If you’ve got a midday afternoon free on your Tel Aviv visit, an outdoor cafe lunch and a trip to a museum is a great way to fill the empty space. There are over 30 museums in Tel Aviv to choose from, some a short walk or a short cab ride away. ILMuseums.com has a list of every museum in Israel. I can personally recommend a few: The Palmach, The Diaspora, The Tel Aviv Museum of Art, and the Ben Gurion House.
Currently, the Tel Aviv Museum of Art is hosting a classic American car show. I visited the museum with my good friend Becca, both of us from a mid-sized town, Fresno, the agricultural and geographical center of California. Upon looking at the exhibit, both us had the same thought: classic car shows along the town’s main drag on hot summer nights was something that made our hometown home to us. And here we were, thousands of miles away looking on at other travelers, many of them Israeli, oohing and aahing over cars that are beautiful in the American sort of way that you don’t see in Israel. Ever.
First stop was looking for Chagall. The museum featured a few paintings from many prominent artists in addition to Chagall like Piacasso, Monet, Dali, Van Gogh. Pictures are strictly forbidden, but we tried to snap a mini-pic with an iPhone. After getting caught, we were ushered to another exhibit. There was an entire exhibit on miniature rooms from different periods: The Swiss Home of the 1700’s, an Italian Renaissance living room, a German bedroom.
Another exhibit were sculptures of dancers and horses, men and women walking. The names were quite plain: Woman with right leg forward hand on hip. We made a game out of guessing what they were titled.
Like many art museums, the Tel Aviv Museum of Art had a children’s section, which we found most enjoyable. There were opportunities to express oneself in many different ways. To compare the scribblings of an artist with the photograph of a person the artist had scribbled was more difficult than we anticipated; we got many wrong, due to faults of our own, not the artist, of course. Children could color, draw, and keep their creations.
There are more exhibits, some wildly huge and different, otherwise classic and indicative of fine art history, but those are for you to discover when you visit.
All of that artistic discovery and discussion had made us hungry. We headed up the road to Greg’s Cafe, an Israeli chain that has a huge variety to choose from. But we were intrigued by this sign:
15 shekels for a sandwich? In Tel Aviv, that’s unheard of! We added an iced coffee for 9 shekels and got out of there spending under 50 shekels for lunch for two people! The daily special was good(tuna sandwich) and cheap, which made us happy and able to walk back down Ibn Givriol Street to Iceberg, a new ice cream shop featuring crazy types of ice cream. Who wants to try tomato?
And as I always suggest, if there’s time left in your day, head down to the beach to watch the sunset. It never gets old.