November 2, 2010, Updated September 24, 2012

Lonely Planet this week named Tel Aviv third in a list of the world’s best cities, praising Israel’s leisure, entertainment and cultural center on the coast for its art and music scenes and relaxed, liberal culture.

New York won first place and the Moroccan city of Tangier came in a surprising second. Iquitos on the Peruvian Amazon and Ghent in Belgium were also listed in the top 10.

Israel’s party capital won praise for its tolerant attitudes and thriving gay culture and Lonely Planet also says “Thanks to its university and museums, it is also the greenhouse for Israel’s growing art, film and music scenes.”

“Scratch underneath the surface and Tel Aviv, or TLV, reveals itself as a truly diverse 21st-century Mediterranean hub. By far the most international city in Israel, Tel Aviv is also home to a large gay community, a kind of San Francisco in the Middle East,” Lonely Planet says.

This summer, the prestigious National Geographic Magazine named Tel Aviv as one of the world’s top ten beach cities, dubbing it “Miami Beach on the Med.” It was also voted the third best city in Africa and the Middle East by the New York-based Travel + Leisure Magazine; one of the world’s top “Party Cities” by Forbes Magazine and the Lonely Planet Travel Guide; and was included in the Louis Vuitton 2010 European Cities Guide.

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Jason Harris

Jason Harris

Executive Director

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