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
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.
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
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.
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).
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.
See you in Israel!