Israel Travel Blog
Jewels of Elevation: Northern Israel’s Historic Lookout Points
Northern Israel is a tapestry of rolling hills and historic landscapes. Stretching from the coastal Mount Carmel to the majestic Golan Mountains in the east, the region possesses breathtaking elevated terrains that have witnessed significant chapters of human history. Now transformed into lookouts, these panoramic heights offer unparalleled views of this timeless land.
Historically, these vantage points held strategic military significance. Over the centuries, these elevated spots provided defensive advantages, offering early warnings against impending invasions. As you traverse these scenic points, you’ll unearth the intriguing stories etched into their landscapes.
Mitzpe Golani (Echoes of David Shirazzi):
Previously a Syrian military stronghold, Tel Facher today is a tribute to the brave Israeli soldiers who reclaimed it in 1967. Here, the Golani soldiers thwarted the looming threats of enemy forces. Central to this memorial is the heart-wrenching tale of Private David Shirazzi, who shielded his comrades by using his body as a protective barrier, fully aware of the consequences. From Mitzpe Golani, the panoramic Hula Valley sprawls below, a silent witness to the sacrifices made.
Mitzpe Golani is one of the many memorials dedicated to the brave soldiers of the Golani Brigade, one of the most decorated infantry brigades in the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF). Established in 1948, the brigade has played a significant role in all of Israel’s wars, defending the northern borders against regular armies and guerrilla forces.
Tel Facher, where Mitzpe Golani is located, was a former Syrian military base, symbolizing Israel’s challenges from its northern neighbours. In the 1967 Six-Day War, the Golani Brigade soldiers played a pivotal role in capturing this strategic point, neutralizing the threat posed by Syrian forces to Israeli civilians in the valley below.
These battles were not without cost. The memorial site commemorates the lives lost during these and subsequent operations, highlighting the sacrifices made by soldiers for the defence and survival of the State of Israel.
The tale of David Shirazzi is one of personal heroism and sacrifice. It’s not uncommon for such memorial sites to focus on individual acts of bravery, encapsulating the spirit of the unit or the broader Israeli defence ethos within the narrative of a single soldier’s sacrifice.
Mitzpor Eitan Memorial & Vista:
Nestled on the Lebanese frontier, this intimate memorial contrasts grander sites like Mount Herzl. Dedicated to Major Eitan Balachsun, who met his end in Lebanon in 1999, this lookout is a poignant homage atop the scenic Hula Valley, close to Major Balachsun’s boyhood residence. Visitors can marvel at the picturesque Golan Heights and distant Lebanese mountains here.
“Mitzpor” usually refers to a lookout or vista point in Hebrew, and “Eitan” is a common Hebrew name that means “strong” or “steadfast.”
Suppose this is a recent development or a lesser-known landmark. In that case, you might find the most accurate and up-to-date information about this memorial’s location through local news sources, official websites, or tourism boards
Mitzpe Shalom Lookout in the Golan:
Also termed the Peace Lookout or Peace Vista, Mitzpe Shalom offers a stunning panorama of the Sea of Galilee (the Kinneret) and Tiberias. On an unclouded day, the distant Tzfat and Mount Tavor emerge on the horizon. Adjacent trails lead explorers through sparkling springs, vibrant flora, and sprawling fig trees. For a more extended experience, consider staying at the Peace Vista Country Lodge, boasting warm saline cave pools.
The Mitzpe Hashalom Lookout is an expansive concrete platform that boasts unparalleled views of the Kinneret. For those seeking a closer encounter with nature, a challenging set of stairs leads down from the viewpoint, meandering through vibrant wildflowers to reveal the secluded Maayan Mitzpe Hashalom spring.
Mount Bental IDF Bunker Vista:
Overlooking the renowned Valley of Tears, the scene of a pivotal tank skirmish during the Yom Kippur War, Mount Bental offers an enlightening experience. This vantage point, where 160 Israeli tanks faced off against a Syrian armada of 1,500, is a solemn reminder of the sacrifices made. Besides its historical richness, visitors can absorb sweeping views of the northeastern Golan Heights and even peek into Syria.
Mount Bental is one of the most well-known and frequently visited locations in the Golan Heights.
Strategic Importance: Mount Bental is one of the strategic points in the Golan Heights, rising about 1,170 meters above sea level. Its height and location made it a prime military observation point, particularly during the conflict.
Yom Kippur War: One of the most significant events near Mount Bental was the Battle of the Valley of Tears during the Yom Kippur War in 1973. A vastly outnumbered Israeli force held off Syrian advancements in one of military history’s most intense tank battles. The IDF bunker on Mount Bental was pivotal during this time.
Tourist Attraction: Today, the old military bunkers on Mount Bental have become a tourist attraction. The underground bunker system has been opened to the public and has informational displays about the battles there. Visitors can walk through the bunkers, peek through observation holes, and get a feel for the conditions soldiers experience.
Breathtaking Views: From the vista atop Mount Bental, visitors are afforded panoramic views of the Golan Heights, the Valley of Tears, and even parts of Syria. On clear days, one can observe Quneitra, a Syrian ghost town, and the vast expanse of the demilitarized zone between Israel and Syria.
Coffee Anan: Near the vista is a café humorously named “Coffee Anan,” a play on the words “coffee cloud” in Hebrew and a nod to Kofi Annan, the former Secretary-General of the United Nations. It’s a popular spot for tourists to grab a drink and enjoy the view.
Art Installations: The area has some unique metal sculptures created by Dutch artist Joop de Jong. These pieces of art, combined with the natural beauty of the region and its historical significance, make Mount Bental a multifaceted attraction.
Mount Bental offers a blend of history, nature, and art for anyone visiting Israel’s northern region, making it a must-visit location.
Kibbutz Misgav-Am Panorama:
At Israel’s northernmost tip near Metula, Kibbutz Misgav-Am provides a bird’s-eye view of Israeli and Lebanese landscapes. On clear days, visitors are treated to a vast vista encompassing the Hula Valley, the Golan Heights, the snow-capped Mount Hermon, and even a glimpse of the Mediterranean Sea. Visiting here is also an educational journey, with guides recounting the intriguing history of Israel’s northernmost kibbutz.
The north of Israel is not just a journey through scenic landscapes; it’s a walk through time, where every vista holds tales of bravery, sacrifice, and endurance.
Kibbutz Misgav-Am is situated in the Upper Galilee region in the northernmost part of Israel, close to the borders with Lebanon and Syria.
Historical Background: Established in 1945, Kibbutz Misgav-Am has faced its share of challenges, given its proximity to volatile borders. It was founded by members of the “Hanoar Haoved” youth movement, and throughout the years, its members have played active roles in Israel’s defence and development.
Strategic Importance: Due to its location atop the Naphtali mountain range, the kibbutz has served as a vital vantage point for monitoring activities along the borders, especially during tension with neighbouring countries.
