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top 10 places to visit when traveling in israel

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Alluring and inimitable, Israel is one of those destinations that stirs up a myriad of contemplations when visiting. Located on the Mediterranean Sea and bordered by Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, and Egypt, this Middle Eastern country is known as the biblical Holy Land by Jews, Muslims, and Christians. For such a small country, there is much to see and do here, even if you’re more of a history buff than a religious devotee. From the incredibly diverse topography to the chronicles embedded in the streets of Jerusalem, to the modern seaside city of Tel Aviv, and to the ethereal tranquility of the Dead Sea, Israel has a way of engaging wanderers who seek depth in their travels. Keep reading to learn about the top things to experience while visiting this country.

Tel Aviv and Jaffa Port

  Ilan Shacham / Getty Images

Dining, shopping, and nightlife opportunities abound in the coastal beach city of Tel Aviv, which in many ways can feel like the American city of Miami. You’ll see vibrant graffiti art, modern architecture as well as the largest collection of Bauhaus buildings in the world, and plenty of boutiques selling everything from textiles to home goods to clothing to furniture. Walk along the beach promenade or take a tour of the area via bicycle or Segway. Be sure to visit Carmel Market to sample different types of Israeli foods and drinks, influenced by a multitude of cultures.

Explore the winding and narrow streets of Jaffa’s Old City, also known as Yafo, and its port. The contrast of the oldest port in the world, home to multiethnic communities, next to the modern city of Tel Aviv is stark. See the Jaffa Clock Tower, Saint Nicholas Monastery, the Great Mahmoudiya Mosque, the Old Jaffa Museum of Antiquities, and several gardens, squares, and courtyards.

Mount of Olives

 mbell / Getty Images

Located in east Jerusalem, near the Old City, Mount of Olives is a worthwhile place to visit to gain perspective of the land—you can see far and wide over the Kidron Valley to Jerusalem and Temple Mount when standing on this mountain. Olive groves once covered this Jewish burial ground, which has been the resting place for notable Jewish biblical figures for thousands of years. Dome of the Ascension, where Jesus is said to have made his last footprint on Earth, is located in these hills as is the Garden of Gethsemane, where Jesus prayed before crucifixion.  

Jerusalem’s Old City

 Wendy Altschuler 

The walled and historic Old City of Jerusalem has been at the epicenter for religious faith, sacred to millions of people for thousands of years. Tourists, entering through one of seven entrances (the New Gate, Damascus Gate, Herod’s Gate, Lions’ Gate, Dung Gate, Zion Gate, and Jaffa Gate), explore the four uneven quarters—Muslim, Jewish, Christian, Armenian—within the stone walls. Visit religious sites, look for goods throughout the many stalls in the quarters, and dine out in any of the various eateries. The top must-see sites to experience here are the Western Wall, the Church of the Holy Sepulcher, and Temple Mount. Explore Jerusalem through one of our recommended tour companies .

The Western Wall

Also called the Wailing Wall or Kotel, Jerusalem’s Western Wall is a moving sight for people of any faith but particularly those of the Jewish religion. Millions of pilgrims make their way here each year to pray, read scripture, and write prayers and wishes on pieces of paper that then get wedged into the cracks of the limestone wall, the only remainder of the wall surrounding the Temple Mount and the site of the First and Second Temples of Jerusalem, which were destroyed first by the Babylonians and then by the Romans. The wall is divided for men and women in Prayer Plaza, and conservative dress is required to visit the free site.

Temple Mount and the Dome of the Rock

roevin / Getty Images

The grounds of the Dome of the Rock and Al Aqsa Mosque—known as Al Haram Ash Sharif (The Noble Sanctuary) to Muslims and Har Ha Bayit (Temple Mount) to Jews—is one of the holiest sites for Jews and Muslims. According to the Muslim faith, the Prophet Muhammad made the ascent to heaven at Temple Mount, where the Dome of the Rock sits, and Jews believe this is the site where Abraham prepared to sacrifice his son. Visitors are allowed to view the area, however; only Muslims are allowed to go inside the temple. Modest dress is required.

The Church of the Holy Sepulchre

You’ll see people in awe, crying, praying, and placing purchased objects on the Stone of Anointing, where Jesus’s body was prepared for burial, inside the Holy Sepulchre, a church built on the site of Jesus’s crucifixion, burial, and resurrection. Located in the Christian quarter of the Old City, you’ll see two chapels—one Greek Orthodox and one Catholic—and the Aedicule, a smaller chapel housing the Holy Sepulchre. Be prepared for long lines as tourists make their way through the sections.

Mahne Yehuda Market

Don’t be shy when you wander through this market full of delicious bites. Try the various types of halva, breads, nuts, dates, olives, hummus, pastas, and freshly squeezed juices. Take photographs of the tables with mounds of multi-hued spices. Watch locals haggle over prices on cuts of meat and fish. Take your time, sit at an outdoor café, and enjoy the great people-watching. This market is where everyone comes together to shop, eat, and relish each other’s company.

Via Dolorosa

julof90 / Getty Images 

Christian pilgrims make their way to Jerusalem’s Old City to walk the route Jesus walked from condemnation to crucifixion. Visitors walk and pray at 14 different Stations of the Cross including spots where Jesus was condemned, falls, meets his mother, is stripped of his garments, is nailed to the cross, and is put in the tomb. The Via Dolorosa, or Sorrowful Way, is an important historical and religious route not only for pilgrims and tourists, but also, for a Roman Catholic procession held each week.

City of David

Richard T. Nowitz / Getty Images

Archaeological digs still happen in the City of David, a settlement from the Canaanite period, and ancient relics from the Bronze Age to the Iron Age are constantly being discovered. See the Gihon Spring and the Pools of Siloam, and walk through Hezekiah’s Tunnel, which are part of an archaeological park. Splash through the Siloam Tunnel where water from the early spring still flows. It’s worth noting that the site, occupied by Israel, is controversial in terms of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Tower of David Museum

 Lucky-Photographer / Getty Images

Near the Jaffa Gate entrance to Jerusalem’s Old City, lies the Tower of David , where inside the citadel a museum sits. The museum hosts changing exhibits, cultural events and the well-loved nighttime showing of The Night Spectacular Sound and Light Show, which tells the story of Jerusalem’s history through the use of a laser projection system on the tower’s walls.

The Israel Museum

Glow Images/Getty

To learn about Israel’s art and archaeology, visit the Israel Museum. You’ll see the Shrine of the Book, which is where the Dead Sea Scrolls are located. Wander through the Archaeology and Fine Arts wings and explore the European, Modern, and Israeli art collections. Outside, walk around the large replica of the Second Temple Period.

Sarfoto / Getty Images

An ancient port city on Israel’s Mediterranean coast, built by Herod the Great, Caesarea is an archeological park which includes a large Roman amphitheater and remnants of a hippodrome where prisoners once fought wild animals, and horse-pulled chariots raced around a track. You’ll see ancient mosaics, created in intricate patterns, as well as a Roman aqueduct and palace remains.

Negev Desert

The vast Negev desert, which encompasses more than half of Israel’s land area, is home to the Makhtesh Ramon, a large erosion crater. Bedouins make their home throughout the desert, and some tours will allow you to meet a family in person. Jeep, camel, and hiking tours are popular in this area as is rappelling off of the edge into the Ramon crater.

Ten times saltier than the ocean and the lowest point on land, the Dead Sea is a well-visited destination in Israel and Jordan. People come for a spa vacation, to treat skin conditions like eczema and psoriasis, and to float on top of the water in an otherworldly landscape. Cover yourself in mineral-rich mud and soak in the water—just be sure that you don’t get the water in your eyes or in a cut, because it will sting.

 Wendy Altschuler

Masada National Park, located about an hour south of Jerusalem on the edge of the Dead Sea, is one of the most visited destinations in Israel. King Herod the Great built this ancient fortress on a plateau, which was later occupied by Jewish rebels who were fighting against the Roman Empire. After seven years, the Jewish people committed mass suicide rather than fall into the hands of the Romans, which today is seen as a strong example of resolve. Hike up the path to the top or opt for the cable car and give yourself a couple of hours to roam the grounds.

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10 Best Places to Visit in Israel

By Carl Austin · Last updated on November 2, 2023

For a country the size of New Jersey, Israel is startlingly diverse. Almost anywhere you travel in this Middle Eastern country, you’re sure to come across historic religious sites mentioned in the Bible. You’ll also come across ancient Roman ruins as well as other archaeological ruins dating back thousands of years.

If old things aren’t your cup of tea, Israel has some great beaches, good outdoor opportunities, and a sophisticated cultural scene. An overview of the best places to visit in Israel :

10. Nazareth [SEE MAP]


Nazareth, the largest city in Galilee, is known as the Arab capital of the country because its residents are predominantly Arab citizens of Israel. Nazareth is a pilgrimage destination for Christians because the Bible says it was the home of Joseph and Mary and hence the childhood home of Jesus.

This ancient city is where the angel Gabriel appeared to tell Mary she would give birth to Jesus. Because of this, Nazareth is sometimes called the cradle of Christianity. Its Old City boasts the Church of the Annunciation, the largest Catholic church in the Middle East. Take time, too, to walk the picturesque streets and visit the colorful local market.

9. Caesarea [SEE MAP]


Caesarea is both ancient and new. It was founded by Herod the Great in honor of Caesar Augustus, who gave him the city. In 1952, it became the only city in Israel to be governed by a private corporation. Antiquities park is where you’ll find ruins from Herod’s extensive building campaign.

You’ll also find more ruins by walking through the old city or maybe you’ll want to take in a re-enactment of horse races in the hippodrome. The new Caesarea is modern and upscale. Maybe you’ll want to sunbathe on the sandy beaches, play golf or take in the annual jazz festival.

8. Ramon Crater [SEE MAP]

Ramon Crater

Ramon Crater is the largest of three erosion craters found in the Negev Desert. The geological landform is believed to have started forming millions of years ago when the ocean began receding. It was a few more million years before it became the crater it is today.

Ringed by mountains, the colorful crater is more than 450 meters (1,500 feet) deep and nearly 40 km (25 miles) long. The world’s largest erosion crater is accessible to the public; you can ogle the varying terrain as you hike, bike or drive through it. Campers may enjoy staying at a campsite run by Bedouins.

7. Haifa [SEE MAP]


Israel may be a Jewish state, but it is another religion that draws visitors to Haifa, the country’s third largest city. Located on the Mediterranean, this pretty city’s biggest tourist attraction is the Baha’i World Center with its shrine of the Bab and beautiful gardens.

Haifa is primarily a port and industrial city, but it offers a variety of things to do. The Israel Museum of Science, Technology and Space is its most visited museum. The arts are important, too, with Ein Hod, home to about 100 artists and craftsmen. Haifa has nice beaches and is a good place to surf and sail.

6. Sea of Galilee [SEE MAP]

Sea of Galilee

The Sea of Galilee of Galilee is the lowest freshwater lake on earth, and the second lowest lake in the world – the lowest being the saltwater Dead Sea. Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount was supposedly given on a hill overlooking the sea.

It’s a popular destination for Christian pilgrims who want to see where Jesus walked on water. The 65-km (40-mile) long Jesus Hiking Trail that visits places where Jesus worked his ministry is another draw. People also come from all over the world to be baptized at the spot the lake flows into the Jordan River.

5. Tel Aviv [SEE MAP]

Tel Aviv

Tel Aviv, Israel’s second largest city, is the country’s financial hub. But that doesn’t mean you should skip coming here because there’s lots see and do, especially if you’re into nightlife. Tel Aviv is known as a party city, as one that doesn’t sleep.

The city is home to the national opera and philharmonic orchestra. Several travel publication surveys rank the city among the best place to visit in Israel; it’s also famous for being LGBT friendly. Its Mediterranean beaches are some of the world’s best. The city has several outstanding museums, including Beth Hatefulsoth that tells the story of Jewish persecution over the ages.

4. Eilat [SEE MAP]


Eilat is an ancient city on the Red Sea that’s served as a port city since the days of King Solomon. Eilat is Israel’s southernmost city. Its sumptuous beaches and an arid climate contributes make it a major resort city. It has some of the best diving in the world, likely due to the beautiful coral reef located here.

If you dive, expect to see an astounding array of sea life. Other attractions include King City, a high-tech Bible-based family theme park; bird watching – Eilat is on the main migration route between Europe and Africa; and Timna Valley Park, home to Solomon’s Pillars and the world’s oldest copper mine.

3. Dead Sea [SEE MAP]

Desert landscape of Israel, Dead Sea

The Dead Sea got its name for a reason. It’s almost 10 times as salty as the ocean, making it a harsh environment for anything to grow in. And at 400 meters (1,400 feet) below sea level, it’s the lowest elevation on land.

For thousands of years; the salt and minerals from its water are used in cosmetics. Dead Sea water and mud have medically proven benefits, putting severe skin diseases and joint problems into long-term remission. All the luxury hotels along the coast have health spas, which are often booked solid for months ahead.

2. Masada [SEE MAP]


Situated on a high plateau in southern Israel overlooking the Dead Sea, Masada was the last Jewish holdout to fall to Rome at the end of the First Jewish–Roman War. Masada was first fortified by Herod the Great in the late first century BC. In 66 AD, Sicarii Jewish patriots captured the fortress from the Romans, who tried to take it back seven years later.

Rather than live under Roman rule, the 900 Sicarii opted for mass suicide. Today Masada is a symbol of ancient Israel and one of the best examples of Roman fortifications remaining. There’s a cable car for those who don’t fancy taking one of the various different paths that lead up the hill.

1. Jerusalem [SEE MAP]

#1 of Best Places To Visit In Israel

Regarded as a holy city to the three major religions of Judaism, Christianity and Islam, Jerusalem is one of the world’s oldest cities. Located high in the Judean Mountains, Jerusalem was formerly inhabited by the Jebusite tribe until King David of the Israelites captured it 3,000 years ago and made it his capital city.

Over the centuries, the city has been besieged, attacked and captured numerous times by opposing religious and political powers. In spite of time and warfare, Jerusalem’s many historic sites remain well preserved, making it one of the most beautiful and fascinating cities of the world.

Its historic Old City is divided into four quarters: Jewish, Christian, Armenian and Muslim. Here you can walk in Jesus’ footsteps on the Via Dolorosa’, pray at the Western Wall, see the Church of the Holy Sepulcher, where Christians believe Jesus is buried, and tour the Tower of David, a medieval citadel. Other important sites include the Dome of the Rock and the Al-Aqsa Mosque at the Temple Mount. Outside the Old City, popular attractions are the Garden Tomb, Hezekiah’s Tunnels, Jerusalem Botanical Gardens and the Biblical Zoo.

Map of Israel

Israel map

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So excited to travel in Israel ? Hope i will enjoy it , and hopefully iit will be safe to stay there and people were super nice ❤️Good HEART

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The Most Beautiful Places to Visit in Israel

Take a dip in the Dead Sea and embrace the health-giving properties of the salty water

From the wave-lapped beaches of Tel Aviv to the craggy peaks of Masada and the mirror-like expanse of the salty Dead Sea, Israel packs a lot of impressive scenery into its compact landscape. Take a few days to enjoy the cosmopolitan delights of the thriving cities, then strike out into the sun-baked wilds to fill your Instagram grid. Here’s our pick of the most beautiful places to see when you visit Israel.

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Paraglide around Mount Tabor

top 10 places to visit when traveling in israel

Even if you’re not familiar with its religious significance, Mount Tabor is sure to impress. With a distinctive curve, rising above the pancake-flat Jezreel Valley, it is easy to spot from miles away. It’s actually only about 600m (1,968ft) high – although it looks taller in this landscape – and its accessibility makes it a natural spot for hiking through lush pine forest. This is also the most popular spot for paragliding in Israel – ideal if you’re a thrill-seeker.

Hike through the Red Canyon

DWGDH9 Red canyon in Eilat mountains, Israelattraction,. Image shot 2012. Exact date unknown.

A 20-minute drive from the popular Red Sea resort of Eliat, the Red Canyon feels like another planet – Mars, to be precise – as you zig-zag your way along a path carved through swirling rock. When the sun hits, it illuminates red, white and even yellow. With multiple routes, it caters for all kinds of walkers. Ty the easy green trail if you’ve got kids in tow, or the black for a more challenging descent.

Admire the beauty of Timna Park

top 10 places to visit when traveling in israel

Parched and photogenic, rugged Timna Park is an essential stop-off point in the impressive Negev Desert. It’s not just good looks either, the attraction also lies in the rich regional history. Here you’ll find the first copper mine in the world and remains of smelting furnaces dating back to ancient Egyptian times. The artful sandstone columns known as Solomon’s Pillars – basically frozen-in-time drips of volcanic magma emerging from the cliffs – are arguably the most impressive natural highlight. Camp overnight and enjoy amazing stargazing.

Hear the tale of David and Goliath in the Valley of Elah

top 10 places to visit when traveling in israel

The site of the battle between David and Goliath, this triangle-shaped valley – lush with green fields – provides a surprisingly gentle hike. Many visitors choose to come with a guide so they can hear the tale while touring the landscape but you can just as easily enjoy a spring visit on your own when the valley is filled with purple blooming lupines.

Explore religion on Mount Zion

top 10 places to visit when traveling in israel

Outside the old walls of Jerusalem, Mount Zion is a holy site for Jewish, Christian and Muslim worshippers. It is also a great place to learn more about the history of Israel. Packed with beautiful old buildings and famous spots including King David’s Tomb and the Room of the Last Supper, it’s a must-visit for history buffs as well as religious pilgrims. It’s especially atmospheric late in the afternoon, when some of the surrounding structures turn golden in the honeyed light. Pack your camera.

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Stroll along the ancient port in Acre

top 10 places to visit when traveling in israel

Various cultures have inhabited Acre – or Akko – throughout its history, including the Crusaders and the Ottomans, each leaving their mark on the region. With fascinating architecture, cultural ruins and sights around every corner, this city in the north west is essential viewing on any Israel trip, and considered as one of the top Israel attractions. Take a romantic evening walk alongside the 2,000-year-old port, relax into a meal at one of the lovely local restaurants – keep an eye open for the irresistible crunchy-syrupy pudding kanafeh on menus – or have a leisurely stroll through the city markets.

Discover the religious significance of Nazareth

top 10 places to visit when traveling in israel

An hour or so’s drive from Tel Aviv in the Lower Galilee region of northern Israel, Nazareth is the biggest Arab city in the land. It is also a major spiritual destination for tourists and Christian pilgrims from around the world, who come here to see the Basilica of the Annunciation built where Joseph and Mary had their home. In addition to its religious value as the childhood home of Jesus, Nazareth is a city brimming with culture, history, old Ottoman architecture and fascinating archaeology. Prepare for a heady rush of Middle Eastern charm.

Go wild with watersports on the Sea of Galilee

top 10 places to visit when traveling in israel

The Sea of Galilee (or, as Israelis call it, the Kinneret) is the largest freshwater lake in the country and a major national supply source. Its history goes way back. According to the New Testament, many of Jesus’s miracles occurred here, including his walk on the water. Today, visitors to the Sea of Galilee can immerse themselves in the tranquillity of the beautiful environs, have fun building rafts, or enjoy motorboat trips, water-skiing, banana-boat rides and kayaking.

Take a spring stroll through the Golan Heights

top 10 places to visit when traveling in israel

Northern Israel is home to the Golan Heights, controversially captured from Syria in 1967. It is a beautiful, mountainous place with breathtaking landscapes, glorious nature reserves and intriguing historical attractions for the whole family. If hiking is your thing, there are paths of varying levels of difficulty, depending on the time of year. Things are especially impressive during spring, when irises, crocuses and tulips bloom abundantly and the fields are green. In winter, Hermon Mountain is a playground for skiers and snowboarders.

Embark on a free tour of Haifa

top 10 places to visit when traveling in israel

After Tel Aviv and Jerusalem, Haifa is the third-largest city in Israel, with a kaleidoscope of neighbourhoods and blend of cultures that makes it a lively place for visitors. There’s a vibrant port and lively beach, which attracts surfers and offers water sports and tuition. If you want to be at one with nature, pay a visit to the most celebrated attraction in Haifa, the Bahai Gardens, on the flanks of Mount Carmel. Join a free daily tour at noon and admire the fountains, terraces and manicured flowerbeds of this precious place for followers of the Bahai faith, and learn more about the Israel culture history.

Join a celebration in Tel Aviv

top 10 places to visit when traveling in israel

Tel Aviv is a dream city beside the Mediterranean, where vibrant nightlife and local markets meet mouth-watering food and photogenic architecture – visit the bauhaus-style buildings of the White City if you want some seriously sexy Instagram images. Society here is diverse and people are very open-minded, so you’ll find your place here whoever you are. As the entertainment centre of Israel, Tel Aviv offers a full calendar of events throughout the year. These include the Gay Pride Parade, Purim Street Party and Tel Aviv Fashion Week.

Uncover the ancient world in Jerusalem

view of the Jerusalem wailing wall, Israel

Home to important spiritual sites for three major religions – Islam, Christianity and Judaism – Jerusalem is one of the holiest cities in the world, and you can now explore it with local expert guides on Culture Trip’s specially curated small-group Israel trip . Come for a few days and you’ll feel as if you’ve travelled back centuries. In the Old City, surrounded by a grand wall, you can learn a lot about the religious history of Jerusalem by visiting places such as the Al Aqsa Mosque, the Church of the Holy Sepulchre and the Western Wall (aka the Wailing Wall). This part of town is divided into four quarters: Muslim, Armenian, Christian and Jewish. If you can, visit one of the museums outside the Old City, such as Yad Vashem, a Holocaust remembrance centre.

Take a hot-air ballon tour of the Ramon Crater

TBNMJC Landscape of the Negev desert. Makhtesh Ramon Crater in Mitzpe Ramon, Israel

Head to Mitzpe Ramon, a town in the Negev desert midway between Jerusalem and Eilat, and you’ll be able to visit the Ramon Crater ( Makhtesh Ramon in Hebrew). It’s not technically a crater – that would have involved a meteorite – but rather a makteshim (erosion cirque), formed during millions of years of erosion. Discovered as recently as 1945, it is quite a beast: 40km (25mi) long and 10km (6mi) at its widest point. You can tour by Jeep, Segway, or even helicopter, but a hot-air balloon flight will give you the most spectacular views from on high.

Slather on mud in the Dead Sea

top 10 places to visit when traveling in israel

The lowest point on earth, at more than 430m (1,412ft) below sea level, the Dead Sea is not only fun to float in, it’s also healthy, historic and surrounded by breathtaking beauty. This endorheic lake, which has no outflow, is one of the saltiest bodies of water on earth, creating the perfect buoyancy for floating. Dead Sea mud is also great for your skin, so slather it on. Two sights not to be missed while you’re in the Dead Sea area are Masada, with its archaeological merit and amazing views, and Ein Gedi, a twinkling oasis in the desert.

Go diving in Eilat

top 10 places to visit when traveling in israel

After you’ve explored Israel, taking in history, nature and culture, Eilat is all about relaxing in its many beautiful hotels and resorts. In the very south of Israel, it offers many activities: go diving among the stunning coral reefs of the Red Sea, swim with dolphins or laze by the pool. Beware, summer temperatures can be more than 40C (104F); in winter it’s a more tolerable 19C (66.2F).

Ellie Hurley contributed additional reporting to this article.

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14 Top-Rated Tourist Attractions in Israel and the Palestinian Territories

Written by Jess Lee Updated May 13, 2023

Home to some of the world's most famous religious tourist attractions , Israel and the Palestinian Territories is often thought of purely as a pilgrimage destination. After all, this is where some of the main events for those of the Jewish, Muslim, and Christian faiths is said to have happened.

But for travelers not seeking out religious sightseeing within the churches, synagogues, and mosques, there are plenty of other things to do.

The Dead Sea is a bizarre natural wonder where you can't sink. The Galilee region's natural beauty ticks all the boxes for those who want to hike in nature. And the Negev Desert's raw and rocky landscapes are ripe for adventure and one of the best places to visit if you're seeking some dusty action and outdoor things to do.

Sure, the religious sites here will always be the main draw card for a visit, but scratch below the surface, and you'll find there's so much more.

To help plan your itinerary, check out our list of the top tourist attractions in Israel and the Palestinian Territories.

1. Jerusalem Old City

3. churches of nazareth, 5. the dead sea, 6. bethlehem, 7. timna park, 8. sea of galilee, 10. mar saba monastery, 11. beit shean, 12. jericho, 14. makhtesh ramon, map of tourist attractions in israel and the palestinian territories.


Aching with the weight of history, Jerusalem has one of the world's most recognizable skylines, with the golden helmet of the Dome of the Rock glinting above the caramel-colored stone of the old city.

This ancient walled city holds deep religious significance for all those of the monotheistic faiths, and the labyrinthine alleyways inside are packed with religious sites and mind-boggling history.

Dodge the crowds of pilgrims and take a walk along the walls that still wrap around the old city. Explore the city's fabulous museums, and immerse yourself in the mazy lanes that kings, Crusaders, and conquerors have all fought over.

Jerusalem's many highlights enchant and confound in equal measures.


Jerusalem is all history. Tel Aviv is about modern dining and café culture. And Haifa just does its own thing.

Haifa's main attraction is the Baha'i Gardens , which tumble down the hillside towards the sea in a series of immaculate green terraces. They're a must-do for all travelers to this lovely city, but Haifa's big attraction for many visitors is that it's the perfect base to explore the north .

Akko, Mount Carmel and Caesarea are right on the doorstep, and even Nazareth and Megiddo could be easily done as a day trip from here.

Hands down the most easygoing city in the country, Haifa should be part of everyone's itinerary.


Forever linked to the story of Jesus in the Bible, Nazareth is one of the main pilgrimage destinations in the country.

The holy sites here are some of the most important in the world for those of the Christian faith. This is where the Annunciation took place, and where Jesus Christ was brought up, and the center of town is home to important churches that celebrate this history.

One of the most important tourist attractions in Nazareth is the Basilica of the Annunciation , but there are plenty of smaller sights in town to explore.

Away from the biblical connections, Nazareth's busy bazaar area, amid the twisty old city lanes, is a highlight in itself, always bustling with commerce.


A picturesque vision of honey-colored stone, Jaffa is a chilled-out little harbor town with an illustrious past as a major port.

Made for aimless wandering and home to an excellent flea market , Jaffa provides an old-world-style respite from the modern thrum of Tel Aviv next door.

The muddle of lanes leading down to the sea, where once the great ships of the ancient Mediterranean empires docked, are now a haven for café-hopping and a lazy afternoon of sightseeing in Jaffa .

Jaffa has been thoroughly gentrified in recent years, with small art galleries, craft shops, and restaurants moving in. On weekends, it's a busy center for outdoor dining and shopping.

The Dead Sea

The lowest point on earth and one of the world's most wacky natural wonders, the Dead Sea is the mineral-rich and overly salty sea where no one can sink.

Locked in by the cliffs of the Great Rift Valley, this bizarre body of water (where natural buoyancy occurs due to the rate of evaporation causing the high salt content) has been wowing travelers for centuries.

A handful of "beach resort" areas along the Dead Sea shoreline provide facilities, with cafés, bathrooms, and the all important freshwater showers to wash the saltwater off you afterwards, for those who want to take a dip.

Take a float — you can't really sink — and you'll be won over by the weirdness of this experience, as generations of visitors have before you.

  • Read More: Top-Rated Tourist Attractions in the Dead Sea Region


A major Christian pilgrimage center, Bethlehem is home to the Church of the Nativity , built over the site where Jesus Christ is said to have been born. It's one of the top sights in Bethlehem .

The stately church complex with its far-reaching historical significance, and the busy market vibe of the bazaar make this the number one highlight of the West Bank.

Although many travelers only come here as a day trip from Jerusalem, the town is an excellent place to base yourself for excursions into the surrounding countryside, with its Byzantine monasteries and sites related to events relayed in the New Testament.

Timna Park

Raw and rugged desert scenery at its best, Timna Park, near the Red Sea resort of Eilat, is one of the most beautiful corners of the Negev.

The landscapes here have a visceral quality, which enchants all who visit, with towering cliffs and surreally-shaped boulders set between vast tracts of multi-hued sand.

Timna's copper mining history (which stretches back to the ancient Egyptians) is also worth exploring; the area is full of ancient mine shafts and rock inscriptions that desert adventurers can seek out.

  • Read More: Top-Rated Tourist Attractions in Eilat

Sea of Galilee

The shoreline that wraps around the Sea of Galilee offers interesting attractions , gorgeous countryside, and bags of history.

Whether you're here to visit the churches of Tabgha, where Jesus delivered the Sermon on the Mount and carried out much of his preaching, or you just want to soak in the hot pools near Tiberias and do some hiking, this beautiful region is a major highlight of any trip.

Don't miss taking a swim in the sea itself and soaking up the views across the lake on a hillside hike.


The mountaintop fortress of Masada, overlooking the rugged scenery of the Dead Sea region, is home to incredible vistas and some fascinating history.

This is where King Herod's once mighty palace stood and where the Zealots took their last stand against the Roman Legions.

If you're up for a hike, the winding Snake Path is the perfect way of reaching the top, with excellent panoramas all the way. It's one of the top things to do in Masada .

Otherwise, take the cable car and see the views without the sweat.

Mar Saba Monastery

Mar Saba Monastery is an architectural marvel of the Byzantine age, precariously snuggled into the cliff face as if it had sprouted organically out of the sheer rock.

The monastery is dedicated to Saint Sabbas the Sanctified, a Greek Orthodox monk from Cappadocia who founded this monastery.

Although female travelers are not allowed to actually enter the monastery (except for the Women's Tower near the entrance), the view is enough of a reason to visit, with the metal domes glinting in the sun between the rock face.

An easy day trip option from Bethlehem or Jerusalem, Mar Saba Monastery is one of the Holy Land's great historic sites .

Beit Shean

In a country full of ruins, Beit Shean stands out from the crowd for its excellent preservation.

Here, you can get a real feel for the life of a Roman and Byzantine town , with its colonnaded streets, well-restored theater, and extensive bathhouse remains.

Stroll the once mighty streets, explore the extensive ruins, and sit in the theater where the Roman city's cultural life was played out.

It's a fabulous slice of the ancient world that any history lover should see.

Monastery of Qurantal on the Mount of Temptation

One of the most important historical sites in the West Bank , Jericho lays claim to being the world's oldest continuously inhabited city and has a history that can be traced back 10,000 years.

The archaeological site of Ancient Jericho (Tel Jericho) is right in town and after exploring this layered settlement mound, you can hop on the cable car from the site to the Monastery of Qurantal on the Mount of Temptation where, according to the New Testament, Jesus resisted the devil.

This is also a prime base in the Palestinian Territories, not just for exploring the attractions in Jericho , but for venturing further afield. In particular Hisham's Palace, with its famed Tree of Life mosaic, and the monasteries inside the canyon of Wadi Qelt.


Wrapped up in Crusader history, Akko (Acre to the Crusaders) has a mellow harbor full of colorful, bobbing fishing boats; a vibrant bazaar crammed with spice, produce, and interesting artisan products; and a truckload of history to boot.

The city walls, old khans (caravanserais), and fort remnants speak of another age, when this town was the center of the empire.

One of the most enjoyable towns to explore (who doesn't like a secret tunnel?), Akko is a great mix of historic sites and modern life.

Ibex at Makhtesh Ramon

This deep erosion cirque, (a crater-shaped steephead valley created by erosion), with the town of Mitzpe Ramon on its rim, is one of the Negev's major highlights .

From lookout points along the rim, the canyon walls plummet downwards for 300 meters, with dramatic vistas across the rock formations of the valley.

For the more active, Makhtesh Ramon is a national park, and various trails have been created leading down into the depths of the valley, making Makhtesh Ramon one of the best destinations for day hiking in the country.

There are other makhtesh in the Negev, but this one is the deepest and largest, measuring roughly eight kilometers wide and 40 meters long.

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The perfect israel itinerary – guide & interactive israel map.

top 10 places to visit when traveling in israel

If you’re visiting for only a few days, this Israel itinerary will allow you to see as much as possible in the time you have.

What to do in israel in 5 days – israel itinerary for travelers in a hurry.

From the lowest point on Earth in the middle of a vast desert to the lush peaks of the Carmel Mountains, from one of the most ancient cities in the world to a glittering seaside cosmopolitan hub… Israel takes it all and crams it into a tiny strip of land. I’ll tell you all of the best things to do in Israel during your time in this incredible country.

This Israel Itinerary will help you explore the most amazing sites of this amazing country. #Israel #Jerusalem

You can’t drive more than four hours in any direction from the airport without leaving the country, yet Israel offers enough to keep visitors’ itineraries jam-packed – whether you’re staying for five days or five weeks.

This five day Israel itinerary is enough to whet your appetite and leave you wanting more. To get a deeper sense of the country and explore more, I encourage you to consider a 10 day trip to Israel – this itinerary has all the details you need to plan your entire trip, and you can even use it as the foundation for a shorter trip by just picking the days you’re most excited about.

top 10 places to visit when traveling in israel

Israel Itinerary Map

Day 1: Exploring Tel Aviv – An Israel Must See

Shalom, and welcome to Israel! You’ll start your short visit to Israel in the bustling modern city of Tel Aviv, perched on miles of a gorgeous Mediterranean coastline. It’s a must on your any Israel Itinerary. Tel Aviv is a fascinatingly diverse city of neighborhoods and today you’ll get to explore a few of them.

If you want to know what to do in Israel to relax, Tel Aviv is a great choice. Start off recovering from your flight with a relaxing stroll south along the beachside promenade, the tayelet . You’ll take it all the way to Old Jaffa, which has origins as a port city dating back to the days of Jonah in the Bible!

