48 hours in Eilat: reefs, restaurants, and relaxation
Take Vegas’ hedonistic offering of casinos and luxury accommodations paired with Cancun’s music-blaring, skin-baring, party-hopping locales and throw in the Red Sea — a stretch of pure blue known worldwide for its treasured diving portals — and you’ve got Eilat: Israel’s most infamous resort town. With a quaint airport increasing its international flights by the second, the tiny plot of hot, hot heat ebbs and flows with swarming people throughout the year thanks to its always-sunny days and always-rowdy nights. But summer is even more of a draw, with locals, tweens and tourists taking advantage of every last beach chair. With an overwhelming list of things to do and places to stay in Israel’s southernmost spa town, Time Out’s very own Jennifer Greenberg has narrowed things down to a 48-hour itinerary of reefs, restaurants, and relaxation. We suggest arriving in the evening, checking in and getting a good night’s sleep in preparation for an action-packed two days of fun in the sun. DAY 1: Morning: Snuba in the Red Sea © PR Start your morning off right with a continental breakfast at one of the luxurious Eilat Hotels and Resorts. Once you’re settled and satiated, it’s time to head out to enjoy the real reason you came to Eilat: the crystal clear waters of the Red Sea. The southernmost city in Israel, Eilat, has been blessed with a spectacular coral reef. This unique Israeli attraction is the beating heart of the mile-long nature reserve that stretches acros
Make way for Maccabiah: an 85-year journey through the 'Jewish Olympics'
Who could have imaged that the dream of a 15-year-old Jewish kid would one day become a reality. After the Eretz Israel Soccer Association was founded 85 years later, the Maccabiah games took shape and are still going strong thanks to the ambitions and intense efforts of Joseph Yekutieli. His nonstop lobbying laid the pavement for the organization, which facilitates the worldwide gathering of young Jewish athletes in Israel. With the 20th Maccabiah games coming up this July (2017), we thought we'd take you on an athletic journey through time, starting with the history of the very first gathering and ending in 2017.
Discover Mount Hermon: five things to do around Israel's highest peak
Ski season is upon us. Grab your gear and head up north to Mount Hermon for a chilly weekend of family fun. One of Israel’s most scenic attractions, from summer walks to winter skiing, Mount Hermon has it all. With panoramic views from Lebanon to Syria, you’ve got to hit the slopes and embrace the limited days of snowfall before it’s too late. Glide down the powdery trails until your knees are spent and your toes are froze. Then, after a long day of skiing or snowboarding, wine, dine, defrost, rest and repeat. Discover what to do in and round Israel’s highest peak with our inclusive guide to Mount Hermon.
Israel marathon madness: the best winter races
When it comes to outdoor fitness, Israeli’s take their exercise seriously. While in the rest of the world, fitness buffs are forced indoors to stuffy gyms and tiny gymnasium tracks at the first sign of flurries, in Israel, running season is a year-long activity. Leading a healthy lifestyle is important in the Middle East (hence the various vegan restaurants), and the variety of fresh fruits and vegetables offered in its markets make eating well a cinch; but, that’s only half the battle. Stay in shape with our list of Israel marathons and races from north to south, January to March. From Israman’s trying triathlon to Ein Gedi’s family-fun 2k run, there’s a race out their for all ages and fitness levels.
Family-friendly things to do in Jerusalem
While you may want to tackle all the famous historical landmarks that cover generations of your family’s heritage, there is only so much dry history your children can take. We’ve taken the entire family into mind and come up with a list of fun things to do in Jerusalem with your children and your children’s children. While Tel Aviv’s got the kid-friendly Park HaYarkon, Jerusalem’s got plenty to do with a biblical zoo, interactive museums, and even a scavenger hunt to trick the kids into learning with a hands-on history tour around town.
Sights and attractions
The top things to do in Israel
Israel may be a tiny country, but the amount of sites it offers can make planning a trip an overwhelming endeavor. Don’t fret! We’ve combed through the country from east to west and north to south to bring you the definitive guide of not-to-be-missed attractions. From sandy beaches and archaeological sites, to bridal boutiques and food markets, you'll never run out of things to do in Israel.
The Old City Jerusalem: must-see sites
Though the Wailing Wall and the Kotel tunnels are vital stops when in the Holy Land, you don’t need to be religious to appreciate the splendor that the Old City Jerusalem has to offer. It’s one of the world’s greatest and most historically rich sites filled with artifacts and museums. While it might seem daunting to cram so much history into one visit – not to mention shopping and foodie destinations – it’s perfectly feasible with our guide that rounds up all of the Jerusalem must-see sites (no matter your religion) that you’d be mad to miss.
The Golan Heights must-see sites
The Golan Heights is one of the most popular destination spots in Israel – and for good reason. Take a break from the nonstop pace of Tel Aviv and enjoy tranquil parks, gardens, museums, galleries, vineyards and so much more as you explore the many sites scattered throughout the Golan Heights. Wine lover? Make it an overnight stay because the area’s vineyards are some of the best in Israel.
Ten free things to do in Tel Aviv
In today’s capitalist world, we've become accustomed to the notion that nothing is really free. Well, we are here to challenge this concept. Here are our top things to do in Tel Aviv that are completely and utterly free of charge. Take a walk in the enchanting Yarkon Park and feed the animals in the animal corner, dip in the Mediterranean sea and play some beach volleyball at the sandy courts on Gordon Beach, or head over to the Tel Aviv port for a beautiful sunset stroll. For more attractions (not all free though) visit our top Tel Aviv attractions or go big with our long list of things to do in Israel.
