My Advice Of Activities To Do On A First Trip To Israel, What Is Your Perfect Israel Itinerary?

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Photo Credit: Askii [CC BY-SA 3.0], from Wikimedia Commons
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I’ve been privileged to travel to Israel 5 times so far.

The first time was as a lap child. My father, (who turns 60 today, Happy birthday Abba 🙂 ) likes to say that he walked across the Atlantic as carrying me up and down the aisle was the only way I wouldn’t cry. With 5 brothers born after me, it’s no surprise that we didn’t travel abroad again after that.

As a 22 year old in August 2007 I did a month-long trek across the holy land with 2 of my 5 brothers. My grandparents were aghast that we hadn’t traveled to Israel and offered to fly us there. When I went to use the $100 off $400 Continental Privilege pack coupons that I had previously bought, I discovered that it allowed us to select Continental BusinessFirst seats despite booking a cheap coach ticket, so we flew to Israel in style. We took advantage of the plethora of SPG bargains that existed back then, spending just a couple thousand Starpoints per night to stay in Jerusalem, Haifa, Eilat, Tiberias, and the Dead Sea. There’s nothing like your first trip to the holy land. Seeing the Kotel for the first time and then going on the Kotel tunnel tour afterward is an amazing experience. I didn’t care for the side-trip to Eilat (The only differences between Miami and Eilat is that Miami has sandy beaches, good kosher food, and shuls 😉 ), but I did collect an Egypt stamp while we were down there. Things are easier when you’re just 3 guys, we rolled into Tzfas on a Friday and found an apartment that we were able to rent for Shabbos.

Sadly, my lounge is nothing to write home about, 2007:

 

In September 2009 Mimi and I flew to Israel for her brother’s wedding back in the days when Delta actually had saver class business award seats. We loved kayaking on the Jordan and hiking around the Golan. We went on a great Segway tour in Jerusalem and loved the Ramparts Walk. I had booked the Sheraton Jerusalem with Starpoints, but Starwood wound up moving us to the Mamilla when that hotel left the SPG program.

Banias waterfall, 2009:

 

In May 2010 I took Mimi on a mystery trip where she didn’t know where we were going. We flew on a Swiss and Lufthansa First Class award and made stops in Zurich, Paris, and Venice, along with a quick jaunt to Israel.

 

All the meat you can eat in Jerusalem’s Papagaio, 2010:

 

In March 2015 USAirways released all of their business class seats from Philadelphia to Tel Aviv on saver award tickets, so I booked a trip with my in-laws to visit Mimi’s brother and his family there. Our outbound flight was delayed and I got USAirways to rebook us on United, which worked out in our favor as that earned a boatload of miles:

 

We stayed mostly local in Jerusalem with activities like the Kotel Tunnel tour, Bloomfield Science Museum, and Mini Israel.

Impromptu speech from Bibi after the Megillah at the Great Synagogue, 2015:

 

Giving a DansDeals Seminar in Jerusalem, 2015:

 

 

I’ve long wanted to try out El Al, and now it’s more affordable than ever thanks to Qantas, but I couldn’t find enough availability for an upcoming trip to Israel. I did find United award space and look forward to trying out their new 77W Polaris class to Tel Aviv.

This time we have a 5 month old, 4 year old, and a 6 year old, so we’re not going to do anything too crazy, but I’m always open to reader suggestions for activities to do and places to eat.

Kosher eating in Israel on a mehadrin level is always complicated. Life seems pretty simple in the US where the major hashgochas are universally accepted, but figuring out which Israeli hashgochas are on par with US agencies is difficult to say the least.

 

Last year a non-Jewish blogger reached out for a 1 week Israel itinerary, while still leaving time for him to blog the whole time, and avoid cities that would close down for Sabbath. Here is what I suggested (before Qantas started offering El Al redemptions), with some edits for clarity:

“Hey Ben,

If you’re booking with AMEX, don’t miss this Matmid promo and don’t forget to wait 24 hours after transferring to get Matmid executive discounted rates.

