Want to explore Israel with me? Be sure to nab one of the last few spots to our Wander Women Israel: A Yoga, Diving, + Adventure Retreat for May 27-June 3, 2021 or High Flying Israel: An Aerial Arts + Yoga Retreat for June 5-10, 2021.
If you read my love letter to my favorite city in Israel, you already know two facts about Tel Aviv: I’m obsessed with it, and it ain’t cheap.
But while the city is bursting with cute Airbnbs and hip boutique hotels, there’s also stylish options for those on a shoestring: chic hostels like Abraham Hostel Tel Aviv.
The Middle East has a very limited backpacker culture, and hostels are rare. Israel is the exception. Even before I began planning a trip here, I knew about the Abraham Hostel brand. Their three locations in Jerusalem, Tel Aviv and Nazareth are consistently rated as the top hostels not just in the Middle East but on the planet.
When I’m traveling solo, I tend to opt for private rooms in a hostel. Hotels are nice but I rarely want to splurge just on myself (I mean, don’t get me wrong, sometimes I do) and apartment rentals feel way too solitary when I’m solo.
Private hostel rooms are the perfect balance of privacy without feeling isolated, even if I keep to myself and have my head in my laptop the whole trip! I have to admit that’s essentially what I did for my brief trip to Abraham Hostel Tel Aviv — I was between busy segments of my jam-packed Israel trip, and needed somewhere to recharge and catch my breath before the next chapter.
This was the perfect place to do it. They’ve basically thought of everything here — there’s a laundry room where I finally checked “clean clothing” off my list, a super spacious and secure luggage room where I was able to store my dive bag for the remainder of my stay in Israel, a rooftop lounge where I saw it hail one morning, a ground floor garden where I sat in the sunshine an hour later, a TV room for the rainy day that never happened, and an enormous great room.
That huge, open space consisted of a lively bar, lots of chill-out seating areas, a massive guest kitchen, and tons of dining room seating. Considering my “rest and recharge” — and, ya know “catch up on email” — modes, I spent less time here than I would have liked to. But I can’t wait to come back and do so.
I was pretty much obsessed with the free breakfast at Abraham Hostels, and happily ate there every morning. There were tons of options and I opted for a pretty healthy one between indulgent other meals — green tea, a chopped salad (Israelis love to eat salad for breakfast!), two boiled eggs, an orange, and of course, hummus.
That said, I never tried their other meals, available for purchase at the bar. I’m sure with more time I would have, but I was way too distracted by all the restaurants within a moment’s walk from this insanely well-located hostel. Literally across the street was Taqueria, where I actually admit I ate more than one meal. Perhaps unsurprisingly, my Mexican dining experiences had been limited in the Middle East, and I was jonesing for a fix.
Perhaps also unsurprisingly, if you’ve read my heart-eyed missives about how fresh and fruit and veggie focused everything in Israel was, there were also plenty of smoothie stands, acai bowl cafes and more within a few moments of walking from the hostel, too.
Probably the coolest thing about Abraham Hostels? Their tours and events. From yoga to Hebrew lessons, to paint and sip parties to bar crawls, the programming at this hostel is on fire! And they venture further afield daily with Abraham Tours, which range from street art tours to vegan food tours to biking tours and beyond (guests at the hostel get 10% off.)
Before I was connected with the land and sea based Israel trips I eventually chose to go on, I’d actually planned to just hostel hop in Israel and cobble together a little tour of my own! And in fact, I still plan to do so when I return someday. There’s so much more to see.
While I didn’t have enough time to participate in most tours and events, I did make up for it with a pretty epic one rounding out the end of my trip. At the end of my tour with Vibe Israel, I circled back to Tel Aviv and gave a presentation with the rest of our group on our journeys in travel and the travel industry — right at Abraham Hostel!
The presentation opened with an intro from Vibe Israel founder Joanna Landau, about Vibe’s mission to show the world a non-political, non-religious side of Israel by welcoming journalists, bloggers, photographers, and influencers from a wide spectrum of industries. (Among many others, they’ve hosted mommy bloggers, vegan food writers, and my favorite — Instagram famous dogs. Yes, seriously.)
I absolutely loved hearing the diverse stories told onstage that night about how everyone got started and found their footing in the travel world — every journey is so unique! I have a love/hate relationship with public speaking, but in the end always chalk up any opportunity as a great opportunity to feel more at ease onstage — and that’s a win.
And of course, the best part was getting to connect with so many readers who came up to say hi after. Sometimes I forget there are other people at the end of this screen (is that weird?) and so nothing makes me happier than meeting someone who actually reads these words that feel so much like a diary, I sometimes have to remind myself the entire world can access it. Like, hey y’all!
my diving hosts even came to see me speak!
Overall, I can see how this place consistently tops world’s best hostel lists. They’ve got a cracking events calendar, it’s spotlessly clean and as professionally run as any hotel I’ve ever been to, the location is fantastic, and it’s a stylish hub for travelers from around the world. If you’re looking for something small and intimate, or somewhere directly on the beach, this isn’t the place for you — but fear not, Tel Aviv is full of other options.
Clearly, I can’t wait to return to Abraham Hostel Tel Aviv and experience more of their tours and programming — and soak up those infectious good traveler vibes. While I’m not sure I’ll be returning to Jerusalem, maybe I’ll even stay at Abraham Hostel Jerusalem to see if they can change my mind. And as I’m eager to explore the north, a stop at Abraham Hostel Nazareth is certainly a future must-do. With door-to-door bus service between the three, it couldn’t be easier to do so.
Do you consider yourself a hostel-goer or are you more of a hotel person? Or do you mix it up like me?
Many thanks to Abraham Hostel for hosting me.