Travelling in Israel FAQ

Israel – about travelling in the Holy Land & frequently asked questions

I frequently receive emails and messages from friends but also from complete strangers requesting information about travelling to Israel. The questions are always the same hence why I have decided to write this article (which will be updated frequently):

Is Israel safe?

Counterquestion: Is Paris safe? Is Graz safe? Is California safe? My answer: it depends! Dress appropriately and do your research about where not to go/dangerous parts of the city. I have been to Israel twice and felt really safe both times. Solo and as part of a group. Follow the media (but not blindly) and also check if there are any travel warnings.

Do avoid the Gaza strip also the border to Syria.

Is solo travel safe in Israel?

See above. I will have to say: yes!

When is the perfect time/season to travel to Israel?

Spring, autumn and winter – the summer months are just too hot for my liking. I visited Israel in November and it was perfect shorts and t-shirt weather. My second visit was in May and it was almost too hot for me already.

Blick auf Jerusalem
View of Jerusalem

Do I need a visa for Israel?

Austrian, German and Swiss nationals receive their visa on arrival. You will receive a permit entry at the airport rather than a stamp in your passport. Keep it safe for the duration of your stay.

Arriving on land you may have your passport stamped which could be a problem when trying to enter other countries. A lot of countries won't allow entry with an Israeli stamp in your passport so you may need to apply for a new passport.

Israel Visa

How long should I stay in Israel?

It depends on what you would like to see. You can see quite a lot in a week, 10 days are perfect and you even have time to visit the Red Sea if you stay for two weeks.

READ
Hiking in Israel - the ultimate Packing List

I made a map for you:

  • Green pins: a week
  • Green and blue pins: 10 days
  • all pins: two weeks

Itinerary for one week in Israel:

Day 1: Arrival

Day 2: Tel Aviv

Day 3: Caesarea and Haifa

Day 4: Nazareth and Tiberias on the lake Genezareth

Day 5: Dead Sea and desert tour

Day 6: Jerusalem

Day 7: Departure

Itinerary for 10 days in Israel:

Day 1: Arrival

Day 2: Tel Aviv

Day 3: Tel Aviv

Day 4: Caesarea and Haifa

Day 5: Akko and Nazareth

Day 6: Tabgha, Tiberias and Golan Heights

Day 7: Dead Sea and desert tour

Day 8: Masada and Qumran

Day 9: Jerusalem

Day 10: Departure

Haifa
Haifa

Itinerary for two weeks in Israel:

Day 1: Arrival

Day 2: Tel Aviv

Day 3: Tel Aviv

Day 4: Caesarea and Haifa

Day 5: Akko and Nazareth

Day 6: Tabgha, Tiberias and Golan Heights

Day 7: Hiking tour in Galiläa

Day 8: Dead Sea and desert tour

Day 9: Masada and Qumran

Day 10: Jerusalem

Day 11: Jerusalem

Day 12: flight from Tel Aviv to Eilat to visit the Red Sea

Day 13: Eilat

Day 14: flight from Eilat to Tel Aviv and departure

The flights from Tel Aviv to Eilat and back costs about Euro 120,– – sometimes you can find special deals for about Euro 80,–.

Is Israel expensive?

This all depends on your travel style. Flights from Vienna to Tel Aviv return start from Euro 170,–. A beer is about Euro 7,–, a bed in a dorm sets you back about Euro 13,– and a falafel with bread costs about the same as a kebap in Austria.

Public transportation in Israel?

You can take trains between cities like Tel Aviv and Haifa. It takes about 1:15 hours to get there and tickets are 27,5 Shekel (Euro 6,50). Student discounts are offered.

READ
Israel Travel Tips // Israel 101 // Israel for Beginners

Travelling by bus is also fairly easy. It's about an hour drive from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem and tickets are 16 Shekel (Euro 3,80).

Is it really impossible to drown in the Dead Sea?

Yes! The ocean salinity is really, really, really high compared to “normal sea water” hence why you float atop. It is soo much fun – enjoy!

Baden im Toten Meer

How salty is the Dead Sea?

VERY! The salinity in the Dead Sea is 33%. The Mediterranean Sea has 4%.

Make sure you do not swallow any sea water or get it into your eyes. Please contact a lifeguard asap if it does happen – it stings like crazy and can be life threatening.

What else can you do at the Dead Sea besides swimming?

There are plenty of things to do. I absolutely loved the desert tour and the majestic mansion “Masada” which was the home of King Herodes. You can also go hiking or visit the excavation site Qumran.

Wüstentour nahe des Toten Meeres
Desert tour near the Dead Sea

Do I have to cover my knees and shoulders in churches, mosques and other religious sites?

Yes, or you may not be allowed to enter at all if you don't. I found the check point at the Dome of the Rock to be particularly strict. I had to purchase a skirt because my dress had slits on the sides.

Bring a scarf to cover your shoulders or wrap around your hips.

Tempelberg richtige kleidung
A dress and a skirt – to make sure everything is covered

Can you hike in Israel?

Yes! There are plenty of really nice (long distance)hikes and adventurous routes like Wadi Qelt.

Wandern in Israel
Hiking in Israel

Is Tel Aviv really worth a visit?

Absolutely! The Old Town is absolutely stunning and be sure not to miss the markets, the port, the street art and the delicious food! Oh, and it's by the sea – don't forget your beachwear! Read more about Tel Aviv  here.

READ
Hiking through Wadi Qelt

Old Jaffa Israel

Tipps for Jerusalem?

Are you missing Austria? Visit the Austrian Hospice on Via Dolorosa and indulge in Viennese coffee and Apfelstrudel. Whilst it kept its name it is no longer a hospice per se. Nowadays it's a Guest House. I really enjoyed the view and gardens.

Another site I enjoyed is the excavation site City of David outside the city walls of Jerusalem. The museum is interesting but nothing compared to the underground tunnels. Be sure not to miss them!

Can you visit the Wailing Wall as a Non-Jew?

Yes, men have to wear a kippa  – you can get one at the entrance.

Can you visit the Church of the Holy Sepulchre as a Non-Christian?

Yes!

Can you visit the Temple Mount as a Non-Muslim?

Not really, the Temple Mount is completely closed on some days or opened only during selected times on others. It was closed the whole time when I visited Israel for the first time. We got to visit the area for an hour (at 6am!) on my second trip.

Heads up! Visitors have to completely cover their shoulders and knees.

Can you visit Al-Aqsa as a Non-Muslim?

Unfortunately not but the exterior facade is absolutely stunning and definitely worth a visit.

Do you need further travel tips for Israel?

Not a problem at all, here's plenty of articles for your trip to Isreal!

Keep on travelling

Israel FAQ

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1 Comment

  • Hi Viki,

    Great travel indeed and Israel is on my bucket list. And hey, another thing, does anyone told you, you are a look alike of Princess Diana? I have to check all your photos to verify that you are not Princess Diana. Don’t worry, although your face catches my attention but that doesn’t mean I didn’t read your article.

    Best Regards, and good luck to your next adventure.
    Daisy of Mosafer Fine Art of Travel Team

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