I’d love to see a review of El Al 787 business class from EWR-TLV and LY 777 first class from TLV-LAX, but I know that’ll cost an obscene amount of points/cash. If you do fly first class though, you should be able to have a travel agent make any meal requests from TLV…as long as they’re kosher 🙂

A week is a tall order, especially on a busy blogger schedule. If you can swing it, I’d probably do a 5th night free award at the Waldorf Jerusalem, and then a night or 2 each at Sheraton TLV, Ritz Herzliya, and SPG Design Elma Arts. I’m assuming you’re going before March, otherwise the W TLV might be an option.

Just bear in mind that Israel does not have a service oriented culture, so a true 5 star hotel will never exist there.

That being said, the Waldorf Astoria Jerusalem is in a fantastic location and does a decent enough job along with a great complimentary breakfast.

Conventional wisdom may be to avoid Jerusalem on Friday/Saturday, but I’d stick around. The experience of seeing an entire city in a hustle and bustle preparing for Shabbos (walk around the Machne Yehuda Shuk or the streets of Meah Shearim) is neat and then seeing it all come to a halt on Friday evening/Saturday is something you won’t find elsewhere. You can still tour Christian/Muslim sights/Temple mount in the old city on Saturday and if you’re up to it, see the crowds filling in the western wall area on Friday night.

-Definitively book a Western Wall tunnel tour well in advance here.

-I love the Ramparts walk in Jerusalem on top of the old city walls, you can get a birds eye view into everyday life in all 4 quarters of the old city from there.

Yad Vashem, the Holocaust Museum, is a must see.

City of David tour, be prepared to get a bit wet!

Aside from that, Jerusalem is a good base for a fascinating day trips to:
Masada tour/Dead Sea floating/Ein Gedi hike
-Dig for a day archaeology at Bet Guvrin
-A tour of Hebron and the cave of the patriarchs.
-If you want to take a tour of the west bank for a view of the conflict from both sides.

TLV has beaches and a big bar and nightclub scene, but not much historical. I wouldn’t focus too much time there. People love the dialogue in the dark exhibit, which has to be booked well in advance.
The Palmach museum is neat as well.

There are a ton of awesome wineries if you’re into that. I can give you more info on those if you’d like.

Up north along the Mediterranean sea, you’ve got the Roman ruins in Caesarea, the high-tech companies in Haifa, the grottoes in Rosh Hanikra.
Inland north there’s Tiberias on the sea of galiliee, the ancient city of Tzfat, and the Golan Heights. I love exploring Nimrod’s fortress and Baniyas waterfall in the Golan.

There are more authentic israeli possibilities, like staying in a kibbutz for a night or staying in a “Zimmer

And that’s ignoring the possibilities of goind down south to Mitzpe Ramon, Eilat, and trips to Petra or Sinai

Anyway, I hope that wasn’t too overwhelming. Happy to follow up on anything.

Enjoy,
Dan

So, what does your perfect Israel itinerary look like? Share your top activities and eateries in the comments below!

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82 Comments On "My Advice Of Activities To Do On A First Trip To Israel, What Is Your Perfect Israel Itinerary?"

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fjdo

Thanks! Would love to hear great ideas for a family of 6 (ages 8-15) traveling summertime for a month long trip to the holy land

bn

Same here . going to Israel with a family of 7 for 3 weeks and would love some ideas

Danfan

Breathing the Jerusalem air is enough

Mountain man

Was that Ben from OMAT?

Jacob

Hi Dan and thanks for your great work!
The new daily El Al route LY 25 & LY 26 is currently running, however looking ahead in 2019 its showing up for bookings only thru March not in April, do you have any info why that is and if they will be discontinuing this route?

Work-for-ur-muny

You probably cried that whole first flight cuz your father paid cash for the tickets… lol

Benji

How can Kever Rochol be left out? Aside from Massada and Ein Ghedi themselves, the drive there is breathtaking. Some of the most unique scenery that you’ll ever see. There is also the model of the Bet Hamikdosh in the Israel Museum for those that like that. The neighborhoods of Meah Shearim (as opposed to the street which was mentioned), Batei Ungarin and Batei Warsaw are worth a walk thru as well. There are still people living the same as 150 years ago (besides for electric and SOME of its amenities). And many are happy and jolly. The Great Synagogue is loved by some, especially if you are musical and go to hear the choir on Shabbat.

ideas

not to menton reb Chaim kanievsky for a bracha.

