TRAVELING IN ISRAEL

Coronavirus has hit the tourism industry (and me) really hard. If you like my internet site and videos, please consider purchasing my booklets and merchandise. Your support will ensure that I can carry on making new videos.

The booklets are available Here – https://www.travelingisrael.com/israel-guide-booklets
Timeline posters and other merch – https://teespring.com/stores/traveling-israel

If you’re planning a trip to Israel or just want to learn more about the country then you’re in the right place.
My name is Oren, I’m a professional Israeli tour guide and I want to change and improve the way travelers experience Israel.

I first considered putting together this website in the run-up to my marriage. About forty guests were coming to the wedding from abroad (that’s what happens when you marry a German girl) and I was on the hunt for websites to send them before they came. However, I couldn’t find anything helpful.

You can find plenty of websites selling you tours and hotels, or blogs in which travelers write about their own personal experiences, but nowhere will you find a professionally written take on some essential questions: how to plan your trip, how to get to the airport on a Saturday when there’s no public transportation, or how to navigate Israeli society.
So I decided to build a website that would fill this gap and really help out travelers to Israel.
This is an ongoing process: I am constantly adding to and improving my website.

My site is divided into these sections:

How to plan your trip to Israel?

Since a trip is often a unique, once-in-a-lifetime experience, planning it the right way is super important. Although today it’s easier than ever to be spontaneous and change your plans, in my experience it’s those who plan their trip well who enjoy more and pay less.
Here I’ve included a few really important tips, all you need to know about flying to Israel and its airport, basic itineraries, recommended tours, hiking, and much more.

Recommended hotels and hostels in Israel

Check out my new post about special accommodation in Israel!

Booking hotels and hostels is a seemingly simple business: there are thousands of recommendations online. Yet I chose to write about booking accommodations in order to address a few important issues that people often aren’t aware of when they book:

  • There’s no such thing as THE BEST hotel. It’s all about what’s right for you. And I’m not just talking about your budget. Let’s say you’re looking for a hotel in Tel Aviv. What is important to you? Do you want to see the sea from your room and be right on the promenade? Do you like markets and prefer to be close to the flea market? Or do you see Tel Aviv as a base for other tours and prefer to be close to Ayalon (the main highway that goes through Tel Aviv)?
  • Even if you spend the whole day sightseeing, you’ll spend quite a bit of time in your accommodations. If you choose to sleep outside the cities, in the Negev or the Galilee, I recommend trying different types of accommodations, such as ‘Chavot Bodedim’, which means “lonesome farms” (or a farm in the middle of the desert). Or you could go for ‘Airuach kibbutzi’, which means sleeping in hotels in kibbutzim.
  • Hotels in Israel are expensive. This is the main complaint I hear from travelers, who often say they expected more, given the price they paid. This is why I’ve also provided a fair amount of information about hostels, which in recent years have gotten a huge boost. There are hostels you could easily mistake for a boutique hotel rather than a cheap accommodation option. Most of them offer private rooms, so you pay half what you would at a 3-star hotel and get much more.
    Hotels, hostels & special accommodation in Israel
    In the desert, on the way to Eilat, you will find lots of special accommodation options, such as this one – beautiful mud huts in Tzukim.

Check out my new post about special accommodation in Israel!

The Israeli society

When you learn to be a tour guide in Israel (the best course I’ve ever done in my whole life!) you learn a lot about history, religion, geography, and much more. But once I started guiding I discovered something interesting.
Most of the questions I got asked weren’t about history. Hardly anyone asks “So when was the church built?”
The vast majority of questions I receive are about Israeli society and life in Israel today.
In this part I’ve written about the people and politics, as well as a few features such as:
The ten most Israeli things (you have to try ‘Bamba’ when you come)
The history of Israel through 10 songs
The history of Israel though 10 products you’ll find in every supermarket

Traveling Israel - Friday dinner
Friday night dinner with the family is one of the most Israeli things there is.

My booklets

My pride and joy! At the end of the day, I’m a tour guide. I can help you with tips or choosing a hotel or hostel, but my real passion lies in bringing the history of Israel to travelers in an interesting way.

Be your own guide! (With my booklets.)

Israel is the place where Europe, Asia, and Africa come together. This is also where Christianity was founded and where Judaism developed. The list of historical figures who have walked over this very piece of land contains great names that have shaped the history of the Western world: Abraham, King David, Jesus Christ, Alexander the Great, Richard the Lionheart, Saladin and many more.

