Israel receives questionable press but there’s a lot more to this country than conflict. Known as the “Holy Land”, it’s an exceptionally varied, unique and undeniably interesting country to visit. Uncover the vast and popular city of Tel Aviv or visit Jerusalem, the country’s capital where there are many gems to explore. There are numerous national parks and beautiful natural sights to visit too. Discover all that this country has to offer by hiring a car.
Israel Tourist Board: The official website for the Israel National Tourist Office – a useful resource for planning your trip to Israel.
Know Before You Go: Travel advice from the FCO for Israel.
Things to see and do
- Journey to the salty expanse of the Dead Sea and take an iconic snap of yourself reading a newspaper and floating in the salty water, whilst admiring Jordan on the opposite shore!
- Head to southern Israel during the summer and pay the city of Eilat a visit. You can access the stunning Red Sea here, renowned for its abundance of colourful marine life, fantastic corals and beautiful beaches.
- The Old City of Jerusalem is truly a must see and a tour of the area provides an incredible insight into the religious history of the country, dating back thousands of years. Venture into the surrounding mountains too!
- Delve deep into the sprawling city of Tel Aviv, packed with plenty of attractions and then when night time arrives, lose yourself in the eclectic night life scene, from nightclubs to concert halls!
- Journey to Tiberias, nestled on the shores of the idyllic Sea of Galilee and wander the streets before exploring the 50km shoreline of this peaceful lake.
- The mountaintop fortress of Masada is a top attraction to visit. Overlooking the Dead Sea, it’s nicknamed the desert fortress; reach the top via the challenging Snake Trail or via the cable car if you prefer and learn of the building’s past.
- Prepare for a sobering visit to Yad Vashem located on the outskirts of Jerusalem on Har HaZikaron. This moving Holocaust memorial features museums, exhibition halls and monuments set in 45 acres.
- In the midst of the desert you will find Ramon Crater, a fantastic geological sight that has to be seen during your visit here. The diversity of flora and fauna here make a visit all the more enjoyable.
- Uncover the archaeological gems of Apollonia National Park and visit during July or August to enjoy a Friday night sunset concert.
- Relax and enjoy one of Israel’s many stunning beaches; some of the best can be found in Haifa, Netanya and Ashdod. Tel Aviv is also worth considering for its blend of city attractions and wonderful waters!
Festivals and events
- The Classical Music Festival is hosted at Tel Aviv Museum each and every January, showcasing classic symphonies in addition to other musical performances. (January)
- Tel Aviv Mini Carnival is held in February to celebrate the Purim holiday and sees the locals adorn fancy dress and exchange gifts. (February)
- The Jerusalem International Book Fair is hosted in March and welcomes visitors from around the world with the vast selection of genres and topics available from the city’s convention centre. (March)
- The Independence Day Gala Concert is held to celebrate the birth of Israel back on 14th May, 1948. It’s been an annual event every year since. (May)
- With theatre, music and dance, the Israel Festival has something for everyone! Visit Jerusalem during May to ensure you don’t miss out! (May)
- The month of June is the peak of the cherry season and what better way to celebrate than with the annual Cherry Festival which sees all manner of cherry flavoured foods take over Tel Aviv. (June)
- One of the most popular events on the annual calendar is Jaffa Nights. It sees a different cultural performance every Saturday night during July and August in Old Jaffa. (July - August)
- Phenomena Festival is always a big hit with families thanks to the puppet shows and array of theatrical performances hosted in August. (August)
- Some of the world’s best chefs frequent the Israel Wine Festival in October where visitors can sample some excellent wines paired with tasty cheeses. (October)