Aliza Goldstein

I don’t have a whole itinerary, but the most fun activity we did as a family, which included people ages 8-77, was The Workshop in the Gush. Mandy and Jeremy Broder run a fun wood workshop where everyone, no matter the age, can participate. It was voted the family favorite at the end of vacation. Highly recommend!

mendy

Definitely a different experience going with little kids. Some of the things our kids enjoyed: Eretz Bereishet, Machon Ayalon (Rechovot, Underground bullet factory from before war of independence), Ein Gedi, Masada, Chevron, Weizmann institute of science park

Avraham S

Check out Kever Shmuel Hanavi on Wednesday Nights at 9:30 to experience Tikun Klali with musical accompaniment and a lively Breslov crowd.

Check out Psagot Winery a few minutes outside of Jerusalem.

The largest crater in the world, Mitzpe Ramon is a far drive down south but definitely worth it.

Take an armored tour bus from Jerusalem to Hevron.

Kever Yosef in Shechem is a nice touch if you could get there.

I would say all of Israel is beautiful and inspiring, but the most pristine, untouched beauty is generally in the territories.

Jay

How were u able to find 5 United biz seats? It’s almost never available

Yeehaw!

Not necessarily historical or religious, but I recommend Dig For A Day, Aqua Kef on the Kinneret, the Salad Trail and the science museum in Haifa.

trip planner

List of some things we did last year with family in addition to your list:
Leket food picking in the field for charity food banks.
Breishit olam or kfar kedem old historic exepience and dressup, animal rides, kids enjoy and kfar kedem has great lunch package.
Bullet museum in rechovot.
Beit shememsh stalactite caves.
Dekarina chocolate factory in golan, kids design treats .
Gamla hike not too difficult for kids.

In regards to eating in Jerusalem,,, obviously ice cream at ketzefet or my preferred location Aldo.
Cafe rimon milkshakes.
Food at Crave eatery is really good, menu created by tierre sur chef I believe.

Good luck and enjoy.

Yitzi

Ice wayyyy better at Mousseline (by the Shuk and great parve Sorbert too). Milkshakes wayyyyy better at prob anywhere but rimon (last time i went it was literally milk that they shook, or so it seemed, lol).

marko

Tiberius is best for water sports fun by the Sea of Galilee. Also nearby here in the north is the underrated and ultra therapeutic natural springs at Hamat Gader.
Trekking and hiking with meaning at Masada or with some natural water falls and fun at Ein gedi and especially at the Yehudia Forest Reserve.
City and nightlife fun is obviously TLV.
More watersports, swimming with dolphins, boardwalk, great beach and city fun in Eilat.
Jerusalem for the ultimate cultural/religious/hearitage experience in the world!
Dead sea – the hottest/coolest and certainly LOWEST place on earth!
I could go on an on but dont have the time, albeit a small country you can tour and explore israel for a lifetime.

Yossi

Dan, I don’t know if you want to answer this question but I would appreciate if you share your opinion.
You write that you booked business with Continental coupons even though it was intended for coach. Do you think it’s morally right to such tricks? I’m asking because I have this dilemma all the tile when approaching other not so known trick. I appreciate if you can share you philosophy about this.

BN

Does anybody have a good tour guide for Jerusalem’s old city? Going with my wife and 2 kids age 16 and 13 in mid June 2018

Thank you

Toshav HaRova.

Try Barnea Selavan, resident of the Rova. You can Google search him. Although he may be more geared toward the Jewish interests than a tour of the Old City in general.

BN

Thank you so much, i actually emailed him now for his schedule, i appreciate your help!

Avrum

Efroym Krauss is the best for old citi

Marc

Try Basha Zusman at 02-6276095. I have used her a few times, last one being in 2013. She is from Philadelphia originally and now lives in the Old City

Tzvi Satt

I’m a great guide specializing and living in the old city! pm me for references and options! @satturn

S

How about Mini Israel? Great and fun outing for kids!

Eli

My highlights were Friday night at the Kotel!

Asher

Dan,

How do you manage with a 5 month old (or any baby up to say 18 months) when flying business? Do you buy them their own seat? Isn’t that complicated wheb flying business class?

