Israel is known as the birthplace of Jewish and Christian religion. The country is rich in beaches, archaeological and historical sites and the temperate climate makes tourism in Israel really worthwhile. Religious tourism is a very important industry and Israel. The country’s incoming tourists has been inclining the past few years regardless of the security problems that have taken its toll on the tourism industry. Today, Israel has the highest number of museums per capita in the world. The country is bordered by Lebanon in the north, Syria in the northeast, Jordan and the West Bank in the east, Egypt and the Gaza Strip in the southwest and the Gulf of Aqaba in the Read Sea to the south.
Tourism is a very important industry in the country. Luckily for South Africans, one can visit Israel visa-free for up to 3 months. Therefore those that are looking to do some religious tours, can hop on a plane to Israel and enjoy what the country has to offer. Although Israel is a religious country, not all attractions are religion orientated and therefore provide attractions for everyone.
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When to go
During summertime, Israel can get very hot and in some areas humidity is also very high. Summertime is mostly a dry time of year. During autumn and spring the temperature is near perfect and the sun shines nearly all the days. Therefore many Jewish events and festivals are held during autumn and spring. Winters are mixed with rainy and cool days and cool sunny days, which makes it perfect for hiking and touring.
Major attractions in Israel
The Old City of Jerusalem is one of the most famous historical tourist destinations of Israel. Because it is steeped with history and culture, tourists flock to the city in droves. One of the must-see places in the city is the Tower of David, also known as Jerusalem’s Citadel. The Tower of David is located...Read more
Have you ever wanted to visit a city full of history? Then look no further than the Old City of Jerusalem. Full of relics and stories from three famous religions, you will find your fill of excitement just walking down the winding paths. With a history dating back to the 16th century, you will come...Read more
If you ever plan to go to the Old City of Jerusalem, one of the most interesting attractions in the city is the Western Wall, also referred to as the Wailing Wall. Called the Kotel ha-Ma’aravi, this is the only remaining outer wall of the Jewish Temple Mount. The Temple Mount was a sacred temple...Read more
Other attractions in Israel include:
- Ramon Crater
- Jordan River
- Knesset Building – home of Israeli Parliament
- Israeli Supreme Court
- IDF Kirya Compound
- Dizengoff Centre
- Particle Accelerator
- World’s Largest Solar Parabolic Dish
- Ancient Synagogue of Kfar Bar’am
- International Bahá’i Archives
- Western Wall
- Dome of the Rock
- Church of the Holy Sepulchre – the crucifixion site of Jesus
- Brain Research Centre
- Tel Aviv Performing Arts Centre
- Diamond Theatre
- Shrine of the Book
- Israel Museum
- National Holocaust Museum
- Beth Hatefutsoth Museum (Diaspora Museum)
- Mishkan Le’Omanut Museum – largest art museum north of Israel
- Rockefeller Museum
- Museum of Islamic Art
If you ever find yourself visiting in Israel, you will want to see the usual historical sites. There is much to see in the Old City of Jerusalem; the Western Wall, the Tower of David, the Church of the Holy Sepulcher, and so much more. For a city steeped in history, you will not be...Read more
Like animals? You wouldn’t want to miss out on the Jerusalem Biblical Zoo, then! This is the second most visited tourist site in Israel. The zoo is very popular among families. The Jerusalem Biblical Zoo is a combined effort of many organizations, such as the Municipality of Jerusalem, the Israel Ministry of Tourism, the Jerusalem...Read more
The Old City of Jerusalem has many historical areas for you to explore. You can walk the labyrinthine paths to see all the four quarters of the city. You can visit many of the famed tourist attractions, such as the Western Wall, the Temple Mount and the Tower of David. However, if you want to...Read more
Events & Festivals
- Israel Festival
- Lag Baomer and Shavuot
- Red Sea International Film Festival
- Red Sea Jazz Festival
- Tel Aviv International Documentary Film Festival
- Feast of Unleavened Bread
- Ahava Dead Sea Festival
- Purim in Israel
- Holom Women’s Festival
- Tel Aviv Art Weekend
- Sound of Winter
- Tel Aviv Gay Pride
- Jacob’s Ladder Festival
- Piano Festival
- and many more
Money and Cash
Israel’s main currency is called the New Israeli Shekel (ILS) or Israeli Shekel and is divided into 100 agorot. 1 ZAR will get you about 0.50 ILS.
ATM’s are available everywhere and credit cards are widely accepted.
Health and safety
The only part of the country that is dangerous is the areas bordering the Gaza Strip. The rest of the country is fairly save. Traveling to Palestinian territories is also save, but keep a lookout for current events when planning to travel to these areas. Never leave any belongings unattended as it might be suspected as a bomb. Mugging and drunken violence is very rare and a tourist can walk around during nighttime.
Preparing to visit
Although many European Union member states have a visa-free entrance to Israel, some ethnic groups can still have difficulty getting access to the country. People of Arab descent will possibly have to undergo prolonged questioning and/or searches and denied entry. It is also important to note that many Arab and Islamic countries will deny entry to a person that has been to Israel. If you’re planning to visit Israel and later an Arab or Islamic country, it is advisable to apply for a second passport.
Please note that visiting any religious sites, neighborhoods or towns, you must be very tolerant as the natives will be with you. Visiting Holy Sites, men and women should dress in modest clothing to show respect. Some places will require you to take off your shoes; women to wear robes and men to cover their heads.
Related Tips and Articles from our blog
Israel carries a distinct historical background, and a diverse cultural heritage. One of the most fascinating things about this country is the fact that it has several conflicting facts about it. First, it is the place where both Judaism and Christianity were born. Secondly, despite it being a very religious...Read More »