Solo Travel in Israel
Types of Girl about the Globes – Religious GatG, History GatG, Nature GatG, Diving GatG, Party GatG
Contrary to what is portrayed in the media, Israel is safe for females travelling alone. That's why we've given it 4 out of 5 stars. More women are now deciding to solo travel in Israel, accounting for half of the travellers that visit. Because of the obligatory army service, the country is full of strong, independent women and not how you may perceive women in the Middle East to be.
Most areas can be freely explored but the more religious areas such as Bethlehem can be a little daunting. People are generally friendly and you can backpack, camp or travel around with no problems (we’ve even known people to hitchhike here, although we don’t recommend it). Is it safe to travel to Israel? Because of the conflict between Palestine, the situation here can change so always check the Foreign Office website before you go.
Depending on what type of solo you are, the country has a lot to offer. There's culture and religion, beach and diving, bars and clubs and plenty of stunning landscapes plus of course – the Dead Sea. Don't let the news reports put you off travelling here alone.
Below is our guide to how to travel solo in Israel as well as lots of practical information such as where to stay, which tour company to use and how to get around. Find out how to get from the airports and what to do in each place. All companies included have been recommended by solo female travellers and come with our Solo Female Friendly endorsement. Just choose the relevant section or read the full article.
- Places to visit in Israel
- Accommodation in Israel
- Tours in Israel
- Transportation in Israel
- Israel itinerary
- Best Time To Go To Israel
- Travel Insurance For Israel
- Airports in Israel
- Travelling Onwards
- Frequently Asked Questions about Israel
- Map of Israel
- Plan a Trip to Israel
Places to Visit in Israel
Israel Holy Sites
Where else can you find the holiest place on Earth than in Israel? Jerusalem is a mecca for pilgrims who come to visit the many religious attractions and monuments that this 3000 year old city has to offer. This Biblical land is fascinating whatever your religious or non-religious beliefs, Jerusalem has a mix of Armenians, Christians, Muslims and Jews who all live peacefully within the city.
The Church of the Holy Sepulchre is where Jesus is believed to have risen from the dead and the Tomb of the Virgin is said to be that of the Virgin Mary. But if you only visit one, make it the Western Wall (known as the Wailing Wall), the centre of Jewish worship but don’t visit on a saturday as you are prohibited to take pictures. The Mount of Olives is worth a look too.
You can easily find your way around the old city with the Dome of the Rock as its beacon. Its maze of lanes and high walls feel like a labyrinth and if you rise before the crowds, you’ll witness the diversity of locals here amongst the religious quarters. It’s also full of gorgeous little shops with handmade jewellery and Bedouin bags but if you’re looking to do some serious shopping try outside the old city as souvenirs inside Old Jerusalem can be overpriced.
The contrast between the old city and the new is astounding. One is a religious place of pilgrimage and the other; a great place for shopping, drinking and partying. If you’re more into the latter than Ben Yehuda is the place to people watch and sit in the many bars al-fresco style where you can sample the local shisha. This area is great for a bar crawl and has some hidden gems in its side streets. You can also take trams from here to the bus station for your onward journey.
Bethlehem is definitely worth a visit but be prepared that it actually falls under Palestine and it is better to go there on a tour. Here you can see the Shepherd’s Field and the holy manger in the Nativity Church. The oldest church is still used in the world and sits above the cave where Lord Jesus was born.
Many believe that if you touch the stone in the cave you will be blessed. There are options to stay overnight in a Palestinian refugee camp if you wanted to spend more time in this ‘little town’ but don’t expect to see many little donkeys.
If you keep heading north you’ll reach the Sea of Galilee where you can walk all the way from here to the Mediterranean but we don’t recommend doing it alone as it’s easy to get lost. Gan Hashlosha is national park and one of the most beautiful places to visit in the country. It’s in the Lower Galilee and has stunning pools with palm trees. There is also an archaeology museum and tower here to visit.
Skip Genosar and head north for some cycling on the many bike paths around the Sea of Galilee, where not many tourists seem to come. Haifa is the country's third largest city and has the only underground train in Israel. It faces the Mediterranean Sea and a walk to Yefe Nof Street will give you an amazing view. There are good cafes here too. Masada Street is the place to go to find a bohemian vibe in the city.