The Lookout Point: The Panorama at Misgav-Am, often called the Misgav-Am Lookout Point, offers breathtaking views of the surrounding landscapes. From this point, visitors can see vast stretches of northern Israel, the Hula Valley, parts of the Golan Heights, snow-capped Mount Hermon, and the distant Mediterranean Sea on clear days. In addition to the Israeli landscapes, you can also gaze into Lebanese territories, giving a sense of the proximity and complexities of regional geopolitics.
A Living Testimony: Kibbutz Misgav-Am is a testament to the resilience and pioneering spirit of the early kibbutzim. Despite the challenges of its location, it has thrived and continued to contribute to Israeli society in various capacities.
Facilities: The kibbutz has evolved over the years, offering its residents and visitors modern amenities. It’s common for kibbutzim like Misgav-Am to have guest accommodations, dining facilities, and recreational areas.
For visitors interested in the intricate tapestry of Israel’s history, culture, and geopolitics, Kibbutz Misgav-Am offers a unique perspective, literally and metaphorically. The Panorama provides a visual feast, while the stories and experiences of the kibbutz members offer deep insights into life on Israel’s northern frontier.
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Tel Aviv, the vibrant cultural heart of Israel, is a city teeming with history, art, and life.
While it’s renowned for its bustling nightlife, sunny beaches, and impressive skyscrapers, I’ve been lucky enough to explore a lesser-known side of Tel Aviv.
Journey with us as we recount the delightful encounters with the city’s hidden gems, offering a glimpse into the soul of this magical place.
Unearthing the History in Neve Tzedek
The picturesque neighbourhood of Neve Tzedek is one of Tel Aviv’s oldest and most charming districts.
The area, established in the late 19th century, even before the city, is a labyrinth of narrow lanes filled with well-preserved Bauhaus-style buildings, vibrant boutiques, and artisanal cafés.
At the heart of Neve Tzedek lies the Shalom Meir Tower, once Israel’s tallest building. The view from the top is breathtaking, offering a 360-degree panorama of the city.
Nearby, the Suzanne Dellal Centre, known for its beautifully landscaped courtyards and renovated dance studios, hosts some of the best contemporary dance shows in the country.
The Bohemian Spirit of Florentin
Florentin is one of the most vibrant and intriguing neighbourhoods in Tel Aviv, known for its distinctive blend of grit and creativity.
It has emerged as a hot spot for artists, musicians, and young professionals, drawing comparisons to New York’s Soho district.
One of Florentin’s most striking features is its street art. Wandering through its narrow streets and alleyways, you’ll encounter various murals and graffiti ranging from political statements to abstract designs, transforming the neighbourhood into an open-air gallery. These works of art continuously evolve, reflecting the area’s dynamic energy.
Florentin is also a hub for nightlife, with various bars, clubs, and music venues catering to diverse tastes. It’s common to find live music performances in the neighbourhood, contributing to its lively atmosphere.
Furthermore, the neighbourhood is home to Levinsky Market, one of Tel Aviv’s most famous markets. Here, you can find a variety of spices, nuts, dried fruits, and delicacies from various cuisines, particularly Persian, Greek, and Turkish. It’s a food lover’s paradise and a must-visit for anyone seeking an authentic taste of Tel Aviv.
Despite the neighbourhood’s modern transformation, traces of its old charm remain in the form of old bakeries, carpentry shops, and metalwork stores, adding to the area’s unique appeal. Florentin offers a mix of the old and new, providing a glimpse into the city’s history and ever-evolving contemporary culture.
The Serene Escape at Tel Aviv Port Area
The Tel Aviv Port Area, locally known as Namal Tel Aviv, is a bustling, vibrant waterfront district popular with locals and tourists.
Once a functioning port, the area has been transformed into an entertainment and leisure hub with shops, eateries, and recreational activities.
A defining feature of the Tel Aviv Port Area is its broad wooden deck, designed in a wave-like form, perfect for a leisurely walk with beautiful views of the Mediterranean Sea. It’s particularly striking at sunset when the area is bathed in warm hues.
The port area offers a wide range of dining options for food enthusiasts. It houses everything from high-end restaurants to food stalls selling fresh produce, seafood, and local delicacies. Shuk Hanamal, an indoor market located here, is a must-visit for gourmet and organic food lovers.
The port area also caters to shoppers with its various stores, offering fashion, design items, and unique local products. Furthermore, there are numerous galleries and spaces dedicated to art and culture.
Recreational activities are abundant in the port area, from biking and rollerblading along dedicated paths to renting paddleboards or kayaks for a marine adventure. The port is also famous for events, including outdoor concerts, festivals, and weekly farmers’ markets.
For families, there’s a spacious playground for kids and a carousel that’s a favourite among the young ones.
With its energetic atmosphere, the Tel Aviv Port Area merges leisure, dining, shopping, and culture in one picturesque location, making it a must-visit part of the city.
The Hustle and Bustle of Carmel Market
Every trip to Tel Aviv is complete with a visit to the Carmel Market. As the city’s most significant and busiest marketplace, it’s an explosion of colours, smells, and sounds.
Carmel Market, or Shuk Hacarmel, is Tel Aviv’s most significant and liveliest market. Founded in the 1920s, it is in the city center and captures Tel Aviv’s energetic spirit.
This open-air market is a vibrant sensory experience brimming with diverse produce. Fresh fruits, vegetables, spices, meats, cheeses, and baked goods are plentiful, and food stalls serve enticing local and international meals.
Beyond its food offerings, Carmel Market also houses stalls selling clothes, accessories, household goods, and more at attractive prices.
Carmel Market isn’t merely a shopping destination; it’s a cultural hub where you can observe locals bargaining and vendors promoting their goods.
Fridays are exceptionally bustling as locals prepare for Shabbat. Whether you’re a food enjoyer, a shopper, or a culture seeker, a visit to Carmel Market promises a vivid slice of Tel Aviv life.
Art and Culture at the Rubin Museum
The Rubin Museum, located in the heart of Tel Aviv, is dedicated to the life and works of the internationally acclaimed Israeli painter Reuven Rubin.
Housed in the artist’s former residence, the museum is a window into Rubin’s art, soul, and personal journey, often credited with shaping the early 20th-century Israeli art scene.
Born in Romania, Rubin immigrated to British Mandate Palestine in the early 1920s, producing some of the most iconic images of the young nation.
His vibrant, colourful paintings frequently depicted landscapes, cityscapes, and everyday scenes from Israeli life, and they continue to be celebrated for their unique blend of European art styles with Middle Eastern themes.
The Rubin Museum houses a comprehensive collection of Rubin’s works spanning his entire career, including oils, watercolours, drawings, and etchings.
The permanent exhibition features his famous Tel Aviv cityscapes, portraits of the country’s pioneers, depictions of Biblical scenes, and lush Galilean landscapes.
The museum also showcases Rubin’s original furniture, personal items, and a studio recreation, providing a glimpse into the artist’s daily life.
Temporary exhibitions featuring other artists and educational programs, workshops, and guided tours further enrich the museum’s offerings.
