Tel Aviv is one of the largest cities in Israel. Its population, considered a metropolitan area, reaches about 4 million inhabitants, half of the total population of the country, and it is also the economic center of Israel. However, it is not easy for foreigners living and working in Tel Aviv.
It is a charming city with a really beautiful sea. You can walk or explore the city by bike, as there are numerous bike paths. There are beautiful neighborhoods with Bauhaus-style buildings.
Public transportation leaves much to be desired. No buses run from Friday afternoon to Saturday evening.Traffic is horrendous and traffic jams are common, made worse by the construction work for the subway. Parking is a nightmare, as in most big cities. Drivers misbehave in their endless search for parking spaces, while electric bikes dash across the sidewalks and do gymkhana between pedestrians. The honking is incessant.
Some people think the Israelis are rude and impolite. In reality, they are just indifferent to the lives of others, there is no deliberate rudeness, you just have to assert your reasons to be taken seriously. If you do not fight back and put your foot down, they will continue to trample on you. It’s not uncommon to be pushed aside or have the question skipped when boarding the bus. So determination is the key to survival here.
Tel Aviv has a distinctly multicultural character with a cosmopolitan feel, so you’ll have no trouble fitting in. Although it would be ideal to know the Hebrew language, it is not essential for daily life, as almost everyone in the city speaks English well. The atmosphere on the streets is fantastic, both during the day and especially at night. People love to go out every night and the bars are full even on Monday. The city is known for its famous nightlife (bars, cafes and clubs). In one of the most gay-friendly cities in the world, you will always see people in cafes, pubs or discos. As for the cultural aspect, the offer of museums, theaters, exhibitions is very poor.
And remember: if you want to leave Tel Aviv, the rest of the country is extremely dry, and if you want to go to good old Europe, airfares are not cheap.
Tel Aviv is by far the most expensive city in the entire Middle East, especially when it comes to renting a flat. The cost of living in Tel Aviv is just insanely high. Most people who live in Tel Aviv have a hard time surviving there. If you have a good job, you will probably do well, but with an average Israeli income, you should not even remotely think about living there comfortably. Import taxes on all foreign products are very high, so they cost twice what you would pay in Europe or the US. Rent for a flat is by far the biggest cost. The cost is on par with cities like London or San Francisco.
Tel Aviv is far safer than any major American or European city. Street crime is very low, it is a very safe place to walk at night and even early in the morning. However, do not forget about the terrorist attacks that can happen at any time, but on average it is a very safe place to live.
As for the weather, in winter the climate is extremely mild and most days are sunny with daytime temperatures of 21-22°C. In summer, the heat and humidity in Tel Aviv is a diabolical combination that makes life difficult for people.
Choosing Tel Aviv as a place to work in Israel could be a good decision, because the city offers the best and largest opportunities to find a job, and is the place with the highest average salary in the country. Once the procedures for entering the city’s large job market are completed, a number of opportunities open up that are rare in the world. For example, one of the most important conglomerates of technology companies in the world is located in the city area. If you do not have a vocation for high technology, you will find numerous opportunities in various fields such as customer service, trade and production.
Hard and responsible work is highly valued here, punctuality and work over time are the key factors to move up in the companies. Unfortunately, it’s very difficult for foreign workers who want to come to Tel Aviv to obtain a work visa. It seems that they aren’t welcome here.
Living and working in Tel Aviv – pros and cons
Living in Tel Aviv, pros
- Good job opportunities
- Climate (if you like heat)
- Beach, if you are a beach person
- Ambience, Tel Aviv is one of the most dynamic and vibrant cities in the world
- Safety, the crime rate is very low
Living in Tel Aviv, cons
- Cost of living, Tel Aviv is very expensive
- War and terrorism, living in Tel Aviv means living in Israel, which means you have to accept the fact that every few years there is a war.
- Weather (if you do not like the heat)
- Transportation, public transportation is inadequate and it is very difficult to get around on Saturdays if you do not have a car
If you are interested in more information, you can read the article: Living and working in Israel