There are many tourist attractions in Israel that are worth visiting. Tourist attractions in Israel range from historical and cultural attractions to beach tourism and dark tourism. Israel is a fascinating place to visit, and by the time you have finished reading this article you will understand why! Are you ready to learn more about the tourist attractions in Israel? Read on…
- The best tourist attractions in Israel by destination
- Where is the Old City?
- Getting to Jerusalem Old City
- Tourist Attractions in Jerusalem Old City
- Other things to see at the Mount of Olives
- Where to stay in Jerusalem Old City
- A brief background on Jerusalem’s Old City
- The Best Things To Do in Jerusalem’s Old City
- How to get to Masada
- Things to do in Masada
- The best time to visit Masada
- Masada: practical information
- Where to stay when visiting Masada
- Mitzpe Ramon
- Mount Tabor
- Sea of Galilee
- Tel Aviv
- Tourist Attractions in Israel- To Conclude
The best tourist attractions in Israel by destination
There are many tourist attractions in Israel that are located in various parts of the country. During our trip we hired a car so that we were able to visit almost all of them, which is something I definitely recommend doing if you want to visit lots of the tourist attractions in Israel.
So, which are the best tourist attractions in Israel and why? Read on to find out…
Many of the best tourist attractions in Israel are found in Jerusalem and the Old City of Jerusalem is high on everyone’s list when visiting Israel. It was certainly one of the highlights for our tour! If you’re planning a trip to the area and want to make the most out of your time in Jerusalem, here’s everything you need to know about the tourist attractions in Israel…
Where is the Old City?
Nestled within the modern city of Jerusalem, the Old City is a walled area of 0.9 km2 or 0.35 square miles. It is roughly divided into four quarters: the Muslim Quarter, the Christian Quarter, the Armenian Quarter and the Jewish Quarter, all of which are home to various tourist attractions in Israel.
You can stay in the Old City, or simply visit it on a day trip from the newer part of Jersualem, which is what we did. Public transport is pretty good, meaning that it is easier to stay in a cheaper part of the city and travel in to visit the main sites here, which helps with your Israel travel budget! It is also accessible from Tel Aviv.
Getting to Jerusalem Old City
The nearest airport to Jerusalem Old City is Ben Gurion Airport (TLV). Located in Tel Aviv, it is 55km from the centre of Jerusalem. Flights are easily available from many major cities worldwide, such as Paris, London, New York City, Frankfurt and more.
It takes just under an hour to drive from Ben Gurion airport to Jerusalem Old City. We hired a car through Eurocar, collected it at the airport and off we went to Jerusalem.
Public transport is also on hand to get your from the airport to the Old City and other areas of Jerusalem. Shuttle bus 485 departs from gate 23 on the second floor of Terminal 3 – it costs 16 ILS per person each way. The shuttle bus runs every hour, on the hour apart from during Shabbat. There are 6 stops within the city, including the edge of Jerusalem Old City.
Tourist Attractions in Jerusalem Old City
Just walking around the old city itself is breathtaking enough. The walls, the market stalls, the incredible architecture – there’s so much to see and take in. But in case you’re looking for more structure, here’s some definite must-see tourist attractions in Israel based in the Jerusalem Old City.
The Christian Quarter
- David Street: one of the old city’s main market streets
- The Church of St. John the Baptist: 11th century church with a dome
- The Museum of the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate
- Hezekiah’s Pool: an ancient reservoir
- Church of the Holy Sepulchre: 4th century church that is said to be home to the site where Jesus of Nazareth was crucified, and also his empty tomb
The Jewish Quarter
- The Broad Wall: an ancient defensive wall (8th century)
- The Burnt House Museum: a museum dedicated to an excavated house six metres below ground level, which is said to have been burnt by Romans
- Sidna Omar Mosque: a fascinating abandoned mosque
- New Church of Theotokos: a 6th century Byzantine church which is mostly destroyed
- The Southern Wall: a wall built during King Herod’s expansion of the Temple Mount platform, now one of the last remaining walls of the Jerusalem Old City
- The Ramban Synagogue: the second oldest active synagogue within the old city
- Hurva Synagogue: rebuilt in 2009
- Karaite Synagogue: the oldest synagogue in the Jerusalem Old City
The Muslim Quarter
- The Old City Three Markets: a butchers’ market, perfume market and goldsmiths’ market on Olive Press Street
- The Dome of the Rock: Islam’s third holiest site, and the iconic building with the gold dome that is synonymous with the Jerusalem Old City
- Al-Aqsa Mosque: the second oldest mosque in the world and where Muslims worship the they come to the mount
- The Western Wall: also known as the Wailing Wall, an ancient wall that is sacred to Muslims – there are underground tunnels here too
- The Temple Mount: the mount itself is home to the Dome of the Rock, the Western Wall and the Al-Aqsa Mosque
- The Church of St. Anne: church with medieval architecture and near-perfect acoustics
Tip: Make sure you dress appropriately when visiting sites of religious significance or they might not let you in! I’ve written in this post about recommended clothes when visiting religious sites. I’ve been caught out many times on my travels so it’s worth making sure you are wardrobe ready for your trip to Jerusalem!
The Armenian Quarter
- The Cathedral of St. James: a 12th century cathedral
- St. Toros Church: a church built in memory of the son of the Armenian King of Cilicia in the 1200s, renovated in 1727
- Helen and Edward Mardigian Museum: a museum dedicated to Armenian art and culture
- The Tower of David: an ancient citadel with a museum
- The Armenian Garden: a walled park
The four quarters of the Jerusalem Old City all offer something different, but all are wonderful to explore. You can learn so much, I know I certainly did! The colours, the locals and the biblical sites are all something that will stick in your mind when you get home.
The Jerusalem Old City is also within easy reach of the Mount of Olives. Other things to see in the old city are the Jerusalem Archaeological Park and the New Temple Institute Visitor’s Centre. You can book tours that take you around the old city, I personally love Viator for their range of tours whether you’re already staying in Jerusalem or coming from further afield such as Tel Aviv.
Mount of Olives
The Mount Oof Olives is one of the best tourist attractions in Israel. Lets find out why…
What is the Mount of Olives?
As the name suggests, it’s a mountain ridge named for the olive groves that once absolutely covered it. The Mount of Olives has been used as a Jewish cemetery for over 3,000 years. There are approximately 150,000 graves!
The southern part of the mount was the Silwan necropolis – the most important ancient cemetery in Israel. A lot of the tombs were destroyed through quarrying and conversation into housing for monks and Muslim villagers, but many can still be seen by visitors today.
The Mount of Olives has a lot of biblical significance, making it one of the most important tourist attractions in Israel. It is mentioned in the Old Testament, in connection with David and his flight from Absalom, as well as in relation to Yahweh the Israeli god who was to stand on the Mount of Olives and split it in two. It is also referenced in the New Testament as the place where Jesus stood as he wept over Jerusalem. He is said to have spent time on the mount with his disciples. The Garden of Gethsemane is at the bottom of the mount, and it is said that the Mount of Olives is where Jesus ascended to heaven.
Getting to the Mount of Olives
The Mount of Olives is located just outside of the old city of Jerusalem. You can walk from the old city to the mount, or get a bus. If you choose to walk, set off from St Stephen’s Gate (also known as Lion’s Gate) – it is a 1.3 mile walk from here, which should take approximately half an hour.
