Tel Aviv is the most happening city in Israel, but even in Israel’s city that never sleeps, there’s a handful of events that stand out on the calendar every year that are worth the visit. Experiencing these events is sure to create memories that last a lifetime.
Tel Aviv Pride Parade
Every year in June, Tel Aviv erupts with fervor as upwards of 200,000 people take over the streets to celebrate coexistence and freedom with the annual Tel Aviv Pride Parade and the many festivities organized around it.
The parade itself begins in Gan Meir and proceeds down Ben Yehuda Street, picking up steam the whole way until it concludes at Charles Clore Parkon the Mediterranean shore. There, a massive outdoor party rages with multiple stages for music performances, dancing areas, drink stations and much more.
Later in the night, clubs and bars come to life with special parties and events for everybody celebrating Pride. These happenings feature international bands and DJ’s, all kinds of outrageous themes and, most importantly, a fun and inviting atmosphere for anybody who wants to join the festivities.
The Pride Parade is a massive event that attracts a huge wave of tourists, so if you plan to be in Tel Aviv for the festivities or just for a visit during that time, planning your trip well in advance is highly recommended.
Tel Aviv White Night
The “city that never sleeps” label often gets bandied about somewhat carelessly, but when it comes to Tel Aviv White Night (Laila Lavan), it is the most accurate term to describe the city, as even the venues that do usually close their doors for the night keep them open in honor of the event.
Check out the seemingly countless club and street parties, concerts, lectures, classes, dance and theater performances, art exhibitions, walking tours, and sporting events that take place throughout the night starting at 9 pm and lasting until sunrise.
And there’s no need to worry about going hungry, as the city’s restaurants join in the celebration with extended hours and special night-owl menus.
White Night usually takes place sometime in June and is a celebration in honor of UNESCO’s declaration of Tel Aviv’s “White City” urban area as a World Heritage Site.
Tel Aviv Jazz Festival
This annual music festival attracts some of the top homegrown and international Jazz musicians to the city for three days of concerts in the Tel Aviv Cinematheque. The festival usually takes place in May.
Each year, the festival focuses on a particular style or country, but you can always be sure that the medley of performances will cover a wide spectrum of the genre, from traditional to modern.
In addition, it’s not just a great opportunity to see big names on the scene, but also to get an introduction to new and upcoming talent.
Tel Aviv Volume Conference and Festival
A relative newcomer to Tel Aviv’s festival scene, Tel Aviv Volume is an up and coming 4-day/night event that attracts top talent from the local and international electronic music industry. It also brings in tens of thousands of party-goers, who descend on the city for wild parties at clubs across Tel Aviv.
Inspired by similar events, such as the Winter Music Conference in Miami and Amsterdam Dance Event, TAV is made up of two interwoven parts.
During the day, there are lectures, presentations and other events for DJ’s, producers, promoters, and other music industry professionals. The conference attracted over 300 delegates in its first year, including 10 international DJ’s and grew by 30% in 2015.
When nighttime rolls around, TAV and top Tel Aviv clubs team up to put on 4 nights of parties throughout the city featuring DJs from Israel and abroad playing techno, house, trance, drum n’ bass and more.
For the past two years, TAV has taken place in January, making it the perfect excuse for a winter trip to Tel Aviv. After growing significantly in 2015, TAV is set to have another massive edition in 2016.
Many Tel Avivians circle Purim on their calendar because it is, hands down, the biggest party holiday of the year. Israelis celebrate Purim in carnival spirit by dressing up in costumes and partying from early until late.
You won’t want to miss the official Tel Aviv street party at Kikar HaMedina. There are also numerous other parties on the streets and in bars and clubs throughout the city, both on Purim itself as well as throughout the closest weekend. The annual Tel Aviv Zombie walk attracts thousands of locals and tourists dressed in their zombie best, ranging from professional make-up and costumes to fun home-made creations.
Of course, the holiday is about more than partying (for some), and there are also special events at cultural and religious venues for families and children to enjoy the holiday with tamer celebrations.
The exact date of Purim changes every year, depending on the Jewish calendar, but it is typically sometime in March.
Looking for more?
It goes without saying that these events are only a fraction of what goes on in Tel Aviv on a daily basis. Israel’s cultural and nightlife capital is always bustling with parties, concerts, shows, art exhibitions and much more. And even on the quietest days, there are always the beaches, boutique stores and markets, seemingly endless dining options, and Old Jaffa to explore.