Best time to go to Israel
Israel can be visited at any time of the year, but there are a few factors to consider when planning your trip. The best weather to visit is in spring ( April and May ) or autumn ( September and October ) with mild temperatures in most regions. November and March are also pleasant, but rain showers can be expected especially in the coastal areas and in the north.
Winter (mid-November to mid-March) can be amazingly cool, with heavy rain along the coast and frost in the highlands.
The summer temperatures in the far south are extreme. In Tel Aviv, the summer humidity is so high that you sweat in the shade. This is a good time to visit Jerusalem or other highland areas that are less affected by high humidity than the coasts. Summer is also the peak tourist season – accommodations are now the most expensive, and sometimes it is difficult to find a room at all.
You may also want to avoid the major Jewish holidays. At these times, the country fills with pilgrims, room prices rise and it is almost impossible to travel between cities by public transport.
Currency: 1 shekel corresponds to 100 Agorot
Currency abbreviation: ILS (ISO code), NIS (New Israeli Sheqel) – ABBREVIATIONFINDER.ORG
Banknotes are in circulation worth 20, 50, 100 and 200 shekels. Coins are used in amounts of 10 Agorot and ½, 1, 2, 5 and 10 shekels.
1 US dollar = 3.7 ILS
1 euro = 5.5 ILS
1 Swiss franc = 3.6 ILS
Travel in the country
Israir flies at least once a day (also on Saturdays) between Ben Gurion Airport, Sde Dow Airport in Tel Aviv, Eilat and Haifa. Arkia flies between the same cities and also offers charter flights to Jerusalem.
Israel has an efficient and inexpensive transportation system, buses and trains connect major cities.
There are flights over the Negev desert to Eilat, but due to the impressive desert landscape, many visitors choose the land route.
A ferry connects Tiberias on the western shore of the Sea of Galilee with the kibbutz En Gev in the east of the lake. The Mediterranean ports in Israel can also be reached by ferry.
Due to the tense political situation, travelers in Jerusalem, especially on public transport and in busy places, should exercise extreme caution.
The national bus route in Israel, Egged, has an extensive route network. The company is used by a large part of the Israeli soldiers. So you have to expect that buses will be filled with soldiers, especially at the weekend.
Egged buses are modern, clean and equipped with air conditioning systems, making traveling safe and comfortable. Buses are usually reasonably punctual. There are no long-distance buses from Egged on the Sabbath (Friday afternoon to Saturday evening). Most Intercity routes run two to five Egged buses an hour, often only one or two buses a day away from the main routes. Egged also drives settlements in the West Bank with bulletproof buses.
In Nazareth, East Jerusalem and the West BankArab bus companies operate with slower and older buses. They are not particularly comfortable, but are tolerable due to the short distances. The fares are very cheap. Arab buses also run on the Sabbath.
Buses are often used within the big cities of Jerusalem, Tel Aviv and Haifa. The goals are given in Hebrew. If you do not speak this language, it is best to ask other people waiting.
The local bus company Dan transports in Tel Avivmore than 600,000 commuters every day. These buses run daily between 5 a.m. and 1 a.m., but not on the Sabbath. West Jerusalem and Haifa are served by Egged buses, East Jerusalem mostly by Arab bus companies. There is no bus connection between the Gaza Strip and the West Bank.
The road network in Israel is very good. Drivers do not need an international driver’s license in Israel, a national driver’s license is enough to rent a car or drive a private car.
Renting a car is a great way to see a lot of the country in a short amount of time. Renting a car is hardly worthwhile in Jerusalem and other large cities, but it is definitely worth it for the Golan, the Upper Galilee and the Negev Desert. You should also consider that there is a severe shortage of parking spaces in Tel Aviv. Hertz, Avis and Budget each have around 15 to 20 branches nationwide. Rental cars with insurance and unlimited mileage cost around $ 250 a week or $ 600 a month. Most rental car agencies based in Jerusalem prohibit driving their cars to the Palestinian Territories. The minimum age to rent a car in Israel is 21 years old.
Car rental companies offer complete insurance packages for around $ 7 a day. Without insurance, you can be held liable for damage to the vehicle or damage to another car or property. However, you may already be covered by your travel insurance. Check with your insurer about the conditions before you travel.
operates a comfortable, efficient and inexpensive passenger transport network. The main line runs along the coast (the northernmost station is Nahariya), to the south there are stations in Akko, Haifa, Binyamina (near Caesarea), Netanya, Tel Aviv, Ashdod and Ashkelon. There are trains from Tel Aviv to Be’er Sheva and Dimona, to Rishon LeZion and Rehovot, to Ben Gurion Airport and to Jerusalem. There are plans for a route to Eilat, as well as a project for a high-speed train connection between Tel Aviv and Jerusalem (with a stopover at Ben Gurion Airport). The route is expected to be completed in 2011 and the journey should take around half an hour.
