Tel Aviv, Israel’s leisure, entertainment and cultural center, continues to win accolades and prizes, with this week’s announcement by the Lonely Planet Guide naming the coastal metropolis third in their list of the world’s top 10 cities.
Coming in behind New York City and Tangier, Tel Aviv is hailed for its art and music scenes and its relaxed liberal culture. “Tel Aviv is the total flipside of Jerusalem, a modern Sin City on the sea rather than an ancient Holy City on a hill,” the publisher of the popular travel guides said on its website. “Hedonism is the one religion that unites its inhabitants. There are more bars than synagogues, God is a DJ and everyone’s body is a temple.”
According to Lonely Planet, Tel Aviv, which is “by far the most international city in Israel”, is also “a truly diverse 21st-century Mediterranean hub…home to a large gay community, a kind of San Francisco in the Middle East. Thanks to its university and museums, it is also the greenhouse for Israel’s growing art, film and music scenes.”
Earlier this summer, the prestigious National Geographic Magazine named Tel Aviv as one of the world’s top ten beach cities, dubbing it “Miami Beach on the Med”. It was also voted the third best city in Africa and the Middle East by the New York-based Travel + Leisure Magazine; one of the world’s top “Party Cities” by Forbes Magazine and the Lonely Planet Travel Guide and was included in the Louis Vuitton 2010 European Cities Guide.