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Discover Tel-Aviv, Israel, With Omer From Overstay TLV Hostel

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Omer from Overstay TLV

Tel-Aviv in 3 words?

It’s not enough.

Best advice about public transportation?

Rent a bike. The city is small, flat and full of bike lanes. (and it’s only 5 euros/day in the hostel)

Best place to get coffee near Overstay TLV?

Kaymak Cafe, a vegan hipster cafe hidden around the corner.

Where can we find you on a Friday night?

Friday night is for suckers. Thursday is the shit. If my friends aren’t doing their loft parties, I’d be at The Block, a club hosting the best techno DJs from all over the world.

The Block Tel Aviv
For a great night out, try The Block, the best club around!
Most local spirited bar you like to hang out on weekdays?

The Hoodna bar in Florentine neighborhood. Just grab a bottle and take those tables into the street once the carpenters go home. It’s pre-gentrification.

Hoodna Bar in Tel Aviv
The chill Hoodna Bar in Tel-Aviv. Photo by Nino Herman
Best hangover breakfast place near Overstay TLV?

Abu-Hassan. Best hummus in the world, scientific fact. Just a 5-minute walk from the hostel, on the way to the beach.

Cheapest meal around your hostel?

2 euros falafel. There are rumors of the 1 euro place, but I’ve never dared. 3 euros and you score a dish of hummus to keep you satisfied all day long.

The only dessert to try while in Tel-Aviv?

Sounds like my mom but… Fruit !

Best local drink?

Arak, the local anise-flavored fire water. If it’s early in the day, try an iced lemonade with nana (local mint).

Arak Shots - Tel Aviv hostel Overstay TLV
Tasty Arak Shots, a must when visiting Overstay TLV hostel!
Best thing to do right after checking-in?

Drop your bag, take a cold beer and crash on the roof lounge for some breeze. Welcome to the Middle East.

The first place you take people when you have visitors?

Abu-Hassan. It’s the best jet-lag antidote.

Quirkiest place to visit?

Jerusalem. I can’t stand it but most people have to go there… beware of the Jerusalem Syndrome.

Best park to read a book?

Who needs parks when the beach is just down the street.

Best viewpoint to see the whole city?

The Old Jaffa hilltop overlooking the beaches, harbour and city skyline. It’s the only hill in the city and it’s just up the street from us.

Tel Aviv Skyline from Old Jaffa
Tel-Aviv skyline from Old Jaffa
The perfect day in Tel-Aviv?

Wake up at noon, eat Abu-Hassan hummus, go to the beach with a cold beer, take a nap, find an underground techno party, skinny dip in the sea, crash. Start all over again…

How many days should someone plan to stay?

Minimum 4. If you are after parties and city life, a month will suck you dry.

Best days to visit?

Weekends! Starting Thursday (or even Wednesday).

Best advice concerning the weather?

It’s always better than where you come from. Our winter = European summer.

How to spend a day in Tel-Aviv with only 5 euros?

Eat hummus and take a beer to the beach. Bam.

Best monthly or yearly events?

Yom Kippur, a very holy Jewish holiday, sometime in September. So holy, even Tel-Aviv stops completely. For 24 hours, all businesses are closed; not even a car is out there. The air clears up, and people take over the streets and freeways with picnic bags and bicycles.

Yom Kippur
During the holy Yom Kippur, Tel-Aviv comes to a still, with freeways being so empty that people bike over them.
Any myths about Tel-Aviv that you’d like to debunk?

That Tel-Aviv is dangerous. Like most of Israel, it’s one of the safest places on earth; no robberies, no drunken violence, all streets but one are safe 24/7. Don’t believe the media.

What are you most proud of about your city?

It’s never boring. The alternative culture here is kicking and struggling and I call many of them friends.

Best district to get lost?

Florentine hood, it’s packed with street art.

Overstay Tel Aviv Hostel
Our first guests ever, riding bikes through Florentine hood.
Best district to buy cool souvenirs?

Jaffa flea market. 5 minutes up the street from Overstay TLV hostel.

Best district to look like a local?

Florentine neighborhood, the hipster capital.

Any touristy trap to avoid?

The city center and its beach strip. Stick to the south and Jaffa, it’s still real people living there.

Cheesiest attraction you can’t help but love?

The Carmel Market, an open-air food market, stinks with tourists but still retains some genuine fruit and fish smells.

Carmel Market Tel Aviv
Carmel Market in Tel Aviv. Photo from In Israel
A useful sentence people should know in Hebrew?

“Aba Shelach Ganan ?” (Is your father a gardener?)

Why do you work in a hostel?

I (fucking) love hosting people and sharing my city with them.

How do you stay sane?

I meditate an hour in the morning, and before bed I go troll on Facebook for 30 more minutes.

What’s the weirdest things left behind in your lost + found?

Boxer gloves, vibrators, crown of thorns…

Who was the most inspirational traveler you’ve met?

Claude Lacasse from Quebec city. I bought an ‘84 Topaz Mercury from him back in 2000 in Guatemala. One day, about a couple of months before, he got in the car and just drove and drove and drove.

Coolest feature of Overstay TLV?

Rooftop open air lounge complete with couches, carpets, a dragon and a bar.

Rooftop at Overstay TLV hostel in Tel-Aviv, Israel
The amazing rooftop of Overstay TLV Hostel!

Overstay Tel Aviv HostelThanks Omer for this great info! And to know more about Overstay TLV hostel in Tel-Aviv, Israel, check out their website and their Facebook page, where you can book the hostel directly!

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The Hostel Worker

I once asked a fellow hostel worker if he was still sane after working in hostels for so many years. His response: "Well, sane is another word for boring." Here's to many more hostel years!

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