Jerusalem vs. Tel Aviv: Two Iconic Cities Rivalling To Be The Best

Updated: Jul 12, 2018

New York and Los Angeles, two big cities that are meant to be good representatives of America, but are actually worlds apart. Same goes for Moscow and Saint Petersburg. A whole world of difference lies between the two iconic cities, but both represent the Russian people in their own way. And, of course, Israel, in its effort to catch up with the rest of the world's trends, have found themselves in the same boat.

Jerusalem and Tel Aviv. Two major Israeli cities, are so different from one another that you'd think they're miles apart - when in fact there's a meager 45-minute drive between them. Both cities manage to be so Israeli, yet so different at the same time.

To truly experience Israel you'll have to visit both cities and see the broad spectrum of culture and lifestyle that Israel has to offer. But, if we quit being "politically correct" for a moment, you can't ignore the ongoing competition the two cities have maintained over the years. Whilst we fully believe each city is unique in its own way and has a distinct personal charm and vibe - let's be real. You'll probably prefer one or the other, and that’s completely understandable.

You can love both equally of course, but we have a slight suspicion that you're just trying not to get involved in the feud. We see you, and we're not judging you (Well, maybe just a little). Although we must admit, as Citykatstories is a Jerusalem-based establishment, with most its creators being born and raised in Jerusalem, we're not so innocent ourselves.

We Israelis are so used to the endless TLV vs JLM conversation, but some of the gaps might be new to you. Here’s a list of 5 often-talked-about comparisons between the two cities. After observing just a small selection of differences, and perhaps visiting for yourself, you'll be able to determine which city fan club you'll be joining. For now, let's see how different Jerusalem and Tel Aviv really are.

1. Hats & Beards vs. Hats & Beards

Tel Aviv Jerusalem Hipster Art Print
Hats & Beards vs. Hats & Beards Art Print

Say what now? Hats and beards? how can it be an obvious way to distinguish between the two cities, you may ask yourselves. Well, seeing that Jerusalem has a very large concentration of religious Jews, it's easier to see why. In Jerusalem, you're very likely to see a person walking around with a big black top hat or a Kippah, as part of their religious ensemble. A lot of religious men are also likely to rock a long beard and “payot” (Sideburn curls). But as for Tel Aviv, it's a whole different story. With hipster fashion growing and evolving rapidly, as facial hairstyles go: the beard is in, clean-shaven is out. You'll see a lot of men supporting a hipster beard, likely paired with a man-bun or even a fedora.

2. Skyscrapers vs. Shining stars

Tel Aviv Jerusalem Postcard Set
Postcards Set: TLV vs JLM

There's a lot to be said about architecture when it comes to both cities. Tel Aviv skyscrapers showcasing the best of modern architecture and design, as well as more traditional houses in the older neighbourhoods, it's a mishmash of everything. On the other hand, Jerusalem, is home to some of the world's most ancient, and religiously valuable sites, like The Western Wall ("HaKotel") or King David's Tower ("Migdal David"). The difference is evident. Tel Aviv being more daring, expanding and trying