Tel Aviv is a Top Gay Destination
If you’re searching for a vibrant, lively gay-friendly city to visit with guaranteed sunshine for most of the year, Tel Aviv is the ideal destination. The city’s sandy beaches on the shores of the Mediterranean, speedo-clad sexy Israeli men, extravagant Pride festival, and gay rights earn Tel Aviv the moniker of the “Gay Capital of the Middle East.”
The city has a gay-friendly vibe and it’s common to see gay men holding hands while walking down the main Rothschild boulevard, gay dads strolling with their children on Dizengoff St., and men kissing in public on Tel Aviv’s iconic Hilton gay beach.
Everyone in the city speaks English well, and Tel Aviv locals are proud of their city and eager to help tourists asking for directions and tips on where to go.
As one of the hottest gay spots in the world, the city holds an annual over-the-top Tel Aviv Gay Pride march and festival, with tens of thousands of proud people from all around the globe converging to march together through the streets and show their pride.
Gay Tel Aviv Attractions
Tel Aviv Beaches
With abundant sunshine and beach weather for most of the year, Tel Avivis like to stay fit. The promenade or “Tayelet” as the locals call it, spans from the ancient city of Jaffa in the south all the way to the north of the city past the Port of Tel Aviv.
If you’re an early bird, kick off your morning running with the shirtless locals on the Tayelet along the blue Mediterranean Sea. If you’re not such a fitness nut, you can also take it down a notch and have a morning stroll. Enjoy a gentle breeze from the Mediterranean and drool over the local topless eye candy! Start by Gordon and Frishman Beaches and waoutbulk north until you hit Hilton Beach.
Hilton Gay Beach
Tel Aviv’s gay beach is adjacent to the Hilton Hotel. To get there, you can either enter through the park from Yarkon St. and Arlozorov St. by Hilton Hotel and approach the sea from above with a breathtaking view. Walk down to the right and you’ll see rainbow-covered pagodas on the beach. You can also walk along the Tayelet until you see the beach. You’ll notice all the sexy men in their speedos.
During gay Pride there is a DJ set up on the beach and information stands about parties, booking day trips, and other information.
The water at Hilton Beach has many jagged rocks—especially in front of the rainbow pagodas. Only enter into the water from in front of the lifeguard stand as there are no rocks in that area. You’ll thank us.
Tel Aviv Gay Pride
Pride in Tel Aviv is all about community. Unlike in other cities worldwide, all people are encouraged to march through the streets of Tel Aviv to show that they’re out and proud. Gay pride flags line most of the city’s main streets and city hall at Rabin Square shows it’s pride colors.
Tel Aviv Gay Pride March
The pride march starts by the LGBT Center in Meir Park, down Bograshov St., and along the Mediterranean Sea.
The march ends at a huge festival at Charles Clore Park with live performances, DJs and food stands. The march and festival are family friendly and wheelchair accessible.
Watch Video of Tel Aviv Gay Pride to get you in the mood.
Tel Aviv Gay Nightlife
Tel Aviv is known for its nightlife, although you won’t find many gay bars in the city. There have been ones that have popped up over the years, but they have all since shuttered. Instead, each night of the week, gay Tel Avivis typically go to a different party in a different location. You can see a full updated list of gay parties in English on Atraf.com, which also doubles as a dating/ hook-up site for locals.
The party festivals and weekend nightlife is dominated by two amazing party lines, Forever Tel Aviv and FFF. These party lines throw regular parties at one of Tel Aviv’s iconic clubs, HaOman 17. Local and international DJs take the stage at HaOman 17. The mega club has a massive main floor, a large second room and an outdoor area. Thousands of sweaty shirtless revelers pack into this legendary club to hear the sounds of Sagi Kariv, Offer Nissim and other famous DJs.
For Pride and other holidays, these party lines throw the large parties that attract big name DJs and gay revelers from around the world. Make sure to get your party passes in advance as they typically sell out or are much more expensive at the door.
Tel Aviv Architecture and Neighborhoods
As Tel Aviv is an intimate and gay-friendly city, there is no single gayborhood like in other larger cities. There are large concentrations of gay men that live throughout the central neighborhoods of the city that straddle Dizengoff St. and Rothschild Blvd, but there is no one dominant neighborhood. Recently, many gay men have been moving to the more affordable Florentine and Shapira neighborhoods in the south of the city.
The municipality of Tel Aviv’s LGBT Center (site in Hebrew, use Google Translate) is located in Gan Meir. There is a lovely cafe with outdoor seating at the center that provides a lush green respite from the city’s urban hustle and bustle. Tel Aviv’s LGBT center was founded by the city in 2008 under the premise that every person regardless of age, race, or gender has the right to live freely. The LGBT Center provides services for the LGBT community and focuses on six main areas: cultural activities, social/support groups, empowerment of community organizations, support services, education, and a safe environment.
Bauhaus and “The White City”
Tel Aviv is a recognized UNESCO Heritage Site due to the the high concentration of original Bauhaus buildings. The streamlined structures, which are traditionally painted white, gave Tel Aviv the name “The White City.” There are walking tours that point out architecturally significant Bauhaus buildings on the main boulevards of the city.
One of the best ways to experience the city is by walking Rothschild Boulevard, one of Tel Aviv’s most important streets, and get the real feel of becoming a local Tel Avivi. Get lost on the boulevard’s intimate side streets lush with greenery and you’ll find hidden gems, spectacular Bauhaus and Eclectic style buildings and trendy cafés.
Neve Tzedek, the First Neighborhood of Tel Aviv
The first neighborhood of Tel Aviv is Neve Tzedek. It has a unique look and feel from the rest of the city with its own architecture. Its small streets and pathways are full of adorable boutique shops, ice cream parlors, wine bars and cafes. While here make sure to have brunch in the courtyard of Dallal or dinner under the massive tree at Suzana across the street.
Take a stroll through the grounds of the Suzanne Dallal Center. This is the home of the world-renowned Batsheva Dance Company, one of the foremost contemporary dance companies in the world.
Old City of Jaffa
Before Tel Aviv, there was Jaffa. Just how old is Jaffa? Archaeologists have found evidence that it was settled in 7500 BCE. There are references to this ancient city in the Bible and in Greek Mythology. The Old City of Jaffa is located in the south of Tel Aviv perched on the sea. The top of the hill in HaMidron Park offers the best panorama sea views of Tel Aviv.
Wander through the streets and alleyways of the old city and you’ll find private residences, restaurants and art galleries. Walk down towards the port where you’ll find restaurants serving the freshest fish caught that day. Stop for dinner at the hip art-restaurant-performance space, Container, where there is often live music performances.
Day Trips in Israel and Jordan
Although the modern city of Tel Aviv was only founded in 1909, it’s close proximity to many historical cities and sites make it a perfect home base for day trips across Israel. You can even venture to the ancient ruins of Petra in Jordan for a spectacular day-trip adventure—think the closing scene from Indiana Jone and the Last Crusade.
Jerusalem, rich with history and culture, is only an hour and a half from Tel Aviv and a necessary stop for every tourist. To get the most out of the holy city, it’s best to go with a knowledgeable and organized gay tour company like OUTstanding Travel. Not only is an organized gay tour a great way to learn more about the city, but it’s also a great way to meet new friends from around the world. The tours are all led by certified guides and they have a mix of packages so you can maximize your vacation.
And of course, no trip to Israel is complete without a photo of you floating in the salty Dead Sea—the lowest point on earth.
The mud in the Dead Sea is rich in minerals to promote healthy skin. It’s also a great excuse to have your new friend lather it all over each other.