Taking a street art tour should be on your list of cool and original things to do in Tel Aviv.
There is some wonderful street art in the city to be discovered.
When you visit Tel Aviv, there is a really good chance you’ll come across some brilliant graffiti while walking around.
The city has a lively street art scene, with local and international artists leaving their mark on its walls.
Where to find street art in Tel Aviv
Wondering where to find the best street art in Tel Aviv?
Generally speaking, while you’ll find graffiti in many places around the city, it has two main street art hubs that you want to visit:
Nahalat Binyamin Street in the city centre; and
The neighbourhood of Florentin in the south of Tel Aviv (Sometimes spelt Florentine).
Other than those two, you also want to take a stroll around the flea market in Jaffa for some excellent murals.
Taking a street art and graffiti tour in Tel Aviv
While I’ve been seeing it all around me, in fact I knew little about the scene and how it evolved.
To dig deeper and find out more about the art and what’s behind it, I took a street art tour in Tel Aviv with Be Tel Aviv Tours.
I heard good things about the tour from some of my mates, and really wanted to get an inside look into this urban art scene.
The tour will not only take you to some highly Instgrammable places in Tel Aviv; It will also change the way you look at walls from then on.
A street art tour of Nahalat Binyamin Street
Taking a street art tour is like being guided through a massive open-air gallery. It’s even better when that open-air gallery is in a pedestrian zone 😉
Nahalat Binyamin is a wide, car-free street. It has a nice, laid back atmosphere, despite being right in the very centre of hectic Tel Aviv.
The street is best known as the place to buy textiles in the city. It’s also famous for the art & craft market held there every Tuesday and Friday. The latter is probably already on your list of things to do in Tel Aviv.
We began our street art tour next to the Carmel Market, a very central meeting point.
Our tour guide, Liron Shalev, is a real expert on street art. She studied art and teaches street art to high school kids (what a great job!).
She also revealed to us later in the tour that she knew some of the artists in person.
After a quick introduction about the origins and different styles of street art, our guide invited us to look around.
Everywhere you look there are stencils, paste-up, stickers and free hand drawings.
Street art with strong, provocative messages
We saw some art with bold political and social messages on the street art tour.
The first piece we looked at was a paste-up with a subversive message.
It’s the head of a transgender pop star, Dana International, and the body of Marilyn Monroe in her iconic dress. In other words, a symbol of femininity with a transgender head.
It’s a strong queer-feminist statement. As Tel Aviv is the gay capital of Israel (and the Middle East), it’s the appropriate place for this artwork.
Next, we looked at another piece of art with a strong political message. This one is easy to recognise as a Banksy style stencil.
Though Banksy has made some famous works of art in Israel and Palestine, this piece isn’t by him. It’s a Banksy homage, signed by a different artist.
Isn’t it cool when street art interacts with things on the walls around it?
In this piece, the artist referred to the famous Gloria Steinem quote “A woman needs a man like a fish needs a bicycle”. There just happened to be a bicycle next to that wall.
Our guide told us that there’s a more or less equal number of women and men in the street art scene in Tel Aviv.
It may sound surprising at first, but the more you look at the art the more you’ll notice the presence of female street artists.
Some other pieces we saw on the tour had a political message of the kind that makes you think; Other pieces are of the kind that makes you smile; Some are purely aesthetic and you can decide how you want to interpret them.
An outdoor urban art gallery at the street corner
After walking down Nahalat Binyamin Street we reached the corner of Hashomer Street.
Many pieces of art one next to each other make this corner unique and fascinating. We spent a bit of time there to explore them.
One piece of art on that street corner that I really liked was by an American artist called Sara Erenthal. She signs her artworks with her Instagram handle.
It’s a self portrait with the words “Create the change you want to see”.
We learnt from out guide that the artist uses inspirational and empowering quotes in her work. She’s painted many murals like this one all around Tel Aviv.
These are some more great pieces at the street corner (amongst many others):
Commissioned street art in Tel Aviv
Towards the end of the tour, we reached a building covered in impressive street art.
This building has some commissioned art that’s there to stay. It also has some legal street art that artists are invited to create with permission.
Though graffiti is illegal (if you get caught…), it’s also recognised by the municipality as something that makes the city what it is: A vibrant, cool place that attracts creative minds.
Acceptance and appreciation of street art are good signs. They show that the city is evolving and keeping up with current trends.
The days when every graffiti sprayed on a wall was considered vandalism will soon be gone.
Still, it’s rare to have permission to create street art. The building at 18 Nahalat Binyamin Street is pretty remarkable.
You’ll see a very realistic 3D airbrush painting by a famous local artist that’s been on that wall since 2009.
Next, it’s worth going inside the building first to see the artworks, like this gorgeous painting .
We went back outside and around the corner to see the side of the building. This is an officially a legal street art zone.
As expected, it’s a spectacular corner of the city.
Take a closer look
More graffiti and street art from Tel Aviv
During the tour, we found ourselves stepping into side alleys to discover more and more beautiful and surprising murals.
Our guide revealed the secrets behind some of them and gave us the artists’ own interpretations of their artworks.
It’s lovely to see this alternative culture scene blooming in an ultra capitalist city like Tel Aviv.
Street artists are reclaiming public spaces and doing it with great talent.
The tour was packed full of info. Just before the end, our guide, like a true expert on the subject, gave us some more sources of information to look up online.
You’ll definitely leave this tour with a new view of the city.
Practical info about the Be Tel Aviv street art & graffiti tour
Be Tel Aviv run various tours in the city in both English and Hebrew.
Tours with an English speaking guide take place several times a week.
There are two separate tours, one for each of the street art hubs: Nahalat Binyamin and Florentin.
You can join a group tour or book a private tour. You can also give a tour as a gift to someone else through the website.
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I’d like to thank Be Tel Aviv Tours for inviting me to join this street art tour in Tel Aviv. All opinions are my own.