Is it safe to travel in Israel? This is a question many people ask, because of all the conflicts covered in the news regarding the middle east, it’s understandable to be concerned. I too was concerned, however upon arriving to Israel and walking the streets of Tel Aviv, I immediately felt safe.
I saw a certain level of assertiveness and optimism in the mannerisms and the walk of the Israelis, as they went about their business, which put me at ease. The best way I can describe this, is that I felt the peoples forward thinking and forward moving mindset with every breath I took during my five night stay in Israel.
Upon becoming aware of my observation on the Israeli’s, I looked further and came to the conclusion that this positivity is contagious, because everyone feeds off of it, thereby creating a snowball effect in which the people and its country are uplifted. This got me thinking after I returned from my trip, so I did a little research on this, and it seems that my observation was not in vain because according to a recent the poll by the Jewish Post, fully 71% of the population said that their personal situation is “good” or “very good,” with only 3% defining it as “bad” or “very bad.” Another 25% said their situation is “okay”.
Additionally The UN 2018 happiness report ranks Israel 11th in the world as the happiest people. In closing, my take away from my trip to Israel is the awe of its historical wonders in general and the optimism of its people in particular, which by the way had a contagious effect on me.
Below you can read up and see photos of places we visited Israel is not cheap. When it comes to budgeting, you can have a similar budget as if you are travelling to Europe. The currency used is the New Israeli Shekel (NIS). 1 NIS. One US dollar gets you $3.77 Shekels. you can find money changing services all around Tel Aviv and Jerusalem. Additionally, You can also withdraw Shekels using your debit card in ATM machines, located throughout Israel. Tip, If you use the ATM’s in tourist areas, you will most likely pay a higher exchange rate so to get more bang on your exchange transaction, use ATM’S that are in non-tourist areas.
If you want a pumping party night on the town, Tel Aviv is the right place to find it. Tel Aviv’s nightclubs are world-famous, often hosting international DJs. During the long summer season some of the beaches transform into nightclubs for all-night raves, with throbbing beats, lasers and pulsing music. The party doesn’t reach full swing until 2am in most of Tel Aviv’s wildly popular nightclubs, manned by top DJs. You’ll find every time of club, from intimate to massive and from throwback dance, reggaeton to the newest electric indie beats.
Situated on a hill overlooking the Mediterranean Sea, in the southern part of Tel-Aviv, Jaffa has been the center of historical events for thousands of years. Still an active port today the Jaffa Port is a great place to explore. Wander through the art galleries, shopping boutiques and gourmet food markets. Stroll by the old docks, listen to live music, drink, eat and absorb the special atmosphere.
An artsy oasis inside one of Tel Aviv’s oldest districts, lies an architectural gem with a young, beating heart. Established in 1887, Neve Tzedek, the first Jewish neighborhood outside of the old port city of Jaffa, has recently become a trendy stomping ground for artists of all modalities, who fit in perfectly with the district’s restored quaint Oriental architecture. Whether you’re hunting for a handcrafted ceramic dish, a one-of-a-kind article of clothing, or jewelry made from traditional welding techniques, the countless boutiques, galleries, design ateliers and fashion shops within the Oriental-style buildings lining the narrow side passages and up Shabazi Street provide a unique and personal shopping experience. You can also, visit Tel Aviv’s Suzanne Dellal Center for Dance and Theater, where watching of one of the many performances and festivals the cultural center puts together – including ethnic song dance performances, fosters a true connection between Israeli performing arts and international displays.
Follow Shabazi Street to its summit and watch as the neighborhood’s creative juices continue to flow, spilling over into HaTachana, the old Jaffa railway station, recently transformed into yet another boutique hotspot, where shops and cafes emerge from a surprisingly historic-looking setting.