The problem is that many of the sites are not impressive in themselves. The Wailing Wall is just a wall, and in Europe there are a thousand churches that are more impressive than the Church of the Holy Sepulchre.

Without understanding what you’re looking at, you will get a lot less out of your trip. As of today, I’ve written three booklets, in which I’ve basically included everything that I say on my three most popular tours: Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, the Judaean Desert (Masada and the Dead Sea).

By purchasing my booklets you’ll definitely get much more out of your trip. You’ll also be allowing me to upload more content about Israel. The booklets are only sold outside Israel, so order now and come prepared!

New! Order the 3 booklets for 21.00€ (including shipping) directly from me and get the PDF and EPUB version for free right now! Or buy the PDF or EPUB for 9.50€. The booklets are also available on Amazon.

Wailing-Wall
The Wailing Wall. One of the most important Jewish sites. Are you impressed? Probably not. Without understanding what you see, most of the sites in Israel aren’t particularly impressive.

Contact me

The purpose of this website is to help you plan your trip to Israel, not to promote myself as a tour guide.
If you have specific questions, please write them under the relevant post so that others can benefit from reading them. Feel free to write any kind of comment: the only way for me to know how to improve is if you tell me.

If you’d like more information about personalized, all-inclusive, tailor-made luxury experiences, then email my partner Asaf and let us take your Israel trip to the next level. Make memories, create ties and build cherished family moments. Let’s get your trip of a lifetime in motion.

Planning your trip to Israel?
 The Israeli Society
I want my internet site to be the best source of information about traveling to Israel. For that to be the case, I need your help. I want to know what you want to know, so if you have any questions, please write them down here and I will do my best to answer them.

See you in Israel!

 

79 comments

  1. What a wonderful web site! I have wanted to travel to Israel for a long time, and have even looked making Aliyah there. But the first step to emigrating has got to be a thorough visit.

    I look forward to learning all I can before I go. Your knowledge and the sharing of it is very much appreciated.

  2. I m Sami. Jordanian
    Like to travel in Israel for while ;I have no relatives there;so;i m asking. What is the best approach should I go with.. Shall I issue visa and just start on

  3. Hey, I think that I never meet an Jordanian in Israel, although we are neighbors.. I think you have to have a visa, ask the Israeli embassy

  4. Before we knew there would be elections on April 9, 2019, we planned our trip to be in Tel Aviv / Yafo on that day. Do tourist activities and sites operate on Israel’s election day? Should we book a one-day tour? What can we expect? Thanks for your help.

  5. Hi Oren, thanks for sharing your passion for Israel with us. We are looking foreward to visiting the Old City of Jerusalem next week with your Jerusalem Day Tour Ebook in hand! We will be celebrating 25 years of marriage and staying at the Sephardic House. Can you recommend a place to find good schnitzel? Thanks

  6. All of your videos, are great, and the best one is “Living in the Israeli Forest (2 years)”. I’m from Alaska and big outdoors man. I’ve been on two tours to Israel, and would like to go again this year but don’t want to do a tour this trip, although my wife and I would like to go during Succot. The two tours I’ve taken before did not include Haifa or Eilat and I would like very much to see both of those. Will probably want to stay in Jerusalem during most of the Succot celebrations. I’ve been to the Golan, but after your video want to do the hike, also if I am able, but at 68 and in good shape, not sure what to expect. Other than the heat, can’t be worse than Alaskan mountains. I’ve been studying Hebrew for several years, but not good enough to get around on my own. I’ve never stayed in a Hostel, but would like your advice.

    1. Thanks!My next videos will be about tours and hiking in Israel. And Hostel are great! The best hike in my life was in Alaska From Proenneke cabin in Twin lake natioan park.

  7. Love your videos on YouTube. Very friendly and informative. I’ve been to Israel many times yet learn something new every one I watch.

    Thank you!!

  8. Hey Oren, thanks for All your important information of Isreal.
    I am visiting in June and my flight will be arriving at 10pm. My question.. Do I wait until I get to Tel A Viv to get a taxi or prebook a taxi before I arrive. I am staying at AirBnb???

