When Shimrit Elisar travels to other cities, she wonders where to find pizza after hours, where all the “cool kids” hang out, and how to score a reasonably-priced yoga class. In other words, she wants an insider’s look, which is why she was inspired to create DIY Tel Aviv.
This alternative city guide is packed with information about everything from how to handle Israeli security and find certain products on Shabat to finally answering the question: will I get blown up? Fun and quirky, this awesome guide leaves the pricier Lonely Planet choking in its self-published dust, though it definitely speaks to the younger crowd.
Like the international Couchsurfing group that encourages travelers to make connections with the locals of places they visit, DIY Tel Aviv catalyzes fast integration in one of the most hedonistic and wholesome cities in the Middle East. It offers a lot of the same information expected of any guide, including where to stay, how to get around, and even maps, but then it offers so much more.
Some of the content would be off-putting to some tourists, which is why it warrants its designation as an alternative guide. Anyone who isn’t interested to know where to buy marijuana, which is not sanctioned but simply pointed out, should probably stick to their Lonely Planet or Rough Guide.
But it is also refreshingly frank. Elisar talks about men who “whine about using condoms” while urging girls to take all of the necessary precautions against them. Instead of pretending these things aren’t going to happen, she confronts them head on.
And then there are a few gems that even the most pious reader will find useful, such as where to find less expensive short term rentals from locals and how to navigate the numerous Jewish holidays and their attendant traditions.
Of course, the first thing we looked for was information about options for green-minded folks like us, and we weren’t disappointed. Not only does Elisar de-mystify the city’s new bike-sharing program, but she also points out where it is possible to go roller-skating, find free yoga classes, where to find the best vegan and vegetarian food, and even devotes a section to farming.
DIY Tel Aviv comes with a nifty google map that makes it incredibly easy to find all the best spots for music, fun, and self-improvement, and best of all, it only costs $8. There is also a website which is updated every month or so, while the guide is updated and released every year around April.
This is the third edition and features awesome cover art by the ever-talented Yotam Fiszbein.
:: DIY Tel Aviv
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