Tourist tip #6: Tel Aviv observatories
For a unique perspective on Tel Aviv, head to its highest points and take a look around. While there, grab a bite, see a film, and learn a little bit of history.
Looking for the opportunity to see some of Tel Aviv's most spectacular views and snap some great photos in the process? Head to one of the city's towering observatories.
The Azrieli Center, comprised of three skyscrapers in three geometrical forms (a square, a triangle and a circle), houses one of the highest observatories in the Middle East. It is also home to a shopping mall located at the base of the triangular tower.
To reach the observatory, located on the 49th floor of the circular tower, you’ll need to enter the mall and head to the third floor, where you’ll be able to take a high-speed elevator to the top. The observatory has a spectacular panoramic view of the coastline and the Gush Dan Tel Aviv metropolitan area, including, on clear days, views stretching all the way to Hadera in the north and Gedera in the south. Visitor information exists in several languages; telescopes and audio guides are available for rent. Don't miss the 3D film about Tel Aviv.
If you fancy prolonging the experience, you can also check out “2C,” a kosher Mediterranean restaurant on the top floor. It isn’t cheap, but with those views, why would it be? Like most high-end restaurants in Israel, it has a midweek business lunch deal. Just to be on the safe side, call ahead to make sure there are no private events at the observatory before you visit.
Another famous observatory is located on the 34th floor of the Shalom Tower in Tel Aviv. Situated at the junction of Ahad Ha’am and Herzl Streets, this building was the first skyscraper to be built in the city, back in the mid 1960s. At the time, it was the tallest building in the Middle East. Of course, like the Azrieli observatory, it has incredible views of the city and beyond, enhanced by telescopes available for visitors. There is also an interactive multimedia exhibition about the history of the city, explanations of the tower's views, and a cafeteria providing refreshments.
Azrieli towers: 132 Menachem Begin Rd. (03-6081179) / Tickets: Adults NIS 22, children NIS 17
Opening hours: Winter 9:30-18:00; summer 9:30-20:00 (until 18:00on Fridays) / www.mitzpe49.co.il/home
Shalom Tower: 1 Herzl St. (03-5188305) / Tickets: Adults NIS 15, children NIS10
Opening hours: Sun-Thur,10.00-18:30; Fri 10.00-14.00; Sat 11:00-16:00