From Tel Aviv to the Dead Sea: How to See Israel in a Weekend
So you want to see Israel in a weekend? While it’s totally doable, you should know you’re going to be absolutely exhausted by the end of it. Before you go, be sure to read this guide on how to see Israel in a Weekend!
Israel is truly one of the most unique places to visit in the world. People from all walks of life come to Israel to experience the culture and sights, for their own spiritual or religious journeys, and for the history. No matter where you decide to visit, Israel will leave you speechless and invigorated to see more. While you’d be pressed for time to see much in other countries, Israel is small and connected enough you can do and see a lot in just a weekend. We’ll take you from the party city of Tel Aviv, to the ancient city of Jerusalem, and finally to the Dead Sea and show you how you can experience it all.
Helpful information about Israel
No matter your level of experience with travelling, Israel will certainly be one of the most unique places you’ll visit. Not only will you have to get used to a new currency, you’ll also have to get used to what the week looks like in Israel. In the Jewish tradition, the Sabbath goes from sundown Friday until sundown Saturday, meaning all shops and services are closed at this time. If you’re not prepared for this, it can certainly complicate your time in Israel.
Like Europe, travel within Israel is relatively easy and cheap. However the hardest part is usually upon arrival or departure, especially if you’re flying. Due to political tensions, some nations will ban you from travelling there if you’ve travelled to Israel (ie. Syria, Iran, Lebanon, Kuwait, and Libya). As a result, you’ll get a slip of paper rather than a passport stamp to certify your entrance into Israel. It’s important you do not lose this paper as you’ll need it to leave the country.
When it’s time to leave Israel, make sure you give yourself plenty of time to catch your plane. Ben Gurion Airport is one of the tightest airports in the world terms of security. Before boarding, you’ll go through 3 security checks: one before entering the airport, the second before checking in, and the last at security. If you don’t leave yourself enough time, you could risk missing your flight.
If you’re travelling by plane, you’ll likely be starting your trip in Tel Aviv. Known as the party capital of the Middle East, you’ll have lots to see and do while here. But Tel Aviv is so much more than just a party place: it’s the economic and technological capital of the country, so it attracts a typically younger and progressive crowd.
A weekend in Israel starts at the beach, and since Tel Aviv sits on the Mediterranean, you might as well spend some time here! Famous for its great surfing, the beach is always full of people and things to do. But since you only have a weekend in Israel, you can’t spend all your time at the beach, so what else is there to do?
Known for its LGBTQ scene, Tel Aviv is home to a beautiful array of clubs and party spots. And Israelis take their parties seriously. Since everyone has different tastes, we’ll leave it to you to seek out the best party spots. Believe us, it won’t be hard to find.
A visit to Tel Aviv is incomplete without seeing Jaffa Port. It’s the oldest part of the city, and is where much of Tel Aviv’s Arab population lives. We recommend spending a few hours here and indulging in the food! We could go on and on about things to do in Tel Aviv, but you only have a weekend!
Hop on a bus in Tel Aviv and you’ll be in the Holy City of Jerusalén in only 30 mins! We weren’t kidding when we said you can see Israel in a weekend.
Jerusalem is the capital of Israel and a crossroads between three major world religions: Judaism, Islam, and Christianity. While it might be close to Tel Aviv, the two destinations could not be more different. We suggest starting your tour of Jerusalem at Mahne Yehuda Market, where you can taste-test and buy various Israeli treats. Everything from halva, spices, fruits, and more await you here!
The next place you’ll want to see is Jerusalem’s Old Town, filled with historical and religious sites. The most notable include the Western Wall, Dome of the Rock, and the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. Whether you consider yourself religious or not, the history and essence of Jerusalem’s Old Town is one you most certainly shouldn’t miss on a weekend in Israel.
To escape the hustle and bustle of the Old Town, we recommend heading to the German Quarter. You’ll find lots of trendy cafes, shops, restaurants, galleries, and more. Again, you only have a weekend in Israel so we can’t spend much more time here!
The Dead Sea
Our last destination for your weekend in Israel is the Dead Sea – the lowest and saltiest place on Earth. You can get here either by taking a tour, renting a car, or public transit. If you decide to go without a tour, we recommend heading to En Bokek, a popular resort and beach town in Israel. Seeing the Dead Sea is something you ought to do if you find yourself in Israel, especially if you’ve ever dreamt of reading a book while floating around. While you might be tempted to run into the water upon arrival, we recommend you don’t. The water is so salty, tasting even a tiny drop will make your mouth twist. If you want to visit by tour, we recommend booking with Abraham Hostel Tours!
Where to Stay in Israel
Wherever you decide to stay in Israel, let Abraham Hostel by your host! With locations in Tel Aviv, Jerusalem, Nazareth, and Eilat, you’ll always be at home at Abraham. All locations offer private rooms, as well as dorms, on site bars, cosy patios, and an incredible variety of activities. There’s a reason they have such a great reputation.
From Tel Aviv to the Dead Sea: How to See Israel in a Weekend
From Tel Aviv to the Dead Sea, we told you you could see Israel in a weekend! Of course if you can spend more time in this incredible country, it comes highly recommended, but if time is an issue, at least you know you can see the main sites. No matter where you start and end your journey here, we know you’re going to leave with a million memories that will last a lifetime.
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