Sheilla’s Tel Aviv

Sheilla Safra Maler was raised in northern Israel, but always longed to return to her birthplace, Tel Aviv. Now that she’s made that dream a reality, Sheilla’s passion for the “White City” has only increased—so much so that she is currently in training to become a tour guide on top of her day job at a high-tech company.

Luckily for us, while she works toward certification she’s been honing her tour guide skills by sharing tips and recommendations on Spotted by Locals. Here are a few of Sheilla’s favorite things about Tel Aviv.

Tel Aviv Is My City

When someone comes to visit me, the first place I take them to is the Rothschild Tower for a walk through history and a primer on the city’s beautiful Bauhaus architecture.

May is the best time to visit my city because the weather is well-balanced and comfortable. The blossoming trees are also in full show.

You can see my city best from the 49th floor of the Azrieli Center.

Locals know to skip the markets on Fridays (they’re crazy busy).

The Arts and Crafts Fair on Binyamin Street is the place to buy authentic, local souvenirs.

In the past, notable people like Nobel Prize-winning chemist Dan Shechtman, fashion model and television host Bar Refaeli, and behavioral economics professor Dan Ariely have called my city home.

My city’s best museum is the Design Museum Holon, located 35 minutes outside the city limits in Holon.

If there’s one thing you should know about getting around my city, it’s not to forget your sunglasses and sunscreen. I see too many sunburned tourists in the summer!

The best place to spend time outdoors in my city is at one of the beaches; I prefer to hang out at Mezizim Beach.

My city really knows how to celebrate Purim, a traditional Jewish holiday in which everyone dresses up in costumes.

You can tell if someone is from my city if they wear sunglasses, even on the rainiest of days.

For a fancy night out, I take the girls out to Vicky Cristina or Imperial Cocktail Bar.

Just outside my city, you can visit the historical city—Jerusalem.

My city is known for being the city that never sleeps, but it’s really quiet and sleepy on Friday and Saturday mornings, which is magical to experience.

The best outdoor market in my city is Shuk HaCarmel market.

NOLA American Bakery is my favorite place to have breakfast and Tony Vespa is the spot for late-night eats.

To find out what’s going on at night and on the weekends, check out Time Out Israel.

When I’m feeling cash-strapped, I go to HaAchim (which translates to “the brothers” in Hebrew) for a few drinks on the cheap.

To escape the crowds, I sit in Yaakov Garden and enjoy the special atmosphere and tranquillity with a cup of tea in hand.

The dish that represents my city best is falafel, and Malka beer is my city’s signature drink. Sample them at Hakosem (but Tel Avivians will argue about the best falafel place forever) and Beer Bazaar at HaCarmel market, respectively.

Ozen Bar is the best place to see live music, but if you’re in the mood to dance, check out Mendalimos or megaclub Haoman 17.

In the spring you should celebrate the eve of Israel’s independence anniversary (April 22) with fireworks and enjoy beachside aerial performances the following morning (April 23).

In the summer you should eat brunch at Leggenda and join a Matkot game on one of Tel Aviv’s beaches.

In the fall you should sign up for a marathon or bicycle race, or at least go for a long walk or bike ride around the city.

In the winter you should drink some hot chocolate at Max Brenner (in the Rothschild Tower).

If you have kids (or are a kid at heart), you won’t want to miss a trip to Performance Rock Bouldering Gym, an indoor climbing arena.

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