Visiting the Rubin Museum allows art enthusiasts to appreciate one of Israel’s most influential artists and better understand the nation’s cultural history.
The museum is situated in a beautifully restored Bauhaus building, and its rooftop terrace provides splendid views of the Tel Aviv skyline. Check the museum’s official website for current exhibitions and visitor information.
Ready for these gems to surprise you?
Unearthing these hidden gems provided a refreshing perspective on Tel Aviv, a city pulsating with untold stories far beyond the typical tourist attractions.
It was a true privilege to delve into this lesser-known side of Tel Aviv, and the anticipation of discovering more of its best-kept secrets makes a return trip irresistible.
If you’re contemplating a visit, remember – don’t merely see Tel Aviv; immerse yourself in its rhythm, capture its spirit, and live its vibrant character.
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Israel, the historic and diverse gem of the Middle East, offers an array of family-friendly activities that extend beyond its famous religious and archaeological sites.
From the cool confines of ancient caves to the hands-on excitement of interactive museums, this vibrant nation has something to captivate every age and interest.
Whether seeking a respite from the summer heat, an immersive experience in science or history, or a chance to unleash creativity through art, Israel promises a memorable journey for families.
Dive into this guide and discover the experiences awaiting you in this dynamic country.
Beaches and Coasts
Israel’s coastline spans 273 kilometers (170 miles), making it a top summer destination. The Mediterranean’s warm embrace, with temperatures around 30°C (86°F), feels like a warm bath. Here are some family-friendly Mediterranean beaches to consider:
– Shavei Tzion Beach:
South of Nahariya is known for its natural seawater pool.
– Achziv Beach
It is a delightful space between Nahariya and Rosh Hanikra, with lagoons to frolic in.
– Dor (Tantura) Beach by Zichron Ya’akov boasts natural wave barriers.
– Beit Yannai Beach
Near Caesarea it is the go-to for kite-surfing and observing turtle nesting zones.
– Palmachim Beach National Park
Close to Rishon LeZion, it is ideal for sandcastle enthusiasts.
– Tel Baruch Beach in Tel Aviv
It is characterized by ample parking and family-friendly eateries.
Additionally, the Red Sea, Dead Sea, and Sea of Galilee offer stunning beach experiences. Remarkably, fifty-two of Israel’s beaches have earned the Blue Flag certification for their exceptional standards across various domains.
The Tisch Family Zoological Gardens in Jerusalem houses a unique collection of wildlife in natural settings.
For an immersive experience, visit the Ramat Gan Safari near Tel Aviv, which merges the thrill of a safari with a traditional zoo spread over 250 acres.
Zoos are also located in Haifa, Rishon LeZion, and Beersheva. Animal enthusiasts can hand-feed kangaroos at Gan Garoo in Nir David or explore the Ya’ar HaAyalim deer forest in Golan Heights.
The Israeli Primate Sanctuary near Modi’in offers a chance to meet diverse primate species. Freedom Farm Sanctuary in Olesh focuses on the compassionate care of animals saved from various distressing situations.
Explore Parrot Park in Kfar Hess, north of Tel Aviv, and be enchanted by parrots from all over the world. Many are gentle enough to interact with, and the park also features a petting zoo, educational films, craft activities, pony rides, and games.
Utopia Orchid Park on Kibbutz Bahan offers another opportunity to interact with tame parrots. The park also showcases butterflies, exotic plants, tropical rainforests, and a mesmerizing musical water fountain.
Jerusalem Bird Observatory and Rosh Tzipur Birdwatching Center in Tel Aviv offer urban birdwatching and demonstrations for budding ornithologists. Explore bird centers in the Jordan Valley, Ma’agan Michael, Eilat, and Ramat Hanegev.
Engaging Water Adventures & Parks
Elevate your parent status by introducing your kids to the world of water sports!
Enjoy pedal boating and rowing at locations like Yarkon Park in Tel Aviv, Timna Park near Eilat, and the Pool of Arches in Ramla.
If seeking more thrill, Jordan River Rafting in the Upper Galilee offers rafting, kayaking, and other outdoor adventures. Kfar Blum Kayaks and Shvil Hatapuzim on the northwest coast are great spots for kayaking enthusiasts.
Israel’s water parks are perfect for cooling off during the summer. Popular choices include Meymadion in Tel Aviv, Yamit 2000 in Holon, Shefayim Water Park near Netanya, and Gai Beach Water Park in Tiberias.
In Tel Aviv, the renowned Sunshine SUP, located close to Jaffa Port, welcomes English speakers with offerings ranging from SUP yoga, Pilates, and meditation. They also cater to surfing enthusiasts, offering beginner classes and equipment rentals.
Make memories during their special family days or the wholesome “paddling picnic” when the sea is tranquil.
Are you journeying to Eilat? Delve into underwater adventures with snorkelling lessons for all ages and scuba lessons for those aged eight and above at Nautilus Red Sea or Snuba Eilat.
Aqua-Sport and Shulamit’s Eilat Diving Adventures offer scuba diving for individuals aged 12 and above.
While not on the scale of Disneyland, Israel’s amusement parks promise hours of fun. Magic Kass in Ma’aleh Adumim is a vast indoor park overlooking the Dead Sea.
Luna Park in Tel Aviv, Superland in Rishon LeZion, Shvil Hatapuzim near Hadera, and Kiftzuba on Kibbutz Tzuba cater to diverse age groups with various rides and activities. Balagan at Kibbutz Yagur, located in the Haifa region, is inclusive and perfect for kids aged 1-15.
Engage your kids’ innate curiosity for digging with family-friendly archaeological experiences!
Though most digs require participants to be 16, the Dig for a Day at Beit Guvrin National Park welcomes families. Here, you’re uncovering artifacts from the Maccabean period with age-appropriate tools provided.
The Temple Mount Sifting Project promises another unique digging experience. Find genuine historical treasures amid Temple Mount debris.
Camel Expeditions in Israel
No family trip to Israel is complete without a camel ride! Immerse yourself in desert landscapes atop these magnificent creatures.
Opt for ethical and safe riding experiences in the Negev desert. The Negev Camel Ranch offers more than camel rides; think hiking, mountain biking, and jeep tours.
Underground Wonders: Israeli Caves
Escape the sizzling summer sun by delving into Israel’s enchanting caves. Spread throughout Israel, these easily accessible caves provide a break and a chance to uncover the secrets of nature, geology, and ancient history.
Top picks include the Stalactite Cave Nature Reserve and Beit Guvrin-Maresha National Park near Beit Shemesh. Zedekiah’s Cave beneath Jerusalem’s Old City is historically significant and spacious enough to accommodate events!
Let kids have a blast at the ancient Roman aqueducts while you time travel through Caesarea’s rich history.
From caves to museums, beaches to kibbutzim, Israel offers many adventures perfect for families looking to make the most of their summer!