Buses are available from Sultan Sullivan Terminal. The terminal itself is around a 14 minute walk (0.6 miles) from the old city, and the bus ride then takes approximately 15 minutes, stopping 13 times along the way. The bus you want to take is the 275, and you’ll want to alight at the Chapel of the Ascension. From there it’s a 2 minute walk to the Mount of Olives.
You can, of course, get a taxi. Ask around for the best taxi firm to use when you’re there – it can sometimes be difficult to find drivers who will take you there, or will be happy to use the meter, so it helps to ask the advice of a friendly local.
If you’re not much of a DIY traveller, book a tour like one of these. There are various tours that incorporate the Mount of Olives, leaving from the old city of Jerusalem and covering all of the major sacred and religious sites. These tours are ideal if you want to make sure you don’t miss anything out, and if you’re worried about getting lost and doing it all alone.
Things to see at the Mount of Olives
The mount is somewhat of a pilgrimage for Christians, due to the sheer amount of biblical locations there, which is why this is one of the most important tourist attractions in Israel. There are over half a dozen churches! You can visit them all, especially on guided tours, and there’s plenty more to see too…
The Church of Mary Magdalene is a Russian Orthodox church and is one of the most fascinating tourist attractions in Israel. It has seven gold domes and was built in 1888 to honour the Russian czar’s mother. There are some stunning mosaics inside.
The Chapel of the Ascension, sometimes known as the Dome of Ascension, marks the highest point in Jerusalem. It is a small, standalone dome. Built in 392AD, this exact spot is where Jesus is said to have ascended to heaven – hence the name! Inside is a stone with a footprint, said to be that of Jesus himself. The chapel was detroyed, rebuilt, purchased by Saladin, made into a mosque and now belongs to the Islamic Waqf of Jerusalem. It draws a lot of visitors.
There is also the Church of the Ascension, another Russian Orthodox church and another one of the most interesting tourist attractions in Israel. This is also said to have been the spot where Jesus ascended to heaven – different derivatives of the faith tell the story slightly differently. This church is also said to be where the head of John the Baptist was found!
The most vibrant place on the mount is the Church of All Nations. Also known as the Basilica of the Agony, it is adorned with a stunning gold mosaic. It was funded by 12 nations, each of which is honoured inside by a mosaic in the ceiling. This church is adjacent to the Garden of Gethsamane, and is apparently where Jesus prayed for the last time before ascending to heaven.
Augusta Victoria Lutheran Hospital, Church and Tower has stood since 1910, with the hospital itself being established in 1950. It was the first building in Jerusalem to have electricity. The hospital now helps Palestinian refugees.
Dominus Flevit, or ‘The Lord Wept’ is a church constructed in 1955. It’s in the shape of a tear drop, in memory of Jesus weeping when he foresaw Jerusalem being destroyed.
The Church of the Lord’s Prayer (Pater Noster) is a convent and church and another of the most interesting tourist attractions in Israel. The church that stands there now was built in 1874 – other churches have stood there before, but they were destroyed. The site is where Jesus is said to have taught the Lord’s Prayer to his disciples.
Other things to see at the Mount of Olives
There are other tourist attractions in Israel based here too. The Garden of Gethsemane, as mentioned, is located at the bottom of the mount. It’s an urban garden that visitors can walk around. According to the New Testament, this is where Judas betrayed Jesus on his final night. It has long since been a focal point for Christian pilgrimages. There are ancient olive trees growing in the garden.
The Tomb of the Virgin Mary is located in the Kidron Valley, at the foot of the mount. She died a natural death, and is said to have been buried here. Apparently, her body was resurrected on the third day after her soul was received by Christ. The tomb is on the eastern side of the Church of the Sepulchre of Saint Mary.
As mentioned, the Old Jewish Cemetery takes up a lot of the Mount of Olives. It is the oldest continually used Jewish cemetery in the world with graves belonging to all sorts of people. This is certainly one of the most remarkable tourist attractions in Israel.
Where to stay in Jerusalem Old City
When thinking about the best tourist attractions in Israel, you will want to organise how you visit these based on available accommodation. We based ourselves on the outskirts of Jerusalem in an Airbnb for our trip, because we thought that made a good base for exploring the rest of the country. I was, however, secretly envious of the people that we met who were staying in the Jerusalem Old City. Here are some of the recommendations of accommodation options in the Jerusalem Old City that we were given.
The Sephardic House Hotel is located in the Jewish Quarter the old city. With a 24h front desk, free WiFi, air-conditioning and a shared lounge/games room, the hotel is perfect for modern travellers. There is an airport shuttle service available too! The stunning 19th century building gives the hotel a real sense of authenticity and tradition, and reviews cite the location and breakfast as being absolutely spot on.
Legatia is an older building that has been converted into apartments. Family rooms are available and the accommodation has free WiFi. Close to a variety of amenities such as restaurants and shops, the building also has a terrace for guests to sit back and relax. Again, this accommodation is in the Jewish Quarter. It offers a perfect clash between modern and traditional decor, too.
For a spot of luxury, this apartment – known as a ‘modern pearl in historic setting’ is lovely. With an exceptionally clean and modern look as well as free WiFi, a fully functioning kitchen (meaning the freedom to eat whenever you want) and plenty of seating area, the apartment has it all. It also sleeps six! This means it’s the perfect option for group travellers, or larger families.
If it’s views you’re after, consider the Hashimi Hotel. It’s rooftop terrace offers stunning views across Jerusalem Old City at any time of day, and the interior decor is beautiful too. The hotel has free WiFi and parking reservations can be arranged; there are family rooms, a designated smoking area and a 24h front desk.
These are all great bases to explore the tourist attractions in Israel.
A brief background on Jerusalem’s Old City
When visiting the tourist attractions in Israel, it is important to understand the background history of the area that you are visiting. Jerusalem’s Old City is a walled area located within the modern city of Jerusalem. It is considered to be one of the most important heritage sites in the world and is home to some of the holiest tourist attractions in Israel in Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. The Old City is located on a plateau in the Judaean Mountains and is divided into four quarters: the Jewish Quarter, the Muslim Quarter, the Christian Quarter, and the Armenian Quarter- all home to tourist attractions in Israel.
The Old City has been a focal point of conflict throughout its history. It has been besieged numerous times, most notably by the Assyrians in 732 BC, the Babylonians in 586 BC, the Romans in 70 AD, the Crusaders in 1099 AD, the Mamluks in 1267 AD, and the Ottomans in 1517 AD. Many of these conquests have left their mark on the city, with architecture and monuments from each era still standing today.
In 1967, the Old City was captured by the Israeli Defense Force during the Six-Day War, and it has been under Israeli control ever since. In 1981, it was officially annexed by the Israeli government and declared a part of the unified Jerusalem.
Today, Jerusalem’s Old City is a vibrant and bustling area, with a population of approximately 40,000. Visitors to the Old City can explore the winding alleys and historic tourist attractions in Israel of this ancient city, including the Western Wall, the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, the Dome of the Rock, and the Al-Aqsa Mosque. The Old City is also home to many of Jerusalem’s most popular markets, such as the Shuk, where visitors can find everything from fragrant spices to traditional souvenirs.
The Old City of Jerusalem is truly a unique and special place, and it is no wonder that it has been a source of fascination and conflict for centuries. It is a place of great spiritual significance for millions of people, and a place full of history and culture. Jerusalem’s Old City is a must-visit for anyone interested in learning more about the history of the region and visiting the many tourist attractions in Israel located here.
The Best Things To Do in Jerusalem’s Old City
Many of the best tourist attractions in Israel are found here. Jerusalem is a city of faith. It’s a place that harbours the holy sites of 3 major religions, and where people from all over the world travel to pay homage.