Start off by wandering up to the lovely Gan HaPisga, one of the most incredible places to see in Tel Aviv, where you’ll enjoy the lovely flowers and great coastal views. Next spend some time exploring the narrow, winding alleys filled with art galleries and studios. You’ll finally make your way down to the port itself, which has recently been revitalized into industrial-style galleries and is one of Tel Aviv’s new hot spots.

For lunch in Jaffa you have two excellent options:

The Old Man and the Sea : If you want a hearty traditional dining experience, head to The Old Man and the Sea. Your meal will start with a course of salatim , small dishes of various types of salad that are typical of Israeli cuisine. Thanks to its location in the Jaffa Port, The Old Man and the Sea is known for excellent, fresh fish entrees – you can’t go wrong with those!

Abu Hassan: If you’re looking for a meal on a budget or you want a different kind of traditional experience, head to nearby Abu Hassan. There’s very little disagreement: Abu Hassan serves up the best hummus in Israel . My personal recommendation is to order the masabacha , a mix of hummus, tehina and whole chickpeas. It’s served warm with a basket of fluffy pita. You may not think of a bowl of hummus as an entire meal, but that’s how it’s treated by Tel Avivians in the know.

Exploring Tel Aviv Israel Itinerary

The afternoon is a great opportunity to head back north and see some of Tel Aviv’s oldest – and most unique – neighborhoods. To see some fantastic spots with the context of expert explanation, grab this self-guided audio tour . It covers the Levinsky Market – one of the most authentic markets you’ll see when you visit Israel – and the diverse Florentine, where you’ll see fantastic Tel Aviv street art. The fee you pay for the tour includes samples at some of the market’s best shops, so you’ll have plenty of delicious sustenance for your exploration!

Walk just a few more blocks to the lovely, refined neighborhood of Neve Tzedek. This was the first Jewish neighborhood outside of Jaffa, and now it’s home to cafes, art galleries, book stores and more.

When it’s time for sunset, be sure to head back to the coast and find a lovely perch to enjoy it. Mediterranean sunsets can’t be beaten!

For dinner, you’ll head back toward Jaffa but this time to the Flea Market district. At night it comes alive as a vibrant scene for restaurants and bars. Your destination is Onza, one of the city’s best restaurants. It offers a contemporary twist on traditional Turkish cuisine and is one of my personal favorites.

Highlights in Tel Aviv:

  • Tayelet- Beach Promenade
  • Gan HaPisga
  • The Old Man and the Sea
  • Levinsky Market
  • Neve Tzedek
  • Flea Market district

Day 2: Day trip in Coastal Israel

One of the prettiest areas of Israel is its lush northern coastline. The coast is one of the best places to visit in Israel. Today on your Israel itinerary you’ll spend the entire day exploring it! There are two ways you can manage the logistics, each with pros and cons. If you want the flexibility to move at your own pace or you’re traveling with a family, it might be worth renting a car (in downtown Tel Aviv, not at the airport). If you’re visiting solo or you’d rather have everything planned for you, you can hop on a guided day trip to take you up and down the coast.

Regardless of how you opt to handle the logistics, you’ll see beautiful, interesting places. On a longer itinerary, you’d probably want to spend the night in the north to see everything, but with just one day you may need to prioritize just a few of these spots to visit. Here are some of the best places to visit in Israel along the Carmel coast, from south to north:

Caesarea National Park

This ancient Roman settlement was established as a port for the newly-expanded empire around 25 BCE and used as such for over 1500 years. The city is still remarkably well-preserved and includes residential buildings, a commercial area, an amphitheater and a chariot racing arena. The site is very large, so plan to spend about two hours exploring. There are several on-site restaurants to grab a lovely lunch with a view.

Ba’hai Gardens

Ba’hai Gardens Israel Itinerary

This is known as one of the most amazing things to see in Israel. The diverse coastal city of Haifa is home to the Ba’hai World Center and its famous gardens. If you have just a few minutes, stop at the top of the garden to sneak a peek from the top level (this is what the day trip options do). With more time, you can take a guided tour all the way down through the garden – just be sure to check the English time slots in advance as they’re limited. If you plan to enter the garden, be sure to wear modest clothing that covers you knees and shoulders.

The ancient city of Akko is a fascinating look at Israel’s layers of history. You can explore the old Ottoman city, the Crusader fort, underground tunnels and more. The traditional market is a fun place to wander and sample delicious traditional food.

Rosh Hanikra

Rosh Hanikra

We love the limestone cliffs and grottoes of Rosh Hanikra, right on the border with Lebanon. The world’s steepest cable car takes you from the top to the bottom, where you can wind through the caverns and explore the fascinating nooks and crannies. There’s also an interesting historical movie shown in one of the caves that explains the history of the railway that once ran right next to the grottoes and in to Lebanon.

For dinner nearby, try Michael Local Bistro – famous for its Israeli take on the farm-to-table movement.

At the end of the day, head back to Tel Aviv for the night. If you’ve rented a car, you can either keep it to do more self-guided exploration for days 4 and 5 or return it if you plan to use public transportation and/or guided tours for those days.

Day 3: Jerusalem’s Holy Sites and the Shuk

On day 3 of your Israel itinerary, you’ll visit the famous Holy Sites of Jerusalem. No matter your religious affiliation, visiting Jerusalem’s holy sites is one of the best things to do in Israel and an absolute must. Religion and history are all intertwined and it’s fascinating learning about both in this country, both of which are at the heart of many ancient and modern religions today.

Jerusalem’s Holy Sites and the Shuk

One of the great things about traveling in Israel is just how close much of the country is. This morning you’ll leave early to go from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, which should take about an hour.

If you’ve already returned your rental car you can take either the bus or the newly-completed fast train. If you choose public transportation, you may need to take either a local bus or a taxi to your hotel to drop your bags depending on where you’re staying.

You’ll want to be done dropping your bags in time to arrive at Jaffa Gate for your 11 am tour of Jerusalem’s holy sites in the Old City. This excellent free tour lasts around 2 hours (but could go a bit longer) and visit all four quarters to give a brief introduction to the main sites of the Old City.

When your tour is done, grab lunch at Tala Hummus in the Old City (you’ll even get a discount from your tour guide). Even though it’s a restaurant frequented by tour groups, it’s quite good and hits the spot in a convenient location!

Due to the limited time available on the tour, you won’t go inside the Old City’s various holy sites. After lunch, you can opt to return to the Western Wall or the Church of the Holy Sepulchre if those are of special interest to you. If you choose to go to the Western Wall, you can even take a tour underneath to see various levels of excavation of the original Temple walls!

After you’ve had your fill of the Old City you’ll walk along the modern Jaffa Street to Jerusalem’s famous Machne Yehuda market (also called “the shuk ”). If you’re feeling tired or the heat is extreme, you can also hop aboard the light rail that runs through the middle of the street and stops right outside the market entrance.

Israel food

Wander the market, take in the sights and smells, ask for samples. It’s an experience you can’t miss! Be sure to stop my favorite bakery, Marzipan, for some of their world-renowned ruggalah . It’s absolutely incredible, so make sure you buy a few extra to send my way.

food in israel

After you’ve filled up at the market, you can enjoy more strolling time along Jaffa Street and its many off-shoots until it’s time for dinner. You’ll head back to the shuk , which transforms after dark into one of Jerusalem’s evening hot spots! Enjoy dinner at Machneyuda, often regarded as one of the country’s best and most creative restaurants – just be sure to make a reservation in advance (sometimes a month or more).

If you still have energy, head back to the Old City for one of the stunning “sound and light” shows put on by the Tower of David. They project images directly on to the city walls taking you on an amazing journey through history.

Day 4: Day Trip to the Dead Sea

dead sea

Swimming in the Dead Sea is one of those can’t-miss once-in-a-lifetime experiences on any Israel itinerary, so we’ve gotta make it happen even with a short time in Israel! The good news is that you can be at the most beautiful part of the Dead Sea in just under two hours from Jerusalem.

The better news is that there are some absolutely fantastic places to visit along the way to make a complete day trip. You can either spend this day exploring on your own if you have a rental car or take a guided tour like this one .

I recommend eating breakfast before you leave Jerusalem and bringing a picnic lunch with you, as food options are slim (and generally not great).


Masada is one of the best outdoor attractions in Israel . Visit the mountain-top fortress where 1st-century Jews took refuge from Roman rule. If you arrive early enough in the day (in the summer, often before 8 AM) and you’re in very good shape, you can hike up the “snake path”. It takes 1-1.5 hours as you ascend 1300 feet.

The snake path is the only way to see the sunrise at Masada, which is very popular but requires you to leave from Jerusalem extremely early – potentially around 4 am in summer. Most people choose to ascend and descend via cable car, which you can do at any time of day.

Earth’s lowest point is the Dead Sea, the shrinking extremely salty sea in the middle of the desert. It’s called “Dead” because it’s so salty that nothing can survive. I recommend visiting the southern section near Ein Bokek. It doesn’t have the mud you’ll find in the northern section, but the water is prettier, the floating is better and the beach access is free.

Ein Gedi

The final stop of the day is one of the best places in Israel, Ein Gedi. This oasis in the desert provides some great easy hiking and lovely freshwater springs perfect for a swim after a hot day of exploring.

After your day in the desert, head back to Jerusalem for dinner and the evening. If it happens to be a Tuesday, this is a great time to head to The Israel Museum while it’s open later (more info on The Israel Museum for day 5 below). Otherwise head to the Jerusalem First Station ( HaTachana ), the old train station that has been converted into a wonderful public space that includes plenty of restaurants, boutiques, arcade games, fun events, and more.

Day 5: Discover Israel your way

Shrine of the Book fountain

On the final day of your Israel itinerary, choose your activities based on your own interests.

If Jewish and Israeli history is your main interest, this is a good day to split between The Israel Museum and Yad Vashem. The Israel Museum has a world-class collection that includes the Dead Sea Scrolls, thousands of years of archeological sites from the region, unique synagogue interiors from around the world and much more. There are also several restaurants on-site where you can grab a delicious lunch.

In the afternoon pay respects to victims of the Holocaust at Yad Vashem, the World Holocaust Remembrance Center. There are numerous memorials on the site and you’ll want to take your time to go through them and also process what you’re seeing.

Christian pilgrims to the Holy Land should spend the final day visiting two important sites: Bethlehem and the Mount of Olives. A visit to Bethlehem , located in the West Bank, will take you to the Church of the Nativity, the Franciscan Grotto of Lady Mary and the Shepherd’s fields.

The walking tour will return you to Jerusalem, where you can grab a quick lunch. You’ll continue your spiritual journey in the afternoon with a guided visit to the Mount of Olives. The tour will include churches, the Mosque of Ascension, Mary’s Tomb, the Jewish cemetery, and iconic views of the Old City.

top 10 places to visit when traveling in israel

If you are interested in diving deeper into the Israeli-Arab conflict, sign up for the excellent Hebron dual-narrative tour offered by Abraham Tours. The tour includes both an Israeli guide and an Arab guide, each explaining their side’s view of the conflict as you explore the sites of Hebron that are holy to Judaism, Christianity and Islam.

Combining a Trip to Jordan and Israel

Many visitors coming to Israel choose to combine their trip and do a Jordan and Israel combination trip. Crossing from Israel to Jordan on land is fairly easy for most tourists. It might take some time, so be patient. There are three land border crossings between Jordan and Israel:

You may want to consider getting your Israel Passport Entry Stamp on a separate paper instead of on your passport. Having an Israel stamp won’t restrict your entrance to Jordan, it’s quite common, but it may impact your ability to enter other Muslim countries in the future, so it’s better safe than sorry, unless you know you won’t be visiting them.

Jordan Guide

If you decide to combine your Israel itinerary with a trip to Jordan, be sure to check out my Jordan Itinerary . It’s one of my favorite places in the middle east.

Want to Make your Trip Planning Easier?

If you want to make your trip to Israel and/or Jordan memorable, but want to skip the stress of planning, these guides are the perfect open-and-go solution. They provide day-by-day itineraries, interactive maps, tour and accommodation recommendations, and more insider tips!

top 10 places to visit when traveling in israel

I hope this Israel itinerary has given you a taste of what you’ll find in Israel! For even more details to plan your entire trip or to extend your visit longer, check out this detailed itinerary and more helpful resources like where to stay in Israel , what to pack and more !

This itinerary was written by Melissa from The Family Voyage , who is my Israel Expert!

Israel Itinerary FAQ

If you’re traveling to Israel, around seven days is usually enough, though it depends on your preference and interests. You could easily spend a week in Jerusalem alone or take a more leisurely approach and spend a couple of days in each of the main cities.

Yup, if you want a jam-packed adventure to Israel, might as well consider going on tours so you can cover more ground. With 7 days in Israel, you’ll be able to explore the country’s key cities and attractions, including Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, and the Dead Sea.

Yes, depending on the itinerary you follow, it is possible to cover the main attractions within Israel in a 5-day period. However, if you want to experience as much of the country as possible, it’s best to give yourself a week or two.

It’s best to go here from April to October when the weather is mostly sunny and dry. December to March can be colder and wetter but, depending on your preference, this might still be a great time to visit as the country isn’t as crowded and you can experience Israel’s winter charm.

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  • Itineraries & Travel

Updated Aug 19 2023 08:09PM EDT

75 best things to do in Israel: The ultimate travel guide

  • By Jazzie Morgan

top 10 places to visit when traveling in israel

In honor of Israel’s 75th birthday, here are 75 MUST-DOs in Israel, from north to south. This is your complete travel guide or bucket list of things to do in Israel.

Jump to: The North | The Center and Jerusalem | The South

1. Go skiing on Mount Hermon.

It may surprise you to know that Israel’s Mount Hermon has over 28 miles (45 kilometers) of ski trails! While there is lots to do on top of the Hermon any time of year, skiing is definitely a special experience. Make sure to check they are open before making the trip up to the mountain.

top 10 places to visit when traveling in israel

2. Visit Ghajar, a town on the Lebanese border for a one-of-a-kind experience. 

This Alawite-Arab village , now open after being closed to tourists for years, is well-known for its authentic Syrian and Lebanese food. There are many food trucks in the village, a beautiful park filled with flowers and an award-winning pastry shop.

3. Take the longest cable car in Israel up the Manara Cliff. 

When most people think of cable cars and Israel, they think of Haifa or Masada, but the longest cable car in Israel is actually in Northern Israel up the Manara Cliff. In addition to the cable car, there is a climbing wall, a zip line and mountain sliding.

4. Have a delicious goat cheese lunch at Goats with the Wind. 

Take a step back into biblical times with an incredible goat cheese lunch in Yodfat at Goats with the Wind , a family-run cheese farm. Their set tasting menu includes tons of seasonal fresh salads, homemade cheeses and roasted vegetables.

top 10 places to visit when traveling in israel

5. Drink wine at Tel Shifon winery, located in the northernmost part of Israel.

Tel Shifon Winery is a beautiful kibbutz winery offering attractions from wine tastings to onsite villas and ATV tours. If you can make it for one of their nighttime chef pop-up meals under the stars, it is a truly special experience.

6. Take a geopolitical tour of the Lebanon Border.

Seeing the border firsthand and hearing stories from locals will help you understand the complex geopolitical situation between Israel and Lebanon. There are many different companies offering these tours and they can often be tailored to your specific interests.

7. Visit a Druze family for a home hospitality cooking workshop with Galileat.

Galileat offers authentic culinary excursions like workshops, home hospitality and more in the Galil. Their hosts go above and beyond to give you a glimpse into the Druze religion and community. They have hosts that are Christian, Druze, and Muslim. I recommend asking for Snir and Miaad!

top 10 places to visit when traveling in israel

8. Bird-watch in the Hula Valley. 

At the Hula Valley nature preserve, the lakes are stocked with fish to encourage migration, making it the ultimate bird-watching destination. Over 500 million birds (no less than 390 species) pass through the Hula Valley yearly on their way south.

9. Enjoy the view and pastries at Avtalion Coffee in Misgav.

This kosher culinary experience in the Galilee is one of the most talked-about bakeries in the north of Israel. While Avtalion Coffee is best known for their handmade pastries, they also have an impressive menu of decadent options like croissant sandwiches, blintzes, and shakshuka. The cafe has a stunning view of the region and is a must-visit if you’re in the area.

10. Visit the hot springs at Hamat Gader. 

The Spa Village at Hamat Gader is a little oasis that is great for a few hours of relaxation or a full-weekend stay. The water in the springs is around 107 degrees Fahrenheit (42 degrees Celsius) year-round and they offer a range of accommodations from romantic suites to tents.

11. Stop for hummus in a gas station at Hummus Eliyahu, Yokneam. 

The original location of the famous Hummus Eliyahu hummus chain is located behind a gas station and you would probably never notice it if you didn’t know it was there. It is definitely some of the best hummus in Israel. Go early because they will sell out!

top 10 places to visit when traveling in israel

12. Spend time on Achziv and visit the micronation Akhzivland.

Achzivland is a micronation between Nahariya and the Lebanese border, near the ancient port city of Achziv. It is now a national park where you can camp at their beautiful waterfront campground, rent a beach bungalow, swim amongst the ruins of the ancient city and visit the museum.

top 10 places to visit when traveling in israel

13. Visit Merkaza, one of the largest grocery stores in the Middle East. 

More than just a supermarket, the two-story Merkaza in Nof HaGalil includes a gourmet food court and a home goods store. The store has seemingly endless aisles and is a great place to stop on a road trip up north to stretch your legs, grab a bite to eat and buy local snacks/spices. It is especially cool to visit during Christmas time when it is covered in decorations.

top 10 places to visit when traveling in israel

14. Enjoy a cup of coffee at Arthur Cafe with a view of the Kinneret.

This coffee cart is the perfect place to sit and enjoy a coffee, pastries or even fresh-made pizza in the afternoons, while enjoying a stunning view of the Sea of Galilee. They offer a really wonderful relaxing atmosphere to take a break after a fun day in the water or after a long drive.

top 10 places to visit when traveling in israel

15. Stay in a tzimer (log cabin) in Mattat. 

Although there are dozens of log cabins for rent in the area, my personal favorite is Maayan Bereshit. We go at least once a year and it is the most relaxing weekend you can imagine. Located in Mattat is a winery run on the honor system — you can go 24/7, take wine and leave money for what you take. There is also a great second-hand shop open each Friday.

top 10 places to visit when traveling in israel

16. Visit the Bahai Gardens.

There are two locations of Bahai Gardens in Israel, in Haifa and Akko. These gardens are holy sites for those who follow the Bahai faith, as well as UNESCO World Heritage sites. Touring the Bahai Garden is a must-do not only for the spectacular views but also to learn more about the Bahai religion.

17. Pick your own cherries at the Horse and Cherry Farm on Moshav Odem. 

Hidden on Moshav Odem is a cute farm called the Horse and Cherry Farm that offers cherry-picking during cherry season (May and June)! Plus, it’s located next to Odem Mountain Winery so you can cool off with a glass of chilled white wine afterward.

top 10 places to visit when traveling in israel

18. Hike from the Mediterranean Sea to the Kinneret. 

If you enjoy hiking and have 3-4 days to spare, you will definitely want to take the Yam l’Yam (Sea to Sea) hike. This classic hike is not only a favorite childhood experience for many Israelis — it is also a great way to connect to the land and experience Israel’s beautiful terrain firsthand.

19. Complete part or all of Shvil HaGolan, a hiking trail across the Golan. 

The Golan Trail stretches from Mount Hermon in the north to the Sea of Galilee at its south. It’s a hiking trail, but the majority of it is also accessible by bike or horse. In its entirety, the trail is 75 miles (120 km) and is divided into 15 segments.

20. Spend time swimming in the beautiful natural pools of Gan Hashlosha.

Gan Hashlosha is a national park in Israel with three stunning natural pools of water, making it the perfect place to picnic or camp out. Watch out for the fish that nibble on the bottom of your feet — they tickle. Note that the entrance fee is 33 NIS per adult and 24 NIS per child.

top 10 places to visit when traveling in israel

21. Visit the Kangaroo Park.

Located just outside Gan Hashlosha, Gan Garoo is home to dozens of kangaroos. The kangaroos are free-roaming and you can feed them during your visit. In the park, you will also see cassowaries, emus, flying foxes, parrots and some rare reptiles.

22. Go rafting or kayaking in the Jordan River. 

Jordan River Rafting offers tons of excursions in the Upper Galilee, but one that you cannot miss is rafting down the river itself. Trips range from 2-6 hours and there are different levels of difficulty. They also offer kayaking, jeep trips and guided hikes.

23. Visit the Pereh Mountain Hotel

Pereh Hotel blends luxury with history. Located in an old customs house that has been renovated to offer all the best amenities you would expect at a 5-star hotel, Pereh is truly a unique place. In addition to a stunning gym, pool and spa, they also have an on-site chef’s restaurant and a wine cellar. Spending a night at Pereh is like stepping into another time and place.

24. Tour the UNESCO world heritage sites in Akko. 

The walled port city of Akko is a special place filled with history and a must-see for those traveling in Israel. Make sure you climb the walls to see the port from above, visit the market and take time to explore the Crusader City .

top 10 places to visit when traveling in israel

25. Hike Mount Arbel at sunrise. 

From its beautiful observation points to biblical history, Mount Arbel is simply majestic. Carved into the mountain you will find caves where Jews hid during the Greek and Roman periods. You can also visit an ancient synagogue, which is a part of the Israel National Trail. There are a few hiking trails in the area, running from 30 minutes to three hours.

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26. visit a coffee cart. i recommend blooms, mama coffee, or arthura .

There are well over 80 coffee carts across Israel! At the start of the pandemic, they began popping up in small communities across the country. Many of them are located in parks or near historic sites. They are a fun way to visit off-the-beaten-path places in Israel. Here is a map to find one near you!

top 10 places to visit when traveling in israel

27. Spend an afternoon in a natural spring like Ein Aviel.

Located in the Binyamina area, this natural spring is free, easy to get to and has water year-round! Enjoy a short stroll, spend time swimming in the spring and don’t forget to bring food for a picnic. If you look hard enough, you may also find the hidden cave with a waterfall in it.

28. Enjoy ice cream at Buza, a special shop that is jointly owned by an Israeli and an Arab. 

Buza ice cream is well-known across Israel for its really incredible texture and flavor. “Buza” means ice cream in Arabic and they make their ice cream by hand daily from fresh local ingredients. There are multiple locations in Israel, including in Tel Aviv and Akko.

29. Take a tour of Dialogue in the Dark, the Blind Museum in Holon. 

This is a one-of-a-kind experience of being led through a dark museum by a blind guide to better embrace how it feels to be visually impaired. The museum is located in the Children’s Museum of Holon , which is an easy bus ride from Tel Aviv.

30. Shop in the Jaffa Flea Market. 

Shop for unique vintage pieces from clothing to furniture at the Jaffa Flea Market . There are also amazing spots to eat nearby including the famous Mallabi shop HaMalabiah . Be sure to check out Shifra, a cute shop with lots of local goods like cheeses, oils and dips.

31. Eat lunch at Bottarga in Shuk HaCarmel, Tel Aviv

Bottarga is a home-cooking, female-run restaurant that has delicious options for everyone from meat to vegan and gluten-free. They opened recently and have been the talk of the town ever since. Check out what chef Adeena Sussman has to say about them!

top 10 places to visit when traveling in israel

32. Spend a day at Moshav Bat Shlomo

There is so much to do in Bat Shlomo, but most people drive right by without noticing it. I recommend visiting the “Truck BaMoshava” coffee cart, the award-winning winery and the cheese farm. I highly recommend taking a beautiful bike ride in the forest behind the village as well.

33. Relax on the beach at Hof Yanai, in the Hefer Valley.

Hof Bet Yanai is my favorite beach in Israel by far. There are stunning rock formations and it is often much quieter than other beaches in the center of Israel. There are lifeguards on duty, showers, a snack hut and shaded gazebos to make beach-going even more enjoyable.

34. Visit the Anu Museum

The newly-renovated Anu Museum of the Jewish People is known as one of Israel’s most unique and captivating museums. The museum celebrates multiculturalism and Jewish diversity, with exhibits on the Jewish people across generations. It is located inside Tel Aviv University and easily accessible by train.

35. Visit Asif, the Culinary Institute of Israel.

Asif is a unique combination of a library, cafe, market, garden and museum. Enjoy a delicious brunch, take a stroll through their ever-changing exhibit on Israel’s culinary history and peruse their library of cookbooks. If you’re lucky, you can catch a tour which includes a visit to their rooftop garden.

top 10 places to visit when traveling in israel

36. Take a hummus tour in the Old City of Jerusalem.

One of my favorite experiences in the Old City of Jerusalem was taking a hummus tour of the Muslim Quarter with tour guide Mo from The Holy Tourist . Mo grew up in the Old City and knows the area like the back of his hand, including all the best hummus places.

top 10 places to visit when traveling in israel

37. Enjoy coffee and a slice of cake at the Austrian Hospice in the Old City. 

Most people who visit the Austrian Hospice see the rooftop and its stunning panoramic view of the Old City but miss the adorable cafe just downstairs. Stop in for coffee and a slice of cake and sit outside on the terrace. From there, you can see the Old City from a new perspective.

top 10 places to visit when traveling in israel

38. Experience a traditional afternoon tea at KumKum in Jerusalem.

Kumkum is a one-of-a-kind tea house in Jerusalem. Owned by Elisheva, an immigrant to Israel from England, her shop offers a super-authentic English tea experience down to the tea cups. Elisheva is a trained pastry chef and makes delicious homemade scones (there are also gluten-free scones!). There is no better way to spend a few hours in the afternoon with friends than with a tea tower at KumKum.

39. Row-boat in Ramla’s Pool of Arches. 

A remnant from the time of the Abbasid caliphate, this building has survived over 1,200 years! Today, visitors can experience the reservoir by rowboat, making it a great activity for the whole family. Keep in mind that you have to climb a short steep set of stairs to access it. 

top 10 places to visit when traveling in israel

40. Enjoy a wine tasting at Vitkin Winery. 

Vitkin Winery is one of the most underrated wineries in Israel. On the weekends they offer a special tapas menu with great vegetarian options as well as vegan and gluten-free options.

top 10 places to visit when traveling in israel

41. See a concert at Zappa in Jerusalem.

Zappa is a cool restaurant and concert hall, offering shows by a wide variety of Israeli musicians. The small venue allows for a more intimate and relaxed ambiance than most concert halls. The venue opens a couple hours before the concert for dinner and the bartenders continue to serve drinks throughout. There are many locations in Israel, but my favorite is in Jerusalem.

42. Have hummus at Hummus Gingi on Kibbutz Einat. 

One of the best and most fun places to stop for hummus in Israel is Gingi. Hummus Gingi has been a staple on Kibbutz Einat for nearly 20 years. They slow-cook the chickpeas overnight for especially creamy hummus and the spicy lemon sauce they serve alongside it takes the flavor to the next level. 

View this post on Instagram A post shared by Jazzie | Gluten Free | עגלות קפה | ללא גלוטן | Jerusalem (@theisraelbites)

43. Grab coffee and a cheese platter from Cohen’s Deli in Jerusalem.

The perfect place for an afternoon date, Cohen’s Deli has a top-notch cheese selection, but even better is their salad that comes with it. It is addictive . It looks like a typical Israeli salad, but what sets it apart is the quality of ingredients — they use the best produce, flakey salt, raw tahini and nuts, which perfectly complement each other.

44. Enjoy the vegetarian tasting menu from Asaf Granit’s Tzemah. 

Many of the world’s top restaurants are renowned for their meat dishes, but Asaf Granit’s Tzemah is a 100% vegetarian restaurant serving up 5-star meals. They offer a tasting menu where you can try all the chefs’ picks and it is one of the best ways to celebrate special occasions from birthdays to anniversaries.

45. Enjoy a tour and tasting at Thinkers Distillery in Jerusalem.

Thinkers is a gin distillery located just a few steps away from Jerusalem’s famous Machne Yehudah Market. You can take a 45-minute tour for 95 NIS per person, which of course includes tasting the gin. They also have a longer deep-dive tour where you can sample cocktails from their mixologists.

46. Watch the sunset at the cliffs of Shefayim with a snack from Cafe v’Yam.

The cliffs located behind Hotel Shefayim are one of my favorite places in all of Israel, so much so that my fiance actually proposed to me there. They offer an absolutely breathtaking view of the sunset, and if you’re lucky, you’ll catch Cafe v’Yam still open for pizza and beer.

47. Spend the day at Jerusalem’s Biblical Zoo.

Located in southern Jerusalem in a very pastoral area, the Biblical Zoo is one of Israel’s most popular places to visit. What sets the Biblical Zoo apart is that they have verses from the Torah next to the animals showing the connection between the animal and Jewish tradition.

48. Hike in the Forest of the Martyrs, which memorializes the six million killed in the Holocaust.

In this forest, which is located on the edge of the Jerusalem Forest, six million trees were planted to commemorate the memories of those who perished during the Holocaust. Yad Vashem , Israel’s Holocaust Museum, is also located nearby.

49. Walk from the Kraft Sports Center through Emek HaArazim to Ein Kerem, stopping in Motza for a bite at Alloro Cafe. 

This 6mile (10 km) hike is a beautiful way to explore the outskirts of Jerusalem. Most of the path is paved and only the end has a steep uphill incline. About one-third of the way along the route, you’ll pass through Motza where there is an incredible pastry shop that’s perfect for a pitstop.

50. Visit Hollander Distillery for a liquor tour and tasting. 

A hidden gem in the Jerusalem Hills, Hollander has a rich history that can only truly be understood through experiencing the distillery . You can sample their delicious liquors made from local fruit while enjoying the unbeatable view from their porch.

top 10 places to visit when traveling in israel

51. Eat ice cream at Yotvata. 

You’ll probably recognize the name Yotvata if you have ever had shoko b’sakit (chocolate milk in a bag). After Tnuva, Yotvata is the second-largest milk producer in Israel and their “pundak” (rest stop) makes the perfect pitstop on any drive to Eilat. Try their fresh ice cream with local dairy from the kibbutz.

52. Hike in Timna Park. 

In my opinion, Timna is the most beautiful national park in Israel and there are endless photo ops. They even have an “Instagram map” of the most photo-worthy sites in the park. You can easily spend more than a day here, so I recommend allotting a decent amount of time to your visit. You can even rent or room or bring a tent!

View this post on Instagram A post shared by Timna park – Israel (@timnapark)

53. Visit the hidden lake, a gorgeous viewpoint just minutes from Eilat. 

Bring a pakal cafe (travel coffee stove) and stop for a coffee break while looking out at the gorgeous lake in the middle of the desert. This is the most beautiful spot to stop on your long drive down to Eilat.

54. Do a late-night astronomy tour in the Ramon Crater. 

With some of the clearest and darkest skies in Israel, Mitzpe Ramon or The Ramon Crater is one of the best places to go stargazing. The cost of a tour with Astronomy Israel is 175 NIS per adult and 85 NIS per child above the age of 6.

55. Stay at the luxury hotel Beresheet.

Beresheet is one of the most famous hotels in Israel and for good reason! Just be sure to lock your door at night or you may be woken up by an ibex staring you in the face. If you don’t want to shell out a few thousand shekels a night to sleep at the hotel, you can also go for breakfast!

56. Sleep in a cement pipe at Naot Farm.

You read that right — a cement pipe! Naot Farm is a family-run farm in the middle of the Negev with tiny little pipe rooms that you can rent for just over $100 a night. They also have a small natural pool, a cafe with homemade cheeses and local wine, and plenty of space to stroll and enjoy the quiet.

top 10 places to visit when traveling in israel

57. Visit the Dolphin Reef in Eilat.

Magical views, a private beach, dolphins, snorkeling, diving and a beach bar… what more could you ask for? The cost to enter Dolphin Reef is 69 NIS for adults and 48 NIS for kids under 15.

58. Spend a day on Hof Mosh.

Visiting Hof Mosh, the most famous beach in Israel, is a must-do at least once in a lifetime. The beach is well-equipped with restaurants, making it a great option if you’re looking to spend the entire day relaxing by the water.

59. Snorkel in the Red Sea. 

The Red Sea is known around the world as one of the best locations for both snorkeling and diving. Coral Reef Beach is a super popular and easily accessible spot for snorkeling, renowned for its rich corals and diverse sea life.

top 10 places to visit when traveling in israel

60. Eat ice cream at Glenderia Ice Cream Truck.

We’ve already covered coffee carts — now it’s time for an ice cream truck! Located near Sde Boker (the exact location varies but you can find it on their Facebook page), Glenderia has been serving ice cream to passersby since 2020.

View this post on Instagram A post shared by גלנדריה (@glenderia)

61. Shop at the second-hand store in Sde Boker.

Right outside of Ben-Gurion’s Hut is one of my favorite second-hand stores in Israel! It is quite small but always packed with unique finds, local art and great prices. To get to the store, follow directions to Ben-Gurion’s Hut and you won’t miss it.

top 10 places to visit when traveling in israel

62. Have a coffee with an ibex at Ben-Gurion’s Tomb overlooking Ein Avdat. 

Knaaniya Cafe is an excellent place to grab coffee, but be sure to order it to-go and take a short three-minute walk over to the edge of Ben-Gurion’s Tomb, where you can often find ibex hanging out. Sit and enjoy the stunning view of Ein Avdat while sipping your coffee.

63. Go swimming in Ein Akev. 

Located just below Midreshet Ben-Gurion, this gorgeous, hidden natural pool is one of the best places in Israel to spend an afternoon. Remember to bring snacks and a hat, as there is little shade and it gets very hot.

64. Hike to Gev Holon, Ein Gedi.

The hike to Gev Holon may be challenging, but it is more than worth it. While most people only make it to the small pools and waterfalls at the base of the mountain, this hike takes you to a lovely hidden pool with a breathtaking view of the Dead Sea down below.

