Israel Travel Guide

Basic Facts of Israel

Official Name: The State of Israel
Location: in the southeast coast of the Mediterranean and at the joint of Asia, Africa and Europe
Area: 25,740 square km (9,938 square mi)
Population: 8.5 million
Official Language: Hebrew & Arabic
Currency: New Shekel
Time Zone: UTC+2
Capital: Jerusalem
Administrative Division: 6 districts
Religions and Beliefs: Judaism, Islam and Christianity

Top Things to Do in Israel

With a long history, Israel is the birthplace of Judaism, Islam and Christianity. The abundant as well as precious historical and religious relics in Israel are a magnet to tourists. Moreover, the warm climate and affluent water resources add more advantages for tourism. Here travelers can drive a jeep, ride a camel, live in a tent, and enjoy the savory and mellow Middle East coffee. The mysterious religious culture and magnificent natural landscape attract worldwide tourists.

Top Destinations & Attractions:

1. Jerusalem: Israel Museum, Church of the Holy Sepulcher, Via Dolorosa, Western Wall (Wailing Wall)
2. Tel Aviv: Jaffa Old City, Tel Aviv Port, White City
3. Haifa: Bahá'í Gardens, Stella Maris Monastery, Israel Railway Museum
4. Tiberias: Sea of Galilee, Golan Heights, Capernaum
5. Masada
6. The Dead Sea

Best Time to Visit Israel

April to October is the best time for travel, when it is always sunny. July and August are the peak season.

The country is dominated by a Mediterranean climate, featured by hot and dry summer with the highest temperature of 39 ℃ (102 ℉) and warm and rainy in winter with the lowest temperature of 4 ℃ (39 ℉).

Travelers need to reserve hotels in advance if they would travel in Israel during religious festivals.

Transportation

The land, sea and air transport are developed in the country. Cargos transported by land account for half of total volume and ships and planes carry a quarter each.

Travelers can choose to take a plane or a cruise to enter the country. When travelling in the country, they can take trains, buses, and taxies. Besides, subway is available in Haifa and light rail is available in Jerusalem. The subway and light rail in Tel Aviv are now under construction.

Israel Travel Tips

It is worth noting that, when entering and leaving Israel there will be very detailed security checks at the airport or border. When entering large shopping malls, supermarkets, and parking lots, you also need to go through security checks.

Travelers should have their passport at hand during the journey, because local authorities may check it at any time. If they want to travel to the Palestinian region, the military checkpoints will also check the passport.

From Friday night to Saturday night is the Sabbath of Jews, almost all stores, trains and long-distance buses are out of operation.

Jews usually greet each other by shaking hands instead of kissing cheeks, but males should avoid initiative handshaking with females.

Hotels do not provide disposable personal-care products like toothpaste, toothbrush, or slippers. Travelers need to prepare those stuffs themselves.

History

Jews descended from Hebrew, a twig of ancient Shemite. At the end of the 13th century BC, they began moving from Egypt in Ancient Mesopotamia to the Palestinian region. About 1000 BC, the Kingdom of Israel was established, which has been conquered by Assyria, Babylon, Persia, ancient Greece and the Roman Empire successively. In AD 70, Jews were evicted by Roman from the Palestinian region, living in exile for about 2,000 years. At the end of the 19th century, the Zionist Movement rose and the Jews began to move back to Palestine region. On 29 November 1947, the United Nations General Assembly adopted a resolution deciding to establish the Arab and Jewish States respectively in Palestinian region. On 14 May 1948, the State of Israel was formally established.

Geographical Features

Israel can be divided into four regions according to different geographical feature: the coastal plain region, the central hill region, the Jordan Rift Valley, and the Negev Desert.

The Jordanian Rift Valley in the territory of Israel is made up of the Jordan River, the Sea of Galilee, and the Dead Sea.

There are various landscapes and many national parks in Israel, travelers can have a particular experience of exploring the fun of nature.