I recently spent a week in Israel and I can honestly say that this trip surpassed my expectations. Israel has so much to offer whether you’re into history, fitness, food, nature… If you’re intending to go there, don’t miss out on the best things to do in Israel.
Top 10 Things to Do in Israel
1/ Explore Tel Aviv
Tel Aviv basically means “Old New Land” and the city lives up to its name. The vibrant food scene, cultural diversity and unique night life blend in with the historical heritage like nowhere else.
You can easily spend a week in Tel Aviv walking around the different neighbourhoods. Don’t miss out on Jaffa (for the flea market and the picturesque streets) and Neve Tzedek which is the oldest and most charming district.
2/ Go to the beach
You have plenty of beaches to choose from along the Mediterranean coast. I only went to the Tel Aviv beaches which are incredibly beautiful. The water is clean and clear, the sand is soft and thin. Plus, the Tel Aviv promenade (perfect for a morning run or evening bike ride) and the outdoor gyms give the beach shore a certain “Californian vibe”.
3/ Float in the Dead Sea
The Dead Sea is actually a lake known for being the “lowest place on earth” and the saltiest body of water. It is in fact 430 meters below sea level and has a salinity of almost 35%. Do not get water in your eyes! Just float and let your skin soak up the benefits of Dead Sea minerals.
If you’re staying in Tel Aviv the most convenient option is to book a day-tour like this Masada and Dead Sea tour. Definitely one of the best things to do in Israel.
4/ Eat your way through the holiday
Israel food scene offers endless options from local street food and specialties (you have to try the musabaha, the Israeli hummus) to Western-inspired fine dining. I haven’t tried all the restaurants I wanted to check out but I shared my 5 favourite foodie hot spots here.
5/ Enjoy the sunset
Head to the beach at the end of the day and watch the sun set on the sea at least once. Every beach sunset is beautiful but the Tel Aviv version is breathtaking.
6/ Break a swet
If you want to stay in shape and have a fit holiday, Tel Aviv is the place for you. There are countless fitness studios not to mention the outdoor gyms at the beach and other outdoor activities (beach volley, running, cycling, paddle-boarding…).
If there’s no fitness equipment at the place you’re staying at, they will most likely have a partnership with the closest gym where you’ll get a discount if you buy your pass via your hotel.
7/ Visit the Holy city
Jerusalem has been the place of numerous events in the three main religions and is now an incredible place of coexistence between different faiths. You can see historical places such as the Dome of the Rocks, the Church of the Holy Sepulchre or the Western Wall but also a modern shopping centre and cool street markets.
I would recommend to book a tour with someone to guide you through the different places. I would suggest to book the Jerusalem and Bethlehem Tour so that you can also visit the Church of Nativity in Bethlehem.
8/ Do some beauty shopping
Several cosmetic brands such as Ahava develop products made of mud and minerals from the Dead Sea, which are supposed to do wonders for the hair and skin.
You can stop by the original Ahava factory to get yourself some skincare goodies. I went for the Mineral Mud Brightening and Hydrating Mask which is one of their best-sellers.
9/ Say hi to Elvis
You will come across the most unexpected place on your way to Jerusalem: the Elvis Diner. You can’t miss it was you’ll see a 16-foot statue of the King. This 1950s-style diner serves burgers, kebabs, pastries and drinks but the decor is more interesting than the menu. There isn’t an inch of this place (even the bathroom) that isn’t about Elvis. You can of course buy Elvis goodies and if you order a coffee you get to keep your Elvis mug.
10/ Visit another Unesco World Heritage Site
Jerusalem isn’t the only one. You can for instance visit the Masada Fortress, overlooking the Dead Sea. Admire the ruins of this incredibly sophisticated palace which became the refuge of the last survivors of the Jewish revolt against the Roman empire.
A short cable car ride gets you to the top but you can also hike up Masada if you don’t mind the heat.
There are much more things to do in Israel but these were definitely the highlights of my trip!
Have you ever been to Israel or planning to visit the country soon?