@theisraelbites If you haven’t seen Gev Halon, you need to add this to your bucket list! #hike #israel #ולוג #טיול ♬ Zen Music – Meditation

65. Float in the Dead Sea. 

Of course, no trip to Israel is complete without taking a dip in the Dead Sea. But, if you’re looking for a different experience, check out the Dead Sea mushrooms, which are salt islands you can walk out onto for gorgeous photos.

66. Stop for brunch at Studio Coffee in Arad. 

Studio Coffee is American-owned and serves up amazing treats like homemade-flavored coffee syrups and keto desserts with plenty of vegan and gluten-free options. Try their great breads and homemade dips.

top 10 places to visit when traveling in israel

67. Glamp at the Dead Sea. 

Glamping has all the fun of camping but with a much higher comfort level! Located right on the Dead Sea, Badolina is a great place to glamp with an onsite cafe/bar and access to a local pool. With tents that accommodate up to 8 people, it’s a great place to go with friends, and the price can’t be beat.

68. Take a tour of Neot Semadar. 

Neot Semadar is a unique kibbutz located just north of Eilat. You might recognize the arts center and famous statue in the middle of the kibbutz. On the kibbutz you can enjoy a tour of the arts center and a visit to their winery.

69. Go for a wine tasting at Carmey Avdat, with the option to book a villa and stay overnight! 

This desert winery and estate is a small family-run establishment. They say that the farm is located on the remains of a 1500-year-old agricultural settlement on the path of the ancient Spice Route.

70. Experience home hospitality for lunch with Mevashlot Yerucham and learn about the local women of the area.

The Culinary Queens of Yerucham is part of a project to promote diversity, solidarity and a more pluralistic Israel. They offer home hospitality and workshops where you can learn about and enjoy recipes that have been passed down for generations.

71. Go ice skating in the Ice Mall in Israel’s southernmost city of Eilat. 

Ice skating in Israel ? In Eilat of all places? Yes, it is real. When you’re overheated from a full day in the sun at the beach and can’t spend any more time shopping in the tax-free malls, ice skating is the perfect way to spend the evening. Be sure to check Groo (Israeli Groupon) for a deal on tickets.

72. Have delicious Indian food at Little India in Beersheva. 

Little India is one of the best Indian restaurants in Israel, and shockingly enough, it isn’t in Tel Aviv or Jerusalem — it’s in Beer Sheva! And it’s kosher. Try the paneer!

73. Take a cable car to the top of the Masada Fortress.

While some people enjoy the challenge (or torture, depending on your interpretation) of hiking the snake path up the mountain, I prefer the more relaxed experience of taking the quick cable car ride and spending more time enjoying the ruins of the fortress at the top.

74. Check out the graffiti at Gallery Minus 430 at Kalia Beach. 

Named for its elevation level, this unique art gallery in Kalia Beach features graffiti from local and international artists who joined the project to raise awareness about the many environmental issues threatening the Dead Sea.

75. Visit the Antelope Ranch in the Arava Valley. 

Africa meets Israel’s Negev Desert at this cool ranch ! Take a mini safari tour, where you will meet antelopes, elk, goats, exotic sheep and other animals, or visit the petting zoo. There are also cabins and a campground which come with access to a sulfur pool.

Originally Published Apr 24, 2023 05:25PM EDT

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Home » Middle East » Israel » Places to Visit

16 Best Places to Visit in Israel (ATTRACTION GUIDE • 2024)

Let’s be upfront: perhaps no country on earth divides public opinion quite like Israel does.

It’s not a big country, but there are a lot of beautiful things to see in Israel. It’s an old land, older than even the biblical texts would have us believe. There are also ancient sites around Israel that perhaps carry more weight than we can ever comprehend.

That’s what the last couple of months here have felt like; an attempt to comprehend the incomprehensible. There are a lot of beautiful places in Israel filled with majesty, and there is also a lot that hurts the heart. It’s impossible to travel Israel without being confronted by these and it’s taken me nearly two months of learning about the country and experiencing that spectrum to come to a conclusion…

That there is much beauty in Israel.

That’s why I’ve written this guide to Israel’s top places to visit: my top places to visit. It covers a bit of everything from Israel’s religious places and historical sites, to its stunning natural landscapes, to its mind-bending otherworld. This list, I feel, gives Israel – and Palestine – a fair coverage.

I understand that discussing Israel is a political minefield and that you’re sticking your toes in with the sharks and I respect that. But I also respect honesty and integrity and I’m gonna do my best to keep my digits intact! So without further digression, let’s have a look at my choice of the best places to visit in Israel – the must-see sights and sites of the Holy Land!

Sunset fishing at one of Israel's beautiful beach places

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Looking for a dope spot? This is the best area in Israel for traveller vibes!

The best places to visit in israel: highlights of the holy land, faq on the best places to visit in israel, summing up the best places to visit in israel.

Mitzpe Ramon

Mitzpe Ramon

The gorgeous landscapes of southern Israel, hiking galore, and one helluva hippy hotspot makes this one of the best places to visit in Israel for backpackers!

  • Sunset from the cliff over Makhtesh Ramon (Ramon Crater) is yum.
  • Check out the many, many hiking trails.
  • Forget the hostel – camp out under the stars!

Ready to embark on a little pilgrimage? That’s great, but before you do, be sure to check out where to stay in Israel and book yourself an epic stay in accommodation worthy of your choosing. Then, continue on down to things to see and things to do in Israel from the river to the sea. Starting with the classic choice…

top 10 places to visit when traveling in israel

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#1 – Tel Aviv – Expected top of the places to visit in Israel list.

Top place to visit in Israel for most travellers - Tel Aviv

  • Sexy architecture and art.
  • Believe it or not, it can be cheap.
  • Extremely secular.

Listen, I’m not in love with Tel Aviv. I did, however, find a 6 shekel falafel, a bouldering gym, stellar Airbnb’s to stay in and dope exercise parks… oh, and the dumpster diving is on-point too ! One way or another, ‘The White City’ has Israel’s main international airport and everybody visits Tel Aviv regardless; it’s the best place to go in Israel (or more appropriately, the only place) that offers this vibe.

  • Why it’s awesome: The vibe I’m referring to is that modern, “liberal”, hipster-chic, “Why everything gotta cost money!” feels. I kinda thought it felt like San Francisco but then a guy from San Fran said it felt more like a European millennial-bourgey city. I can’t comment there so I’m just gonna say it’s comparable to Melbourne except the people aren’t quite as friendly. But people love all those places? Exactly! What Tel Aviv offers, it brings in spades.
  • What to do there: Tel Aviv is the best place to visit in Israel for nightlife – no arguments there. Pubs, dive bars, speakeasies, live music, jam nights, clubs, techno, house, good genres of electronic music (psytrance), Hebrew poetry slams: it’s all there! There’s sick street art, buskers, and espressos at every turn. The beaches are excellent (and the sunsets are even better) but you’ll want to head north or south from the main hub to escape the crowds. Jaffa is the old town (which Tel Aviv has built around) and here things get more historical and Arabic in vibes.

Ultimately, there are some of Israel’s tourist attractions in Tel Aviv but I’d say that, for most backpackers, Tel Aviv is the tourist attraction. People come here to live the Tel Avivian life and I’d also say that it’s a must-visit place in Israel to gather the full-scope of the complexity of the country. Tel Aviv is also very safe (for the region).

#2 – Neve Sha’anan – A place of interest in Israel for seeking complexity.

Nighttime in Neve Sha'anan - a place of interest in Israel

  • A cheaper area in Tel Aviv.
  • Another side of the city.
  • An important place to visit in Israel.

Still very much a part of Tel Aviv, Neve Sha’anan is another world. Seen as the ‘underbelly of Tel Aviv’, it’s become the home for Israel’s many refugees, impoverished, and unwashed. Here you’ll find many of Tel Aviv’s low-class brothels, streetwalkers, and homeless muttering to themselves as they trawl for scraps. It’s not a dangerous place in Israel, however; violent crime statistics are very low in the country.

  • Why it’s awesome: It may not be everyone’s vibe but I love it! Things are cheaper, the scope of cuisine is spectacular, and it’s a delicious peek below Tel Aviv’s mask of acceptance. Rough or not, this is multiculturalism in Israel at its finest and also it’s a fantastic opportunity to see the dichotomy of the country.
  • What to do there: Eating is a great start! Authentic Sudanese, Eritrean, Chinese, Indian, Filipino, and more – a nice alternative to when the cheap falafel and hummus gets old (spoiler: it never does). A walk around the neighbourhood on Friday night (the start of Shabbat) when the rest of the city begins to hibernate offers some of the most chaotic vibrancy. It really felt like stepping back into Asia.

I ended up uncovering the area because of my work reviewing Abraham Tours . It’s definitely a tour I recommend and you can book through them or, even better, contact Rikki (she was the guide) to book directly: +972-52-217-6188 . Whatever you choose to do, get Rikki: the girl knows her stuff – crazy insightful!

#3 – Jerusalem – A famous place in Israel of biblical proportions!

The wall of Jerusalem - top historical place to visit in Israel

  • The City of (the Abrahamic) God.
  • It’s Jerusalem.
  • Spectacular architecture.

I don’t really like Jerusalem either – sorry! It still stands as the most famous place in Israel to visit though – no contest. If Neve Sha’anan is another world, Jerusalem is another planet. Taking the one-hour drive from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem is enough to get culture shock.

  • Why it’s awesome: Dude, it’s Jerusalem! The city has had so many kingdoms within it, battles fought for it, and people who have died because of it (steadfastly avoiding the obvious Jesus joke). I don’t usually link Wikipedia but this shit be bonkers! Whether you’re looking for biblical sites in Israel, holy places to visit, or just history… well… it’s Jerusalem! If your looking for the best hostels to stay in , Jerusalem has got a fair few of those too.
  • What to do there: It’s the (disputed) capital of Israel and a big city; the vibe may be different to Tel Aviv but it still has all the offerings. Nightlife, markets, secrets, hustle and bustle – just with more funny hats! The Old City of Jerusalem is definitely one of Israel’s must-sees.

Outside of that, I’d recommend just strolling Jerusalem’s neighbourhoods and absorbing the feeling. Stepping from the new city to the old, the Jewish to the Muslim Quarter, or from a secular area to an Ultra-Orthodox neighbourhood all offer they’re own level of inundation of the senses. Just be wary that you don’t contract Jerusalem Syndrome – Jerusalem is crazy and I haven’t met someone who disagrees yet.

I’m not gonna spend all post plugging Abraham Tours, but the ‘Meet the Ultra Orthodox Tour’ in Jerusalem was another of their’s that I thoroughly enjoyed. It’s for sure worth the consideration if you got the spare shekels.

#4 – The Dead Sea – Time for a fun place to visit in Israel!

The Dead Sea - a fun place to visit in Israel

  • Quintessential photo-ops!
  • Become a mud monster.
  • The water tastes like a fish’s taint.

It’s a stone’s throw from Jerusalem (and Tel Aviv – Israel is small) and it’s the Dead Sea. You know, the sea so salty you can’t sink in it! You can still drown if you’re a dumbhead though.

  • Why it’s awesome: C’mon, it’s the Dead Sea; this was a childhood dream of mine since I was six! If you want to talk about unique places in Israel and must-see things, this is it (unless you’ve been to Jordan – shh ).
  • What to do there: As my friend reminded my perpetually-moving mind when we were there: “Just lie back, close your eyes, and feel the water take your weight.” Unless you have any open cuts on your body. Then you’re in for a world of pain!

We went to Kalia Beach which, sadly, costs ($17) . It’s pretty much a day at the beach for Israelis – complete with the ‘lowest bar in the world’ – except with a bonus total exfoliation and searing agony of the eyeballs (AVOID) .

If you want to find a free place to camp and dirtbag by the Dead Sea, they definitely exist, particularly in the south. People sleep out, build huts, and do them; I just never caught the name of one or followed it up. That’s your adventure!

Ein Gedi is also near the Dead Sea and is another crazy beautiful place to visit in Israel for some nature goodness.

#5 – Nazareth – A popular place in Israel to praise Jesus.

Mary's Well, Nazareth pigeons - One of my best places to visit in Israel

  • Quiet (except at Christmas – ugh).
  • Warm vibes.

Nazareth is definitely a religious place to visit in Israel for the lovers of Jesus but I’m skirting that because it’s got nothing to do with why I love it. I came here after roughly two weeks in Tel Aviv and suddenly it felt like I could breathe again. Suddenly, I was in a place where the streets were quieter and the people weren’t inexplicably rude for no reason. Nazareth is chill.

  • Why it’s awesome: Nazareth is known as the “Arab Capital of Israel” and that changes the vibes rather significantly. The food also changes but only marginally. The old city (as usual) is mega-pretty and it just so happens that my favourite hostel in Israel is there too.
  • What to do there: You’ll find a lot of Israel’s religious sites here pertaining to that Jesus feller (’Jesus of Nazareth’ – makes sense); Nazareth is the starting point of the Jesus Trail too. It’s not just Christian jazz though – there’s a large Muslim population as well which means gorgeous mosques and echoing prayers at sundown.

For the Messiah-chasers, it’s a top tourist destination in Israel. However, for those who aren’t seeking biblical places to visit, it’s just a chill refuge from the admittedly challenging nature of backpacking in Israel . The city is full of cats and friendly folk, there are mountains around Nazareth to wander up, and you can practice some Arabic!

Check out Abu Ashraf – the knaffeh is supreme – and Abu Salem too. The drinks are a tad expensive but the decor is intoxicating and people-watching old Arabic men shredding the shesh-besh (backgammon) board never gets old.

#6 – Bethlehem – Starting off the places to visit in Palestine list.

The occupation wall at Bethlehem - A famous place in Israel and Palestine

  • Jesus again.
  • A gentle introduction to Palestine.
  • Phenomenal street art.

Since we covered Nazareth, we’re visiting the West Bank with the next few entries and Bethlehem is a good start. It’s still very much a top religious tourist attraction in Israel. I’d also say it’s one of the best starting places to visit in in Israel and Palestine if you’re ready to start the journey down the rabbit hole.

  • Why it’s awesome: The birthplace of Jesus is a good start! Past that, there are a few more of Israel’s sacred ancient sites and then there’s the wall. The barrier wall between the West Bank and Israel (that also annexes Rachel’s Tomb). The wall goes by many names depending on your stance on the on the conflict and it’s all thin-ice-politics but regardless, the wall is definitely a must-see thing in Israel both for the awesome art and what it represents.
  • What to do there: There’s a whole host of the must-see biblical sites in Israel. The aforementioned Rachel’s Tomb , The Church of the Nativity (built over Jesus’s alleged birthplace), The Milk Grotto (ew)… That’s just a small selection too. The occupation wall is something else. It’s covered in graffiti from the humorous to the downright sobering and even includes some work from Banksy – it’s the real reason I recommend visiting Bethlehem. The art is spectacular, and the selfie-ops are tempting, but when you’re trailing the wall just try to remember what you’re actually looking at under the street art.

Read the stories posted on the wall and take a moment to feel the gravitas of Palestine.

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#7 – Other Biblical Sites in Israel – Rounding off the holy places to visit in Israel.

The Mount of Temptation - A biblical site in Israel

Before we head deeper into the West Bank, let’s round off the religious places to visit in Israel. To be fair, most of these are more places to visit in Palestine.

It’s not my jam but neither is orange marmalade and my mum loves both orange marmalade and Jesus and she’s the best! Let’s take a look at the remaining must-see biblical sites in Israel for all the lovers of orange marmalade:

  • Jericho: Of the ‘we made your walls fall down and then genocided the entire city’ fame. Historically speaking, that probably didn’t happen, but the ruins here are old and well predate any biblical events (except, arguably, Genesis 1:1). They’re not super impressive but good for the archaeology/history buffs.
  • The Mount of Temptation: Presumed to be Mount Quarantania , this was where Jesus was tempted during a 40-day fast by Satan rocking up with a few delicately-rolled doobs and some Chocolate Fudge Brownie Ben & Jerry’s ice-cream (biblical accuracy not guaranteed). Mount Quarantania is right above Jericho and the monastery constructed underneath is actually a super pretty place to visit in Israel.
  • Mount Tabor: Close to Nazareth and the supposed location of the Transfiguration of Jesus. It’s also just a cool looking mountain!
  • Jordan River: And the Baptismal Site of Jesus Christ. For the record, I had a dunk, but it doesn’t count as baptism if you do it to yourself.

#8 – The West Bank – Palestine – All important places to visit in Israel.

Ramallah - places to visit in Palestine

  • The people are kind.
  • The coffee and cigarettes are cheaper!
  • Street food is back.

Ok, ready to do this? Let’s go deeper.

Although there are some of Israel’s popular places scattered around the West Bank (namely, the aforementioned biblical sites), travelling to the West Bank for Palestine itself is not high on the standard itinerary for Israel. Although some may worry that it’s a dangerous place in Israel, my experience was that it’s not.

If visiting the West Bank is not for you, then that’s your choice and totally ok. BUT, you can’t really say you explored the secrets of Israel unless you explored all of it. There are more than just Israelis living in Israel.

  • Why it’s awesome: Look, there is definitely beauty in Palestine of the ‘appeal to tourists’ variety but that’s not necessarily why travel there. I actually found it heartbreaking. For those that aren’t used to travelling in developing countries, I imagine these feelings may only be compounded. This is why I say that both Tel Aviv and the Palestinian cities and villages are both must-see places in Israel. The act of travelling only 70 km changes everything.
  • What to do there: Meet the people. The Palestinian places are safe in Israel and most people are not hostile in the slightest with tourists (yes, even Americans). You can potentially expect some India-esque moments to get some shekels off you so keep your smart traveller hat on . They’re welcoming and warm and just really excited to talk, both about Palestine and the world at large that they’ll never be permitted to see.

If you want to get out in the villages, then I that applaud that. Otherwise, for the city life, Nablus is a tad more chill than Ramallah but they’re both going to give you a good understanding… plus the food is the best!

Also, the Palestinian kids really know how to throw down for a good night! Check Radio in Ramallah on Thursdays. That’ll get you started, at least.

#9 – Hebron – An extremely important thing to see in Israel.

Street of Hebron - most important place to visit in Israel and Palestine

  • You gotta see it to believe it.
  • It’s a place you must see in Israel.
  • Conveniently, super cheap!

I counted this separately from the other places to visit in the West Bank because it deserves it’s own entry. I met a traveller in Israel who enjoys seeking out alternative and darker places . I forewarned him that Hebron is heavy. Three days later I got a message:

Dude, this is fucking heavy…

  • Why it’s awesome: Short of Gaza, this is the best place to visit in Israel to see the conflict at its most real. The city is divided into two sections one of which is H1 – the Palestinian side of the city. H1 sits behind walls, barbed-wire, and assault rifles brandished by the Israeli military. Inside is living standards much, much closer to a city in India than Tel Aviv. It’s not “awesome”; It’s heavy and it hurts and, ultimately, I feel it’s a must-see place in Israel. The only way to make up your own mind is to go there and I’m grateful I did. Broke Backpacker Senior Editor, Freeborn Aiden , also rates at is as the MUST SEE place in Israel if you want to even begin to understand the complexities.
  • What to do there: The main tourist attraction in Hebron is the Tomb of the Patriarchs , the supposed burial site of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and their respective wives. The tomb itself is split in half – a synagogue and a mosque. Outside of that, I’d say, again, walk around H1 and meet the people. It won’t take long before you’re sitting and drinking coffee with a local.

This is the last Abraham Tour I’m mentioning. I did the Hebron Dual Narrative Tour and, although rushed (Hebron deserves more exploration), it’s still an extremely insightful tour that aptly displays the dualistic nature of the situation. It’s a recommendation.

Lastly, for these Palestinian areas, I think it’s well worth finding accommodation with a local. That could mean a homestay, an Airbnb in a shared space, or even Couchsurfing is super possible! One way or another, I think you’ll get way more from the experience doing that than from staying in a hotel.

#10 –  Mitzpe Ramon – Back to the most beautiful places to visit in Israel!

The crater at Mitzper Ramon - Best place to visit in Israel for hippies

  • Sunset majesty.
  • Hippies unite!
  • Ganja – that is all.

Ok, that’s it. Don’t worry; the rest of the list is only the pretty shit! Topping that off is Mitzpe Ramon, one of the best places to travel to in Israel for sunsets and smoke!

  • Why it’s awesome: Mitzpe Ramon is a town located on a ridge overlooking Makhtesh Ramon (Ramon Crater) . I’ll talk about the sheer stunning awesomeness of the Negev Desert and south Israel in a moment but suffice to say the outlook from the ridge is stunning! Mitzpe Ramon has also become an epicentre for all things hippy in Israel. There’s a lively little community built around music, art, and creative expression and, of course, find a hippy, find joints. To be fair, you’ll find joints everywhere in Israel.
  • What to do there: Smoke joints…? Oh, other than that? Hiking, for sure! Israel is actually super dope for hiking and Mitzpe Ramon is no different . You have a whole host of trails at your disposal and they’re all blisteringly gorgeous! Just remember to take water… and a joint… maybe two.

#11 – Eilat and Southern Israel – My personal top place to visit in Israel (minus Eilat).

Hitchhiking from Eilat while travelling in Israel

  • That desert, man.
  • The Red Sea!
  • Cross to Sinai in Egypt.

Ok, so I’m mostly going to skip over Eilat. The Red Sea is there which is rad but, otherwise, it’s a resort town: it feels like Vegas and it’s yukky and I don’t like it. Diving in Eilat is also a thing. So why talk about Eilat? Because everything around it is spectacular!

  • Why it’s awesome: The Negev Desert , the Red Sea , Sinai (in Egypt)… For me, southern Israel was the only part I found that was truly felt uniquely beautiful (including Mitzpe Ramon – yum) and it’s the most beautiful place in Israel for me. The Negev Desert legit looks like Mars at times and the Red Sea is crazy pretty! Sunrise, sunset… it’s all good!
  • What to do there: Consider Eilat just your base for the nature. You’ll find parties there at night obviously, but it’s way too flashy for my taste. You’ve got some pretty dope hiking in the area though; Timna Park and the Red Canyon are both excellent or you can just disappear into the desert… on weekends. The rest of the time it’s a firing zone for the military sooo maybe a no go. It’s also the Red Sea which means all things aquatic: there’s diving in Eilat, snorkelling, paddleboarding, sailing… Pretty much anything that doesn’t require waves!

You can also cross to the Sinai region in Egypt which is equally common for Israeli tourists. It’s super beautiful but it’s technically not a ‘place to visit in Israel’ so read our Backpacking Egypt Travel Guide for more info.

#12 – Kibbutzim or Moshavim – Both historical places in Israel and an escape.

Kfar Yehezkel Moshav - a quiet and safe place in Israel

  • The sounds of birds and cows.
  • Fruit from the trees.
  • Cheap living.

There’s a whole interesting history here with kibbutzim and the founding of the state of Israel, communities built on socialist ideals, and also just how things change over time. Long story short though, they started as agricultural communities built around communal living and work. The system has changed and restructured a lot in recent years, however.

Moshavim are similar but different. Still all about the agriculture and community but just a bit less about the socialist ideals!

  • Why it’s awesome: Firstly, the vibe just chills out a whole helluva a lot more once you reach a kibbutz or moshav, especially outside the urban centre of Israel. They’re agricultural communities which means nature, fresh food and veg, sometimes hippies and smoke, and an escape from the chaos! The shared-lifestyles of these communities is really cool to observe. Israel has it’s own twist on the whole ‘lack of privacy’ thing in Asia (yes, Israel is still Asia) and aspects of it I really enjoy.
  • What to do there: Farm work, mainly. Kibbutzim have a long-standing history of taking in travellers in exchange for work (the OG Workaway) and although the game has changed pretty substantially, you’ll still find farms seeking volunteers. Alternatively, just rock up and camp in the fields for a night. They’re always super pretty and no one will really care as long as you don’t step on any of their crops. Again, it’s that ‘lack of privacy’ thing.

Any suggestions for best places to go in Israel for the kibbutz/moshav life? I spent some time in Kfar Yehezkel and the family vibes are high; here’s their Workaway page and our review of Workaway with a sweet, sexy bonus deal inside.  I also camped out at Ramot Menashe , Dafna is supposed to be dope, and Samar down near Eilat is full of alternative vibes.

top 10 places to visit when traveling in israel

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#13 Haifa and Acre – Maybe not the best but still cool places to visit in Israel.

Over the Haifa port - one of my favourite destinations in Israel

  • Cities but more chill.
  • Beaches but more chill.
  • A bit more harmony.

I lumped these two of Israel’s famous places together because they’re so close to each other. It’s perfectly reasonable to stay at one and day trip to the other. It’s like half-an-hour on the train.

Two seaport cities of mixed ethnic and religious distribution, there’s relative harmony here. They’re cities but they’re more chill cities. I think it’s the mountains nearby; mountain folk are always good.

  • Why it’s awesome: You get the beach, you get less crowds than in the centre, and you get mountains too! It’s literally the best of everything. Although nothing like Tel Aviv, Haifa has grown as hub for younger Israelis and you’ll find some cool stuff happening in the city. Hadar neighbourhood is a good start. Acre has a long history of being in a pretty strategic location so you’ll find some cool old-world goodness there.
  • What to do there: A good daytrip from Haifa is the Mount Carmel National Park or you’ve also got the considerably impressive Bahai Gardens that overlook the city and port. (I didn’t even know that the Bahai were a thing until I got to Haifa – super interesting!) Acre stands as one of Israel’s more historical places to visit with landmarks that date back to middle-ages and that whole Crusades shebang. There’s the almost entirely Arabic old city which also means markets which ALSO means cheap coffee, tobacco, pita, and za’atar… Breakfast is served!
  • If it strikes your fancy, there are lots of volunteering options in Haifa with Worldpackers, a reputable organisation where you can lend a helping hand in exchange for accomodation. Check out our Worldpackers review to see if an immersive work exchange in Haifa fits your bill.

#14 – Golan Heights – For views and other must-see sights in Israel.

Golan Heights snow - a tourist a destination in Israel for hiking and skiing

  • Lotsa nature!
  • Different vibes again.

You want some nature? The Golan is full of it! Heading this far up north is much like heading all the way south: you’re well outside the urban areas of Israel now.

The Golan Heights is the region occupied by Israel during the Six-Day-War in 1967 and up this way you’ll meet many Syrian-Druze people many of which still hold no Israeli citizenship. Some are by choice, some are because of political tensions, it doesn’t matter – the whole situation is messy. The point is, it’s pretty!

  • What it’s awesome: The Golan is a super beautiful place in Israel and a destination worth travelling too. Mountains and bits of greenery or, hell, you’ll even get snow at the right time in the right places! There are villages around for sure, and Israeli settlements too (not unpacking that dynamite-laced Pandora’s Box, thank you), but everything is much more spread out. This one is for the nature.
  • What to do there: Odem is a good base. The Golan Heights Hostel is there which draws in a good vibe of traveller (you know the one I mean). For solo backpackers travelling in Israel especially, I’d say it’s second only to Me’ever. If you’re there in winter, and got the cash to flash, Mount Hermon is the best place to go in Israel for skiing! And also the only! And I use the word ‘best’ very loosely because it’s Israel and not exactly famed for skiing. Or, if you’re interested in the Syrian-Druze people and life, head to Madjal Shams below the majesty of Mount Hermon. Believe it or not, there’s a dope little arts scene!

#15 – Sea of Galilee – The top attraction of Israel’s Galilee region.

Sea of Galilee - a must visit place in Israel

  • Last of Israel’s three big bodies of water.
  • This one is freshwater.
  • And full of fish.

Yep, the Sea of Galilee (Kinneret) which is actually a freshwater lake (the Dead Sea is also a lake but shh ). There’s a number of  Israel’s other holy places to visit around the sea-lake given that this was kinda Jesus’s stomping ground.

  • Why it’s awesome: Just a big ol’ pretty lake! There’s not much to say really. Swimming, kayaking, chasing the Jesus Trail, and everything else is here! There are mountains around, nature, kibbutzim, and all kinds of goodies.
  • What to do there: Israel’s main tourist attraction on the sea of Galilee is Tiberias , which, naturally because this is Israel, has a number of holy sites. Alternatively, you could just do what I suggest which is skip the sacred-city stuff (sacred-old-city burnout is synonymous to temple burnout in Asia). Instead, just explore around the perimeter of the lake and you’ll find kibbutzim and other nice little pockets of prettiness to explore; HaOn is another good place to visit around Israel’s lying scumbag “sea”.

#16 – Hiking in Israel – Not a place to visit in Israel, strictly speaking.

A moshav after the rain and a unique place in Israel

Yep, so, this isn’t so much a place to travel to in Israel as a thing to do but it’s also one of my favourite things about the country (except, perhaps, for the abundance of cheap hummus and tahini). Israel is an extremely walkable country at the best of times (given how small it is) and the presence of a large variety of hiking trails only makes that better.

The Israel National Trail is the cross-country trek for those wanting the feather in their hat. Alternatively, just tackle stretches of it at your leisure.

There’s no shortage of other trails around, like the Jesus Trail I mentioned or even just loading up Maps.Me is gonna present you with a wealth of options. Hell, if you see something on the horizon worth walking to and all that lays between you is the fields of a kibbutz or moshav, just go for it. Yay for socialist ideals!

You don’t have to walk the whole damn country, but there’s really no better way to get out and experience some of Israel’s best places to see. You may also discover some of Israel’s hiding secrets. Maybe, you’ll even find the Messiah.

Dun dun dunnnnn.

top 10 places to visit when traveling in israel

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There are missiles, and terrorists, and enemies at our borders – won’t somebody think of the children!

Na, look, honestly, travelling in Israel has not felt anymore unsafe than most other places I’ve been in the world. Of course, Iran just swore vengeance upon Israel and I’m still here for another 5 days so lucky I got insurance!

Remember, when you are traveling, shit can happen, and that’s when you need insurance!

Find out what people want to know about the best places to visit in Israel

What is the prettiest place in Israel?

In my opinion, Mitzpe Ramon is one of the most beautiful places to visit in Israel.

What should you not miss in Israel?

No trip to Israel would be complete without visiting Jerusalem and Tel Aviv.

What is the most visited place in Israel?

Jerusalem Biblical Zoo is the most visited place to visit in Irsrael.

Is Israel a safe place to visit?

Israel is on the whole a safe place to visit but tourists should never let their gaurd down. You can read more about safety in Israel in our guide to safety in Tel Aviv .

I think we did it: an honest and fair list of the top places to visit in Israel that has a bit of everything. Nothing too contentious was said (I think) and, best of all, you now have yourself a neat little guide to Israel’s must-visit places!

It’s not always an easy country to travel – at least, it wasn’t for me. Things are jarring, many things are heartbreaking, and at times, it feels more illogical and chaotic than India. Just with nicer roads and better public transport.

Still, I can’t say I’m not grateful for visiting Israel and backpacking around it. Some of Israel’s places to visit will give you those wonderful sunset vibes. Some will be an excellent photo-op. Many will leave you with a lot to digest. Either way, you will learn and grow.

I said before and I’ll say it again. There are many beautiful things in Israel. There are a lot of good people in Israel. And there is a lot worth making the effort for.

Just make sure you see all of Israel. See all the things to see in Israel and write your own story through your own experience. And let there be hummus.

Places to Visit in Israel

Ziggy Samuels

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top 10 places to visit when traveling in israel

Places to visit

When it comes to places to visit, Israel is usually divided into six sections:

  • The Judaean Desert (the Dead Sea and Masada)
  • The Galilee
  • The Golan Heights

The first three are considered to be the must-see destinations and whether or not you make it to the rest depends on what you’re interested in and how much time you have.

Classic tours of Israel tend to spend three nights in Jerusalem, including a day tour to the Judaean Desert, and three nights in Tel Aviv.

planning trip Israel

But you can do whatever suits you.

Israel is tiny, so you could definitely stay in Tel Aviv for five nights and do a one-day tour to Jerusalem and a one-day tour to Masada and the Dead Sea.

If you are looking to do day tours, I can really recommend Abraham Tours. You could also stay in Jerusalem for five days and take the train to Tel Aviv for a day.

The new train from Jerusalem to Tel Aviv (with a stop at the airport) makes it quick and easy to visit the cities for a day.

If you’re not a city person, you can stay in the Judaean Desert, which is an option I would really recommend, especially if you’re visiting in winter, i.e. November to March.

On my website you will find lots of information about Tel Aviv, Jerusalem, and the Judaean Desert – accommodation options and how to plan your time there. Check it out here:

top 10 places to visit when traveling in israel

I’m currently working on adding more content to the sections about the Galilee, the Golan Heights, and the Negev desert. However, I have already written about accommodation in these areas, and you should definitely take a look as I’ve added some really special places that you won’t find anywhere else. Check it out here:

top 10 places to visit when traveling in israel

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Few places on earth stir up passion the way that Israel does: the breathtaking beauty of its hills and valleys, the eerie stillness of the Dead Sea, the multi-colored canyon of Makhtesh Ramon, and the ancient walls and pathways of Nazareth and Jerusalem. The call of the muezzin and the quiet prayers of Orthodox Jews at the Western Wall reflect how the religious devotion of the Muslims, Christians and Jews who live here runs through every facet of life.


Must-see attractions.

Shrine of the Bab and lower terraces at the Bahai World Center in Haifa, Israel.