If you prefer to trek you could try the Jesus Trail, a 60km trail where you get the chance to meet local communities en route. If you have 40 days to spare try the Israel National Trail, a 1000km footpath that starts from the Lebanese border all the way to the Red Sea.
Tel Aviv is one of our favourite places and you cannot visit Israel without coming here (especially as it is the main hub for flights). Fancy lounging on the beach in the morning, shopping in the afternoon then checking out the nightlife in the evening? These are just some of the things to do in Tel Aviv as well as trying the Israeli cuisine and exploring museums. There are arranged bar crawls in the evenings which are perfect for us women travelling alone to Israel.
Rothschild Boulevard is one of the most iconic streets in Tel Aviv and where you'll see the most wealthiest dining in one of the top restaurants. The boulevard is popular with runners and cyclists and it's a great place to people watch.
Miraflores is the place for swanky bars and restaurants but virtually anywhere you go in Israel you’ll find the country’s favourite fast-food snack; hummus and you can even get hummus flavoured ice-cream!
If you fancy some historical architecture you’ll love the old town of Jaffa, one of the oldest ports in the world and from here you can stroll back to Tel Aviv along the promenade. There’s a great hummus restaurant next to the flea market which is worth a window shop and as you venture back into Tel Aviv take a stop at the marina for a slap up meal whilst watching the sunset.
The Dead Sea
There is no better place to watch the sunrise in Israel than at the edge of the Judean Desert in Masada. The stunning view of the Dead Sea, the Moab Mountains and the Masada Gorge makes the very early morning start well worth it. The Dead Sea, the lowest point in the world is amazing and you cannot leave here without floating it its saline waters to cleanse your skin. There really is nowhere else like it.
You can either hire a car or book a full or half day tour from Jerusalem to experience it. You could also visit Ein Gedi (which translates to “spring of the kid.) This natural reserve is a little oasis and ideal for hiking. It's near Masada and the Qumran Caves.
If you have time, travel south to Eilat where Israelis go for their holidays. With the Sinai mountains as a backdrop, the Red Sea is the place to snorkel and dive, but you have to pay an entrance fee for access into the sea. There are three beaches to choose from and you can hire snorkel equipment. Restaurants line the promenade which comes alive at night and although it resembles the Costa del Sol, it is a fun place to relax.
Other places to visit in Israel are: Nazareth for organic goat farms, Golan Heights – a contested area of rings of ruins (be careful as it’s very close to Syria) and the Garden of Gethsemene where graves line the hills of Jerusalem.
Israel is more modern than you think and is an interesting country to visit. Where else can you find religion, culture, a sea where you can float and 300 days of sunshine a year.
Shabbat is the Jewish holiday in Israel and begins every Friday from sundown until Saturday at sunset. Be careful when booking tours or transport during this time as nearly all businesses close or have a reduced timetable.
Although the Occupied Territories are striving for independence from Israel, they remain under the Israeli control and have been occupied by Israel since 1967. It is difficult to enter various parts of Palestine and the West Bank without being part of an organised tour. Israeli soldiers have checkpoints outside each territory and check every vehicle entering.
Israeli border officials may have forbidden you to enter Palestinian territories by making you sign when entering the country. Palestine is a land that has to be discovered to be fully understood and a sign on the wall that divides Palestine from Israel aptly says, ‘Make hummus not wars.'
Avoid talking about politics and the conflict between Israel and Palestine.
Accommodation in Israel
Boutique hotels, sleeping in monasteries or even camping, Israel has a variety of accommodation options to choose from, including guest rooms in rural villages or kibbutz accommodation such as Pastoral Hotel in Kefir Blum.
There is a good Couchsurfing network for a chance to stay with the locals as well as opportunities for working on farms. Plus there’s Airbnb which connects you to staying with locals whether you choose to just book a room or a whole apartment. Save $20 off your first stay with this Airbnb link.
Homestay is an alternative to Airbnb. They offer stays in accommodation such as a stay with a family in a small Israeli village, or a room in a modern apartment in the north. You can video call your host family before you go to find the perfect host. Check homestays and prices here
If you are travelling Israel on a budget, you’ll find hostels in Tel Aviv, Jerusalem, Eilat and Haifa. If you are unsure of where to stay in Tel Aviv, Ben Yehuda is in the heart of the shopping district and just a 5 minute walk to the beach. If you choose to stay nearer the Dead Sea, accommodation is more expensive with spa hotels to treat yourself to.