The biggest problem for most train travelers is language. The destinations of the trains and station signs are not marked in English, only in Hebrew. If you don’t speak Hebrew, ask your fellow travelers where to get off. Train service is suspended on the Sabbath and religious holidays.
A distinction is made between shared taxis or sheruts and normal taxis. Sheruts often travel on fixed routes on which a fixed price is paid. Taximeters must be used in taxis.
Tel Aviv is very suitable for cycling. There are numerous bike paths, parks and a beach promenade here. Eilat and Tiberias are also good places for a bike trip. Haifa and Jerusalem, on the other hand, are hilly and have hardly any bike paths.
Cycling is a great way to travel through Israel. Roads in Israel are often relatively wide, there are several off-road bike trails and interesting side routes. The traffic is not particularly dense and the distances between the sights, cities and villages are manageable. As a cyclist, you naturally get in touch with locals and you experience Israel from a different perspective.
The main disadvantage of cycling in Israel is the heat. Be sure to have enough water with you. Of course, you should also choose the route carefully. While the coastal plain is quite flat, there are countless steep hills in Upper Galilee, Golan and the Dead Sea region. The Negev desert can be ruthlessly hot. One of the most interesting bike trails in Isarel is around the Sea of Galilee. Buses take bicycles with them, however, an additional baggage fee may be required. Bicycles are not allowed on trains. Some bicycle dealers in Israel rent bicycles, sometimes it can also be agreed that the dealer will buy back a bike bought from him. You can hardly rent a bike in the Palestinian Territories, but getting a bike through the checkpoints shouldn’t be a problem.
With the establishment of the State of Israel in 1948 on the territory of the former British Mandate of Palestine, a Jewish nation-state developed again after around 1,900 years. Today’s territory between 29 ° and 33 ° north latitude and 34 ° and 35 ° east longitude forms an approximately 420 km long and 14 to 100 km wide strip on the east coast of the Mediterranean. The country borders Lebanon in the north, Syria in the northeast, Jordan and the West Bank in the east, the Gaza Strip in the southwest and Egypt in the south.
Israel lies in a transition zone from the Mediterranean region with winter precipitation to the dry desert landscapes of the Near East.
In the south of Israel, the Negev (which means “dry area”) forms a landscape up to 700 m high, from which some mountains with heights of around 1,000 m protrude. This desert landscape accounts for more than half of the country’s area. The rest of the country can be divided into three landscape zones.
In the west, behind the straight compensation coasts, which are not very suitable for the construction of ports, and the dune walls, there is an average 20 km wide coastal plain. It is only interrupted at the Haifa by the Carmel Mountains and essentially consists of fertile, geologically young deposits. To the east there is a mountain range from 700 to 1,000 m high made of limestone from the Middle Ages. It can be divided from south to north into the Judean, Samaritan and Galilean highlands.
In Bergland Obergaliläas lies with Mount Meron (1208 m) the highest peak of Israel.
To the east, the mountains fall to the Jordan ditch. This trench valley with Lake Tiberias (Genezareth) and the Dead Sea is the continuation of the East African fracture system in the earth’s crust. The Dead Sea has the deepest water surface on earth. Due to the increasing dehydration, the Dead Sea is currently more than 400 m below “normal zero”. The extremely high salt content due to the strong evaporation prevents almost every animal life.
Israel has a lot to offer to its visitors. There is a large number of different sights and attractions to see in this country.
So you shouldn’t miss the city of Eilat. Eilat is also called the party or sun city by the locals and is located directly on the southern tip of Israel. Young locals in particular like to come here to celebrate. The area is ideal for this, the sea is wonderfully warm and the music plays loudly from the various beach bars on the beach. Another highlight of the city is the four-country view. It is possible that in clear weather you can see the countries of Egypt, Israel, the mountains of Saudi Arabia and also Jordan.
Haifa is the third largest city in Israel and especially attracts tourists here because of the beautiful gardens. So you should not miss a visit to the hanging gardens of Bahai. There is a unique flora to see in the fantastic facility. Likewise the Bab shrine.
Jerusalem is one of the most important cities that has shaped the world. No matter whether earlier or today, because here used to be two of the most important temples of Judaism, here Christ had to experience his martyrdom and here his resurrection also took place. Many stories also began to play in the Muslim faith in Jerusalem. From here, Mohammed began his journey to heaven on the winged mythical creature Buraq. Likewise, locations of the old and new testaments can be found in Jerusalem.
The city is one of the main shrines of Christians, Jews and also Muslims.
Another attraction of Jerusalem is the Maccablastadion. Every four years there is the Jewish Olympic Games in honor of the Maccabees.
Another must-see when visiting Jerusalem is the impressive Notre Dame pilgrimage house.
