Tel Aviv is the second most populous city in Israel
and the country’s financial and cultural centre. The city began as a neighbourhood of the ancient port city of Jaffa in the late nineteenth century. It was officially founded in 1909, when 66 Jewish families gathered on a sand dune to parcel out land by lottery using seashells. The city was then developed as an independent Hebrew city with wide streets and boulevards, running water at each house and street lights.
The first half of the twentieth century was tumultuous for Tel Aviv, with mass immigration and emigration prompted by political shifts in Israel and in Europe. Today, the city is home to over 400,000 residents and is a cosmopolitan city with a thriving tourism industry, thanks to its beaches, parks, cafes and restaurants. Tel Aviv also has the second largest economy in the Middle East.
The city centre is characterised by the Bauhaus architecture which was brought to the city in the 1920s and 30s by German Jewish architectures who settled there after fleeing persecution in Europe. Now called ‘The White City’, this area is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Since the 1960s the city has also been home to numerous waterfront hotels and commercial skyscrapers.
As in the rest of Israel, bus transport is the most common form of public transport and is very widely used. The city is also served by local and inter-city share taxis. The Tel Aviv Central train station is the city’s main train station and there are three additional train stations along the Ayalon Highway: Tel Aviv University, HaShalom and HaHagana. The main airport serving Tel Aviv is Ben Gurion International Airport, which is located 15km south east of Tel Aviv, and serves both international flights and domestic flights. The majority of the serviced apartments Tel Aviv has to offer are near transport links of some kind.