Israel on a Budget
Updated: May 7
You can see Israel on a budget, and we'll show you how. Israel is a crossroads of service, culture, language, food, and so much more. It is a beautiful country to discover whether you want to splurge on luxury or not. Visiting Israel on a budget is easy thanks to excellent marketplaces, low-cost accommodations, and tours tailored to budget and independent travelers.
However, every major Israeli city has a market (a shuk) where you can buy food, especially local foods, at meager prices. A maze of hundreds of kiosks offering almost anything imaginable, the Machane Yehuda Market is the central market in Jerusalem. Tel Aviv has the Carmel Market, and most other Israeli cities have something comparable.
But an increasing number of Israeli dormitories are setting regional standards (and in some cases, the world). In isolated corners of the country, you can find small hostels with exceptional standards for a fraction of the price of hotels.
EAT FALAFEL AND HUMMUS
Pasties and sandwiches are what hotdogs and pretzels are to America. They are cheap, costing as little as NIS 10, and almost everyone eats them. It's a beautiful value and tastes great. Others are Bourekas (delicate pastry stuffed with various contents), Schnitzel, and Shwarma.
CHEAP FLIGHTS TO ISRAEL
Getting affordable flights to Tel Aviv can be difficult at times of the year, but there are now more than ever low-cost European carriers operating there. Cheap flights from the United States, Canada, Europe, and other parts of the world are easy to come by if you are willing to look around.
Need a place to stay but don't want to pay hotel prices? There are hundreds of vacation flats, especially in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem, significantly less expensive than hotels. This is a good choice for friends traveling together, but be aware that many flats demand a week or more stay.
Israel has an excellent public transportation system. Buses in Israel are clean, safe, and frequent. You can also take shortcuts, which are inter-city shared cabs. Unlike buses, they will pick you up and drop you off wherever along the route.
JOIN SPECIALIST TOURS
There are several Israel trips for budget or independent tourists. Many of them allow you to explore the sites without a guide, making it cheaper to join the trip than to explore on your own. Tours to the Dead Sea, Masada, and Jerusalem are the most popular. Tours to Petra are also affordable.
Also Read Israel: What to pack!