Best places to visit in Israel

Red Canyon Israel

Wondering about a trip to Israel? Then, let me show tell you a few words about the best things to visit in Israel.

Planning your trip

How many days you have?

Before going to a new place, we always ask ourselves “How many days I should spend visiting” THAT museum, city, country and so on.

Certainly, it is always better to have an idea about what can be seen there before actually going. Think about what is really worth in for you, what is a priority and how much time you need to spend.

In the case of Israel, I done a country tour with my mother for 16 days. This means two full weeks, arriving on a Saturday morning and coming back home on a Sunday. By the way, this is what I call full advantage, leaving straight after work on a Friday and coming back before going back to work on Monday.

When you should go?

Moving to the weather, one of the best periods to do a country tour is the month of November. This is one of the month when you can enjoy almost each part of the country at its best. Personally, we chose the first two weeks of the month and I swear, each day was perfect.

How you’re planning to move?

Part of the adventure, we didn’t rent a car. In other words, this destinations can be reached only by public transportation. We used buses, trains and hitchhiking – this is what I call adventure and not a true, piece of mind, holiday.

In total, the distance we traveled around the country was estimated to 1500 kilometres. Anyway, keep in mind Israel is a relatively small country and can be very easy crossed from a side to another in a only a few hours.

If you enter the country by plane, most probably you will arrive on Ben Gurion Airport, which is the biggest international airport of the country. This is normally the start and the end point of the trip. From here, you can use public transportation to start your own adventure, in our case we took a bus to Jerusalem.

Further on, you’ll see that we merged many points of interest. A bit of everything: religion, history, sightseeing, nature, relaxation, trekking and of course, food!

That being said, let’s get started!

Top places to visit

Jerusalem, 4 days

Jerusalem old city
Old City View, from Mount of Olives, Jerusalem

Ask yourself how many cities in the world have a richer history than Jerusalem and its Sacred Land? Spend some time enjoying the vibe of the city. Part of the experience, try to notice the beauty of peaceful co-living between Christians, Muslim and Jews.

I do suggest to visit Jerusalem by dividing it into areas like Old City, Mount of Olives, Mount Zion, City of David and the Downtown, for different days.

Bethlehem, 1 day

Beit Sahour street
Old City Streets, Beit Sahour

The city where Baby Jesus was born is located on the West Bank, what we call today Palestine. First, if you only want to see the Nativity church, the church where Jesus was born, you need half a day trip from Jerusalem.

Certainly, I do recommend spending at least one full day. Take the time to explore the entire city and the other points of interest nearby (e.g. Shepard’s field, Bethlehem museum, Milk Grotto chapel, souq, souvenirs shops, etc.).

Jericho, 1 day

Ein Es Sultan Spring
Ein Es Sultan Spring, Jericho

Supposed to be the world’s oldest continuously inhabited city, Jericho has many beautiful places to be discovered. Spend some time to see the archaeological site, the Mount of Temptation and The Monastery of the Qurantul – the place where Jesus resisted Satan after 40 days of fast in the desert.

Moreover, the city is located only a few kilometers far away from two main attractions. One is Qasr Al Yahud, the place where Jesus has been baptized by St John, and the second one is the Dead Sea.

Qasr Al Yahud & Nabi Musa

Qasr Al Yahud
Qasr Al Yahud, Baptism Site

Before continuing our trip to the Dead Sea, we done two small stops about half an hour each.

The first one was at the Baptism Site, officially called Qasr Al Yahud, and the second one was the tomb of Prophet Moses.

Kalya, Dead Sea, 1 day

Kalya beach
Kalya Beach, Dead Sea

Should be no trip to Israel without a stop at the Dead Sea. We chose Kalya, a private beach very close of Jericho, to spend our full day.

We truly enjoyed floating in the water and reinvigorating our skin by applying mud packs, at 430 meters below the sea level.

Sea of Galilee, 1 day

Chucch of the Primacy of Saint Peter
Church of the Primacy of Saint Peter, Tabgna

There are a few places to visit around the Sea of Galilee, so expect to move a bit. I do recommend to use Tiberias as a base point because it’s the biggest city in the area, has a good position and infrastructure.

Part of the religious points of interest, do not miss Capernaum (where Jesus preached at the synagogue), Tabgha (where Jesus multipled the looves and the fish) and Ginosar (to discover a boat from Jesus’s time).

Nazareth, 1 day

Nazareth Village
Nazareth Village, Nazareth

This muslim dominated city has its own charm and vibe. The markets full of locals and tourists are mesmerizing.

Still, the main point of attraction is the Basilica of the Annunciation, where the Angel Gabriel announced Virgin Mary to be the one giving birth to the Son of God.

Kafr Cana

Greek Orthodox Wedding Church Kafr Cana
Greek Orthodox Wedding Church, Kafr Cana

Kafr Cana is a small city located only a few kilometers far away from Nazareth, with easy access by bus or taxi.

Its size is overtaken by the importance of its Wedding Churches, where Jesus done his first miracle – changing the water into wine. Visit the place from Nazareth as a half a day trip.

Tabor, 1/2 day

View from Mount Tabor
View from the top, Mount Tabor

Mount Tabor with its Basilica of the Transfiguration can be easily visited from Nazareth.

Here is where the transfiguration of Jesus happen, where he started to be more shinny than the sun itself.

If you like hiking, you can do like us, climbing the 588 meters to the top. Once you’ll arrive, the view is breath-taking, worth in every single step.

Akko, 1/2 day

Akko port
Port of Akko, Akko

Akko or Acre, is the place where Marco Polo itself stopped on his way to India. The old city and its walls are a piece of history near the Mediterranean, with some medieval tunnels and museums to explore.

Haifa, 1 day

Baha'i gardens
Baha’i Gardens, Haifa

I always liked the symmetry, and the Baha’i Gardens in Haifa are a great example of what perfection means.

Take the time to visit the place by day and by night, it has its own charm under the sun and shining into the night.

Eilat, 2-3 days

Eilat sunset
Birds Watching Point, Eilat

You can’t miss snorkeling of scuba diving into the clear, turcoaz and worm water of the Red Sea. We done scuba diving for beginners and was amazing! We had 45 minutes under the water for about 60 euro per person – one of the best deals of its type in the world!

If you’re not into water sports don’t worry, there are plenty of beaches, good restaurants and bars to explore too!

Red Canyon, 1/2 day

Red Canyon Israel
Red Canyon

Not far from Eilat, there is a place called Red Canyon which makes you think you’re in the American Grand Canyon. The views are speechless and is one of the best things you could do in Israel! Do it as a half a day trip from Eilat, like us!

Tel Aviv, 2-3 days

Jaffa Old street
Old Jaffa Streets, Tel Aviv

To sum up, we ended our journey in Tel Aviv, to enjoy the city life.

A lot of walking, eating, coffees and relaxing on the beach. Somehow, the perfect way to reflect over the good moments of the trip.

P.S. Interesting to know more about each location? Don’t worry, a dedicated post per location is yet to come! Read more here.