The pond Siloah in Jerusalem is also worth seeing. The Siloah pond was created in the city by King Hezekiah in 700 BC to guarantee the city’s water supply. The stairs to the entrance to the tunnel can still be clearly seen today.
You should also visit the Monteflore windmill in Jerusalem. The mill is the landmark of Jerusalem’s Jemin Moshe district, which was the first Jewish outside the Old City. The district was founded in 1860 by Sir Moses Montefiore.
You should also have seen the Hezekiah tunnel under Jerusalem. This is a more than five hundred meter long tunnel below the Ophelberg that connects the source of the Gihon with the Siolam basin. The tunnel was built in the eighth century BC while Jerusalem was besieged by the Assyrians.
Jerusalem also has many interesting buildings to offer, such as the Mischkan Hanasi, the Knesset or the Truman Peace Center.
Also because of the particularly long history there are many historical buildings to see in Jerusalem. So you shouldn’t miss the old town or the city walls. Also worth seeing is the Jaffator, the Lion Gate or the Damascus Gate. In the city there is a zoo that is especially recommended for vacationers who are here with their families.
There are some interesting archaeological sites to visit in the area around the city and in the city itself.
General information about Haifa
The city of Haifa is located in Israel and lies at an altitude of 475 meters. The Israeli city has an area of 60 square kilometers and a population of 267,000. Haifa, in Hebrew Cheifa or Hayfa in Arabic, is the third largest city in Israel after the two cities of Jerusalem and Tel Aviv.
Haifa is located in northern Israel on the northern slope of the Carmel Mountains on the Mediterranean. The largest port in the country can be found in the Israeli city.
Sights of the Israeli city
If you want to overlook the entire city, you should go to the Louis Promenade. This is an observation road that runs along the slope in the upper part of Haifa. From there you have a wonderful view over the Bay of Haifa and even in good weather to the Hermon Mountains.
Another attraction of the city can be reached via the Louis Promenade, the Hanging Gardens of the Bahai. The Bahai Gardens have been open since 2001 and shape the cityscape with their impressive architecture. Some equate the garden with the Eighth Wonder of the World.
On half of the mountain you can admire various public buildings, such as the pedestrian zone and the first building of the Technion, the technical university founded in 1925.
Ben-Gurion Street and the German Settlement can be found directly at the lower entrance to the Bahai Gardens. There are restaurants and a city museum to visit in the German settlement. The city museum is housed in the former community center of the temple society.
If you are in the port area of Haifas, you will immediately notice the Dagon silo. This is a building for storing grain. The building is 68 meters high. From there you have a fantastic view of the Haifas Bay. The industrial plants are in the coastal area of the city. The city’s traffic arteries are also located here.
The Israeli Railway Museumis near the train station. Here you can see pictures and show pieces related to railways. There is even a steam locomotive from the meter-gauge Hedschasbahn to marvel at.
Jerusalem in Israel
General information about Jerusalem
Jerusalem has a reputation as a Holy City. No other city outside of Jerusalem can say that the events that have happened in the city have shaped world history to this extent.
Here the martyrdom of Christ took place and his resurrection, here Mohammed is said to have started his journey in heaven on the Buraq, the winged mythical creature, here the settings of the old and new testaments are supposed to be.
There are three world religions in Jerusalem: Judaism, Christianity and Islam. All three religious groups have been arguing for centuries about who is now entitled to the city. Jerusalem is divided into a Christian, a Jewish and a Muslim quarter.
Visitors will be thrilled with a vacation in Jerusalem, as the city has a particularly rich range of sights.
Attractions in Jerusalem
There are some interesting public buildings to explore in Jerusalem. So you should n’t miss the Supreme Court building in Jerusalem. The structure opened in 1992 and is a work of the architectural duo Da and Ram Karmi.
The Knesset too worth a visit. The building is the seat of the Israeli Parliament and is located on Rothschild Street. The building is decorated with classic elements and is very similar to the Parthenon in Athens. The reception area was designed by the Russian-Jewish artist Marc Chagall. He created impressive mosaics and a fantastic three-part tapestry. The tapestry branches the creation of the world, Exodus and the city of Jerusalem.
The Mischkan Hanasi is also worth seeing. This is the residence of the President of Israel. Other impressive buildings of the new era are the New City Hall and the Truman Peace Center.
Museum lovers will love a vacation in Jerusalem as the city has many interesting museums to offer its visitors. There are also numerous ancient sites to explore in Jerusalem. The city’s
archaeological sites are a must. Some are close to the west and south walls of the Temple Mount. In 1969 tombs from the time of the first temple, Herodian streets and shops, Roman bathhouses, Byzantine mosaics and buildings from the Crusader period were found.
