Things to do in Israel: a Complete Travel Guide
Wouldn’t you like to visit a place which has beautiful landscapes and is religiously very significant? Well, there is no better place to visit than Israel, which is historically and culturally rich and is home to many holy sites for the world’s three major religions. Though the religious sites are a major draw card for visitors, even those who are not really into religious sightseeing and planning a trip to Israel, it still has so much to offer.
If you are planning a trip to Israel and seek some guidance, we have got you covered. This article will discuss the other tourist attractions than holy sites, how much does it cost to visit Israel, and what fun activities you can do. So, let’s jump straight into it.
Best Tourist Attractions You Can Visit
Tourist attractions in any country or region are the main reasons people visit it, and Israel has plenty of them. Below we have discussed some of the most popular tourist attractions in Israel.
The City of Jerusalem
The old city of Jerusalem is home to many sacred sites for Jews, Christians, and Muslims, and that’s what makes it so significant for visitors. The whole place is surrounded by stone walls built by the Ottomans in the 16th century, and once you get into the walls, it feels like you have come to another time, another place, and another world.
The famous Western Wall: a significant landmark for jews, is also within Jerusalem’s walls. In front of this wall, a plaza has two sections—one for the men and the other women pilgrims. Temple Mount, Dome of the Rock, and Via Dolorosa are other holy sites located within the walls.
Other tourist attractions you can visit in Jerusalem are the Basilica of the agony and the Church of the Annunciation. It is also recommended to stay in Jerusalem, as some of the most amazing hotels in Israel are in this city.
If one wants to absorb and look deep into the local community’s culture, Jaffa is the right place for him. With honey-colored stone all around, Jaffa is a little town, which has served as a major port in the past. Jaffa is also known for its flea market, which is like a heaven for aimless wanderers.
Take a walk through the streets of Jaffa, and you will counter different cafes, art galleries, craft shops, and theaters on the sideways. There is beauty to behold at every next corner of this place.
Ein Gedi Nature Reserve
If you fancy some hiking, there is no better place than Ein Gedi Nature Reserve to do it in the entire Israel. The place is located in the Judean Desert, near the coast of the Dead Sea. You can have a one-day trip to this naturally beautiful playground, with well-marked hiking trails. While your hiking adventure, you will also get the chance to sightsee the Domin’s Cave and David Waterfall.
The Dead Sea
For the ones who are planning a trip to Israel, the Dead Sea is a must-visit spot. Israel and its neighboring country Jordan, share this interesting sea. It covers a staggering area of 600 square kilometers. The important fact about the Dead Sea is that its shores are the lowest point on the entire earth. Another weird fact is that its water is over eight times saltier than the ocean, and that’s why no sea life can survive in it. This is the same reason why it is called the Dead Sea.
While you visit the Dead Sea, beware of the sinkholes on the shoreline. On your way to the coastline, you will find tons of health treats and some of the finest hotels in Israel.
Masada National Park in Negev
In the Negev Desert, there is a place called Masada National Park. It is famous for its past, as it has served as the refuge for the Jewish people in their rebellion against the Roman Empire. Now it is considered as the symbol of the determination of the Israelis.
A cable car is available there to take you to the fortress. But if you want some adventure and have beautiful sceneries, I recommend you to hike up the Snake Path. Before you do that, make sure authorities have not closed the place due to the hot weather.
After visiting all these top attractions, if you still have time and your pocket allows you, you can have a one-day trip to Jordan, which is at driving distance from Israel. In this case, a Jordan Pass can come handy, about which you can know from here.
Famous Cuisines You Should Try
A trip to any place is incomplete without tasting its famous cuisines. So, here are some tasty dishes you can try on your visit to Israel.
You can know about the importance of tasting this dish by the fact that it is the national dish of Isreal. Falafel, originally from Egypt, is stuffed into pitta bread with plenty of hummus, pickles, and salad. It is served with fresh tomatoes and fried aubergine.