Baha’i Gardens

These formal gardens flowing down 19 steep terraces to a resplendent domed shrine – the final resting place of the prophet-herald of the Baha’i faith –…

Beautiful sunrise over Masada fortress. Ruins of King Herod's palace in Judaean Desert.; Shutterstock ID 360569009; Your name (First / Last): Lauren Keith; GL account no.: 65050; Netsuite department name: Online Editorial; Full Product or Project name including edition: Israel Update 2017

Masada National Park

The plateau atop Masada, which measures about 550m by 270m, is some 60m above sea level – that is, about 490m above the surface of the Dead Sea. The…

top 10 places to visit when traveling in israel

Basilica of the Annunciation

Dominating the Old City’s skyline is the lantern-topped cupola of this Franciscan-run Roman Catholic basilica, an audacious modernist structure that’s…

top 10 places to visit when traveling in israel

Beit She’an National Park

Lower Galilee

Beit She’an’s extraordinary Roman ruins are the best place in Israel to get a sense of what it was like to live, work and shop in the Roman Empire…

top 10 places to visit when traveling in israel

Mount of the Beatitudes

Sea of Galilee

Since at least the 4th century, this landscaped hillside is believed to be where Jesus delivered his Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5–7), whose opening…

Ein Gedi spring in the Dead Sea area, Israel.; Shutterstock ID 110742899; Your name (First / Last): Lauren Keith; GL account no.: 65050; Netsuite department name: Online Editorial; Full Product or Project name including edition: Dead Sea Online Update

Ein Gedi Nature Reserve

This reserve consists of two roughly parallel canyons, Wadi David and Wadi Arugot, each of which has its own entrance complex and ticket office. It is…

Masada, Israel - November 4th 2016: Exterio of  Ruins of the grand residence or the commandant's residence of Masada of Israel. The picture was taken at free spot.

Masada Museum

An outstanding and remarkably vivid introduction to Masada’s archaeology and history, this museum combines 500 evocative artefacts unearthed by…

top 10 places to visit when traveling in israel

Hai-Bar Yotvata Nature Reserve

Established in 1968 to reintroduce animals that had died out in Israel, this 32-sq-km reserve on the Yotvata salt flats is home to a wide variety of…

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33 Best Things To Do In Israel in 2024

top 10 places to visit when traveling in israel

No need to tell you where to find the Western Wall in Jerusalem and the beaches in Tel Aviv, but there are so many more cool things to do in Israel that not everyone has heard of yet. What about amazing national parks, zip lining, mountain tops with amazing views, spectacular roman amphitheaters, scuba diving, or even skiing. In this most complete Israel travel guide with all the best places to visit and the best things to do when visiting Israel.

Israel is a popular tourist destination thanks to its diverse landscape which varies from the coast, valley, mountain, desert, and everything in between. Each one of these diverse landscapes holds some of the most beautifully unique and well-preserved Israel tourist attractions. Tourists from different parts of the world travel to Israel in large numbers. In this list you will all the amazing things to do in Tel Aviv, Jerusalem, Haifa, Eilat, in North Israel and some really cool unique things to do in Israel.

In 2017 I visited Israel for the first time and I returned in 2019, 2021 and recently in March 2023 was my last trip to Israel. Of all those experiences I wrote a big article with all my Israel travel tips: Everything You Need To Know When Visiting Israel in 2023 .

Make sure you stay connected on your trip to Israel. Prepaid sim cards and e-sim cards with data for Israel are pretty cheap. See here where to buy a sim card at Tel Aviv Airport Ben Gurion  or check out my complete guide for  buying a sim card for israel in 2023 .

sim card for israel

My recommendations for the ultimate things to do in Israel are:

  • Hot Air Balloon Ride in the Negev Desert
  • ATV Riding in Maktesh Ramon
  • Boat trip on the Dead Sea
  • Visit Gaza Border
  • Masada National Park
  • Food Tour in Tel Aviv/Jerusalem
  • Visit Nazareth

1. Masada National Park

visit mountain masada israel

Masada is a Hebrew name meaning fortress. This rugged natural fortress is a symbol of bravery and self-sacrifice representing the exile of the Jews from the Holy Land. The fortress which was built as a palace complex constituting the most complete Roman-style works survives till today inside the Masada National Park.

The Masada National Park is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and holds a special place in the heart of Israelites; it holds outstanding universal value as well. The park is strategically positioned overlooking the great natural beauty of the Dead Sea. The Masada site was declared a National Park in 1966 and is now under the management of the Israel Nature and Parks Authority in association with the Israel Antiquities Authority.

Visiting Masada Mountain is one of the top things to do in Israel especially for sunrise. An hour before sunrise the park opens and there are several trails that lead to the top. Find out everything you need to know about visiting Masada Israel in one of my latests Israel travel blogs.

2. Tel Aviv food tours

best things to do in israel

If you travel to Israel you will quickly find out about the delicious Israeli cuisine. Therefore a food tour in Tel Aviv is a must do when visiting Israel. For more about food tours in Tel Aviv (and also Jerusalem) have a look at my article about the best Tel Aviv food tours .

3. Ein Gedi

Ein Gedi is the largest oasis in Israel and is found in the Judean Desert not far away from the Dead Sea within the Dead Sea Valley. The name Ein Gedi is generally used to refer to Kibbutz Ein Gedi and the nearby nature reserve.

The Ein Gedi National Park has a 10-hectare botanic garden that is home to about 900 plant species. Inside the park, there are two rivers which flow throughout the year and two springs. Some of the names given to the landscape within the park are derived from the Biblical stories of king David.

Between November and April visiting Ein Gedi is one of the best things to do in Israel. Otherwise, it’ll be too cold in winter or too hot in summer. There are trails that tourists can follow past the waterfalls, springs, caves, and canyons and you will also see some kind of deer.

A visit to Ein Gedi is mostly combined with tours to the Masada Mountain and the Dead Sea. Here is an example of such an Israel tour.

4. Betzavta

fun things to in israel betzavta

What to do in Israel when you have seen all the touristy stuff, partied hard in Tel Aviv, done with all the fun things to do in Israel but still have a spare night? Betzavta is a new concept that brings locals and travelers together as you will get invited to a local home for a traditional Israeli dinner. More authentic than this it doesn’t get. Betzavta sets you up with a family around your location.

In my case a family cooked for all my friends. When I walked into the family's house I could not believe my eyes, this was like a 5* hotel buffet. We introduced ourselves briefly, before the dad opened the buffet with a short prayer and the feast started. The food was delicious, the conversations super interesting and best of all it was a lot of fun!

If you are looking for unique things to do in Israel this is definitely one of them as this is not something you will find in any Israel travel guide!

best things to in israel betzavta 2

5. Sleep in a Bedouin Camp

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Would you associate traveling to Israel with staying in a Bedouin Camp in the desert? It is a Middle East thing to do, so yes this is also one of the things to do in Israel. Meet a Bedouin family, drink tea and listen to their stories. Ask them all you ever wanted to know about life in the desert, as these people were the ancestors of the modern digital nomads. The Negev Desert is a popular Israel tourist attraction, but it's a playground for the Bedouins.

unique things to do in israel bedouin camp

Is this unique activity in Israel something for you then I can recommend to check out the Kfarhanokdim website . They are located in the Negev Desert and their camp looks awesome.

6. Hot air balloon ride in the Negev Desert

romantic things to do in israel 1

When you think about fun things to do in Israel a hot air balloon ride does not pop up in your mind straight away, but damn this was the best start of my morning in a long time. It was kept a secret and only the night before it was announced: Guys tomorrow morning we have to get up and leave the Bedouin Camp at 3.00am! ‘No, you are kidding right?’ Nope but we are going to watch sunrise from out of a hot air balloon! :)

We were in the middle of the Negev Desert and we needed a jacket to keep us warm in the early morning, but you could feel the excitement among everyone as we were about to experience one of the most unique things to do in Israel. Up in the air we watched the sunrise in the distance and enjoyed the amazing views over the vast Negev Desert. If you are looking for romantic things to do in Israel then surprise your lover with a balloon ride and a breakfast for two on a unique location afterwards.

7. Experience the Gay parade in Tel Aviv

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Ok I admit you will most probably find this in your guidebook as almost 30% of the people in Tel Aviv is gay and this yearly returning festival is the second biggest gay parade in the world. But did you know that even if you are straight this is one of the most fun things to do in Israel. With 200.000 happy people in the streets of Tel Aviv expressing their happiness there is no escaping, you will have to party along! I went out around midday and partied until sunset on the beach. Yes obviously there were ‘too many’ gay people, so this is the reaction of a straight guy finally seeing a girl!

romantic things to do in israel

But as you can see I had a blast!

8. Boat tour on the Dead Sea

unique things to do in israel boat ride dead sea

This is definitely not an off the beaten path Israel destination, this is one of their most popular tourist spots so why did I add this to my list of unique things to do in Israel you must be thinking. Well let me tell you that there are only two boats on the Dead Sea and one boat that takes tourists out. This boat tour is by far the best way to see the coastline of the Dead Sea. This unique place on earth should be one of the reasons to visit Israel . Click on the link for a list of my 24 reasons to travel to Israel.

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9. Buggy riding and zip lining in Makhtesh Ramon

unique things to do in israel atv israel

Stop here if you are looking for fun things to do in Israel! This was one of my favorite activities I did on my first trip to Israel. Makhtesh Ramon looks like a massive crater hit by an unimaginable huge meteorite, but that is a myth. It has something to do with tectonic plates and stuff, but I will save you the details. Admiring the views over Makhtesh Ramon from the 'crater' rim is already one of the top things to do in Israel, but making your way down to the bottom and exploring the area in a buggy or ATV or Tomcat or whatever it is called is super fun.

Damn these things are powerful but this is exactly what you need in a rough landscape like this. Fasten your seat belts for one of the most adventurous things to do in Israel...

top things to do in israel

 Zip lining can also be arranged. In case you are in for a different adventure then may be you want to try to hiking through Maktesh Ramon .

top things to do in israel zip lining

10. Israel National Trail (INT)

For the extreme adventurers traveling to Israel there is the amazing 1000 kilometer long Israel National Trail. It goes across the entire country from north to south in a zigzag manner; starting at Tel Dan and ending at the Red sea. The trail goes over some of the most beautiful and history-packed scenery that Israel has to offer. Definitely one of the unique things to do in Israel.

The best time to hike this crazy path is either between February and April or between October and November. The trail gives both local and international tourists the chance to experience superb desert scenery in a relatively easy accessible way. The Israel National Trail is well marked which makes it very easy to follow without necessarily needing a map. But hey walking a 1,000 kilometer (621 miles) across the country is not really an Israel travel tip, just for those out there looking for crazy things to do in Israel. :)

11. Midburn Festival

midburn festival israel

If you ask me about one of my best experiences on my first trip to Israel I would say: the Midburn Festival! It is the second biggest Burning Man festival in the world and apart from dancing until sunrise, this festival is a fabulous experience for those who are looking for unique things to do in Israel. Welcome to CrazyLand, a temporary city in the middle of nowhere somewhere in the Negev Desert in South Israel that arises out of nothing and one week later will be gone leaving no trace or whatsoever.

Read my full experience in  The 10 Principles Of Burning Man As A Virgin  including all the photos. Something you have to see! If this fits into you agenda then you just found yourself one of the top things to do in Israel! Check here the Midburn Israel website . The Festival is being held in again in October 2023 but the dates are not yet confirmed.

12. Israel nightlife | Local markets become party places

Main cities all over the world have their local markets where you can find fresh fruits and vegetables, spices, antiques, and Artisan stores. Visiting markets like Mahane Yehuda Jerusalem or the Flea Market in Tel-Aviv will give you a colorful, tasteful and cultural experience by itself. But, for me, what makes this experience a unique thing to do in Israel is to go to those markets at night! Around sunset, they change their face, suddenly they become a nightlife center. In my blog with Israel tips I already told you the Israeli nightlife is booming and this is another example! Find restaurants, bars, great music, and local beautiful people. What a fun and unique atmosphere. Romantic Tel Aviv travel tip: if you are around the Flea Market with your other half, finish your evening with walking around Jaffa port, it's super romantic and quiet thing to do in Te Aviv.

13. Israel Museum Jerusalem

This museum is not only the largest cultural institution in Israel but is also one of the world’s top encyclopaedic museums and one of the best things to do in Jerusalem. It is located atop a hill in the Givat Ram neighborhood. Jerusalem was founded in 1965 and over the period the Israel Museum has been able to collect up to 500,000 items which are representative of the Holy Land. The holdings range from art to the most precious objects from biblical times.

The museum covers about 50,000 square meters and with about 800,00 tourists every year it is one of the top Israel tourist attractions. Some of the most valuable items on display here include the necklaces worn by Jewish brides in Yemen, a nail to attest the practice of crucifixion during the time of Jesus, and a mosaic Islamic prayer niche from 17th century Persia. Visiting the Israel Museum was one of the most valuable Israel travel tips I got from a local.

14. Yad Vashem - Holocaust Memorial Center

Yad Vashem is the official Holocaust memorial center dedicated to preserving the memories of all the victims who died. The monument honors the six million Jews who fought their Nazi oppressors as well as the Gentiles who helped the needy Jews.

The memorial site dedicated to the Holocaust and genocide was built in 1953. It’s also referred to as the Mount of Remembrance. There are museums here that cater to the public alongside a library, an educational center, a publishing house, and a research institute. Yad Vashem attracts about one million tourists making it the second-most-visited Israel tourist attraction.

Yad Vashem is one of the best things to do in Jerusalem as it is located just a stone throw away from the city.

15. Stalactite Cave Nature Reserve

A stalactite is a formation that is mostly seen hanging from the ceiling of caves and hot springs. It’s usually made up of lava, sand, mud, or minerals. The Stalactite Cave Nature Reserve has two other names; it’s also known as Soreq Cave or the Avshalom Cave Nature Reserve. This amazingly spectacular cave is the largest and most beautiful stalactite-stalagmite cave in the country and unmistakably one of the coolest things to do in Israel. The gem that’s hidden deep within the earth is found inside a reserve which comprises of an extensive natural woodland area.

The cave is 91m long, 80m wide, and 15m high – it’ll take you about half an hour to cover the round route inside. However, a tour of the entire reserve should take you about 2 hours. Even though the cave isn’t all that big, it is densely packed with different types of stalactites. Some of the names given to the stalactite and stalagmite shapes include “elephant ears”, “macaroni field”, “Romeo and Juliet”, and “sculptures garden”.

Visiting the Stalactite Cave Nature Reserve is regarded one of the best things to do in Jerusalem as it is only a 40 minute drive away from the city.

16. Bethlehem

Needless to say that Bethlehem also deserves a place in this ultimate Israel travel guide as it is one of the best things to do in Jerusalem. Just a stone throw away from the city this town is home to the Church of the Nativity, one of the oldest churches in the world. The town attracts multitudes of pilgrims from different parts of the world who come to see the Biblical birthplace of Jesus.

Bethlehem is also believed to be the birthplace of King David and the traditional site of Rachel’s Tomb.

There is also so much to see and do in Bethlehem even for the non-religious. The streets are almost always congested and busting with activity. There are numerous tourist attractions around the city such as the Israeli Separation Wall which divides Bethlehem and Jerusalem. The wall has been turned into a vast canvas with street art.

Bethlehem to me was of the most interesting things to do in Israel. Simply a place that couldn’t stop amaze me in many ways.

17. Mount Zion

Mount Zion is another of those amazing things to do in Jerusalem, located just outside the walls of the Old City. Although this name is specifically used to refer to the actual hill, it is also used to generally refer to the entire land of Israel.

On your tour of the mountain, you’ll see some very snap-happy pilgrims trying hard to capture moments and at the same time keep up with their guides. Some of the most prominent sites on Mount Zion are King David’s Tomb, the Chamber of the Holocaust, the Room of the Last supper, and the precursor of Yad Vashem.

For Pelgrimage there is an endless list of things to do in Israel, but even when you are not religious Mount Zion and the rest of Jerusalem is worth visiting.

18. Beit Guvrin Maresha National Park

The 1,250 acre Beit Guvrin Maresha National Park has many archeological sites that visitors can explore. These sites date back to some 2000 years back. The ruins of Maresha can be found within the park. The city of Maresha where the National Park can be found was a city in ancient Judah.

Both Beit Guvrin and Maresha were excavated in 1992 and 1989 respectively by an Israeli archeologist. Some of the artifacts found at the ruins include a Jewish cemetery, burial caves, a Byzantine church, a Roman-Byzantine 3,500-capacity amphitheater, mosaics, and public bathhouses.

Beit Guvrin Maresha National Park is also called the land of a thousand caves and can be found about 1 hour Southwest from Jerusalem. When you are an adventure traveler then this is one of the must see places in Israel.

No need to tell you that the amazing beaches in Tel aviv are on of the best places to visit in Israel as well as the Tel Aviv Nightlife. But there is more around the city and these are my recommendations for things to do in Tel Aviv.

19. Jaffa Flea Market

Jaffa is one of the world’s ancient ports from which the modern-day Tel Aviv grew. The port itself is already a top thing to do in Tel Aviv but the Jaffa Flea Market which is also known as Shuk Hapishpishim in Hebrew is a top Israel tourist attraction in Israel. Vendors in this market sell everything from handmade jewelry, old second-hand jeans, traditional Arabic pottery, Indian mildewed clothes, Persian tiles and Judaica. 

Stopping by this flea market that’s been operational for over a century is an incredible cultural experience. The market is a great place to find unique items at affordable prices. It’s open from Sunday through Friday and when visiting Tel Aviv this is a must.

20. Caesarea National Park

Caesarea is a small wealthy town on Israel’s Mediterranean coast about 50 km to the north of Tel Aviv. This archeological treasure also has some of the most beautiful beaches in Israel. The Caesarea National Park comprises a giant city and port. The city was created 2000 years ago by Herod in honor of Augustus Caesar. The ancient city was, in the 12th century, recreated as a massive Crusader fortress whose tower still stands tall.

There is a huge amphitheater right on the ocean that is often overlooked by tourists visiting Israel. In my opinion this place was one of the top tourist attractions and things to do in Israel.

21. Sea Of Galilee

If you travel to Israel and are looking for stunning scenery, you need to visit the Sea of Galilee, one the must see places in Israel. It actually isn’t really a sea but a damn large freshwater lake. The Sea of Galilee was known as Sea of Gennesaret; it is also referred to as Lake Galilee as well as Lake Tiberias. The Sea of Galilee is approximately 13 miles long and 8 miles wide covering an area of 64 square miles.

The Jordan River is the main source of water for the Sea of Galilee although it’s still partly fed by underground springs. The Sea of Galilee is one of the best things to do in North Israel. This lake is Israel’s most important source of drinking water, but it also has a huge religious significance, and has beautiful surroundings comprising of beaches and mountains.

22. Mount Arbel National Park

Mount Arbel is a stunning and majestic mountain situated in the Lower Galilee prominently facing the Sea of Galilee. Located next to the Sea of Galilee makes Mount Arbel another amazing thing to do in North Israel. The mountain is inside the Mount Arbel National Park and Nature Reserve which is also home to an amazing cave fortress as well as ancient ruins of a synagogue.

Hiking up the Mount Arbel is another adventurous thing to do in Israel and it gives you amazing views of the surrounding areas. While at the top of the mountain, you can catch a glimpse of Mount Hermon, the Golan Heights, as well as other famous landmarks such as Safed and the Horns of Hattin.

23. Visit Nazareth

Of course the world famous town of Nazareth can’t be missed in this list of the best things to do in Israel. Nazareth is a city situated in the north of Israel and is also referred to as “the Arab capital of Israel”. Although a large part of the population comprises of Arabs, the city has several holy places and shrines which commemorate biblical events. For this reason, Nazareth is a major center of Christian Pilgrimage and has attracted hundreds of millions of pilgrims from across the globe and therefore one of the top places to visit in Israel.

In addition to being a religious center, the city also serves as a major cultural center. Over the years, the historic Old City has been renovated to restore and preserve its architectural beauty.

There are so many places here that are associated with the Annunciation, childhood, and the early ministry of Jesus Christ. These include the Basilica of the Annunciation, the Greek Orthodox Church of the Archangel Gabriel, the Greek Catholic Synagogue Church, and the Franciscan Church of St. Joseph.

When visiting Israel Nazareth is one of the must see places in Israel!

24. Basilica Of The Annunciation

The Basilica of Annunciation is also commonly referred to as the Church of the Annunciation. This Latin Catholic Church was built over the area where the Catholic tradition believes that angel Gabriel appeared to Virgin Mary and announced that she would conceive and give birth to Jesus. This place is among the most sacred places for Christians and one of the must see places in Israel.

The huge 2-story basilica was completed in 1969 and is constructed using modern architecture. The structure which was designed by Giovanni Muzio, an Italian architect, is colorfully decorated. It has two interconnected churches: one on top of the other. The main entrance of the upper church is on the northern side. Over the door on the southern side, stands a statue of 14-year-old Virgin Mary welcoming all who come visiting.

25. Haifa Gardens

Haifa is the 3rd largest city in Israel after Tel Aviv and Jerusalem. Today it is home to a mixed population comprising of Jews, Muslims, and Christian Arabs who co-exist peacefully. The best thing to do in Haifa is to visit the Haifa Garden, also referred to as the Bahai Garden. The Haifa Garden which is big and beautifully bestows a magnificent radiance in the city. The Haifa Gardens are inscribed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Visitors are not allowed to pick flowers at the Haifa Garden, so you know!

26. Tel Dan Nature Reserve

In Hebrew, the word Tel means hill or mound. The Tel Dan was officially declared a Nature Reserve in 1974. Inside the nature reserve, there is a river called the Dan River which is the largest of the three rivers that flow deliciously into the Jordan River. The word Jordan actually means “came out of the Dan.”

The Tel Dan Nature reserve is no doubt a little piece of heaven on earth. Although it is a pretty small Israel tourist attraction and off the beaten track it still is a great place to visit. Not far from the Lebanon and Syria border the Tel Dan Nature Reserve is one of the best things to do in North Israel.

It has very impressive archeological digs. Parts of the 5000-year-old ancient city of Tel Dan have been reconstructed following years of excavation.

27. Mount Tabor And Church Of Transfiguration

The current day Church of the Transfiguration, built in 1924, is part of the Franciscan Church and is located at the top of Mount Tabor in Galilee. The mountain is 575 meters high. It is believed that this is where the Transfiguration of Jesus happened. The church has three chapels and one small alter; the alters are also referred to as tabernacles and represent the three tents which Peter wanted to build for Jesus, Moses, and Elijah.

The Transfiguration refers to the occurrence in the Bible when Jesus appears as a radiant Being to speak to Moses and Elijah. It’s during this time that Jesus is referred to as the son of God. 

Representing the same purpose is a Greek Orthodox church that is also located on Mount Tabor. Needless to say that this one of the amazing places to visit in Israel when you are a history lover.

Mount Tabor And Church Of Transfiguration is located 30 minutes East from Nazareth and therefore regarded as one of the best things to do in North Israel.

28. Skiing in Israel on Mount Hermon

Believe it or not but you can also go skiing in Israel. Don’t expect the best snow conditions, but you can be really lucky. In 2019 they saw 3 times as much snowfall than average! There are 8 lifts and the total length of pistes is 45 kilometers. I’m not saying skiing is among the best things to do in Israel, but it is a cool day activity. Within three hours you can be from the middle of the desert or the beach on top of Mount Hermon on your skis. The ski areas are located in North Israel.

29. Visit the Gaza Border

visit Gaza border tour

All the way in the South of Israel you can find the Gaza Strip and I bet you have heard of it. It is definitely one of the most unique places to visit in the world, which is seemingly impossible. Of course since the conflict in lately escalated again it is not recommend to visit the Gaza border at the moment. It is best to go to this unique place on a tour from Jerusalem or Tel Aviv with a reputable company. Check out my  blog post about my experiences visiting the Gaza Border  for more info.

30. Timna Park

Timna Park is found in the heart of Timna Valley which is located in the Southern part of Israel in the Negev Desert. Besides offering a historical and geological experience, Timna Park has a picturesque landscape which is great for activities like camping, hiking, walking, and biking for all ages. The park covers about 15,000 acres in a beautifully majestic desert setting.

A big part of the valley has ancient remnants of copper mining and traces of ancient worship. The copper mine was the first of it’s kind in the world with smelting furnaces dating back to ancient imperial Egypt. The copper was used to make items such as household tools, weapons, and ornaments.

Timna Park is only about 30 kilometers North of Eilat and therefor one of the best things to do in Eilat or when visiting South Israel.

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The southern part of Israel is mostly covered by the Negev desert, which makes this part of the country great for the adventure traveler.

31. Red Canyon

Not far away from Timna Park another amazing thing to do in Eilat can be found: Red Canyon. Hiking through the narrow canyons and unique rock formations is a fairly new and not so touristy Israel tourist attraction close to the Egypt border. The first thing that came up in my miny when visiting the Red Canyon was that is reminded me a lot about Antelope Canyon in Arizona, USA.

When on an Israel road trip drive down Highway 12 towards Eilat along the Egypt border and it will be on your right hand side. You can also take a bus here from either Be’er Sheva or Eilat.

32. Ein Avdat National Park

Ein Avdat is a spring and nature reserve that is found in a canyon in the Negev Desert. The spring water comes from the rock layers on which salt-tolerant plants grow. The lush vegetation attracts different animal species such as insects, birds, and frogs.

The Ein Avdat, being a water source in the middle of the desert, attracts both people and animals in pursuit of drinking water. Thanks to its beauty, the place has become a popular tourist attraction in Israel and a favorite hiking spot amongst people who enjoy the views created by the dramatically steep canyon. Birds such as eagles use the cliffs as nesting spots.

The Ein Avdat National Park is a recognized UNESCO World Heritage Site thanks to the presence of a Byzantine Church which dates back to the 3rd century. Ein Avdat is among the best places to visit in Israel and the country’s most striking National Park according to many locals.

Ein Avdat is located about 1 hour south of Be’er Sheva in the South of Israel and therefore best to be visit on either a tour or when you are sightseeing Israel by car.

33. Scuba Dive In Eilat

Eilat is the southernmost and the only city in Israel that’s on the Red Sea and is a popular destination for a sunshine holiday. Visiting the beaches of the Red Sea is probably one of the best things to do in Eilat. Sprawled along a 7-kilometer coastline, Eilat has plenty of shops and resorts but scuba diving in Israel is worth giving it a try.

Eilat is filled with fun, sun, diving, kayaking, partying, dining, and desert-based activities. The main reason why this city is a favorite all-year-round escape for tourists is probably due to its climate-induced relaxed climate. But the Red Sea provide excellent scuba diving with relatively pristine coral reefs. Scuba diving equipment is available for hire on all the major beaches. About 250,000 dives happen here every year.

Israel travel blogs

In 2017 I traveled around Israel for 2 weeks, partied in Tel Aviv, went to Midburn festival , visited Jerusalem, swam in the Dead Sea, went off the beaten path in North Israel, explored the Negev Desert, crossed off some of the best things to do in Israel and partied again in Tel Aviv. Israel has always been a really surprising destination in many ways.

The country isn’t that big so moving around is quite easy; the roads are in excellent condition so you can move around safely and quickly. These last Israel travel tips will make your trip even better:

  • avoid making any plans on the Sabbath as public transport services are not available then.
  • make an effort to learn some Hebrew which is the official language here. Other commonly spoken languages here are Arabic and English.
  • Change your money into the Israeli currency which is the Shekel. However, US dollars are accepted in some places.
  • Try Israeli wine, it is not bad at all. 

All in all I wrote more than 10 Israel travel blogs . If you decide to travel to Israel then check out my complete list of Israel travel tips  in this link.

I have traveled thoroughly in the Middle East, see my  trip to Syria , my trip to Kurdistan, Iraq  or my trip to Iran . One by one I enjoyed them. The Middle East cuisine is delicious and I got to taste some of it through some of the best Tel Aviv food tours .

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Israel is not a budget destination, but you can travel around without breaking the bank. If you still need some convincing I summed up 24 reasons to travel to Israel .

Got fueled by wanderlust by this article? Go check out my Instagram profile @traveltomtom where you will find my road to visit every country in the world . As of June 2023 I have been to more than 155 countries.

      View this post on Instagram       A post shared by Adventure Traveler & Blogger (@traveltomtom)

I hope all the above tips for visiting Israel were helpful. May you have any recommendations then please leave me a comment below or reach out to me.

Enjoy your trip to Israel!

  • hot air balloon

Jessie on a Journey | Solo Female Travel Blog

Israel Travel Guide

Looking for an in-depth Israel travel guide ?

Then you’re in the right place!

For centuries, members of the three Abrahamic religions (Judaism, Christianity and Islam) have been traveling to Israel to visit some of the holiest sites in their faiths.

Today, Israel has something to offer every kind of traveler, religious or not.

This country is home to thousands of years of history, diverse cultures, and some of the most beautiful sights in the world.

Whether you want to relax on a Mediterranean beach or explore holy ground, you’ll find something exciting to do in Israel.

Israel’s major cities have their own vibe and unique attractions.

Those looking to explore the history and religious significance of the area should head to Jerusalem, home to some of the most important sites in Judaism, Christianity, and Islam.

Jerusalem’s Old City tells the story of the city’s history, dating back to 1004 B.C and continuing through countless empires and eras.

In Tel Aviv , you can get a taste of Israel’s history in the ancient port city of Jaffa and then head to the trendy neighborhood of Neve Tzedek to experience Israel’s modern present.

There is also Haifa, a city home to the Baha’i World Centre on Mount Carmel with incredible gardens that anyone can enjoy. The city is also home to some of the nation’s best beaches.

For those looking to get out in nature, Israel has lots of great options.

For a classic Israeli experience, head to the Negev Desert to visit the Dead Sea and the ancient fortress of Masada.

Here, the truly brave can repel down into the Ramon Crater , one of the largest in the country, for a truly unique desert experience. You also can’t miss the chance to float in the Dead Sea, the lowest place on the planet, or camp under the stars for an out-of-this-world view.

For more lush views, head to En Gedi Nature Reserve in the Judean Desert. Here, you can hike around breathtaking waterfalls and see some of the country’s native flora.

Keep reading to dive into resources that will help you with planning a trip to Israel in the Middle East.

Note: This ultimate guide to Israel travel contains affiliate links to trusted partners!

Israel travel guide

Use this Israel travel map to begin planning your trip to this incredible country!

Israel travel map

Click here for an interactive Google Map version of the above graphic.

Best Places To Visit In Israel

The following guides share Israel highlights and experiences that you won’t want to miss!

Israel travel guide sites

Active Middle East: Amazing Desert Adventures In Israel

rapelling Ramon Crater while travelling in israel

Ramon Crater Adventure: That Time I Hurled Myself Into Israel’s Largest Crater

Visiting Eliat's Treehouse Spa while travelling Israel

Israel’s Best-Kept Secret: Eliat’s Treehouse Spa

Having a meal in Tel Aviv while traveling in israel

Awesomely Offbeat Things To Do In Tel Aviv, Israel

Visiting the Dead Sea is one of the top things to do in Israel

Israel’s Dead Sea Like You’ve Never Seen It Before

Travel Tips For Israel

Plan the perfect trip with these Israel travel tips !

Sandboarding in the Negev Desert should be in every Israel travel guide book

10 Reasons Why Israel Should Be Your Next Trip

Hiking Masada is one of the main Israel highlights

Solo Female Travel In Israel: The Ultimate Guide

best hikes in Israel

10 Best Hikes In Israel You Shouldn’t Miss (Epic!)

Best Israel Tours

Explore local culture with an Israel tour guide through these unique excursions:

  • Hot Air Balloon Flight Including Champagne Gourmet Breakfast and Souvenirs from the Northern District
  • Mount Sinai and Saint Catherines Monastery Day Trip from Eilat
  • Local Israeli Cooking Class in Tel Aviv
  • Tel Aviv Highlights Bike Tour from Ramat Gan
  • Timna Park Jeep Tour from Eliat
  • Dead Sea, Sunrise at Masada & Ein Gedi Nature Reserve Tour from Tel Aviv
  • Golan Heights Day Trip from Tel Aviv
  • Desert Jeep Tour: Mar Saba Monastery and Wadi Qelt from Jerusalem

Renting A Car In Israel

Need a rental car for your Israel trip?

Use Discover Cars to quickly compare your car rental options.

top 10 places to visit when traveling in israel

Israel Hotels

Click here to browse the best Israel travel hotels!

Prefer self-contained stays?

Click here to check out unique local rentals!

You can also use this map to search for local stays and experiences:

Israel Travel Insurance

It doesn’t matter if you’re traveling solo or with a group on an Israel tour. When visiting Israel — or any other country in the world — make sure to get travel insurance to protect your health and safety.

In my opinion, the best travel medical insurance for travelers is SafetyWing as they’ve got a large network and offer both short-term and long-term coverage — including coverage if you’re traveling for months as well as limited coverage in your home country).

Additionally, SafetyWing is budget-friendly and offers $250,000 worth of coverage with just one low overall deductible of $250.

With coverage, you’ll have peace of mind as you embark on your Israel travel itinerary.

Click my referral link here to price out travel insurance for your trip in just a few clicks .

Israel Travel Guide FAQ

Below, find answers to frequently asked questions about traveling in Israel .

Q: What are the best cities in Israel to visit?

If you have to pick three cities to visit in Israel, make them Tel Aviv, Jerusalem, and Bethlehem.

These three cities will give you a feel for the country’s storied past and cosmopolitan present while offering something for every kind of traveler.

Tel Aviv is a lively beachside metropolis with one of the most exciting cultural scenes in the world. Walk around the trendy neighborhood of Neve Tzedek and check out both small art galleries and major institutions like the Rokach House Museum.

Additionally, learn more about the Jewish Diaspora at Beit Hatfutsot at Tel Aviv University. Wander around the White City, a UNESCO Heritage Site full of cream-colored Bauhaus-style buildings. Or just lounge on the beach and enjoy the Mediterranean sunshine!

Jerusalem is a must-visit for travelers of all faiths. Here, you can visit a truly ancient city and some of the holiest sites in the world.

You’ll find most of Jerusalem’s top attractions in the Old City, a neighborhood that dates back to 1004 B.C. and blends aspects of Jewish, Muslim, Christian, and Armenian cultures.

