Gay Tel Aviv: Beaches, Boys and Beyond

Author: , July 22nd, 2014

Tel Aviv - Apple Maps
Once named the “gayest city in the world” by GayCities.com travelers, Tel Aviv continues to position itself as one of the premier destinations for gay travel across the world. With 16 beaches, exciting nightlife, delicious places to eat, and exquisite gay-owned accommodations, there are many reasons travelers flock to the city each year. And this doesn’t even begin to mention the absolutely gorgeous men and women that call Tel Aviv home.

When I first had the opportunity to visit Tel Aviv and surrounding areas, I was not sure what to expect. I had travelled extensively throughout Europe and other countries, but never the Middle East. From the time I touched down and was walking through Ben Gurion airport, however, all concerns were out the window. The airport process is smooth and transportation abundant to be whisked away to your lodging of choice. About 12 miles from the city, you have the opportunity to take in the beauty of Israel as you drive into Tel Aviv. Once in the city, you will find transportation very easy, with many neighborhoods being walkable and an extensive public bus system called Dan.

Having spent two weeks there recently, I was able to really explore the city and all its cultural beauties in addition to the abundant nightlife and beach scene. Here are some of the places I would be sure not to miss as you book your Tel Aviv gaycation.

By Gregory Kiep – Full Story at Edge Boston | Israel Gay Travel Resources

Image via Apple Maps

Going Gay Tel Aviv

Author: , June 18th, 2014

Gay Tel Aviv - Chad Kaydo

via Chad Kaydo

Maybe it’s the fine white sand of the beaches. Or the calm, warm Mediterranean. It could be all the Bauhaus architecture, the white boxes with their rounded corners. Or the weather, and how the dry heat of the daytime cools to that perfect after-dark temperature, so that you feel comfortable in however much or little you choose to wear at night. Or perhaps it’s the strapping Israeli men.

Whatever the reason, Tel Aviv has become a top gay destination, popping up on gay travel lists and drawing people from around the world for its Pride festivities the second weekend in June. (This year’s parade is June 13.)

A few days before the big parade, considered the largest Pride gathering in Asia, you might walk out of your hotel and spot four cute twentysomething guys on the sidewalk. Where are they headed? To Drek, a pop music party in a club near Dizengoff Square. Maybe you’ll check it out later, after hitting the city’s two most popular gay bars–Evita, the oldest, and Shpagat, a hipper spot–where you’ll easily fall into conversations with visitors from London, Copenhagen, St. Petersburg, Panama City, and Berlin. (Indeed, if you do make it to Drek, you’ll learn, regardless of the boys’ homelands, that they all know the language of pop divas.)

By Chad Kaydo – Full Story at Dot 429 | Israel Gay Travel Resources

Gay Tel Aviv: Dizengoff Fountain

Author: , May 18th, 2014

gay travel, gay tel aviv, israel, dizengoff fountainPart of my not-so-regular, recurring travel photo series… this time last year I was preparing for a trip to Tel Aviv for gay pride so I thought it fitting to share photos of one of my favorite places in Tel Aviv: Dizengoff Square.

I used to live a few short blocks away from Dizengoff Square so found myself spending a lot of time there during my summer living in Israel. The square is near a lot of the activity in this part of Tel Aviv, steps from the city’s Bauhaus Center off Frishman Avenue. Also in the area is a weekly flea market and Tel Aviv’s best gay club, Dreck, so it’s just generally a cool place to be.

At the center of Dizengoff Square is the colorful Fire and Water Fountain by Israeli artist Yaacov Agam, dedicated in 1986.

Authored by Adam Groffman. See the Full Story at Travels of Adam here.

Adam’s Blog | Gay Tel Aviv / Israel Travel Resources

A First Timer’s Guide to Gay Pride in Tel Aviv

Author: , May 8th, 2014

Tel Aviv - Apple Maps

from Apple Maps

We’ve showed you how to experience the best of Tel Aviv on a shoestring budget — but for those of you traveling there next month, a bit more guidance is in order. Tel Aviv Pride, which takes place June 8-14, is one of the world’s largest pride celebrations (over 100,000 celebrants made it out last year). And not just that: it’s a fantastic opportunity to see the city’s most vibrant bars, beaches, and restaurants come alive. Here, a few essential spots to add to your list:

Eden House: A renovated 19th century townhouse in the heart of Kerem HaTemaneim beckons travelers of all stripes. The 12 rooms, all fitted out in retro-Victorian decor, include an “Economy” category, which sells for as low as $79 a night. Downstairs, there’s a Tea Room inspired by the owner’s Russian grandmother, where you can fuel up on caffeine before the festivities.

