Welcome to the Holy Land! Israel is a beautiful country with a rich history, vibrant culture, and stunning landscapes. Whether you are traveling for religious reasons, to explore the country’s natural wonders, or simply to experience its unique blend of old and new, there are plenty of reasons to book flights to Israel.
In this travel guide, I will provide you with all the information you need to make your trip to Israel an enjoyable and hassle-free experience. From getting the best deals on flights to navigating the country’s transportation system, I’ve got you covered.
There are several airports in Israel, but the main international airport is Ben Gurion Airport (TLV), located near Tel Aviv. Many airlines offer flights to Ben Gurion from major cities around the world, including New York, London, Paris, and Hong Kong.
To get the best deals on flights, it’s best to book in advance and be flexible with your travel dates. Airlines often offer cheaper flights during off-peak times, such as mid-week or during the low season (November to February).
Another tip is to use flight comparison websites, such as Skyscanner, Expedia, or Kayak, to compare prices from different airlines and find the best deals. These sites allow you to search for flights based on your preferred travel dates, route, and airline, making it easy to find the best option for your budget.
If you’re planning to visit Israel, you may need a visa depending on your nationality. Citizens from many countries, including the United States, Canada, Australia, and most European countries, can enter Israel without a visa for up to 90 days.
However, if you’re traveling from a country that requires a visa, you’ll need to obtain one before you can enter Israel. You can apply for a visa at the nearest Israeli embassy or consulate in your country. The visa application process can take several weeks, so it’s important to plan ahead.
Transportation in Israel
Israel has a well-developed transportation system, making it easy to get around the country. Here are some options:
- Bus: Israel has an extensive bus network that covers most of the country. Buses are frequent, affordable, and comfortable. The main bus company is Egged, but there are other companies as well. You can buy tickets at the bus station or on the bus itself.
- Train: Israel also has a train network that connects major cities. The trains are modern, air-conditioned, and comfortable. You can buy tickets at the train station or online.
- Taxi: Taxis are widely available in Israel, but they can be expensive. It’s important to negotiate the fare before getting in the taxi. It’s also possible to use ride-hailing apps like Uber or Gett.
- Car rental: Renting a car is a great option if you want to explore the country at your own pace. Many international car rental companies have branches in Israel. However, it’s important to note that driving in Israel can be challenging due to heavy traffic and aggressive drivers.
What to See and Do
Israel has so much to offer, from ancient historical sites to beautiful beaches and breathtaking landscapes. Here are some must-see attractions:
- Jerusalem: The ancient city of Jerusalem is one of the holiest places on earth and a must-see for anyone visiting Israel. The city is home to some of the world’s most important religious sites, including the Western Wall, the Dome of the Rock, and the Church of the Holy Sepulchre.
- Tel Aviv: Israel’s second-largest city is a modern and cosmopolitan hub of art, culture, and nightlife. The city’s stunning beaches and beautiful architecture make it a popular destination for travelers from around the world.
- Dead Sea: The Dead Sea is the lowest point on earth and a unique natural wonder. Its high salt content and mineral-rich mud have therapeutic properties, making it a popular spot for relaxation and spa treatments.
- Masada: This ancient fortress, located in the Judean Desert, is a UNESCO World Heritage site and an important symbol of Jewish resistance against the Roman Empire. Visitors can hike to the top of the mountain and explore the ruins of the fortress.
- Haifa: This port city in northern Israel is home to the stunning Baha’i Gardens, a series of terraced gardens that cascade down the side of a mountain. The gardens are a UNESCO World Heritage site and offer stunning views of the city and the Mediterranean Sea.
- Galilee: The Galilee region in northern Israel is known for its stunning natural beauty, including rolling hills, lush forests, and the Sea of Galilee. It’s a great destination for hiking, biking, and exploring the region’s many historical and religious sites.
Food and Drink
Israeli cuisine is a delicious blend of Middle Eastern, Mediterranean, and European influences. Here are some must-try dishes:
- Hummus: This creamy dip made from chickpeas, tahini, and olive oil is a staple of Israeli cuisine. It’s served with fresh pita bread and often topped with herbs, spices, or vegetables.
- Falafel: These crispy, fried balls of chickpeas and spices are a popular street food in Israel. They’re often served in a pita with hummus, salad, and pickles.
- Shakshuka: This savory dish of eggs poached in a tomato sauce is a popular breakfast food in Israel. It’s often served with bread for dipping.
- Sabich: This sandwich is a popular street food in Israel, made with pita bread, fried eggplant, hard-boiled eggs, hummus, tahini, and salad.
- Israeli wine: Israel has a thriving wine industry, with vineyards located throughout the country. Some of the most popular varietals include Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Shiraz.
Israel is generally a safe country for tourists, but it’s always a good idea to take precautions to ensure your safety. Here are some tips:
- Be aware of your surroundings and avoid large crowds, especially in areas that may be politically sensitive.
- Follow local news and security alerts to stay informed of any potential threats.
- Keep your valuables, including your passport and money, in a safe place.
- Avoid walking alone at night, especially in unfamiliar areas.
- Respect local customs and traditions, especially in religious sites.
- Dress appropriately for the weather and local customs.
Israel is a fascinating country with a rich history and culture, stunning natural beauty, and delicious food. Whether you’re interested in exploring the country’s religious sites, soaking up the sun on the beach, or hiking through the mountains, there’s something for everyone. By following the tips in this travel guide, you’ll be well-prepared to make the most of your trip to Israel. Have a safe and enjoyable journey!