With its fascinating and ancient history, golden beaches, stunning landscapes, and iconic architecture, Israel offers its tourists a remarkable experience. Visitors to Israel are treated to an incredibly varied and eye-opening venture.
Here is our guide on what to do and where to go in Israel.
Historical sites to visit in Israel
Israel is perhaps most famous for its rich heritage and ancient, yet preserved, history. In Israel, you will encounter dozens of archaeological sites, thousand-year-old buildings, and sites of tremendous historical relevance. Here are 4 historical sites in Israel you must visit.
The Western Wall is the holiest place in Judaism. The Wall formed part of the outer fortifications of Herod’s Temple and has remained intact for over two millennia. Millions of people, including Jews from around the world, religious pilgrims, world leaders, and tourists visit the Wall each year.
There are few places in the world that offer such a deep sense of history, heritage, and culture, as the Western Wall. It is open 24/7, all-year-round, and is easily accessible via buses from central Jerusalem, by car, or even by foot if you want to take a stroll from Jerusalem city center and through the old city.
For those who like to combine history with a view, there is no better place in the country than Masada. The isolated rock plateau towers over the Judean Desert in Southern Israel, and the view from the top is simply breathtaking.
Masada was the site of an ancient fortification for Jewish rebels who fought valiantly against the might of the Roman Empire in the 1st Century AD. Unfortunately, the Romans successfully overcame the fortress after a lengthy siege.
The events were meticulously recorded by Josephus Flavius. Today, visitors to the site marvel at the immaculately preserved fortress, home to one of the ancient world’s famous battles.
Church of the Holy Sepulchre
Just a short walk away from the Western Wall, in the Christian Quarter of the Old City, the Church of the Holy Sepulchre is one of the holiest places in the Christian religion. Built in the 4th Century AD by Constantine the Great, the Church is situated where Jesus is said to have spent his final moments.
Each year, tens of thousands of tourists travel to gaze at the remarkable architecture, visit the many incredible Chapels, and learn about the fascinating history of the Church and the surrounding region.
Dome of the Rock
One of the most famous historical sites in Israel is the Dome of the Rock, located on the Temple Mount in the Old City of Jerusalem. The shrine was built in the 7th Century AD and remains one the most iconic Islamic sculptures.
The Dome is accessible via several entrances to the Temple Mount and can be visited Sunday through Thursday, during tourist hours.
Israel Nature sites
In addition the amazing historical sites, Israel is also home to some of the most beautiful and scenic nature sites on Earth. Here are our top picks.
The Dead Sea is the lowest place on Earth at 430.5 metres below sea-level. It is also the saltiest body of water on the planet which means plants and animals cannot flourish, hence the name ‘dead’ sea.
Each year, thousands of tourists travel to the dead sea to experience the incredibly floating affect the salty waters provide and to engage in the numerous putative therapies the location provides.
The Golan region in the Levant offers some of the most spectacular views you are ever likely to see. The basaltic plateau overlooks the entire northern Israel, and much of Southern Syria is also visible from atop the mountains.
In addition, visitors to the area can visit flourishing wineries, natural springs, ancient ruins, and the ski resort on Mount Hermon during the winter months.
Caesarea National Park
Situated in Northern Israel, the Caesarea National Park is a must-visit place in Israel for all maritime enthusiasts. The ancient port city was restored in 1948, and now tourists can visit one of the oldest and most beautiful ports in the world.
Tourists to the site can enjoy the incredible underwater museum, art galleries, aqueducts, and some of the best seafood you are ever likely to taste.
Located in the Dead Sea region in the heart of the Judean Desert lies Ein Gedi, one of Israel’s most popular hiking spots and nature reserves. The reserve features stunning waterfalls, steep hiking trails, scenic landscapes, and beautiful botanic gardens located in the neighboring Kibbutz Ein Gedi.
Ein Gedi is also an oasis and is one of a few desert locations that has functioning streams all year round. To get the most out of your trip to Ein Gedi we advise going in the Spring when the rivers are flowing and the trees are bursting with life. Plus, it’s not too hot to enjoy a daytime hike through the hills.
Namal Tel Aviv
For entertainment tourists, there’s also plenty to enjoy in Israel. Tel Aviv aka the “White City” is famous for its robust and dynamic nightlife and is a must do in Israel. Replete with bars, clubs, restaurants, outdoor festivals, and more, this is a city that will thrill even the most ardent partygoers.
The top spot in Tel Aviv for the night scene is at the port (Namal) which is just a short bus ride from the city center. Here, you can immerse yourself in the very best that Middle Eastern culture has to offer with delicious local food, beautiful Meditteranean beaches, and vibrant clubs and concerts.
Old City of Jaffa
Home to the oldest functioning seaport in the world, Jaffa has undergone a remarkable cultural renaissance over the past few decades and is now one of the best places to visit in Israel. The Old City of ancient Jaffa is the perfect destination for those seeking fun, culture, and history which is all contained within Jaffa’s narrow alleyways and winding paths.
The famous Clock Tower overlooks a vast array of wine bars, art galleries, museums, seafood restaurants, a bustling port, and colorful music bars. Here, the very best performers, artists, and street musicians all converge into one, small and ancient city to create an incredible nightlife scene – one not to be missed!
Other top places to visit in Israel
To round off our list of the best places to visit in Israel, here are few more must-see destinations
When it comes to shopping in Israel, there’s more on offer than just the conventional malls. Several cities in Israel host bustling, year-round street markets where you can haggle with sellers over trinkets, local paraphernalia, niche items, and even conventional goods such as groceries.
Perhaps the most famous of all Israel tourist attractions is the Mahane Yehuda market in central Jerusalem, located just outside the Old City walls. In addition, be sure to check out the flea market in the Old City of Jaffa, as well as the shuk in central Tel Aviv.
Eilat Underwater Observatory
The coastal city of Eilat is simply a must-see in Israel. The consistently warm weather, stunning red beaches, and luxurious hotels make Eilat one of the best year-round warm weather vacation spots in the world.
One of the most prominent attractions is the Underwater Observatory. The city is famed for its unique coral reef and here, site visitors can enjoy an unforgettable experience. The marine observatory is situated in the heart of the reef and offers unparalleled views of nature’s most remarkable marine scenery.
The observatory is open daily between the hours of 9 AM and 6 PM and the surrounding marine park includes many other attractions, such as deep sea shark feeding, pearl opening activities, and lectures from leading marine biologists.