The Heiski tunnel is something special. The tunnel has a length of 533 meters and is carved into the rock of Obhel mountain. The Hezeki Tunnel is the connection between the Gihon spring and the Siloah basin. The tunnel was built in the eighth century while Jerusalem was besieged by the Assyrians. The end of the tunnel is at the Siloah pond. The remains of stone steps that led to the entrance to the tunnel can also be found here.
The Israel Museum is worth seeing with the shrine of the book. The museum is one of the largest encyclopedic museums in the world. The museum is the most important in the country. Here you can admire many special exhibits, ranging from contemporary painting to the fantastic Qumran roles from the Dead Sea.
Other interesting museums and ancient sites in Jerusalem include the Tombs of the Kings, the Absalom Mausoleum, the Rockefeller Museum of Archeology and the Sanhedring Tombs.
You don’t have to neglect the fine arts on a holiday in Jerusalem. The Jerusalem Center of Performing Arts is a must. The building has many different shows ranging from theater, music, dance, children’s shows, cinema and art exhibitions. The Khan Theater is also worth seeing. Not only can you spend a wonderful evening here, the building alone is worth a visit. The old building was built during the Mameluk and Ottoman periods.
As you can imagine, there are many different religious buildings in Jerusalem. From mosques to churches, there is everything here. Examples of religious buildings are the Al-Aqsa Mosque, the Resurrection Mosque, the Dome of the Rock, the Dormition Abbey, the Church of the Holy Sepulcher, and the Anna Church or the Italian synagogue.
Jerusalem is best known for the sanctuaries located in the city (e.g. Dome of the Rock or Wailing Wall).
You can hardly believe it, but old castles and windmills can also be admired in Jerusalem.
One can relax from long exploration tours of Jerusalem in the many parks and gardens. The most beautiful are the Billy Rose Art Garden, the Bloomfield Park and the Gethsemane Garden.
Tel Aviv in Israel
Interesting facts about the Israeli city of
Tel Aviv was founded around 1909. The city has an estimated area of seventy square kilometers. Around 390,300 people currently live in the Israeli city. Tel Aviv is considered the second largest city in the country, but is the largest metropolitan area and the center of Israel’s economy.
The sights of Tel Aviv
Tel Aviv has a wide range of sights to offer that are worth visiting on a vacation in Tel Aviv.
The White City of Tel Aviv: The white city of Tel Aviv is a district of the Israeli city. There are about four thousand buildings in the Bauhaus or modern style. The houses were built between 1930 and 1949. The Scottish town planner Sir Patrick Gedes played a key role in the creation of the white city. The Tel Avivs district has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since July 2003.
Museums: Museum lovers will love a holiday in Tel Aviv, as there are many museums in the city. These include the Azrieli Observatory, the Ben Gurion Museum, the Bialik House, the Bible Museum, the Eretz Israel Museum, the Haganah Museum and a few more museums.
The fine arts:You don’t have to neglect the fine arts on a holiday in Tel Aviv. The Israeli city is full of opera houses, theaters and cultural institutions. These include the Bat Dor dance group, the Bat Sheva dance group, the Duhl cultural center, the Gesher Theater, Goldstar Zappa and a few more. St. Peter Church
: The St. Peter Church is a Catholic church that was consecrated to the Apostle Peter. The religious building was built in the nineteenth century by the order of the Franciscans, who built the church on the ruins of a fortress of crusaders. A hostal business is integrated in the church today, in which Napoleon Bonaparte is said to have slept.
Azrieli Center:The building complex consists of three skyscrapers that house a huge shopping market. The center got its name from its designer and owner of the shopping center, David Azrieli.
Tel Aviv Exhibition Center: The building is located in the north of Tel Aviv and was built in 1932. Since its creation to date, more than a million visitors have come here every year, since between 45 and 60 events take place here every year. The building on Rokah Boulevard delights its visitors with ten different pavilions.
Other special buildings in Tel Aviv are the Azreli Center Triangular Tower and the Lev HaYir Tower.
There are also plenty of shopping opportunities in Tel Aviv, from markets to shopping centers.
Azriely Center:The mall is the largest in the city and is located at the foot of the Azriely Towers. From the roof you have an excellent view over Tel Aviv.
Dizengoff Center: In the Dizengoff Center you can find the usual things of a shopping center. But there are also many specialty shops here.
Hakarmel Market: The Hakarmel Market is the largest market in the Israeli city. In addition to fruit, vegetables and meat, you can also buy clothes here.
Hatikva Market: The market is specially tailored to the Jewish-Iraqi cuisine. The market is in the quarter of the same name.
Other markets in Tel Aviv include the Jaffa Flea Market, Levinsky Market, Nahalat Binyamian and Ramat Aviv Mall.
Yarqon Park is the right place for those who want to relax from long city tours. It is the largest park in the city with an area of 3.8 square kilometers. Several thousand people come every day to enjoy the many sports facilities, the botanical garden, the bird house, the water park and the many artificial lakes.