My wife thinks it’s preferable to fly coach and give the infant it’s own seat rather that share a seat in business/flat bed.

9 Weeks - Small Kids

We were fortunate enough to be able to spend 9 weeks over two summers in EY will 3 kids (in the upper naughts)

Here are some of the things we did:
Soreq Caves
Chizkiyahu Tunnel
Ceasaria
Kever Rochel
Chevron
Bet Shearim
Eliyahus Cave
Bahai Gardens
Haifa Science Museum
Rosh Haniqra
Israel Museum/Bais Hamikdosh Model
Old City Walls Promenade
Temple Institute
Latrun
Masada
Nahal David – hike
Dead Sea – Mineral Beach(I know it is now a sink hole)
Katzrin Park
Golan Winery
Olive Oil factory
Kayaking (Kfar Blum)
Banias
Manara Cliff
Nimrods Fortress
Meron
Tzfas – guided tour
Kevarim in Galil area (Rambam, Meir Baal Haness, etc)
Dialog in the Dark
En Avdat- hike
Machtesh Ramon
Kayaking in Eilat
King City
Timna Park
Snorkling in Eilat
Aquarium
“Lot’s Wife”
Arab Shuk
Tnuva Factory Tour
Biblical Zoo

Machane Yehudah
Roladin Factory
Nachalat Binyamin
Carmel Market – T.A.
Ayalon Institute
Better Place (think they are out of business now)
Tel Aviv Promenade
Jaffa Flea Market
Chagal Windows
Invitation to Silence
Megiddo
Kfar Tavor Marzipan Factory
Tzipori
Bet Alpha Synagogue
Gan Garoo
Gan Hashelosha
Belvoir Castle
Tel Dan
Baram Synagogue
Kibbutz Haon (Ostrich Farm)
Mifletzet/Gan Rabinowitz
Ammunition Hill
Hai Bar Reserve in the Negev
Kibbutz Lotan Eco Tour
Air Force Museum
Tel Beer Sheva
Ariel Center – Old City JM
Nahal David
Ed Gedi Synagogue
Ein Gedi Botanical Gardens
Ornat Chocolate Factory
Hurva Synagogue Tour
Bible Lands Musuem
Time Elevator
Beit Guvrin

Not to leave off Meah Shearim/Geulah
And the Kosel among other typical old city sites.

Brenda

What would be your top pics in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv (or near Tel Aviv) for kids?

9 Weeks - Small Kids

Soreq caves
Chizkiyahu water tunnel
Latrun tank museum
Bet guvrin caves
The blind and deaf experiences (both)
Tell aviv promenade but at night. They have activities for kids – life size tic tac toe and things like that…
Rampart Walk
Old City in general.
It’s a matter of what you and your kids like to do.

Personally I prefer driving through the Negev…

BBPAPA

love your list.

Which of the chocolate factory tours are worth it?

I would add to your list-a visit to a tefillin factory.
Oter Israel in Jerusalem
or there’s one in Beit El
In Tzfat, the men may want a very cold dip in the Ari’s Mikveh.

Anyone try Calber 3 in the Gush or the Begin Museum in Jerusalem?

9 Weeks - Small Kids

We did bet El. Not sure how I missed that on my list. Thanks!

Been to caliber 3 recently with one of my kids – upper teenager on a different trip. Not really worth the money.

Plan-It Israel

There’s a place called Eretz Bereshet 20 minutes south from Jerusalem where you basically go back in time of how our forefathers lived get dressed as them ride donkey’s and camels etc. Extremely interesting for all ages including adults

Yonah

Last time I was in Israel was 5.5 years ago with my then 11 year old son. A lot of the posters have covered the things we did, but wanted to add a couple more:

– The ‘Dialogue in the Dark’ that Dan mentioned is at the Children’s Museum in Holon. It isn’t a standard children’s museum, it has other experiential exhibits. When I went, Dialogue in the Dark was sold out, so I went to Invitation to Silence. Some people book a whole day here, picking one ‘experience’ after another – https://www.childrensmuseum.org.il/eng is there english site for more info. Warning – some experiences have a minimum age.

