I don’t know about you, but when I start planning my next trip the first thing I do is select the points I most want to visit at the destination. As this is a great starting point for defining the itinerary, I decided to make a post for anyone planning a trip to Israel with my 10 favorite places on the trip.
For those who haven’t seen it, I also made a post talking about the best restaurants we went to in the country. With these two selections, I’m sure it will be easier to organize the next trip 😉
Incredible as it may seem, many tourists who come to Israel do not take even a day to visit the Dead Sea. As religious tourism is the major focus of the country, this incredible place ends up being left in the background by many travelers. For that reason, I made sure to put it at the top of the list, after all even the way to Jerusalem is beautiful!
In addition to the beauty of the clear blue sea and the pink quartz sky, the experience of floating in the waters of the Dead Sea is incredible! Despite being quite weird at first, it is worth taking a few minutes to enjoy the salt water. It is worth mentioning that you cannot dip your head or swallow water, it is super dangerous!
For those who like history and / or beautiful scenery, Masada is the ideal option in Israel. It is worthwhile to stay in a hotel near the desert and make a beautiful trail before sunrise. The view from the top of Masada is simply enchanting.
As if the landscape is not enough for you to want to know the region, Masada is also full of history. The site was an ancient fortress in Judea, where Herod built a palace more than two thousand years ago. Well, that steep cliff, more than 500 meters above the level of the dead sea, in the middle of the desert was once a great fortress – including, here was the last focus of resistance against the Romans at the beginning of the first century.
Still talking about natural landscapes, I can’t help mentioning Soreq’s cave. This place is just magical. Here you enter another universe, full of stalactites and stalagmites – some over 300 thousand years old!
In addition, Soreq is considered one of the 10 most amazing caves in the world. It was only discovered in 1968 and since then it has been very well preserved, well worth a visit!
Basilica of the Holy Sepulcher (Jerusalem)
Considered one of the most sacred places in the world, it was here where Jesus was crucified and buried. Built after the event, the Basilica of the Holy Sepulcher is one of the most visited places by Christians worldwide. Today, the Basilica is divided between 5 churches: the Roman Catholic, Orthodox, Armenian, Coptic Orthodox, Syriac Orthodox and Ethiopian Orthodox.
Regardless of your religion, we believe this is an indispensable tour inside the Old City in Jerusalem. The Altar of the Crucifixion and the Stone of Unction are two very visited points.
Via Dolorosa (Jerusalem)
Photo – My Treasure Box
In the heart of Jerusalem’s Old City, Via Dolorosa was the main street in Christ’s day. It was for her that Jesus carried the cross to the place of his crucifixion. It is in Via Dolorosa where 9 of the 14 stations of the cross are located (the last five are inside the Basilica of the Holy Sepulcher, at the end of the road). The narrow road today is a landmark in history and is certainly a path to be taken within the ancient city of Jerusalem.
Western Wall / Western Wall (Jerusalem)
Photo – Trip Advisor
The Western Wall, also known as the Western Wall, is one of the most sacred places for Jews. This wall is the only part that remains of the Temple of Herod after the Roman attack and has withstood many others. In addition to being a place of prayer, many Jews and visitors leave their written requests between the cracks in the wall.
Temple Mount (Jerusalem)
A sacred place for Jews, Muslims and Christians, the Temple Mount is a terrace that houses the Al-Aqsa Mosque, the Dome of the Rock and the Dome of the Chain. The location is right next to the Western Wall, so it’s a good idea to book a whole morning to explore the region.
For those who are not Muslims, there is only one entrance that opens twice a day: between 7:30 am – 10 am and 12:30 pm – 1:30 pm. You must arrive at least 40 minutes in advance, especially in the summer, when it is high season. Despite the long queue to enter, the place is beautiful and worth the visit.
Jaffa (Tel Aviv-Yafo)
Jaffa has been around for over 3,000 years and Tel Aviv has grown up around it. Today, despite being part of Tel Aviv, Jaffa is considered to be another city: Tel Aviv-Yafo. Just by the time of existence you can understand how special this place is. The old buildings blend with the modernity of Tel Aviv and the view of the sea is beautiful.
Walking around Jaffa in the late afternoon is a delight – and if it is on a Friday be sure to walk through the Jaffa Flea Market. To watch the sunset, go to the port region as we did, the landscape is lovely.
Name Tzedek (Tel Aviv)
Picture – RebBubble
One of the wealthiest neighborhoods in Tel Aviv, Neve Tzedek has great options for restaurants, bars and shops. For those looking for a more leisurely stroll or an afternoon of shopping, this is the place. Getting lost in the narrow and charming streets is the best option for the last days of travel 😉
For those who have more days in Israel and want to visit another city besides Jerusalem and Tel Aviv, we recommend Nazaré! The city is sacred to Christians because it is the birthplace of Mary and where Jesus spent his childhood. Here, a large part of the population is Arab-Christian, something not so common in the rest of the country.
The city full of winding paths is charming. In addition, the food is incredible and a great option for those who are vegetarian or vegan. The spices and vegetables from the Galilee region are great, it’s worth eating here!
For those who liked the tips and want to know more about Israel, we put together a complete My Maps script – to see the post just click here 😉