I’ve become acquainted with the Abraham Hostel chain slightly over a year ago, at a blogger convention in Jerusalem. They held a bar crawl, originating at their hostel, and I was already excited about them. I then found out they had a hostel right next to my house in Tel Aviv, which hosts many events and has working room for people who want to bring their laptop and work from there.
From that time on I got to spend a lot of time at the hostel, either working on my laptop or attending an event or a lecture, such as a Facebook marketing class I took or a blogger panel they hosted.
Since Abraham Hostel offer something I haven’t seen anywhere else in Israel and at very reasonable prices, I thought it would be great to stay with them and write about the experience and honestly – Roman and I enjoyed ourselves a lot. Despite being only a few minutes away from home, we felt like we were on a little vacation abroad and it was simply wonderful.
At the entrance to the hostel is a little yard with places to sit, then upon entering you come across a reception desk, a tour desk (Guests of the hostel get a 10% discount on the tours offered by the hostel) and a few sitting spots. There is also a board listing the week’s upcoming events hosted there.
The hostel’s room
We arrived at the Hostel on Friday, at around 14:00 and our room was already waiting. We got a nice private room. Like every hostel, the room is quite basic, it has a bed, table and chair, clothes rack and bathroom with a shower and a toilet. However, the room is only a small part of what you might find at the Abraham Hostel.
Our room was on the 3rd floor, on which there is also a television room and a lovely balcony where you can sit and enjoy the breeze. You can buy a beer at the bar (on the 1st floor) and bring it along with you to the balcony, and just enjoy the atmosphere.
On the 1st floor is a massive area with seats, a kitchen and bar. At the kitchen you can make and refrigerate food, as well as make coffee and tea. The bar offers food and drink, and guests of the hostel get a 10% discount on them as well.
We sat down there to work.
The bar opens at 16:00 and starting at 17:00 there is food available as well, but on the day we were there food wasn’t served because of preparations for a show about to take place. So Roman ate at a Shawarma place (Map) close to the hostel and I took a coffee and sandwich from the Piece of cake café, in front of the hostel (Map).
We signed up for Friday dinner at the reception (Which costs 50 NIS for hostel guests, or 70 NIS otherwise). Afterwards we sat on the balcony with a beer and at 19:30 came down to the 1st floor for dinner. There are long tables and actually almost all were full.
One of the employees explained what the Sabbath dinner is all about and what the dinner ceremony is. We lit candles, Did Kiddush and blessed upon a Challah bread. Then you may go to the buffet and get food. There was a nice variety of dishes and honestly, I was very pleased.
The food was tasty, low on fat and accommodated both those who wanted meat and vegans/vegetarians.
There was cauliflower in tahini, oven baked yams, pasta, lentils, beet, salad, squash and chickpeas, as well as a station with chicken and potatoes. Everyone got a glass of wine for the kiddush and there was Challah and tahini set on the table. At dinner we met guys from Canada, Germany and India and had a very nice time. At the end of the meal, everyone is supposed to wash the dishes they’ve used. A thing I liked seeing was that the buffet food leftover after the meal was done was offered to hostel guests for free.
Concert at the hostel
Later, there was a performance by the band Quarter to Africa, and it turns out hostel guests could attend for free. So, we popped in for a bit – The show was really excellent and many people came to watch.
In the morning we went to breakfast (Served between 6:30 and 10:00). Breakfast is a buffet, and is quite basic but sufficient in my opinion. There is a variety of spreads, salad, hard-bioled eggs, olives, challah and a coffee maker for cappuccinos.
At 12:00 we checked-out, but stayed at the hostel to work.
A bike tour
At 14:45 we went to the tour desk to fill out papers for the bike tour we signed-up for in advance (Link for booking tours through the hostel). We were a group of ten, not counting the guide – Amir. The tour was light and very interesting. I felt like a tourist in my own city, which was a lot of fun. Read more about our experience on the bike tour.
We came back from the tour in the evening, and that was the end of our cool weekend in Tel Aviv. I’m really glad we got to stay at Abraham Hostel, since I think they make Israel more accessible in terms of price, as well as an authentic experience for both locals and tourists. It’s apparent that they put a lot of thought and effort in the kinds of tours, classes and performances they offer.
Those who come to stay at the hostel should know it isn’t a hotel. The rooms are basic and have no television, for example. After eating, you’re expected to wash your own dishes and the guests at the hostel are quite varied. It’s a mix of tourists and locals, youths and adults, families and couples. It has some of everything and its part of what makes the experience all the more magical.
More details about Abraham Hostel
The hostel is in Tel Aviv, on Levontin street, which is a 2-minute walk from Rothchild avenue (An avenue full of restaurants, bars and cafés). A 10-minute walk away you’ll find Levinsky market – a less crowded market than the Carmel market, but one where you can find fruit and vegetable shops, spices, nut shops and more (Map) and the Florentin neighbourhood (A cool, hipster area with a lively atmosphere and many cafés, restaurants and bars). A 25-minute walk away you can reach Jaffa (Map) and the beach.
There are buses and shared taxis near the hostel (Map), the advantage to shared taxis is that they work on Fridays and Saturdays, and at every hour of the day. Line 5 passes a part of Allenby, Rothschild, Dizengoff and continues to north Tel Aviv). Line 4 covers the entire Allenby street (At the end of which you may get off, before reaching the sea), continues along Ben Yehuda street and arrives at the Tel Aviv harbour. You can catch the taxis by waving your hand anywhere along their route.
Good places to visit while staying at Abraham Hostel
Kuli Alma Dance bar, Albi café (A hipster café, well suited for vegans), Tenat (A great vegan Ethiopian restaurant), Taqueria (Modern Mexican restaurant), Benedict (A restaurant specializing in decadent breakfasts, as well as lighter ones, open 24/7), and a bit further away you can find Hamiznon (Luxurious street food by the chef Eyal Shani).