Tel Aviv One of World's Top Party Towns

Bars start to fill up by midnight (Photo: Tzvika Lipsky)Lonely Planet travel guide ranks first Hebrew city as 10th best place to party in, explaining that 'Tel Aviv has a relaxed air, and prides itself on being gay-friendly and outgoing'

Tel Aviv really is an unstoppable city, at least according to the website of one of the most important newspaper in Australia, the Sydney Morning Herald, which published on Thursday a list of the top 10 party cities in the world.

The prestigious list was compiled by the Lonely Planet travel guide in its new book, "The 1,000 Ultimate Experiences".

Referring to Tel Aviv, which was ranked the 10th best city to party in, the guide wrote that "like elsewhere in the Mediterranean, Israel's second largest city gets going late. The endless bars, pubs and cocktail venues start to fill up by midnight, from which point the nightclubs get revved up with dancing till dawn.

"Nowadays an international crowd joins Israelis for a mixed bag of funk, pop, house and techno at the city's dozens of entertainment hotspots. Tel Aviv has a relaxed air, and prides itself on being gay-friendly and outgoing."

Bars start to fill up by midnight (Photo: Tzvika Lipsky)Tel Aviv

The city to top the honorable list was Serbia's capital, Belgrade, which is said to have suffered from "long years of bad press that have kept it off the map." According to the guide, with an exuberant population and its legacy as an intellectual hangout, the city offers varied nightlife, ranging from eclectic watering holes to busy restaurants, bars and summer clubs.

The list continues with the Canadian city of Montreal, the Argentinean capital of Buenos Aires and Dubai in the United Arab Emirates. The top five concludes with the Greek city of Thessaloniki.

Baku: Oasis of excess in Muslim country

The biggest surprise was provided by Azerbaijan's capital, Baku, which reached the eighth place. According to the guide, "Since the 1990s, when it started taking off as a hub for Caspian Sea oil and gas, Baku has been transformed and this newfound economic stimulation hasn't failed to influence urban nightlife.

"The cash injection from energy projects, enhanced by the presence of thousands of international oil workers and wealthy consultants, has turned Baku into an oasis of excess in an otherwise fairly traditional Muslim country."

Baku is only two places ahead of Tel Aviv, but some are already calling on the Tourism Ministry to put the first Hebrew city on Israel's tourism marketing map.

"The world is starting to discover Tel Aviv and understand what we, the Tel Avivians, have known for a long time," says Tel Aviv City Council Member Yaniv Weizman, who is in charge of the tourism portfolio.

"Tel Aviv is a fun, free and attractive city for tourists," he adds, "and especially for young tourists. Tel Aviv's marketing potential is huge."

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