Visiting Jerusalem’s Old City is a truly unique experience. You can find yourself surrounded by thousands of people from around the world who have come together to pray, or simply admire the architecture and iconic sights.
All you need is your Israel online visa, and you’re ready to head to one of the most beautiful and fascinating cities in the world.
The Kotel (Western Wall)
One of the best tourist attractions in Israel is the Kotel (Western Wall). The Western Wall is one of the holiest places in all of Judaism, and it’s a place where many people come to pray, meditate, and connect with their faith.
The Kotel is also called the Wailing Wall because Jews would come here to mourn after Jerusalem was destroyed by Rome in 70 CE. A common practice among visitors is to write a wish on a piece of paper and push it through the cracks of the wall.
The Kotel Tunnels
The Kotel Tunnels are a place of quiet contemplation and reflection. The tunnels were created to allow access to the Western Wall, or Kotel, which is located underneath Jerusalem’s Old City.
Today, visitors can walk through the tunnels and experience what it was like for pilgrims to make their way from the Temple Mount to visit the Western Wall. Walking through these tunnels is one of the most powerful ways to connect with Jerusalem’s history and culture, making this one of the most important tourist attractions in Israel.
The Dome of the Rock
The Dome of the Rock is one of the most iconic religious sites in the world, making this one of the most famous tourist attractions in Israel. The site has been an important place of worship since it was built in 691 CE.
The Dome of the Rock is a beautiful building with breathtaking architecture and design. It is considered to be one of the holiest sites for Muslims because it houses what they believe to be the rock where Muhammad ascended to heaven.
Church of the Holy Sepulchre
The Church of the Holy Sepulchre is a major Christian pilgrimage site, as it is where Jesus Christ is said to have been crucified and buried, therefore this is one of the most religious tourist attractions in Israel.
The church itself is considered holy because it contains relics from Christ’s crucifixion: a piece of his cross, a piece of his ribboned robe, and what are believed to be his tomb and burial shroud. This is one of the most important tourist attractions in Israel for history.
Tower of David Museum
Visiting the Tower of David Museum in Jerusalem’s Old City is a great way to learn about the history of Jerusalem. The museum is located in the heart of Jerusalem’s Old City and offers an incredible journey back in time.
This museum is full of artefacts from the Second Temple period and beyond. These include ancient coins, pottery, stone weights, and more. You’ll also see many weapons used during times of war. This is certainly one of the most interesting tourist attractions in Israel.
The Terra Sancta Museum
Another one of the most popular tourist attractions in Israel, the Terra Sancta Museum in Jerusalem’s Old City is a must-see for anyone who loves history, religion, or art.
You’ll find exhibits that explore the history of Jerusalem, including exhibits on its past inhabitants, including the Canaanites and Romans. You’ll also find an exhibit on Jesus’ life and death, as well as an exhibit on other religions that lived in Jerusalem at different points in history.
Old City Market (Souq)
If you’re looking for a one-of-a-kind experience, we recommend a trip to the Old City Market (souq). It’s a huge space with tons of shops and stalls, but what sets it apart is how much history it has—and how much of that history is still visible.
You’ll see merchants selling everything from spices to fruits and vegetables, as well as souvenirs like jewelry or handcrafted artwork. If you like shopping, this will be one of your favourite tourist attractions in Israel.
If you’re in Jerusalem, the Cardo is one of the must-see tourist attractions in Israel. The Cardo is an ancient Roman road that used to connect the Temple with the Forum. It’s now a pedestrian walkway that runs through the Old City and has been converted into a museum of sorts.
You can see some excavation work done on the site, learn about its history, and even hear some stories about it from archaeologists who worked on it.
The Temple Institute
The Temple Institute is a place of worship, study, and research in Jerusalem’s Old City that seeks to prepare the world for the coming of the Third Temple.
The institute offers classes on subjects like biblical history, Jewish law, and Hebrew language. They also hold regular events such as concerts and lectures from rabbis who support their mission, making this one of the more popular tourist attractions in Israel.
Lets take a look at some other tourist attractions in Israel located outside of Jerusalem.
Haifa is the third-largest city in Israel. Whilst many tourists have never heard of it, Haifa was a prominent part of our Israel travel itinerary as it is home to some of the great tourist attractions in Israel. A port city in the north, it has plenty to offer to visitors and I would absolutely recommend visiting if you get the chance.
Getting to Haifa
To visit Haifa, the best airport to fly to is Ben Gurion (TLV). This is Israel’s main international airport located in Tel Aviv. Its Hebrew acronym is Natbag, which is how the airport is sometimes referred to. You can fly to Ben Gurion from many major cities across the globe: London, Paris, New York and more.
Upon landing in Ben Gurion, Haifa is a 1.5 hour (120km) drive away. There are official taxi stands outside the terminal. You can choose from a private taxi, or for a cheaper option go for a shared taxi which is more like a minivan.
Haifa is also a cruise port. You may visit Haifa as part of a Mediterranean cruise. Companies such as Viking, Seabourn, Royal Caribbean and more. A lot of cruisers tend to take an organised excursion to Jerusalem or Bethlehem, but Haifa itself has so much to offer if you want to stick around.
Things to do in Haifa
There is a huge variety of things to do in Haifa and many tourist attractions in Israel can be found here. No matter what your age, interests or abilities, you are bound to find something that suits you. So, what can you do in Haifa?
Museums in Haifa
Museums make for some great tourist attractions in Israel. Here are the best in Haifa…
The National Maritime Museum is a popular choice for families. It tells the story of the people who travelled to Israel from Europe via boat, and also the beginnings of the Israeli Navy. The museum is really engaging and has air conditioning!
The Railway Museum is located at the Haifa East railroad station. Perfect for train lovers, it traces the history of Israeli rail travel going back to 1892.
Hermann Struck was a prominent 20th century artist, and his home in Israel has been turned into the Hermann Struck Museum. Alongside his and other print artists’ artwork, visitors can see some of Struck’s furniture, books and trinkets.
Nature in Haifa
The Baha’i Gardens were the main reason that we chose to visit Haifa- they are iconic and one of the most prominent tourist attractions in Israel. There are 19 terraces and a gold-domed shrine in the centre, Shrine of the Bab, which contains the tomb of Siyyad Ali Muhammed. With birds singing, a stunning sea view and beautiful flowers, it’s a must-visit. You can go with a guide to see even more of the park.
Dado Beach is clean and spacious, as well as being the longest beach in Haifa. There is a public gym, lifeguards for safety and even a salt water ‘pool’ for children to swim in.
The Sculptures Garden, Gan Hapsalim, is a bit of a hidden treat. It has plenty of parking space, if you have hired a car, and is perfect for an urban hike. With plenty of sculptures and a view over Haifa, it provides a bit of quiet in such a bustling city.
Other things to see and do in Haifa
There is so much to do in the city and a few mote tourist attractions in Israel that are worthy of a mention. Visit the German Colony, see the Sammy Ofer Stadium, check out the cave of Elijah or walk down Yefe Nof Street to soak in the incredible views. You can visit the Stella Maris Lighthouse and the Carmelite Monastery, or take a trip to Haifa Zoo!
Where to eat in Haifa
After a busy morning of visiting the tourist attractions in Israel, you will surely want to food! Ha Sandwichim shel Bracha (Bracha’s Sandwiches) is, as the name suggests, a sandwich shop. One of the cheapest places to eat in Haifa, they’re labelled as the best sandwiches in Haifa! The perfect lunch option in the city. Previous visitors suggest letting Bracha decide what you have on your sandwich, which is prepared freshly in front of you!
