Tel Aviv Gay Travel
wolfyy’s Tel Aviv gay guide to hotels, things to do, gay bars, clubs, parties, & beaches.
The Gay Travel Experience: Tel Aviv, Israel
Tel Aviv stole my heart in every way possible. Part of my visit was during Tel Aviv Pride in 2018. I arrived several days ahead of the pride events though, to authentically experience the city before tons of tourists poured in.
Nowhere else in the world have I met so many genuine, kind, and I must say handsome, gay men. I think many of you will agree! Where better to meet handsome friends than in gay-friendly Tel Aviv?
Tel Aviv is truly the gayest city in the Middle East. Interestingly, 25% of the city’s population identifies as gay. This high number results from many members of the LGBT community outside of Israel coming to live in Tel Aviv.
A Middle Eastern country that protects gay individuals is obviously quite attractive in a region known for the opposite. It’s one more reason that you have to experience the Tel Aviv gay scene!
Gay Tel Aviv: Hotels & Where to Stay
Tel Aviv gay travelers have various options for accommodations, from hostels to luxury hotels to vacation apartment rentals.
Hilton Beach and Old North hotels are usually travelers’ first choices. While there isn’t a true Tel Aviv gay district, the gay beach and lots of LGBT tourist activity are in this area.
I recommend this area especially for those who prefer nightlife and restaurant options that are more off-the-beaten-path and away from busy beaches.
The Hilton Tel Aviv
The Hilton Tel Aviv is the most well-known and popular hotel for gay travelers in the city. This hotel is how the adjacent local gay beach got its name!
Staying right next to Hilton Beach is absolutely perfect—you’ll be surrounded by gay men. There are also plenty of fantastic restaurants within a short walking distance.
INTA Hotel is a popular gay-friendly hotel with a boutique vibe located in Jaffa. It’s also the top recommendation of one of my Tel Aviv gay local friends!
INTA Hotel is adults-only and has a fun, intimate design, as well as a cozy roof deck. The rooms are beautiful and some include private terraces. Also, the owners of INTA are a gay couple, so you know this hotel is the perfect gay-friendly option.
Hostel OverStay Jaffa
More Tel Aviv Hotels I Recommend
Here are a few other fantastic Hotels in Tel Aviv that are highly rated and perfectly located for exploring both the city and the beaches.
Tel Aviv Vacation Rentals
Vacation apartments in central Tel Aviv tend to be quite affordable, especially considering that many offer stunning seaside views and spacious terraces.
I split a four-bedroom rental apartment with friends after a few days of traveling alone. It was located a couple of blocks from Metzitzim Beach, which is adjacent to Hilton Beach.
Our amenities included an outdoor terrace, in-unit laundry, and five beds along with the rest of the standard apartment amenities. I loved having a place to cook and enjoy huge amounts of hummus.
Tel Aviv Gay Travel Experiences
New high-rise buildings line Rothschild Boulevard, which has a wide median and a bike path. The streetscape is lovely for a walk.
Tel Aviv is very bike-friendly and has various bike routes. If you love biking, consider booking a private guided Tel Aviv bike tour.
As you approach Old Jaffa, walk toward the Clock Tower first along Yahum Goldmann Street. The waterfront in this area isn’t great so it’s best to walk through the city through here.
Choose your own route from here, but be sure to explore the narrow streets around the Mahmudiyya Mosque and St. Peter’s Church. There was nothing quite like walking through this area at sunset, feeling the local’s tie to these historic places of worship.
Shafim Water Park
Shfaim Water Park was one of my favorite experiences in Tel Aviv during pride! It’s just a short drive north out of the main city. There is a ton of space to spread out and lounge in the sun or in the shade, go on various water slides, or the wave pool.
Make sure you get tickets for the waterpark if you are going to Tel Aviv during gay pride so you don’t miss the fun!
Eat at Hakosem
Hakosem is an amazing falafel restaurant in Tel Aviv that’s particularly popular with locals. Choose from shawarma, falafel, and various veggie options. I loved their eggplant, and all the different sides were delicious, too.
You stand in line to order (they move fast!), get your drink and the staff brings your order to your table. I loved sitting on the sidewalk area. You can really connect with the city.
The Tel Aviv Gay Beach
Hilton Beach is the iconic Tel Aviv gay beach that’s consistently packed with gay travelers from all over the world each summer. It’s an absolute blast!