All of the accommodation below have been recommended by solo female travellers from our Girls about the Globe community and come with a Solo Female Friendly endorsement.
This hostel is in such a great location – right on the beachfront. It’s in a great spot for windsurfing and cycling and of course diving. It has a really friendly vibe and will make you feel instantly at home. The rooms are spacious and there is a sociable outdoor area with a swimming pool and chairs.
The hostel provides free snorkels so even if you just fancy sunbathing on the beach and a quick dip in the sea, you can still experience the underwater life without having to dive. Choose from a bed in a mixed dormitory room or a double room with a shared toilet.
- Prices from £25 per night for a bed in a mixed dormitory room
- To book, check prices or availability for Ahla Diving Center
Exodus Dive Center and Guest House is a bit further from the beach as it’s a ten minute walk. The rooms are really modern and all have air conditioning and a satellite TV. The host is really helpful and if you do want to dive you can get a discount from their diving school.
They also offer a free shuttle service and have a hot tub! Choose from a double room with a shared bathroom or a double room with your own private bathroom and balcony.
- Prices from £70 per night for a double room with a shared bathroom
- To book, check prices or availability for Exodus Dive Center and Guest House
If you are looking for some company during your travels, the Post Hostel is ideal. Located near Jaffa Gate, this hostel is a lively, fun place to stay and close to the all the attractions that you’ll want to see in Jerusalem. It’s easy to meet others in the hostel bar or rooftop and they offer day and night tours so you don’t have to worry about what to do in the evenings alone.
It costs slightly more than some of the other hostels but the funky decor and free buffet breakfast definitely make it worth paying. Choose from a 4, 8 or 12 bed mixed dorm or an 8 bed female-only dorm room. There is also the option of a double room with a private bathroom.
- Prices from £21 per night for a 12 bed dormitory
- To book, check prices or availability for The Post Hostel
In the heart of Jerusalem, these boutique apartments are great for those wanting to be self-sufficient. It is a 20 minute walk from the old city or you can take the Light Rail tram which is just a few minutes walk away.
The apartments are close to Mahne Yehuda Market where you can buy fresh fruit and vegetables to cook in your own kitchenette, or dine in one of the cafes and restaurants. All studios and apartments come with either a terrace or a balcony. Choose from a studio, a one-bedroom apartment or a superior one-bedroom apartment (there are 2 bedroom apartments too).
- Prices from £76 per night for a studio
- To book, check prices or availability for The Market Courtyard
Abraham Hostels are a great hostel chain in Israel. They are very sociable if you’re travelling solo and perfect for meeting others with events held by the staff. Their hostel in Tel Aviv is near Shenkin Street, close to bars and shops. There’s a nice rooftop for chilling out on, a large bar area with pool tables, and hammocks to lounge in.
The rooms are big with comfortable beds and with so many showers you won’t need to queue in the mornings either. They offer their own tours too so you can meet people at the hostel and go on a tour to the Dead Sea or elsewhere in Israel with them. Choose from a 4, 6, 10 or 12 bed mixed dorm, or a 6 bed female only dorm room.
- Prices from £27 per night for a bed in a 12-bed dorm room
- To book, check prices or availability for Abraham Hostel Tel Aviv
If you’d rather have your own space, these spacious apartments are situated in the heart of the Israeli capital on one of the city’s most vibrant streets. It’s popular with solo females as it’s just a 5 minute walk to the beach. Both studios and apartments have a satellite TV and a kitchenette so you can cook your own meals if you don’t dine out at one of the nearby restaurants.
The staff are really lovely and they have a reception that is open 24 hours so it doesn’t matter if you arrive in the middle of the night. They can also arrange an airport transfer for you as well as any tours. Choose from a studio, a one-bedroom apartment or a superior one bedroom apartment.
- Prices from £82 per night for a studio
- To book, check prices or availability for Ben Yehudi Apartments
Tours in Israel
If you feel more comfortable in a group for either part of your trip or the whole duration, G Adventures is a responsible tour company which mainly caters towards budget travellers. Most tours have an average of 10 people and there is no upper age limit. Once you book your trip you pay extra for any excursions you want to do when you’re there.
Adventures start from an 8 days Israel and Beyond tour to a 22 day Best of Egypt, Jordan and Israel. I have personally used G Adventures and recommend them as a solo female friendly company.