Discover this amazing 3,000 year old city – its innumerable historic sites and archeological wonders, its magical walkways and magnificent views which are guaranteed to leave a lasting impression. At the same time, the city’s strikingly modern attractions promise around the clock excitement and pleasure for all lovers of culture, arts, music, and culinary delights. The old city is small with just .35 square miles and in it, you will encounter Muslim, Jewish, Christin and Armenian cultures, its surreal how such a small city is so rich in culture and history.
Enter the heart of the holiest city in Judaism is the Old City. Enter through the historic entrance, The Jaffa Gate, or use The Zion Gate that leads straight to the Jewish Quarter, one of the four quarters of the walled city and home to Jews almost consecutively since 8 BCE. Wonder through the alleyways, see the people, visit the Cardo, Jerusalem’s ancient main street and absorb the unique atmosphere. You’re walking in the footsteps of kings and prophets – It’s no ordinary thing.
Biblical Times. Over in the Christian quarter sits the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, where you can join the throngs of people from all over the world who have made a pilgrimage to witness the location where Jesus was crucified and thought to be buried. It’s also where Jesus is believed to have been resurrected. Inside you’ll find sections for various branches of Christianity – Eastern Orthodox, Roman Catholic, Greek Orthodox, Ethiopian Orthodox, Coptic Orthodox and more – each of which has certain responsibilities pertaining to the function of the church. Step inside, follow the flow of traffic to each important point and spend as much time as you’d like taking it all in.
Shopping and Entertainment. In the seam between old and New Jerusalem, opposite the breathtaking view of the Old city walls and only few steps away from Jaffa Gate and the western wall, you’ll find Alrov Mamilla Avenue. The modern open-air street mall, became popular with locals and tourists alike thanks to its proximity to the Old city and because it bring together the best of all worlds – Rich history, local culture, and sophisticated retail experience in a word-class prime location. Mamilla Avenue is a contemporary entertainment complex that offers its visitors a taste of the rich, original and always innovative Jerusalem culture. Walk on the Jerusalem stones paved streets and look for the plaques that tell the stories of the area’s historical structures. Enjoy the street theatre performances, sit at one (or more) of the local restaurants and cafes and enjoy a large quality blend of designer shops of local and world-leading brands. To fully experience what Mamilla Avenue has to offer, the best time to visit is when the weather is warm. Thousands of people stroll the avenue every night during the summer and enjoy a variety of cultural events. Join them as see enjoy the street art fairs, open exhibitions, street theater, clown, acrobats, drummers and daily musical performances. With so much to see and do, you’ll never want to leave.
Below Ground. What Lays Beneath? Jerusalem is literally covered with layers of history and touching history gets a whole new meaning here. Take the fascinating tour at the Western Wall Tunnels and reveal the hidden sections of the Western Wall. History will come to life as you move through underground passages, discover life in Jerusalem during The Second Temple era and learn about the art, architecture and building practices. Visit the nearby archeological site City of David and learn more about the history of the city King David declared as the unified capital of Israel’s 12 tribes 3000 years ago. Go on a journey between ancient walls and fortresses, hidden springs where kings were coronated and follow the path of fleeing Jerusalem residents after the city was conquered by the Romans. Originally built to protect the city against intruders, Jerusalem is surrounded by walls. Today The Walls of Jerusalem offer an opportunity to explore the city from a different angle.
Archeology. Situated on a on a hill, next to the Knesset and Israel’s Supreme Court, is Israel’s largest cultural institution and one of the world’s leading museums in art and archeology, The Israel Museum. Start with the archeological wing. Organized chronologically, the pieces there form the most extensive collection in the world for biblical and Holy Land archeology. Continue to the outstanding Jewish Art and Life wing, the impressive Fine Arts collection and the rotating contemporary art exhibitions. Don’t miss few of the museum’s highlights – The Shrine of The Book which holds the Dead Sea Scrolls and the stunning Art Garden looking over the Jerusalem Mountains. To truly appreciate the significance and history of it all, you should give yourself enough time to take it all in, it is not something to be rushed.
