Whether midweek or on the weekend, since the dawn of time, humans have been asking, “Where to tonight?” The answer to this not-at-all-simple question depends on several criteria, such as – Do we really want to dance? Whom do we want to dance with? What kind of music do we want to dance to? And how far do we want to travel to get there? (And that’s before we even consider the parking possibilities.) With so many clubs to choose from in Tel Aviv, the decision is that much harder. To spare you some hassle, we’ve collected some of the best places in town to check out. So grab all your friends, the trip to partyland is about to begin.
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A place that’s a successful fusion of different styles: Beit Hapsanter (Piano House) is a bar, a nightclub, and it also feels like a neighborhood pub. The target audience is mostly made up of hipsters and Tel Aviv nightlife types, but it can change in accordance with the event – which might be some light spinning, a live show, or a lively Midburn after-party. Years ago, the space belonged to a pianist, and when the new owners took over, they preserved the vibe and designed the four rooms in old-fashioned style. Couches and armchairs scattered around are great for lounging on after a few drinks.
Beit Hapsanter, 99 Allenby St.
A club that has a strong reputation for hip-hop, but actually offers a wide range of music, including rock and blues nights, techno, Mizrahi and more. The club also hosts live shows, concept nights inspired by different artists and other events, such as a stills photography exhibition. At Pasaz you’ll find different kinds of people, depending on what is happening, but on weekends the crowd is usually made up of university students, soldiers, and people who happened to be passing by, saw the line and got curious. At the center of the space is the dance floor, which functions as the main attraction, but there are also lots of cozy corners perfect for taking a time out. And there are two bars – one near the dance floor and one at the rear, if your ears need a little break.
Pasaz, 94 Allenby St.
Although it won’t win any prizes for most appealing location, The Block, at the Tel Aviv Central Bus Station, has a worldwide reputation – largely thanks to its sound system, which draws young tourists just as much as the sights in Jerusalem. Those who come to this club really appreciate a good DJ and good sound, and this group could just as easily include people in their twenties as in their forties. Electronic music is the specialty, but there is more on offer, and top DJs from Israel and abroad come to perform here. The Block has a spacious bar, a very impressive DJ stand, a separate smoking lounge and lots of carefully selected good music.
The Block, 157 Shalma St.
A late-night club located on Ha’arba’a Street, not far from the Tel Aviv Cinematheque. The leading sound here is deep house and techno, the atmosphere is energetic, and they don’t skimp on production. There are different concept nights each week, and many local DJs do their thing here. Go to Hamisrad (The Office) when you’re in the mood for fun, because the folks here are the type who want to party, and students with vodka and RedBull are the name of the game.
Hamisrad, 10 Ha’arba’a St.
This underground club is located in downtown Tel Aviv next to Ha’Ozen Hashlishit (The Third Ear), and is a top spot in the city’s nightlife scene. Bootleg spreads over two dance floors, hosts parties as well as concerts and special events. The musical line is mainly House and Techno played by leading local DJs, as well as some international DJs from time to time.
Bootleg, 48 King George St.
The Cat and the Dog
This club (Hahatul Vehakelev in Hebrew) on Carlebach Street is not only a destination for the usual nightlife types. It’s popular with revelers who’ve lost their sense of time, those in their thirties who don’t have to get up early in the morning, and with celebs too. The club has two sections (The Dog and The Cat), with different kinds of music to vary things up a bit. The sound is overseen by some of the city’s hottest DJs, who don’t usually take to the stand before midnight.
The Cat and the Dog, 23 Carlebach St.
As the name indicates, this club is housed in that same piece of real estate where Maariv writers once plied their trade. With its proximity to Rothschild Boulevard, it’s a prime location for an afterparty in Tel Aviv. At Beit Maariv, they know how to turn night into day with parties that never end, and they even hold afternoon parties sometimes. Here you’ll find clubbers who know just what they’re in for and have no problem getting home after sunrise. The club also sometimes joins forces with other clubs, with each self-respecting establishment bringing in top DJs from around the world.
Beit Maariv, 51 Menachem Begin Rd.
The Breakfast Club
A club that’s become a legend in the chronicles of Tel Aviv nightlife. It’s been around for 12 years already, and still going strong. As befitting a basement of this type, the ambience is smoky and the underdog vibe has a touch of the forbidden. At the entrance, you’ll find a space called Milk, with a modest bar and excellent music selections, and farther in you’ll come upon the dance floor and another splendid bar. This place draws people who really want to dance, people who don’t care how they look, and people in a state of mind in which they have no idea how they look. Strongly recommended not to show up before 1 A.M., because you won’t find anything before then, which already tells you something about the clientele.
The Breakfast Club, 6 Rothschild Blvd.
Not much needs to be said here. Haoman, which moved here from Jerusalem, is a mega-club whose reputation speaks for itself. Its four large spaces, two main dance floors, outstanding sound and lighting system, and chill-out room have made this place one of the best. Haoman 17 hosts huge parties and a changing roster of concept productions (with elaborate sets). Here you’ll find the kind of people who like to go all out until the sun comes up.
Haoman 17, 88 Abarbanel St.
A club in the heart of Ibn Gvirol, founded by folks from the iconic Deli, whose spirit still hovers over the intersection of King George and Allenby streets. The Panda has a vast dance floor and brings in DJs who know how to get a party going. Although there are comfy seating areas, you’re likely to find that all you want to do there is dance.
Lost Panda, 76 Ibn Gvirol St.
A club that’s also known to those who’ve never been there. It is located next to the Dolphinarium Beach and makes the most of the gorgeous boardwalk view. At Clara you’ll find a huge bar surrounded by inviting seating areas, dance floors, hammocks and grassy lawns near the water. Most of the productions take place outside under the stars, some even during the day, including elaborate pool parties. The DJs here are among the best in the country at getting a party going, and the crowd is mostly made up of people in their twenties, who like to drink and enjoy the catchy music.
Clara, 1 Kaufman St, adjacent to the Dolphinarium
The Penguin, in a lively location on Yehuda Halevi Street, has gone through several incarnations from an Eighties New Vibe stronghold all the way to its current incarnation as a kind of underground club. The main musical genre now is alternative, and includes Techno, Goth Rock, and retro ‘80s and ‘90s nights. At the Penguin, you can dance alongside revelers in their thirties, Eighties aficionados, and those who remember when the place first opened.
Penguin Club, 43 Yehuda Halevi St.
An unusual place on the nightlife scene: It’s located in the Neve Sha’anan area and the guiding theme here is fetishism and S&M. This is the first and only place in Israel aimed at the bad boys of the BDSM (Bondage and Discipline, Sadism and Masochism) community. Behind the curtain you’ll find a wide bar and a very kinky dance floor. The crowd is made up of curious onlookers plus couples and singles who favor black clothing, piercings and bullwhips.
Dungeon, 21 Hasharon St.