February 7, 2018

Five ways to get creative in Tel Aviv

Israel isn’t necessarily the first place you think of when thinking of holiday destinations to top up your creative inspiration as well as your sun tan. But in Tel Aviv, armed with a camera and an empty stomach you can find both in buckets.

Here are five ways our Creative team discovered inspiration and food for thought in Israel’s contemporary capital of cool; Tel Aviv.

1. Hang around with the locals 

Old friends who had made Aliyah, (the name for moving permanently to Israel from another country) came in handy, but it wouldn’t be hard to find a friendly face. The vibe is laid-back, with residents sipping on their blended iced coffees and picking from an endless supply of salads to stuff their pittas with whilst smoking marijuana and petting their dogs. The crowds at each niche spot all had a striking resemblance. Laid back, young, trendy, chain smokers in touch with hype streetwear and in love with their dogs.

Best for inspiring…Street style photography: Levinski street

Tip: Head to Rip n Dip streetwear boutique to purchase some of the best Israeli street wear

2. Rave until 7am

Bars and clubs are plenty in central Tel Aviv and open until very late. Things don’t get started until around midnight so be sure to take a short nap before heading out on the town. From chilled bohemian acoustic vibes to electronic and trance, the Israelis definitely know how to party. Head to The Block located in the middle of the Tel-Aviv central bus terminal for inspiration. With two rooms to choose from (one conveniently named ‘the squat’), comparisons can be made to London’s infamous Fabric.

NB: At 7am you may find yourself craving some Tahini-smothered carbs, but luckily several late night spots can easily be found along the central Tel Aviv strip.

Best for inspiring…a new take on all night raving: The Block or Alphabet

Tip: The Block have a strict no phones on the dance floor policy so be sure to catch a quick snap of the neon entrance sign

3. Search the Shukh like the locals

Souvenirs can inspire memories of a culture or trip once you’re back at home. For a memento of Tel Aviv, head down to The ‘Shukh’ the downtown open market. Accurately described by locals as “a place where you can get anything!”, it’s always heaving with people on the lookout for trinkets, electronics, cheap knock-offs, dried fruits, meat, fish, nuts and more. See what catches your eye amongst the bustling market.

Best for inspiring…tastebuds: Baklava

 Tip: This layered pastry coated in sugar syrup and pistachio nuts will fuel your creative taste palette. Top marks to the king of baklava.

The King of Baklava

4. Drawing city lines

Generally architecture around the city is made up of worn boxy apartment buildings, with independent food and bad retail stores occupying street level – trying to grab people’s attention with gaudy neon signs.

This poses an interesting aesthetic for photographers, particularly with the abundance of street art. At every corner there is something new to capture – from political memes to intricate Hebrew calligraphy, the language makes for stunning imagery.

A handful of buildings stand out amongst the crowd, most notably the contemporary art museum. An angular metal exterior and a large central, geometrically futuristic atrium allows the building to flood with light, showcasing the scale of the museum. With over ten different rooms to wander around you certainly get bang for your buck (or Sheckle as the Israelis’ say) from Van Gogh to Monet to Lichtenstein all the greats are present, speckled with emerging talents such as Robin Rhode.

Best for inspiring…artistic architecture design: Contemporary Art Museum

Tip: Get futuristic whilst contemplating Monet

Contemporary Art Museum Atrium

5. Let your eyes be as big as your stomach

Practice the Israeli millennials’ craze of ‘bang-bang’; the art of taking a dish from one food spot and adding to it at the next. There’s no limit, so see what creative dish you can make up (like our gigantic schnitzel falafel flatbread). Luckily there’s a beautiful beach to walk off the extra pounds. It stretches to the ancient city of Yafo – a stepped cobbled town that has a rich religious history.

Best for inspiring…cuisine culture: Tel Aviv Beach

Tip: Pick your timing; head towards sunset to get a magnificent view of one of the oldest towns in Israel, Yafo

Sunset over Yafo

Written by Eden Tarn, Unity Creative and founder of streetwear label Kuki London