Despite recent threats by the Tel Aviv Municipality to close six of the city's 13 beaches due to a labor dispute with the lifeguards, the city's beaches have been given an international thumbs-up by National Geographic in a recent list of "10 Great Urban Beaches."
The list, originally published on the Smartertravel.com website, writes: "If Jerusalem is Israel's responsible, buttoned-up firstborn child, then Tel Aviv is the fun, freewheeling youngest sibling. On warm days, Tel Avivians are quick to hit the city's 13 beaches that span more than eight miles along the Mediterranean."
"Gordon-Frishman Beach, closest to the city core, is one of the hippest places to be seen. Beach bars, DJs, and volleyball courts draw a cosmopolitan crowd, and on weekends you have to arrive early to stake out a spot on the wide beach," the description continues. Gordon-Frishman takes its place among the likes of Venice Beach in Los Angeles, Ipanema in Rio de Janeiro, South Beach in Miami, and Sydney's Bondi Beach.
Tel Aviv continues to come in for praise. Only this week, MasterCard ranked Israel's cultural capital No. 5 on a list of the 10 most visited cities in the Middle East and Africa, and in January gaycities crowned it the best gay tourism destination in the world. The British travel magazine Travelers Digest has also named Tel Aviv one of the 10 top cities in terms of attractive men and women.
"Tel Aviv-Jaffa continues to surprise and excite its residents and visitors," said Mayor Ron Huldai. "We have just opened the swimming season, and we in the municipality will continue to do everything so that visitors will enjoy clean, safe beaches."