Solo Travel in Israel
Types of Girl about the Globe (GatG) – Historical, Nature, Ocean, Party, Spiritual GatG
Israel is such an interesting country to explore. If you are planning on touring Israel on your own, below is my guide on how to travel solo in Israel including where to stay, top things to do in Israel as a solo, recommended tours to Israel, and how to get around Israel. Find out how to get from the airports, what to do in each place and what to see in Israel in 10 days, a week or two weeks.
All companies included have been recommended by myself and other solo female travellers and come with our Solo Female Friendly endorsement. Just choose the relevant section or read the full article for solo female travel Israel.
N.b. For every booking made through this article, I donate money to projects helping vulnerable girls about the globe. Thank you for helping to make a difference to their lives.
- Places To Visit in Israel
- Tours in Israel
- Accommodation in Israel
- Transportation in Israel
- Israel itinerary
- Israel Travel Guide
- Best Time To Go To Israel
- Travel Insurance For Israel
- Airports in Israel
- Travelling Onwards
- How To Be a Conscious Traveller in Israel
- Frequently Asked Questions about Israel
- Map of Israel
- Plan a Trip to Israel
Solo Travel To Israel
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 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. Traveling to Israel as a woman poses no threat at all.
As an individual traveller to Israel, 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). Backpacking through Israel is easy too, and you'll meet others staying in hostels to buddy up with to explore the rest of the country.
Is Israel safe for female travellers? Yes but due to 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 and plenty of Israel sightseeing. 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. Israel is a safe country to explore independently but if you unsure of traveling to Israel alone or things to do alone in Israel, you may feel more comfortable in a group tour for Israel solo travel.
* Before you travel, check what paperwork or visas are required for 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 holy land known 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, one of the country's historic sites and main things to see in Jerusalem (known as the Wailing Wall).
This is the centre of Jewish worship and is not one of things to do in Israel on Saturday as this is when you are prohibited to take pictures. Seeing Temple Mount and the Mount of Olives should definitely be included on your places to visit in Jerusalem.
One of the things you must see in Israel lies inside the walls of Old Jerusalem. The Via Dolorosa is the cross route taken by Jesus as he walked to his crucifixion. As a place of Christian pilgrimage, it is an Israel must see and the route is marked with plaques to follow. Either self-guide yourself or take one of the Jerusalem tours to find out more.
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 is 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.
Another of the things to do in Jerusalem is visit the Israel Museum, one of the world's leading art and archaeology museums, and Israel attractions where you can learn about Jewish history, art and culture. See the Shrine of the Book that features some of the Dead Sea Scrolls, as well as a model of the city before it was destroyed by the Romans in 66CE.
If you take a trip to Jerusalem, the contrast between the old city and the new is astounding. One is a place of pilgrimage and one of the most religious places to visit in Israel, 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.
New Jerusalem is one of the best cities in Israel 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 one of the places to see in Israel 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. This is one of Israel's religious sites 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.
Things To Do in Northern Israel
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.
Things to do in Haifa include enjoying the city’s beaches whether that’s sunbathing or having a water sport lesson, seeing the sculptures and paintings of the Jewish artist, Mane Katz at the aptly named Mane Katz Museum, or admiring bronze statues in Ursula Malbin Sculpture Park. See the golden dome of the Baha’i Shrine and terraced gardens at this UNESCO World Heritage, one of the Israel points of interest where you can take free tours to learn more about this beautiful landmark monument and memorial.
Another of the tourist spots in Israel is the Stella Maris Carmelite Monastery and you can ride the Haifa cable car up the steep hill for a panorama of the city. From the monastery you can walk to Elijah’s Cave, an important pilgrimage site.
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 the best places to visit in Israel 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 Israel museums such as the Tel Aviv Museum. There are arranged bar crawls in the evenings which are perfect for us women travelling alone to Israel. Depending on what you want to do here, you need a minimum of 2 days in Tel Aviv.
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!
Walk to 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 and historical architecture. 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 Judean Desert is one of the smallest deserts in the world, that lies west of the Dead Sea. Within its rock landscape are monasteries within the cliff faces. The most beautiful being the Monastery of St George but this isn't the desert's only impressive attraction. The ancient fortress of Masada is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and you can take a cable car to the top for stunning views.
The Dead Sea, the lowest point in the world is amazing. This natural wonder is one of the tourist attractions in Israel, 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 trip from Jerusalem to experience it. You could also visit Ein Gedi (which translates to “spring of the kid.) This nature reserve is a little oasis and ideal for hiking. It is near Masada and the Qumran Caves.
If you have time, travel south to Eilat, a place in southern Israel where Israelis go for their holidays. One of the fun things to do in Israel and things to do in Eilat is dive, and 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.
Just 20 minutes drive from Eilat is the horseshoe-shaped valley of Timna Park. If you’re wondering what to see in Israel for history, desert and geology, then this place is it. Surrounded by tall cliffs, Mount Timna, was the world’s first copper mine and you can still see the ancient mining shafts throughout the park.