Hanamal 24 is a gourmet restaurant offering Mediterranean and European food. With a ‘room for two’ offer if you want a romantic meal and a hugely varied menu, it’s easy to see why so many people recommend this place if you’re looking for somewhere special.
Sangria Tapas Bar is the place to go if you’re after seafood in Haifa. With proper Spanish sangria and a huge choice on the menu, as well as a cosy atmosphere, everybody seems to love this restaurant.
Where to stay in Haifa
Whilst we didn’t stay overnight in Haifa as we opted to do a day tour, staying for more than one day would give you more time to truly experience and appreciate this city. Below are my recommendations for some of the best places to stay in Haifa.
The Haifa Bay View Hotel is only a 2 minute walk from the Baha’i Gardens. With bright and modern decor, sea views, WiFi, parking and great disabled access, this is a great choice. There is also a kosher Chinese restaurant at this hotel!
The Bay Club is an Atlas Boutique hotel. For something a bit more luxurious, this hotel has a stunning terrace and greenery as well as beautifully decorated rooms. Pets are welcome here, there is free WiFi and family rooms are available.
The 1926 Designed ApartHotel is a colourful choice. Excellently located a 5 minute walk from the port and only 550 yards away from the train station, this is the perfect choice no matter how you’re getting to the city. It’s also surrounded by cafés and pubs so if you’re into socialising, this is the hotel for you.
Port Inn is again 5 minutes walk from the port, and you can choose between dormitory rooms, private rooms and apartments depending on what you want. With a sun terrace, garden, air-conditioning, free WiFi and private parking, this is a great choice if you’re looking somewhere fairly affordable to stay in Haifa.
And on to the next destination with plenty of tourist attractions in Israel. Masada, in the Southern District of Israel, is an ancient fortification on top of an isolated rock plateau. On the eastern edge of the Judaean Desert, it’s a popular place to see when visiting Israel as it is home to some of the magnificent tourist attractions in Israel.
We visited during our tour through Israel. It was actually one of the highlights of our trip, although we were very under prepared (we often to hike, in 35 degree heat, in flip flops…). I wish that we had done a little more research prior to visiting Masada so to help others I will share what I learnt…
How to get to Masada
Masada is the perfect day trip and there are organised tours from Jerusalem and Tel Aviv. You can also drive to Masada if you have rented a car, like we did.
It takes approximately 1.5 hours to drive from Jerusalem to Masada, and just over two hours to get there from Tel Aviv. You can also get the bus if you are travelling on more of a budget. From Jerusalem, catch the 486 bus. It runs 5 times per day, stopping at the Masada Junction a short walk from the entrance to Masada National Park. From Tel Aviv, there is one bus per day (number 421).
Things to do in Masada
One of the main things to do in Masada is hiking and the trails here are some of the great nature-based tourist attractions in Israel. There are two hiking trails available, depending on your fitness levels and preferences. You can take a short walk along the Ramp Trail from the western side of the mountain, or a longer hike up Snake Path.
If walking isn’t for you, or if you are travelling in the height of summer like we did, there is a cable car that takes you to the summit. It leaves every 10 minutes from the visitor’s centre. Whatever way you get there, you’re guaranteed fantastic views!
As well as being the departure point for the cable car, the visitor’s centre also has a museum. Masada is a UNESCO World Heritage site, and the museum tells its story. There are excavated artefacts and plenty of information about the history of Masada.
Set across three levels, you can see Herod’s Northern Palace at the northern tip of the plateau. With a staircase, terraces, baths and more, it’s absolutely fascinating to behold, making this one of the most impressive tourist attractions in Israel.
Plenty of other ancient architecture can be seen, all impressive tourist attractions in Israel. There is a synagogue at Masada, one of the oldest in the world – as well as a bath house, a Byzantine church, and the western palace which was actually Herod’s official residence. Wander around these incredible buildings and their reminds, and you’ll be completely awestruck.
There is a light show too. Twice a week (Tuesdays and Thursdays) during the summer months between March and October, visitors flock to the Masada amphitheater. This can only be reached on the road from Arad. The light and sound show tells the history of Masada and if light shows are your thing then this just might be one of your favourite tourist attractions in Israel.
The best time to visit Masada
Israel is a hot country. However, the winter months do see lower temperatures at times. In January the temperature in Masada can get as low as 10°C with highs of 21°C – but in July and August, it goes up to around 40°C. If you can handle the heat you’ll be able to visit and hike Masada at any time of year, but it is something to bear in mind!
In terms of what time of day to visit Masada, sunrise is recommended. Not only is it not yet the hottest point of the day, it is also absolutely beautiful to see the sun rise above the desert. Tours are often arranged to arrive in time to see this.
If you are wanting to hike, you definitely need to get there early. The Snake Path is one of the most iconic hikes in Israel. At 400m long, it takes between one hour and ninety minutes to climb. The path opens around one hour before sunrise but on hot days, it will be closed by 9am for visitors’ safety.
To visit the museum and the rest of the national park, the opening times are as follows:
Summer opening times
April to September: 8am-5pm
Winter opening times
October to March: 8am-4pm
Fridays and holiday-eve opening times
Masada: practical information
To enter the Masada National Park, there is an entrance fee. The tariff is as follows:
Entrance with cable car (two ways)
- Adult: NIS 77
- Child: NIS 45
- Israeli senior citizen: NIS 62
Entrance with cable car (one way)
- Adult: NIS 59
- Child: NIS 31
- Israeli senior citizen: NIS 30
Entrance to eastern side/Snake Path
- Adult: NIS 31
- Child: NIS 17
- Israeli senior citizen: NIS 16
The entry fees for the light show are as follows:
- Adult: NIS 41
- Child: NIS 34
For groups of over 30 people, adult tickets are NIS 37 and child tickets are NIS 28. The light show starts at 9pm between March and August, with shows in September and October starting at 8pm. You are advised to arrive 30 minutes beforehand.
Where to stay when visiting Masada
If you are taking a day trip from Jerusalem, Tel Aviv or elsewhere then you likely have your accommodation sorted. However, you may be looking to spend the night closer to Masada. There are a few options available depending on what you are looking for:
Or Gani is a guest house with WiFi, free private parking, air condition and private bathrooms. Reviews cite the host as being kind and caring with excellent breakfast-making skills! With Masada around 9 miles away, it’s one of the closest authentic-style accommodations to the national park.
Dead Sea Yehuda Apartments are self-catering, and located around 10 miles from Masada. With free parking and free WiFi as well as your own kitchen and bathroom, the accommodation has everything you need.
For a hotel, check out the Daniel Dead Sea Hotel around 8.5 miles from Masada. Free WiFi, free parking, a pool & spa as well as sea views and a kid’s club make it perfect for everyone. The beach is nearby, too!
If you’re looking for luxury, Spa Club Dead Sea Hotel is the place for you. Again, it’s around 8.5 miles away from Masada and parking is available. The hotel ticks a lot of boxes in terms of accessibility, and offers an extensive list of spa treatments.
Bethlehem, a Palestinian West Bank town south of Jerusalem, is an important destination for a lot of pilgrims and travellers and home to several important tourist attractions in Israel.
Getting to Bethlehem
At 66km away, Ben Gurion (TLV) is the closest airport to Bethlehem. Direct international flights reach this airport from a wide number of major cities worldwide: NYC, London, Paris and many more.
