TRAVELING IN 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.

traveling to 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

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.

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 (from Amazon) and come prepared! Or download as a PDF or EPUB (e-book).

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 right 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’re planning a trip to Israel and looking for a tour agency that can build you a tailor-made tour package, then I can highly recommend my team at Shin Tours. Click here to schedule a call at a time that is convenient for you.

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!

 

22 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.

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