Israel

Israel Travel Guide

For a country that's barely the size of New Jersey, Israel travel offers an experience of Biblical proportions — literally. As the prime destination for religious pilgrimages, the Holy Land offers, among many sacred splendors, the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, the Western Wall and the Dome of the Rock — and that's just inside the walls of Jerusalem's Old City. Israel offers diverse experiences, both religious and secular, from the home of the Baha'i faith in Haifa to the glittering high rises and beaches in Tel Aviv. Explore our Israel travel guide to start building your own Holy Land itinerary.

Things Not to Miss in Israel

Among the many historic and cultural experiences to pack into your Israel travel plans, some of the most popular tourist activities include:

• Seeing the Western Wall in Jerusalem's Old City

• The Coenaculum of the Last Supper on Mt. Zion, which is also home to King David's tomb

• Floating in the Dead Sea

• Strolling through Mea Shearim, Jerusalem’s Hassidic Jewish quarter

• Exploring Haifa for sea views and the Baha'i Gardens

• Admiring the 1930s Bauhaus architecture of Tel Aviv

When to Go to Israel

The combination of weather and holy days can help you determine the best times to visit Israel. The most popular time to travel to Israel is in the late spring and fall, when the weather is warm but not oppressively hot, and fairly dry. Summer brings plenty of tourists, despite the extreme heat (as in, over 100 degrees), especially in July and August. Israel's winter consists mostly of rain, and can last from late October to February or March.

Jewish and Christian holidays heavily influence the high seasons (and hotel rates), especially in Jerusalem and Galilee: the peak times include Rosh Hashanah and Sukkot in September and October, Chanukah and Christmas in December, and Passover and Easter in March or April. A nice shoulder season, in terms of weather, rates and crowds, is May.

Be sure to keep in mind, when you make your Israel travel plans, that many businesses around Israel close on Saturday for the Jewish Sabbath.

Articles about Israel

Lay of the Land Jaffa: This mixed Arab-Jewish area is known for its Flea Market, historic city (Old Jaffa), and the restored port lined with open-air restaurants. Neve Tzedek: Tel Aviv’s first neighborhood was established in 1887 and is filled w...
See T+L’s Bucket List slideshows • Beach Vacations Bucket List • The Foodie’s Travel Bucket List • Celebrities’ Favorite Places • Ultimate Adventure Travel Bucket List • City Getaways: Ultimate Bucket List United States and Canada • Big Island,...
Not long ago, it seemed every city wanted its own version of the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao, a shining slab of “starchitecture” to generate prestige and attract visitors. Now everyone is clamoring for a version of the High Line, the elevated freight...
Madrid Carlos Urroz, director of the city’s annual art fair ARCOmadrid, reveals his top holiday traditions. Sweet Treat: “Roscón de reyes—a soft bun made with orange-blossom water—is only available at Christmastime. Try it at the historic boulan...
Adam Tihany knows the inside of his suitcase better than the inside of his Manhattan apartment. The hotel and restaurant designer travels constantly for work, for pleasure, and to discover new places to eat. Fortunately, some of his latest project...
The Summer Bar at the American Colony Hotel is a place for optimists, who sit with an afternoon drink as the sparrows twitter in the flowering bitter-orange trees in the courtyard. On a sunny afternoon, it is possible to imagine that Jerusalem has...
Cross-cultural pollination means that both the croissant and the bagel have traveled far from home, and the “continental breakfast” still reigns supreme at hotels all over the world. But only in Japan will the morning meal offer dashi-maki tamago ...
In the midst of last winter’s revolts across the Middle East and North Africa, I kept getting e-mails and text messages from friends and colleagues in Tripoli, Cairo, Sanaa, and Benghazi. It made me homesick for the days when I spent more than hal...
The State of Travel |  Securing the Skies |  Inside the World's Most Secure Airport |  Nine Steps to Overcoming Flying Anxiety |  Travel Insurance—Are You Covered? Assessing the Risk—Advice From Experts |  The Comeback City: How ...
There is something about Jerusalem that seizes the imagination when you first come upon it. I have been traveling there for over four decades, ever since I was a child, and I never fail to be surprised by my first glimpse of the place, the way ...