Escape to Eilat: best activities in Israel’s top resort town
On top of their crazy nightlife and quality restaurants, Eilat—Israel's ultimate tourism city—offers a multitude of attractions for visitors of all ages and tastes: from laid-back beaches and soothing spas that give the Dead Sea a run for its money to non-stop activities both in and out of the crystal clear waters, world-class shows, and even two ice centers for the ultimate escape from the heat. And as if that isn’t enough, Israel’s largest jazz festival comes to town twice a year at winter and in the summer time. To make your utopic getaway to Eilat even better, we’ve rounded up a list of things to do in the area - here are our picks.
A thrill seeker's guide to Israel: activities on land, in water and high in the sky
The annoying question most people who haven’t been to the Middle East ask is always, “is it safe?” There is no safer place than Israel...then again, while the State has you protected, taking part in the country’s most extreme sports may be slightly more dangerous. Take a walk on the wild side, try out these fun things to do in Israel from river tubing in the Golan Heights to wake boarding in Tel Aviv, surfing in Herzliya and snuba-ing down south in Eilat, we dare the most daring to tackle our thrill seeker’s guide to Israel, one crazy experience at a time.
The top five beaches in Israel for surfing
Surfing is more than just a pastime, it is a lifestyle, and we understand just how important location is when trying to catch those waves. That’s why we’ve combed the beaches in Tel Aviv, Herzliya and farther, in search of the absolute top five surfer’s oases. And guess what? We found them. So grab those surf boards, slip on those wetsuits and get ready for an amazingly active day at these beaches in Israel.
The top kid-friendly museums in Israel
For the average child, visiting museums in Israel can be a yawn-fest. But it needn’t be about schlepping them through Jewish art galleries brimming with Old Masters’ paintings in the hope that your toddler doesn’t throw a tantrum in front of a Titian. We’ve a rounded up the top kid-friendly museums in Israel to give your tots a touch of Israeli culture. From vintage car exhibitions and sculpture gardens to a miniature replica of Israel's top attractions and the world's only outdoor science museum, it'll be hard to get your children to leave these special gems.
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.
Arts & culture across the country
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.
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.
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: classical music across the country
When treating your senses to mouthwatering Israeli market fare and beautiful sights from north to south in the world’s holiest country, it is only fair to treat your ears as well. All across the country, Israeli art galleries and museums, theaters screening Israeli movies, cultural centres, hotels, libraries, conservatories and even kibbutzim are hosting classical and chamber concert series for the public ear. From Tel Aviv’s infamous Charles Bronfman Auditorium, home to the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra, to more intimate settings like the quaint concert hall inside the Felicja Blumental Music Center and Music Library, these classical and chamber music venues invite the Mozart enthusiast right down to the curious tourist to enjoy. Dress to the nines, grab an early bird prix fixe dinner and a fine bottle of Israeli wine at one of the top romantic restaurants in Tel Aviv, but save room for dessert: the sweet, sweet harmonies of classical Israeli culture, drizzled with Vivaldi and sprinkled with Strauss.
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 best things to do in the Negev
Easily one of the most overlooked treasures in Israel, the Negev desert is home to some truly jaw-dropping geological wonders. Vineyards, hiking trails, nature reserves and even camel rides make it as appealing for families as it is for couples or those traveling on a budget. The Negev is also the area to which Israelis regularly flock for festivals, yoga retreats and other special events. Here’s to getting lost in the desert as you check out our curated list of the best things to do in the Negev.
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
Meymadion Water Park
During the summer, the pool is the best place to be...besides Mey Madison Water Park. This state-of-the-art water park allows you to surf and swim in dozens of different pools and wet attractions of different kinds, some of which are the most modern in the world. The happy and energetic entertainment staff will keep your spirits high with games, activities and prizes. Come with your whole family, come with your friends, come with your classmates and get swept away in a dizzying and wet experience.
Jerusalem ATV Adventure Tours
Take a guided drive on an all-terrain vehicle through the hills of Jerusalem. The path takes visitors through the mountains to Ein Lavan, Mitzpe Batir, and above the Biblical Zoo. Those over seventeen can drive the ATV, and passengers over 5 are welcome to join! Ask about the all-day adventure, which includes lunch. ATV Jerusalem Hills provides an exciting way to view the beauty of Jerusalem’s terrain, including refreshing water springs. Groups are welcome, and discounted rates are available for longer rides.
Hot Air Balloon TLV
Ever wanted to experience a hot air balloon? Look no further! Floating up to 120 meters high, this giant balloon is an amazing and unique Tel Aviv attraction. Carrying up to 30 people per ride, this massive helium-filled balloon provides a 360 degree view of Tel Aviv, day or night. Located in the beautiful Yarkon Park this adventurous attraction is sure to impress any visitors to Israel.
Israel lies between three continents on the route of migrating birds, with more than 500 million crossing Israel's skies twice a year. This charming observatory houses the Israel national bird-ringing center. Together with the active ringing station, it’s an ideal tool for conservation research monitoring bird populations.
Jerusalem Ropes Course
The Jerusalem Ropes Course features a rope ladder, snappling, swings, an acrobatic rope walk, and an 80 meter Omega (zip line). It is the perfect team-building activity that uses both physical and mental abilities to conquer the challenges. The daring tasks provided will leave guests with a sense of accomplishment and confidence. Perfect for all ages, from preschoolers to adults, it’s fun for the whole family! Consider having a birthday or Bar/Bat Mitzvah party here for a truly special day. Smaller groups can request to be included with another group, so everyone can participate in the fun!