Explore marine caves at Rosh Hanikra, and dive into Israel’s historic underground world with tours of the Western Wall Tunnels, Hezekiah’s Tunnel, Mey Kedem, and the Templars Tunnel in Acre. Each location promises a distinct experience suitable for various age groups.
Arts, History, and Museums Galore
Proudly boasting one of the world’s highest museum counts per capita, Israel offers a plethora of captivating museums for families:
– Israel Museum’s Youth Wing:
Features free entry for children and engaging family activities like recycled art workshops.
– Israeli Children’s Museum in Holon:
A diverse exploration hub designed for various age groups. Older children can even experience simulations of being deaf, blind, or elderly.
– Lunada Children’s Museum in Beersheva:
Offers interactive experiences from art to astronomy.
– Biblical Museum of Natural History in Beit Shemesh:
Part zoo, part museum, it’s a fun educational journey into the Bible’s animal kingdom.
– Tower of David Museum in Jerusalem:
Newly renovated, it makes history come alive for even the youngest visitors.
Israel, a global science leader, has interactive science museums tailored for the young and curious:
– Bloomfield Science Museum and the National Aquarium in Jerusalem
– MadaTech National Museum in Haifa
– Carasso Science Park in Beersheva
– Technoda Science Museum in Hadera
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Jerusalem, famous for its iconic landmarks like the Western Wall, the Hurva Synagogue, and the Israel National Museum, is steeped in deep history and religious importance. However, this ancient city is also a treasure chest brimming with less-explored marvels and compelling stories waiting to be unearthed.
Unraveling the Secrets of the Western Wall:
While it’s common to see thousands of people placing their written prayers into the cracks of the age-old limestone Western Wall, many don’t realize the labyrinth of mysteries hidden beneath it. These are the Kotel Tunnels, an underground network of passages, home to a special section – Wilson’s Arch. This awe-inspiring stone structure is the relic of a majestic bridge that once connected the city to the Temple Mount. Exploring this place feels akin to time travel, offering a personal connection to the thriving ancient civilization.
Unveiling the Mysteries of Zedekiah’s Cave:
As we emerge from the Kotel Tunnels, our journey takes us deeper into Jerusalem’s concealed secrets. Our next stop is Zedekiah’s Cave, an expansive underground limestone quarry under the Old City. Known as Solomon’s Quarries, this great cavernous space traces its roots back to the First Temple period. Standing here, you’d be amidst an area where, as per legend, King Solomon sourced stones to construct the First Temple. The enormity of this place and its historical importance make it an intriguing hidden treasure.
The Enigmatic Golden Gate:
Also known as Sha’ar HaRachamim in Hebrew, the Golden Gate, one of the obsolete entries to the Old City, holds significant spiritual relevance in Jewish tradition. It is believed to be the gate destined for the Messiah’s entry into Jerusalem. But to counter this prophesied event, Ottoman Sultan Suleiman the Magnificent sealed it in the 16th century. Despite being closed, the gate continues to inspire as a symbol of faith and history.
Jerusalem’s Unique Burial Grounds:
Our journey also takes us to Jerusalem’s unique cemeteries, each reflecting the city’s diverse cultural and religious heritage. Israel’s National Cemetery at Mt. Herzl, named after Theodor Herzl – the visionary of modern Zionism, is of profound national importance.
Besides Herzl’s tomb, this cemetery is the final resting place of several of Israel’s renowned leaders and war heroes, such as Golda Meir, Yitzhak Rabin, and Shimon Peres. We also explore the ancient Kidron Valley tombs, dating back to the Second Temple period. Here, the Tomb of Zechariah and the Tomb of Absalom emerge as iconic structures, recounting tales of Jerusalem’s ancient history.
Our exploration into Jerusalem’s lesser-known wonders brings to light a city brimming with secrets, each nook narrating tales from an era long past. Jerusalem adds a new layer of fascination with every visit, whether to the enigmatic Kotel Tunnels, the impressive Zedekiah’s Cave, the enshrouded Golden Gate, or the intriguing cemeteries.
We hope this deep dive into Jerusalem’s uncharted territories have stirred your curiosity and left you craving more. At Israel Travel Advisory Service, we are committed to creating memorable experiences catered to your interests. Whether you’re a history enthusiast, an adventurous spirit, or a laid-back traveller, we have something for everyone. So, are you geared up for your next escapade? Jerusalem and its concealed wonders await you!
Israel is a culturally and historically rich country in the Middle East that has long been known as the homeland of Jewish people and an essential part of the Holy Land. However, people often wonder if it’s safe to travel to Israel.
Despite the negative media portrayal, the reality of traveling to Israel is much brighter. In this guide, we’ll address Israeli tourism’s safety concerns and provide tips for a safe and enjoyable trip.
Traveling to Israel: Is It Safe?
Traveling to Israel is safe thanks to its low crime rate. However, awareness of the increased risk of conflict in certain areas is crucial. Exercise caution and stay updated with the latest travel advisories.
In 2022, Israel ranked among the top five safest travel destinations globally based on factors such as homicide rate, road traffic deaths, and unsanitary conditions. This ranking reaffirms that travelling to Israel is safe.
Precautions To Be Taken
While Israel is primarily safe for travelers, exercise caution when visiting specific locations. Risky areas include the West Bank and Gaza Strip, and the security situation in Palestinian territories is unstable. Avoid traveling to these areas due to the risks of civil unrest.
By taking the proper precautions, travelers can have a safe and enjoyable trip to Israel. Carefully planning your trip to Israel and learning about the country can help alleviate concerns and provide a deeper appreciation for its sites.
Research Before Departure
Thorough research is essential for any trip, especially for first-time visitors. Understanding the local culture, history, and customs can lead to a more insightful journey and help avoid misunderstandings.
Respecting traditions and avoiding controversial subjects or actions will ensure a pleasant experience in Israel. Familiarize yourself with appropriate customs and clothing to maximize your trip. Some essential dos and don’ts during your Israel visit include:
- Leave a tip in restaurants and cafes.
- Stand still during Yom Hazikaron and Holocaust Remembrance Day.
- Avoid travelling on Shabbat.
- Refrain from discussing politics.
- Show respect to the IDF soldiers on the streets.
- Avoid physical contact with Orthodox Jews of the opposite sex.
- Refrain from hugging or kissing acquaintances.
- Though most Israelis speak fluent English and are willing to help tourists, learning basic Hebrew can enhance your interactions with locals and prove useful when negotiating with street vendors.
- Keep your papers handy at airports. Israel provides paper visas instead of passport stamps. Keep this paper with you to prove your eligibility to enter the country and avoid issues with security guards.
- Expect strict airport security. Israel’s airports are known for their high-level security and multiple screenings. Arrive early for your flight and consider using VIP services for a smoother experience.
- Prepare for military presence. Soldiers often patrol the streets carrying weapons casually, and military service is essential in Israel, and their company is common. Over time, their presence becomes a memorable part of the experience.
- Israel is generally safe for solo female travellers. Security personnel are visible throughout the country, and locals are friendly and helpful. However, staying updated on safety advisories and exercising caution is essential.
