8 things to do in Israel

Israel is on the bucket list for many curious explorers and travellers with a keen interest in history. However, a lot of people have the miss-conception that the country isn’t safe to visit. Luckily we can tell you this isn’t true. In fact, travellers return from their visit to Israel telling quite the opposite story. But everything has a silver lining. It does mean that Israel is still less travelled in comparison to other destinations in the region. Making now the perfect time to visit Israel.

The country is so rich in history and is home to some of the world’s most striking natural sights that it can be difficult to know what to include on your Israel tour. We have summarised our top 8 things to do in Israel.

salty shore of the dead sea

1. Go for a float in the Dead Sea

Did you know that the Hebrew name for the Dead Sea translates as “Sea of Salt”? The “Sea of Salt” is probably one of the first things that come to mind when you think about going on an Israel tour. It might actually be the very reason you’re looking to take a trip to Israel. But it’s not only the lowest body of water on earth and surrounded by breath-taking landscapes, the water and mud is also rich in minerals. This combination makes the Dead Sea the perfect spot to go for a float, detox your skin with the mineral-rich mud and escape the world for a few hours.

picture of a corridor a st catherine church in bethlehem, things to do in israel

2. Visit Bethlehem

Bethlehem is only a short drive from Jerusalem and is the perfect day trip. The small town outside of Jerusalem is known across the globe as the birthplace of Jesus Christ and as a result is a popular pilgrimage destination. Make sure you head to the UNESCO site “The Church of Nativity”, it’s one of the oldest churches in the world. Or, if you’re the curious type, visit the Old Bethlehem Museum to learn about traditional 19th-century households in Bethlehem.

skyline of nazareth city

3. Take a day trip to Nazareth

Nazareth is a town in the Galilee region and is believed to be a place where many biblical events have taken place, making it of great historical and cultural importance. Explore the town known as Jesus Christ’s childhood home, visit the domed Basilica of the Annunciation where Gabriel told Mary she would bear a child and make a stop at the St Joseph Church which is said to be the very place of Joseph’s carpentry workshop.

Nazareth is a 2-3 hour drive from Jerusalem and is a great option for a day trip. Make a stop at Mount Tabor to break up the drive. Mount Tabor rewards its visitors with magnificent views and it is believed to be the place of the Transfiguration of Jesus Christ.

dark and ripe grapes in israeli vineyard, things to do in israel

4. Wine tasting

Israel is famous for its culture, history and natural beauty but also for its wine. Take a break from your historical adventure and book a wine tasting to kick back, relax and try some of Israel’s best. Because you’re on holiday after all!

sunset at the wailing wall in jerusalem's old city

5. Explore Jerusalem’s old city

You haven’t truly been to Israel if you haven’t been to Jerusalem’s old city. It’s well-established that Jerusalem is home to many important religious and political sites. It’s the reason many travellers choose the city as a base on their trip to Israel.

The old city of Jerusalem is a treasure trove for religious and cultural sites, making it a mandatory stop on every traveller’s Israel visit. Take a day to explore the old city and find important sites. Such as the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, where many believe Jesus was crucified. Additionally the stunning Dome of the Rock and of course one of the most religiously significant sites, the Western Wall. You can easily spend hours appreciating the view of the wall and observe Orthodox Jews pray with inspiring dedication – it’s a sight you won’t easily forget.

If you have time we recommend taking a tour of the Western Wall tunnels, there’s a lot more to the Wall than what you can see from above the surface.

view of jerusalem's old city from mount of olives overlooking green olive trees, things to do in Israel

6. Mount of Olives

If you’ve explored the old city of Jerusalem and wondered how beautiful it would look from a higher view point then look no further. Mount of Olives is only a short hike from the old city and offers magnificent views of Jerusalem. As you’re walking up the mount you will come across the Garden of Gethsemane which is meant to be the place where Jesus prayed before his crucifixion. Furthermore you’ll find lush olive trees that have been growing here for centuries.

view of west bank wall from jerusalem's old city

7. West Bank, Jerusalem

The West Bank is a landlocked area and is the home of 2.7 million Palestinians. You can find a section of the big, graffiti covered concrete wall in Jerusalem. On your visit to Israel you will come across so much history and natural wonders that it’s easy to forget the contemporary issues of the country. Take a guided tour to gain an understanding of the Palestinians, their lives, West Bank’s history and the conflicts that still affect Israel today.

view of sunset overlooking the sea of galilee, one of the best things to do in Israel

8. Sea of Galilee

The Sea of Galilee has had many names over the centuries, often changing with major historical events. Nowadays the sea goes by the name of Lake Kinneret and is the lowest fresh water lake on earth. Yes, you’ve heard right, you can tick off floating in the lowest body of water on earth and standing in the lowest fresh water lake on earth on the very same trip. If that wasn’t enough reason to go, the Sea of Galilee is also believed to be the place where Jesus has walked on water.

If you’re a raging outdoor enthusiast you might want to consider making the Sea of Galilee a full day trip which will give you time to go on one of the many hikes around the area to appreciate the magnificent views of Lake Kinneret from exhilarating heights.

Thinking about taking a trip to Israel? Have a look at our Israel tours or contact our Adventure Specialists to start organising your ultimate Israeli adventure.

Anna is on the marketing team at Tucan Travel. From a young age Anna has travelled solo and on group tours through Europe, Africa, the Americas and Southeast Asia. You can find her on LinkedIn here.

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  1. Hello,
    I would like to share on this blog my last visit to Israel. I got so many tips by this blog and thank you to the editors.
    However, I didnt read here anything about the security system. That was the most disturbing issue for us before our visit.
    Anyways, 2 weeks ago my family and I visited to El-Aksa, Jerusalem. First, we landed to the main airport Ben Gurion in tel aviv. Airport security attendant approached to us and ask for my phone and checked my facebook account. In the beginning I got suspicious but later on I witnessed to incident that another passenger came without any communication devices. That passenger got into trouble.
    I have to say there is nothing to worry about. These attendants doing the same security check to everyone. If you are being yourself, there isn’t any reason for them to disturb your trip.
    BTW Everyone should come to Jerusalem, its a wonderful historic city of all times.

    1. Hi Stefan,

      It’s great to hear the blog post gave you some pointers during your visit to Jerusalem!

      Regarding the airport security checks you’ve mentioned, randomly chosen phone checks that include texts, email, social media etc. have become standard procedure in many countries (also in western countries) over the last few years. It’s nothing you need to worry about as a tourist, it’s just important that you carry confirmation of your accommodation and/or tour and return flights with you.

      Best wishes,
      Anna – Tucan Travel

  2. Would like to travel to Israel…. What are the financial logistics

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