I’m Going to Israel! What Should I See?

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Its been in my top 3 destinations for years and things have finally come together to make it possible!

I’ve been nervous about safety if I wasn’t traveling with a big group, but I finally know someone who has relocated there for work. Seeing the sights with a local should make me pretty inconspicuous and keep me from accidentally wandering into less safe areas. The other impediment was the cost — but the US Airways triple PQM offer has made this a no-brainer.

US AIrways to TLV

Tel Aviv is one of the farthest destinations US Airways flies, so while I’m not looking forward to 12 hours in economy each way if no business class upgrades open up, earning 37,000 premier qualifying miles in one trip for under $1,000 makes it totally worth it!

I’ll only be there for a long weekend since I don’t have vacation time to spare before the end of the year (and I can always go back), but know I can still fit a lot of great things in.

Recommendations on what to see?


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  1. CD Lazear

    October 21, 2013 at 11:39 am

    As you’re only there for the weekend, you don’t have time to go to Eilat and the Golan Heights. IN the TLV area: Old Jaffa port, markets, have some Dr. Shakshuka -local favourite food, Tel Aviv flea market to get tastes and culture. Jerusalem+Bethlehem for Jewish and Christian holy sites (Saturday not a good idea for the western wall- religious prayer there), Tel Aviv Beach..

  2. Josh

    October 21, 2013 at 12:26 pm

    You also should get to the Dead Sea from Jerusalem. You can do it in about a half day as it is only 45 minutes from Jerusalem and you only need to spend an hour there.

  3. Deals We Like

    October 21, 2013 at 12:52 pm

    How many days will you have there? If only two then I’d say spend one day in Jerusalem and one in Tel Aviv. In Jerusalem do the 2-hour free tour with Sandman tours.

  4. Daniel

    October 21, 2013 at 1:07 pm

    Don’t worry about safety, Israel is just as safe if not safer than most places in the world. As long as you don’t wander into the arab cities/towns, then it becomes a bit like México or Colombia.
    Given your tight schedule I would stay in tel aviv with a day trip to Jerusalem, but not on friday/saturday.

  5. Idea

    October 21, 2013 at 1:10 pm

    Are you going to travel to Jerusalem? Once you are there, it is a must see.

  6. Michael -

    October 21, 2013 at 1:27 pm

    Amazing country. You’ll have a blast

    Museums are nice, but I’d go for the sights (tombs, etc.).
    Maybe you can go to a kibbutz (there’s one with a cool old war bunker). Israel is just about the safest place there is, because everywhere of value has a ridiculous, high tech, efficient security presence.

    If you can get down to Jerusalem, go to the old city, see the wall, etc. Touristy, but an amazing experience nonetheless. Check out some of the amazing old synagogues.


  7. Mr. Cool

    October 21, 2013 at 1:49 pm

    day 1- TLV & Jaffa (part of TLV). visit antique/flea market. eat the Yemenite soup in Jaffa.
    day2- jerusalem. old city-historic religious sites. enough for 2 days/
    day3-visit dead sea & mount massada.
    if time permits on day4-visit tzfat aka Tsefat aka Safed in the north..half day tour

  8. Uri

    October 21, 2013 at 2:02 pm

    If you have such a short time, you have to see Massada and old Jerusalem – Mr Cool’s itinerary is pretty good!
    How did you figure 37000 EQMs? The flights there and back are only half that?

  9. Tiff

    October 21, 2013 at 2:41 pm

    Keep in mind when you fly back that security at Tel Aviv takes a lot longer than it does at home. Other than that, I think you’ll be surprised, we felt safer there than in most major cities in the U.S.

    If you go to the Old City in Jerusalem, I’d definitely see the Church of the Holy Sepulchre; it’s where the tomb of Christ is.

  10. SEE

    October 21, 2013 at 3:22 pm

    I don’t know if the Jerusalem Youth Choir will be performing while you’re there. Worthwhile show if they are. It’s founded and led by a recent Yale graduate from Baltimore.

  11. Minos

    October 21, 2013 at 4:17 pm

    Gaza maybe? Heard it is one of the highest population density place in the world.

  12. Tiara

    October 21, 2013 at 4:46 pm

    Long weekend? If that means the week of Thanksgiving then you have 3 full days assuming you leave on Wednesday nite.
    3 days is plenty. Besides TLV and Jerusalem, I highly recommend you to float on Dead Sea and visit nearby Masada (history: the siege of Masada)

  13. Liz

    October 21, 2013 at 6:29 pm

    So much to see, but keep in mind that on a long weekend, many things are closed on Saturdays — even in Tel Aviv, which is a secular city. You should definitely hit Jerusalem on a Thursday, Friday before sundown or Sunday or Monday because the city virtually shuts down on Shabbat. Very few restaurants are open, all museums are closed, no public transportations and taxis up their rates and are difficult to find.

    In Tel Aviv, the Tachana is open for shopping and there are more restaurants open, but most museums are still closed. Depending on weather Saturday could be a great beach day in Tel Aviv.

    You’re in more danger from Israeli drivers than from wandering into the wrong neighborhood or across the green line (hard to do accidentally).

    I’m not sure why you’d feel you look conspicuous. Most parts of Israel are very western looking. If you visit religious sites or religious neighborhoods, be prepared to cover your shoulders and knees, but otherwise I walk around in a tank top and shorts without issues. (In Tel Aviv, I sometimes feel like I’m wearing more clothes than any one).

    In Jerusalem, Old City tour is a must do and check out the western wall tunnels. The Israel Museum is awesome and machne yehuda (the market) is incredible Thursday nights and Friday mornings as everyone prepares for Shabbat. Also good the rest of the week. Great restaurants in machne yehuda and must have ruggelah from Marzipan. Also Har Herzl gives you important perspective of the city.

    Great restaurant and club scene in T.A. The beach is incredible. And if you have time to get down to Masada and the dead sea, it’s amazing. Climb Masada at dawn to avoid the heat and see one of the most spectacular sunrises ever.

    So much more to tell . . .

  14. James

    October 21, 2013 at 8:06 pm

    You’re gonna have a blast! You can easily hang out at the beach all weekend. Tel Aviv Beach (Hilton Beach) is in front of the Hilton. For sure hit up Jerusalem if you have time. It’s definitely worth it. And as others have said before, allow for extra time at the airport. It took me 3 hours to clear security arriving AND leaving from there. They will hand inspect all of your bags and ask you a ton of questions.


  15. Keri Anderson

    October 22, 2013 at 12:51 pm

    Thank you for all the helpful suggestions! I’m even more excited (if that’s possible) about going. In case there’s time, can anyone recommend a really good winery or two?

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