The Old City contains the Western Wall, the holiest site in the Jewish faith; Temple Mount and the Dome of the Rock, the location of the two Jewish Temples and a significant site in Islam; and the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, a basilica built on what is believed to be the site of Jesus’s tomb.

Beyond the Old City, you can check out the famous Dead Sea Scrolls at the Israel Museum or browse the culinary offerings available at the Mahane Yehuda Market.

Jerusalem is also home to a thriving nightlife scene with chic cocktail bars and galleries to explore.

Moreover, the city of Bethlehem is home to many important religious sites, particularly for Christians as it is believed to be the birthplace of Jesus Christ.

Here, you can visit the Church of the Nativity, built on what is believed to be the site of Jesus’s birth, and the Milk Grotto, where the Holy Family is said to have hidden during the Massacre of the Innocents.

Bethlehem is also a great place to experience and learn more about Palestinian culture.

The Old Bethlehem Museum features a recreation of a 19th-century Palestinian home as well as several other historic artifacts. You can also stop by the Palestinian Heritage Center where you can find handmade clothing, jewelry, and other products from local Palestinian artisans.

Q: What should I know before traveling to Israel?

One of the most important things to keep in mind when planning a trip to Israel is Shabbat, or the Jewish Sabbath.

The weekend consists of Friday and Saturday in Israel as Saturday is the holiest day of the week.

Most businesses and public transit systems shut down from sundown on Friday nights to sundown on Saturday nights to observe Shabbat.

You’ll likely find a few places open here and there (particularly in more secular cities) but this probably won’t be a day for major activities and dining plans.

If you’re in a predominantly Jewish city like Jerusalem, be prepared to take the stairs as many businesses shut down their elevators on Shabbat. If you’re touring the country and want to avoid the effects of Shabbat, this might be a good time to visit a predominantly Christian city like Nazareth or a Muslim city like Acre.

While Hebrew is Israel’s official language, you’ll find that English is widely spoken. About 85% of the country’s population speak at least some English, so you shouldn’t have too much of a problem communicating with locals.

The Israeli people are also known to be quite warm and sociable and greet people with hugs and kisses on the cheek.

They are also very direct communicators and not afraid to share their opinions. If you end up in a lively debate over dinner at your new Israeli friend’s house, don’t be surprised!

It’s also very important to be respectful of the different cultures and religions of Israel. You’ll want to be aware of the dress codes and modesty guidelines for different religious sites before you visit.

Women are asked to cover their knees and shoulders at most places of worship and may be asked to cover their hair at Islamic holy sites. Keep a scarf or shawl handy just in case.

Men are generally required to keep their knees and shoulders covered, as well. These are also good guidelines to keep in mind when visiting more religious neighborhoods and cities.

Q: Is it safe to travel to Israel?

The threat of terrorism is an unfortunate reality that many live with in Israel, the West Bank, and Gaza. It’s important to be aware of these threats and keep an eye on the news while traveling in this region.

That said, Israel is known to be quite safe for travelers due to its low crime rate and emphasis on security. You’ll see this as soon as you cross the border. For instance, you’ll probably face more questions from security officers than “business or pleasure?”.

Security officers are also present throughout Israeli cities, particularly at major religious sites.

And as with any major travel destination, you’ll want to stay vigilant and aware of your surroundings at all times to avoid pickpocketing and petty theft.

If you plan on visiting cities like Bethlehem, Ramallah and Jericho, you’ll need to cross into the West Bank, an area controlled by Palestinian authorities. Security is particularly strict on the Israeli-West Bank border, so it’s important to take the border crossing process seriously and answer any questions from security officers honestly.

It’s best to stick to the major cities and tourist areas when visiting the West Bank, and you may even want to travel with a tour group for added safety and ease.

Due to the increased rates of violence, most governments and travel experts warn travelers against visiting the Gaza Strip.

Q: How much money do I need per day in Israel?

The average traveler spends around $107 USD per day in Israel on accommodations, food, transportation, attractions, and other expenses.

How much you spend per day varies from city to city; Tel Aviv is considered one of the most expensive cities in the world and accommodation prices are rising across the country.

Q: How many days do you need for Israel?

Most experts recommend planning for about 10 days in Israel. This will give you a few days to spend in the major cities as well as time to visit the Dead Sea and other attractions off the beaten path.

Q: What is the best month to visit Israel?

If you’re looking for mild weather, it’s a toss up between the spring months (April and May) and autumn months (September and October), though note Passover in the spring can drive up prices and crowds.

Q: How long can a tourist stay in Israel?

Tourists from many countries — like the United States and Canada — can visit Israel for up to 90 days without a visa.

Q: Do I need an Israel travel visa?

Travelers from the United States, Canada, and several other countries do not need a visa to visit Israel for a period of fewer than 90 days.

It’s recommended to view your country’s Israel International Travel Information page for the most up-to-date information on entry and exit rules and Israel Travel Requirements. You can also contact the Embassy of Israel.

Q: Can you tour Israel on your own?

Yes. You do not need a tour guide to explore Israel, though having one can certainly provide you a deeper understanding of the place.

Q: Where is Israel?

Israel is located in the Middle East. It shares land borders with Lebanon (north), Syria (northeast), Jordan (east), the Palestinian territories of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip (east and west, respectively), and Egypt (southwest).

Q: Are credit cards accepted in Israel?

Credit cards — particularly Visa and Mastercard — are widely accepted around Israel, though it is always wise to carry some cash for smaller establishments and in case of emergency.

Q: Can you drink the tap water in Israel?

The tap water is safe to drink in Israel in most places, though not the Dead Sea. It is always safe to double-check with your hotel, as well.

Q: What is the local currency in Israel?

The local currency in Israel is the New Israel Shekel (NIS).

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Travel With Pedro

The Most Beautiful and Best Places To Visit in Israel

Israel is a destination like no other. Apart from being a small but powerful country, it’s packed with tourist attractions to keep any traveler busy. Among the best places to visit in Israel, you will find exciting cities with a thriving nightlife, religious sites important for the three major monotheistic religions, desert landscapes, diving sites, and even great local wine.

The Best Places To Visit in Israel

Despite its small territory, there are a lot of amazing and cool attractions in Israel for every type of traveler. Here I will show you some of the must-see places in Israel that you should include in your trip. I’m sure that among the Israel tourist spots below, you will find at least a handful of places that ticks your fancy.

Tel Aviv – The Most Vibrant City in Israel

by Tal Bright of Bright Nomad

It’s no wonder that Tel Aviv is one of the best places to visit in Israel. The city has a lot going for it. It’s a super vibrant city with good weather all year round that’s very easy to fall in love with. Being the largest city, it is one of those must-see places in Israel.

It’s a relatively small city in size, but it feels like a much bigger city because there’s so much going on.

Tel Aviv is famous for its fantastic nightlife: you can go out any night of the week and there’s always a good range of things to do, from parties to concerts to just hanging out in bars, and everything is open late.

The beach in Tel Aviv

It is even more famous for its beaches that are perfect for an active holiday if you like water sports, but also for lying in the sun, relaxing and enjoying the sea breeze.

In the past decade or so, Tel Aviv has transformed itself into a foodie paradise with a rich restaurant and coffee culture.

If it’s your first time in Tel Aviv , you’ll notice that English is spoken by just about everyone, making it an even more welcoming place for tourists.

Some of the places not to be missed when you visit Tel Aviv are the Tel Aviv Museum of Art, an impressive building with a beautiful art collection; HaYarkon Park, the largest green space in the city; and Tel Aviv’s unique food markets, especially the Lewinsky Spice Market and the Carmel Market in the city center.

See Also: The Best Places To Visit in Georgia

Eilat – One of The Must-See Places in Israel

By Sanne Wesselman of Spend Life Traveling

Eilat  is the southernmost town in Israel, isolated from the rest of the country by the Negev desert.

Eilat feels different from the rest of Israel, far removed from Jerusalem and Tel Aviv. It’s a coastal resort on the Red Sea, located between the borders of Egypt and Jordan, with beautiful views of the Gulf of Aqaba .

Top Places to visit in Israel Eilat

Eilat boasts beautiful beaches, lively bars, restaurants, shops, great water sports, and an impressive coral reef.

But, Eilat being on the edge of the desert means you also have easy access to desert activities such as jeep tours and camel safaris. And, you can even take a trip to Petra from here.

There are two distinct beach areas in Eilat, which are both worth visiting. The 2-kilometer (1.2 miles) North Beach area is lively and full of hotels. The Tayelet promenade runs along the beachfront and hosts numerous stalls, street artists, restaurants, and shops. The promenade has great views of the bay, and especially in the evening, you’ll find it full of strolling tourists.

The southern beach is much more unspoiled, has beautiful coral reefs, and is protected by the Eilat Coral Beach Nature Reserve , to make sure these reefs remain in good shape. If you’re into scuba diving this is a great place for diving, but otherwise snorkeling above the reef is absolutely beautiful as well!

Eilat is popular with both Israelis as an easy holiday getaway, and with European sun-seekers especially during the winter months.

By Rasika of Bae Area and Beyond

Located in southern Israel, Timna Park is a desert park with a rich history and many attractions to do in the park. This 15,000-acre park is attractive with its deep cliffs around the horseshoe-shaped Timna Valley and its historic mineshafts.

The biggest attraction here is Mount Timna, the world’s first copper mine. In the park, you’ll see copper mining remains as this place is copious with copper ore and has been an important mining site since around 5000 BC.

So what makes Timna Park special? Apart from its gorgeous landscape, the park conducts various tours from daytime to nighttime. Through these tours, you’ll learn the archeology and geology of Timna Park. During the day, check out the 12 Tribes tour or the Sunset Walk tour and during the night, book the Lantern tour or the Star tour to admire its beauty at night.

Timna Park is a great place for kids with tons of hiking trails of different intensity levels spread out throughout the park. Visit the visitor center to learn more about the trails.

You can also rent bicycles to ride around the park. If you’re a pro rock climber, try out one of the 85 rock climbing routes. Plus there is Lake Timna at the center of this desert park where you can go pedal boating on boats shaped as white swans or pink flamingos.

See Als0: The Great Synagogue of Tbilisi

Caesarea National Park

By Or of My Path in the World

A mix of nature and history, the coastal Caesarea National Park is, without a doubt, one of the best places to visit in Israel.

The park is basically one huge archeological site, located off the coast of the Mediterranean, right between Tel Aviv and Haifa. It is where you can see the remains of an ancient thriving port city built by Herod the Great, the Roman king who ruled Judea more than 2000 years ago.

Things to do in Israel: Visit Caesarea

There are quite a few visit-worthy spots in the park, so be sure to get a map at the entrance. From the Roman Theater (which today hosts music concerts) and the Hippodrome to the Reef Palace and beautiful mosaics, you’ll find plenty of points of interest that will fill up your itinerary.

If you love to dive, it’s worth knowing that the park is also home to the only underwater museum in the world, where you can see even more of the remains of the ancient city.

The park is open every day and costs 39 NIS (about 12 USD) to visit, but you need to reserve your spot as daily visits are limited. Near the entrance, you’ll also find a few shops, cafes, and restaurants.

Even if you don’t plan to go to other places in the north of the country, it’s worth making a detour to see Caesarea, which is one of the most important places to visit in Israel.

Jerusalem – Top Places To Visit in Israel

by Alanna from Periodic Adventures

Jerusalem is one of the most ancient cities in the Middle East and the world with a history dating back over 5,000 years. That alone already makes it one of the top places to visit in Israel. Located in the middle of the country, Jerusalem was first occupied by nomadic shepherds and was slowly built into a major city that has significant religious ties to Christianity, Islam, and Judaism.

Throughout its history, Jerusalem has been raided, destroyed, captured, and attacked many times, but now it stands as a highly populated city that sees many visitors each year.

When visiting Jerusalem, be sure to visit Old Jerusalem, which has historical buildings, mosaics, trees, and descriptive signs to help you learn about the city.

Nearby is the Western Wall where, if desired, you can write and place a prayer into the wall. Note that appropriate attire is required and the Wall is separated into men’s and women’s sections.

The Western Wall in Old Jerusalem, one of the best places to visit in Israel

Beyond the Western Wall is the Dome of the Rock, an Islamic shrine with beautiful blue mosaics and a gold paneled roof that is one of the top landmarks and best places to visit in Jerusalem.

Visit Yad Vashem, the incredibly well-curated Holocaust Remembrance Center and Museum. The exhibits and architecture are striking and the memorials are a somber, yet beautiful tribute to all who were killed, as well as their future generations that were robbed from existence.

Lastly, don’t miss Mahane Yehuda Market where you can shop for local foods, tea, spices, and try one of the many restaurants. The best spot is Marzipan Bakery where you have to try the rugelach, one of  Israel’s best foods ! So delicious!

Mount of Olives

By Sarah Wilson of Life Part 2 and Beyond

The Mount of Olives is a small mountain located close to the old city of Jerusalem. It was named after the olive groves that once grew here. For over 3000 years, the mount has been used as a Jewish cemetery and bears more than 150,000 gravesites.

The Mount of Olives is also a popular pilgrimage site for Christians. The site is mentioned in the Old and New Testaments as the spot where Jesus prayed before his crucifixion and ascended to Heaven. But you don’t need to follow religion to enjoy the walk from the top of the mount to Old Jerusalem.

Best places to visit in Israel: Mount of Olives, Jerusalem

The view from the top overlooking the old city and Temple Mount is spectacular. And as you make your way down the hill, there are many fascinating sites to visit – from the Chapel of the Ascension where there’s a stone imprinted with Jesus’ footprints to the stunning Russian Orthodox Church – the Church of St Mary Magdalene.

See plaques of the Lord’s Prayer written in more than 170 different languages at the Church of the Pater Noster. Enter the private garden next door, where beneath the ground lie the tombs of the prophets Haggai and Zechariah in a dark cave.

Follow the crowds as you walk down to the Garden of Gethsemane, where Jesus is said to have gone with his disciples to pray. Admire the mosaics at the Church of all Nations before descending to visit the tomb of the Virgin Mary. It’s a fascinating walk steeped in history. Allow at least two hours to complete and see for yourself why it is one of the most popular places to visit in Jerusalem.

By Cecily of Groovy Mashed Potatoes

In the outskirts of Jerusalem, you will find Ein Karem, an ancient village famed for its holy sites such as Mary’s Spring, the Church of the Visitation, and the Church of St. John the Baptist. In fact, it’s known as the birthplace of St. John himself.

You don’t want to miss adding this hidden gem to your  Israel itinerary . The hillside village is known as one of the most beautiful neighborhoods in Jerusalem, although it’s often overlooked by tourists.

After visiting Jerusalem’s busy city center, make your way to the scenic neighborhood for a peaceful nature escape. Stay at the luxurious Alegra Boutique Hotel, a design-led hotel in an 1850s Arabesque building that is nestled in the hills. Enjoy a massage at their intimate spa and unwind at the pool and sauna.

There are many unique things to do in Ein Karem other than visiting its prominent holy sites. The charming village is also known for its music, art, and culinary scene. Walk through the tiny streets to discover art galleries, eateries, and shops. For music, check out the Eden-Tamir Music Centre for live concerts.

To get to Ein Karem from the Jerusalem Central Bus Station, it’s about a 20-minute taxi or 30-minute transit. For transit, take Bus 39 to the Yaffe Nof Light Rail Station and then Bus 28 to En Kerem/KaMa’ayan.

James Ian from  Travel Collecting

Masada, which literally means “fortress” in Hebrew, is a UNESCO World Heritage Center fortress perched atop a 400-meter high mesa in the Judean Desert, overlooking the Dead Sea.  Today, it is mostly ruins, but one of the most interesting – and popular – places in Israel to visit.

Its history is fascinating.  King Herod The Great built a fortress with two palaces there in 31CE, with a wall surrounding the entire plateau.

Masada is perhaps most famous, however, for a legendary siege by the Romans in 73CE.  They built an enormous ramp from the desert floor to the top of the plateau and ten used a battering ramp to breach the fortress walls.  When they entered, they discovered that the entire place was ablaze and all 960 Jewish residents had committed mass suicide to avoid capture.  Although this account has been called into question by modern historians, it makes a great story.

Masada is open daily.  It’s a 1.5-hour drive from Jerusalem or a 2-hour drive from Tel Aviv.  On arrival, there are three ways to get to the top of the plateau.  The easiest is to take a cable car.  However, if you prefer to hike, you can take the easier assault ramp or the winding snake path.

Once there, places to visit include the northern and western palaces, the bathhouse, synagogue, and Byzantine church.  Don’t miss the interesting on-site museum. In peak season (March-October), there is a sound and light show on Tuesday and Thursday that is worth seeing.

Zichron Yaakov, One of The Beautiful Places in Israel

By Dave from Silverbackpacker

The historic small town of Zikhron Ya’akov (meaning In Memory of Jacob), lies midway between Tel Aviv and Haifa. It was founded in December 1882 by Baron Edmond James de Rothschild and named after his father. Jewish pioneers from Moldova were the first inhabitants of “Zichron” as it is now affectionately known.

As one of the most beautiful places in Israel, the town attracts many tourists to its picturesque setting and historical center. The main street (Derek Hayayin) was restored in the 1990s to reflect its original French-influenced architecture and is full of cafes, boutique shops, art galleries, and restaurants.

Zichron is a good place to visit for all the family. Some interesting landmarks to explore are the Ohel Ya’akov Synagogue opened in 1886 and has conducted daily prayer services continuously to this day.

Zichron Yaakov, one of the most beautiful places in Israel

The first winery in Israel, Carmel-Mizrahi Winery, was established there in 1885 and still produces wine today. There are daily tours where you can enjoy some wine tasting too.

Ganei HaNadiv (Ramat HaNadiv) whose gardens have an abundance of stunning vegetation, rest areas, and picnic areas. Suitable for a trip with children. There are spectacular views of mountains in the east and on the west views to the sea. The gardens are a memorial site to Baron Edmund de Rothschild and his wife, whose remains were brought to Israel in 1954.

Tut Neyar, a paper mill making handmade paper. You can even participate in one of the galleries’ paper-making workshops.

Beit Aharonson or NILI Museum was the base for a First World War spy ring. The museum is well worth a visit.

Zichron Yaacov still retains the same charm it had 140 years ago despite an increased population. The best time to visit is during weekdays as weekends do tend to become busy with a large influx of visitors to the town.

By Victoria Heinz of Guide Your Travel

Haifa is a port city in the north of Israel, about 62 miles (100 kilometers) from Tel-Aviv. Considered one of the best cities to visit in Israel, it is known for its perfectly landscaped Hanging Gardens of Baha’i and the Shrine of the Bab with its golden dome in its center.

Haifa is one of the best cities in Israel

At the foot of the Hanging Gardens is the German Colony with many stores, pubs, and restaurants in 19th-century buildings. The cable car in Haifa is the best way to go up the steep hill to the Carmelite monastery Stella Maris and admire the panoramic view of the city at the same time.

The monastery, built in 1836, cannot be visited, but a viewing platform highlights photographers at the top of the hill. In Haifa, there are two main beaches that invite you to whine. Bat Galim Beach is especially popular with windsurfers or kiteboarders. Also, for not-so-experienced water sports fans, courses and equipment are offered.

At Hof HaCarmel beach, you will find many families spending a relaxing day with their children. Umbrellas and sunbeds are available for rent at both beaches for a small fee. You should also not miss exploring the UNESCO World Heritage Site Beit Shearim. Most of the excavated ruins date back to the 2nd century BC. It is located about 12.4 miles (20 kilometers) outside Haifa but is easily accessible by car or cab.

Akko, One of The Most Beautiful Places in Israel

By Mal from Raw Mal Roams

Akko is a picturesque coastal city situated 90 minutes drive north of Tel Aviv and is one of the most beautiful places in Israel. The city of Akko is famous for its rich heritage and interesting history dating back all the way to the Early Bronze Age with significant influences from the Romans, Ottomans, Crusaders, and the British.

History enthusiasts will be delighted to explore Akko’s old town that is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Stroll along the city walls, take in some fantastic views over the Mediterranean Sea, and watch the local fishermen going about their daily life. Don’t forget to see the famous spot where the local kids jump into the sea.

Things to do in Israel: visit Akko

You can also take a boat tour to see the city from a different perspective. Follow the underground secret templar tunnel built during the Crusades. It connects the fortress and leads to the beach.

A visit to Akko would not be complete without exploring the Old Bazar that is teaming with life, colors, and scents of different foods. Try some local food, including the yummy hummus with warm pitta bread at the famous Hummus Said and various homemade treats! And to end the day well, gorge on fresh seafood in one of the local restaurants.

Nimrod Castle

By Jonny of Guide To Castles

Nimrod Castle is one of the oldest fortresses in Israel and is scenically located by Mount Hermon with views onto the spectacular Golan Heights.

It was a very strategically placed castle of the Crusades time period, although it was not a Crusaders castle, as it guarded an important route from the west to Damascus. In fact, it is the largest castle in Israel from medieval times.

Today it’s in a ruined state as after being abandoned during the 16th-century it fell into disrepair. However, some reconstruction work has been done and when visiting you can see those areas as well as other excavated places.

The history and architecture of the castle make it worth a visit but the location also makes it a great place for a walk and to enjoy the surrounding nature. Banias forest is just below the castle and has rivers and waterfalls to explore.

You can drive nearby to the castle and then walk up from the main road. Plan at least a half-day trip to enjoy the castle and the forest. This is one of the more remote and beautiful parts of Israel to visit. Bring a picnic and drinks to enjoy by the castle or in the forest area when there.

The Dead Sea

By Haley of Haley Blackall Travels

Running north to south between the Jordan and Israel border is the Dead Sea. This lake is the lower point on earth and is surrounded by the expansive Negev Desert. It’s one of the most popular and best places to visit in Israel, receiving millions of tourists every year.

Named after the Hebrew word Yam Ha-Melakh, meaning the Sea of Salt, the Dead Sea boasts high salt levels, known to have many healing and medicinal properties. Due to the salty waters, fish and marine life cannot survive, resulting in its name, the Dead Sea.

Originally a long bay of the Mediterranean Sea, the Dead Sea was formed by lifts in the tectonic plates to the west about 3 million years ago, separating the lake from the Mediterranean.

Floating in the Dead Sea is one of the top things to do in Israel

Due to its popularity with locals and foreigners alike, the Dead Sea is visited year-round for a very special experience. Applying a body mask with the mineral mud of the lake is considered healing. Because of salt content is so high, visitors can also float very easily in its waters.

Beaches, such as Ein Gedi Beach line the coastline with resorts and hotels on offer for relaxing stays. If adventure is more to your liking, climb the hill or take the cable car to the ancient fortress and UNESCO world heritage site, Masada. Here you will find epic views of the Dead Sea at sunrise.

Ein Gedi Nature Reserve

by Shelley of  Travel To Merida

For anyone planning to visit Jerusalem, Masada or the Dead Sea, don’t pass up the chance to stop at the Ein Gedi Nature Reserve in the city of Ein Gedi, Israel. This is one of the most visited and most beautiful natural places in all of Israel.

Ein Gedi, which means “spirit of the kid,” is a picturesque desert oasis, complete with waterfalls, hiking trails, botanical gardens, and more. It is very popular with locals, especially on weekends, and definitely one of the best kept secrets for visitors.

Among the best things to do in Ein Gedi, you won’t want to miss the Dry Fall Window, which offers a nice view to the Dead Sea from the inside of a slot canyon. The David Waterfall is another nice spot to relax, though the water is often quite cold to swim in, but you can get in if you’d like.

The Ein Gedi Kibbutz keeps up with the botanical gardens, so they are always worth visiting to see the beautiful desert flowers and plants. The hiking trails are divided into the Upper Section and Lower Section, and if you head to the upper part, you’ll probably see some of the Nubian Ibex herd that call Ein Gedi home.

After visiting the park, you can head to the Ein Gedi Spa and Hot Springs and Ein Gedi Beach. Both are located not far from the nature reserve, as well as the Qumran Caves  in  Qumran National Park.

Where to go in Israel

Pedro has travelled to almost 120 countries and has made his nest in London. He has also lived in Spain, Australia, the US, Georgia and Turkey. A former hotel management professional, he loves exploring local cultures, is now learning his 8th language and has a soft spot for the Middle East and the CIS countries.

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Map of Israel

A complete area guide of places to visit in Israel from north to south

From restaurants to landmarks and everything in-between, our guide to Israel’s most popular areas does not miss a beat

Sure, you’ve scaled the Baha’i Gardens before, but have you REALLY visited Haifa ? You've hit up the Golan Heights ' iconic winery, but have you toured the rest of the North ’s Israeli wine list ? You’ve even tackled the wealth of Jerusalem ’s landmarks in  Jewish history , but have you heard about its lesser-known hidden gems? Probably not...which is why we’ve scavenged the country from north to south for the most complete list of places to visit in Israel out there. Rent a car and plan your accommodations ahead of time. Let’s get this tourist party started!

The best places to visit in Israel from north to south

Golan Heights

1.  Golan Heights

  • Attractions

The Golan Heights is one of the most popular destination spots in Israel – and for good reason. Take a break from the non-stop pace of Tel Aviv and enjoy tranquil parks, gardens, museums, galleries, vineyards and so much more as you explore the many sites scattered throughout the Golan Heights. Wine lover? Make it an overnight stay because the area’s vineyards are some of the best in Israel.

Sea of Galilee

2.  Sea of Galilee

Tel Aviv and Jerusalem may get most of the glory, but the Sea of Galilee (aka “the Kinneret”) should not be overlooked. Offering a unique mix of Jewish holy sites and dazzling beaches – both sandy and rocky – this unique spot is both breathtakingly beautiful and historically rich. We know it can be hard to tear yourself away from the markets in Jerusalem and the Tel Aviv coastline, but with places like the Tiberias Promenade and Bora Bora Beach, you won't need extra convincing. Here’s a look at all of the beaches and sites that make the Sea of Galilee such a worthy destination.


3.  Akko

Nestled on Israel's northern coast, Akko is an up-and-coming port city rich with Jewish history, sights and fantastic food. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, this Israeli treasure is a unique cross between east and west, modern and ancient Israel, beauty and ruins. Its rich history is palpable in its alleyways, underground passages and picturesque architecture, whose character reflects the legacy left behind by the Greeks, Romans, Crusaders and Arabs. But what has transformed this hidden gem from a pit stop to a destination is its recent emergence as a culinary force in the north, with some of the best hummus on the eastern Mediterranean (some say it’s better than the Jaffa street food offerings) and some of the best seafood restaurants in Israel.


4.  Haifa

Welcome to the city of coexistence – with beautiful views of the country's coastline, a growing art scene and some of the best hummus in the Middle East


5.  Nazareth

Israel has many ancient landmarks that bear significance to many different religions. While there are some stunning churches in and around Jerusalem, the ancient town of Nazareth boasts a heavy hand of captivating Christian sites. From religious attractions like St. Gabriel's Church and the International Center Mary of Nazareth to the intricate weave of stalls in the Old Market, Nazareth promises an enlightening day of activities. Nazareth is especially known for its Christmas Market and an incredibly popular destination around Christmas time. Come visit the city of religion and faith, of spirituality and holiness, but also a city enrobed in contemporary culture and Middle Eastern magic.


6.  Netanya

Netanya, the capital of the surrounding Sharon plain, is a town not too far from Herzliya filled with fun things to do and sites to see. Not only do they have some of the most luxurious beaches in Israel, the area is filled with family-fun activities like movie theatres, arcades, bowling alleys, and malls – not to mention, some of the best frozen yogurt in the country. And don't forget to visit the Museum of Yemenite Jewish Heritage for a unique history lesson. So come for the beaches, stay for the bites at our mentioned Netanya restaurants, then spend the night at the city’s most hospitable hotels.


7.  Herzliya

On the surface, Herzliya is all manicured beaches, taken captive year-round by well-heeled locals who have tasted the good life. Adorned with luxury shopping malls, the Herzliya Marina is often misunderstood as being culturally and historically shallow. But digging deeper, not only does the port city boast a prime sailing and maritime community from its lively marina, which houses over 800 yachts and boats, it is also home to historic, ancient ruins and a stellar contemporary art museum. For even more exceptional sites spanning the country, see our top things to do in Israel, or for art connoisseurs seeking even more modern art outside of Herzliya, check out our top Israeli art galleries. 

Tel Aviv

8.  Tel Aviv

Welcome to the city that never stops: Tel Aviv. From amazing street food to never-ending nightlife and the best live music and beaches around, the White City is the place to be if you're looking for a good party, and even better food


9.  Jaffa

With so much hustle and bustle going on in its White City neighbor, sometimes people forget the beautiful gem of Israeli culture that exists on the southern port. From attractions that backtrack through years of ancient Israeli history to the most hopping bars and clubs for dancing in Jaffa, Tel Aviv’s older sister knows where it’s at. The sheer range of attractions in Old Jaffa is startling, from mosques and churches to ancient clock towers, wishing bridges, sculptures, yoga classes, museums, Israeli art galleries, trendy restaurants and the list of things to do in this new-old city is never ending. Throw in an impressive spread of authentic Jaffa street food establishments and a precious flea market and you’ve got enough things to do in Israel for a lifetime. 

Bat Yam

10.  Bat Yam

With the recent focus shifted towards Bat Yam, and the fate of the city’s independence hanging in the balance, we figured it was a good time to highlight Bat Yam’s best features. Just a half hour or so away from the White City, Bat Yam hosts one of the more impressive malls in Israel, not to mention some stellar contributions to Israeli culture like its performing arts center. Throw in one of the grandest museums in Israel – the three-building complex MoBY – and beautiful Israeli beaches, some must-visit restaurants and an exquisite Israeli wine shop and you’ve got a perfect weekend escape from the hustle and bustle of Tel Aviv.

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top 10 places to visit when traveling in israel

Dedicated to bringing you captivating stories, bucket list destinations, and off the beaten track experiences from near and far. 

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Middle east, latin america, north america, 10 beautiful places to visit in israel, destination guides.

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Photos in collaboration with Quin Schrock

I’ve always wanted to travel to the Middle East. And not just because the region is brimming with foreign mystique. But because it’s part of who I am. Only a couple of generations ago, my mom’s grandfather and young bride packed up all their belongings and moved from Lebanon to a small town in California. They arrived with a baby in tow, promptly opened a clothing store, and proceeded to assimilate as fast as possible.

English was the only language allowed in the house, and by the time my grandmother was born (5 kids later), a few favorite recipes were the only things still tethering them to the distant land they had left behind. I understand why they felt compelled to leave their past on the other side of the world. Nonetheless, I always felt an inexplicable sense of loss for something I never had. A desire to return to a place I’d never actually been.

I understand that Israel is not Lebanon. And I’m not trying to equate the two. I know that to do so would be to ignore a long, complicated, and often contentious history. I simply wanted to give some context to my first trip to the Middle East. It was a long time coming, and having gotten a taste, I sincerely hope that I can return to explore more of the region someday.

Now for some logistics, answers to common questions I received about the trip, and of course, some super beautiful places to visit in Israel. Happy Travels!

Navigating one of a few small ladders in the Red Canyon.

Navigating one of a few small ladders in the Red Canyon.

Is israel safe.

If you live in the United States, then any mention of travel to the Middle East (regardless of the specific country), is generally met with at least some level of concern. However, after some research, and my own personal experience, I feel confident saying that travel to Israel should be considered relatively safe.

Does that mean that nothing bad could happen? Absolutely not. Bad things happen everywhere. And yes, there is a remote threat of terrorism in Israel – just as there is throughout the western world. Keep in mind that Israel has one of the most sophisticated military intelligence services in the world. There is relatively prominent military and police presence almost everywhere you go. And security at the airports and many major tourist destinations (like the Old City in Jerusalem) were some of the most stringent I’ve ever encountered. In fact, I was interrogated twice! I realize that might all sound intimidating, but it was actually very comforting. In general, I felt safer traveling around Israel than almost anywhere else in the world that I’ve been.

At the time of writing, the U.S. Department of State travel advisory ranked Israel as a “2,” recommending visitors use increased caution due to terrorism. A “2” is actually a relatively low danger ranking. To put things in perspective, other countries generally warn their citizens to use caution when planning travel to the United States due to similar concerns.

Floating in the Dead Sea in Ein Bokek, Israel.

Floating in the Dead Sea in Ein Bokek, Israel.

Should you rent a car in israel.

The best way to travel in Israel depends a little on what you are interested in doing while you are there. If you are planning on staying primarily in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem, then you might be able to get away with public transportation, rideshare options, and just walking. We spent two days in Jerusalem, and we found that it was relatively easy to walk anywhere we wanted. Moreover, the traffic was so horrendous most of the time, that we were often walking faster than traffic was moving. BUT…. if you want to cover a lot of ground, and visit more than just the major sites, then the best way to travel around Israel is definitely by renting a car.

Driving around Israel was simple, and honestly didn’t feel any different than driving around the United States. We relied on Google Maps to get us around, and for the most part that worked relatively well (but make sure to download offline maps). Parking was pretty easy everywhere we went outside the cities, and I wouldn’t trade the flexibility of having our own car for anything. If you are interested in photography, then you know that being able to show up to locations at sunrise, stay as long as you need, and leave after sunset is essential. And if you’re on guided tours, that simply won’t be an option.

Do You Need An International Drivers Permit?

If your primary driver’s license is from an English speaking country, then you’re good to go; that’s the only document you will need to rent a car in Israel. But if you’re from a non-English speaking country, you’ll need to secure an International Drivers Permit before your arrival in Israel. Make sure to also bring your driver’s license from home. You will need both!

What’s The Deal With Car Rental Insurance in Israel?

One expense that a lot of people don’t anticipate when traveling to Israel is car insurance. Israel requires that anyone renting a car in the country carry three, yes THREE, different types of coverage: theft protection (T.P.), collision damage waiver (CDW), and 3rd party liability (3PLC).