It is approximately a one hour drive to Bethlehem from Ben Gurion Airport. You can hire a car at the airport! Drive via Route 1. You might want to leave the car when you get close though and take the bus.
Bethlehem is still a contested territory and there remains to be uneasiness between Israel and Palestine. I experienced it during my trip when I saw several fights and was advised by the locals not to stay out after dark! So I wouldn’t take any risks when travelling in this region. We took the touristy bus, which I thought was the safest option.
If you do choose to reach Bethlehem via public transport, there are four different buses you will need to take, and here is the route:
- From Terminal 3 at the airport, take the x5 towards קרית שדה התעופה_קרית שדה תעופה
- After approximately 20 minutes, get off at the El-Al Junction
- From here, take the 947 towards ירושלים_התחנה המרכזית
- After around half an hour, you will reach Jerusalem Central Bus Station
- From here, take the 75 towards Homat Schumel
- After a 15 minute journey, alight at HaBankim Junction/Hevron Road
- From here, take the 231 towards גוש עציון_באב אל-זקאק
- Get off 20 minutes later at Bab El-Zakak/Beit Jala Road
- From here it is around 11 minutes to the centre of Bethlehem on foot
Taxis are not authorised to enter Bethlehem when coming from Ben Gurion. You can get a taxi to Jerusalem, and then another on to Bethlehem.
Things to see in Bethlehem
Bethlehem is heralded as the birthplace of Jesus and home to some of the best tourist attractions in Israel. It is, therefore, a place of religious significance – and those who practise or are interested in the Christian religion will have a lot to see when visiting the town. Having said that, a day in Bethlehem is enough time to see the tourist attractions in Israel that are located here.
Several of the tourist attractions in Israel are biblical sites. The Church of the Nativity (well, a grotto within it) is said to be the exact spot where Jesus was born. You will likely have to queue, but this is pretty much THE place to visit in terms of Christian pilgrimage. It is beautiful as well as significant, and has terraced gardens, original mosaic flooring and various convents to explore.
The Chapel of the Milk Grotto is a Catholic chapel. It takes its name from the story that sees the holy family (Mary, Joseph and Jesus) hiding in the chapel during the Massacre of the Innocents. As the tale goes, a drop of milk fell from Mary onto the floor of the cave and turned it white.
If you like scenery, Shepherd’s Field is the one. This stunning site is also, according to the gospel of Luke, the place where the angel announced the birth of Jesus. With soft, sloping hills and lush green land, it really is beautiful. It is one of the most impressive tourist attractions in Israel.
TIP: if you’re not looking to stay in Bethlehem itself, you can take a day trip from Jerusalem.
Solomon’s Pools are three ancient pools located just southwest of Bethlehem. Once part of an ancient water system, it is one of the oldest sites tourists can visit in the area. Legend says that King Solomon actually built the pools for his wives to bathe in! If history is your thing this will be one of your favourite tourist attractions in Israel.
Rachel’s Tomb is important to the Jewish faith. It is draped in a velvet cloth and surrounded by eleven stones to represent eleven of her sons – there is no stone to represent Benjamin, her twelve son, who’s birth she died during.
Other places to see in Bethlehem
The Palestinian Heritage Centre is home to a multure of authentic Palestinian items. Clothing, jewellery and home decor is lovingly crafted by local Palestinian woman, and profit from sold items goes to support families in need in Bethlehem. This is one of the most philanthropic tourist attractions in Israel.
The Old Bethlehem Museum offers a real insight into old Palestinian life and culture. You’ll find it within a typical 19th century Palestinian home, making the whole experience feel even more real. There is an embroidery centre upstairs, too.
Where to eat and drink in Bethlehem
Rewined is popular for its local drinks, shisha and terrace with a view – most visitors are people who live in the area, but you’ll be made to feel welcomed.
Nirvana Café is a student haunt, with a varied food/drink menu and Saturday karaoke.
Special Café offers home-baked cakes and pastries as well as excellent coffee if you need a bit of a caffeine fix in somewhere with a laid-back vibe.
Star & Bucks, poking fun at the well-known coffee chain found across the globe, is popular with tourists because it’s a good laugh. The coffee (and tea) is meant to be good there, though, and they have free WiFi if you happen to need it. I got excited for a moment when I saw this coffee shop thinking that I could purchase a new addition for my mug collection…. sadly not!
Afteem Restaurant offers traditional architecture and even more traditional food: falafel and hummus.
Fawda Café & Restaurant is on everybody’s list. Owned by chef Fadi Kattan, the restaurant is part of a boutique hotel. There is a four-course set menu and exquisite Palestinian wine. Booking is absolutely essential here.
Where to stay in Bethlehem
Herodian Guesthouse, located 700m from the Church of the Nativity, offers single, double and family rooms. It has free WiFi and private parking, outdoor seating and eating areas, city and mountain views and more. Restaurants and markets are nearby, and it is within easy reach of a lot of the popular tourist sites.
Al Salam Hotel is in the centre of Bethlehem. With a bright and colourful interior and plenty of things to see/do nearby, this is a great choice. The hotel offers single, double, twin and triple rooms; there is free WiFi, air-conditioning, free public parking, a restaurant on site and so much more.
House of Peace is more of a hostel. There are private rooms and dormitories, but all bathrooms are shared. Past visitors praise the cleanliness of the hostel, which has comfortable beds, free WiFi and parking, a shared kitchen, outdoor seating spaces and more.
If you’re after an apartment, check out Giovanni Apartment. It sleeps 7, so is ideal for big group trips. There is a garden, free WiFi and a small kitchenette. On-site parking is available if you are driving, too.
These are all great bases to explore the tourist attractions in Israel.
Eilat is a city in the south of Israel and some great tourist attractions in Israel. A port town on the Red Sea, it’s a far cry from other parts of Israel frequented by tourists. But it’s worth a visit all the same.
We actually ended up in Eilat by accident when our flight to Tel Aviv was cancelled and we took a bus to Israel from Egypt instead. Whilst it might not have been on our original itinerary, however, Eilat was a lovely place to visit and I would highly recommend it because it is home to some of the best tourist attractions in Israel! Here’s my complete guide to visiting Eilat, Israel.
Getting to Eilat, Israel
The closest airport to Eilat is actually King Hussein International Airport in Aqaba, Jordan. This is over the border in Jordan. Direct flights reach Aqaba from London, but most flights require a stopover. To get from Aqaba to Eilat, you will need to cross the border. This cannot be done in a rental car, so bear that in mind and if you plan to hire a car do so when you reach Israel.
There are three places to cross the border into Israel. To get from Aqaba to Eilat, choose the Yitzhak Rabin Terminal – it is the closest to each of the two cities. You can get a taxi from the airport which will take you to the border crossing, and taxis are available on the other side too. You will need to pre-arrange your visa! Shuttle buses leave twice daily from Aqaba airport to the border, so if you are lucky you may catch one of these.
If you want to avoid crossing the border, fly to Ben Gurion Airport in Tel Aviv. Direct flights reach Ben Gurion from most major cities worldwide. You can hire a car from here and take the almost four hour drive to Eilat at your leisure.
It is also possible to get from the airport to Eilat without car hire. Take a taxi from Ben Gurion to Tel Aviv Central Bus Station, and catch the 370 bus to the bus station in Beersheba. From here, take the 397 bus to Eilat Central Station. While the journey is long, it is not particularly difficult. Beware, however, that Friday is a holiday in Israel and many buses do not run! We were caught out and ended up staying an extra night in Eilat, which wasn’t our plan!