  9. I will be there next week for 15 days.. My itinerary includes Jerusalem (4 days), Beersheba, Tiberias and Tel Aviv. Also Jordan for 3 nights.. Any last moment advice/tip? I am female solo traveller and your videos have inspired me a lot.. Super excited for this trip

    1. Hey Thanks! there is not much you can do in Beer sheva. Go instead to Mitzpe Ramon. I wrote about it in the 7-14 days itinerary post.

  10. Very helpful website, the YouTube channel, and you book. It is detailed and very helpful for planning. Thank you!

  11. Greetings,

    We are very much enjoy watching your videos on YouTube pertaining to Israel.
    We are believing for some day to visit the Land and hopefully live there in the future. We are in our mid 60s and are full-time RVers in the USA. Is this lifestyle seen in Israel for an extended period of time? If so, are there RV Campground memberships with places where we could stay throughout the land?

    Awaiting your answers to our questions.

    Continued success on your channel!

  12. My wife and I wish to thak you for your videos. We watched two hours last night. “Chapeau” on a fabulous video job well done.
    we will be in israel for two weeks. The last time I visited was Oct 1968….im sure I will freak out to see Israel today…I remeber waking up at 4;30am to walk up Massada the only way but i was blessed to walk doen the centre of massada to the well. I suspect it must be closed to tourists these day…by the way climbed down on our Tuchass as there was no banisters in thise days.

  13. Hi Oren
    Really enjoyed your videos.
    I would like to take my family next August 2020 to Israel. We are a religious family of 9 and celebrating son’s bar mitzva. Do you have any tours with rich biblical history from נ״ך that we would enjoy if we studied the stories in שופטים, מלאכים ושמואל?

  14. Hi,
    Please make a video about the choice of SIM card for the Internet. Including Israel and West Bank.
    Which one has the best coverage and which one is the cheapest. I suggest 5GB and up to 14 days.
    Regards

    1. Hey, Sim cards in Israel are cheap. I can’t way which is the cheapest because it constantly changing I would say this – don’t buy the ones for tourists that they sell on the airport. Ask at your hotel where is the closest shopping mall and do it there.

  15. I am about to get on a plain to come visit Isreal and I just found your web site. I wish I would have found it earlier. the few things I have read and your youtube videos I have watched are great. I will be binge watching and reading all your blogs on the plane. Thank you for this information

    1. Thanks! I really try to show things as is and to help travelers to enjoy the trip to Israel. feel free to share any comments you have about Israel. Enjoy!

  16. I will be in Israel at the end of October. Looked at all your videos and I find them awesome! I found out that UBER operates taxi services from Ben Gurion Airport to Tel Aviv. Are they reliable?…even on Shabbat?

    Merci! 🙂

  17. Oren, your site and videos are excellent. My family will be in Israel in December and would like to hire a guide for a one-day tour of Jerusalem. Can you recommend a guide or an agency? Thank you.

    1. Hey Thanks! My booklets are also great! 🙂 You can find the agency I work with almost on every page on my site and on the contact page. Enjoy Israel!

  18. Thank you Oren! Visiting Israel will be “intense “. Your insights are a big help! If you intend to come to Canada some day, I will help you!

  19. Oren, my husband and I will be leaving for Israel on Oct. 24 for two weeks! Your videos have been extremely helpful, especially since we will be alone in Tel Aviv for 4 days! I told my husband, the info you shared about your name and those of your brothers! Wanted to show him a picture I found of you and your brothers but no longer know where I saw it! Can you share where it is!
    My cousin is from Germany, and loves the outdoors as your beautiful wife probably does also! Thank you again so your awesome information on Israel! 🇮🇱

  20. Hi Oren, I use your selfguiding booklets and they are really good.!!
    For next year at Pesach, I am trying to find on what day public transport is not available and when everything isclosed. That is not during all the Pesach days, but when is it nd when not. Where can I find it?
    I hope you can help me.
    Thanks
    Mirjam

    1. Thanks! on the 9th of April there will be public transportation until noon and on the 10th no public transportation. I am not sure about the 11th bit on the other days there will be. A few weeks before you come you can check it on one of the public transportation sits like – https://www.bus.co.il/otobusimmvc/en

  21. היי אורן, אני מורת דרך, לאחרונה הוצאתי רשיון באנגלית. נהנית מאוד לראות את הסרטונים שלך ולמדה מהם המון. רוצה גם לרכוש את שלושת הספרונים, אבל האתר לא מאפשר רכישה בישראל. האם ניתן לקנות ממך ישירות איכשהו? תודה רבה

    1. הי, כיף לשמוע! אני יכול לשלוח לך את 3 החוברות באנגלית בדואר. המחיר הוא 50 ש”ח. אם את מעוניינת תכתבי לי את הכתובת שלך למייל שלי – orenca@gmail.com ואכתוב לך את פרטי הבנק שלי להעברה בנקאית.

