September 1, 2017 4 min to read
10 things to do in Israel
Category : Guides, Travel Tips, Via World, Travel and More
Israel is a fascinating country that may be small in size, but huge in terms of things to see and do. There can’t be a better example of an amazing marriage of old and new than what you see in Israel. Every corner of Jerusalem has thousands of years of history staring at you; while Tel Aviv is uber modern that boasts of free Wi-Fi throughout the city. Here is a list of ten things you must-do if you visit Israel.
- Visit the Holy Sites – Jerusalem is the capital city of Israel and one of the most sacred places in the world to the three major religions: Christianity, Judaism and Islam. The ancient Old City is encircled by imposing stone walls that date to the Ottoman period and contain within it such holy sites as the Western Wall, The Dome of the Rock and Church of the Holy Sepulchre.
- Leave a prayer at the Western Wall – The Western Wall or Wailing Wall has so much history that the place will surely overwhelm you. Jewish people believe that a divine presence rests within the Western Wall, so they leave hand-written prayers on paper and insert them in cracks of the Wall in the hope that they will be answered. More than a million prayer notes or wishes are placed in the Western Wall each year. The challenge will be to find a spot to place your own prayer note.
- Explore Masada – This 1st century fortress was the site of one of the most dramatic revolts of the Jewish-Roman wars. The mountain fortress of Masada stands on an isolated rock plateau in the south east of Israel and was built in the Roman style by Herod, the king of Judea. The story of Masada is of 1000 inhabitants that committed mass suicide rather than surrendering to their Roman enemies. The remains of many buildings in the complex have been restored, including Herod’s private palace with its hanging terraces, bathhouses with preserved mosaics and murals, a synagogue, and the siege ramp and camp set up by the Romans. You can take a walk up the Snake Path to the top of Masada if you’re feeling adventurous, otherwise take the cable car.
- Pub crawls in Tel Aviv – Tel Aviv could easily be nicknamed as the Sin City of the Middle East. During the day, the city has a very formal commercial vibe but when the sun goes down it gyrates to a different tune, literally! Tel Aviv boasts of some of the coolest and trendiest concentration of night clubs and bars. The streets wear a different look at eight in the night (partly deserted) and at three in the morning (filled with street parties) as the locals work hard during the day and party harder at midnight.
- Taste Israeli Halva – Israeli Halva is sesame based sweet dish and easy to find in almost all the markets around the country. The halva has a light but sweet flavour and easily crumbles. There are many variations of havla that can be found, including nuts, dried fruits, chocolate, juice and vanilla. Definitely a unique dish worth tasting.
- Float in the Dead Sea – At 1,360 feet below sea level, the Dead Sea is the lowest point on earth. Its water is about ten times saltier than the ocean’s, making it possible to float on the water without having to move a finger. It is called the Dead Sea since it’s too salty for any live organism to live in. So all you can find inside the water is more and more salt. The mineral-rich water can be very beneficial for those with skin problems and the mud is worth applying on your body.
- Snorkel in Red Sea – The Red Sea is considered the most accessible coral reef in the world. Home to schools of fancy fish – each dressed in unimaginably frivolous outfits: whiskers, polka dots and wings. Visit the Dolphin Reef at Eilat and go snorkelling with the dolphins. For those who do not want to dive or snorkel but still want to explore the mysteries of the seas, you can always Snuba – an Israeli invention that is a cross between snorkelling and deep-sea diving; whereby one breathes through a tube connected to a tank carried on a rubber boat. Try it at Caves Beach in Eilat.
- Have Shakshouka for breakfast – Shakshuka or shakshouka is a dish of eggs poached in a sauce of tomatoes, sweet and spicy peppers, onions, and is often spiced with cumin and topped off with freshly cut herbs. This delicious dish is commonly found in Israel and often eaten at breakfast.
- Sunbathe at the beaches of Tel Aviv – Be warned, it will be a battle to discover and hunt down the least crowded beach in Tel Aviv. But once you find it, it is sure to be BLISS. Even if you don’t want to step into water, just lazing around the beach or strolling by is highly recommended. No one should leave Tel Aviv without seeing its pristine blue beaches.
- Shop at Jaffa Flea Market – One of the oldest markets in Israel, Jaffa Flea Market is a biggest market for second hand and inexpensive objects. Situated alongside the Olei Zeon Street, the market offers almost each and every thing that one can think of. The market is stocked with numerous stalls offering trendy furniture, clothing, ceramic items, Arabic Pottery, household items, homemade handlooms and crafts. However your negotiating skills determines how much you shell out at this hippy market.