Israel Gay and Lesbian Vacations
Tel Aviv Gay Pride
Your gay Israel vacation
Tel Aviv appears more like a mirage of Miami than a city in the Middle East. This modern, robust city (nary an ancient wall in sight) is brimming with surfers, men in Speedos, girls in thongs, and restaurants in the sand. Tel Aviv is home to gay saunas and gay beaches, a happening lesbian scene, and LGBT clubs that pump until dawn. Homosexuality was decriminalized in Israel over twenty years ago, and the Israeli tourism board even produces gay TV ads, but don’t expect a robust gay life outside of Tel Aviv. Regardless, explore just two or three hours out of the city and you’ll be rewarded with 5,000 years of human history in mesmerizing (if conservative) Jerusalem; the stunning cliffside fortress of Masada; and the buoyant waters of the Dead Sea, which you can float right on top of. The countryside of Israel feels so immaculately peaceful, it’s hard to believe it’s ever had a topsy-turvy history.
LGBT-welcoming Israel hotels
Tel Aviv, Israel
Rate includes breakfast
While visiting the heart of Israel, pamper yourself at the Renaissance Tel Aviv Hotel - offering the best location directly on the beach and within easy access to business, shopping and entertainment. Located in the city center, our superb hotel in Tel Aviv is situated on the beach where you can sink into the warm white... More
Tel Aviv, Israel
Rate includes Breakfast
The Mercure Tel-Aviv located just 200 Meters from the famous Tel Aviv promenade and beachfront.The hotel is an ideal base for both vacationers and business travelers: Offers 103 sophisticated and elegantly designed rooms, Free Wi-Fi access in all rooms and public areas, Lobby bar,modern dining room and meeting room.The... More
Tel Aviv, Israel
The Dan Tel Aviv Hotel stands on a beautiful beachfront location right on the famous Tel Aviv promenade, just a short walk to the old city of Jaffa, Tel Aviv port and many various entertainment areas. Close by is the dynamic business district as well as popular nightlife venues. The Dan Tel Aviv consists of a chic lobby,... More
Tel Aviv, Israel
- Park Plaza Orchid Hotel offer free Wi-Fi, international phone calls from rooms and lobby, Fitness Club - Holmes Place, Bikes and laptop rental are all completely free. - Overlooking the Mediterranean Sea, located on the Tel Aviv Promenade at the best central location. The best 4 stars DLX hotel is within walking... More
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There is no gay neighborhood in Tel Aviv, although the hip area of Florentine is queerly “bohemian.” LGBT establishments are nicely integrated into the overall cityscape, and most of the city’s 20-plus gay bars and nightclubs are found in the southern parts of the city – making up nearly all gay nightlife in the country.
Gan Ha’atzmaut, or Independence Park, is queer-social rather than simply cruisy, and the city’s gay beach is just below its cliffs in the northern part of Tel Aviv. Called Hilton Beach, it’s located near the Hilton Hotel, and you’ll know it by the hunks in Speedos splayed out on the sand. Israel actually has a gay-popular nude beach, called Ga’ash, located about a 35-minute drive north of Tel Aviv. Get good directions from a local before you try to find it yourself.
Tel Aviv’s large pride parade draws over 100,000 in June, when TLVFEST, the city’s annual gay film fest, also happens. The Lethal Lesbian film festival is held in Tel Aviv each October.
Insider tips for Israel gay travel
Plan for questioning at the Tel Aviv Airport
This airport (which nearly every visitor to Israel flies into and out of) is one of the most security-conscious in the world, so expect to be questioned within an inch of your life – especially if you are two young males traveling together. Dress nicely, be polite, and don’t take it personally.
Don’t expect much a gay scene outside of Tel Aviv
Despite Tel Aviv’s brashness, the rest of rural Israel is a bit conservative (particularly Jerusalem). Although holding your partner’s hand is fine in Tel Aviv, personal displays of affection are frowned upon in other parts of the country.
Expect fewer services during Shabbat
From sundown on Friday to after nightfall on Saturday (the Jewish Shabbat), public transport runs less frequently and more expensively, and many establishments (except restaurants) are closed as well. But the beach gets going Friday afternoon, and the clubs rock every night.