By Alex Schechter – Shermans Travel | Israel Gay Travel Resources | Other Gay Travel Events

Daytrips from Tel Aviv

Author: , April 9th, 2014

Tel Aviv - Apple Maps

from Apple Maps

With its small land mass and relatively easy public transportation system, Israel lends itself to quick, mad-dash side-trips for those intent on seeing as much of the country as possible in a short amount of time. Of course, you could easily spend weeks leisurely making your way up and down the Mediterranean coast, stopping in at desert-surrounded kibbutz-style hotels and remote mountain towns along the way. Or book a vacation package, like the one featured in our Top 25 this week, which takes you all over the country. But for those who find themselves in Tel Aviv, here are three easy day trips reachable in 45 minutes, 1 hour, or 1.5 hours from the bustling capital:

45 minutes away…

Ten miles outside of Jerusalem (which lies an hour east of Tel Aviv), the Cramim Resort & Spa, a chic new property with 155 modern rooms overlooking the rolling Judean Hills, has been an oasis for nature-seeking travelers since opening in late 2013 . The outdoor pool, indoor pool, Turkish hamam, wine bar, and wide list of activities (yoga, hiking, wine tastings) make it a great stopover for folks in need of a nature retreat while making their way between Israel’s two main cities; and if it’s just some quick vino-therapy you need, the spa experts at Cramim are happy to oblige.

Authored By Alex Schechter – See the Full Story at Sherman’s Travel

Click here for gay travel resources in Israel.

Texas Groups Planning Trip to Tel Aviv Pride

Author: , November 20th, 2013

Tel Aviv - Apple Maps

from Apple Maps

The Jewish Community Centers of Dallas, Austin and Houston are organizing an LGBT trip to Israel for Tel Aviv Pride celebration.

Dallas’ LGBT synagogue Congregation Beth El Binah and Houston’s Jewish LGBT group Keshet are co-sponsors of the June 8–20 trip that coincides with Tel Aviv Pride.

Tel Aviv is known as the gay capital of the Middle East. The city’s LGBT population has grown to an estimated 20 percent as the city has become a refuge for many of Russia’s persecuted gay population. American Airlines named Tel Aviv best gay city in 2011.

The Pride parade takes place on Friday, June 8.

See the Full Story at the Dallas Voice

Click here for gay travel resources in Israel.

Getting the Most for Your Buck in Tel Aviv

Author: , July 17th, 2013

Tel Aviv - Apple Maps

from Apple Maps

Israel’s buzzing metropolis of Tel Aviv has been trending for a while now – proving many travelers aren’t put off by the city’s high cost of visiting. But the Israeli hub isn’t just for deep-pocketed tourists. We’ve sussed out a few ways to enjoy this beach town on a budget…

Recently opened in June, the AL Boutique Hotel is a tiny, 11-room boutique hotel housed in a historic building from the 1930s (its previous function was a philosophy school). Each room is elegantly furnished with light wood paneling, glass-topped nightstands and crushed leather armchairs; even better, the Wi-Fi is free. Breakfast is included in the rate (from $230/night), and guests have access to a wine bar, cafe, and Garden Patio.

Spend an afternoon gathering edible souvenirs at the bustling Levinski Market, one of the city’s most popular shuks, or open-air markets. Spread across five blocks on Levinski, the area serves two purposes: grocery store and social hub. You can leave the credit card in your wallet, as many of the family-owned spice kiosks, bakeries, and tiny coffee shops are cash-only. Not that you’ll be spending a fortune anyway: a single slab of Turkish halvah typically goes for just 4 shekels (about $1.10).

Authored By Alex Schecter – See the Full Story at Sherman’s Travel

Click here for gay travel resources in Israel.

Tel Aviv Celebrates Its Biggest Gay Pride Parade Ever

Author: , June 9th, 2013

Tel Aviv Gay Pride 2013Tel Aviv’s pride celebration was its largest yet, with over 100K people participating. Gay Star News reports:

Tel Aviv’s 15th annual gay Pride parade kicked off earlier today with well over 100,000 participants. The event commenced at 1pm local time, and was the culmination of Israel’s Pride Month events, with tens of thousands of LGBT tourists arriving to participate. Gay marriage was highlighted in an event in Meir Park just before pride, where thousands gathered at makeshift mock gay wedding.

Gay Star News has more photos at the link above.

Eyal Feldman at BoyButter has more on Tel Aviv as a gay friendly destination:

Tel Aviv has been titled the gay capital of the Middle East. Some would even go as far as calling it the newest gay capital of Europe, due to all the European tourists flocking in all year round, but especially during this period, in honor of the city’s gay pride week.

