Heading to Tel Aviv with a laptop and a dream? You’ll be happy to know that Tel Aviv is one of the most digital nomad friendly places in the world. The Internet is fast, prepaid mobile Internet is fast and reasonably priced, and there are some good free co-working spaces, laptop-friendly cafés, and even outdoor locations you can get online and do your thing. To make things even better, freelancing, remote working, startup, and coffee culture are highly popular here, so you’ll fit right in.
Tel Aviv is modern and safe. It’s a small, walkable city, with great food, bars, and nightlife scene. Most people speak English, and most places have English menus and signs, making it easy to get by. If you’re vegetarian or vegan, Tel Aviv is a really good place to find good food everywhere.
There are also plenty of ways you can connect with other English speakers in Tel Aviv.
If you’re into yoga and Pilates, you’ll find plenty of classes taught in English, and they are generally very good. The weather is sunny most of the year, and, of course, there’s a beach.
While not cheap, Tel Aviv does offer a decent quality of life, if you can afford it.
Here’s some useful info for digital nomads headed this way.
What are mobile / cellular phone plans and data plans like in Tel Aviv?
Surprisingly reasonable! Whatever you do, don’t rent one of the overpriced phones available at the airport! Bring your own unlocked phone and make use of the cheap prepaid SIM cards you can buy all over town.
The airport has free Wi-Fi, the train stations have free Wi-Fi and even the train you’re likely to take into town has free Wi-Fi. Once in town, you can buy SIM cards at any post office, and from stalls and stores inside shopping centres. Your best bet, though is to just head to any “Pitsutsiya”, an open-fronted convenience store / newsagent selling stuff like cigarettes, chocolate, etc.
Many of those also sell prepaid SIM cards and top up cards for several local companies like Partner and Cellcom. Deals change regularly and include free data, SMS, and calls to local numbers for very reasonable prices. Just see what’s available and grab the best available deal. Ask the person selling you the SIM which number you should call for topping up. There are menu options in English when you call.
Are cafés in Tel Aviv laptop-friendly?
Tel Aviv cafés are extremely laptop friendly. People use their laptops everywhere, all the time, and nobody cares.
In fact, service in Israeli cafés is often notoriously slow and inattentive, which is perfect for being left alone. I’ve never seen anyone get told off for using a laptop in a Tel Aviv café, so I think you’d need to be a real asshole about it before anyone cares. Like, if you went somewhere that was more like a café-restaurant and sat there for 5 hours on a single coffee at a busy time like a Friday afternoon or Saturday brunch or something.
But actually, I’m not even sure whether anyone would say anything even then. So just choose a place and enjoy. There are no official times when you can’t use a laptop and no particular place where you should sit.
Are there good co-working spaces in Tel Aviv?
The pandemic killed a whole bunch of Tel Aviv’s co-working spaces, but there are still a few left. Here are a couple:
Mazeh 9 * 03-525-7490 * Sun – Thur 9:00 – 22:00+
Free. A place set up by the Tel Aviv municipality to serve as a hub for young people (up to 35). It’s sort of a free communal work / study space where you can hold meetings or rehearsals, use the Internet or attend various lectures, film screenings and events. There is a similar (but lesser known and therefore quieter) space at Yefet 83 in Jaffa (03-5084123 * Sun – Thu 9:00 – 21:00)
The Tel Aviv hacker space. You can join and use it for meeting, talking and making. A good place to meet fellow makers and work on various projects from coding to woodworking and beyond.
More places are listed in the full DIY Tel Aviv guide.
Is there free Wi-Fi in Tel Aviv?
Tel Aviv has free city-wide Internet that works in some central neighbourhoods. When the weather isn’t too murderous, you can enjoy pleasant outdoor spaces where the Internet works. It’s a bit slow, so I wouldn’t be using it to send large files or stream video or anything, but you can certainly send your emails and use chat.
Try the bottom end of Rothschild Blvd. (the Habima square end) for some shady seating in the boulevard, or Habima square itself that has a sunken garden thing you can use when it’s not too sunny out. Bialik Square is another bit that’s nice and generally quiet, though it lacks shade.
Are there Any Downsides to Being a Digital Nomad in Tel Aviv?
Tel Aviv is not cheap. I think most people now realise Israel is not some happy-go-lucky third world country (or even Spain, Portugal, or Greece!) where you can be a beach bum for pennies while making your millions, but in case you were still wondering – as of 2023, Tel Aviv is considered the 3rd most expensive city in the world.
Food and drink, especially in the cafés you will frequent, are not cheap. Tel Aviv Accommodation is not cheap. So if you’re looking to live on a very low budget, this is probably not the place, even if you intend on self-catering or living on much cheaper street food.
If all you want is to visit the city and experience the beach and the Tel Aviv party scene for a week or two, then you’ll be able to comfortably keep working while in town. If, however, you’re thinking of spending a few months in town, you’ll need either an existing, lucrative business or rich parents to live this dream. That said, there are plenty of ways to save money while visiting Tel Aviv and plenty of things you can do in Tel Aviv for free.
Another thing to consider is that Tel Aviv is busy, noisy, and crazy, full of impolite, often aggressive people. If you need peace and quiet to create or work and don’t like using earplugs or headphones, then this isn’t the place for you.
Finally, while rare, Tel Aviv sometimes does get bombed. You can read more about how safe Tel Aviv is right now here.
And for more information about spending time in Tel Aviv, check out the Tel Aviv FAQ.