TEL AVIV

Stay Safe

Safety in Tel Aviv

Stay Safe

Regular crime rates are much lower in Tel Aviv (and in all of Israel) than in most other cities of similar size. Pickpockets are not a big problem, but you should be aware mostly in HaCarmel Market, Nachlat Binyamin market, the central bus station, the beach promenade and all of Jaffa and the flea market area. Although street crime is rare all around Tel Aviv, it would be best advised to avoid walking parks alone at night, or wandering alone in the southern neighborhoods late at night, which are a bit more rugged (in and around the central bus terminal, and south of Salame/Eilat Street including Jaffa - except Florentin). If necessary, a companion would be a good idea.

Be mindful that Tel Aviv has hot and long summers so be sure to drink a lot of water even if you don't feel thirsty and use lots of sunscreen.

When going for a swim in the Mediterranean, stick to the patrolled beaches with lifeguards, marked with flags and signs - every year people drown off the Tel Aviv coast when strong currents get them into difficulties. Also, at the beginning of the summer, keep an eye out for jellyfish (called meduza in Hebrew). Remember that during the months of winter, though the weather may allow a bathe, the lifeguard service is inactive (official bathing season begins on April 18th and ends late in October).

Terrorist incidents have decreased in the past decade and are extremely rare. Nonetheless, The usual warnings regarding being alert for bomb threats also pertain to Tel Aviv - beware of suspicious packages in public places (though don't over panic), and suspicious behavior on the part of people around you; if in doubt, report it! The local police are generally very friendly and many of the law-enforcers can speak understandable English.

Security control checks are a necessary annoyance when entering shopping malls, markets the central bus station, and most hotels, cafes and restaurant. You are frequently requested to let the guards look into your bag - this is a fairly common procedure. It is best not to find it offensive or intrusive, and this check shouldn't take more than 20 seconds and end with a smile and a green light. It is also best advised to carry some sort of identification documents on you at all times. Policeman may stop and ask you for identification, and Israelis are technically required to carry an ID at all times.

Given the amount of security checkpoints at commercial premises, the presence of military facilities and decent police patrolling, open carry of firearms in public by both servicemen and civilians are such an everyday occurrence that most people don't even notice them. Soldiers and national guard volunteers are required to keep their weapons with them at all times, so it is not unusual to see what appears to be a group of high school students, dressed like any other high schools students out on the weekend, all carrying rifles.

As buses are the best way to tour the city, it is advised not to think twice before using them. Despite their past reputation as "terrorism targets", the city buses are a very safe way to travel. They are safe at all times of day and night, frequent, cheap, reliable and easy to handle. You can always approach the driver with any relevant question and the passengers are usually keen to assist tourists.

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