Luckily, some travel-oriented credit cards like the Chase Sapphire Reserve card that I carry will cover T.P. and CDW insurance. However, not all credit cards offer rental car coverage in Israel, so make sure to contact your credit provider before you leave for your trip. While you’re at it, have them send you a letter of coverage. You will need to present the letter when you pick up your car.

While some credit cards cover CDW and T.P. in Israel, you’ll still be required to purchase 3PLC. There’s no getting around that! 3PLC covers tire blowout, vandalism, tire, and rim damage that are not caused by theft or vehicle collision. Expect to pay around $15-20USD a day for 3PLC.

How To Get Gas In Israel

Okay, so you would think this would be a relatively low cognition, intuitive activity, but we had a hell of a time filling up our gas. Gas stations were easy to find. But it’s surprisingly hard to pump gas when you don’t read Hebrew. Many of the pumps require that you enter either a passport number or even your social security number before filling up. In the end, we had to ask for assistance every time we needed gas – and while people weren’t overly friendly about it, they did help. As it turns out, you can actually put any sequence of random numbers in, and that will do the trick. So don’t worry about sharing any sensitive information!

Can You Travel To Other Countries in Your Rental Car?

Taking your rental car into any bordering country is a hard NO. That also includes the West Bank. There are many political and safety reasons for this rule. Needless to say, they are far too complicated to tackle in this travel blog.  But from a liability standpoint, your car insurance will be voided the minute you leave Israel, so just don’t do it.

Just outside The Last Supper Room. Found this spot thanks to our friends at  Walk My World .

Just outside The Last Supper Room. Found this spot thanks to our friends at Walk My World .

What to wear in israel.

I’ve never felt like I needed to research what type of clothes to pack for a trip before. But considering this was my first trip to the Middle East I thought it might be a little different, and that maybe I should pack more conservative clothing than I usually would. I was planning on being in a lot of photographs, so I wanted to strike a good balance between fashionable and culturally sensitive. As I researched what to pack, site after site insisted that women’s fusion in Israel was the same as in any western country – suggesting that I didn’t need to worry about it. And for the most part, that was entirely true.


As we traveled around Israel, I saw women wearing everything from cut-off jean shorts, to tank-tops, and itty bitty bikinis. But as soon as we crossed into Jerusalem, I wished that I had packed at least one much more conservative outfit. Of course, we did accidentally enter the city by driving straight through an Orthodox Jewish neighborhood in the middle of Shabbat. . . sooo that was a somewhat awkward introduction. In the end I had a long sleeve shirt and a long skirt, so I made it work.

Now I know, that there are pretty strict attire rules (especially for women) that you should follow if you are planning on visiting the Old City of Jerusalem. As a general rule, women should wear dresses or skirts (NOT PANTS), that cover the collar bones, knees, and elbows. But having been there, I would say that even outside the Old City, I felt much more comfortable erring on the side of modesty.

Okay, now that we have gotten through all the logistics, let’s get to the good stuff! Given how relatively small the country is, I was shocked by the diversity of landscapes. We explored slot canyons similar to the ones found in the American Southwest, drove by vineyards that resembled those in Northern California, and wandered through cities with unrivaled historical clout.

1. The Dead Sea

Floating in the Dead Sea. Couldn’t leave without getting the classic news paper photo!

Floating in the Dead Sea. Couldn’t leave without getting the classic news paper photo!

You know when you go somewhere, and it’s almost uncanny how much it resembles somewhere else that you’ve been? Well, the Dead Sea is not that place!

First off, fun little fact – The Dead Sea is not actually a sea. It’s a lake! It’s also the lowest place on earth (well at least dry earth) with its banks up to 400m below sea level at points and is famous for its extremely saline water and mineral-rich mud, both of which make it a popular health and wellness resort destination.

I’d like to preface this next part by saying that I totally think The Dead Sea is one of the most beautiful places in Israel and deserves its spot on your bucket list. But I also feel a responsibility to manage expectations here, because

The Dead Sea was not precisely what I envisioned it would be.

First, the landscape is STARK. Second, the beaches are nothing to write home about. Third, because The Dead Sea is so salty, there are a lot of things about it that are actually pretty uncomfortable (painful). Getting the water in your eyes, or any cuts will STING. In fact, just being in the water for an extended period will start to sting. Luckily none of that matters as long as you move slowly, wear water shoes, and keep your head above water at all times!

Salt formations in the Dead Sea

Logistics : Our main reason for visiting the Dead Sea in Israel was to photograph the Dead Sea Tree. For that reason, we chose Ein Bokek as our base. There’s not much to Ein Bokek, just a bunch of high-rise hotels, a McDonalds, and a mall. Nonetheless, it had everything we needed (including the Dead Sea Tree)! You can enter the Dead Sea from pretty much any point in town (it all pretty much looks the same), to take the quintessential floating in the Dead Sea photos.

You can also take a tour for a more relaxing way to enjoy the Dead Sea .

2. The Dead Sea Tree

Unique salt formations in the Dead Sea. This one is famous for the tree that lives on the small salt island.

Unique salt formations in the Dead Sea. This one is famous for the tree that lives on the small salt island.

As I mentioned, one of our primary reasons for heading to the Dead Sea was to scout and hopefully photograph the Dead Sea Tree. Surprisingly it really wasn’t that hard to find, and Quin actually spotted it from the highway as we drove into town.

So does the Dead Sea Tree prove that the Dead Sea can actually sustain life after all? Not exactly. As some of you might have guessed, the tree is not the miracle of life it might at first appear to be. It was actually planted out on the salt island by a local, who aptly named the installation ‘Dead Tree in the Sea of Life.’ Apparently, he still paddles out daily to care for it. And that my friends, is the mystery behind the Dead Sea Tree.

UPDATE: I recently heard that some kids cut down the Dead Sea Tree, so there may or may not be a tree out there now. Either way, the salt formaiton is super cool and it’s a fun place to swim out to. 

The Dead Sea Tree, Israel

Logistics : The Dead Sea Tree is located about 100 yards (total guess) off the shore, from the public beach located just to the right of Herods Dead Sea Hotel in Ein Bokek. Last time I checked, it was actually labeled on Google Maps as “Dead Tree Salt Island.” The easiest way to get to the Dead Sea Tree is to park at the Segregated Beach, then walk out as far as possible on the pier/boardwalk. Once you reach the end of the pier, it’s time to swim! While floating in the dead sea is easy peasy, swimming is more deceptively tricky.

The most efficient way to cover ground was to lay on my back and make big careful strokes with my arms

(because again, splashing is a big no-no).

I would say it took between 15-20 minutes to get to the island. There are showers on the beach, which is nice after spending that much time in the water!

To keep our camera gear safe in the water, we used the same waterproof backpack that used while Photographing Lake Tahoe . Except we wore the pack on our fronts. We also took a clean, dry shirt out to the island with us for our hands and eyes (just in case). For more information about the photography gear we use to capture images during our travels check out my photography gear guide .

3. Red Canyon, Eilat

Hiking through Red Canyon in the Eilat Mountains, Israel.

Hiking through Red Canyon in the Eilat Mountains, Israel.

No, it’s not a slot canyon in Utah! But it’s just as pretty. The Red Canyon in the Eilat Mountains is one of Israel’s most popular and easily accessible hiking areas. There are a few different trails through the area, all color-coded by difficulty and length. It was scorching hot when we were there, so we opted to take the most direct (“Green”) trail, and we didn’t feel like we missed much. All of the trails eventually take you through the slot canyon – which is the highlight of the area, and was our primary objective.

Logistics : The Red Canyon is an easy 20-minute drive from the center of Eilat. There is a large parking area, with information about the trail, as well as a park employing who will provide you with a map, and answer any questions you have. The desert is HOT, so make sure to pack plenty of water with you, and get there early in the day if possible. Also, pay attention to the weather forecast, flash floods are a real danger in this area.

4. Wadi Arugot, Ein Gedi (Hidden Falls)

Wadi Arugot in the Ein Gedi Nature Reserve, Israel.

Wadi Arugot in the Ein Gedi Nature Reserve, Israel.

Wadi Arugot in the Ein Gedi Nature Reserve was my favorite hike in Israel. It was suggested to us as an excellent alternative to the much more popular (and crowded) Wadi David hike. And I’m sure glad we took the advice because the pools, streams, and waterfalls at Wadi Arugot were gorgeous.

The Wadi Arugot trail winds its way through a beautiful canyon that terminates at a lovely upper oasis. There is a blue (lower) trail and a red (upper) trail through the Canyon (although they only actually diverge at a couple spots). The blue trail is slightly longer and will take you to the Hidden Waterfall, and through a few streams, and pools before merging again with the red trail. The water obstacles are particularly appealing on hot days (which I’m pretty sure is every day). Whether you choose the blue or the red trail, make sure to continue past the waterfall to the Upper Pool. It’s the cherry on top of this fantastic area.

Ein Gedi Nature Reserve

Logistics : Ein Gedi is a national park, so you will find facilities, maps, park rangers, and a fee station at the Wadi Arugot trailhead. Wadi Arugot has it’s own parking lot, about five minutes past the main Ein Gedi parking at Wadi David. If you park at Wadi David, you will have to walk an additional 20 minutes.

I would describe this trail as easy, although the oppressive heat does add an element of difficulty. Due to our schedule, we ended up doing the hike in the middle of the day, but ideally, you would get there early. Bring a swimsuit, sunscreen, a hat, and lots of water!

You can also book a tour that includes a stop here if you feel more comfortable this way .

5. Old City Jerusalem

Photo taken on one of the allies off Lion's Gate Street in the Old City of Jerusalem.

Photo taken on one of the allies off Lion’s Gate Street in the Old City of Jerusalem.

Jerusalem is one of the oldest cities in the world. But perhaps more importantly, it’s one of the most spiritually significant locations for three of the world’s largest faith groups – Muslim, Christian, and Jewish. So it’s pretty fair to say that there is nowhere else like it.

There are a ton of great blog posts dedicated just to information about Jerusalem and the Old City, so I won’t try and reproduce that here. In those blogs, you’ll learn about all the important religious and historical sites to visit, such as the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, The Western Wall, and the Dome of Rock. But for me, the best part about the Old City was just allowing myself to wander aimlessly through the tangle of streets, markets, and cultures. And the thing is, by spending the day walking around, I ended up seeing all those significant landmarks without even really trying.

Logistics : The Old City is divided into four quarters – Armenian, Christian, Jewish, and Muslim. Each has its own gated entrance, and in many cases, security, but it’s not difficult to get from one to the other. While it’s very possible to explore the Old City of Jerusalem on your own (that’s what we did), it is the one location where I really wish we would have hired a guide . Not because I was worried about getting lost (I rather liked getting lost), but because I would have loved to learn more about all the various historical sites. I have no doubt that a guide would have made this infinitely interesting city even more rewarding.

6. Mount of Olives Viewpoint, Jerusalem

Mount of Olives Viewpoint up above the Old City of Jerusalem.

Mount of Olives Viewpoint up above the Old City of Jerusalem.

Mount of Olives Viewpoint is probably one of the most famous views of Jerusalem if not all of Israel and it’s not hard to understand why. It looks out over a large cemetery in the foreground and then to the Old City of Jerusalem, with the iconic gold Dome of Rock dominating the scene. It’s a western facing view, so I’d highly suggest visiting just before sunset for the dreamiest lighting. Although I’m sure it’s beautiful at sunrise as well.

Logistics: The Mount of Olives viewpoint is across the street from the Seven Arches Hotel. You can drive and park right beside it, walk, or take a taxi. We did all three LOL. First, we tried to drive, but traffic was so bad that we didn’t even make it out of the parking lot at our hotel. Then, we tried walking. And we almost made it! But the sun was dipping fast, so we flagged down a taxi, and the driver swiftly deposited us in front of the Seven Arches Hotel. Mount of Olives is not a secret! But it’s an elevated viewpoint, so having other people there really doesn’t impact the view at all.

Book a tour that includes this stop here .

7. Rash Hanikra Caves

Rash Hanikra, Israel.

Rash Hanikra, Israel.

I’m not sure where to start with Rash Hanikra. Yes, the white cliffs, caves, and grottos were interesting geological features, and the turquoise Mediterranean water along the coast is beautiful. Plus, it was fascinating to see the border with Lebanon only a few meters away (maybe that’s just me). But, HOLY CROWDS! In general, many of the destinations in Israel were far more crowded than I expected, but Rash Hanikra was next level. We are talking about Disney Land next level. Complete with two hour-long lines, a ride in a cable car, screaming kids everywhere, and even some costumed characters wandering around. Not exactly what we were expecting to find when we set out to visit this natural phenomenon.

To be fair, we were there on a beautiful Saturday afternoon. Maybe it’s different if you go early, on a weekday, in the rain. If you try it out, let me know!

Logistics : Rosh Hanikra is located at the farthest point north on Israel’s Mediterranean Coastline, right on the border with Lebanon ( tours do include this stop ). There is ample parking, although you might have to walk quite a ways to the main attraction. Once you park, you’ll wait to ride a bus up to the top of the cable car. Then you will have to wait in another line to buy tickets for the cable car (which is apparently the steepest in the world). Tickets were about $13US per adult. After that, you will have to decide if you want to wait in an even longer line to take the cable car down into the caves, or just take the bus back to where you came from and walk into the caves. Once you actually get into the caves, it’s all pretty self-explanatory!

8. Achziv Beach

Israel is home to a number of beautiful beaches.

Israel is home to a number of beautiful beaches.

The best part about visiting Rash Hanikra Caves was stumbling on Achiziv Beach afterward. Just south of Rash Hanikra, you will find the Achziv National Park. This coastal park stretches south for miles along the Mediterranean, and the Achziv Beach is considered one of the best in Israel outside of Tel Aviv. On Achziv Beach, you’ll find a surprising number of amenities, including lifeguards, a café, yurts, and restrooms with showers. It is also possible to stay in the nearby national park campground.

9. Banias Waterfall, The Golan Heights

Banias Waterfall in Israel.

Banias Waterfall in Israel.

Although the loop trail to Banias Waterfall is short, it’s surprisingly diverse. It starts out on a dry, hot path, it quickly drops down into a cool, lush forest, and eventually takes you to a deck overlooking the picturesque Banias Waterfall. The waterfall and resulting stream shimmer with stunning blue water that ultimately winds its way to the Jordan River.

Logistics : Parking at the trailhead is easy, but you will be required to pay an entrance fee for the Banias Nature Reserve (around $8US). Tours are also available .

10. Still On My Isreal Travel Bucket List

Okay, so the tenth location is actually a few destinations that I didn’t get the chance to visit, and really wish I had. When I was in Israel, I received so many recommendations from people in comments and DMs on Instagram, that I felt compelled to share some of the more popular ones here. These beautiful locations in Israel were suggested over and over again. After a quick google image search, it wasn’t hard to see why!

Snake Path, Masada – Everyone suggested doing this one for sunrise. Unfortunately, that means before the cable car that takes people to this lookout during the day opens. But you know what they say, “nothing worth having comes easy.” Plus, who doesn’t love a 4am wake up call!

Coral Beach Nature Reserve, Eilat – The Red Sea is renowned for its diversity of marine life and world-class snorkeling/diving opportunities. And The Coral Beach Nature Reserve in Eilat is perhaps the easiest way to experience the underwater world in Israel.

Tel Aviv – Admittedly, I’m not much of a city person. But pretty much everyone told me Tel Aviv is an absolute can’t miss! Apparently, it is the perfect combination of beach town, foodie heaven, and history. So I left Israel feeling seriously bummed that I didn’t spend a few days eating my way through the streets. Next time for sure!

It’s clear that there are a few things I would do differently, and a lot of things still left to see in Israel, so I hope life takes me back to that area of the world someday. Here’s to hoping!

Salt islands located just off the shore in Ein Bokek, Israel.

Salt islands located just off the shore in Ein Bokek, Israel.

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Firstly, it’s absolutely amazing to hear a bit of your backstory about your family history.

Secondly, I like how you address the safety of Israel first! As that seems to be the thing that condemns most travelers to avoid the country, I don’t know what it’s like in the states but in London and Europe people seem to just wash over Israel as a destination

Moving on to the actual blog itself, once again Jess… you smashed it! So informative! Not just about the travel but also about the counties intelligence as well! You spoke about the sights, the travel, how to get around, what to wear, the fashion and even how to get gas. Fashion I know is a big part of Jerusalem as I know it’s hard for women and also I heard tattoos must be covered?

Your pictures are flawless and you look absolutely beautiful in your outfit in the photo of you outside The Last Supper Room, it looks very cultural! Was that created by you? I also absolutely adore the photo of the Rash Caves.

Very informative and cultural spent blog that does justice to Israel and puts some hope on the countries reputation that people think of it.

Very well done Jess, very proud

Thank you so much for taking the time to read this post TJ! I think most people probably just scan through to see the photos (And I don’t blame them!). I’m not sure about the the tattoo part, but I wouldn’t be surprised if that is true. I don’t recall seeing any tattoos now that you mention it. Also, I’m sure the regulations change depending on which holy site you are trying to visit, and which religion it is affiliated with. I know you were sending this from the airport, so I hope you have a safe trip wherever you are headed!

Can I ask how much did you pay for Comprehensive Insurance per day? Thank you for such a detail blog!

Keep traveling!

We actually did not purchase the Comprehensive Insurance, so I’m not sure how much it would cost. Keep in mind that the Comprehensive Insurance is just the Third Party Coverage plus coverage for damages to the vehicle in case of fire, explosion, vandalism, collision, and theft. (I decided to remove that paragraph because I think it actually just made things more complicated!).

My credit card covered the CDW and TP liability, and then we ended up paying around $15USD for the Third Party Coverage per day for an economy car. Hope that helps!

Thank you very much for taking your time answering my questions. One more questions and I won’t bother you anymore, is it ok to travel to Bethlehem with a rental car based on your knowledge? Thank you

It’s my understanding that all major Israeli car rental companies do not insure their cars for travel into the West Bank/Palestinian controlled territories. Therefore driving a rental car into Bethlehem is not possible. I think that the best/easiest/safest way to visit Bethlehem would be to take one of the many tours, hop on a tourist shuttle, or arrange for a private vehicle.

With the rental car, you couldn’t go to Nazareth?

Hi Laura. Insurance coverage is not valid outside the borders of the State of Israel, Tabah and territories of the Palestinian Authority. Nazareth is not located in any of those areas, so you should be fine driving there. But please note that I did not visit Nazareth, so I don’t have any experience with it.

Not a problem, it’s within Israel borders, located in the north part of the country, about 45 minndrive from Haifa and about 1:45 hour drive from Tel Aviv

Hi Jess, I can see the salt islands shot is a drone one. Could you let me know if you guys have come across any difficulties in getting the drone in and out of Israel and also in using it over there. Thanks, Rudolf Ivanka

Hi Rudolf. We did not have any difficulties with the drone at the airport or otherwise. However, like most places there are no fly zones, regulations, and permit requirements depending on what you are doing. So I would definitely recommend doing a google search for up to date information before flying your drone.

I mostly want to know about your black suit in the Dead Sea photos Just saw it on Instagram and I LOVE it!

Thanks so much Elisabeth! It’s the Vitamin A Cosmo Bodysuit. I got it about a year ago, so I’m not sure if they still cary it. . . but you never know. 🙂

Very cool, nicely composed, thanks for the insight(s)!!

Thanks so much for checking it out Gary. Have a great day!

Hi Jess, did you have any problem with the drone ? I read we should contact an aeroclub to ask permission, and probably pay for an insurance. Is it true ? Thanks in advance 🙂

Hi Julie. We did not have any trouble with the drone, but I would recommend reaching out to the Aeroclub to get the latest regulations. Better safe than sorry!

Karl here. just saying hi. Good job on such a well put together website. Have a stellar weekend. Das all. k bai

Aww thanks so much for stopping by Karl! Glad you liked the site. 🙂

Hi Jess! Thank you for such a nice post! How many days would you recommend for Istael?

Hi Su! It really depends on what you would like to do while you are there, but I would recommend about a week. It’s a relatively small country, so you can cover a lot of ground in a relatively short period of time.

Jess, You’re my fav part of IG when I login. Upon Googling images of Finland, I see this site of yours. I absolutely love your photos and adventures. Thank you for sharing ❣️… just WOW

Thank you soooo much Sara! You seriously just made my day. If you are planning a trip to Finland, I hope you have a wonderful time. And don’t hesitate to reach out if you have any questions. 🙂

OMG, My country Palestine, where I’m not allowed to go . Thank you for this to see my beautiful country in your post

This is the best post about travelling in Israel! Very helpful

Thank you so much Irina! That makes me so happy to hear. 🙂

Hello, it’s with pleasure that I read your article in full 🙂 You are one of few with no bias when writing about Israel and I thank you for it. I know Israel very well since I lived there between 1966-1970 and have returned every year because my oldest sister made it her home. I pinned your article on my Israel Board on Pinterest. I’ll come back later to check the rest. Thank you again, Liliane

Thank you so much for the kind comment Liliane. I’m so glad that you enjoyed this post. Israel is such a beautiful country with a lot to offer anyone interested in history or outdoor adventure travel. It must have been so interesting to live there in the 60s!

The Stalagmite Stalagtite Cave, the tram overlooking the Bahai Temple, tubing down the Jordan River, the Sfat artist colony, the Sea of Galilee, museums, the Ramparts Walk of the Old City, the mini Grand Canyon, the Flour Cave, the Jaffa Artists Colony, and the many manufacturers great wineries that permeate Israel. Many are world class. The winery in Rishon Letzion is historic and was established by the Rothschilds in the 1880s. Just a few suggestions. There always is something new to see there and never enough time.

Thanks so much for these additional recommendations, Mark! I do hope that I can return someday to experience them for myself. I had such a wonderful trip my first time around.

These are really adorable! Thank you so much for sharing these – it’s always nice to hear about enjoyable road trips as well as practical advice!

Glad you enjoyed the suggestions. Such a beautiful area of the world!

Hi there, very interesting blog and amazing pictures. I am also interested in traveling to Israel and I wanted to ask how the drone regulationa are there. Because of the high security you described I was surprised that you were able to enter with the drone and take shots at the dead sea. Did you encounter any problems regarding the drone? Did you need to get a permit to fly over the dead sea? Thanks in advance for your feedback

Hi. We did not have any issues with the drone, but we were required to apply for permission. I believe that it has gotten more strict since our trip, so I would definitely look into the official rules and regulations – they’re always changing.

I find myself ensnared in the labyrinthine corridors of your captivating prose, where each sentence unfurls like a delicate arabesque, weaving together erudition, eloquence, and philosophical musings to create a symphony of intellectual delight.

Going on the Jesus boat on the Sea of Galilee was an amazing experience for me located near the kibbutz Nof Ginosar. The gift shop there was also very nice. Beautiful views of the Golan Heights. Netanyahu north of Tel Aviv has very beautiful beaches I like them more than Tel Aviv. Also exploring the shuk called Machena Yehuda in Jerusalem is a must filled with many vendors of all kinds and great little restaurants, but avoid Thursdays as it’s the most crowded day as many people are shopping getting ready for Shabbat so beware. Hope these ideas are of some help for you. Also eating the St. Peter’s fish by the Sea of Galilee so delicious!

I like how you address the safety of Israel first

Your words have a way of encouraging us to embrace our uniqueness and authenticity.

I am unequivocally beholden to the meticulous exegesis and perspicacious elucidation that adorns your blog, unraveling the enigmatic tendrils of knowledge and infusing the intellectual milieu with a sense of enlightenment.

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How to Plan the Perfect Israel Trip (1-3 Week Israel Itinerary)

By: Author Taylor Lorenz

Posted on Last updated: 10/25/2023

How to Plan the Perfect Israel Trip (1-3 Week Israel Itinerary)

Israel is often seen as dangerous, unknown and is usually not the place that people put on the top of their bucket list. I’m here to shatter those beliefs and to let you know that Israel is actually completely unique yet somehow familiar at the same time.

I believe that an Israel trip is a must for any seasoned traveller.

Picture yourself in the desert, overlooking the Dead Sea, laying on the beach along the Mediterranean coast, taste testing olive oil in the north and standing atop mountains from where you can see Syria.

Israel is packed full of religious monuments, sites and holy places that are important to almost every religion. But it is also a country filled with history, adventure, unique nature and wildlife and epic parties. There is truly something in Israel for everyone.

This Israel travel guide will help you plan the perfect trip to Israel for 1-3 weeks and includes the best places to visit in Israel and Palestine, where to stay in Israel, what to do in Israel and Israel travel tips. By the end of this Israel guide you’ll have your Israel vacation planned.

Some tours, accommodation and transportation mentioned in this post were sponsored by Abraham Tours and Abraham Hostels . As always, all thoughts and opinions are my own. 

Table of Contents

Israel Fast Facts

Currency:  Israeli shekel (NIS) Languages:  Hebrew and Arabic (English is widely spoken in main tourist areas) Population:  8.7 million Religion:  Jewish, Muslim and Christian, with some less common faith’s practiced as well

Israel travel guide | Israel trip | Trip to Israel | Visit Israel | Israel travel | Israel travel tips | Places to visit in Israel | Israel holidays | Israel vacation

Israel Itinerary

Here’s the tough part, deciding where to go! Pick out which spots above interest you the most and then build around that. Below I recommend some itineraries to help you get started.

I do not include Eilat in these itineraries as many people choose to visit Eilat on it’s own as a place to stay for a week at a resort or to spend time diving. You could easily visit for a couple or few days but plan that it will take you at least half a day of travel to get to Eilat.

Israel Itineraries by Length

1 week in israel (central israel, palestine).

  • Day trip to Dead Sea and Masada
  • Day trip to West Bank (Palestine)

10 Days in Israel (Central and Northern Israel, Palestine)

  • Nazareth or Haifa as base for trips to Golan Heights and Sea of Galilee

2 Weeks in Israel (Central and Northern Israel, Palestine)

  • Nazareth of Haifa as base to see Golan Heights, Sea of Galilee, Acre
  • Multiple day trip(s) or base yourself in the West Bank (Palestine)

3 Weeks in Israel (Central, Northern and South Israel (or Jordan), Palestine)

  • Haifa as base to se Acre
  • Nazareth as base to see Golan Heights and Sea of Galilee
  • Multiple day trip(s) or base yourself in West Bank (Palestine)
  • Spend more leisurely time in places or opt to spend 2-3 days in Jordan or head down to Eilat

Daily Breakdown of My Israel Trip Itinerary

I recommend the minimum amount of time for each destination and longer so you can experience the best things to do in Israel at a leisurely pace or for those with limited time.

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Tel Aviv: 2-4 Days

If you like nightlife then use Tel Aviv as your base, otherwise, I would recommend spending a few days in Tel Aviv to explore Tel Aviv and then moving onto Jerusalem as Tel Aviv is further than many of the Israel tours that leave from both Tel Aviv and Jerusalem.

DAY ONE: Spend your first day relaxing after your travels. Head to the beach and check out the city’s most famous market. The Camel Market and the Nahalat Binyamin Arts and Crafts Market are two of the most popular.

In the evening go on a pub crawl or try doing a self-guided food tour to experience a diverse range of foods in Tel Aviv.

DAY TWO: In the morning take a Tel Aviv walking or bike tour to get to know the city. In the afternoon I recommend roaming around the city some more to see what street art you can find (there are tons). Street art tours are also available and give a great background behind the art and help you find many that are hidden.

DAY THREE: Explore Old Jaffa, which was once it’s own city, by doing the free Old Jaffa walking tour . For the afternoon hit up some more markets, museums or opt to do another food tour  (I did a vegan one even though I’m not vegan and loved it).

DAY FOUR: Get cultured, do a half-day trip to visit a Kibbutz . A Kibbutz is a community living together where all income is split equally to all people. It’s a very interesting concept that many people enjoy (though I didn’t personally love the tour).

Another option which is unique is The Other Tel Aviv Tour which takes you to a lesser known neighbourhood and touches on subjects and issues in Israel that often get hidden by the conflict. It’s a very educational experience that also has food!

READ MORE: 13 Cool Things to do in Tel Aviv and 7 Best Day Trips from Tel Aviv

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Jerusalem: 3-5 Days

I recommend this long in Jerusalem because there is really a lot to do in the surrounding areas as well as in the city itself.

DAY ONE: Familiarize yourself with the city, join the Holy City tour which gives you an in-depth explanation of many of the city’s most famous sites, the free walking tour or a full-day city tour if you’re limited on time.

DAY TWO: Take a day trip to the Dead Sea! There are day trips that include visiting the Dead Sea, Masada and Ein Gedi so you get to see all three spots in one day. I personally did the sunrise tour which was ideal because you hiked up to Masada in the morning without the sun. A non-sunrise option to all three places is also available.

If you prefer to travel at a more leisurely pace or just want to spend half of the day hanging out at the Dead Sea then choose this chill out option .

In the evening head to the Mahane Yehuda Market to grab dinner (it’s seriously one of the best food markets I’ve ever been to and I went every night I was in Jerusalem).

DAY THREE: Take the day to explore some Jerusalem city sites on your own. Check out Dome of the Rock (a must) if you haven’t already on a tour, go shopping in the Old City market, stop by the Western Wall and go to the Tower of David which also has a light show at night.

Other top spots to visit include Yad Vashem, a Jewish memorial site from the Holocaust, the Israel Museum and the Mount of Olives . Then do a pub crawl !

DAY FOUR: Visit the West Bank (Palestine). One of the best Israel tours I did was the Hebron Dual Narrative Tour through Abraham Tours. I can not recommend it enough. The guides were beyond amazing and it is the tour that I learned the most about Israel and Palestine. If you want to understand these places and the people there is no better tour to take.

DAY FIVE: Take another day to explore a different spot in the West Bank (Palestine). For those limited on time the best option is to take the Best of the West Bank tour . Another option is to explore Bethlehem more in-depth or take a multi-day tour to the West Bank .

READ MORE: 20 Awesome Things to do in Jerusalem and 10 Best Jerusalem Tours and Day Trips

Israel travel guide | Israel trip | Trip to Israel | Visit Israel | Israel travel | Israel travel tips | Places to visit in Israel | Israel holidays | Israel vacation

Nazareth: 2-3 Days

I personally used Nazareth as my base for exploring the north of Israel through Abraham Tours. I opted for the Northern Israel 4 Day Package from Tel Aviv which was a great value. I visited Nazareth, Golan Heights, the Sea of Galilee, Haifa, Acre and Rosh Hanikra.

I choose to do the tour because getting around the north can be difficult without a car.

Nazareth itself you really only need a day to visit sites such as Basilica of the Annuication, Mary’s Well and walk part of the Jesus Trail for a pretty sunset view. Your second and third day can be spent visiting Golan Heights and the Sea of Galilee and then Haifa, Acre and Rosh Hanikra .

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Haifa: 1-2 Days

Haifa is another place that you can base yourself to explore the north of Israel but I only recommend doing this if you have a car.

DAY ONE: Spend the day in Haifa, see the beautiful Baha’i Gardens (one of the most beautiful Israel attractions), roam around the German Colony, check out some of the museums or chill at the beach.

DAY TWO: Take a day trip to Acre and/or Rosh Hanikra.

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Dead Sea, Masada and Ein Gedi

I mentioned to do these from Jerusalem by tour or if you have you own car then it’s ideal!

Here are your tour options:

  • Masada Sunrise, Ein Gedi and Dead Sea Tour
  • Masada, Ein Gedi and Dead Sea Tour
  • Dead Sea Chill Out Day Trip

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Golan Heights and Sea of Galilee: 1-2 Days

You can easily spend a day driving around Golan Heights and checking out the must-see sites for yourself or you can opt to do a day trip if you don’t have a car. What you can see are nature reserves such as Banias Nature Reserve (waterfalls!), see the view (including Syria) from Mount Bental, stop by the Golan Heights Winery or go skiing if it’s winter at Mount Hermon.

If you have a car and want to explore at a more leisurely pace then opt to do the Sea of Galilee on a second day to visit the beaches around the Sea of Galilee, stop by the Town of Jesus (Capernaum), Mount of Beautiudes and the Tiberias-Hamat Hot Springs. This day tour from Nazareth combines stops in Golan Heights and the Sea of Galilee.

If you are driving Tiberias is also a good spot to base yourself without driving back to Nazareth.

Acre: Half-Day – 1 Day

I recommend visiting Acre as a part of a tour from Nazareth or as a half-day or full-day trip from Haifa. The old town is not very big and all things can be done in a day.

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Eilat: 2+ Days

How long you stay in Eilat for really depends on why you’re visiting. A minimum of two days is required so that you have one day to explore the mountains by jeep and a second day to see what’s underwater or to spend time relaxing at the beach.

Tack on a third day if you want to visit Petra or plan to scuba dive.

Israel travel guide | Israel trip | Trip to Israel | Visit Israel | Israel travel | Israel travel tips | Places to visit in Israel | Israel holidays | Israel vacation

Palestine (Hebron, Bethlehem, Jericho and Ramallah): 2+ Days

Once again, this really depends on what you want to do while you’re in Palestine. Some people prefer exploring each city on their own, others want to do tours so that they can gain as much information as possible.

I based myself in Jerusalem and visited on day trips.

I think Hebron is a must-visit which is most common to do by tour. The Hebron Dual Narrative Tour is a must (it’s the best tour I did on this trip).

Here are some tour options:

  • Hebron Dual Narrative Tour
  • Best of the West Bank (Bethlehem, Jericho, Ramallah and more)
  • Bethlehem Sightseeing Tour from Jeusalem
  • West Bank 3 Day Package
  • Northern West Bank Full-Day Tour (Nablus, Jenin refugee camp and more)

Israel travel guide | Israel trip | Trip to Israel | Visit Israel | Israel travel | Israel travel tips | Places to visit in Israel | Israel holidays | Israel vacation

A Brief Word on Israel and Palestine (Must-Read)

The Israeli-Palestinian conflict is complicated and can take a bit of time to wrap your head around. It is still ongoing and something I believe that you should be aware of before you take a trip to Israel or Palestine.