Bible Museum. In close proximity to the Israel Museum you’ll find the riveting Bible Lands Museum. Described as “an interactive time capsule”, it’s the only museum of its kind in the world. Tour through the galleries and discover the wonders of the lives of ancient cultures in the Near East and their interrelations from the dawn on of civilization to the early Christian era.
Art & Creativity. Go to The Artists’ Colony of Jerusalem (Hutzot Hayotzer) and experience creativity. This Art and Craft complex is a workplace for artists and designers from various fields. Stroll down this picturesque boulevard of shops and galleries underneath the northern walls of the Old City and see artists at work. Hear stories, learn about traditional and more contemporary art techniques and purchase works directly from the artists.
Light Show. See the Tower of David Light Show, known as the Jerusalem Night Spectacular. This truly stunning show combines modern technology with the city’s history and the beauty of the Tower. You’ll witness the walls and walkways come alive with a 3D light show and vibrant music that pulls the viewer into an almost dreamlike experience.
From Marketplace to Outdoor Party Place. Mahane Yehuda is a lively open market, where the party begins at sundown. Here you can buy and taste farm fresh produce, fresh baked breads and desserts, aromatic spices, warm falafel, fresh hummus, even clothing, electronics and more. At night time the produce and merchandise disappear and are replaced by tables and chairs, and party goers, converting the marketplace into a full fledge party scene, attended by locals and tourist alike. Here you can go bar hoping every 15 steps, it’s truly amazing.
The Jordan River
One of the most famous biblical Christian sights where Jesus was said to have been baptized.
The Dead Sea
Known in the Bible as the “Salt Sea” or the “Sea of the Arabah,” this inland body of water is appropriately named because its high mineral content allows nothing to live in its waters. Other post-biblical names for the Dead Sea include the “Sea of Sodom,” the “Sea of Lot,” the “Sea of Asphalt” and the “Stinking Sea.” In the Crusader period, it was sometimes call The Dead Sea is located in the Syro-African Rift, a 4000-mile fault line in the earth’s crust. The lowest point of dry land on earth is the shoreline of the Dead Sea at 1300 feet below sea level. That the lake is at the lowest point means that water does not drain from this lake. Daily 7 million tons of water evaporate but the minerals remain, causing the salt content to increase. Figures for the Dead Sea’s salinity today range from 26-35%. ed the “Devil’s Sea.” All of these names reflect something of the nature of this lake.
Mineral Rich. Nearly ten times as salty as the world’s oceans and twice as saline as the Great Salt Lake in Utah, the Dead Sea is rich with minerals.
Healthy Water. The unique concentration of the Dead Sea waters has long been known to have medicinal value. Aristotle, Queen of Sheba, King Solomon and Cleopatra were all familiar with this and modern doctors as well often prescribe patients with skin ailments to soak in the waters of the Dead Sea. Because of the dropping level of the Dead Sea, the southern end is no longer under water, except for that which is channeled by aqueducts for the purpose of extracting minerals.
Float. Thanks to the exceptional high level of saline in the water you will be able to perform a small “miracle” by, fine, not walking but naturally floating on water. Get in the water, lean back and let nature take its course. It may take a minute to get used to but then, we promise, it’s magical.
Heal. Entering the Dead Sea area feels like stepping into a different world. Different view, different pace, different air and even a different sun. The last two are the results of the special geological conditions of the area and the primary reasons for the area’s healing powers.
The Atmosphere is different because the sea saline dissolves into healthy rich minerals you absorb through the air. The sun is different because the location, so low below sea level, weaken and filters the harmful UV rays. Step outside and enjoy nature’s wondrous gifts.
Give Yourself A Mud Bath – The Dead Sea mud has proven health benefits. It improves, revitalize and provides relief for your skin. You can buy and use it at home, but why miss out on the opportunity to channel your inner child? Cover yourself with that black mud head to toe and simply have fun. We dare you to take a selfie.