Local gay Israelis will come here too, even just to walk along the shore or enjoy a beer. It’s one of the best-known international gay beaches.
Arrive at the local gay beach in style with some sexy swimsuits from these popular gay swimwear brands.
The days before the main Tel Aviv Pride events were happening, there was a DJ on the beach that would announce the parties of the night every so often throughout the day.
The music was always upbeat and fun, and made for a great time with friends! Chairs and umbrellas can be rented cheaply at Hilton Beach.
Metzitzim Beach is just north of here, which has a large restaurant and bar beachfront. The Metzitzim Beach area is a bit more relaxed and more ideal for couples.
Jerusalem Beach, to the south, was a favorite of mine. There is plenty of space to spread out here as well as more robust facilities suited for families.
Shop These → Gay Beach & Pool Party Essentials
Tel Aviv Gay Bars
I got to try some of the best gay bars in Tel Aviv even though my nightlife choices revolved around Pride. Nonetheless, the city has a fantastic gay nightlife scene year-round. I wouldn’t doubt for a second that Israelis definitely love to party!
Shpagat was my first stop in Tel Aviv, a crowd-favorite gay bar known for good vibes. They play fantastic music mixes and have quite a unique setup.
Half of the space is actually a tiered staircase, while the other half has an open floor plan. On busier nights, a bunch of guys tend to stand outside on the sidewalk.
Lima Lima is another awesome gay bar in Tel Aviv that perfectly mixes dancing with an outdoor space to socialize. A huge outdoor terrace provides plenty of room and is decorated with awesome tropical jungle wall coverings. The toucan logo is pretty awesome, too.
With space along multiple bars and fast bartenders, the service at Lima Lima was much better than any other gay bar I visited in the city. Plus, the prices are super reasonable.
Dont Tell Mom (D.T.M)
One of Tel Aviv’s newest gay bars is D.T.M., which is short for “Don’t Tell Mom!” Since it wasn’t open back when I was in Tel Aviv, I’ll definitely have to try this place next time!
Tel Aviv Gay Clubs & Parties
The layout of the club was unique, something I don’t think I have ever seen before. I loved the huge outdoor space with tiered stairs and a center bar. The DJ rocked and the lighting was stellar, so I would make this place a priority if you like larger parties.
During large gay events like Pride festivals, Dreck parties will move to large venues. It seems more typical that Jimmy Who Bar & Lounge hosts the weekly party, which is actually right around the block from Lima Lima.
Tel Aviv Gay Pride 2018 Parties
I went to a party at the Convention Center to see Netta sing her famous winning Eurovision song “Toy” on my final night in Tel Aviv for Pride. If you’re going to an event here, you’re in good hands since it’s very organized and has suitable facilities.
As you may expect, everything at the Tel Aviv Convention Center is very controlled and organized. There are bars set up within as well as a decently sized food mart where you can buy snacks.
Related → Gay Prides Around the World
Tel Aviv Gay Travel Tips
Don't Forget About Shabbat
Don’t forget that Saturday is Shabbat and many establishments are closed. When I visited, the city came to a halt except for a few local food spots as well as chain convenience stores.
But, some restaurants do stay open. There are still plenty of things to do in Tel Aviv on Shabbat, mostly the beach!
Taking Taxis in Tel Aviv
Taxi cabs in Tel Aviv can try to take advantage of tourists by price gouging, especially on Shabbat.
I’ve experienced getting ripped off by cabs in various cities, but nothing was as extreme as in Tel Aviv. To avoid this, download the “Gett Taxi” application and order a metered cab.
Cabs will often refuse to use their meter and charge triple to quadruple (yes, quadruple) the price to those in need of a taxi, especially so at special events.
Drivers are very friendly and safe; however, I recommend keeping your hard-earned cash and passing up bad prices.
Israel LGBT Rights
Israel is undoubtedly the most tolerant Middle Eastern country. The LGBT community thrives here. Gay men and women are allowed to adopt children jointly, as of a 2008 ruling.
Israel also allows LGBT people to serve openly in the military. Israel was the first country in Asia to recognize any type of same-sex union by recognizing the cohabitation of same-sex partners.
A 2013 Pew Research Center study found that in 2013, 40% of Israelis supported homosexuality. For reference, support at that time was 16% in Russia, 60% in the United States, and 88% in Spain.
For more inspiration, explore wolfyy’s full collection of gay travel guides.
For additional resources and planned events, head to the official Visit Tel Aviv website.