Best Day Trips in Israel
Updated: May 7
Israel has a bustling, youthful cities with fantastic food scenes, intriguing history, golden beaches, and centuries-old architecture. Being a small country, with nearly every part of the nation being accessible within around three or four hours from its central points of Tel Aviv and Jerusalem, we recommend getting out and around to see as much of this Middle Eastern Gem as you can!
Tel Aviv's stunning beaches, excellent restaurants, vibrant nightlife, intriguing museums, fantastic shopping, and spectacular scenery contribute to the city's greatness. However, there is much more. Allow yourself to be swept away by the sea, sun, and hummus (we understand it's a challenge! ); otherwise, you'll be remiss not to visit the city's other great attractions. To assist you in planning your stay, we've compiled a list of the most incredible things to do in Tel Aviv.
Tel Aviv and the old port city of Jaffa were united into a single municipality in 1950, and a trip to Tel Aviv would be incomplete without a visit to the city's hippest and southernmost area. Historically associated with numerous Biblical settings and tales of Napoleon's conquests, Jaffa is now populated by Jews, Christians, and Muslims and holds significant religious significance for all three religions, making Jaffa one of Tel Aviv's most diverse, colorful, tasty, fun, and fascinating neighborhoods.
The Old City of Jerusalem is rich in history, with winding streets and alleys; it is also home to the sacred sites of the three major monotheistic religions. Additionally, the neighborhood boasts incredible food and innumerable secrets for those prepared to face its labyrinth of shaded lanes.
This culturally significant destination should be on everyone's bucket list, so we've picked together the top attractions. Pulsing Bethlehem is full of history with holy shrines, churches, and various Biblical sites within close proximity. There is also another, side to Bethlehem, which displays some of the modern challenges faced by both Palestinians and Israelis if you dare to venture off the beaten path.
Nazareth is Israel's largest Arab town, having a mix of Christian and Muslim Arab residents. This city of churches is a prominent tourist attraction and pilgrimage destination for the world's Christians as it is also considered the location of Jesus' adolescence, and it is in the nearby village of Cana that he is supposed to have performed his first miracle.
The Dead Water is the lowest place on Earth and one of the world's most bizarre natural wonders. It is a mineral-rich, very salty sea where no one sinks. Locked in by the Great Rift Valley's cliffs, this strange body of water (where natural buoyancy develops as a result of the rapid rate of evaporation) has astonished tourists for generations. A few "beach resort" sections along the Dead Sea shoreline provide facilities, including cafés, restrooms, and all-important freshwater showers for those who wish to take a plunge. Take a float - you can't truly sink - and you, like generations of previous visitors, will be won over by the strangeness of this experience.
Nazareth is inextricably linked to the biblical account of Jesus and is one of the country's most famous pilgrimage attractions. The holy sites here are among the most significant in the world for Christians. This is the location of the Annunciation and the birth of Jesus Christ, and the town center is home to several significant churches that commemorate this event.
This hillside fortification in Israel's desert served as the final stronghold of a Jewish revolt against the Roman empire. Their demise was cruel — following a protracted siege, they committed suicide rather than surrender – but visiting the place is far from sour. Early risers should go for a trek or take the tram to enjoy this fantastic historical landmark.
Acre (also known as Akko) is an intriguing old town surrounded by towering defenses steeped in medieval Crusader history. Acre is one of the best destinations to visit for history buffs due to the preservation of its stone architecture. There are numerous historic tourist sights and activities to explore within its maze of small passageways lined with khans (caravanserais), fortresses, and Crusader-era monuments.
Are you interested in visiting the Sea of Galilee but unsure about where to stay? On its western coast, we recommend Tiberias. It dates from the first century CE and is commonly regarded as one of Israel's Holy Cities par with Safed, Jerusalem, and Hebron. Tiberias is the best destination to experience the Sea of Galilee due to its rich history (and convenient position when we say rich, we mean thousands of years). There are a diverse array of public and private beaches, water parks directly on the lake, local restaurants, pilgrimage sites, and unexpected intersections of art, culture, and history.
In Haifa, Israel, there are plenty of exciting things to do. This is one of the most fascinating cities in the country, and it would be a shame not to visit while in the country. Haifa, Israel's third-largest city and ostensibly its technology capital, is located on the coast and the hills — Carmel Mountain abuts it. While the ancient town is lovely, the beaches are among the best in Israel. They are bustling with activity at any time of year, with people exercising, strolling their dogs, children playing, and various wonderful restaurants.
With so much to do in Eilat, it's simple to see why it's a local favorite and a popular tourist destination. Eilat, affectionately known as Eilat Vegas, is located on Israel's only Red Sea access point and is sandwiched between Egypt and Jordan. Despite its tiny size in comparison to many other towns in Israel, Eilat has a lot to offer its visitors, who can expect magnificent beaches, fantastic marine life, easy access to the desert and incredible desert hikes, and a fabulous choice of restaurants and pubs.
Now that you have covered Israel, don't forget to head over to the West Bank and see some truly amazing archaeological sites, eat some delicious Palestinian Cuisine and phenomenal landscapes like the Dead Sea. For more information check out our West Bank Travel Guide.
Also Read: Best things to do in Israel