Nadav Peretz, Founder of ‘Fabulous Israel’, Boutique Gay Travel: “In the past 5 years we see big numbers, thousands of gay tourists; from the United States and Europe come to Israel. Every summer we see a growing number of those tourists who come here, that they want to enjoy Tel Aviv. Tel Aviv is the highlight of gay Israel, it was chosen in a few gay magazines as one of the number one destination for gays in the world, not only for the good looking guys that we have here in Tel Aviv and in Israel, and the beautiful beach that we have in Tel Aviv, and of course the people of Tel Aviv that are very open and liberal and they accept the gay people, not only those in Tel Aviv but those who come from abroad to Israel.”

And Queerty has more photos of the city:

Despite the headlines about the Mid-East conflict, believe that gay people in this city are out and proud. Tel Aviv even has an LGBT Community Center. The 50,000 gay travelers who visited the city during the past year are obviously enchanted and telling friends as the number of vacationing gays is expected double in 2014. As thousands of people in the Israeli hot spot celebrates pride weekend, scroll through for some photos of this fascinating city.

Click here for gay travel resources in Israel.

Tel Aviv, Israel – Rising Gay Travel Hot-Spot

Author: , February 21st, 2013
Tel Aviv Men

Photo Credit Kobby Dagan

Tel Aviv has been getting a lot of attention over the last year as a rising gay travel mecca. The Daily Beast adds its two cents, discussing gay TV exec Scott Perlmutter’s recent trip:

Perlmutter and his friends spent the entire 10-day trip in Tel Aviv, never leaving the city limits. They went to the gay beach, partied at gay bars and nightclubs, even stayed at a gay hotel, one of several that have popped up around the city in recent years. But perhaps the biggest draw, according to Perlmutter, was the never-ending supply of good-looking men. “My neck almost twisted off from looking at them,” Perlmutter says, laughing. “I had a $500 phone bill from all the pictures of hot men I sent to my friends back home.”

Things have changed, as Perelmutter explains:

“Last time I was in Israel, back in the ’80s, the airport was a field with some planes on it,” says Perlmutter. “There was barely a tarmac.” He was shocked to discover that not only has the city’s airport undergone a billion-dollar facelift (Ben-Gurion was recently named the third-best airport in the Middle East, after Dubai and Abu Dhabi, by the Airport Service Quality Awards, the Oscars of the airport industry) but Tel Aviv itself was unrecognizable.

The Beast explains the change.

Four years ago, the straight mayor of Tel Aviv, Ron Huldai, realized his city had all the necessary ingredients to become a leading gay tourist destination: warm weather, pristine beaches, a vibrant nightlife, a thriving gay community, and some of the most beautiful men on the planet. The problem was, Tel Aviv wasn’t known as a gay town. A study commissioned by the mayor’s office showed gay tourists were more inclined to go to cities like Barcelona or Berlin rather than Israel, a country they associated with religion and war. So the mayor had an idea: brand Tel Aviv as its own separate entity.

ETravelBlackboard chimes in:

The second largest city in Israel behind Jerusalem, Tel Aviv has quickly grown to become one of the world’s leading gay travel hotspots. According to the Times of Israel, the city estimates over 50,000 LGBT travellers will land on its shores this year, a figure forecast to double in 2014. And with its blend of beautiful beaches and thriving nightlife, it isn’t hard to see why the city has fallen under the spotlight of gay tourism.

And Travel Weekly has the skinny on a new batch of gay-friendly hotels in Tel Aviv:

Tel Aviv, whose lodging industry has long been marked by a wall of large, branded hotels along the Mediterranean, has more recently experienced an influx of small, independent boutique hotels catering to the growing number of younger tourists and business professionals visiting Israel. During the past three years, about 20 boutique hotels in the 10- to 60-room range have opened on or near Tel Aviv’s Rothschild Boulevard in the city’s center, spurring last month’s launch of the website TelAvivBoutiqueHotels.com.

If you’re thinking about going someplace new this year, why not check out Tel Aviv?

Tel Aviv, Israel’s Hot Gay Travel Destination

Author: , January 24th, 2013

Last summer, Scott Perlmutter, a 44-year-old gay TV executive from Los Angeles, went on a 10-day vacation to Mykonos–a tiny, gay-friendly island off the coast of Greece. Among the dizzying array of skimpy Speedos, ridiculously fit men, and breathtaking sunsets, Perlmutter was so high on life, he had to look down to see heaven.

Like many of his gay friends, Perlmutter is a travel fanatic. His yearly trips are carefully planned months in advance and include a mixture of fun and culture. In just the last few years, he’s been to Rio de Janeiro, Buenos Aires, Amsterdam, and Berlin. He’s even gone on a lavish gay cruise to Italy.

But when his trendy (and, more relevantly, non-Jewish) friends suggested Tel Aviv as their next destination, Perlmutter thought they were a bit meshugah–out of their minds.

Authored By Itay Hod – See the Full Story at The Daily beast

Find more articles and gay travel resources in Israel.