Things to see in Eilat, Israel
There are some great tourist attractions in Israel based here. The Eilat Mountains are vast and absolutely breathtaking. You can hike from the nature reserve, and there are various different routes. The trails follow ancient trade routes as well as the great Rift Valley. It’s also possible to see four different country from various points while hiking. As long as the weather is decent, you might be able to spot Egypt and Saudi Arabia, as well as nearby Jordan and Israel itself.
If hiking isn’t for you, jeep tours are available. They’re a lot more relaxed than hiking, and you can even try local cheese and herbal tea. There is various wildlife in the area: the Striped Hyena, the Dorcas Gazelle, the Golden Jackal. You might be lucky enough to spot them!
For some people, riding a camel is high on their bucket list when visiting Israel or other countries with large desert areas. You can ride a camel in Eilat. Camel Ranch is really nearby, and accessible by taxi – though they also offer a free shuttle service to and from the main road in Eilat. The ranch offers camel rides as well as donkey carts, bungee jumping and their very own rope park. Refreshments are available as well as shaded area and free parking.
With a 10km shoreline, Eilat has plenty of beaches, making these major tourist attractions in Israel. Some have lifeguards and some don’t, and some are affiliated with the various hotels along the shore. The beaches in Eilat are all different, so you’ll be able to choose the right one for you.
- Kisuki Beach, for example, is quite rocky. It has no lifeguards, but offers plenty of water sports.
- Dolphin Reef Beach is popular because, unsurprisingly, you can see and interact with dolphins there. It’s a pretty beach with place to snorkel and a bar.
- Migdalor Beach is particularly peaceful. There is a lighthouse over the road, where the beach gets its name from, and it is one of the more quieter beaches.
- Village Beach has a bar with plenty of parties, and offers activities like beach volleyball. Not only this, but it has a tanning raft in the water too!
- Bar Beach is popular with scuba divers. The beach is on a natural reef reserve, and there is also a restaurant there.
One of the most popular beaches in Eilat – and the most famous – is Coral Beach. Visitors can snorkel or scuba dive here and there is so much to see. There’s more than 100 types of coral here! There is also around 650 different species of fish here, too. The water is clear and warm, and the Coral Beach Nature Reserve and Underwater Marine Observatory are close by. This is one of my favourite tourist attractions in Israel.
Eilat is a great place to simply chill out and relax on the beach. The beaches are clean and have a very European feel to them, unlike the Egyptian beaches that are just down the shoreline. During out visit there was some tension between the Israelis and the Palestinians and we even got to see the iron dome in use! I wouldn’t necessarily recommend visiting Israel during a war, like we did, but there was no arguing that it wasn’t an educational experience!
Eilat, Israel weather
It doesn’t rain much in Eilat. December is probably the wettest month with around 5mm or rainfall on average throughout the month – August is the driest, when it barely rains at all.
July and August are the hottest months, hitting high temperatures of 40°C and lows of 26-27°C. January is the coolest month of the year. It gets a high as 21°C and as low as 10°C during the month.
The weather in Eilat makes it a pleasant beach holiday destination year round.
Where to stay in Eilat, Israel
No matter what you’re after, there is plenty of accommodation in Eilat, as you can see on the map below.
Here are some of my personal recommendations-
Herod’s Palace Hotel & Spa is a spot of luxury in Eilat. The rooms are spacious, modern and clean with balconies and free WiFi. Free private paring is available, there is a bar and restaurant and plenty of space to relax. With a gym, children’s area and large pool, there’s always something to do. The nearest beach is a mere 200 yards away!
Prima Music Hotel offers something a bit different. There is a music room, where you can spin records yourself, and the colourful rooms are complete with stern systems. There is free WiFi and public parking, a pool and spa facilities, and a 24h front desk. Coral Beach is just 5 minutes away by foot.
Exodus Hostel offers both private rooms and dormitories. A little less central, the hostel still has everything you’ll need: free WiFi, a pool, a garden & barbecue, shared kitchen and more. Pets are welcome, too! The nearest beach is around 1300 yards away.
There you have it, a complete guide to visiting Eilat, Israel. Enjoy your stay!
This was one of my favourite tourist attractions in Israel. Nestled in southern Israel, Mitzpe Ramon is a far cry from the more tourist-driven areas of the country. But that’s the main reason why I loved it!
Somewhat reminiscent of the Ngorongoro Crater in Tanzania, Mitzpe Ramon is eerily quiet, yet spectacularly beautiful. If you get a chance, I would absolutely recommend visiting Mitzpe Ramon on your travels through Israel and add it to your list of must-visit tourist attractions in Israel.
Why should you visit Mitzpe Ramon?
This is one of the most impressive tourist attractions in Israel, for sure. One of the main draws of Mitzpe Ramon is its proximity to the Ramon Crater. The town is right on the edge of the crater, which you can discover more about further down this blog post. The visitor centre and museum for the creator is located in the town, too.
We loved just looking out at the view. There were barely any tourists and it was really peaceful. There are some ruins around the area and random statues too. This was one of my favourite tourist attractions in Israel.
Another reason to visit Mitzpe Ramon is its Spice Quarter. Warehouses and hangars have been transformed into businesses, both cultural and touristic. Cafés, hotels, a bakery, a dance school, a jazz club and more can be found within the Spice Quarter.
Israel’s only alpaca farm can be found in Mitzpe Ramon, too. It costs NIS 25 (under £6 sterling) for entry, and there are alpacas, llamas and horses. Children can ride the llamas and alpacas, and anyone can ride the horses. This is a working farm, and visitors can explore the weaving factory as well as feeding the animals.
Mitzpe Ramon is also a great base for accessing Zin Valley and Ein Avdat, which are brilliant hiking locations. There are jeep tours, bike trails and wine tasting experiences nearby, too.
Getting to Mitzpe Ramon
The closest airport to the town is the new (as of 2019) Ramon Airport. It is just over 130km away from Mitzpe Ramon, and around 1.5 hour drive. Public transport takes around 2.5 hours. Due to how recently the airport opened, not a lot of flight routes have been established. There are not a lot of direct international flights operating at present – more seasonal flights are due to be released over the next few months, however.
The second closest airport to Mitzpe Ramon is Ben Gurion Airport in Tel Aviv. This is the largest international airport in the country, and flights operate to and from a variety of major cities worldwide. You can fly here from London, New York, Munich and more. At just over 180km from Mitzpe Ramon, and a 2 hour drive, it isn’t too far to consider flying here. Car rental services are available from Ben Gurion Airport.
Weather in Mitzpe Ramon
The average high temperature ranges from around 13°C in January, to 31°C in July. The average low temperature ranges from 6.6°C in January, to 19.7°C in July.
The hottest months are between May and September. The coldest months are between December and March. However, the location above the crater means that the wind is fairly strong – this means that it often feels colder than it is in Mitzpe Ramon.
Where to stay in Mitzpe Ramon
There are plenty of places to stay within the Mitzpe Ramon area.
Ramon Suites by Smart Hotels offer comfortable suites in a great location. The suites have private bathrooms and free WiFi (the hotel also provide laptops you can use if need be) as well as free private parking, a 24-hour front desk, luggage storage and more. With bright and modern decor, spacious seating areas and brilliant access to the crater, this is a great choice if you’re looking for a hotel in the area.
