country.
Tel-Aviv is a more international and secular city than Israel 's other major cities and is known as a city that never sleeps. Over 4 million tourists visit Tel Aviv every year. The city is also an economic hub in the Middle East, and many major international airports in Europe and beyond have direct departures to Tel Aviv.