  22. Hello Oren my name is Waldina I’m going to visit israel January 14th to 21st i would like you recommend me one tour for all those day’s, my mom and me, i would like in Spanish because she only speak Spanish.
    Please let me know if you have a pilgrimage tour in Spanish for us.
    My email is
    inthislife23@yahoo.com
    Contact to me by email.

  23. Hello,
    We love your videos and has helped us in planning our trip.
    We are visit Israel next month and want to go visit Petra and Wadi Rum as well , what is the best advice for the trip.

    Thank you for your time
    Ken & Alba

    1. Thanks! Both places are worth visiting. It really depends on your time and budget For budget tours I can recommend Abraham tours.
      Enjoy Israel (and Jordan)!

  24. Oren
    I just ordered your books today so I’m not sure if my question are answered in your books. Do you books have recommended guidesfor each of the city. If not can you recommend how I can find song.

    We are going to spend four days in Aqaba and I understand that if you rent a car in Israel you cannot take it to Jordan. What’s the best way to get from our hotel in Tel Aviv to our hotel in Aqaba. I don’t mind spending a little extra money for the sake of convenience

    Also do we need any special license to rent and drive a car in Israel as we are coming from the US
    Jay

  25. Dear Mr. Oren,

    Hearty congrats for the info that you’ve shared through your videos on Israel.
    My name is Jojo Paul and I’m from Kerala, India. Being a catholic It’s my long time dream to visit Israel. I need to know how much you can be of help to me as our tour guide. I mean, is it possible for you to make an itinerary and be as a guide once we land up there? If yes, I’ll be able to send you a plan I wish

    Regards

    1. Hey,
      Thanks, my next video will be about how to plan your trip in Israel. If you look for an agency to organize it all, they you can write to my nail with when you plan to come and what you want to see (you can see it in contact) and I will conect you with the right agency.

  26. Hello Oren,
    I am from the USA and will be visiting Israel at the end of March. I already have your 3 guide books which are very useful. I do have one question for you.
    How do Israelis feel about receiving tips in USD? The tips I am concerned about are both small (bellman, transfer from airport to hotel, chambermaid) and large (coach driver, tour guide).

    1. Hey,
      Thanks!Tips to people who work with travelers (tour guides, hotels…) USD is fine, but in restaurants it will be better with shekels.
      Enjoy Israel!

  27. Hello Oren,
    I’ve just ordered your travel guides and have been going over & over your internet videos on Israel…most helpful..but got a question-My wife & I are from the USA and will be visiting Israel in November of this year. We will be traveling with my wife’s sister & her husband but we’re flying into Israel on separate flights..so we have about 6 hours or so to spend while waiting for our traveling companions to arrive …any suggestions as to a good way to spend that time in and around the Ben Gurion airport. any advice would be most helpful..thanks in advance

    1. Hey, there is nothing to do in the airport area. Maybe you can meet at the hotel? I think it is a better option

  28. Hi Oren,
    I bought your 3 booklets before our trip to Israel in February, and they were so useful. I read them first at home and then took them with me while touring. I found so much information in them and they helped us to plan our visit and also enjoy better our tours. Thank you so much! I recommend them 100%!! The booklets together with your videos really made all the planning and touring easier.
    We found all the 3 booklets equally useful, even though in our case our visit to the Dead Sea was a bit unfortunate due to the weather. They told us that in Masada it rains every 5 years, well when we were there it poured!! We were the last to get up, they had to close due to the floods. But thats just the perfect excuse to go back. We really fell in love with Israel.

    1. Thank you very much! If you had rain in Masada you are lucky! I was there maybe 400 times and never got to experience it :).

  29. I LOVE YOUR WEBSITE!

    So happy to have found this.

    Want to show you a TYPO: “If you have specific questions, please **right** them” **It should be spelled write, not “right”:)

    I lOVED TRAVELING TO ISRAEL SO MUCH. I WANT TO LIVE THERE, TOO!