– Beit Hatfusot aka the Diaspora Museum is on the Campus of Tel-Aviv University has exhibits for all ages. The TAU campus also has the Palmach Museum on it, and a beautiful synagogue (Which may or may not be open for tours).

– Since it was my son’s first trip to Israel, I wanted it to be spiritually meaningful – but also felt he needed to see a little of the secular side of Israel as well – hard to do with only one week. But we made one marathon day in Tel-Aviv. It included the aforementioned sites as well as a Maccabi Tel-aviv game that night. It was awesome. That was my son’s favorite day on the trip. We went to a Israel League game (tickets were around 75 shekels – roughly 20 USD) Maccabi also plays in the euroleague, and those tickets are about $75-100 – it was a lot of fun to see sports in another country. I imagine soccer in Israel is also a great experience.

– For culinary treats, if you’re kosher, there’s the novelty of eating at a US Restaurant Chain that is not kosher in the US, but Kosher in Israel. (BTW, based on your observance level, check their certification first – not all of them are kosher) For example – Pizza Hut, and McDonalds have kosher stores in Israel. Also Mahane Yehuda Market in Jerusalem has also recently seen a spate of new highly-touted restaurants like Crave and Hatch

– Finally, google events happening during your visit. You may catch a unique experience or something you could catch at home with an Israeli flair. For example, in the last two weeks, Israel hosted the European Judo Championships and the first 3 stages of the Giro D’Italia cycling competition. If you’re a runner, you could even schedule your trip to include the tel-aviv or jerusalem marathons (Feb/Mar) or night run tel-aviv (October).

HTH

Oren

Some of my favorite things to do that not everyone goes to

In Yerushalayim
Russian compound – has prison from time of British mandate
Kishle – area around Ramparts that has only only opened recently
Tachana Rishona – took over old train stations and has free shuttles to old city

In Beit Shemesh Area
Beit Guvrin – great in the summer since a lot is underground
Maarat Hateumim – also known as bat caves, a very nice hike to get to it
Stalactite caves – also great in the summer
Givat Haturmesim – a nice hike for 4+ which has beautiful wild flowers around Purim time
Ben Shemen Monkey park – about 30 minutes out from Beit Shemesh

Maaleh Adumim area
Ein Mabuah – water or dry hike the whole way

Ein gedi area (besides ein gedi)
Einot tzukim – pools of natural spring

Galil
Madras – water hike the whole way – at some point you need to be over 12 to continue
Beit Sheaan – roman city excavation with a Tel at the top. Really, really hot in the summer
Beit shearim – caves with cemeteries including R’ Yehuda Hanasi.
Gamla nature reserve – has really large vultures

Akko was wonderful to visit. Make sure to go to the prison and the templar tunnels.

Lh

What is Madras, would love to find out more details, I am in Israel Now.

Shmobaum

Definitely worth staying a night or two at the new Orient Hotel by Isrotel in the German Quarter of Jerusalem.
Completed just about ten months ago, it is in my opinion nicer than the Waldorf…

Matter of taste.

More facilities. I wouldn’t call it nicer. Breakfast is likely better at orient. There were rooms in the house/historic building that were nice but there were steps after the elevator. those rooms are probably a lot more than the waldorf. The standard rooms in the new building were very cheesey and the bamboo looking wallpapered hallways left a lot to be desired. Waldorf is much classier and also in a much better location. If you want a pool that would be maybe the only reason to stay at orient.

Brian C

Beit Gurvin Tel Maresha (spelling?) archeological dig. Maybe too much for Maya, but we had a blast! Wanted to stay all day.

Brian C

Avshalom caves were amazing. Genesis land was fun. Met a guy who works there who knew corky and lennys! His wife is from Beachwood. Small world.

Shmobaum

For a calm and relaxing activity, you can rent a golf car in the Hula Valley reserve that has beautiful nature and birds…

fjdo

a/o know of an American girls daycamp there? Bein Hazmanim time?

Shaul

Much has already been mentioned, but there are great hikes in the north which tend to get overlooked on “family” trips – I only discovered everything there when I was on Yeshiva, though I wouldn’t recommend a novice going to them without a guide.

fjdo

What would be the best way to book tickets to Israel with 500k UR – any class is fine and any advice on the best way to go about this, would be greatly appreciated!

