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Originally published on Rich Vein Travel.
Tel Aviv in Israel is an LGBT paradise. With a range of LGBT events and activities, including Tel Aviv Pride, it’s the perfect holiday destination for gay travellers. On a holiday to Tel Aviv, you’ll find gay bars, and club nights across the city, gay-friendly beaches, and LGBT-friendly hotels such as the Brown TLV Urban Hotel. Although there is no one gay district or gay street in Tel Aviv, this is a testament to the open and welcoming nature of its people. And because of this, Tel Aviv has earned a reputation for being the “gay Mecca of the Middle East”. Secular, liberal and friendly, Tel Aviv should be at the top of your travel bucket list this year. For our LGBT guide to Tel Aviv continue reading this blog post!
LGBT nightlife in Tel Aviv
The gay scene in Tel Aviv is one of the main reasons why Tel Aviv has such a fantastic reputation as a party capital. One reason gay nightlife in Tel Aviv is so exciting is that a significant number of LGBT parties, events and club nights can be found throughout the city, at weekly parties, rather than at specific bars or clubs. This does not mean that LGBT-only clubs and bars do not exist, but it just means that there’s a lot of options to choose from.
LGBT Club Nights
Some LGBT club nights happen weekly, whilst some occur once a month, or during a particular season. There are often several LGBT club nights per night so you will be spoilt for choice. At the time of writing (2019), this is what a typical week of LGBT club nights in Tel Aviv looks like –
- Monday: Head to the Drama Bar for a lesbian-friendly night called Seveneleven on Nahalat Binyamin 52.
- Tuesday: Visit La Bohème for “Full House Tuesdays” or “Werk” at Desire Bar and enjoy a night with drag queens and live performances
- Wednesday: Dreck gay nights hold a weekly LGBT event at the Jimmy Who Club.
- Thursday: Make your way to the Morse Club, for a Tinofet pop and hip hop LGBT night.
- Friday: Lesbian-friendly BOY at the Black Tie Club is a popular choice with different DJ’s every week.
- Saturday: Head to the Brown TLV for SKYLINE, on the hotel’s open-air rooftop bar in the summer. On Saturday’s the hotel offers chillout music and great alcohol to a good looking international crowd. During the winter, a special edition of this night called SKYLIGHT takes place at the Lighthouse by Brown Hotels.
- Sunday: Go to Eurofalsh night at Lima Lima Bar for an LGBT Eurovision night.
For an up to date list of events visit – https://www.gaytelavivguide.com/events/ before you arrive in Tel Aviv!
Gay Clubs, Bars, and Saunas in Tel Aviv
In addition to the gay club nights, there are a few gay clubs and saunas in Tel Aviv such as Apolo, and Sauna Tel Aviv. However, the premier gay venue in Tel Aviv is Shpagat. This bar is located next door to Brown TLV Urban Hotel, which is one of the many reasons why this hotel is a fantastic choice in Tel Aviv! Boasting delicious drinks, brilliant music, and guest DJ’s from around the world, if you only visit one bar in Tel Aviv, we highly recommend this one.
Tel Aviv Pride
Pride is a huge event in the LGBT calendar. Pride events take place all over the world from New York to Sydney. Tel Aviv hosts the only public gay pride parade in the entire Middle East, which is held annually every June. In 2018, 250,000 people took part in the celebration.
During Tel Aviv Pride, the entire city comes alive. Typically Tel Aviv Pride starts with a parade through the streets of Tel Aviv, ending at the beach. This is usually followed by a beach party which finishes late on in the afternoon. But the afternoon is not the end! The best part of Tel Aviv pride is not the parade itself, but the fact that Tel Aviv’s gay nightlife gets even bigger. Expect lots of parties, club nights, and one-off events. The most difficult part about attending Tel Aviv pride is choosing which of the many events to choose from.
Gay Beaches in Tel Aviv
Long hot summers see the temperatures hit highs of 30 degrees Celsius. This means that beach days are very common in Tel Aviv. The city’s beautiful clear waters and white sands are picture perfect.
All of the beaches in Tel Aviv are LGBT friendly. However, Hilton Beach is the unofficial gay beach of Tel Aviv. Hilton Beach is located just in front of the Hilton Tel Aviv hotel. You’ll spot Hilton Beach a mile off, as there are often bright rainbow flags and umbrellas dotted along the beachfront. During the summer you will find the Hilton Beach swarming with beautiful people. It is also worth checking out the special late night summer swim parties, which are held there occasionally.
Hilton Beach tends to be most crowded on Fridays and Saturdays (the weekend in Israel). So you may want to head to one of the other beaches. Two of the most popular options are Bugrashov beach, and Frishman Beach, with a shallow entry into the water – making it a great place for LGBT families with children.
Travelling with Children to Tel Aviv
Tel Aviv is a relatively small city. This makes it ideal for LGBT family holidays. Not only can you explore Tel Aviv’s beautiful neighbourhoods and markets, but you can also explore the surrounding areas. Jaffa, the ancient port city, offers an alternative view of life in Tel Aviv. Jaffa is a real melting pot of Jewish and Arab populations.
Tel Aviv is also fairly close to Jerusalem. The bus from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem takes under an hour. But it’s also possible to drive a hire car or book a private transfer, or tour with us instead. In many ways, Jerusalem is the complete opposite of Tel Aviv. However, it’s history and charm is undeniable. Meander through the picturesque streets, visit the Church Holy Sepulchre, and float on the Dead Sea.
Tel Aviv is a fantastic holiday destination for LGBT travel. Direct flights with EL AL Israel Airlines (the national airline) from London and Manchester to Tel Aviv make this destination even more accessible. To book your luxury holiday to Tel Aviv contact our luxury travel experts.
Tel Aviv International LGBT Film Festival
TLVFest or the Tel Aviv International LGBT Film Festival has been taking place every year since 2006. This film festival is focused on LGBT-themed films with no Israeli distribution. During the film festival meetings with local residents take place, and you may also have the opportunity to attend panel discussions with the directors, producers, and actors.
Tel Aviv LGBT Games
The first Tel Aviv LGBT Games were held in 2017, and are being held again in 2019. At the Games, athletes from around the world compete in seven sports from swimming to same-sex couples dances, to athletics. However, there’s more to the event than just sport! LGBT events, dinners, and celebrations are organised every evening designed to allow you to meet LGBT athletes from all over the world. There’s a chance that Tel Aviv may, once again host these games in the future too. So if this sounds like something for you, then you won’t want to miss out! Visit the official Tel Aviv Games website for more information – https://www.telavivgames.org/index.html.
LGBT Rights in Israel
Israel is a fairly progressive country where lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people live freely and openly. British laws against homosexuality were inherited when Israel was founded in 1948. However, these were formally repealed in 1988. LGBT discrimination has been illegal in Israel since 1992. Foreign same-sex marriages have been recognised in Israel since 2006, with same-sex adoption legal in Israel since 2008. Therefore, LGBT advancements have been remarkably fast within the last seventy years. All of this, and more makes Israel, by far, the most advanced LGBT holiday destinations in the Middle East, and one of the most progressive countries in the world.
Featured image: Unsplash