Top 10 things to see and do in Israel

Top 10 things to see and do in Israel

This is a toughie, narrowing down Israel’s top attractions to a top ten “must do” list. But, here it is, our attempt at bringing you the best of the Holy Land in one ultimate checklist – these are things that you really should see and do in Israel, no matter if you’re here for a long weekend or a month.

In no particular order…

Float in the Dead Sea

Floating in the Dead Sea

The Lowest Point on Earth is one special place to visit. If you need to chill out, and especially if you’re feeling rundown, the Dead Sea is the ideal place in Israel to visit. Bring your newspaper along for that picture opportunity, smother some of that mineral rich Dead Sea mud on and then float on your back in the warm, salty sea. Just avoid diving in! For more, see our guide to the Dead Sea. If you’re after an amazing budget-friendly tour of The Lowest Place On Earth, click here for more details.

Tour the Old City of Jerusalem

jerusalem old city market
The Old City of Jerusalem is a real must-see, being home to sites of key religious significance, including the Western (Wailing) Wall, the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, and the Dome of the Rock. You can easily spend a full day here: place a prayer between the cracks of the huge stones that make up the Western Wall, browse the stalls in the narrow streets of the Old City bazaar, and visit the site of Jesus’ crucifixion. Read our full guide to the amazing Old City.

If you’re looking for an unforgettable tour that will take you through many of the Old City’s highlights, don’t miss our awesomely good Holy City tour! You’ll get to experience the amazing Old City market lanes, as well as the main sites holy to Jews, Muslims, and Christians, such as the Western Wall, Dome of the Rock, Al Aqsa Mosque, and the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. Not to be missed!

Haggle in the Carmel Market, Tel Aviv

carmel market The Carmel market in central Tel Aviv gives you the opportunity to hone your bargaining skills and get a taste of the real Israel. Starting at the Allenby Street end, wander past the many clothes stalls before you hit the market’s epicenter; the food and spices. Amazing colors, amazing smells…listen to the stall vendors hawk their goods and taunt each other over space, prices, quality, or sports teams. A great day out – don’t take a tour or hire a tour guide, just go and explore!

Snorkel or scuba in the Red Sea, Eilat

Eilat is the place to go if you want to see amazing coral reef, beautiful fish, and crystal-clear water. What with great weather practically all-year round, this is the place to dust off your snorkel and/or scuba. Alternatively, for the less adventurous there’s always Eilat’s impressive Underwater Observatory and nice beaches. Eilat has its own airport so is easy to get to, and is a short drive from the amazing dives of Sinai.

Visit Yad Vashem, Jerusalem

Yad Vashem A more sombre spot to visit, but an important place to visit in order to get a deeper understanding of Israel, this is Israel’s memorial to the six million Jewish victims of the Holocaust. Located on the Western outskirts of Jerusalem, the large complex of museums, monuments, exhibition halls with major archives, library and other resource centers extends over 45 acres. Take your time, and be prepared to be deeply moved. Read more here.

Stand at the edge of the Ramon Crater

ramon crater An amazing geological feature of Israel’s mainly desert south, located about an hour south of Beersheva. The crater is 40 km long and 2-10 km wide, almost heart shaped, and naturally carved out by water and climate erosion. The largest crater in the world, it sinks some 500m at its deepest point. Get an amazing view of the Ramon crater from the Mitzpeh Ramon visitor center, where yes, you can stand at the edge of the world’s largest crater! Read our full guide

Enjoy a sunset on Tel Aviv beach

Tel Aviv beach The gorgeous sandy beach of Tel Aviv is the perfect spot to catch a sunset. Accompanied by a beer or wine or whatever you prefer, kick off your shoes and feel the sand between your toes as the Mediterranean laps gently at the shore just meters away. You could also wind down the day at one of the many beachside cafes, the choice is yours. Don’t miss our guide to the Top 10 things to see in Tel Aviv!

Visit the mountain fortress of Masada

Masada3 The mountain fortress of Masada stands on an isolated rock plateau in the south east of Israel, overlooking the Dead Sea. The tale of Masada is one of Jewish heroics, 1000 inhabitants committing mass suicide rather than surrendering to their Roman enemies. Take a walk up the Snake Path to the top of Masada if you’re feeling adventurous, otherwise take the cable car (see pic). Read more here.

Perhaps the ultimate way to enjoy Masada is by watching the sun rise over the Dead Sea while sitting at the top of this stunning mountain…join our Masada Sunrise Tour for an unforgettable experience – it starts early, but is one of our most popular tours. Once you’ve done it, you’ll know why…

Marvel at the Baha’i Gardens in Haifa

Haifa The magical terraces of Baha’i in Haifa are possibly just off the primary tourist track. But they really should be added to your visit to Israel. The Baha’i gardens must be one of the most beautiful gardens in the world and are a memorial to the founders of the Baha’i Faith, attracting pilgrims from around the world. Free to enter though you should dress modestly. Read our full guide here.

Have a night out in the City That Never Sleeps

Tel Aviv nightlife In Tel Aviv the nightlife is legendary, you can find pretty much anything you need for a good night out. There are countless bars (see our top 10 Tel Aviv bars) and clubs, as well as museums, theaters, galleries, dance centers, and concert halls for the more cultured evening. If you have the energy, Tel Aviv can keep you occupied until the early hours, including the many restaurants and cafes throughout the city. During the summer months, try a night out at one of the beach-side cafes and bars.

