Touring Israel: Great Tips to an Exciting and Memorable Vacation

touring tel aviv israelA lot of people have set their sights and minds in touring Israel. And why not? The place is one of the most fascinating that you can ever visit and see. Anyone familiar with this Utopian Middle Eastern nation knows that touring the place is not limited to its premier city and the Holy Land, but so many other wonderful ancient and Biblical places that are scattered all over.

Indeed, while two of the most popular places are cosmopolitan Tel Aviv and religious Jerusalem, other spots are easily popular tourist destinations such as the tragic Masada, fun Dead Sea, and romantic Town of Cana.

There’s simply a long list when it comes to premier Israeli sites for all tourists. If you are Israel-bound, be ready to realize your dream vacation in this Mediterranean country –whether you are alone, with family or friends, or belong to a group tour.

chanukkah in Tel AvivWhat makes such a tour a fulfilling one? It’s not just about marveling at wondrous, major attractions. Undoubtedly, it’s more than that. It’s about all things Israeli that make a trip to this country unforgettable.

Israel is all about its amazing people. They are a friendly and accommodating lot. The Jewish culture. unique as it is, is worth learning and imbibing. Suffice it to say that experiencing both its people and culture make one’s stay something to cherish about forever.

Here are steps to

make Israel vacation

packages memorable and without any hassle:

1. Bring travel essentials

Apart from your passport with visa (if applicable), bring at least an ID or legal document for proper identification, especially during boarder or Holy Land trips.

While remember to pack your medicine if you are on prescription. Over-the-counter drugs are available at Superpharm, a major pharmacy found all over the city.

2. Go Light

beach If you intend to visit during summer, it’s best to travel light.

Pack only shirts and shorts if you plan to stay at the beach most of the time. Remember that the city is ultra-hot during summertime, especially if you’re vacationing in the midst of the season.

3. Camera’s a must when touring Israel

There are a few places on Earth that can be considered as truly “photogenic” and this country is one of them. Everything here is picturesque, like the long stretch of Tel Aviv beach and historic Old Jaffa Port.

Equally astonishing are the Etzel Museum, Shalom Building, Jaffa Hill’s Ramses Gateway, the Clock Tower at Yafo, Shuk HaCarmel, Dome of the Rock, Wailing Wail, The Dead Sea.

These are but a few of numerous amazing and stunning Israeli photographic subjects; which are, in other words, picture-worthy.
Thus, bring your camera with you; whether you own an automatic, disposable, or digital.

See to it that batteries are full. Bring a spare so you won’t miss seizing any beautiful view, scene, or moment. Take lots of picture, and discard unwanted ones later.

Ask a friend or local to take your photos. Pictures are evidences of you having the most wonderful time. They do represent great memories that are sure to last forever.

4. Book affordable and convenient accommodation

Instead of one of the five-star hotels in Tel Aviv on the beach, make it a unique stay by booking a small hostel or even a Bauhaus apartment unit. If you’re not a picky tourist, convenience can still be had even if you decide to stay at such budget accommodation.

What’s important is you find lodging within the city and near the beach. Two affordable hotels are Mugraby Hostel and Old Jaffa Hostel, both of which are just a stone’s throw away from the beach.

Those on a shoestring budget will love these accommodations because they are affordable and complete with standard amenities, yet available at a price that’s just a fraction of that of top hotels in the city.

5. While the night away

Evenings are alive and vibrant in the city; especially in Ben Yehuda, Rothschild, and Allenby Streets, where you can enjoy the coolest bars and clubs (Social Club, Yaya club), hip cafes (Aroma, Max Brenner, Café Bialik) and trendy restaurants (Olive Leaf, London) everywhere. Many are open till the wee hours, ready to welcome and serve customers who love some late-night dinner, hot coffee, or drinks.

6. Roam by your lonesome

mea shearimNothing beats the exhilaration of scouring a totally new place without a companion. Even the most seasoned traveler feels scared and excited as he traverses unknown roads alone.

One of the best tours of Israel is when you’re touring on your own as it is always prepared to thrill and surprise any tourist who’s in his lonesome.

For instance, try going to Mea Shearim, an enclave of ultra-orthodox Jewish community that’s a world of its own. More often than not, going there alone makes it possible for a quiet visit, which is a must when within this surreal place.

Reminder to shutterbugs, this is one place where people with cameras are frowned upon. Photos, if you wish to satisfy your urge, must be taken as surreptitiously as possible.

sherut tachana merkazitThe White City is a walker’s paradise. Sidewalks are wide, and parks are aplenty. Autobuses and special Sherut cars abound as well, offering cheap and reliable means of transportation. Still, it’s more thrilling to spend the day walking the network of Yehudas and Rehovs of the city.

When in doubt on where you are, ask a local. Always, you will get a positive response and the right directions from the first person that you encounter.

Especially if you have no map or guide, people will be more than pleased to provide you the exact directions, whether you are headed to a tourist site, museum, or souvenir store. Maps, by the way, are available at Steimatzky – the popular local bookshop.

7. Interact with locals

Language barrier is almost non-existence in this country. You won’t encounter any problem when talking to locals as everyone is conversant in English. What’s more – they are generous when it comes to greetings and smiles. People here seem eager to please everyone else.

Of course, it does help to know some sprinkling of Hebrew phrases to help you get by throughout your short vacation and even impress the natives yourself, nachon (right)?

8. Enjoy splurging moments

dr. shakshuka restaurantWhile you desire your trip to be an affordable one, you might want to splurge on a few things here and there.

For instance, since you scrimped on your accommodation, which means that you have extra money for a special date with your loved one. Two of my best recommendations are found within Jaffa, and these are Aladdin (known for great Middle Eastern foods) and Dr. Shakshuka.

There you have it – a few tips and advices on touring Israel the most exciting way. For many of us, we consider such a dream vacation as a once-in-a-lifetime happening, and so everything must be well-planned for a hassle-free and awesome getaway. Needless to say, follow these tips and you are sure to make the most of your Israeli vacation.