Gay Pride in Tel Aviv is the perfect time to realize how gay-friendly this Israeli city is! With a huge beach lined with modern buildings, a vibrant nightlife, an impressive food offer plus a bustling gay scene, Tel Aviv has been a favorite destination for gay travelers in the Mediterranean for years. Here are 10 reasons why you should not miss Tel Aviv gay pride's 18th edition, from 22 May to 4 June.
Photo © OutStanding Travel
Tel Aviv is all about sun, heat and endless summer! So pack light, only shorts, flip flops and tank tops. For the beach, indulge yourself with a (small) cooler for drinks and fruits. While walking in the city, enjoy a smoothie at one of the many fresh fruits stand or don’t resist one of the amazing ice-cream shops. Never stay away from the air conditioning and don’t forget either sunscreen or (real) sunglasses. And if you visit later in the summer, be aware that August is the hottest month (and very humid).
Gay gay gay!
It’s hard to think of a more pro-gay municipality in the world that cares so much about its gay pride. For one week in June, the town is covered with rainbow flags, not just on the gay beach. The facade of the town hall is all rainbow (se picture above), shops are invited to raise the gay flags. Tel Aviv is by far the gayest city in Israel. It's easy to realize at any time of the year, it is quite obvious during the gay pride.
The Pride Parade
The parade gathered 180,000 people in 2015 including 30,000 tourists from abroad. The 2016 parade will be held Friday, June 3 (in Israel the weekend starts on Friday). It will start in the Gan Meir park, right next to the LGBT community center, continue along the sea promenade, and end in the south of the city, in the Charles Clore Park, with a large shaded podium. But prepare the fans and sunscreen, it will be a VERY hot day!
Hilton Beach, the gay beach
Photo © Ted Eytan - Flickr
At the foot of Independence Park, a former outdoor gay cruising area, and the impressive Hilton building, Hilton beach is a must-see of Tel Aviv gay life, the perfect place to meet the gay locals and the many tourists. During gay pride, rainbow flags fly proudly along the (small) beach, DJs play all day long and every square centimeter is worth gold!
Those who would rather enjoy a quiet gay beach will have to travel by car to Gaasch Beach, twenty minutes north of Tel Aviv. Wild and very popular with the locals.
Offer Nissim, "Offra" as the locals call "her", is the queen of the international gay circuit. As a DJ and producer, he’s the only real big name, driving hundreds of gay partygoers to Antwerp, Rio, Madrid, Paris or New York each time he performs. Arms up in the air with a perfect straight hair, Offer Nissim is at home in Tel Aviv and gay pride is his moment. A few days before Pride, he will publish a new album, like every year. On June 4, he will perform at Bloomfield Stadium for an giant outdoor party. It’s this year’s biggest Pride event.
Photo © Dana Friedlander for the Israeli Ministry of Tourism
Tel Aviv is a haven for foodies! The city is at the crossroads between the West and the East, creating a unique gourmet culture. Tel Aviv is a street food paradise (hummus, falafel, Sabih), symbolized by the success of Miznon restaurant. You can find amazing seafood restaurants (Goocha), places with Asian influence (Giraffe), French influence (The Brasserie), gourmet dinner (Bindella, Raphael), sea views (Manta Ray), great mezze (The Old Man and The Sea), breakfast at any hour (Benedict), dream sandwiches (Café Abima), you name it all! Tel Aviv is also the world mecca of vegan restaurants.
Tours and visits
Photo © OutStanding Travel
Since you’re already in Tel Aviv, enjoy a day-trip to discover some wonders of the Middle East. An hour away, Jerusalem and its ancient history will take your breath away. Push a little further west to the Dead Sea, the lowest point on earth, about 430 meters below sea level. Book a night there, and enjoy the virtues of the precious minerals of this salt lake in which you will float effortlessly. You have a little more time? Extend your trip to Eilat on the Red Sea, Petra in Jordan, or the Sea of Galilee in northern Israel.
If you will stay in Tel Aviv only, visit the old city of Jaffa, the Carmel Market, the Bauhaus district, the Museum of Modern Art.
The 10-day program of Tel Aviv gay pride is loaded with dozens of events. Techno, house, pop or R & B parties; muscle queens, bears, lesbians, twinks or queers; bars, clubs, beach parties, water park or sauna parties, there is something for everyone. Expect wild nights at Tel Aviv’s main gay spots like Evita, Shpagat or Apolo. The biggest names of Tel Aviv gay night compete with their biggest events of the year: Beef, Papa, Forever, Pag, FFF Shirazi, Dreck ... A single pass, the Pride Pass, provides access to all major events.
Yes, Tel Aviv is the city that never sleeps. It is also the city where everybody does sports ! The sea promenade is well equipped for joggers, skaters and cyclists. The hunks you admire on Hilton Beach were not born this way, they work hard for it ! Some gyms offer timely access to tourists, including the very gay Holmes Place gym at the Dizengoff Center.
Photo © Etan Bernat
Dark eyes, jet-black hair, amber skin, firm and hairy chest... The image of the Eliad Cohen-like masculine gay Israeli nurtures gay fantasies accross the world. Let your eyes judge for thelmselves when on Hilton gay beach! In any case it will be really easy to connect with the Tel Avivians. They are very easy-going, have no attitude and are quite charming.
Will you miss Tel Aviv gay pride in 2016? Enjoy the city later in the year: in Tel Aviv, "the White City", summer never really ends.
For more information about Tel Aviv 2016 Gay Pride, visit www.prideparadetelaviv.com or www.visit-tel-aviv.com/tel-aviv-pride-festival-2016