“I’m feelin’ easy, the ocean breeze be carrying me, I’m Tel Aviv’n.” Matisyahu,“Tel Aviv’n”
Often referred to as the “State of Tel Aviv,” this vibrant city on the beach is a modern, liberal haven in the midst of a conservative, contentious region. Paradoxically, Tel Aviv manages to effortlessly combine its laissez-faire, easy-going lifestyle with a bustling, fast-paced high tech industry, attracting both young Israelis and internationals looking to spend their afternoons in the sun while still involved with ambitious start-ups. Regardless of how you spend your days, everyone in the city convenes at the countless cafés, bars, and clubs at night to enjoy this youthful and free-spirited city.
Founded in 1909, Tel Aviv now attracts more than 2.5 million visitors annually and is home to 3.7 million people in its metropolitan area. As the economic hub of Israel, a country with a higher concentration of tech start-ups than anywhere else in the world outside of Silicon Valley, Tel Aviv (and Herzliya, its close neighbor to the North) is home to many entrepreneurs and techies. With an abundance of students and a plethora of both young and established companies, the so-called “Silicon Wadi” is a hot bed for innovation.
That’s not to say people in Tel Aviv don’t know how to have fun. In recent years, much attention has been given to the city’s nightlife: in 2011 the Lonely Planet travel guide ranked it the third best city in the world, exclaiming, “There are more bars than synagogues, God is a DJ and everyone’s body is a temple.”
The city is less than an hour’s drive from both Jerusalem and Haifa and located in the center of Israel’s coastal region. With beautiful beaches, great nightlife, and some of the country’s best universities nearby, it is no surprise that one third of the city’s residents are between the ages of 18-35—and not too bad looking, either.