Israel Travel Guide
While it's easy to fill your entire list of things to do in Israel with sacred sites, there are plenty of contemporary and secular hotspots that are worth a visit. Here are some fun options:
Ein Gedi National Park. This park in the Dead Sea area is home to balsam plants, native wildlife and an ancient synagogue with mysterious inscriptions.
Shop the Souks. Israel has a number of festive open-air market markets—such as Carmel Market in Tel Aviv, the Jaffa Flea Market and Jerusalem's Old City Market (or souk)—selling beads, sandals, rugs, vintage clothes and plenty of snacks.
Snorkeling in the Red Sea. The coral reefs of Eilat make for some colorful marine life sightseeing, even for beginners.
Winery Tours. Certainly, Israel's wine culture has been around longer than France's or California's, and exploring the newer operations is a fascinating option for foodies wondering what to do in Israel on a day trip. Some of the top wineries these days include Galil Mountain Winery and Na'aman Winery.
Great stop for a strong cup of coffee.
At the National Park of Beit Guvrin, Archaeological Seminars runs three-hour “Dig for a Day” programs, where dabbling archaeologists (or participants, as they would prefer) crawl through unexcavated cave systems as well as sift and dig for artifacts dating from the Hellenistic period.
Vintage hunters will swoon over this spacious boutique filled with restored furniture by Midcentury masters, including Eames, Nelson, and Aalto. Don’t miss the 1950’s-era Israeli items—from Hebrew-language globes to kibbutz-style chairs.
The club hosts a popular Sunday night showcase for Russian bands called “Stakanchik,” or “little drinking glass.” Amid luxuriant George of the Jungle décor, young, hip, and sometimes pregnant people in ironic CCCP and Jesus T-shirts shimmy and sway by the stage.
Where a medieval-looking portal leads to an invitingly gloomy space.
This art-house cinema on leafy Lloyd George Street has drawn the artisterati
for more than 80 years. As the first
Alternately plays host to classical quartets and hip-hop parties.
At Israeli artist Ayala Serfaty's 2010-opened shop, you'll find a selection of ottomans and chairs covered in velvet or Lycra and in organic shapes—bubbles; poufs.
Follow in the steps of Mary Magdalene, Miriam, and Queen Helena. Other itineraries highlight Holy Land favorites: the Garden of Gethsemane and the Dome of the Rock.