Safe Destinations to Travel in Israel
Despite its complex political situation, many areas in Israel are well-protected and secure. Here are some safe destinations to consider for your trip:
Tel Aviv: A friendly and safe city with low crime rates and a strong security system.
Jerusalem: Home to many religious sites, Jerusalem is generally safe, but modest clothing is necessary when visiting places like the Western Wall.
Haifa: Known for its low crime rates, Haifa is a safe destination. As you would anywhere you travel, stay alert, especially on public transport.
The Negev: A beautiful region with well-trained rescue units and high-quality medical assistance.
Dead Sea: A popular site with few safety concerns, allowing tourists to enjoy its beauty fully.
Galilee: A safe area free from political tensions, offering lovely resorts and restaurants.
Tips for Public Transportation, Costs, Clothing & Cuisine
Even though Israel is relatively safe for tourists, here are some general tips to keep in mind when you travel:
- Politely decline offers of help or assistance from strangers to avoid scams.
- Ensure taxi drivers use the meter to prevent overcharging.
- Cover the number pad when entering your PIN at ATMs.
- Use credit cards or exchange currency in advance to reduce the risk of scams.
- Keep valuables hidden from public view to prevent pickpocketing.
- Stay vigilant in crowded areas and during public disturbances.
- Dress modestly when visiting religious sites and choose conservative clothing for rural areas.
- Familiarize yourself with Kosher food rules, as many religious areas in Israel serve Kosher meals, but remember that non-Kosher options are also available.
Travelling to Israel During Coronavirus: Health & Safety Advice
The COVID-19 situation in Israel has improved significantly, resulting in dramatic changes to its entry rules. Israel is now open to travelers from all countries, and vaccination records or pre/post-flight testing are no longer required. Additionally, travelers are no longer required to quarantine upon arrival.
Still, staying informed on news and regulations is important whenever you plan a trip to Israel. Stay updated and consult resources like the government’s Foreign Travel Advice for more information.
Is It Safe to Travel to Israel Now?
Traveling to Israel can be an enriching and unforgettable experience, offering a unique blend of history, culture, and natural beauty. While it’s essential to be aware of the potential challenges and safety concerns, you can rest assured that planning and research can help you make the most of your visit.
Embrace the opportunity to explore this remarkable country, engage with its diverse communities, and immerse yourself in its vibrant traditions. With an open mind and a sense of adventure, you’ll discover that Israel has much to offer and will leave a lasting impression on your heart.
Ready to Embark on Your Next Adventure?
At Israel Travel Advisory Service, we are committed to providing exceptional Israel Family Tours and Israel Tours tailored to your preferences. From custom Israel tours to vacation tours made to your needs to ensure you have the best experience. We are here to support and guide you through every phase of your travel, ensuring your adventure is seamless and enjoyable.
5 Hidden Gems in Jerusalem You Probably Haven’t Heard Of
Jerusalem, a city steeped in ancient history and spiritual significance, captivates millions of visitors annually with its renowned Jewish landmarks, such as the Western Wall, the City of David Archaeological Park, and the Hurva Synagogue.
However, the city’s labyrinthine streets and hidden corners conceal a treasure trove of lesser-known gems and intriguing stories waiting to be discovered.
Join us as we embark on a journey off the beaten path to delve into Jerusalem’s secret stories and unveil some of its most fascinating, lesser-known aspects and treasures.
The Tunnels Beneath the Western Wall:
While the Western Wall is famous for being the holiest site for Jewish prayer, few people know about the chamber that lies beneath it. Known as “The Kotel Tunnels,” these underground passages offer a glimpse into the ancient history of Jerusalem. One of the fascinating sections is Wilson’s Arch, an ancient stone bridge that once connected the Temple Mount to the city.
The Siebenberg House
The Siebenberg House is one of the most intriguing hidden treasures of Jerusalem. The owner of the house, Theo Siebenberg, moved to the Old City of Jerusalem in 1970 and began excavating underneath his home. Years of digging have revealed mikvahs, cisterns, an aqueduct, and a burial vault dating to the days of King David. Some of the artifacts discovered include pottery, mosaics, and coins. The Siebenberg House/Museum is open to the public for tours.
Also known as Solomon’s Quarries, Zedekiah’s Cave is a massive underground limestone quarry beneath the Old City. Spanning over 5 acres, the cave holds secrets dating back to the First Temple period. It’s said that King Solomon himself used stones from this quarry to build the First Temple.
The Sealed Golden Gate:
The Golden Gate, or Sha’arHaRachamim in Hebrew, is one of the oldest gates of the Old City walls. According to Jewish tradition, the Messiah will enter Jerusalem at this gate. However, the gate has been sealed since the 16th century by Ottoman Sultan Suleiman the Magnificent, allegedly to prevent the Messiah’s arrival. The gate remains important for Jewish visitors despite its closure.
The Unique Cemeteries of Jerusalem:
Jerusalem is home to several unique cemeteries that reflect the city’s diverse cultural and religious history. One such example is the Protestant Mount Zion Cemetery, where prominent individuals like Horatio Spafford, the author of the hymn “It Is Well with My Soul,” and Sir John Bagot Glubb, a British military officer, are buried. Another is the ancient Kidron Valley tombs, believed to date back to the Second Temple period and include the Tomb of Zechariah and the Tomb of Absalom.
Ready for more?
We hope these facts have helped you know more about this fascinating city and the hidden gems it offers.
Jerusalem, a city of endless wonder and winding alleys, offers a treasure trove of lesser-known facts, hidden gems, and enigmatic sites for the curious traveller. From psychological phenomena and unusual cemeteries to secret chambers and tranquil sanctuaries, this ancient city holds countless surprises and never ceases to amaze.
During your next visit to Jerusalem, venture beyond the well-trodden path and delve into the lesser-known marvels and captivating mysteries that await discovery in this incredible destination.
At Israel Travel Advisory Service, we are dedicated to helping you make the most of your trip to Israel. From custom Israel tours to vacation tours made to your needs to ensure you have the best experience. We are here to assist you every step of the way.
Jerusalem is a city that seamlessly blends the old and the new, offering a diverse and lively atmosphere. It is a treasure trove of historical significance for the Jewish community and hidden gems throughout its winding streets that travelers and locals should notice. Here is a comprehensive guide to this incredible city’s must-sees, must-dos, and must-eats!
Where to Eat in Jerusalem?
Jerusalem has something to offer, from street food to fine dining for every palate. Whether you’re looking for kosher cuisine or authentic and vibrant flavors, the city has an extensive list of options. Here are a few of our top fine-dining suggestions:
- Machneyuda – 10 Beit Ya’akov St, Jerusalem – Make a reservation for an unforgettable dining experience!
- Seoul House – 34 Chabad St, Jewish Quarter, Old City, Jerusalem – authentic Korean food (kosher)
- The Lavan Restaurant at 11 Hebron Road, inside the Cinematheque, Jerusalem, is known for its pizzas.
