Updated: Sep 16, 2020
Israel is such a fascinating country with so much history to offer, we spent a long weekend travelling Israel and will definitely be back in the future as there is still so much more we want to see.
Tyson Trails Recommends Visiting
The Old City Jerusalem - We spent around half a day exploring the Old City, which is absolutely stunning, its is within walking distance of the main city and is surrounded by ancient walls that are home to holy sites such as the Western Wall, Dome of the Rock Islamic Shrine and Church of the Holy Sepulchre. You can either book onto a local guided tour or if you are like us we like to wing it, especially with a baby as they can be unpredictable and we like to set our own pace (normal speed). Inside you will also find lots of cute shops and markets selling when exploring the busy alleys and food stalls which is great for a lunch stop.
The Dead Sea - You cant go to Israel without a trip to the dead sea, and yes you really do float in it! we went to a 'beach bar' which had areas for BBQ's, sun lounger, changing rooms and a bar. You can also take a mud bath which is believed to have many benefits and then sit out in the sun and dry off (just don't wear your best swimwear)
The River Jordan
According to the Christian beliefs, the Jordan River is considered the third most holy site in Israel because it is the site of the most important event of Jesus' life; his baptism by John the Baptist in the Jordan River, the river is the divider between Jordan and Israel and one of my favourite parts was seeing visitors on both sides and knowing you were in completely different countries divided by a small wall bordering the countries. Visitors to the site today can be baptised in the River Jordan with prior arrangement. and we got to witness this, they are fully submerged in the water
Where To Stay
We stayed in Jerusalem which is a great base for exploring, its a very buzzing city with lots of shops and cafes, if you stay near the centre most local attractions are within easy walking distance. We stayed in a relatively cheap hotel called Jerusalem Inn Hotel as we were out mostly all day and just needed a bed for the night, It was a great location just 1 road back from the centre so we could walk everywhere in Jerusalem City.
Most parts of Israel, including the cities of Tel Aviv, Haifa and Eliat have no specific rules as they have become very westernised However, in parts of Jerusalem and in religious places I recommend you dress respectfully and cover your shoulders, knees and chest.
When to visit
The best times to visit is during Israels spring (April and May) and autumn (September and October) temperatures are mild throughout the country and great for exploring. Summer (June - August) The daytime temperature can get quite hot, and little chance of rain. The winter months of November to March are the coldest in Israel with snow a common scene in parts.
Flying to Israel
There are 2 main airports in Israel - Tel Aviv and Eliat both a reachable from most countries and on most airlines. We chose Tel Aviv as it was the quickest transfer to Jerusalem, around 45 minutes and we had booked a taxi via our hotel due to landing quite late but they also offer shuttle buses at the airport that leave when full and are much cheaper.
Food & drink
Traditional Israeli cuisine consists of quite a middle eastern feel foods like hummus, falafels, shakshouka and so on are widely available and absolutely beautiful from most places you decide to eat in. You also have most chains in the cities so there are lots of options.