During your gap year in Israel you will have plenty of free time in which to pursue your own interests and activities. There is plenty to do in Tel Aviv, but the city can become quite expensive. Luckily, there are many things you can do absolutely free of charge.
You will doubtless visit Old Jaffa a few times during your year, especially if you are living in Tel Aviv. However, there is more than enough to explore there to make repeat visits worthwhile. It is the oldest seaport in the world, and on its winding streets and alleys you will find plenty of galleries, markets, designer stores, museums and more.
Once you have had enough of Old Jaffa you can go for a walk along the Tel Aviv – Jaffa Promenade. This beautiful walkway runs from Old Jaffa all the way to the northern neighbourhoods of Tel Aviv. As you walk along you can enjoy some amazing views of the sea and the city, particularly around sunset (or dawn if you are an early riser). You can stop along the way for a coffee without breaking the bank, and most of the time you will find a variety of buskers and street performers to admire.
Of course, at any point you can wander down to one of Tel Aviv’s beautiful beaches. There are 13 kilometres of beaches in Tel Aviv and you can find slightly different atmospheres on each of them. You can enjoy sunbathing, people watching, and a refreshing swim, and over the course of the year, you should have time to explore all of the city’s beaches.
If you want even more sightseeing than you are getting on Aardvark then you can go for one of the many free walking tours on offer in Tel Aviv. Both the municipality and the Tel Aviv Hotel Association offer free guided tours of Tel Aviv in English. You can go on tours that focus on the Bauhaus architecture, a tour of Old Jaffa, a tour of Tel Aviv University, and more.
A novel way of seeing the city is with Tel Aviv Greeters. These are free walks of the city with local residents. It is a volunteer programme that matches visitors with residents who want to share their love for the city. They will give you a new perspective on many aspects of the city and it sure to be an interesting way to spend a few hours.
Most of the museums in Tel Aviv charge an entry fee, but there are a few that do not. For instance, you can visit Ben-Gurion House, at 17 Ben-Gurion Boulevard, a historic house museum. This was one of David Ben-Gurion’s residences when he was prime minister and you can see his library, where his family slept, his study and more. It is a very small museum, but well worth seeing.
There are many more things that you can do for free in Tel Aviv, such as visit the University’s Botanical Gardens, visit the historic neighbourhoods, the markets, Hayarkon park, and so on. Thanks to this, you can be sure of having plenty to do on your gap year, regardless of your budget.