While this guide is labeled as an Israel trip, parts of it include Palestine, which is referred to as West Bank from the Israeli point of view.

Israel and Palestine are both safe to travel to so long as you avoid areas of heavy conflict such as the Gaza Strip where violence can occur. Guns are seen regularly by those who are in the army who are required to have a gun on them at all times, even when out of uniform.

This is quite a detailed guide on the ongoing conflict but it is broken down into questions so you can choose to read parts that will still allow you to get a good idea on what’s going on.

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I personally read My Promised Land: The Triumph and Tragedy of Israel to gain a better perspective of the country from before Israel was created to why and ideas on the future of the country. It certainly helped me understand more and the complexity of this small country.

Do not be afraid to venture into Palestine, the barbed wire and concrete walls make it look harsh but the people are so welcoming. More people welcomed me into their country by saying “Welcome to Palestine!” than I have experienced anywhere else in the world.

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Lastly, I refer to Palestine as Palestine because 137 out of 193 United Nations member plus two non-members recognize Palestine as a state. However, in this guide I sometimes refer to it as the West Bank as many tours from Israel call it the West Bank, so as to help avoid confusion.

I had a guide tell my group on our way to Hebron (Palestine) that we would go into the conflict confused with many questions and come back out even more confused and with twice as many questions. I can promise you that that is true.

Best Time to Visit Israel

When it comes to Israel weather there really is no bad time to visit Israel as the weather is never extreme cold, rainy or snowy. It all really boils down to what kind of vacation you have to have when in Israel.

The weather in Israel varies significantly from the north where there are mountains to the south where there is the desert. The country experiences four seasons.

In summer the temperatures are hot, reaching above 30°C (86°F) and oftentimes into the 40°C’s (104°F) in the desert and the Galilee (in the north).

Winters in Israel are still mild but areas such as Jerusalem and the north which have high elevations can get snow, though it is rare. Temperatures are around 10-20°C (50-68°C) during the day and dropping to 5°C (41°C) at night.

Weather and budget-wise the best time to visit Israel is during spring (March-May) or fall (September-November) when temperatures are in the 20°C’s (68-84°C), there are fewer visitors and prices are more affordable than summer.

Israel travel guide | Israel trip | Trip to Israel | Visit Israel | Israel travel | Israel travel tips | Places to visit in Israel | Israel holidays | Israel vacation

Israel Travel Budget

I’m sorry to be the bearer of bad news…Israel is not cheap. However, travelling Israel on a budget can be done but expect to keep an eye on your wallet as things will add up quickly.

For backpackers aim to budget $75-$100USD (275-370 NIS) per day. This will give you enough to stay in hostels 80-130 NIS per night ($21-$35USD), cook your own food or eat out at cheap street food joints, 10-20 NIS ($2.70-$5.40USD), get around by bus, cheap daily activities and to take an occasional tour.

For a mid-range budget plan to have $175-$300USD (650-1115 NIS) per day. This gives you plenty of wiggle room to stay in private rooms in hostels, cheap apartments or mid-range (3-star) hotels which are 350-550 NIS ($95-$150USD) per night.

You will be able to eat more meals out at sit down restaurants, 80-250 NIS ($21-$68USD) but will still need to eat some budget meals. This will also allow for taxis, pricer daily activities and more day tours.

A luxury budget in Israel should be $450USD+ (1670 NIS) which will allow you to stay in 5-star hotels, get private cars or tours and to eat out wherever you like.

Israel travel guide | Israel trip | Trip to Israel | Visit Israel | Israel travel | Israel travel tips | Places to visit in Israel | Israel holidays | Israel vacation

How to Get to Israel

Flying to Israel is by far the most common way to get into the country. Flights from North America are often expensive but budget airlines fly to Israel from Europe often. I recommend getting a sale flight to Europe and then hopping over to Israel.

From abroad you will fly into Israel’s largest and main airport, Ben Gurion Airport, which is located about half-way between Tel Aviv and Jerusalem.

It’s also possible to enter Israel from Jordan. There are shuttles/buses that make border crossings or you can opt to take a taxi, you’ll need a taxi on both sides of the border.

Israel travel guide | Israel trip | Trip to Israel | Visit Israel | Israel travel | Israel travel tips | Places to visit in Israel | Israel holidays | Israel vacation

Visa Requirements for Israel

Always a question on travellers minds heading to Israel, luckily for a lot of people getting into Israel is not as difficult as many think.

Majority of the countries in Europe along with Canada, USA and Australia (plus many more, check here ) are given tourist visas that are free and valid for 90 days.

In Israel you will be given a card upon entry and exit that you must keep with your passport while you are in Israel as if you are asked to show your passport (you may need to show it if you plan on going into Palestine and accommodation will ask you to show the card) then the card is the only proof you have of legal entry into the country.

This card is used because some Arab countries do not allow those who have visited Israel to travel in their countries so a stamp is avoided by using this card.

Be prepared to be asked many questions going in and especially out of the country. This is normal but not always the case.

Israel travel guide | Israel trip | Trip to Israel | Visit Israel | Israel travel | Israel travel tips | Places to visit in Israel | Israel holidays | Israel vacation

How to Get Around Israel

You have options when it comes to travelling around Israel. If you’re in a group and plan to see most of the country then a rental car is your best option as it will be the fastest.

Buses are the most popular way to get around Israel and the cheapest too. The company to look for buses is Egged . Buses don’t go to all tourist destinations though so sometimes you may have to walk far from a stop so check routes before jumping on.

Trains are definitely less popular because of the lack of trains. There is a train that runs from the airport to major cities such as Tel Aviv and Haifa (you have to go through Tel Aviv to get to Jerusalem).

Personally, I took shuttle buses through Abraham Hostels that delivered me from door to door to each hostel in Jerusalem, Tel Aviv and Nazareth.

Israel Travel Insurance

top 10 places to visit when traveling in israel

Where to Go in Israel

This Israel map gives you an idea of the best places to visit in Israel. I have also included places to visit in Palestine (marked in red). These places are often visited as day trips from Israel, typically Jerusalem, or you may visit them on your own.

top 10 places to visit when traveling in israel

North Israel

Haifa: Haifa is the third largest city in Israel and is located on the northern Mediterranean coast. The city is most well known for the expertly designed Baha’i Gardens (Baha’i is a small religion that is fascinating) and the German Colony, a street lined with restaurants at the base of the gardens. Haifa is a good place to base yourself to explore the north.

Nazareth: Nazareth is a second option for you to base yourself when travelling around the north. This small city is the largest Arab city in Israel but has many religious sites and is where the Jesus trail begins. Nazareth is a work in progress though, it’s developing itself as a cultural and culinary destination but is still rough on the edges.

Golan Heights: Golan Heights is an area in northern Israel that borders Syria, once a place where conflict and tension ran high but is now a spot where it is safe to travel. In Golan Heights you can find everything from nature reserves to wineries, mountaintop views, old war bunkers and you can even go skiing on Mount Hermon in the winter.

Sea of Galilee: The Sea of Galilee (known as Yam Kinneret in Hebrew) is well-known for its biblical associations. At the Sea of Galilee and in the area around Jesus is said to have performed many of his miracles. The sea itself is Israel’s largest freshwater lake which the Jordan River runs through that has beaches, camping and many walking and cycling trails around.

Acre (Akko): Acre is more like an old town in Europe than it is unlike any other city in Israel. Located on the northwest Mediterranean coast, Acre is a UNESCO World Heritage Site with stone walls and alleys that lead you to the Mediterranean shores. The town is small with markets and tons of history. Even Napolean tried to take over this town but failed.

Israel travel guide | Israel trip | Trip to Israel | Visit Israel | Israel travel | Israel travel tips | Places to visit in Israel | Israel holidays | Israel vacation

Central Israel

Tel Aviv: If you’re a city person then Tel Aviv is where you want to be. It’s the second largest city in Israel and most likely where you will start your trip. Tel Aviv is hip, packed with culture, has beaches that rival some of the best beach destinations in the world, art, architecture and is home to the country’s party scene. Foodies will love Tel Aviv too.

Jerusalem: Jerusalem, the Holy City, is in the Judean Mountains in east Israel and is where history is still an open book. New ancient discoveries are made constantly and pilgrims venture to the old part of the city where they can find some of the holiest sites linked to Judaism, Christianity and Islam. Beyond the thick stone walls of the old city the modern expands outwards with trendy cafe lining streets, educating museums and much more.

Dead Sea: Stop by the Dead Sea, one of the top Israel tourist attractions, to float in the saltiest of water at the lowest point on Earth (431m below sea level). As you float you will see Jordan across the sea and to get to the Dead Sea you’ll drive through the picturesque Judean Desert.

Masada: Masada is an ancient fortress with Roman ruins that sits atop a plateau in the Judean Desert that overlooks the Dead Sea. It’s here that a bloody siege took place but now it’s a place for dramatic views.

Ein Gedi: Ein Gedi is a nature reserve in the Judean Desert that is an oasis in the middle of the harsh, hot climate. It’s here that plants are found that are usually in Africa, thousands of miles away, freshwater waterfalls plummet to the ground and unique wildlife make their appearances.

South Israel

Eilat: Eilat is the most resorty area in all of Israel. In the far south of Israel, bordering Jordan, Eilat sits along the Red Sea where beach lovers flock to enjoy some rays. Snorkelling and diving here are extremely popular as the waters are filled with an abundance of marine life and coral reefs that are not bleached.

Israel travel guide | Israel trip | Trip to Israel | Visit Israel | Israel travel | Israel travel tips | Places to visit in Israel | Israel holidays | Israel vacation

Hebron: Just 30km from Jerusalem, Hebron is where travellers go to see a very real side of the Israeli-Palestinian tension. Hebron is believed to be the final resting place of Abraham and the city is very important to all three major religions of Islam, Judaism and Christianity. Barbed wire lines the walls of some streets, metal gates stop Palestinian’s from passing through to the Israeli side of the city and soldiers stand guard at all times in this Israeli controlled city.

Bethlehem: Bethlehem is an extremely important city for those of Christian faith. It’s believed that Jesus was born here in the Church of Nativity. Other than religious sites, Bethlehem is also famous for being the home of some of Banksy’s most well-known pieces of art that line the wall that separates Bethlehem from Jerusalem.

Jericho: Jericho is a place of history, where you can see monasteries carved into mountain faces and ancient cities being uncovered from dirt. Jericho holds the name of the ‘world’s oldest continuously inhabited city’ where evidence has proven that settlements here date back over 10,000 years.

Ramallah: Ramallah is a great city to visit to experience Palestine as just that, Palestine. The city is the political and economic heart of Palestine with street art decorating many walls but it’s more than just politics. It’s a bustling place to see everyday life.

How Long to Spend in Israel?

This really depends on what you want to see. I would recommend spending a minimum of one week in Israel but typically people spend 10 days to two weeks and this just covers the major highlights.

I personally spent three weeks in Israel and feel like I got a good look and feel of the country but could have easily have spent more time there and still not do the same thing twice.

Israel travel guide | Israel trip | Trip to Israel | Visit Israel | Israel travel | Israel travel tips | Places to visit in Israel | Israel holidays | Israel vacation

Enjoy your Israel holidays!

Must Read Posts About Israel

  • All My Israel Trip Planning Resources

Disclaimer: This post may contain affiliate links which I earn a small commission from and are at no additional cost to you. See my disclosure policy for details. Thank you for supporting my small business!

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  • 10 Best Places To Visit In Israel In 2024 For An Extended Tour Of The Holy Land

23 Mar 2023

You commit sin, atone for it, and repeat! But in the land of Israel, you can choose to atone either by confessing for your mistakes or traveling across the country. For there are places to visit in Israel in the vastness of the glorious landscapes, archeological sites, and religious monuments that are a pilgrim’s (read traveler’s) fancy!

The hometown of Jesus is located amidst ancient mounds and beaches along the Mediterranean coast! The sacred abode of the Lord in the heart of the Middle East is blessed with exciting locales, ancient buildings with mounted domes, and devotees brimming around. These places will certainly feed your wanderlust and soothe your guilt-ridden soul on your holiday in Israel .

A tour of these 10 best places to visit in Israel would enchant the discerning traveler in you.

Holy And Historical Places To Visit In Israel

A popular pilgrimage for Jews, Christians, and Muslims, Israel has some of the most regarded religious places. These places are known for its archeological wonders too! Israeli cities date back to 4000 years and you can still find there the archaeological grandeur of Israel intact.

1. Jerusalem – For Christians, Jews, And Muslims 2. Bethlehem – The Beautiful Home Of Jesus 3. Nazareth – The Arab Capital Of Israel 4. Tel Aviv – The Best Of Israeli Nightlife 5. Acre – The Best Of Ancient Charm 6. Haifa – Time For Some Beach Activity 7. Jaffa – If It’s Ancient, It Will Be Beautiful 8. Dead Sea Region – The Healer, Organic & For Real 9. Sea Of Galilee – Lake Of Natural Remedies 10. Eilat – Water Wonder Everywhere

1. Jerusalem – For Christians, Jews, And Muslims

Vieille ville de Jérusalem et ses remparts

Image Source

Jerusalem is considered as the holiest land in the world and certainly one of the best places to visit in Israel. Frequented by the religious folks from all over the world, it is glorified by ancient buildings and majestic structures.

Take a walk up to Yad Vashem – a memorial dedicated to those who died in the Holocaust . Walk across Dolorosa – the place through which Jesus walked to crucifixion – and behold the city’s most prominent structure in the form of Golden Dome Mosque that overlooks the Western Wall . The city, having a history of more than 4000 years, is a mosaic of art, religion, and magnificence.

Popular tourist attractions in Jerusalem : The Western Wall, Mar Saba Monastery, Visit Yad Vashem, Temple Mount and Dome of Rocks, City of David and Hezekiah’s Tunnel, and St. George’s Monastery

Must Read: Why Summer In Israel Is The Best Time To Explore This Country

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2. Bethlehem – The Beautiful Home Of Jesus

A view of glittering Bethlehem city in Israel

The birthplace of Jesus is certainly one of the best places to visit in Israel. Located to the south of Jerusalem in the West Bank, Bethlehem is almost 1.5-hour drive from the city center of Jerusalem. Plenty of churches and religious places are the prime attractions of the holy city.

To catch the untarnished nature views, head to Herodium Hill – almost 10 km from Jerusalem. Come here to escape the crowd and marvel at the panoramic views of the Dead Sea in the east. Mount of Olives lies to the north of the Herodium. The Village of Artas, tucked in the lush green valley, is home to the Hortus Conclusus Nunnery. There’s a lot more to the place. Care to plan a visit soon?

Popular tourist attractions in Bethlehem: Shepherd’s Field, Church of the Nativity, St. Catherine’s Church, Manger Square, Old Bethlehem Museum, and Herodium Hill

3. Nazareth – The Arab Capital Of Israel


Mostly comprising of Arab Muslim population and Christians, Nazareth town has been known as the place where Jesus spent his adolescent days. Get a feel of ancient days while taking the archeological tour of Nazareth Village – also known as the village of Jesus. Counted among the top Israel places to visit, Nazareth aptly evokes the divine feeling.

Old flea market and quite a few eateries to explore make Nazareth truly a delight. This is a place where you must spend a couple of days if you are out exploring the best of Israel.

Popular tourist attractions in Nazareth: Church of Annunciation, Megiddo National Park, St. Joseph Church, St. Gabriel’s Church, Mt. of Precipice Lookout Point, and Holy Caves & Ancient Bath House of Nazareth

Did you know:

  • Israel is the largest producer of milk
  • Most spaceships spotted have been spotted here in the past
  • With over 300 wineries Israel is also known as the 2nd biggest winery in the world

Suggested Read: Snorkeling In Israel: 6 Best Spots To Meet The Wonders Of The Sea

Happening & Cool Places To Visit In Israel

Israel is not just about the churches. Stroll around the gorgeous middle eastern country and have a taste of its vivacious nightlife, surreal beaches, rich antiquity, wonders of mother nature, and much more!

4. Tel Aviv – The Best Of Israeli Nightlife

Tel Aviv

Roam around & explore the Carmel market, take a trip to Sharona (the oldest modern village existing today), enjoy the scenic sunset, and dance the night out at throbbing discs of Tel Aviv! Besides, the coastal city has some of the most happening beaches in Israel , such as  Gordon Beach , Frishman Beach , and Banana Beach . With an extended coastline, Tel Aviv offers a lot of water activities and access to its rich marine parks.

There are plenty of ancient museums exhibiting the rich past of the place that is known to be the seat of Islam and Christianity. Places like Tayelet are known to offer piers and boardwalk beaches, where you can choose to take a long walk or go biking. For its rich history and diverse culture, a visit to Tel Aviv is a must.

Popular tourist attractions in Tel Aviv : Yarkon River and Park Hayarkon, Carmel Market for Flea & street market, Dizengoff Circle and Surrounds, Tel Aviv Museum of Art, and Bialik Street

5. Acre – The Best Of Ancient Charm


The beautiful city of Acre, also known as Akko, is one of the popular tourist places to visit in Israel . It is a place where every wall has a tale to narrate. The incredible structures are, indeed, architectural wonders that belong to a rich history. Forts, domed mosques, and ancient monuments can be spotted in almost every nook and corner of the town.

Enjoy the gorgeous panoramic views and witness the beauty of the massive towers & minarets, for they are a treat to the eyes. The northeast corner of the city particular deserves your attention because of its ramparts. The magnificent spectacle of stunning nature around would leave you pleasantly surprised.

Popular tourist attractions in Acre: Burj el-Kummander, Weizmann Street, Wall Museum, Citadel, Crusader City, and Ahmed El-Jazzar Mosque, and Burg Kurajim(tower of the vine) towards the east of the old city wall

Suggested Read: 10 Places For Scuba Diving In Israel To Satiate Your Adventure-Lust

6. Haifa – Time For Some Beach Activity

Haifa Bay

With plenty of eateries and places to hang out, Haifa makes for a popular tourist attraction in Israel. The port city, owing to its strategic location, is a massive lure for tourists. Gardens, beaches, promenades, and monasteries adorn the city that has been outlined by a steep cliff and a perfect landscape.

Take a cable car ride up to Stella Maris Carmelite Monastery, bask in the awesome views of the Mediterranean, plan a day out in sculptures garden, or visit the art galleries of Ein Hod Artists Village;  Haifa offers a visitor plenty of indulging chores. Go windsurfing and kiteboarding at BatGalim Beach .

Popular tourist attractions in Haifa : Marvel at the Baha’i Gardens, Mount Carmel, Tel Megiddo – ancient site, Carmel National Park, Elijah’s Cave, and Downtown Haifa

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7. Jaffa – If It’s Ancient, It Will Be Beautiful

A view of St. Peters Church in Jaffa in Israel at night

An ancient port city to the south of Tel Aviv, Jaffa is one of the best places to visit in Israel. The city has been mentioned in the holy Bible to be named after Noah’s son Japhet. Take walk back in time as you stroll past the ancient buildings, art galleries, and cafés. Don’t forget to watch the majestic view of the Clock Tower  that dates back to the time of Ottoman Empire .

Romance and fervent charm ooze from the corners of Jaffa as you take a walking tour across Marzuk Street . For the best dining experience, head to the Yefet Street and Olei Zion Street . Attend a live-arts & theater show, grab a drink, or nibble through the neighborhood. Jaffa is sure to keep you on the toes!

Popular tourist attractions in Jaffa: Jaffa Port, Jaffa Slope Park, Clock Tower, HaPisgah Gardens, Great Mosque, Ilana Goor Museum, and music & entertainment shows at flea market area every Thursday night

Suggested Read: Honeymoon In Israel: The Beginning Of A Lifelong Romance

8. Dead Sea Region – The Healer, Organic & For Real

A view of beach region by the Dead Sea in Israel

Located almost 400 m below the sea level in the heart of Israel, Dead Sea is nature’s true wonder and one of the famous places to visit in Israel . It’s sweeping landscapes and secluded charm enthrall every traveler planning a trip to Israel. The water body has the salt content of higher density, which makes humans float in the super saline water effortlessly.

For nature lovers, there are places in and around the Dead Sea that make an ideal escape. Barren and jagged, the coastal areas of Dead Sea are well embellished with places such as Dead Sea Resthouse, Adventure City Fun Park, and Qumran Caves . These locations in the West Bank make this region one of the top places to visit in Israel.

Popular tourist attractions near the Dead Sea: Masada Mountains & fortress – archeological wonder, Mujib Nature Reserve, Kerak Castle, Dead Sea Museum, Lot’s Cave, Adventure City, and Cave of Prophet Lut

9. Sea Of Galilee – Lake Of Natural Remedies

Sea Of Galilee

Buzzing with historical sites, minarets, hot springs, and vast national parks, Sea of Galilee is the lowest freshwater lake on earth. It showcases rustic charm and awesomeness and is one of the good places to visit in Israel . The lake fed by Jordan river is surrounded by exciting landscapes, beaches, and enchanting views, making this freshwater lake reserve a must-visit.

There’s a lot more to explore in Galilee. Kinneret area is known for its hot water springs. In total, there are 17 of ‘em! Treat yourself to massage, mud treatment, hot tub bath, and thermo-mineral pool in the lake area. Hamat Gader Hot Spring  is a secluded thermo-mineral spring cum hot waterfall that lies almost 5 miles away from Galilee and it’s a must-visit.

Popular tourist attractions in Sea of Galilee: Arbel, Mount Tabor, Arbel National Park, Tel Dan, Jordan River Village, Naharayim, and Korazim National Park

* Also visit Golan Heights and Sharona in the lower Galilee region

Suggested Read: 6 Most Popular Jordan Tours For A Trip To Middle East’s Most Easy Going Places

10. Eilat – Water Wonder Everywhere

Supermoon phenomenon as seen from the coastal area of Eliat in Israel

The popular beach town in the South is another one of the hot tourist attractions in Israel. Marine life, extended beach, and rich wildlife make Eilat a hot favorite for tourists traveling to Israel. Try a range of watersports like snorkeling and scuba diving in the Red Sea . Also, there are cultural tours and wildlife & eco tours around the national park area that must not be missed when you are in Eilat.

Plan a visit to the world’s oldest copper mine, Eilat Bird Sanctuary , and Coral Beach Nature Reserve , also known as the Big 3 Park Tour . It covers the best of Eilat. Besides, you can also plan a hiking session in the Eilat mountains.

Petra , a popular archeological site in Jordan’s southwestern desert, is at a distance of 135 km from Eilat. A day tour can easily take you to one of the new wonders of the world.

Popular tourist attractions in Eilat: Timna Park, Gulf of Aqaba, Dolphinarium, Dolphin Reef, Red Canyon, and Coral Beach Nature Reserve, Musical Fountain, Eilat Marina, and Underwater Marine Observatory

* Eilat is a tax-free zone, now you know where to go shopping in Israel the next time around

Further Read: Israel In January: Here’s Everything You Should Know Before You Plan A Holiday

Israel is the prized crown jewel of the Middle East and plan a trip to Israel and make the most of your holidays. And this one is even more important because Jesus is calling!

Disclaimer: TravelTriangle claims no credit for images featured on our blog site unless otherwise noted. All visual content is copyrighted to its respectful owners. We try to link back to original sources whenever possible. If you own rights to any of the images, and do not wish them to appear on TravelTriangle, please contact us and they will be promptly removed. We believe in providing proper attribution to the original author, artist or photographer.

Frequently Asked Questions About Best Places To Visit In Israel

What can you see in Israel in 3 days?

When traveling to Israel for 3 days, travelers must visit Temple Mount, Camel Market, Hamalabiya, Tel Aviv, Church of the Holy Sepulchre, Western Wall, West bank, and Bethlehem.

What is the best time to visit Israel?

Israel is a year-round destination with a mostly warm climate. But the best time to visit Israel is in spring or autumn. The temperatures during these months may be high but they are not overbearing.

How expensive is Israel?

The cost of traveling to Israel depends on the traveler’s needs and preferences. Although, if we compare Israel to the rest of the Middle East, Israel costs more than that.

What kind of food do they eat in Israel?

Israeli cuisine comprises of both local dishes and the traditional dishes brought back by Jews. The dishes include falafel, hummus, Israeli salad, challah, hamin, gelfilte fish, and many more.

What is the most beautiful place in Israel?

Nazareth, Caesarea, Ramon Crater, Haifa, Sea of Galilee, Tel Aviv, Eilat, and the Dead Sea are some of the most beautiful places you can visit in Israel.

Can you drink the water in Israel?

The tap water in Israel is generally considered safe to drink, except at the Dead Sea. In fact, many luxury hotels in Israel have special taps on every floor where travelers can drink water and fill up their bottles.

What is the cheapest time of year to fly to Israel?

November is considered to be the cheapest month to fly to Israel when everything from hotel rates to flight prices are at their lowest in the year.

Do they speak English in Israel?

Yes, you’ll find that most Israelis can speak fluent English and you will mostly not face any problem in communicating.

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top 10 places to visit when traveling in israel

Trump can't travel to these 38 countries now that he's a convicted felon

Former President Donald Trump walks to make comments to media.

Felons lose various rights upon being convicted, from their right to own a firearm to serving on a jury or voting — and former presidents aren't excluded from those restrictions.

Former President Donald Trump was found guilty of 34 counts of falsifying records in his New York hush money trial, making him a convicted felon. Now he'll have to navigate what that status means for his rights as any other American felon — but also as one worldwide.

That's because traveling is another right affected by felonies, with 38 nations — including the U.S. — either denying felons entry upfront or denying them if their criminal record is discovered, according to World Population Review . And with the public stage that Trump is on, that latter scenario would probably occur few and far between.

This may affect the Republican presidential front-runner's ability to fulfill his foreign duties if he's reelected come November. And although worldly leaders could make an exception in their travel bans for Trump, it's unclear which countries would be willing to do so, particularly as some of them have been on rocky ground with the former president.

For example, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and former President Trump clashed publicly, and Canada reserves the right to refuse entrance to felons upfront. Similarly, with Ukraine, felons are denied if discovered, and Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy's tumultuous relationship escalated into the former's impeachment.

President Joe Biden speaks as he meets with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu

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It's also worth noting that four of the G-7 nations have felon travel bans: Japan, the United Kingdom, Canada and the U.S. The group meets regularly to discuss international topics, and the unannounced 2025 date is set to be hosted in Canada. That would mean Prime Minister Trudeau would have to make a decision on bending his felon-travel ban for a potential President Trump or he'd exclude the leader from physical attendance.

Other countries included in the list are some that Trump has touted on the campaign trail as policy-related focal points such as Mexico and border laws, Israel and its war in Gaza, and "stopping Chinese espionage," according to his website. Mexico denies felons if discovered, while Israel and China deny them upfront.

Again, World Population Review says it's unlikely border officials will ask about a person's criminal record upon their arrival, but with Trump's public status they won't necessarily need to. And some only deny entry to the felons who are deemed a security risk.

Come November, here's the full list of countries that may have to decide if and how they'll change their current rules now that a former president is affected by them for the first time, with data from World Population Review.

Countries that don't allow convicted felons to enter:

  • New Zealand
  • South Africa
  • United Kingdom
  • United States

Countries that will deny entry to felons if discovered:

  • Dominican Republic
  • Philippines
  • South Korea
  • United Arab Emirates

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25 fun things to do in arkansas.

Explore the Natural State's historical, natural and cultural attractions.

Fun Things to Do in Arkansas

Aerial shot of downtown Little Rock, Arkansas.

Getty Images

Arkansas is rich not only in natural resources and scenic beauty – its nickname is the Natural State, after all – but also in history, given its prominent role in the civil rights movement and its extensive Native American history. When visiting Arkansas, you can dig for diamonds to take home at Crater of Diamond State Park, enjoy the thermal springs at Hot Springs National Park, hike throughout the Ozark Mountains, or explore museums and historic sites.

Whether you're looking for fun things to do or seeking natural, historical and cultural experiences, this guide will help you discover the top things to do as a visitor to Arkansas.

Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art: Bentonville

Aerial shot of the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art.

Courtesy of Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art

Set on 120 acres of Ozark forest in Bentonville, the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art is home to a world-class collection of art that spans five centuries, from early American history to the present. Some of the more prominent featured artists include Georgia O'Keeffe, Andy Warhol and Norman Rockwell (just to name a few), though the permanent collection galleries are refreshed on a regular basis. The museum was established by Alice Walton, daughter of Walmart founder Sam Walton, and is always free to the public.

Crystal Bridges' striking architecture is every bit as iconic as its extensive collection – world-renowned architect Moshe Safdie designed the museum, and the alien spaceship-esque concrete, wood and glass pavilions are stunning to behold. After you're done perusing the galleries and marveling at the architectural design, stop for a bite to eat at the Eleven restaurant or the coffee bar, which are situated on a glass bridge overlooking two spring-fed ponds. You can also explore the 5 miles of walking trails with various sculptures; they link the museum to downtown Bentonville.

Address: 600 Museum Way, Bentonville, AR 72712

Go for a dig in Crater of Diamonds State Park

A visitor at Crater of Diamonds State Park carrying a pan and shovel to dig for gemstones.

Courtesy of Arkansas Department of Parks, Heritage, and Tourism

Located just outside Murfreesboro in southwestern Arkansas, Crater of Diamonds State Park is one of the world's only diamond-bearing sites accessible to the public. Set on the surface of an eroded volcanic crater, the 37-acre field allows visitors to search for a variety of gemstones and minerals, such as diamonds, amethyst, garnets, jasper, agates, quartz and more. You can rent tools from the park or bring your own, and whatever you find you get to keep.

People have unearthed more than 35,000 diamonds at this site since it became a state park in 1972 – including Uncle Sam, the largest diamond ever discovered in the U.S., and the Strawn-Wagner Diamond, which is regarded by some as the world's only perfect diamond. In addition to the diamond field, the state park also has walking trails, picnic sites and campsites, plus a mining-themed water park, Diamond Springs Water Park, which is open during the warmer months. Visitors say the park is worth a visit even if you don't find anything, and can be a great activity for adults and children alike.

Address: 209 State Park Road, Murfreesboro, AR 71958

Thorncrown Chapel: Eureka Springs

An evening shot down the aisle of the glass-enclosed sanctuary.

Tucked into the woods just outside of Eureka Springs, you'll find Thorncrown Chapel. This glass-enclosed sanctuary opened in 1980 and is routinely hailed as one of the country's most beautiful and awe-inspiring chapels. The structure is made from wood and more than 6,000 square feet of glass across 425 windows; it blends seamlessly into its natural surroundings. Even when indoors with the comfort of air conditioning, you'll still feel like you're in the middle of the Ozark forest.

There's no admission fee to get into the chapel – though donations are happily accepted – and the church has ample parking, including for buses and recreational vehicles. The quiet setting can give you the chance to connect with nature, even if you're just making a quick stop. Thorncrown Chapel is also a very popular venue for weddings.

Address: 12968 U.S. Route 62, Eureka Springs, AR 72632

Turpentine Creek Wildlife Refuge: Eureka Springs

An orange tiger and white tiger play at Turpentine Creek Wildlife Refuge.

Courtesy of Turpentine Creek Wildlife Refuge

Turpentine Creek Wildlife Refuge was designed as a lifetime haven for big cats – including tigers, lions, cougars, leopards, ligers, servals and bobcats – that have been abandoned, neglected or abused. In addition to the feline inhabitants, travelers will also be able to see some other animals up close, including bears and a hyena. The 460-acre sanctuary in Eureka Springs focuses on animals that have been essentially rendered homeless as a result of the exotic animal trade; the refuge's mission is to tighten regulations for big cat ownership and render sanctuaries like Turpentine Creek unnecessary.

The refuge provides guided tours throughout the day – but given the limited capacity, reserving your spot online in advance is recommended. Check the Turpentine Creek calendar for regularly scheduled programs and activities ranging from scavenger hunts to Wildlife Interpreter talks. While some visitors found the refuge a bit too costly, others believe the entry fee is justified and note the animals appear to be well taken care of.

Address: 239 Turpentine Creek Lane, Eureka Springs, AR 72632

Little Rock Central High School: Little Rock

Exterior shot of Little Rock Central High School in Little Rock, Arkansas.

In September 1957, nine Black teenagers, known as the Little Rock Nine, were prevented from entering the all-white Little Rock Central High School by an angry mob's protest against racial integration that soon turned violent. Though President Dwight D. Eisenhower stepped in later to have the Army escort these students into the school, this event forced Arkansas and the nation alike to grapple with the Southern defiance of the civil rights movement. Little Rock served as the first major test of how the country would implement the Supreme Court's landmark decision to desegregate public schools in the 1954 Brown v. Board of Education case.

Now the school is a National Historic Site. Admission is free, and you can opt for a ranger-guided tour of the site, where you'll learn about the Little Rock Crisis, the civil rights movement and desegregation. All outdoor spaces are accessible to the public, but the high school itself is a functioning school and thus entrance is not permitted. Ranger-led tours (which take you from the visitor center to the campus) must be reserved in advance; the National Park Service website has more information about availability.

Past visitors say the building on its own is impressive, but they were particularly moved by the story of what happened there and how it furthered civil rights in the U.S. If you get there on a non-tour day or don't reserve one beforehand, you can still peruse the exhibits in the visitor center; take a self-guided walk around the grounds; and stop by the Commemorative Garden, Elizabeth Eckford Bus Bench and Magnolia Mobil Gas Station.

Address: 2120 W. Daisy L. Gatson Bates Drive, Little Rock, AR 72202

Taste the water of Hot Springs National Park

A hot spring at Hot Springs National Park.

Centered on Hot Springs Mountain, this national park has 47 thermal springs. In addition to Bathhouse Row – another top thing to do in Arkansas in its own right – this park boasts 26 miles of hiking trails, which provide a beautiful and peaceful escape from the city. Visitors can also take advantage of the bike trails, spend some time bird-watching and learn about the history of the park, which extends far beyond its designation as a national park in 1921.

