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Time Out ranks Tel Aviv as world’s ‘funnest’ city, 8th-best overall

Global culture magazine’s survey puts Israel’s second-largest city at No.2 in food & drink category, says it is metropolis most likely to be described as ‘good for people like me’

Israelis at the beach in Tel Aviv, on June 8, 2021. (Miriam Alster/Flash90)
Israelis at the beach in Tel Aviv, on June 8, 2021. (Miriam Alster/Flash90)

Tel Aviv has been ranked as the “funnest” city, and the eighth-best overall, out of the 37 “best cities” around the world, according to a survey released on Thursday by the London-based Time Out magazine.

The global culture and events publication sought out the opinions of almost 27,000 city-dwellers on food, culture, nightlife, community, neighborhoods, overall happiness and other factors in their own cities, such as community projects, green spaces and sustainability.

While ranking Tel Aviv eighth overall, the magazine said that Israel’s second-largest city had scored highest in the “fun” category, second in the food and drink category, and was the city most likely to be described as “good for people like me.”

“When COVID hit tourism, this high-tech hub hit the Reset button,” Time Out wrote. “The pandemic caused the ‘city that never stops’ to take a well-needed pause. Spaces like Dizengoff Square and Park HaMesila played host to picnics, gigs, screenings and talks. After the lockdowns, Israel led the vaccination race and before long locals were back sipping cappuccinos in cafes and doing yoga on the beach.”

The magazine said 81 percent of Tel Aviv residents say that their city is “fun” and 84% say that they can “express themselves,” adding that the city “is home to the region’s biggest Pride Parade, the widest choice of vegan options, and its nightlife always offers a real alternative.”

A September 2018 Time Out survey ranked Tel Aviv’s Shuk Hapishpeshim (flea market) area as the 16th-coolest neighborhood in the world. This year’s ranking noted the city’s Carmel Market as “the pulsating heart of the city.”

Israelis shop at the Carmel Market in Tel Aviv, on March 1, 2021. (Miriam Alster/Flash90)

Coastal Tel Aviv, nicknamed the “White City” for its thousands of Bauhaus-style buildings, placed between seventh-place Prague in the Czech Republic and ninth-place Porto in northwest Portugal

It was the highest-ranked city in the Middle East, with Dubai coming in 26th and Abu Dhabi in 30th place.

San Francisco took top spot, followed by Holland’s Amsterdam and Manchester, in northern England. Bangkok closed the list in 37th place.

Tel Aviv was founded in 1909, nearly 40 years before the establishment of the State of Israel, by a few dozen families who divided up the available land using a lottery drawn with sea shells. Today, it has a population of over 460,000 people.

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