Tel Aviv is a thousand pubs, coffee shops, bars, cafés in the middle of the road, breakfast places, ice cream parlors, hummus stalls and so on. Jerusalem is a labyrinth of old town alleys to get lost in and suddenly find yourself inadvertently having crossed from, say, the Moslem into the Armenian quarter, with cave-like shops selling tourist souvenirs, clothes, art, jewellery and religious artifacts.
Tel Aviv is young, fit and good-looking - muscular shirtless guys show off their beach bodies in open air gyms. Jerusalem is orthodox Jews in traditional black robe and with side earlocks, some with heavy fur hats, accompanied by women in skirts and dresses (never pants) often wearing wigs (showing your natural hair is not allowed).
Tel Aviv is dogs, dogs, dogs.
Jerusalem is a Jewish soldier guarding a mosque, a Muslim woman cleaning the toilets in a church.
Tel Aviv is laid-back and open-minded, and the best place for LGBT people in the Middle East.
Jerusalem is charged and intense - you can feel some sort of sizzling in the air, and every taxi driver (they are usually Palestinian) will tell you unasked about his frustrations with the Jews and the state - how the Arabic writing above one of the old town gates supposedly was replaced by a Star of David overnight. How formerly Palestinian neighborhoods have turned Jewish and the former occupants were forcibly removed from their houses. Having come too close to the entrance of Al Aksa Mosque, we are being told off in a rather hostile manner. Driving through the streets at night, we see a large gathering of religious Jews in what looks like a riot or a demonstration, with lots of police, military and burning trash cans. When we mention it back at the hotel, the receptionist merely shrugs and informs us that "there is always someone protesting in Jerusalem".
Tel Aviv has no history to speak of, the whole city is barely a hundred years old and sports an eclectic mix of architectural styles, from Bauhaus over Jugendstil to the glass facades of modern skyscrapers.
Jerusalem has more history than most other places on Earth, with some of the most significant places, buildings and structures of three world religions being within walking distance of one another. Standing next to the tomb of Mary, or the place where Jesus preached to his followers on the Mount of Olives, it is hard to believe that this is the same soil they would have stood on, the same view they would have had.