VILA KEDEM is a private villa that sleeps 13. It offers true luxury: a private pool, hot tub, terrace and barbecue facilities as well as stunning decor, gorgeous views, free WiFi, and a whole 2368 ft² so you have plenty of space. Located in the town of Mitzpe Ramon, this is the perfect choice if there’s a big group of you travelling together. With a large kitchen, soundproof rooms and three bathrooms there is plenty of opportunity for privacy, too.
Spice Quarter Inn offers a variety of different room types. There are family rooms and dorm-style rooms, all with private bathrooms. The hotel is said to have a lovely community feeling, with a shared lounge area and a sun terrace. Pets are allowed here, and the hotel can arrange activities such as archery, horse riding, pub crawls and more! This is the ideal hotel for a family trip to Israel, and as it’s located in the Spice Quarter there is plenty to do in the immediate surrounding areas.
These are all great bases to explore the tourist attractions in Israel.
What is the Ramon Crater?
Now you know a bit more about planning trip to Mitzpe Ramon, let’s talk about the main attraction! The Ramon Crater – also know as Makhtesh Ramon – is an erosion crater. This type of landform is unique to the Negev Desert in Israel, where the Ramon Crater is, and to Egypt’s Sinai Desert.
An erosion crater or makhtesh is a large erosion cirque. They were caused around 220 million years ago, when the areas were covered by oceans. The Ramon Crater is around 40km long, and between 2 and 10km wide. The Ramon Nature Reserve is Israel’s largest national park.
What to do at the Ramon Crater
There is plenty to do at the Ramon Crater, such as:
- Stargazing (with snacks and mattresses to ensure comfort)
- Abseiling (also known as rappelling)
- Camel Lookout viewpoint
- The Albert Promenade (decorated with environmental structures, and leading to the so-called bird balcony where birds will soar below your feet)
- Jeep and 4X4 tours
You can also camp in the Ramon Crater. Khan Be’erot Camping Ground is the only location within the crater itself, and has a capacity of 700 people. You can bring your own tent, or come in a group (such as a school or university trip) and stay in the larger tents available with mattresses. There are also ‘staff’ rooms with bunk beds.
The camping ground has electrical outlets, barbecues, a kitchen, drinking water, tables with benches, and some showers and toilets. You can find more information here.
When it comes to visiting Israel, there are plenty of biblical sites to explore, which are some of the most fascinating tourist attractions in Israel. One of the places that we stopped off at was Mount Tabor, which I would recommend.
Where is Mount Tabor?
The dome-shaped mountain is located in Lower Galilee. At the eastern end of the Jezreel Valley, it offers 360 degree views of Northern Israel. On a clear day, visitors can see the valley as well as Mount Gilboa, the Samarian mountains, the Golan Heights, Mount Carmel, Afula, Gilead, both Lower and Upper Galilee and even Mount Hermon, at the Lebanese border- wow! This is certainly one of the best tourist attractions in Israel for views!
How to get to Mount Tabor
The closest international airport is Ben Gurion. You can get flights to here from various major cities worldwide: London, Munich, NYC, Paris. From here there are various ways to get to Mount Tabor and, of course, the nearby areas where you can stay.
Car hire is available at Ben Gurion Airport, and most tourists (myself included!) claim that driving is the easiest way to travel around Israel. We used Europcar, which was great value for money, quick and simple.
Whilst we didn’t drive directly from the airport to Mount Tabor, you can do if you wish. The drive to the Mount Tabor area is around 1.5 hours.
The nearest village is Kfar Tavor. It takes approximately 2.5 hours to get here by public transport. The 50 train will take you to Tel Aviv-Hashalom, where the 825 bus from Azrieli Mall will take you to the centre of Afula. From here, you can get the 442 bus for the 20 minute journey to Kfar Tavor.
Nazareth is also close to Mount Tabor. Getting here also takes 2.5 hours, but might be slightly less complicated. It again involves the 50 train from Ben Gurion to Tel Aviv, then you’ll get the 826 bus from Azrieli Mall directly to Hapikud Junction in Nazareth.
From either of these towns, you can drive to Mount Tabor. You can also walk via the Israel National Trail. This will take a few hours but if you’re a keen walker, it might be worth doing! Once you get to the peak, there is a car park area from which you can continue driving to the summit. Again, you can hike to the summit instead or hop on a minibus.
If driving or hiking isn’t your thing, guided tours and day trips to Mount Tabor and the surrounding area are also available.
Things to do at Mount Tabor
There are a few tourist attractions in Israel based here. There is an entire church complex at Mount Tabor, making this one of the most impressive tourist attractions in Israel. Known as the Church of the Transfiguration, it is a Franciscan church believed to be the site where the Transfiguration of Christ happened. The current church was built in the 1920s on the ruins of an ancient Byzantine church and a 12th-century Crusader Kingdom church.
The Church of Transfiguration contains three grottoes. These belonged to the Crusader church and are said to represent the three huts that Peter wanted to build, for Jesus, Moses and Elias/Elijah. The Grotto of Christ is in the eastern part of the church, and there are two chapels – one for Moses and one for Elijah.
There is also a gold mosaic within the church. On August 6th each year, the sun strikes a glass plate which illuminates the mosaic. This date is considered to be the day of the Transfiguration.
The church is surrounded by the ruins of a Benedictine monastery. It’s interesting to walk around and soak up the architecture, even if you’re not particularly interested in biblical sites.
TIP: the church is open from 8-11.45am and then again from 2-5pm, and modest clothing is required for entry.
If you’re a keen walker, hiking up Mount Tabor is an incredible way to spend a day. At 575m high, the mountain is not particularly high – so you don’t need too much hiking experience. There are three different hiking trails:
- The Long Trail: beginning at the Bedouin village or Shibli, at the foot of Mount Tabor, this trail is 5km long.
- The Short Trail: this is a 2.5km nature trail at the summit.
- The Israel National Trail: this much lounger route encompasses Mount Tabor.
There are also plenty of beautiful walking trails in the woodlands surrounding the mountain itself, which are nice tourist attractions in Israel. You can also do jeep tours that encompass Mount Tabor! If you’re feeling really daring, you can actually paraglide at Mount Tabor if the wind conditions are right for it.
Where to stay when visiting Mount Tabor
As mentioned above, there are two places you can stay that are close to Mount Tabor. These are Nazareth and Kfar Tavor. There are plenty of options depending on what you’re after…
Kfar Tavor and nearby
At 1.8 miles from Mount Tabor, the Pearl of the Valley Hotel is bright, modern and spacious. It has free WiFi and free parking, as well as a bar, a garden and terrace, a chapel and a 24h front desk. There is a petrol station nearby, which is ideal if you are driving around Israel, and the location is ideal for hiking.
Just outside of Kfar Tavor and approximately 4 miles from the mountain itself, you can book a beautiful 6-capacity villa. With a city view, functional kitchen, modern decor and plenty of outdoor space, this accommodation is ideal for larger families. The kitchen means you are free to eat whenever you want! There is free WiFi, and pets are allowed too. There’s even a jacuzzi…
2.5 miles from Mount Tabor lies a beautiful country house. It has rooms that sleep up to 4, all with private bathrooms and air-conditioning. There’s free WiFi, an outdoor dining area, wellness facilities and the opportunity to arrange airport drop offs.
The Al Mutran Guest House, in the old city of Nazareth, is a 200 year old Arab mansion that has been converted into a hotel. There are a variety of room types, from economy rooms to family rooms – all are non-smoking. The guest house has free WiFi, private parking, traditional decor and stunning rooms. Mount Tabor is around 5 miles away.
