In a country that is chock full of historic sites that span three faiths and 3,000 years, Tel Aviv represents the modern front of Israel. Founded as recently as 1909, the city is a top destination for the gay community, party central for young Israelites, and a haven for beach lovers from across the country.
Despite its relatively modern origins, Tel Aviv has some interesting historical sites and attractions as well. The White City area is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and has the largest concentration of Bauhaus-style architecture of anywhere in the world. Bialik Square leads to several of Tel Aviv's museums and art galleries and even if you're not in school anymore, make time to visit the beautifully landscaped campus of Tel Aviv University.
From biblical history at Jaffa Port, to flea markets where you can shop for cheap trinkets all day long, to some of the richest neighbourhoods in the country, Tel Aviv's contradictory nature is what makes it such an exciting destination to fly to.
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Ben-Gurion International Airport (TLV) is the main airport for Tel Aviv as well as the rest of Israel and is located about 15 kilometres away from the city centre. Air Canada and El Al both have direct flights to Tel Aviv from Toronto but if you've got the time to make a stop over, there are plenty of other airlines flying to the city including Lufthansa, United, Continental, British Airways, and Delta.
Sde Dov is Tel Aviv's second airport which is served by domestic flights only.
Israel is an extremely popular tourist destination and as the country's second largest city, Tel Aviv is usually full of visitors throughout the year. Summers are especially busy with spillover tourist traffic from Jerusalem, and although temperatures in Tel Aviv are cooler because of the coastal breezes from the Mediterranean, summers in the city can still get quite hot with temperatures often going up to approximately 35°C. Winters are pleasant, but if you want the best of warm days and slightly fewer crowds on the beaches, book Tel Aviv flights in fall or spring.
Ben-Gurion International Airport (TLV) has two terminals —Terminal 1 for domestic services and Terminal 3 for international flights to Tel Aviv. If you're wondering where Terminal 2 is, it no longer exists. It was demolished years ago to clear the way for Terminal 3.
There are plenty of ways to travel from the airport into the city and you can find additional details on these ground transportation options by visiting the airport's website.
Bus: There is no direct bus connection from the airport to Tel Aviv. Buses run by Egged connect Airport City, located ten minutes away from TLV, with the city centre and you can take buses on Route Number 5 from TLV to get to the bus stop at Airport City. Tickets for this route will cost approximately $3 CAD, and you will also have to purchase another ticket at Airport City for your connecting bus.
Train: The train station is conveniently located on Level S of the airport's Landside Building. Trains from the airport will take you to the city centre in about 20 minutes and one-way fares cost approximately $4 CAD. There are plenty of discounts available for students, children, the elderly, and disabled persons, so be sure to take advantage of these if you're eligible.
Hotel Shuttle: Although some hotels provide a complimentary shuttle service from the airport, you will need to confirm the time and pick-up location with your hotel before you travel.
Taxi: The dispatch desk for cabs from TLV is located on Level G of Terminal 3, near Exit Gate Number 3. You can request a 'special fare' taxi which will take only you and your party to your destination or share a cab with passengers travelling to the same destination or neighbourhoods as you. If you've pre-ordered a cab, a meeting point for these taxis is located near Exit Gate Number 2.
Rates for special fare cabs from the airport to neighbourhoods in Tel Aviv range between $35-40 CAD. There are also additional charges for suitcases and travelling with more than two passengers in one cab.
Car Rental: Companies like Avis, Budget, Hertz, Eldan, and Sixt operate booking counters at the airport and these are located on the first floor of the Eastern Gallery in the Greeter's Hall. These counters operate 24/7 and there is a free shuttle service from Terminal 3's Level G to the rental car parking area.
Other: You can book limousines, tour buses, and other specialized transport services from companies like Tour Bus Ltd. Tall Limousine, Sashir, and others. Most of these have booking kiosks at the airport, but it is best to call and book in advance to ensure you get your vehicle or service of choice.