Mr. CC

For economy;
If you have the reserve, book through chase. If not, sell your points and book.

el

A few highlights from our trips there with our kids (2 of the trips were with great prices on tickets from dansdeals.com, thank you Dan!)

animal related:
Gan Garoo, is a great kangaroo place where you walk among them and feed them and there’s other animals like a parrot area where they land on you
Monkey park is pretty good too
if you are in the gush area, herodian has an animal place by Sde Bar, kids get to play with bunnies, snakes, birds and other animals

Rosh Hanikra is beautiful. If going to Haifa on the way there’s a naval museum there, very inexpensive and interesting, little kids wouldn’t appreciate it.
The best beach for little kids if going north is Chof Dor, great place bec there are very little waves and it’s very shallow. and it’s really beautiful.

Latrun if kids would enjoy climbing on tanks

That’s all I can think of off the top of my head. There’s a facebook group called “loveloveisrael – tried & tested” which has lots of great info.

Eli

If you can, daven Shacharis at The Churva shul in the Old City on Rosh Chodesh (or any day that Hallel is recited. They daven K’minhag Ha’Gr”a, it is absolutely beautiful.

Yitz

Dan,
Is the email to Ben Schlappig/ Lucky of One mile at a Time?:)

SAMUEL

Jeep Tour in midbar yehuda!
Did it twice with different tour guides. Different routes it’s a must. Email me for tour guides #

David

In Yerushalayim:
Tower of David Museum, and at night has a new sound and light show.
Begin Center
Tachana Rishona (First Station) has lots of activities for kids. Also, check out their web site for different shows.
Israel Museum, which has some new exhibits including never before seen Dead Sea scroll remnants from Bereishit scroll.
Friends of Zion Museum
Kikar Musica which has a very interesting music museum, some great restaurants and live music at night.
Knesset tour
Supreme Court tour

CUBS FAN

Eilat is mentioned in the Torah – Miami is NOT!

Ayalah

Ancient Shiloh is a must-see! Awesome for kids and adults.

9 Weeks - Small Kids

Indeed. We also did that recently. But I highly recommend you arrange in advance for a guide for once you get there, otherwise you are on your own just looking at rocks. I was a little disappointed in the model mishkan they had, but whatever. Also when you finish the tour of ancient Shiloh there is a Shul in Shiloh that is built to look like the Mishkan and some of its keilim (mizbeach, shulchan, etc). Definitely worth the 2 minute drive over there afterwords. Just a word of caution, once you get off highway 60 to tel shiloh, don’t use waze. Follow the brown road sign. Waze will take you into Shvut Rachel and you’ll have to backtrack…

There’s also a winery right across highway 60 from Shiloh. Gvaot in Givat Harel. They give tours and wine tastings.

Ayalah

dont miss the new Hallelujah sound at light show at Ir David

Danfan

Only from a cubs fan…..#danfan

Bob

You don’t have to be Jewish, or a pilgrim from the other two religions that recognize Israel as a special place, to appreciate a tour of the country. I returned even more agnostic than when I went for 10 days, but it was a trip both meaningful and enjoyable.

I brought back a T-shirt from one of the Jerusalem Old Town markets, showing one of my accomplishments: Swimming in the Red Sea, Dead Sea and Med Sea. I am a single traveler, past 60, but in fairly good shape. I enjoyed and recommend Eilat, and especially snorkeling the reef off the pier rather than 30 miles out as one must do on Australia’s Great Barrier Reef. Also, Eilat has a better aquarium than many I have visited around the world, including Sydney and Auckland. Eilat was also the start of an overnight tour to Jordan’s Petra and (a must-see for those who have read The Seven Pillars of Wisdom) Wadi Rum.

Stayed at the Jerusalem YMCA, across the street from the King David. Room was basic but breakfast was wonderful. A fellow passenger on the van from the airport told the driver I was headed for the Yum-Kuh.

I took a bus down to Tel Aviv, walked to the beach, found a food and drink place where the bartender watched my stuff while I swam in the Mediterranean. Took the train back.