While you can't swim in any of the outdoor springs, you can drink the water and make use of several fountains where you can fill up a water bottle or jug. Visitors say Hot Springs National Park is a great place to relax and enjoy the spa experience, but they also recommend getting out into nature and hiking.

Bathhouse Row: Hot Springs

An evening shot looking down Bathhouse Row.

Located within Hot Springs National Park, Bathhouse Row comprises eight historic bathhouses built in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Water from the thermal springs feeds into these structures for a relaxing experience with modern-day spa services. While some of the bathhouses have been converted into other venues (including a visitor center and museum , a cultural center, a brewery and distillery, and an emporium), two of them are still in use for thermal treatments: the Buckstaff and Quapaw bathhouses. Past visitors recommend taking your time to learn about the intricate architecture and rich history of these buildings.

Address: 369 Central Ave., Hot Springs, AR 71901

Garvan Woodland Gardens: Hot Springs

Tulips in the forest at Garvan Woodland Gardens, Hot Springs, Arkansas.

Nestled in the Ouachita Mountains in Hot Springs, the Garvan Woodland Gardens site is the botanical garden of the University of Arkansas . This attraction spans 210 acres on a peninsula of Lake Hamilton, and visitors can walk among hundreds of species of native and ornamental shrubs and wildflowers including magnolias and camellias, as well as more than 160 types of azaleas and a Japanese garden. If you're traveling with children, make sure to stop by the Evans Children's Adventure Gardens for some interactive entertainment that includes a waterfall, a cave, a maze constructed with more than 3,200 tons of native rocks, and an impressively designed iron bridge.

If you go later in the year, you may be able to catch the annual holiday lights display , when more than 4 million lights twinkle over 210 acres of the gardens. Just keep in mind that the gardens are closed during the month of January. Past guests call a visit here a tranquil experience but note the gardens can get busy if you go later in the day; some did feel that admission was a bit steep.

Address: 550 Arkridge Road, Hot Springs, AR 71913

The Walmart Museum: Bentonville

Exterior shot of the Walmart Museum.

The original Walton's five-and-dime store that Walmart founder Sam Walton acquired in 1951 is located in Bentonville's central square. The space has been preserved and since expanded to house the Walmart Museum, which is currently undergoing extensive renovations. While the space is being restored, visitors can visit The Walmart Museum Heritage Lab, where temporary exhibits and artifacts teach travelers the history of how the world's largest retailer became what it is today. The Walmart Museum does not charge for admission, and visitors say it provides unique insight into how the corporation has transformed retail.

Address: 105 N. Main St., Bentonville, AR 72712 ( 240 S. Main St. is the museum's temporary address)

Hemingway-Pfeiffer Museum and Educational Center: Piggott

An old typewriter on a desk at the Hemingway-Pfeiffer Museum.

Avid Ernest Hemingway readers may want to make a pilgrimage to Piggott in northeast Arkansas to visit the Hemingway-Pfeiffer Museum and Educational Center. The property includes the barn studio where Hemingway wrote portions of "A Farewell to Arms" and some short stories, as well as the family home of Hemingway's second wife, Pauline Pfeiffer.

Visitors to the historic site can learn about life in the 1930s and the developments that took place in northeast Arkansas and around the world during the Great Depression and New Deal eras. Past guests at the museum note the guides are very knowledgeable and the museum is a must-see for fans of the renowned author.

Address: 1021 W. Cherry St., Piggott, AR 72454

Seek adventure in Mount Magazine State Park

Yellow and purple wildflowers at Mount Magazine State Park.

About 100 miles southeast of Fayetteville near the Arkansas city of Paris, Mount Magazine State Park is home to the state's highest point, Mount Magazine, which reaches more than 2,700 feet. Outdoor adventurers can choose from an array of activities in the park, including ATV riding, backpacking, hiking, horseback riding, mountain biking, rock climbing and more. The park has 18 campsites and more than a dozen cabins. There's also The Lodge at Mount Magazine, which features a restaurant, an indoor swimming pool, a fitness center and a game room – not to mention absolutely stunning views of the Petit Jean River Valley.

Address: 577 Lodge Drive, Paris, AR 72855

Museum of Native American History: Bentonville

Exterior shot of the Museum of Native American History.

Courtesy of Museum of Native American History

If you're looking for a cultural journey in Bentonville, the Museum of Native American History promises to take you back 24,000 years to see what life was like for the Indigenous inhabitants of the Americas starting in the Paleo Period. The museum houses thousands of artifacts that traverse five time periods, including a mammoth skeleton, tools, weaponry, pottery, headdresses, quillwork, beadwork, masks and more.

This informative attraction also hosts regular events, provides educational resources for teachers and organizes group visits. Past visitors appreciated the museum's excellent representation of Native American peoples and world-class collections of artifacts. What's more, admission to the museum is free.

Address: 202 SW O St., Bentonville, AR 72712

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Fort Smith National Historic Site: Fort Smith

Wide shot of entrance and building at Fort Smith National Historic Site.

Established in 1817, Fort Smith was the site of two frontier forts and the Federal Court for the Western District of Arkansas. Now a National Historic Site, Fort Smith in the 1830s was a stop along the Trail of Tears, a series of forced displacements of Native American communities across nine states in the southeastern U.S. At the Trail of Tears Overlook and River Walk, visitors today can stand on a portion of the trail and read panels about the five Indigenous tribes forcibly removed from the area.

You can also see where soldiers from the Civil War and Mexican War drilled, visit the gallows where outlaws met their fate, and hear stories about the fort's 19th-century inhabitants and visitors. Past guests say the historic site provides an informative window into the harsh realities of the Old West and has a lot of open space to walk and relax.

Address: 301 Parker Ave., Fort Smith, AR 72901

Explore the beauty of Mammoth Spring State Park

The flowing Spring River at Mammoth Spring State Park.

About 80 miles northwest of Jonesboro in northeast Arkansas, right on the border with Missouri, you'll find Mammoth Spring, one of the largest natural springs in the world – it pumps out 9 million gallons of water every hour. The spring forms a 10-acre lake that feeds into the Spring River, a stream known for its Ozark trout and being excellent for floating. Visitors can take kayaks and pedal boats out on the lake or float down the crystal-clear water of the Spring River.

The park also features a restoration of the state's oldest railroad station, a playground and a hiking trail. Visitors marvel at the scenic park's quiet beauty and activities for all ages. While you're there, you can also check out the Mammoth Spring National Fish Hatchery, one of the oldest of its kind in the country. The hatchery runs various programs to educate the public, recover endangered and threatened species, and promote conservation.

Address: 17 U.S. Route 63, Mammoth Spring, AR 72554

Magic Springs Theme and Water Park: Hot Springs

Roller coaster at sunset at Magic Springs Theme and Water Park.

Courtesy of Magic Springs Water and Theme Park

Magic Springs Theme and Water Park offers fun for every member of the family. The water park includes a variety of slides, an adventure river, a playground, a family splash zone, a wave pool, a boogie boarding area and many other attractions. Visitors who want some private space and VIP treatment can rent a cabana. On the theme park side, you'll find an assortment of roller coasters, a drop tower, a log flume, bumper cars, a pirate ship and eight rides specifically for young kids. The park also sometimes hosts concerts, which are free with your admission, and other special events.

Visitors say the park, while a great place to take your kids, can feel overpriced if you have a lot of people in your party; they also caution the park sometimes experiences multiple closures of attractions. The park is typically open from early May through early August, with select days in September and October.

Address: 1701 E. Grand Ave., Hot Springs, AR 71901

William J. Clinton Presidential Library and Museum: Little Rock

Two people biking outside the entrance of William J. Clinton Presidential Library and Museum.

The William J. Clinton Presidential Library and Museum, located within the Clinton Presidential Center and Park in Little Rock, has both permanent and temporary exhibits showcasing more than 100,000 items and works of art related to Bill Clinton's life and presidency. Visitors can learn about Clinton's presidential campaign, inauguration, policies, work and life in the White House via a collection of documents, videos, photographs and interactive exhibits. You'll also be able to see replicas of the Oval Office and Cabinet Room. Past visitors found the library and museum to be worth a stop, even for those not particularly interested in politics.

Address: 1200 President Clinton Ave., Little Rock, AR 72201

South Arkansas Arboretum: El Dorado

Man walking through South Arkansas Arboretum.

If you find yourself in El Dorado – or you're just driving through – you can stop by the 12-acre South Arkansas Arboretum. This botanical garden features plants native to the state's West Gulf Coastal Plain, as well as some exotic species. Along the paved walking trails you'll spot camellias, azaleas, dogwoods, pines, magnolias, wisteria and much more. Plenty of benches line the path, so you can sit and relax under the forest canopy, a great place for bird-watching, or bring a picnic to eat at the pavilion. While the arboretum is managed by South Arkansas Community College – and visitors say it is well maintained – it has no staff on-site.

Address: 1506 Mount Holly Road, El Dorado, AR 71730

Kendra Drive-In: Marshall

Vintage cars at the Kenda Drive-In.

In Marshall, about 100 miles north of Little Rock, you can step back in time with a visit to the Kendra Drive-In, which first opened in 1966. This retro outdoor theater hosts single and double features of select latest releases. The drive-in has a full concession stand that patrons rave about, with burgers, hot dogs, sandwiches, snacks, popcorn, drinks and sweets. Both locals and visitors to Marshall highly recommend the experience, adding that the prices are reasonable and the atmosphere makes it a unique experience.

Address: 107 Westwood Drive, Marshall, AR 72650

Old State House Museum: Little Rock

Interior shot of exhibit featuring historic clothing.

Little Rock's Old State House Museum sits inside the original capitol building for the state of Arkansas and enjoys the designation of being the oldest standing state capitol west of the Mississippi River. Guests of the museum can learn about the state's history through various exhibits and artifacts. You'll also be able to learn about the building's other uses over the years, including stints as the Arkansas War Memorial, home of the Arkansas State Police and a medical school. Visitors love that admission is free and note the museum is a great place to learn about the complex history of the 25th state.

Address: 300 W. Markham St., Little Rock, AR 72201

Discover history at the Hampson Archeological Museum State Park

A park ranger talks to two young museum visitors about an exhibit.

Near the Tennessee border – about 45 miles north of Memphis – you'll find the Hampson Archeological Museum State Park in Wilson, Arkansas. The museum focuses on the archaeological discoveries of Dr. James K. Hampson from the Nodena Site, where an Indigenous farming community thrived on the Mississippi River from the years 1400 to 1650. The museum's collection, which is free to experience, includes a visualization of what the village might have looked like, as well as various artifacts such as preserved whole ceramic pottery. Those who have seen it were impressed by the quality of preservation and the artwork.

Address: 33 Park St., Wilson, AR 72395

Hike through Pinnacle Mountain State Park

Sunset hike at the top of Pinnacle Mountain in Pinnacle Mountain State Park.

Located about 15 miles northwest of Little Rock, the geographically diverse destination of Pinnacle Mountain State Park is centered on Pinnacle Mountain, which rises more than 1,000 feet above the valley. The park, which is certified as a Trail of Tears National Historic Site, features more than 20 miles of hiking trails and the Arkansas Arboretum, a 71-acre botanical garden that showcases the state's native flora.

The park is day-use only, so you can't camp, but up until sunset you can make use of its 14 miles of bike trails and an area for picnics and gatherings. Visitors say Pinnacle Mountain promises the best views of central Arkansas and is possible to reach even for inexperienced hikers.

Address: 11901 Pinnacle Valley Road, Roland, AR 72135

Explore the Buffalo National River

Morning fog over the Buffalo National River, Ponca, Arkansas.

One of the few undammed rivers in the 48 contiguous states, the Buffalo National River flows for 135 miles through the Ozark Mountains in northern Arkansas. Adventure activities are abundant, with hiking, mountain biking, horseback riding, canoeing and fishing being the most popular options. You can also check out Rush, a ghost town situated on the Lower Buffalo River where zinc miners made their living throughout the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

The area has several campgrounds available for use, ranging from primitive sites to developed sites with electricity and water, and the main park visitor center (open year-round) is located at Tyler Bend, 12 miles north of Marshall on Highway 65. Past visitors love the lack of development along the river combined with towering limestone bluffs, lush woodlands and pristine water throughout the park and its trails.

Fayetteville Downtown Square and Gardens: Fayetteville

Light display at the Lights of the Ozarks festival.

Home to the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville is a charming college town with a picturesque square featuring unique shops, local restaurants and historic buildings. The central space also boasts colorful gardens and plants around the Old Post Office and serves as the location for the Lights of the Ozarks festival during the holiday season. Depending on when you visit, you can also stroll around the bustling farmers market that takes place every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday from April through September. Visitors have marveled at the square's immaculate landscaping and recommend visiting any time of the year, but particularly when the lights festival takes place.

Address: 1 W. Center St., Fayetteville, AR 72701

Eureka Springs

Aerial of Eureka Springs, Arkansas.

Easily one of Arkansas' prettiest towns, downtown Eureka Springs resembles a postcard with its winding streets, charming boutiques, historic buildings and even rainbow flags (there's a robust LGBTQ presence here, especially notable for Arkansas). The town is backdropped by the Ozark Mountains and set in a steep valley.

Exploring the historic downtown district is one of the top things to do in Eureka Springs . For a fun, unique way to get around, take the Eureka Springs Trolley – there are four fixed-loop routes offered, with the Red Route being the most popular for travelers, as it covers the town's historic area. Spend the rest of your time shopping, dining, taking in live shows and exploring the surrounding natural wonders.

Tour Blanchard Springs Caverns

Blanchard Springs Caverns in Mountain View, Arkansas.

Explorers and adventure travelers will have a field day at Blanchard Springs Caverns, a three-level cave system with three different trails for beginners to experienced hikers in the heart of the Ozark-St. Francis National Forest. Visitors can get an up-close look at impressive formations like stalagmites, stalactites and the world's biggest flowstone, which constantly change due to water flow.

There are two guided tours currently offered, and tickets should be purchased online in advance, as on-site tickets are not always available. Past visitors have enjoyed the many recreational opportunities nearby, including exploring the Blanchard Springs Recreation Area; swimming, floating and fishing on the White and Buffalo Rivers; and hiking, biking or driving the Sylamore Scenic Byway.

Address: 704 Blanchard Springs Road, Fifty-Six, AR 72533

Why Trust U.S. News Travel

Justine Harrington is a writer based in Fayetteville, Arkansas. You'll find her byline in dozens of top travel publications, including Forbes, Travel+Leisure, Marriott Bonvoy Traveler, Fodor's, Southern Living, TripSavvy and more. Harrington is also the co-author of guidebooks for Lonely Planet and DK Eyewitness.

You might also be interested in:

  • The Best Hotels in Arkansas
  • The Top Things to Do in Tennessee
  • The Top Things to Do in Kentucky
  • The Top Things to Do in Oklahoma
  • The Best Shows in Branson, Missouri

The Best Attraction in Every U.S. State

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Top 10 Things to do in Zermatt, Switzerland

I f you found our blog about the best things to do in Zermatt, Switzerland, then you’re probably planning a bucket list trip to Switzerland! Zermatt is definitely somewhere you need to visit in Switzerland, no matter what time of year you visit!

Zermatt is a mountain village in the canton of Valais in southern Switzerland. It’s only about 6.5 miles (10 km) from the Italian border! Zermatt is most known for its iconic mountain, the Matterhorn. After the Matterhorn was first summited in July 1865 by Edward Whymper, it became a world-famous destination. There’s even a candy with the Matterhorn on it, the Toblerone chocolate!

The scenic town of Zermatt offers year-round outdoor activities! During the summer, there are endless hiking trails, bike routes, and places to explore. In the winter, it’s a popular ski and snowboarding destination. In this blog, we cover the top 10 things to do in Zermatt, Switzerland, in the summer!

If you’re planning a trip to Switzerland, then you should also check out our blog about the Must-See Villages in Switzerland . It’s filled with other picturesque Swiss villages you need to add to your Switzerland bucket list!

How to get to Zermatt

Zermatt is a car-free village, so the best way to get to there is by train.

There are two main train routes to get to Zermatt. One way is through Visp, then take the Matterhorn Gotthard Bahn to Zermatt. Most major cities in Switzerland, like Interlaken, Zürich, and Lucerne, will take you this route. The other route is the Glacier Express. It’s a scenic train ride from St. Mortiz. Since we were coming from Interlaken, we took the first route.

If you have a car, you can park at a garage in Täsch and then take a taxi or train to get into Zermatt. Täsch is the closest town to Zermatt. The road from Täsch to Zermatt is closed to the public; you cannot drive or park inside Zermatt.

Swiss Travel Pass

We HIGHLY recommend purchasing the Swiss Travel Pass if you plan to travel anywhere else in Switzerland. For a set rate for a set number of days, you get unlimited public transportation. Not only is it a great deal for transportation, but you also get free or discounted entry into over 500 museums and other sites throughout Switzerland.

During our 9-day trip across Switzerland, we purchased the Swiss Travel Pass, which was the best decision. It made traveling between cities and even within the cities so easy since we didn’t constantly have to buy separate tickets. From trains and buses to gondolas and funiculars, it made getting to all the different Swiss villages simple. But just be aware that some of the popular sites, like Jungfraujoch – Top of Europe , require an additional fee (the Swiss Travel Pass gives you a discount on the ticket to get there).

Best time of year to visit Zermatt

If you want to enjoy all the outdoor activities Zermatt has to offer without snow, then we recommend visiting in the summer months, June to September.

We visited at the end of September, and the weather was perfect! It was chilly in the mornings and evenings but warm during the day. We were told within two weeks of our visit, all the leaves would change to beautiful fall colors. But be aware that they can get snow starting in October!

Things to do in Zermatt, Switzerland

#1. hike to riffelsee lake.

Riffelsee Lake is a small lake that has one of the best views of the Matterhorn. On a clear day, it has an incredible mirror reflection of the Matterhorn. The hike to Riffelsee Lake is a great hike for people of almost all skill levels and ages!

To get to the start of the trailhead, you need to take the Gornegat Railway to the second-highest station, “Rotenboden.“ From there, you follow the signs to “Riffelseeweg.” It’s about a 10-minute walk from the station.

We took a slightly longer route to get to Riffelsee Lake (more details on that next). That’s what all these photos below are from!

If you’d rather have a little longer hike to enjoy other mountain views along the way, you can take the Gornegat Railway to the highest and last stop, “Gornegat.” There’s a trail that also leads to Riffelsee Lake, and it is mostly downhill. So, after exploring Gornegat, you can hike the trail down to Riffelsee Lake. It’s about 1.2 miles and took us around 35 minutes. But trust us, you’ll want to stop many times to take photos!

Once you finish the hike, you don’t have to hike back up to Gornegat. Just take the Gornegat Railway back down to Zermatt!

Just be aware that this area can get VERY busy! We recommend going early in the morning to avoid the crowds and enjoy the lake in a more peaceful setting.

#2. Take the scenic Gornergrat Railway to Gornergrat Station

The Gornergrat Railway is Europe’s highest open-air cog railway. It’s an incredibly scenic train ride with views of the Matterhorn and surrounding mountains. Not only is the journey itself beautiful, but once you arrive at Gornergrat it offers stunning 360 views.

The ride up to Gornergrat Station takes around 33 minutes, with trains running every 35 minutes. You can learn more about the train schedule and tickets here .

Gornergrat is a mountain ridge with iconic views of the Matterhorn. Once on top, there is a lot to do and many different scenic viewpoints to enjoy, including one of Gorner Glacier. There’s even a chapel and hotel (3100 Klumhotel Gornegot) on top! Not only are there a few touristy activities, but it’s the start of many different hiking and biking trails. Including, Rifflessee Lake, which we mentioned above!

Riding the Gornergrat Railway is definitely a MUST-DO when visiting Zermatt! It’s open and operating 365 days per year so no matter when you visit you can experience this iconic railway.

This train can get very crowded during popular summer months, so we’d recommend going early in the day. We got on the first train of the day and had no issues getting a spot by the window with views of the Matterhorn!

Pro Tip: Sit on the right side of the train when going up (the right side facing the direction the train will be going) to get the best views of the Matterhorn!

#3. Walk around Zermatt

If you’re visiting Zermatt, of course, you need to walk around the village! Bahnhofstrasse is the main road in town and is very picturesque. There are lots of delicious restaurants and luxury shops to wander around looking at. We loved seeing all the window boxes with fresh flowers all over every building!

Keep reading to learn more specific things you should do in the village of Zermatt!

#4. Visit the Matterhorn Museum  – Zermatlantis

The Matterhorn Museum is a museum that shares the history of climbing the Matterhorn and the village of Zermatt. It’s super interesting to learn more about during your visit. Over the last 100 years, tourism to visit the Matterhorn has completely transformed what was once the rural agricultural village of Zermatt!

It looks tiny from ground level, but it’s actually a multi-level underground museum. While it’s open every day, it’s not open for very long so be sure to plan accordingly.

Opening Hours: Daily from 3:00 pm – 5:00 pm, view seasonal hours here

Entry Fee: Free if you have the Swiss Travel Pass otherwise it’s CHF 12.00 for adults and CHF 7.00 for children 10 – 16 years old

The Matterhorn Museum  – Zermatlantis shares lots of insight into the climbers over the years and the first-ever climb of the Matterhorn, including the rope that tragically broke on the tragic first ascent (see photos above).

#5. Grab a delicious pastry at Fuchs Bakery 

Fuchs Baker y  is a locally owned, family-run bakery that has been in business since 1965 and is located in the heart of Zermatt. It’s so popular that there are actually multiple locations in town! The bakery’s stores are filled with freshly baked pastries, breads, chocolates, coffee, and desserts.

Everything looked absolutely delicious, so it was hard to choose what to get! You could easily stop by this place every day of your trip.

Opening Hours: daily from 7:00 am to 7:00 pm

#6. Wander through Hinterdorf (old village of Zermatt)

Hinterdorf is Zermatt’s old village, built between the 16th and 18th centuries. As you wander through these old houses, barns, and stores, you’ll feel like you’re stepping back in time.

It’s a small area that’s left standing, so it won’t take you long to pass through this historic area of Zermatt.

#7. Eat fondue at Restaurant  Schäferstube

Restaurant Schäferstube is a traditional Swiss restaurant known for its cheese fondue and lamb. It’s owned and operated by a local family, The Julen’s , who owns a few other restaurants in town. They are also black nose sheep breeders, so you’ll notice lots of sheep fur throughout the restaurant details.

Located in the heart of Zermatt, this cozy wood-covered restaurant is a lovely place to enjoy a Swiss meal. This restaurant can book up quickly, so be sure to book a table in advance!

Opening Hours: daily from 6:00 pm to 10:00 pm

#8. Hike to Lake Stellisee at sunrise

Lake Stellisee is another one of Zermatt’s famous alpine lakes! Similar to Lake Riffelsee, it’s a mirror lake that has a beautiful view and reflection of the Matterhorn. Sunrise and sunset are the best time of day to visit this stunning lake!

To get to Lake Stellisee from Zermatt, you will take the funicular from Zermatt to Sunnegga and then the cable car to Blauherd. Once you get off the cable car, it’s about a 20-minute walk to the lake. It’s pretty easy for people of all physical skill levels and ages!

While we fully planned on doing this “hike,” it wasn’t until we got to Zermatt that we learned the cable cars weren’t operating early enough to get us there for sunrise (we just missed the end of the summer season schedule). Sadly, we didn’t have time to do it later in the day before leaving.

Also, Lake Stellisee is the first lake on the famous Five Lakes Trail (5-Seenweg). It’s another great hike to do near Zermatt if you have time. But maybe do your own research because we have mixed reviews about whether or not doing the full Five Lakes Trail is worth it.

If you enjoy hiking to alpine lakes, then check out this list with many other beautiful lakes to explore near Zermatt!

#9. Take photos of the Matterhorn

The Matterhorn is one of the most famous mountains in the world. Whether you are an avid climber or not, it’s an incredible mountain to soak in the views and take photos of! Every time we saw the Matterhorn during our visit, we would just stare in awe.

Here are some of our favorite viewpoints of the Matterhorn:

  • Kirchbrücke (bridge in Zermatt)
  • Riffelsee Lake
  • Hiking trail from Gornergrat to Riffelsee Lake
  • Riding the Gornergrat railway
  • Adler Hitta in Findeln (or any of the other resturants)
  • Lake Stellisee

That being said, some of the best views are the ones you stumble upon! You can see the Matterhorn from so many different places in and around Zermatt.

#10. Visit the Matterhorn Glacier Paradise

Matterhorn Glacier Paradise , also known as Klein Matterhorn, is the highest cable car station in Europe. When standing on Klein Matterhorn, you are surrounded by 38 four-thousanders (a mountain 4000 meters above sea level), 14 glaciers, and mountain views of three countries – Italy, France, and Switzerland.

The Matterhorn Glacier Paradise experience is open 365 days a year and always has lots of snow! During your visit, there are plenty of unique activities to choose from. Below are some of the best things to do on Klein Matterhorn:

  • Soak up the views from one of many viewing platforms
  • Visit the Glacier Palace
  • Dine at the Restaurant Matterhorn Glacier Paradise
  • Take a ride on the Crystal Ride (a decorated gondola with a glass floor)
  • Go skiing at Zermatt Snow Park (yes, even in the summer!)
  • Watch a film at the Cinema House
  • Submit the Breithorn Peak (only if you’re a skilled climber/mountaineer)

In all honesty, we decided not to visit Matterhorn Glacier Paradise because we felt it was similar to Jungfraujoch – Top of Europe (which we had just visited). But if you don’t have time to visit Top of Europe, we think this would be an incredibly unique activity!

If you found this blog helpful, pin this blog for later planning!

The post Top 10 Things to do in Zermatt, Switzerland appeared first on .

Top 10 Things to do in Zermatt, Switzerland


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    5) Some "Rites of Passage" - Must-Do's in Israel. Relax and kick back as the Jewish day of rest descends with the Friday sunset. Enjoy the peaceful atmosphere of an Israeli Shabbat, including a lavish dinner. Experience the urban vibe of the iconic "White City" by joining our Tel Aviv and Jaffa Walking Tour.

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    2023. 2. Yad Vashem - The World Holocaust Remembrance Center. 8,914. History Museums. Admission tickets from ₹924. The World Holocaust Remembrance Center is a 45-acre campus comprised of indoor museums, outdoor monuments, gardens and sculptures. Entrance to Yad Vashem is free. Entrance to the Holocaust History….

  7. 14 Top-Rated Tourist Attractions in Israel and the Palestinian

    14. Makhtesh Ramon. Map of Tourist Attractions in Israel and the Palestinian Territories. 1. Jerusalem Old City. Jerusalem. Aching with the weight of history, Jerusalem has one of the world's most recognizable skylines, with the golden helmet of the Dome of the Rock glinting above the caramel-colored stone of the old city.

  8. First Time In Israel: Visitor's Guide

    There are multiple ways to visit this iconic location during your first trip to Israel: Jerusalem, Dead Sea, Bethlehem Tour. Bethlehem, Jericho, Jordan River Tour. Jerusalem and Bethlehem Tour. Or see all Bethlehem Tours. For many Christians, coming to Israel for the first time is the culmination of a lifelong dream.

  9. The Perfect Israel Itinerary

    Masada is one of the best outdoor attractions in Israel. Visit the mountain-top fortress where 1st-century Jews took refuge from Roman rule. If you arrive early enough in the day (in the summer, often before 8 AM) and you're in very good shape, you can hike up the "snake path". It takes 1-1.5 hours as you ascend 1300 feet.

  10. 75 best things to do in Israel: The ultimate travel guide

    8. Bird-watch in the Hula Valley. At the Hula Valley nature preserve, the lakes are stocked with fish to encourage migration, making it the ultimate bird-watching destination. Over 500 million birds (no less than 390 species) pass through the Hula Valley yearly on their way south. 9.

  11. 16 Best Places to Visit in Israel: The MUST SEES of 2024

    What to do there: Tel Aviv is the best place to visit in Israel for nightlife - no arguments there. Pubs, dive bars, speakeasies, live music, jam nights, clubs, techno, house, good genres of electronic music (psytrance), Hebrew poetry slams: it's all there! There's sick street art, buskers, and espressos at every turn.

  12. Places to visit

    Places to visit. When it comes to places to visit, Israel is usually divided into six sections: Jerusalem. Tel Aviv. The Judaean Desert (the Dead Sea and Masada) The Galilee. The Golan Heights. The Negev. The first three are considered to be the must-see destinations and whether or not you make it to the rest depends on what you're interested ...

  13. 10 Best Places To Visit In Israel

    14 Best Kosher Hotels In Tel Aviv, Israel - Updated 2024. 1. Nazareth. View this post on Instagram. A post shared by Mohamad Egbarea (@mohamad.egbarea) We firmly believe that a visit to Nazareth is must for every true Christian, as this city has much biblical history. Nazareth is the city, where Jesus, the Son of God was brought up.

  14. 10 Best Places to Visit in Israel

    Best places to visit in Israel Updated: 13th June 2022 Israel offers a whole lot more than amazing age-old ruins and a swathe of biblical sites - here you can also take a dip in the Dead Sea or relax by Tel Aviv's beautiful beaches that are sure to impress.

  15. Israel travel

    Israel. Middle East. Few places on earth stir up passion the way that Israel does: the breathtaking beauty of its hills and valleys, the eerie stillness of the Dead Sea, the multi-colored canyon of Makhtesh Ramon, and the ancient walls and pathways of Nazareth and Jerusalem. The call of the muezzin and the quiet prayers of Orthodox Jews at the ...

  16. 32 Best Things To Do In Israel

    19. Jaffa Flea Market. Jaffa is one of the world's ancient ports from which the modern-day Tel Aviv grew. The port itself is already a top thing to do in Tel Aviv but the Jaffa Flea Market which is also known as Shuk Hapishpishim in Hebrew is a top Israel tourist attraction in Israel.

  17. Israel Travel Guide

    For a classic Israeli experience, head to the Negev Desert to visit the Dead Sea and the ancient fortress of Masada. Here, the truly brave can repel down into the Ramon Crater, one of the largest in the country, for a truly unique desert experience. You also can't miss the chance to float in the Dead Sea, the lowest place on the planet, or ...

  18. The Most Beautiful and Best Places To Visit in Israel

    Masada, which literally means "fortress" in Hebrew, is a UNESCO World Heritage Center fortress perched atop a 400-meter high mesa in the Judean Desert, overlooking the Dead Sea. Today, it is mostly ruins, but one of the most interesting - and popular - places in Israel to visit. Its history is fascinating.

  19. A Beginner's Guide to Israel: Top 10 Things to See and Do

    Spend the afternoon exploring this incredible World Heritage Site, where you can walk through the ruins of ancient villas, bathhouses, churches and caves. The national park is located in the Negev Highlands. Hiking route · Negevwüste. Hiking in Avdat National Park. Top moderate Open. 2.8 km.

  20. The best places to visit in Israel from north to south

    The best places to visit in Israel from north to south. 1. Golan Heights. The Golan Heights is one of the most popular destination spots in Israel - and for good reason. Take a break from the ...

  21. 10 Beautiful Places To Visit In Israel

    You can enter the Dead Sea from pretty much any point in town (it all pretty much looks the same), to take the quintessential floating in the Dead Sea photos. You can also take a tour for a more relaxing way to enjoy the Dead Sea. 2. The Dead Sea Tree. Unique salt formations in the Dead Sea.

  22. How to Plan the Perfect Israel Trip (1-3 Week Israel Itinerary)

    This will give you enough to stay in hostels 80-130 NIS per night ($21-$35USD), cook your own food or eat out at cheap street food joints, 10-20 NIS ($2.70-$5.40USD), get around by bus, cheap daily activities and to take an occasional tour. For a mid-range budget plan to have $175-$300USD (650-1115 NIS) per day.

  23. 10 Best Places To Visit In Israel To Have A Joyful Trip In 2023

    Dead Sea Region - The Healer, Organic & For Real. 9. Sea Of Galilee - Lake Of Natural Remedies. 10. Eilat - Water Wonder Everywhere. 1. Jerusalem - For Christians, Jews, And Muslims. Image Source. Jerusalem is considered as the holiest land in the world and certainly one of the best places to visit in Israel.

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    Former President Donald Trump was found guilty of 34 counts of falsifying records in his New York hush money trial, making him a convicted felon. Now he'll have to navigate what that status means for his rights as any other American felon — but also as one worldwide. That's because traveling is another right affected by felonies, with 38 ...

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    The ninth city on Time Out's ranking is Dubai. Time Out says locals surveyed named traditional Middle Eastern dishes such as mandi rice, shawarma and charcoal-grilled chicken as the city's must ...

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    As a general rule, a valuation of 1.5 to 2 cents per mile is decent for most airline miles. If you want to get the best credit card to earn your preferred airline miles, check out these lists ...

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    Best Covid Travel Insurance Policies. Travel Insured - Worldwide Trip Protector. WorldTrips - Atlas Journey Premier/Atlas Journey Preferred. Seven Corners - Trip Protection Choice/Trip ...

  28. ICA

    Identity Cards, Passport and other Documents. Entering, Transiting and Departing. Reside, Study and Work in Singapore. e-Services and Forms. Check Status / Make Appointment. Travellers will need to take note of border requirements or restrictions that are in place. Please click the buttons below for more details on entering, transiting or ...

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    The Walmart Museum: Bentonville. Courtesy of Arkansas Department of Parks, Heritage, and Tourism. The original Walton's five-and-dime store that Walmart founder Sam Walton acquired in 1951 is ...

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    The post Top 10 Things to do in Zermatt, Switzerland appeared first on ... which was the best decision. It made traveling between cities and even within the cities so easy since ...