One of the unique places in Israel is Mitzpe Ramon that sits on the cliffs of the Mitzpe Ramon Crater. Located in the Negev Desert, the Mitzpe Ramon Visitor Center is one of things to see in Israel if you love outer space as it tells the story of the country’s first astronaut, Ilan Ramon.
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.
TIP – Shabbat is the Jewish holidays 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.
Tours in Israel
If you are unsure how to tour Israel on your own, and 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 tour to Israel and Beyond to a 22 day Best of Egypt, Jordan and Israel. They are the best way to tour Israel and 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 Intrepid Israel trips can appear more costly than G Adventures. Get to know the country on a 7 day tour of Israel called ‘Discover Israel & the Palestinian Territories tour', or explore Jordan on the same trip for 14 days. Read our Intrepid Travel Reviews or Click here for the full itineraries, prices, and start dates
Indus Travel is another tour company that offers Israel tours for solos. From an 8 day Israel Express tour to a 9 day Bible Land tour, Indus Travel also offer tours in the country up to a two week grand Israel tour. You can also combine Israel with Egypt and Jordan too. Indus Travels accommodates an average of 25 people for small group tours with approx 14 people per vehicle. You can also travel with ultra-small groups which have a maximum of 6 passengers.
This company are one of the top tour operators focusing on Christian and Jewish escorted tours to Israel, (Holy Land tours to the Christian Holy Land). Their Israel vacation packages are from 10 days to 16 days including a Roots of Your Faith tour, and New Classical Israel tours. You can also combine your Biblical Israel tours 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 one of their guided bike tours jerusalem in Old and New Jerusalem.
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 also book private tours in Israel. You can get picked up in one location and dropped off in another if you plan ahead. If you get a chance ask for tour guide Itamar, for an entertaining tour.
Get Your Guide – Get Your Guide helps you to find top-rated day trips and activities in Israel. Choose from New Jerusalem: holy city tour, Masada and the Dead Sea tour, or a guided day tour of Bethlehem old city. There are several day tours of Israel to choose from and it’s really simple to use. Just check the reviews, price and availability then book online. * Check all tours and prices here
Accommodation in Israel
Boutique hotels, sleeping in monasteries or even camping, there is a variety of accommodation in Israel 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 Israel 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.
For cheap accommodation in Israel, you can 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.
If you are wondering where to stay in Israel, 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 accommodation is either hostels, guest houses or apartments. For cheap hotels in Israel, and the best hotels in Israel, click on the link below and search for the star rating.
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
For where to stay in Jerusalem 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
If you're wondering ‘where to stay in Tel Aviv' to meet others? Abraham Hostels are a great hostel chain in Israel. The staff hold regular events and are very sociable if you’re travelling solo and perfect for meeting others. 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
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.
Israel transportation also includes buses, and travelling around Israel by bus is relatively easy. Buses are reasonably priced and travel between the major cities and towns. Buy tickets from the central bus station in each town. Click here for the Israel bus schedule. 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.
The distance between Tel Aviv and Jerusalem is less than an hour. Minibuses run between these two cities or you can take the 480 bus. You can also use the Israel Railways. The Tel Aviv to Jerusalem train takes 45 minutes and is a similar cost to the bus. The train is also the quickest transportation from Tel Aviv to Haifa, and takes 1 hour 5 minutes instead of extra 10 minutes on the bus.
Trams make up some of the public transport Jerusalem and you buy a ticket for the Jerusalem Light Rail at the tram stops or use your smart card to travel. Read more here
If you’re travelling from Jerusalem to Eilat board the 444 bus which stops halfway for snacks. To head to the south, the bus from Jerusalem to Masada takes 1.5 hours. All buses leave from Jerusalem bus station which is one of the country’s busiest. You need to buy your ‘Rav Kav’ smart card at the Central Bus Station before you board. These cards can be reloaded.
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.
When travelling Israel, if you choose to hire a car for road trips, you must be over 24 years old with an international driver’s licence and credit card. Reserve your car rental 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 road trip and travel around Israel.
When travelling in Israel, you need at least a week to sample this fascinating country. If you are unsure what to do on your trip whether you are planning 7 days in Israel, are looking for a 10 days in Israel itinerary or an Israel itinerary two weeks, below are some suggested examples for your trips to Israel.
7 Day Israel Itinerary – Fly into Tel Aviv (4 days), bus across to Jerusalem (3 days).
Israel Itinerary 10 Days – 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).
Israel Itinerary 14 Days – 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)
Israel Travel Guide
If you need a guide book for your travels we recommend both Lonely Planet, and Rough Guides. Covering where to go and when to go, things not to miss, itineraries, traveling around Israel, festivals and events, history, and maps, they are the most comprehensive guides on the market. If you prefer other brands click here for all Israel guide books.