- In Jerusalem, Luciana – 8 Mamilla – is an upmarket Mediterranean restaurant overlooking the Old City walls.
Street Food Finds!
While the above restaurants offer a fantastic dining experience, there is something to be said for the quick bites you can grab. This is a more authentic eating experience in the fast-paced city of Jerusalem. You can grab a bite at a nearby park, busy hummus joint, or even a bench and enjoy some people-watching while savouring these delicious street eats that belong on any Jerusalem bucket list:
- HaHummus Shel Tchina is a must-visit for hummus lovers in Jerusalem. This hip eatery, located at 23 Nissim Bachar in Jerusalem, offers a unique and trendy dining experience along with its delicious hummus. The combination of its urban vibe and flavorful hummus makes it a popular destination for locals and tourists.
- For those looking for authentic hummus in Jerusalem’s Old City, Akramawi is the place to go. This hummus joint, located at 2 Nevi’im in the Old City, is known for serving the best in town. The simple menu and fresh ingredients ensure that each bite bursts with flavour.
- For a unique twist on the classic hummus dish, head to the Machane Yehuda market and try the sabich at Aricha Sabich. Located at 83 Machaneh Yehudah 15, Agripas, Jerusalem, this market find is a must-try for anyone looking to sample the best sabich in town.
- Urbun Cafe, located at 5 Rehov Ha-Shikma in Jerusalem, offers a sweet treat for anyone with a sweet tooth. Their famous cinnamon rolls are a must-try and will satisfy your sweet cravings. Whether grabbing a quick bite on the go or sitting down for a leisurely breakfast, Urbun Cafe is a must-visit for pastry lovers.
- Ja’afar Sweets, located on Khan Al-Zeit Street in the Old City of Jerusalem, is a sweet lover’s paradise. With a wide range of sweets on offer, including traditional Middle Eastern sweets and modern desserts, there is something for everyone. Whether you have a sweet tooth or not, Ja’afar Sweets is a must-visit for anyone looking to indulge in a delicious treat.
The Mahane Yehuda Market area provides some great food finds as well. Some must-tries include:
- Suppose you’re looking for something unique and delicious, head to Ishtabach to taste their specialty, shamburek. This Kurdish-Syrian pastry is filled with various tasty fillings, making it a must-try for anyone visiting the Mahane Yehuda market.
- For a classic pizza experience, look no further than Pizza Flora. This Italian pizzeria offers the best pizza in town and is a must-visit for anyone looking for a delicious and satisfying meal.
- Founded in 1952, Azura is a market institution and a must-visit for anyone looking for authentic and delicious food. With a wide range of menu options, Azura is a popular destination for locals and tourists.
- For a taste of home-cooked meals, head to Manou Ba Shouk. This market find offers a menu that tastes just like your Middle Eastern grandma’s cooking, making it a must-visit for anyone looking for a warm and comforting meal.
- And, for dessert, head to Mousseline for some of the best ice cream in town. With a wide range of flavours, this ice cream shop is a must-visit for anyone with a sweet tooth. Whether you’re looking for a classic taste or something unique and adventurous, Mousseline has something for everyone.
You will want to take advantage of these fabulous finds!
Explore Israel’s favorite market a bit deeper and discover the tastiest falafel and hummus, the freshest spices, and how to buy them on the Machane Yehuda Market Tour. A local chef will lead a cooking workshop as part of the Machane Yehuda Market Tour & Cooking Workshop.
Explore The Old City
Exploring the Old City is a must-do when in Jerusalem. No visit to the city is complete without seeing the most significant landmarks in the Jewish community, such as the Kotel, the Rabbi’s Tunnel, and the Western Wall. Join a Jerusalem Walking Tour to visit these landmarks and the modern city outside the walls. Or, make a day trip to see mountain fortress built by King Herod, and the Dead Sea by joining our Masada & Dead Sea Tour.
As you wander through the Old City, remember to pick up a pair of handmade leather sandals, a beautiful ceramic bowl, spices, candies, trinkets, and sweets from the Old City market. After a guided tour, return to the Old City alone to get lost in its winding alleys for a truly authentic experience.
Discover Jerusalem Neighborhoods!
While there are plenty of famous and historical sites to visit in Jerusalem, there are also several other must-see places in the city. Check out the Nachalat Shiva neighborhood, dotted with bars, cafes, and galleries and connects to Downtown Jerusalem. The ultra-cool Rehavia neighborhood is also a must-visit, with its main street, Aza, lined with hipster coffee shops and bars. Stroll through the charming old neighborhood of Ein Karem, tucked at the bottom of the Jerusalem Hills, for a different vibe from the Old City and relax in Emek Refaim street in the German colony, with its cute shops, cafes, bakeries, and some great ice cream.
Take a break from the sightseeing and experience some of the local favorites in Jerusalem:
- Enjoy the beautiful olive trees and hidden paths surrounding the Monastery of the Cross or Gan Sacher.
- Discover the architectural marvel of the Israeli Supreme Court.
- Behind Sacher Park in the government quarter, you’ll find the beautiful Wohl Rose Garden.
- HaMiffal is an arts and culture center where you can find concerts and other local events.
Experience Jerusalem on the weekend during Shabbat (Friday evening to Saturday evening) for a unique experience. Purchases should be made before Friday’s early afternoon closing time. Here are some suggestions for things to do in Jerusalem on the weekend:
- On Friday mornings, over 120 artists sell their handmade gifts and products at the Bezalel Street Fair.
- The city transforms into a quiet, almost magical place as Shabbat begins as you stroll through it on the weekend. Yemin Moshe is a beautiful neighborhood to explore by foot on Shabbat.
- As the weekend draws closer, Machane Yehuda returns to life as a nightlife extravaganza.
Escape The City!
As mesmerizing as Jerusalem is, the city also serves as a great starting point to explore the surrounding areas. Visiting Tel Dan, Rosh HaNikra, or Safed in the Hill Country is a great way to take a break from city life. You can also visit the Ein Gedi in the southern region of Israel on the Dead Sea shores.
You’ll be fine filling your days with much to see and do in Jerusalem. Use this guide as your ultimate Jerusalem bucket list, and start exploring this captivating city!
Jerusalem is a city that has something for everyone. From its rich history and cultural heritage to its modern innovations and vibrant atmosphere, there is never a dull moment in this city. And, with ITAS Tours (Israel Travel Advisory Service), you can experience the best of what Jerusalem offers with their customized tours. Whether you’re interested in an Israel Jewish tour, or a custom Israel tour, ITAS Tours provides a wide range of options to fit your interests and preferences. As a leading Israel tour and travel operator , ITAS ensures your trip to Jerusalem is memorable, safe and seamless.
How do you want to shape your child’s memories?
Their Bar/Bat Mitzvah is a significant milestone in their life and identity.
As a parent, you have invested time, love, and energy in your child’s development.