Ancient Israel: The top archaeological sites
Dating back thousands upon thousands of years, the archaeological sites of Ancient Israel are rife with intrigue and Jewish history. We all know about the top Israel attractions and world-renowned religious landmarks like the Wailing Wall and natural landscapes like the Dead Sea, but what about Israel's stranger features? From biblical giants and vegetarian utopias to Harry Potter's grave and prehistoric cavemen, welcome to the lesser known archaeological sites of the Holy Land.
Art & culture across the country
The best museums in Israel
While it's a challenge to round up the top museums in Israel, we accept the task. Ranging from reigning establishments like the Israel Museum in Jerusalem and the Tel Aviv Museum of Art, to more experimental museums like the Design Museum Holon, which features top Israeli fashion, these institutions are among the top Israel attractions. They offer inspiring encounters with art, history, science and culture. Feeling artsy? Let us also point you to some of the best Israeli art galleries for some additional inspiration.
Israeli culture: ten performing arts centres worth a ticket
While London and New York gave birth to broadway musicals, the Jerusalem and Cameri theatres are up-and-coming. While Italian opera and symphony scene is ‘magnifico’, the Israel Philharmonic is absolutely breathtaking. And nothing compares to the batsheva dance company. All this to say, that although Israel has been associated with ancient history for many years, the Israeli culture scene is a contemporary breath of fresh air, growing by the second. These top ten performing arts centres are perfect compliments to the impressive galleries and museums scattered across the country. Find the hottest upcoming events here. We urge you to try and check all ten off your bucket list.
The best Israeli art galleries
When it comes to contemporary design, Israelis do two things very well: fashion and art. From photography and sculpture to painting and multimedia works, Israeli art galleries are rife with burgeoning talents and veteran artists, championing both local and international names. For even more art exhibits and specialized lectures on modern-day muses, spend a day at one of Israel's museums or even go to Ein Hod, a unique artists' village in northern Israel, and one of the country's top attractions.
Five alternative performing arts centres in Tel Aviv that contribute to Israeli culture
When asked where to find theatre in the nonstop city, Tel Avivians and tourists alike will often answer ‘Suzanne Dellal Centre’ or ‘Habima’ without thinking twice. While it is true that these performing arts centres are grand and boast internationally acclaimed names to match, they mask the beauty that comes from Tel Aviv’s more alternative performance spaces. There’s no denying that a Thursday night out in the city that never sleeps is a must, but sometimes a romantic dinner for two around Sarona and an indie theatre performance at Tzavta provides for a nice change of pace – and much less of a friday morning post-drunk munch hangover. Check out what’s on this month for updates on what to see where. Also, don’t forget to hop over to Jaffa for more alternative performances.
Family-friendly things to do in Israel
Jerusalem Biblical Zoo
A 62-acre zoo with a lake at its center, the Jerusalem Biblical Zoo encompasses two levels, interconnecting pools and waterfalls. The zoo is surrounded by green hills and has grassy lawns with plenty of shade inside, and includes multiple research laboratories dedicated to wildlife conservation. Kids love the Noah’s Ark visitor center, a boat-shaped wooden structure with information and games pertaining to all the animals mentioned in the Bible.
The Eretz Israel Museum is more than a series of exhibits exploring the history and culture of Israel. Inside the multidisciplinary museum sits a magical place that is literally “out of this world.” At the Planetarium you can sneak a peek at the stars the same way that Galileo did through his telescope. Watch a riveting presentation about the mysterious galaxies that exist all the while spinning in revolving seats or learn about Israel’s first ever astronaut, Ilan Ramon, and view real time pictures of outer space provided by NASA. The Planetarium is a great place to bring your children and also expand your adult minds to the boundless worlds of science. English presentations are available by reservation.
Holon Children's Museum
Purpose-built for kids, this museum offers a range of activities for kids aged 2-12. Unlike conventional museums, children are encouraged to touch all of the displays, and even play a role in the exhibits. Not-to-be-missed are the famous 'Dialogue in the Dark' and 'Invitation to Silence' exhibits, two experiences that provide emotional and telling insight into the worlds of blind and deaf people.
Kfar Blum - Jordan River
If you’re seeking a more adventurous water activity to pass the time, the Kfar Blum wet river experience and attraction centre in the Galilee has just the thing. From high-speed “kayaking” (rafting) down fast-flowing waters to lazing down the Hatzbani stream, Kfar Blum guarantees fun for the entire family. For an additional adrenaline rush, don’t miss their "Top-Rope" adventure park. The site also offers campground accommodations for a reasonable price.
New York has Central Park, London has Hyde Park, and Tel Aviv has it’s very own Hayarkon Park. The popular green lung (also known as Ganei Yehoshua Park) is nestled in the north of the city with the Yarkon River running through it. Swathes of joggers, cyclists, dog walkers and young mothers taking a stroll, pack the park every day, making it come alive with its own unique personality. Pitch a spot on the grass and spend the day basking in the sun while watching the beautiful people of Tel Aviv go by – something we definitely recommend. But if you’re up for something a little more adventurous, this urban park has plenty on offer for nature lovers right through to extreme sports enthusiasts. Tucked away in the eastern part of the park lies one its biggest surprises – a Rock Garden hosting over 3,500 species of plants, including a massive area dedicated solely to cacti, interspersed among different rock formations. Just across from the Rock Garden is a five-acre Tropical Garden full of palm trees, orchids and vines as well as a lake full of fish. Not far away, also on the east side of the park, is a bird safari known as Tsipari, set in lush gardens with a beautiful mini-lake, as well as a petting zoo, a bird sanctuary, and a large soft play area for kids complete with a climbing apparatus.