If you are planning on travelling to Israel for the first time, the Lonely Planet Israel & the Palestinian Territories covers topics such as: highlights and itineraries, cultural insights including history, the best places in Israel to visit, as well as people and politics. They also include essential information, how to travel Israel, how to avoid the crowds and unsafe areas as well as insider tips so you can make the most of your time in Israel. They’re your travel Bible.
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 for traveling in Israel is in May, June or September and October when the temperatures aren’t as hot as July and August.
The chart below shows the average Israel climate for Jerusalem (from January to December). Find out the weather for other areas here (under ‘all Israel 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.
True Traveller and World Nomads are two insurance companies which can cover travel to Israel. True Traveller is available to UK and European residents, and World Nomads is available to over 100 countries worldwide, including the USA and UK. For digital nomads, Safety Wing is a nomad insurance that covers people from all over the world.
All companies allow you to buy insurance when you are already on the road and offer different plans depending on your needs including additional adventure cover.
N.b. World Nomads provides travel insurance for travellers in over 100 countries. As an affiliate, we receive a fee when you get a quote from World Nomads using this link. We do not represent World Nomads. This is information only and not a recommendation to buy travel insurance.
Airports in Israel
Tel Aviv – Ben Gurion Airport 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 from Israel to Jordan may close due to religious days.
How To Get 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).
How To Be a Conscious Traveller in Israel
In addition to the universal ways to be a conscious traveller such as reducing your plastic, and shopping local, here are our recommendations for being a conscious traveller in Israel:
- Cover up when visiting any religious places or monuments such as the Wailing Wall or the Dome of the Rock. Ensure that you have clothing over your knees and shoulders. Jerusalem is the capital of the Holy Land so dress modestly as not to offend the locals.
- If you dive in the Red Sea in a popular beach resort such as Eilat, use a responsible diving company. Avoid any overcrowded areas that may affect the underwater environment and be careful not to touch the coral. Find out more…
- When shopping in the souks in places such as Old Jerusalem, be careful of buying any fake goods. You can even be fined as you leave the country if you are in possession of a fake antiquities such as old coins, or anything belonging to archaeological heritage.
- Help volunteer with people in Palestine. SanghaSeva offers ‘Being Peace’ weekend retreats for 2 days where you can meet and work alongside the Palestinian villagers, whose lives are impacted by the Israeli army. I have personally taken part in a retreat and helped pick olives with the Palestinians. Find out more about their retreats
Social Impact Programs
There are several social enterprise cafes in Israel that help give back to the community. Not only do they serve great cuisine but they also employ people from disadvantaged populations and those with disabilities.
Dine at Liliyot, a kosher restaurant, and you’ll be helping young people age 16 to 19 years old at risk. Cafe Ringelblum is a nonprofit organisation that also helps provide work experience for disadvantaged youth.
Order coffee or a snack from Cafe Motek in Tel-Has College and you’re helping to shed fears about mental illness and provide support an organisation where people suffering from mental illness can work together. If you are looking for somewhere to dine where you can make an impact, choose one of these eateries.
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.
Volunteering in Israel
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.
Stay Eco in Israel
Zman Midbar Eco Spirit Lodge For Peace – Is there anywhere nicer to spend some time than in the desert? This eco lodge is situated near to Arad and the Dead Sea and is surrounded by wild desert scenery so you really immerse yourself within the atmosphere of the desert.
You can take tours from here to Masada or Yatir, or just relax and enjoy the sunrise and peace of a rustic eco experience. Just don’t expect luxury or Wifi. Choose from a bed in an open dormitory or a private room with your own shower. Breakfast is included in the rate. Prices start from £34 per night for a bed in a mixed dorm room.
* To book, check prices or availability for Zman Midbar Eco Spirit Lodge
Galilee Bedouin Camplodge – If you’ve ever wanted to stay in your very own tipi tent or in a private train wagon, now you can! This eco-friendly camp lodge is situated in a quiet area where you can hike to your heart’s content.
It’s a great place to spend time in nature and meet like-minded people whilst enjoying views of Galilee. They also have space for you to pitch a tent if you prefer to spend less on accommodation. Prices start from £24 per night for a bed in a 15-bed dormitory.
* To book, check prices or availability for Galilee Bedouin Camplodge
Frequently Asked Questions about Israel
- Can I drink the water? Yes, you can drink tap water but you may prefer to take your own water filter with you.
- 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 planning a trip to Israel, here are some useful links to help you to plan your solo trip to Israel including airlines which fly there, vaccinations that you need, and local costs.
Budget – £35 a day
Current Time in Jerusalem
Capital – Jerusalem
Population – 7.6 million
Language spoken – Hebrew, Arabic, some English
Do I Need a Visa For Israel? On entry you can get an Israel tourist visa for up to 3 months.
Flying Time to Israel – 5 hrs from the UK
Best Time to Go – The best time to go to Tel Aviv is May, June & September.
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.
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.
Sanghaseva – Join a Being Peace Retreat in Israel and Palestine and spend time in a Palestinian village working with the villagers. I did this retreat and loved my time here.
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.
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.