Consider having their Bar/Bat Mitzvah in Israel for a unique and meaningful experience that connects them to their Jewish heritage, shows them how the past influences the future, and boosts their pride in their Jewish identity.
Talk to a Bar/Bat Mitzvah Travel Consultant for more information. They have first-hand experience planning this special occasion in Israel for their own children.
Celebrate Your Bar/Bat Mitzvah Your Way
A Bar/Bat Mitzvah in Israel is an opportunity to express your love for your child, not a tedious obligation.
You have the flexibility to personalize the celebration to match your family’s style and preferences.
Many Rabbis in Israel are open to accommodating special requests, such as performing part or all of the ceremony in English instead of Hebrew.
While some traditions remain unchanged, such as your child reading from the Torah, you can choose a unique and memorable location for the ceremony, such as the Western Wall in Jerusalem, Masada, or the ancient Ein Gedi Synagogue.
These unique experiences will create memories that last a lifetime for you and your child.
Simplifying the Planning Process
Planning a Bar/Bat Mitzvah should be an enjoyable and stress-free experience. Combining it with a family vacation and working with a tour company can make the planning process even easier.
However, finding the right tour company can be challenging. Here are some tips to help you make the right choice.
Ensure the tour company you choose takes care of all the details while giving you control over the planning process. The company should prioritize your needs and wants for the trip.
The company should also prioritize creating a meaningful and memorable experience for everyone in your family, especially your Bar/Bat Mitzvah son or daughter, so they return home proud and inspired by their Jewish identity.
What is the point if some part of you isn’t moved by your experience in Israel? Choose a tour company that prioritizes your family’s overall experience in Israel and creates lasting memories.
Discovering Jewish Heritage and Pride
Visiting Israel is a crucial aspect of understanding the depth of being Jewish.
The liberation of Jerusalem during the Six-Day War in 1967 holds immense historical significance, and witnessing it through the eyes of a soldier who was a part of it during your child’s Bar/Bat Mitzvah trip can be a powerful experience.
Being in Israel, surrounded by the Hebrew language, will allow your kids to connect with their heritage and culture.
Immersing themselves in the language by speaking with locals will create a lasting memory and appreciation for their roots.
Israel is renowned for its thriving startup culture, with more startups per capita than any other nation. This entrepreneurial spirit is rooted in the Jewish belief in improving the world.
From creating solutions for freshwater scarcity to developing technology to aid the visually impaired and paralyzed, the impact of Israeli innovation is undeniable.
Your family can visit the Center for Israeli Innovation to learn more and be inspired.
Exposure to the people and achievements of Israel is bound to instill a sense of pride and connection to your child’s Jewish identity.
Making it a Memorable Trip
Your child’s Bar/Bat Mitzvah celebration is not only about the ceremony, it’s also a birthday celebration. So, make sure it’s enjoyable for everyone in the family.
There’s a wealth of activities to choose from, such as visiting historical sites, swimming with dolphins, sandboarding, going on a jeep ride, or taking cooking classes. There’s something for everyone to enjoy.
The highlight of the trip for your child might just be the party! In Israel, parties are an occasion to have fun too, not just performing rituals.
In the US, everything related to the celebration is done in one day, which can be stressful for the child.
However, if you have a celebration in Israel, you will have already experienced many activities and adventures, making the party a more relaxed and enjoyable experience.
A Legacy To Remember
Think about it: how do you want your child to recall their Bar/Bat Mitzvah? As a chore they had to fulfill, or as a life-changing experience they will treasure forever?
You can give your child the Bar/Bat Mitzvah celebration you always wanted for yourself. Not only will it have a lasting impact on them, but it will create meaningful memories that they can pass down to future generations.
Turn your Jewish heritage into a family legacy and make your Bar/Bat Mitzvah trip a one-of-a-kind experience. Book a consultation with a Bar/Bat Mitzvah Travel Expert today.
Make your child’s bar or bat mitzvah a memorable experience that will last a lifetime.
ITAS Tours (Israel Travel Advisory Service) offers a wide range of bar and bat mitzvah tours to Israel designed to cater to your specific needs and preferences.
Whether you want to explore the historical and cultural sites or experience the fun and excitement that Israel has to offer, ITAS Tours can help make it happen.
Trust us to take care of the details and help you create a bar or bat mitzvah trip that you and your family will never forget.
Contact ITAS Tours today to start planning your once-in-a-lifetime Israel bar mitzvah tour or Israel bat mitzvah tour and make your mark on the legacy of your family’s Jewish heritage.
Traveling to Israel can be a unique and enriching experience, but it can also be intimidating if you are unfamiliar with the country and its culture. This blog will give you some tips to help make your trip to Israel smooth and enjoyable.
The Practical Tips for Visiting Israel
Start with the practical things you should consider when traveling to Israel, like the best time to travel to Israel (climate and Jewish Holidays) and what to pack.
First and foremost, it’s important to be aware of the weather in Israel. The country experiences hot and dry summers, with temperatures often reaching over 100 degrees Fahrenheit, and cool and rainy winters. Bring plenty of sunscreens and stay hydrated if you plan to visit during the summer months. In the winter, it’s a good idea to pack a jacket and umbrella.
The Jewish holidays are essential to consider when planning your trip to Israel. In Israel, there are two calendars in use: the Gregorian calendar, which is the standard international calendar, and the Jewish calendar, which is based on the lunar cycle.
Many of the country’s religious holidays are based on the Jewish calendar, so it’s important to be aware of these dates when planning your trip. During Jewish holidays, it’s common for public transportation, banks, and stores to be closed. This can impact your travel plans and make it challenging to complete your usual activities.
In addition, hotel prices are often higher during Jewish holidays, so it’s a good idea to book your accommodations in advance if you plan to visit during these times.
Another critical thing to consider when traveling to Israel is being mindful of your clothing choices.
While some cities, such as Tel Aviv, Jaffa, and Haifa, tend to be more open-minded and fashion-forward, other cities, such as Jerusalem, have a more conservative culture, and it is recommended to dress modestly.
It’s a good idea to avoid wearing tank tops, shorts, or anything that is above the knees, especially when visiting more religious or conservative areas. When packing for a trip to Israel, it’s a good idea to focus on convenience rather than fashion. While you can pack many of the same items you would take to Europe, there are a few specific things to consider when traveling to Israel.
It’s also a good idea to cover your shoulders and upper arms, especially when visiting holy sites or places of worship.
Tips on what to pack:
- A scarf and a long-sleeve top, especially for women visiting religious sites. Some sites may provide cover-ups, but it’s always better to have your own.
- Light-weight clothing is essential for summer when temperatures reach over 100 degrees Fahrenheit and high humidity.
- A light jacket and some sweaters are necessary during the winter months.
- In Israel, comfortable shoes are essential, especially if you plan to walk around the city.
- A hat, sunglasses, and sunscreen lotion are essential for protecting yourself from the intense sun.
- Wet wipes, a small roll of toilet paper, and hand sanitizer are helpful to have on hand, as public restrooms may only sometimes have these amenities.
