The first time I visited Israel wasn’t because I wanted to visit, it was because I was offered a free trip. Taglit-Birthright Israel is a program for Jewish people to visit Israel for 10 days for free. I decided why not just go and see how I like it. I mean it’s free anyway. I was expecting to like Israel as much as I did. Many people don’t even consider Israel as an option to visit. The majority of people that go there have some sort of religious connection to the country. But you don’t have to visit it for those reasons. Israel is a beautiful country with delicious food, kind people, and rich history.
The Dead Sea
One of the most famous tourist attractions is the dead sea. The cool thing about the dead sea is that you can’t drown in it. It’s so salty that you’ll float automatically, super cool! The dead sea is also the lowest body of water on earth. The mud there is also supposed to be very good for your skin. I’m no doctor, but I’m always up for trying new things. The dead sea is a place like no other because you can’t find such a place anywhere else on earth.
The Old Man and The Sea Restaurant
The Old Man and The Sea in the city of Yafo (Jaffa) is probably one of the best restaurants I’ve been to in Israel. It’s actually an Arab restaurant. They serve a massive feast of small plates of snacks and dips with giant pita breads. If you’re still hungry, you can order some delicious meat or seafood. But in my opinion, it’s not needed. For dessert, they serve sugary fried dough balls that are included in the meal. Just so incredibly delicious.
Zefat: The Spirited City
Safed, or Zefat is a city in the north of Israel. This city has a rich history and is believed to be a very holy and spirited city. A lot of artists live there, and there is even a big market with lots of artwork on display. Be very careful when walking around though, the city is full of limestone streets that are very slippery. The view from Zefat is gorgeous because of its elevation.
Cafe Rotem: The West Bank
Cafe Rotem is a cafe located in a small Jewish settlement in the West Bank. In order to get there, you have to drive through a checkpoint. But don’t worry, it’s nothing to worry about. The cafe was closed when I went but the view from the cafe is freaking gorgeous. If you come there when the cafe is open, you drink a cup of coffee with a beautiful view. The featured photo is at Cafe Rotem in Rotem.
Haifa: The Student City
Haifa is about 1 ½ hours from Tel Aviv. It’s multicultural and pretty cool. The city is located on the water like Tel Aviv, but way less touristy. The main attraction of Haifa is the Bahá’í Gardens. I have only seen the gardens from the top and the bottom, but you can’t climb the stairs to fully see the gardens. The street at the base of the gardens if filled with lots of restaurants servicing different cuisines.
Some Things About Israel You Should Be Aware Of
Israel is very very expensive. Everything from food to hotels is expensive. For example, a quite basic but clean hotel room in Tel Aviv goes for around €160 or $175. That’s more than we would usually pay for a hotel room. Just make sure to assess how much the majority of things will cost and create a budget for your trip. Bathrooms are pretty gross. No matter if you go to a cafe or a tourist attraction, the bathrooms leave something to be desired. I was pretty grossed out.
There are so many more places to visit in Israel. It’s a gorgeous country. The people are kind and very inviting. If you get a chance, visit a kibbutz. A kibbutz is a collective community. There are many throughout Israel. It’s quite an interesting experience. I’ve been to Israel 4 times, and my partner Kevin has been with me twice. I’ve got a lot of family in Israel, so I’ll definitely be back. If you have any questions about the country or budgeting, drop your questions in the comments.
Has Israel been on your travel list? Why or why not?