Intrepid Travel is similar to G Adventures with an average of 12 people on each tour. Over 50% of people using their trips are solo travellers. They tend to use hotels instead of hostels and have a more comfortable style of accommodation hence the trips can appear more costly than G Adventures. Get to know the country on a 7 day Discover Israel & the Palestinian Territories tour, or explore Jordan on the same trip for 14 days.
With both tour companies you share a room with someone of the same gender or you can pay extra for your own room.
This company are one of the top tour operators focusing on Christian and Jewish tours to the country. They offer trips from 10 days to 16 days including a Roots of Your Faith tour, and New Classical Israel tours. You can also combine your trip with Jordan and Egypt.
- Sandemans Tours – Offer a free walking tour in Jerusalem (you give a donation depending on how much you enjoyed the tour), a tour to the Holy City, Mount of Olives tour and a Shabbat Experience.
- Jerusalem Midnight Biking – If you are looking for something to do in the evening, consider taking a guided bike tour in old and new Jerusalem.
- TLV Nights – Another great evening tour where you are guaranteed to meet others on this sociable bar and club crawl.
Ben Harim Tours – This tour company have daily tours all over Israel. They operate tours of the Dead Sea and Masada as well as the old city of Jerusalem and Bethlehem. You can get picked up in one location and dropped off in another if you plan ahead. If you get a chance ask for Itamar for an entertaining tour.
Transportation in Israel
Israel has a good, safe public transport system so you don’t need to hire a private driver as you would in Jordan for example. You can also fly internally if you are short on time.
Buses are reasonably priced and travel between the main cities and towns. Buy tickets from the central bus station in each town. The towns also have a great inner city bus network although trains also run some of the routes and can be quicker than the heavy rush hours. Minibuses also run between Tel Aviv and Jerusalem or take the 480 bus. If you’re travelling from Jerusalem to Eilat board the 444 bus which stops halfway for snacks. Saturdays can get busy on the buses so if you travel on an alternative day do it.
Sheruts are shared van taxis which are cheaper than taking a private taxi.
If you choose to hire a car, you must be over 24 years old with an international driver’s licence and credit card – reserve one before you go to guarantee it. There’s an extensive road network and signs are in English as well as Hebrew and Arabic. To hire a car you can always pre-book so you can collect your car when you arrive at the airport.
Use Rome2Rio to plan your travel around Israel.
You need at least a week to sample this fascinating country. Here are our recommended itineraries for 7 to 14 days.
One week itinerary – Fly into Tel Aviv (4 days), bus across to Jerusalem (3 days)
Ten days itinerary – Combine both cities with the beach in 10 days. Tel Aviv (4 days), Jerusalem (3 days), Dead Sea or Masada (1 night), Eilat (2 nights).
Two week itinerary – Tel Aviv (4 nights), Haifa (1 night), Tiberias (1 night) for the Sea of Galilee, Jerusalem (3 nights), Dead Sea or Masada (2 nights), Eilat (3 nights)
Best Time To Go To Israel
You can visit Israel at any time as it has a Mediterranean climate but if you are planning on spending some time at the beach avoid November to March which are the winter months where it is colder and also rainy.
The best time to go to Israel is May, June or September and October when the temperatures aren’t as hot as July and August.
This chart shows the average maximum day temperatures for Jerusalem (from January to December). Find out the weather for other areas here (under ‘all destinations at the bottom.’)
Travel Insurance For Israel
Israel is a great country to explore but it is recommended to take out travel insurance before you go especially if you are planning to visit Palestine.
I recommend True Traveller for UK and European residents, and World Nomads for U.S. and worldwide citizens. Both companies allow you to buy insurance when you are already on the road, and offer different plans depending on your needs including additional baggage cover.
Airports in Israel
Tel Aviv – Ben Gurion is the largest airport in the country and is 12 miles from Tel Aviv and 30 miles from Jerusalem. An express train runs to Tel Aviv opposite the terminal’s entrance – buy your train ticket from machines on the ground level. Tickets cost approx €4 and take 20 minutes. The bus is cheaper and costs €2 for the hour’s journey (take Line 476 bus).
Buses run to Jerusalem from the Egged terminal and can be purchased on the bus. Taxis can be found on the ground level but sheruts (van taxis) are much cheaper and go anywhere in the country (you have to share these with other passengers). There is also a domestic airport called Sde Dov Airport in the city which operates flights to Eilat, the Golan Heights, the Galilee, and Haifa.