If there is one thing you must eat during your visit to Israel, it’s hummus. Unlike many countries, hummus is served as the main meal in Israel. On your visit to different cafes and hotels in Israel, you will find different variations of it, and you can have one of your choice.
You must be surprised to see Shawarma in this list, as you surely would have had Shawarmas before. But the Shawarma in Israel is unique and has no match anywhere in the world. These are commonly made from lamb, but chicken, turkey, and veal are also used. It comes with hefty garnishes.
Fun Activities You Must Do
Now, you have the list of all the main attractions you want to visit, its time we enlight you about some fun activities you can do during your visit to Israel. So, here they are.
Explore Beaches in Tel Aviv
There are plenty of beaches in Tel Aviv, and you can select any of them and have some peaceful time there. If I name some of the famous beaches, they would be Banana Beach, Gordon Fisherman Beach, and Hilton Beach. You can enjoy an entire day of sunshine and stunning views there.
Row a Boat in Pool of Arches
Well, another fun activity you can do is row a boat within this ancient Pool of Arches. Boating in this 1200-year-old underground reservoir is surely going to give you an unusual experience. I am sure, after gliding across the water under the massive stone pillars, you will leave in awe.
How Much Does it Cost to Visit Israel?
Well, answering this question is not easy, as there are many factors to keep in mind while calculating the total cost of the trip. So, let’s try it for you. Some people think that Israel is cheap to visit, which is not true at all. If you are planning a trip to Israel, keep in mind that it will cost you a lot. Here are some detailed calculations.
If we talk about accommodation, you have a variety of options available for you to stay. There are many guest houses, hotels, and even resorts, ranging in different rental prices. Mid-range hotels in Israel are going to cost you about 900 USD for seven days.
Food and Drinks
An average meal in Israel is going to cost you about 50$. It can differ from place to place, but this is an average cost of a meal. So, 150$ is the amount you will have to spend daily on your food and drinks.
A trip without shopping is incomplete. So, let’s talk about it. Shopping in Israel is expensive, and you will have to open your wallet with a big heart for that. I have estimated a rough total of your shopping as 300$.
The amount estimated amount I have calculated for you is 500$. Now, in this amount, you can visit a good number of attractions, including the guide charges. If you want to add some other tourist attractions, you will have to add some more to this amount.
Transportation in Israel can be tricky for some people. In big cities, you will have ease in getting around by public transport. But in smaller cities, you will have to bear the expenses of the cab. The estimated amount for transportation will be 100$.
After summing up all these amounts, and including the airfare of 850$, the trip to Israel is going to cost you about 3000$. Also, remember to pack all the necessary items before you leave. Otherwise, the amount can further increase. Here is a guide for your packing for Israel.
Strategies for Budget-Friendly Trip to Israel
Saving up some money wouldn’t bother you! Right?
As mentioned earlier, Israel is not a budget-friendly destination. To assist you in this regard, here we have listed some strategies and tricks you can follow to make this trip more economical.
- As living in a hotel in Jerusalem or Tel Aviv will be expensive, you can choose some more central location. In this way, you can save up some accommodation costs.
- While visiting the local market, use your bargaining talent and save up some cash in your shopping.
- In big cities like Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, and Bethlehem, there is good public transport, and it is going to be more economical for you.
- Try to travel in the months when there tends to be a small number of tourists. The winter months are considered to be a cheaper time for visits. But, before you decide, have a complete guide of the weather of Israel, and you can have that from here.
This fact alone is enough to draw you towards Israel that the pilgrims of three major religions visit it all around the year. Visiting a place with so much diversity, wouldn’t that be an amazing experience for you. Even though this is not a budget-friendly destination, you would still prefer to spend your vacations here.
The only way you can fully enjoy your trip and have a carefree time in Isreal is by having a good travel guide about the other tourist attractions than the holy ones and how much does it cost to visit Israel, etc. We have them covered right here in this article.