The group tour to the Dead Sea and Masada got off to a bad start when the bus picked up a family from in front of the hotel, where I was told not to wait, and left me in the lobby, where I had been told to expect the guide. But a few phone calls and a taxi ride (their expense) got me to the group before it was too far out of town. You can’t really swim in the Dead Sea, and you have to be careful how you float. But the mudpack and shower afterwards is rejuvenating. I didn’t recognize myself in the hotel bathroom mirror at the end of the day — I saw someone about ten years younger. My flight home was the next day. I still had the Dead Sea smell about me; I hope I didn’t offend the passenger next to me, because the flight took a couple hours longer than scheduled. USAirways avoided some bad weather.

I was totally unimpressed by airport security. The planes might be safe once they take off, but the Ben-Gurion terminal seemed vulnerable. In Eilat I went through an inspection of my suitcase at the entrance, then asked where to find the ATM. They said it was just outside, so I went and got some cash, came back in, and was waved through without a second look.

I recommend the Israel Museum in Jerusalem, but I did not enjoy being prey for the cab drivers who refuse passengers wanting to pay by the meter, rather than three or four times the price for the trip. I figured out how to get close enough to the hotel on a city bus — the stop where I got off was near the American consulate, soon to be the Embassy — and had a serendipitous walk.

Holiness.

More agnostic? It’s a religious thing to say you went down to Tel Aviv from Jerusalem. At least there’s room for some spirituality in your life.

Bob

I was writing in terms of elevation above sea level, but I do understand that Tel Aviv is viewed as a more “secular city.” Which reminds me — I don’t know Hebrew, but I can read and understand some Russian, and there were signs in Tel Aviv storefronts that made me feel less a stranger. And at lunch in Tel Aviv, after my swim, there was a table nearby of about 16 men speaking Spanish, a language in which I used to be fluent and can still spot national accents. I couldn’t place theirs, so I asked, and it turned out they were from Argentina, for a senior sports competition. It was another lesson in Israel’s place in the world

Tzvi S

Dan, you are invited for a complimentary tour of the old city! JEwish/Muslim Quarters (whichever you want or both) or a private behind the scenes tunnel tour. pm me @satturn

Shmuel

Tzvi’s tour is highly recommended! I did it twice – when my parents came to Israel and when my in-laws came to Israel. He takes you to the coolest places in the Old City!

eb

my 5 and 7 year old loved ein yael when they went with their camp
https://www.funinjerusalem.com/ein-yael/

ein gedi was super fun- we went there on a family trip last summer (4 kids ages 7 years-6 month old)- you dont have to do the whole hike, just stop off at the bottom water fall- accessible most of the way even with a baby carriage. just make sure to drink LOTS of water.

eb

waffle bar in ramat eshkol (yerushalayim) is super yummy and Rubin hechsher…. i always say, if that had been there when we lived in ramat eshkol i would never have moved….

Yisroel

A Jeep tour to the Bedouins in Midbar Yehuda is a must, imo!

Jew with an Attitude

Just finished a 2 week trip to Eretz Yisroel with my bas mitzvah maidel. Her number one favorite activity? Aqua Kef! #2 — snorkeling with the dolphins in Eilat. #3 — horseback riding on the beach in Netanya. Also in the top group was carousela boating in Teveria, De Karina chocolate factory in the Golan Heights and Tornado boating near Rosh Hanikra.
Rabbi Simcha Hochbaum from Hebron Tours does an “Off the Beaten Path” tour of Yerushalayim which is so interesting! I personally loved the Virtual Reality Tour of the Bais Hamikdash at the Kotel Tunnels.

Swellcindy

What is carousela boating in Teveria? Did a search but can’t find. Thanks!

Michael K

Nice discussion here. I am planning a family trip in August with several kids ages 2-8. Any suggestions for kids friendly Jewish/Israeli experience preferably away from sun in Jerusalem/Natania area? Thank you in advance

Lh

Any young newly married couple ideas people have done?

Gavriel

Hi Dan,

I’ll be going to Israel in a few weeks and would like to know where to eat. I’ll be mostly in Jerusalem or Tiveria area. I would prefer to eat at the highest kashrut establishments.

Please let me know at your earliest convenience.

Thanks

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