For an unforgettable taste of what The City That Never Sleeps can throw at you, join our Tel Aviv Pub Crawl for an awesome night out! You’ll meet lots of new people, get some free drinks, and VIP entrance to all the venues we visit (and we visit some of the hippest places in Tel Aviv)…

Check out the above ten attractions on this awesome map>>>


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  5. Aaron D.

    October 28, 2009 at 3:37 pm

    Top 10 things to see and Do in my opinion:

    ATVing at the Kinneret (Sea of Galillee)

    Kayaking/Rafting the Jordan River

    Stay a Night in a Bedoiun Tent in Ashalim
    near Beersheba

    Hike at Ein Gedi, and stay for Shabbat at the Kibbutz, enjoy a drink at the Kibbutz Pub and talk to Benny Rambo – a local who lives in Australia during the summer

    Orthodox Shabbat meals in the Old City, Jerusalem. Free for Students

    Dance the night away with locals at Beersheba (highly active student life due to Ben-Gurion University)best clubs include Forum, Einstien, Baraka, Draft, Manga, and the list goes on.

    Hiking the Shvil. Hike the Golan. The Yom l-Yom trail. The Negev.

    See Tel Megiddo, Tel Beersheva, Avdat and other archaelogical parks.

    Eat Shawarma in a Shuk or at a bus station, never at a restaurant.

    Rosh Hanikra.

    Honorable Mentions:
    – India in Israel at Moshav Nevittim

    – Stars, Quiet, and Egypt and also an awesome desert/mountain biking experience- Kibbutz Nitzana

    – Ashqelon Beach comibines the accesibality of Tel-Aviv, and the Quitness of Nachshalim

    – The Church of the Holy Sepulchre

    – Beersheva! The Forgotten Capital of the Negev!

  6. Ashley

    October 28, 2009 at 7:10 pm

    Good stuff Aaron, maybe I’ll make up a new list of alternatives…

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  8. Israeli@heart

    February 9, 2010 at 3:41 pm

    I love Israel, its the best country in the world, there is soo much to do so little time….


      February 8, 2016 at 5:46 pm

      Me too I love Israel

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  11. julie

    January 30, 2012 at 2:51 pm

    for 5 years of working, living (and now blogging) here in Israel, I’ve done only 5 from your list. Will definitely try everything before going back to the Philippines. Love your site by the way. :)

    • Ashley

      January 30, 2012 at 9:59 pm

      Thanks Julie!
      What five are left to do?

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  13. chloe and jasmin

    April 4, 2013 at 5:37 pm

    cant wait for israel 2k13! hype hype! HAM!! gna float in de dead sea and erting. xoxo

  14. Ian Bachelor

    November 4, 2013 at 1:09 am

    I’m traveling to Israel next year, via Jordan. Can anyone tell me if it’s possible to cross over to Eilat, Israel, from Aqaba, Jordan?

    Thanks, Ian

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  16. Kannan Balaji

    June 8, 2014 at 6:22 am

    Many thanks,

    I am coming to Israel this September and the list helped a lot in planning my trip.


  17. Andrea

    January 1, 2015 at 9:02 pm

    Happy to say I’ve done all these except going to Eilat. My daughter keeps telling me it’s too crowded and tacky! But I’ll get there next year maybe. I want to emphasize that Israel to my mind has the greatest hiking in the world. In the north, we’ve hiked to amazing waterfalls and jumped in water surrounded by basalt columns like the ones at Giant’s Causeway in Ireland. You must hike Ein Gedi and Ein Avdat, as well as Maktesh Ramon in the Negev. It’s absolutely other-worldly down there! Remember to get a National Parks pass at your first stop, VERY worth it!!

  18. Esther N. Itale

    January 2, 2015 at 5:56 pm

    It is my prayer that our almighty God enables me visit the holy land Israel and see all the beautiful things and cities this year 2015.

  19. Aiden

    January 5, 2015 at 4:04 am

    Thank you for this! My mother grew up in Israel and we’re hoping to go back soon, this will be of great help.

  20. jonathan gross

    March 7, 2015 at 8:49 pm

    Hey everyone!! I am a freshman at university and I am traveling to the Holy Lands. However I do not come from a wealthy family and need to raise 600 USD. Im 3/5 of the way there but I still need help! Would you mind going to my GoFundMe page and simply reading about what I’m doing while in the Holy Lands. Then if you are interested you can support me on my journey. Thank you!

  21. Joseph

    March 8, 2015 at 10:51 am

    I think we should make round a world trip ….only short life……………………………………so much to see and enjoy….

  22. Jesse

    June 25, 2015 at 11:31 am


    My name is Jesse and I made Aliyah in 2007.

    I have been flying “drones” (or quadcopters) for several years, capturing footage from different locations around the world.

    One of my videos of Apollonia National park was featured in – granted, the equipment I was using was very old and extremely shaky–terrible quality.

    I have since learned more and improved my video quality. I do it as a hobby and with no financial interest at all.

    Just though you might like to feature one of these on your sites–and if you want, I can film a specific location for you for fun.

    Here are some recent videos:



  23. Joseph Tiva

    July 15, 2015 at 10:18 am

    Cant wait to visit my favourite country in the world -Israel

  24. Nina

    June 9, 2016 at 2:10 pm

    I will be spending the day in Tel Aviv awaiting our other travelers. What is a good, day trip. We will be going to Jeruselem, Dead Sea, Sea of Galilee with the rest of our group later.

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