10 Travel Tips and Advice For Your Trip In Israel
Israel is a country full of history, culture, and natural beauty, and offers a unique travel experience. To help you make the most of your trip, we’ve put together some tips and advice for traveling in Israel.
1. Plan Ahead
Israel may be a small country, but there’s a lot to see and do. From the beaches of Tel Aviv, to the ancient city of Jerusalem, to the stunning landscapes of the Negev Desert, it’s important to plan ahead to make sure you get the most out of your trip. Before you arrive, it’s a good idea to do some research and create an itinerary. This will help you make the most of your time in Israel and ensure that you don’t miss any of the must-see sights. Be sure to also check the weather conditions for the time of year you are traveling, so you can pack accordingly.
2. Stay Safe
Israel is a safe country, but like any other destination, it’s important to take some precautions. Be aware of your surroundings, especially in crowded areas such as markets and public transportation. Keep your valuables close to you and don’t leave them unattended. If you’re traveling alone, it’s a good idea to let someone know where you’re going and when you expect to return. Also, be sure to carry a copy of your passport with you at all times, as it is a legal requirement in Israel.
3. Use Public Transportation
Driving in Israel can be challenging, especially in the cities. Traffic can be heavy, and parking can be difficult to find. Public transportation is a good alternative, especially in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem. The buses and trains are clean, efficient, and affordable. Keep in mind that public transportation doesn’t operate on Shabbat (from Friday evening to Saturday evening). Taxis are also readily available in most areas and can be a convenient option for getting around.
4. Try Local Food
Israel is famous for its cuisine, which combines Mediterranean, Middle Eastern, and Jewish flavors. Don’t be afraid to try some of the local dishes, such as falafel, hummus, shakshuka, and sabich. Street food is a great way to sample the local cuisine, but be sure to choose a vendor that looks clean and reputable. Israel is also known for its wine, and a visit to a local winery can be a fun and educational experience.
Learn Some Hebrew
While many Israelis speak English, it can be helpful to learn some Hebrew phrases before your trip. Even knowing basic phrases like “hello,” “thank you,” and “excuse me” can make a big difference in your interactions with locals. Israelis are generally friendly and welcoming, and making an effort to speak their language can go a long way.
6. Pack for the Weather
Israel has a Mediterranean climate with hot, dry summers and mild, rainy winters. It’s important to pack for the weather conditions during the time of year you’re traveling. In the summer months, lightweight and breathable clothing, sunscreen, and a hat are essential. However, be sure to also bring a sweater or jacket for cooler evenings. In the winter, you’ll need warmer clothing, including a coat, hat, and gloves. It’s also a good idea to bring an umbrella or rain jacket, as it can rain quite heavily in some areas. Be sure to check the weather forecast before you depart, so you can pack accordingly.
7. Visit Off the Beaten Path
Israel is full of popular tourist destinations, but some of the best experiences can be found off the beaten path. Consider exploring some of the lesser-known towns and villages, such as Tzfat, Ein Hod, or Ein Kerem. You may discover hidden gems and unique cultural experiences that you wouldn’t find in the more popular destinations.
8. Pack Comfortable Shoes
Israel is a country of many hills and stairs, especially in the old cities like Jerusalem and Tzfat. This means that you will be doing a lot of walking and climbing, so it’s important to pack comfortable shoes. Sneakers or walking shoes are a good option, and make sure they are broken in before your trip.
9. Stay Hydrated
Israel can get very hot, especially in the summer months. It’s important to stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water throughout the day. Most hotels and tourist sites offer free drinking water, so be sure to take advantage of this. You may also want to bring a reusable water bottle with you to refill throughout the day.
10. Visit the Markets
Israel’s markets (shuks) are a must-visit for any traveler. The markets are bustling with activity, and offer a wide variety of goods, from fresh produce and spices to souvenirs and clothing. Be prepared to bargain, as prices are often negotiable. The markets are also a great place to sample local foods and drinks, such as halva, baklava, and fresh-squeezed juice.