The 10 quirkiest galleries and museums in Israel
While tourists flock towards the iconic Tel Aviv Museum of Art or The Israel Museum in Jerusalem to cross off their ‘Israeli culture’ checklist, the true hidden beauty lies in Israel’s more quirky museums and Israeli art galleries off the beaten path. Just outside of Tel Aviv, the quaint city of Holon houses some unique museums that feature everything out-of-the-ordinary from Israeli fashion design to cartoons and children’s games. Inside the cultural capital, Florentine’s hipster haven opened Tel Aviv’s very first street art gallery. And, up by Mount Carmel, the Ein Hod Artists’ Village has the works of Marcel Janco, one of the founding fathers of Dadaism, up on display. These museums in Israel are worth a visit, especially if you’re looking for a change of pace from giant crowds and long lines.
The most spectacular places to see the sunset in Israel
While sunsets on the Tel Aviv beach strip are all the instagram rave, the scenic phenomenon is an Israel-wide attraction. A picture may be worth a thousand words, but it isn’t worth a thousand experiences. Watching day fade to night is a perfect thing to do in Israel before heading out to a romantic rooftop restaurant in Jerusalem or picking up falafel on Frishman before hitting the Tel Aviv nightlife scene. From the Negev to Haifa to Mount Hermon, check your weather apps and plan accordingly because we’ve rounded up the best places in the Holy Land to witness Mother Nature’s indescribably breathtaking beauty.
When nature calls: the best gardens & parks in Israel
Spring has sprung, the rain has gone (hopefully for good), and it’s time to soak up some rays. While the beaches in Tel Aviv are a decent option, not everyone is a fan of the sand. Alternatively, from up north and the Golan Heights to down south in the Negev and just outside Eilat, Israel boasts some of the most beautiful green spaces. Whether you’re looking for a green escape in the White City (Park HaYarkon is a must) or determined to venture further into the peacefulness of nature, you’re sure to find the perfect park or garden on our list. Put down that cellphone, breathe in the fresh air and embrace the (Holy) land.
A day at Hayarkon Park
The summer days of sand come and go, but the park is here to stay. Although beach season attracts tourists and locals to the Mediterranean coastline like bees to honey, the colder weather tends to scare them off. Hayarkon park, however, is magnificent in its own colorful way year round. Wake up early, hit up Sarona market to pack a picnic of delectable speciality snacks and perhaps a bottle of Israeli wine, then head over to Tel Aviv’s Central Park. From zoos and bird safaris to waterslides, paddle boats and every activity in between, Hayarkon Park is a family’s dream!
The ultimate Jaffa area guide
With so much hustle and bustle going on in its White City neighbor, sometimes people forget the beautiful gem of Israeli culture that exists on the southern port. From attractions that backtrack through years of ancient Israeli history to the most hopping bars and clubs for dancing in Jaffa, Tel Aviv’s older sister knows where it’s at. The sheer range of attractions in Old Jaffa is startling, from mosques and churches to ancient clock towers, wishing bridges, sculptures, yoga classes, museums, Israeli art galleries, trendy restaurants and the list of things to do in this new-old city is never ending. Throw in an impressive spread of authentic Jaffa street food establishments and a precious flea market and you’ve got enough things to do in Israel for a lifetime.
Art & culture across the country
The best Jewish art galleries and museums
Israeli art galleries are chock-full of local and international Jewish art, boasting talents from all walks of life who use Jewish motifs, biblical inspiration and ancient symbolism in their progressive works. Museums and galleries from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem host both burgeoning and veteran artists, showcasing their work in innovative and interactive ways. Here are our top choices for all those art lovers and Judaica enthusiasts out there.
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 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.
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.
Sights and attractions
Must-see churches in Israel
Israel is home to an array of monumental churches scattered around the country. Here are ten highlights from this important Holy Land attraction, including landmark Jerusalem churches, like the Holy Sepulchre and the Church of the Nativity, St. Gabriel’s Church and the Basilica of the Annunciation in Nazareth and others in the north especially worth a visit. Most of these churches in Israel are filled to the brim with visitors during peak holiday months for Christmas and Easter, but their architectural beauty and prolific ancient history make them worthwhile places to visit at any time of the year.
The Galilee and Golan Heights' top restaurants and vineyards
In recent years, Israel has become known for its thriving wine economy, which is most evident in the Golan Heights and Galilee regions where farms and both large scale and boutique vineyards have set up shop. Wine, of course, is nothing without accompanying nibbles, so it's only fitting to find culinary treasures in the area as well – all of which make use of locally grown farm fresh produce. The gems can be difficult to pinpoint as an outsider, however, so we’ve prepared a list of not-to-be-missed restaurants and vineyards in the area.
The top things to do in Jerusalem
From the Wailing Wall to Yad Vashem and everything in between, squeezing thousands of years of history into a few days isn’t an easy task, but we were up for the challenge. And, not to toot our own horn, but our list of top things to do in Jerusalem also includes modern destinations and foodie meccas, all of which you can feasibly see on the same trip. Remember – while Jerusalem might be ancient, it’s red hot as far as the Jerusalem hotels , tech scene and of course the oh-so-good Jerusalem restauarnts. Here’s a look at all the museums, religious sights and fun things to so in Jerusalem for the entire family you should add to your Jerusalem to-do list.
The Dead Sea’s top attractions
Many foreigners know this world attraction by its luxury 'Dead Sea' beauty products and salt scrubs. Bordering Israel, the West Bank and Jordan, the Dead Sea is famous for its incredibly high salt content, allowing visitors to literally float in–or rather on–its waters. Cake yourself in mud, and wade into the lowest point on Earth for a bizarre experience like no other. After a salty selfie, wash off because the Dead Sea isn’t the only top attraction in Israel. With Ein Gedi’s popular oasis and nature reserve to its west, and Masada and the Qumran caves just a short trip away, the surrounding desert offers many historical sites to rival Jerusalem’s history heavy attractions. We’ve compiled the best attractions to visit while at the Dead Sea.
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.
Family-friendly things to do in Israel
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 and only so many rugelach you can buy them at the Mahane Yehuda market to keep them from complaining. 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.
Bora Bora Beach
Don’t be turned off by the entrance fee, this beautifully maintained beach is worth every shekel. Bora Bora’s proprietors have invested heavily to create a perfect entertainment experience. Two levels of shaded seating, on the water or the terrace, with genuine and synthetic grass at your feet, comfortable sofas, a loop of Santana and Dire Straits, two bars and food that’s fresh, pampering and surprising. The beach provides clean showers and restrooms all day long and is open from early morning until the wee hours so that it’s suitable for families and couples, social events (including water sports and more) and happenings for the partying set.
Park Hayarkon Boat Rentals
Get your legs moving or start your engines and enjoy this special spot on the river in Park Hayarkon. With two offerings, visitors can choose the more active route and paddle their pedal boat manually, or go the motor boat route, allowing for a more casual way to explore the river. Park Hayarkon Paddle / Motor Boat Rentals is perfect for all ages, so don’t be shy. It’s worth a detour from the salty ocean to explore the sweet water. So grab your lifejackets, get ready to get your tan on, and spend a calming morning paddling downstream.
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.