Eilat – Ovda International Airport serves the south of Israel with flights to certain countries in Europe. It takes nearly one hour to get from the airport into the city and costs €8 on a bus (bus number 392) or approx £100 in a taxi. The bus company is called Egged and depart 4 times a day. Check timetables here.
Feel more confident with someone waiting for you at the airport when you pre-book a transfer with Hoppa, a reliable and safe service for solo females.
Travelling Onwards (check visas before you travel)
Flying into Amman then travelling onto Israel can actually be cheaper than flying directly into Israel. Departing Israel is a lot easier than entering and crossing into the Occupied Territories is challenging. A stamp from Israel in your passport can prevent entry to other countries so ask for it to be stamped on a separate blank page instead. Border crossings may close due to religious days.
Israel to Jordan:
Via Aqaba: A taxi from Eilat is less than a 15 minute drive. You have to pay a departure tax (which can be paid by credit card) then you walk through to the arrivals and a taxi rank from here will take you to various places in Jordan.
Via Allenby: The 963 bus runs from Jerusalem or take a taxi from the Damascus Gate for 40 minutes to the airport-terminal style border where you pay your departure tax. From here the JETT bus will take you from Allenby to the King Hussein border then once you are checked in, a minibus will take you to Amman’s Abdali bus station.
Israel to Egypt: Cross into Taba from Eilat. take the Egged Route 15 from Eilat bus station to the terminal where there are taxis at the crossing. (Visas for Egypt are not issued here).
Frequently Asked Questions about Israel
- Can I drink the water? Yes.
- Is tipping expected? Yes in restaurants, not really for taxis.
- Fixed price or barter? Barter in the markets.
- Any ATM’s? Yes.
- Which side of the road do they drive? Right.
- Good for vegetarians? Yes and also Kosher food.
- Any seven wonders of the world? No, but the Dead Sea should be.
Map of Israel
Plan a Trip to Israel
If you are ready to plan a trip to Israel here are some useful links to help you plan your trip including airlines which fly there, where you can volunteer and eco accommodation.
Budget – £35 a day
Capital – Jerusalem
Population – 7.6 million
Language spoken – Hebrew, Arabic, some English
Flying Time to Israel – 5 hrs from the UK
Did you know? Israel has an ethnic group called Samaritans.
Sheikh’s CampLodge – This eco accommodation is 20 minutes from the Dead Sea and offers private bungalows or dormitory-style accommodation. It’s the perfect place to sit under acacia trees or take one of their jeep tours to discover more of this magical area. The lodge is only open from September to June.
Galilee Bedouin Camplodge – If you’ve ever wanted to stay in your very own tipi tent or in a private train wagon, you can! They also have space for you to pitch a tent if you prefer to spend less on accommodation.
Israel is an eco-friendly destination.
Go Eco.org – Join a wildlife conservation program and volunteer in desert landscape or help in Jerusalem by preparing food baskets for hungry families across the country.
Tel Aviv City Tour – Take a tour of Tel Aviv while helping support the children of migrant workers and asylum-seekers in the city.
Israel Peace Tour: Create Art & Inspire Hope – Learn about the Jewish-Arab conflict through personal stories and create impactful art pieces while supporting peace efforts on the Gaza Strip.
Israeli Women’s Tour – Experience empowerment with a nonprofit organization, works to assist female victims of physical, emotional, economic, and sexual violence to help them develop financial freedom.
Project Hope – Brings together both local and international volunteers to help provide Palestinian children with educational programs in sports, languages, arts and technology.
Mind Body & Soul
Israel and Palestine Conflict – Israel is the world's only Jewish state, Palestine are the Occupied Territories within Israel which have remained under Israeli control since the 1967 war. The Israeli-Palestinian conflict is unfortunately still happening today. Read more here
Al Jazeera takes you through a brief tour of East Jerusalem – with a mostly Palestinian population – and West Jerusalem, which is entirely Jewish, to highlight the disparity in infrastructure and quality of life for Israelis and Palestinians. Watch here
Staying in a Kibbutz
A Kibbutz is a rural community of people where everyone has their own role. They were originally formed in the 1920s by Russian immigrants and based on the principles of social equality. All chores are shared and they are a great way to experience Israeli life for a fraction of the cost. Most kibbutz are now privatised and only the financially successful stay remain. You generally have to arrange your placement before you go and commit to 2 months.