Destinations | Middle East

The complete Israël Travel Guide

30 Jan 2020 | Destinations, Israel, Middle East

Why should you go?

Israel is a country full of surprises and it attracts millions of tourists from all over the world year after year who come to visit its charming capital Jerusalem. On the contrary, Tel Aviv is a bustling city where you can go out until the break of down and where you can eat the tastiest falafels on every street corner. But not only the cities will make your heart beat faster, the roads to the Dead Sea will lead you through the country’s surprisingly beautiful landscapes towards the most relaxing places. Read this complete travel guide to Israel so that you can put together your own journey full of adventure, cultural highlights and the occasional relaxation time. 

Best time to visit to Israel

The months of April, May, September and October are the best months to visit Israel. The climate is at its most comfortable. Make sure to avoid the hot summer months. We visited the country in December and enjoyed a pleasant 25 degrees during our trip.

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The complete Israël travel guide

Day 1 & 2 Tel Aviv

Tel Aviv is the most convenient airport to enter the country and the perfect place to start your vacation. Depending on what you want to do in the city, look for a hotel near Jaffa to explore the old town, near Rotschild boulevard if you like shopping and want to be close to the nice restaurants or by the sea if you simpy want to relax and do nothing.

Where to eat in Tel Aviv

Top things to do in Tel Aviv

Discover Jaffa, the old town located south of Tel Aviv’s shoreline, as it simply cannot be skipped. Jaffa is a charming neighborhood with many outdoor markets and trendy bars, perfect for an afternoon of exploring and enjoying the beautiful history of the city.

Visit Carmel market. The market first opened its doors in 1920 and is rooted in the city’s culture. It is the largest market in the city and a lively place where merchants sell everything, from spices to clothing. Always
negotiate if you want to buy something, the merchants always overprice their goods and expect a bargaining.

 Walk on Tel Aviv’s Rotschild Boulevard and enjoy the iconic Bauhaus architecture. Here you will
find many charming cafes to relax as well as bustling night clubs and many historical museums.

Like every trendy city, Tel Aviv also has an indoor market where you can enjoy delicious food.

Day 3 & 4 Jerusalem

This unique city is the religious heart for Christians, Jews as well as Muslims. Whether you are a believer or not, Jerusalem is a beautiful city that will take you back in time. The rich history of this city will not bore
you for a second.

Top things to do in Jerusalem

  • Write a wish on a piece of paper and put it in the slits of the Wailing Wall
  • Visit the place where Jesus was crucified, buried and resurrected in the Church of the Holy Sepulcher
  • Go shopping at the Machane Yehuda market for fruits and delicious spices
  • Pay a visit to the Yad Vashem Holocaust Museum
  • Drink a coffee on the terrace of the Wienerkaffee. Press the bell on the big brown door, climb the stairs and order a delicious apple pie.

Day 5: Dead Sea

Swimming in the Dead Sea had been on my bucket list for a while. The Dead Sea lies more than 400 meters below sea level. The lake borders Jordan to the east and Israel and the West Bank to the west. Because of the high salt content in the water it is almost impossible not to float on the lake. Also, in the mud and water there are minerals that are very good for your skin. Lubricate your skin full of mud and then rinse it with the salty water. Your skin never felt so soft!

  • Take along flip flops to go into the lake
  • Do not go under water with your head, the salt water will hurt your eyes
  • Make sure you do not have any open wounds when you go into the water
  • The salt water will discolor your swimwear so do not bring out your best swimsuit
  • On our way to the Dead Sea, we stopped in the Ein Gedi nature reserve. Here you can enjoy nine different hikes, suitable for everyone, going from families to professional hikers. The entrance is five euros and definitely worth it. Provide plenty of water and sunscreen.

Practical tips for Israel

The currency is Israeli shekel but credit cards are accepted almost everywhere.

Traveling is easiest by car as Israel is an easy country to drive through.

Although the country is close to the Gaza Strip, it is relatively safe to travel to. I would recommend to look up the regions you want to visit in advance to check whether it is actually safe when you want to travel. Situations tend to shift rapidly between safe and avoidable in the region.

Israel is a very religious country. I advise you to wear appropriate clothing. Especially when you visit Jerusalem, make sure to cover your shoulders and knees.

Make sure to arrive in due time at the airport to fly back home. 3 hours in advance is not a superfluous luxury as you can expect a questionnaire before checking in and an extra security check of your luggage.

Take into account the Sabbath, the weekly day of rest in Judaism. Shabbat takes place from Friday evening and lasts until Saturday evening. Saturday is the seventh day of the Jewish week and according to the regulations in the Tanakh it must be celebrated in the first place by an abstention from all labor so a result many shops and restaurants will be closed.

Belgian citizens don’t need a visum, for a maximum stay of 90 days. Your passport needs to be valid for the period of intended stay.

Do you have any further questions about this article? Feel free to leave a comment below.

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