A surfer at Tel Aviv's Hilton Beach, considered a hangout for the LGBTQ+ community, during the 2015 Gay Pride Week. (Matthew Hechter/Flash 90)
A surfer at Tel Aviv's Hilton Beach, considered a hangout for the LGBTQ+ community, during the 2015 Gay Pride Week. (Matthew Hechter/Flash 90)

The most interesting beaches in Tel Aviv

It’s by no means a monolithic coastline. Here’s where to go for what you’re looking for.

Sarah Tuttle-Singer, The Times of Israel social media editor, is an LA expat (reluctantly) growing roots in Israel. She’s also a contributing editor at Dangerous when bored.

Tel Aviv is a spectacularly multifaceted city renowned for its stunning coastline and vibrant beach culture.

It’s summer. The thermostat is rising. You’re looking to beat the heat. And the sea is an ideal place to cool off. So whether you live in Israel or have plans to travel here, we have a list of the most interesting beaches in Tel Aviv.

From LGBTQ-friendly shores to family-friendly spots, to gender-separated beaches for Haredi (ultra-Orthodox) bathers, and even a beach for our furry friends, each offers a unique and sometimes meaningful experience.

Metzitzim Beach: Best beach for the whole family

Metzitzim Beach, located along Tel Aviv’s northern coast, is the ideal spot for families. It’s known for its relatively calm waters, so it’s a good option for children to swim and play in. (The beach has a breakwater barrier that helps reduce the impact of waves, creating a more peaceful and kid-friendly environment.)

This beach also has a shallow swimming area which lets young children enjoy the sea without venturing in too deep… Even so, there is always a lifeguard on duty when the beach is open!

Metzitzim also has fun playgrounds and shaded picnic spots, ensuring that the whole family can relax and have fun together.

Tel Aviv residents at Metzitzim Beach, August 2017. (Courtesy City of Tel Aviv-Jaffa)

Hilton Beach (LGBTQ Beach): Best inclusive beach

Hilton Beach, right next to the Hilton Tel Aviv hotel, is known as Tel Aviv’s unofficial LGBTQ beach. It embodies a spirit of inclusivity and provides a welcoming environment for the LGBTQ+ community. Come for the lively atmosphere, meet like-minded individuals, and revel in the freedom to express yourself while soaking up the sun.

A surfer at Tel Aviv’s Hilton Beach, considered a hangout for the LGBTQ+ community, during the 2015 Gay Pride Week. (Matthew Hechter/Flash 90)

The Namal: Best place to eat

If you’re looking for a break from the sand and waves but want to see the sea and have a relaxing dining experience, then you’ll definitely want to check out the Tel Aviv Port (Namal). The Tel Aviv Port is a bustling waterfront that has been transformed into a vibrant entertainment district with a wide selection of restaurants, cafes, and bars, open morning, noon and night.

The port area is lively, fun, and great for the whole family. It combines the best of the beach with a trendy and modern dining experience. You can find a diverse range of culinary options, including seafood restaurants, Mediterranean cuisine, sushi bars, fusion eateries, and more — and it’s a great place to beat the heat.

Whether you’re looking for a fine dining experience, a casual meal with friends, or a place to relax and enjoy a drink while watching the sunset, Tel Aviv Port’s restaurant scene on the beach is sure to satisfy your culinary desires.

photo: Yehoshua Derovan

Nordau Beach: Best beach if you keep religious modesty laws

For those seeking a beach experience aligned with their religious traditions of modesty and gender separation in certain spaces, Tel Aviv offers a dedicated beach that fits the bill. Women and girls can use the beach on Sundays, Tuesdays and Thursdays, while men and boys can visit Mondays, Wednesdays, and Friday mornings. Afternoons on Fridays are open for mixed bathing. To ensure separation, a substantial partition was constructed in the late 1990s, and lifeguards and the municipality prioritize sensitivity toward the Haredi bathers.

Pro tip for women: The women’s-only beach in Tel Aviv provides a tranquil setting for swimming, sunbathing, and relaxation without the presence of men or large crowds. You don’t have to be religious to join on the designated women’s days for a more serene experience. If you prefer a relaxed environment with fewer people around, consider visiting Nordau Beach in Tel Aviv on Sundays, Tuesdays and Thursdays.

Dog Beach: Best beach for your furry friend

Tel Avivians love their dogs, and Tel Aviv’s Dog Beach, located just south of the Hilton Beach, is a paradise for our four-legged friends. Here, dogs can frolic in the sand and surf off-leash, socialize with other dogs, and enjoy their time by the sea. It’s a wonderful opportunity for pet owners to bond with their furry friends while taking in the beautiful coastal views. (Just please clean up after them!)

Image by Martin Herfurt from Pixabay

Gordon Beach: Best beach for a day of fun

If you’re looking for a quintessential Tel Aviv beach scene, you’ll absolutely love Gordon Beach. Gordon Beach is one of the most popular and it is THE place to see and be seen while hanging out on soft golden sands and swimming in crystal-clear waters. The beach is also equipped with excellent facilities, including sunbeds, umbrellas, and beachside cafes. It’s a great spot for swimming, sunbathing, and beach volleyball.

Pro tip: The best beach to play matkot — paddleball– in Tel Aviv is definitely Gordon Beach. Matkot is a popular beach paddleball game in Israel, and Gordon Beach is widely recognized as the hub for matkot enthusiasts. You’ll find numerous locals and visitors engaged in friendly matches along the shoreline, because the beach’s energetic atmosphere adds to the fun and competitive spirit of the game.

Ajami Beach: Best beach for a tranquil experience

Discover the allure of Ajami Beach, nestled south of Old Jaffa. It’s a space that Jews and Arabs frequent together, where kids speaking Arabic, Hebrew, and a whole slew of other languages laugh and play together along the sparkling shore. Ajami isn’t just about the sand and surf though: As you descend the stairs to the beach, you get a sense of the land’s rich and layered history.

Pro tip: Make a stop at the Maronite Church to learn more about the history of Jaffa, and indulge in the best hummus in town at Abu Hassan (and stay tuned for our roundup of the best hummus places!) With fewer crowds, Ajami is definitely a hidden gem

VIEW OF AJAMI This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 Generic license.
Attribution: חדוה שנדרוביץ

Basically, Tel Aviv’s beaches offer something for everyone, embracing diversity and catering to folks from all backgrounds and walks of life. Whether you’re seeking LGBTQ-friendly vibes, a family-friendly environment, a place for your furry friend, or simply a serene getaway, Tel Aviv’s beaches have it all. Explore these coastal gems hidden in plain sight, and create unforgettable memories along the stunning shoreline of this vibrant city.

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