Planning to visit Israel? There's so much to see and you wouldn't want to miss anything! Whether you're travelling alone or with your loved ones, we suggest you check out this itinerary before making any plans.
Begin your visit in Jerusalem at the Mount of Olives – the best place to start your Jerusalem experience, with its panoramic view of the Old City, its ancient Jewish cemetery and historic churches.
Visit the Tower of David Museum showcasing the history of Jerusalem from its beginnings to modern times.
Wander the Old City markets, steeping yourself in its sights, sounds and aromas, and try your hand at hunting and bargaining for treasures.
Visit the Christian Quarter, which sprung up over the centuries around the historic ancient Church of the Holy Sepulchre, where the Roman Catholic, Greek Orthodox, Armenian, Coptic, Ethiopian, and Syrian Orthodox orders all maintain their own sections and can be identified by their distinctive dress and liturgy.
Continue to the rebuilt Jewish Quarter including the old Sephardic synagogues, the Cardo, which was the main street of Byzantine Christian Jerusalem, the Broad Wall, the Burnt House with its captivating audiovisual presentation, the Herodian Mansions, and more.
Toward evening, head down to the Western Wall, a special time of day to visit Judaism’s most sacred site revered as the last remnant of the Second Temple. While at the Western Wall, arrange your schedule to join a public tour of the Western Wall Tunnels by enquiring at the Western Wall Heritage Foundation.
Overnight in Jerusalem.
Today is devoted to the New City, beginning the day with a visit to the Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial. Walk through the astounding new Museum with its new and moving focus on the individual in the Holocaust, the Children’s Memorial and Hall of Remembrance.
Drive through the New City viewing old and new neighborhoods, the Knesset (The Israeli Parliament) (open for visits on Sundays and Thursdays) and the beautifully designed Supreme Court building.
At the nearby Israel Museum, among many other fascinating exhibits you can discover the mysteries of the Dead Sea Scrolls at the Shrine of the Book and see the 1:50 scale Model of Jerusalem from Second Temple times.
Enjoy a stroll around downtown Jerusalem - walk in the pedestrian malls of Ben Yehuda Street, Nahalat Shiva, a restored quarter of shops, galleries and cafes, and the Mahane Yehuda open-air fruit and vegetable market.
Overnight in Jerusalem.
Say farewell to Jerusalem today, and head for Tel Aviv, beginning with Old Jaffa, where you can wander the restored old lanes lined with galleries and shops.
Stop in at the Visitor Center, which showcases the long and fascinating history of this port city to which Solomon brought the cedar wood from Lebanon to build the Temple and from which Jonah set sail to be swallowed by the whale. See St. Peter’s Church, recalling Peter’s famous vision on the rooftop of Simon the Tanner. There’s also a great view of Tel Aviv from here, to whet your appetite for your next stops.
Tour Tel Aviv’s White City to see the preservation of buildings of Bauhaus architecture (a UNESCO World Heritage Site) including Independence Hall, where Ben-Gurion declared independence in 1948. Sheinkin Street is famous for its fun shopping, dining and people-watching in a youthful atmosphere, while the open-air Carmel fruit and vegetable market is a treat for all the senses.
On Tuesdays and Fridays, the Nahalat Binyamin pedestrian mall comes alive with stalls selling handicrafts of every type.
Art buffs will enjoy the Tel Aviv Art Museum, with its fascinating changing and permanent exhibits of contemporary Israeli art, French Modernist and other collections.
Then, from the 49th floor of the Azrieli Tower, the Azrieli Observatory offers an incomparable view of Tel Aviv and miles beyond in every direction, great any time of day and fabulous at sunset.
Take a walk through Tel Aviv’s Yarkon Park and head to the nearby Tel Aviv Portfor sunset and a fish dinner.
Overnight in Tel Aviv.
Head up the Mediterranean coast today, stopping first at Caesarea National Park to see the remains of the former Roman capital, including the ancient theater and hippodrome.
Walk the seaside promenade to the renovated port area within the Crusader walls. See the Caesarea Experience, a fascinating computerized presentation of the city's history and best-known historical figures. The beautiful arched remains of the Roman aqueduct are right on the beach, so you can dip your feet in the Mediterranean before leaving the area.
Then, it’s on to Haifa, Israel’s third largest city, to see the magnificent Baha’i Shrine and Gardens, the world center for the Baha’i faith. Enjoy a panoramic view of the city and the bay from the Louis Promenade (a beautiful sunset activity), and head to the renovated old German Colony neighborhood for dinner and a stroll.
In the late afternoon, arrive in Acre, the ancient Phoenician and Crusader seaport (designated by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site) for a stroll through the covered markets and along the 18th century ramparts, the fishing port, the Khan al-Umdan Caravansary, and more.
Overnight at a hotel in Acre or a bed-and-breakfast in the Galilee mountains.
Start your day in Nazareth, the boyhood home of Jesus, with its beautiful churches and colorful markets.
Continue to the Sea of Galilee and the Mount of Beatitudes, traditional site of Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount and Korazim, a Talmudic-era town also mentioned in the New Testament.
Heading north to the Hula Valley, at the Hula Nature Reserve you’ll enjoy the lovely walking trails over the last remnant of this protected wetland, and the special lookout points where you can observe the avian wildlife. While at the reserve, don’t miss Oforia, a fun, experiential multimedia display that tells the story of the migratory route across the region and the millions of birds that use it.
Spend the evening in Tiberias, one of Israel’s four holy cities, where you can enjoy a walk and a fish dinner on the waterfront, and stroll through the antiquities.
Overnight at a hotel in Tiberias or a bed-and-breakfast in the Galilee Mountains.
Get an early start this morning, driving down the Jordan Valley to the Dead Sea. Your first stop can be Qumran, the ruins of an ancient settlement in whose nearby caves the Dead Sea Scrolls were discovered and whose Visitor Center tells its fascinating story.
Continue to Ein Gedi Nature Reserve, a biblical oasis with a spring and waterfalls, where David hid from Saul.
Then it’s on to Massada, taking the cable-car up to explore this fortress built by Herod the Great, which was the scene of the epic stand by Jewish rebels at the end of the Great Revolt against Rome nearly 2,000 years ago.
The new museum at the Visitor Center reveals the secrets of the rebels’ daily life, the story of the excavations, and how Massada became one of Israel’s most important symbols.
End the day with a relaxing float in the healthful waters of the Dead Sea, the lowest, saltiest body of water on earth.
Overnight in the Dead Sea area.
Head to the northern Negev today, beginning with the dramatic scenery along the Nahal Zohar road that will take you west into to the high-desert town of Arad.
Then it’s on to Be'er Sheba National Park. Archaeology buffs will enjoy seeing the ruins of the town founded by Abraham and fortified by the kings of Judah, along with its fascinating water system, all of which have awarded it the status of a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Continue back to central Israel and the picturesque Ayalon Valley, and this afternoon visit the Mini Israel Theme Park, where over 450 precise scale models of many of the things you’ve seen are an excellent way to wind up your Israel experience.