The eConci Apartments in the Latin Quarter sleep up to 5 people. It’s one apartment, with two bedrooms and a sofa bed – there’s a balcony and fantastic views, airport transport can be arranged and the kitchen provides the freedom to eat whenever you want. Mount Tabor is 5.2 miles from this apartment.
Sea of Galilee
This is another of the best tourist attractions in Israel. The Sea of Galilee, whilst not technically a sea, is one of the most important biblical landmarks in the world. It is where Jesus is said to have walked on water. Every year tourists flock to visit – so here’s everything you need to know about making a trip to Sea of Galilee.
Where is the Sea of Galilee?
The Sea of Galilee is in the northeast of Israel. It is located in the Jordan Rift Valley, between the Golan Heights and the Galilee region. This valley was caused by the separation of the African and Arabian plates – so earthquakes are common.
Confusingly, the Sea of Galilee is actually a lake. It is the lowest freshwater lake on the planet, at levels of between 215m (705ft) and 209m (686ft) below sea level! This makes it one of the most noteworthy tourist attractions in Israel.
Other names of the Sea of Galilee
Only the best tourist attractions in Israel have multiple names, right? There are various other names for the lake itself. This can get confusing: street signs or information boards might not say what you’re expecting them to say. Other names include:
- Lake Tiberias
- Buhayrat Tabariya
- Yam Kinneret
Fun fact: Kinneret is Hebrew for ‘violin’ – this is said to be the shape the lake most closely resembles.
Getting to the Sea of Galilee
The closest city to the Sea of Galilee is Tiberias. To get to Tiberias, you can fly to Ben Gurion Airport (TLV) in Tel Aviv. Flights arrive here from various cities around the world such as London, Paris, Madrid, Los Angeles and more.
The airport is 130km from Tiberias. Whether you choose the 1.5 hour drive (you can hire a car or use a local taxi company) or the 3 hour train and bus journey, there are plenty of ways to get to the city.
Tiberias is on the western shore of the Sea of Galilee. You will have fantastic views of the lake from the city, and especially from the newly renovated Tiberias Promenade.
You can also incorporate a visit to the area on a day trip from other Israeli cities. A lot of tourists choose to stay in either Tel Aviv or Jerusalem, and there are a variety of organised tours that take you to see the Sea of Galilee amongst other fascinating places.
Beaches at the Sea of Galilee
There are plenty of beaches around the lake, which make for great tourist attractions in Israel. Depending on what you’re after, there is bound to be the perfect beach for you. Tsemach Beach is one of the best: for a small fee you can enjoy all the amenities it has to offer. These include chairs, umbrellas, dining facilities, lifeguards and an on-site water park!
Gofra Beach is another popular beach around the Sea of Galilee – especially with campers. Open all week, it is lined with Eucalyptus trees making it perfectly shaded for pitching tents. Upgrade your pitch to include a picnic table, lighting, a fridge and more.
Another tourist haven in the area is Bora Bora Beach. Privately owned, it has everything you might need. From sofas to grassy areas, shower and restrooms, various seating levels and long opening hours – the beach has it all. Perfect for families, couples and party-goers alike, Bora Bora Beach is a favourite among visitors to the area around the lake. This is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Israel for relaxation.
Things to do at the Sea of Galilee
Other than relaxing on the beach, the area has several other tourist attractions in Israel. You can go kayaking or canoeing in the lake itself, marvel at the stunning Church of the Beatitudes or hike along the 35km trail known as Shvil Sovev Kinneret.
Tiberias promenade offers a light show in the evening, there is a spa built around the hot springs of the area and the Hamat Tiberias National Park offers fantastic archaeological sites.
Of course, given the biblical importance of the Sea of Galilee, there are a lot of religious things to see and do. The Jesus Boat Museum houses a 2000-year-old boat as well as other historic artefacts, and you can see the hometown of Mary Magdalene. Capernaum National Park (sometimes called the town of Jesus) is there, as well as Tabgha – the garden where Jesus fed the 5,000. There are so many Christian sites in and around the area, so if it’s something you’re interested in you’re bound to have a fruitful visit.
Where to stay at the Sea of Galilee
There are so many options when it comes to finding somewhere to stay at or near the Sea of Galilee. Whether you’re after a hotel, apartment, chalet or something different, here are some ideas…
Tiberias Vacation Apartments offer modern decor, a varied continental breakfast and stunning sea views. There’s free WiFi, a sun terrace, free private parking and pets are allowed, too. In the centre of Tiberias, the apartments are well located and look out over the Sea of Galilee.
Cnaan Village Boutique Hotel & Spa is excellently located with panoramic views of the Sea of Galilee. As you might expect, it has a boutique vibe: a spa and wellness centre, slippers and bathrobes in the rooms, free Wifi and parking, air conditioning and much more. The rooms have flat-screen TVs, and guests are welcomed with complimentary wine, soft drinks, chocolate, fruit and more. It’s perfect for something a bit special!
The White Chalet View, as the name suggests, offers a great view of the Sea of Galilee. Pets are allowed, there’s a pool and free WiFi, a private bathroom for each chalet, BBQ facilities and more. The pool area has a jacuzzi and plenty of loungers, and the class are perfect for couples and families alike.
Trust Inn is an apartment that sleeps 8. With four bedrooms, a kitchen, a pool and plenty of living space, it makes the perfect option for group trips.
These are all great bases to explore the tourist attractions in Israel.
The final destination on this list of tourist attractions in Israel is Tel Aviv. Tel Aviv is an exciting city renowned for its vibrant nightlife and delicious cuisine. As the largest city in Israel, it is a major tourist destination for people from around the world. There are plenty of tourist attractions in Israel based in Tel Aviv, from exploring its historical sites and monuments to enjoying the city’s beaches and culinary delights.
One of the top tourist attractions in Israel in Tel Aviv is the Mediterranean Sea, which is known for its crystal-clear waters and beautiful white-sand beaches. Visitors can spend the day relaxing on the beach, swimming in the sea, or participating in a variety of water sports such as snorkeling and paddleboarding. There are also a variety of beachfront restaurants and cafes, where you can enjoy a delicious meal while taking in the stunning views.
The Tel Aviv Museum of Art is another popular destination in the city. Museums make for some of the best tourist attractions in Israel and this one is no exception. The museum features an impressive collection of modern and contemporary art from around the world, as well as a selection of Israeli artworks. Visitors can explore the museum’s permanent collection, take part in the museum’s educational programs and events, or visit the museum shop for unique souvenirs.
For those interested in history and culture, a visit to the Old City of Jaffa is a must. This ancient port city is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is home to a variety of historical monuments and sites. Visitors can wander through the narrow alleyways, explore the ancient fortifications, and visit the archaeological site. This is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Israel.
Tel Aviv is also a great destination for foodies. The city is known for its vibrant culinary scene, and there are plenty of restaurants serving up delicious dishes from around the world. From traditional Israeli dishes to international cuisines, you can find something to satisfy your cravings in Tel Aviv.
No matter what you’re looking for, there are plenty of things to do in Tel Aviv. Whether you’re looking for a relaxing beach day or a cultural experience, Tel Aviv has something for everyone.
Tourist Attractions in Israel- To Conclude
As you can see, there are many fantastic tourist attractions in Israel. Some of the tourist attractions in Israel are cultural, historical or religious and some of the tourist attractions in Israel are relaxation-focussed. But whatever you’re in to, the tourist attractions in Israel have something to suit you.
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