  30. Love your concise youtube videos. I was in Israel in 2017 and again 2018 on tours. My wife and I would love to go back ourselves someday . flights are $1000 each from Canada.😜 One question are there campgrounds in Israel? Can you do a video on that? Thanks.
    Rick

  31. Thank you. My family really enjoy watching your you tube videos about Israel.
    We were in Jerusalem in Mar 2015 but did not go to the many places mentioned in your video. We certainly will locate you to be our guide if we have another chance to visit Israel in future. God Bless and May your Business continue to flourish.

  32. שלום אורן , צפיתי בכל הקליפים שלך ונהנתי מאוד מאוד ! אם הייתי בוחרת מחדש מקצוע הייתי מורת דרך בישראל :))) הייתי רוצה לראות קצת יותר מסעדות , אירוח דרוזי , נוצרי בדואי , שביל ישראל ,, שביל בעקבות ישו חופי הים בישראל , בתי ספר שדה – טיולים שיוצאים מבתי הספר ואירוח, קצת על מבנה המפלגות והפוליטיקה אשכנזים / ספרדים / עליה בישראל נהנתי מאוד מאוד מהקליפ על הכסף ולמדתי המון :))) נחמד לראות את המשפחה הגדלה שלך!!! אנחנו חיים בארהב כבר הרבה שנים ואנחנו חוזרים כל שנה ומגלים את ישראל האהובה כל פעם מזוית אחרת . עלה והצלח ובפעם הבאה לפני ההגעה נזמין גם את הספרים שלך :))

    1. הי, כיף לשמוע! ותודה. אני לא יודע באיזה שפה ראית את הסרטונים – עברית או אנגלית, אבל שווה לך לראות את הסרטונים באנגלית מכיוון שכבר הפסקתי לעשות סרטונים בעברית. בתי ספר שדה הם יותר לישראלים והערוץ שלי פונה למטיילים זרים, אבל חוץ מזה אני אעלה סרטונים על כל מה שהזכרת.

  33. Thank you for the awesome videos, they are so practical and informative. I am from the US and have a trip planned for the end of June which I can change to July, In which a friend and I will be on our own trip. 2 weeks were volunteering on an excavation, but it is canceled. This will be a 5th trip. I hope it comes out ok. I know that you and tourism have taken such a big hit . can only imagine the joy when tourism in Israel is back on track! Blessing and best for you and your family. shalom

  34. Hi Oren,

    Great website. I lived in Israel for two years in my youth. I always come back… I’ll contact you if I return for a private tour guide services.

    I liked your video on the Arab-Israeli conflict. A lot of jew-haters out there don’t want to hear the truth.

  35. Hi Oren,
    I discovered your channel on YouTube and have been enjoying your videos. Thank you for creating them!

    One topic I would like you to publish a video about is Accessibility to various Israeli sites and in hotels, public transportation and restaurants. In my situation, for instance, I use a cane to walk and cannot stand for long periods or walk long distances. I’m sure others use wheelchairs who would be interested, too.

    Can someone with mobility issues obtain a satisfying visit to the traditional sites in Israel?

    I ordered your books and am awaiting their arrival!

    Thank you.

    1. Shalom, Thanks! And I will make a video about it. it will take me time but I will say that all major sites are accessible and in public transportation there are places for wheelchairs. However it can be better and needs to be improved.

  36. שלום. איזה אתר מצוין. ותודה על ההצעות שלך. קורים לי בארי ואני מארצות הברית

  37. היי אורן שלום! קניתי בדיוק עכשיו את שלוש החוברות שלך. שבת שלום וברכות מספרד.

  38. I stumbled upon your website. What a great source of information about Israel , it almost feel like it was written for me. I don’t normally buy guide books but will certainly get a copy of yours because you have put so much on this website . Thank you
    Ps: when travel restrictions get lifted I am planning to suprise my sister with a trip to Israel

  39. Oren,
    First thank you for your website and videos. You have obviously put a lot of work and thought into them, and it shows, they are amazing! Nine of us have booked a one week trip to Jerusalem at the end of September, staying in King David Residence. I have downloaded your booklets and I will send a link to my friends so they can download or purchase also, as they are pocket sized, and we will all be able to go off and do our own thing, if we wish. Can you tell me what is the feeling at the moment ‘on the ground’? Will Jerusalem be open for business again soon? Bless you, stay safe and well, Eric.

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