- A small umbrella can be helpful in unexpected rain showers, which are common in Israel.
Remember, dressing modestly is a sign of respect for the local culture and customs, and it will help you blend in and feel more comfortable during your trip.
Knowing the History
One of the most important things you can do before traveling to Israel is to learn about the country’s history. Israel’s archaeological sites and landmarks are filled with rich cultural and religious significance, and understanding their history will enhance your appreciation of these places.
The history of Israel is long and complex, with roots dating back to ancient times. According to the Hebrew Bible, the origin of Israel is connected to Abraham, who is said to have been the father of both Judaism (through his son Isaac) and Islam (through his son Ishmael).
Over the centuries, many different nations have occupied the Land of Israel, but the Jewish people have always maintained a physical, cultural, and religious presence in the region.
Learning about Israel’s history will help you better understand its culture and many religious and historical sites. Whether you are interested in ancient ruins, sacred places of worship or modern cities, a more profound knowledge of Israel’s past will enrich your travels.
Prices, expenses and tipping
It’s important to note that Israel can be expensive to visit. Prices for hotels, food, entrance fees, and other goods and services are generally higher than in other parts of the world. Additionally, a value-added tax (VAT) of 17% is applied to most goods and services in Israel.
One thing to be aware of is that speaking English may sometimes result in higher prices, as some merchants may assume that tourists are willing to pay more.
It’s a good idea to exchange money before your trip or to use ATMs once you arrive, as you can find money exchange offices and ATMs throughout the country. Bartering is a common practice in Israel and can be a helpful way to save money and avoid frustration.
While car prices are generally non-negotiable, haggling for other goods and services is expected. Israeli people are used to bargaining for discounts on major purchases, and the listed price is often calculated with this in mind.
If you are uncomfortable with bartering, you can ask your tour guide or a local friend to assist you.
Tipping in Israel is a common practice, similar to most Western countries. It is not mandatory, but it is expected and appreciated, especially for services such as dining in restaurants and bars.
The customary tip in Israel is between 10% and 15% of the total bill, with a minimum of 10% and an average of 12%. For exceptional service, it is acceptable to tip up to 15%. It is important to note that servers and bartenders in Israel receive a relatively low salary, so tipping is an integral part of their income.
Tips are generally left in cash rather than on a credit card, so it’s a good idea to carry some small change with you. Tipping is only sometimes expected from other service providers, such as taxi drivers and hotel staff, but it is always appreciated if you decide to be generous.
If you have questions about tipping in Israel, your tour guide or local friends can guide you.
Sabbath, or Shabbat, is an important religious holiday observed by Jews worldwide, including in Israel.
It is a 25-hour celebration that begins at sundown on Friday and ends after sunset on Saturday. During this time, many people take a break from their daily activities to spend time with family and loved ones or to participate in religious worship.
It’s important to be aware of the observance of Shabbat in Israel, as many public services, including transportation and businesses, are closed during this time.
If you plan to travel within the country on a Friday, arrive at your destination before 4:00 PM, as many services will close in preparation for Shabbat.
Israel also observes other religious holidays, and during these times, it is common for businesses, restaurants, and cafes to close.
On Yom Kippur, the Hebrew Day of Atonement, almost all services in the country are closed, and it is even common for the airport to shut down.
If you visit Israel during a religious holiday, be prepared for disruptions to your travel plans and be respectful of the local customs and traditions.
If you want to make the most of your trip to Israel, avoid staying in Jerusalem on the weekends, as many businesses and services are closed on Friday nights and Saturdays.
Instead, consider visiting more secular cities like Tel Aviv or Haifa, where services remain open on weekends.
Last but not least
We hope these tips have helped prepare you for your trip to this fascinating and richly historic country.
Israel has something to offer everyone, whether you are interested in exploring the ancient ruins of Jerusalem, soaking up the sun on the beaches of Tel Aviv, or joining a guided tour to learn more about the country’s cultural and religious history.
At Israel Travel Advisory Service, we are dedicated to helping you make the most of your trip to Israel. From custom Israel tours, including Jewish tours and Christian tours, to our travel advisory services, we are here to assist you every step of the way.
We hope you have a wonderful and memorable trip to Israel!
A trip to Israel for Jews can and should be more than just a conventional tourist experience with foreign people, cultures, and places.
Many individuals visit Israel for a variety of reasons. For instance, some people travel for work. In contrast, others do it for fun or to have a fantastic time participating in activities like windsurfing in the Mediterranean or scuba diving in the Red Sea.
The most significant number of visitors to Israel are Jews that want to visit their Jewish homeland to see and connect with their ancient history.
Israel receives many visitors who identify as Jews.
Do they come to discover what it means to them to be Jewish or to learn more about the land and people of Israel?
Visit places like Independence Hall in Tel Aviv, where the Zionist leadership declared Israel’s independence in 1948, or Mount Herzl in Jerusalem, where most of the state’s early political leaders are buried if you wish to understand the experience of modern Israel.
In the vast expanse of the Negev, you can visit David Ben Gurion’s home and grave or see memorials to battles and fallen troops before meeting current soldiers on military sites.
Both the Knesset and the Supreme Court are open for visits. The best way to understand Israel’s minorities is to travel to Druze and Bedouin villages.
The Jewish atmosphere can be felt in public places, including shopping stores, outdoor markets, and city centers.
Through such a pilgrimage, one can feel and comprehend the experience of Jews living in the same hills and valleys as their ancestors, speaking the same language, and following the same holidays of the Jewish calendar.
Israel and You
Several Israeli tour operators use Jewish texts, games, or conversations to connect guests’ Jewish identities with the country and people of Israel.
A visit to Israel should concentrate on how you feel about your place in Jewish history, the Jewish world, Jewish politics, your community, and your family.
For instance, scheduling a trip to Jerusalem’s Mahane Yehuda market for a Friday would be preferable since you can see and experience the change in scenery and environment.
From the busy, high-energy environment of midday and early afternoon to the calm just before Shabbat, these types of events and interactions help us figure out how to apply these transformations to our lives and homes.
Journeys of the Spirit
Israel can be interacted with on a more personal level. An Israel tour is an opportunity to investigate the similarity between the journeys of the Jewish people and our souls.
Why should such spiritual reflection take place in Israel in particular? Israel is a place that encourages dreams, enabling Jews to connect to their greatest aspirations for themselves and their country, even in the age of fast communication and readily available worldwide travel.
Feel Closer to Your Heritage by Visiting Israel
If you want to connect with your Jewish Heritage travelling to Israel and visiting the most iconic sites is the best option.
Israel Travel Advisory Service is the way to go, so we can assist you in planning the ideal trip, vacation, or tour to Israel for you and your family.
From family tours to custom Israel tours, Israel Travel Advisory Service offers a variety of Israel Jewish Tours.
We take joy in ensuring that you have a real Israeli vacation thanks to our more than 45 years of experience planning trips to Israel.