Journeying through Israel: The best places to add to your bucket list

Journeying through Israel: The best places to add to your bucket list

There are many beautiful countries in the world that you should make sure you visit in your lifetime. And while they all have their exceptional beauty, and there are endless reasons why you should travel to see them and experience the beauty they have to offer, some destinations stand out as decidedly impressive. Israel is one of them. Located in Western Asia, between the Red Sea and the eastern Mediterranean, Israel is located in the Holy Land, a region of remarkable importance to worshippers of Abrahamic religions. During ancient times, this was the place where the Israelite and Canaanite civilizations developed and where the kingdoms of Israel and Judah emerged.

So, there’s no surprise you can meet fragments of history and culture everywhere you travel in Israel. The sites include places of archaeological importance and ruin dating back several thousands of years to WWII memorials. Seeing as many of them as possible is a prerequisite when you visit Israel. However, you’ll probably feel like you’re running on a tight schedule, and like you can’t possibly fit everything into a single trip. Starting with an itinerary is very important, as it can allow you to visit as many cultural spots as possible without cramming them in and failing to retain any information from your visits.

Here are some of the most important places and landmarks you should visit when you travel to Israel.

Old City of Jerusalem

Traditionally divided into four quarters, namely the Jewish, Muslim, Christian and Armenian quarters, and a fifth additional area, the Temple Mount, the ancient origins of Jerusalem date as far back as the 18th century BCE. Virtually every part of the city is alive with history, and there’s something to see everywhere. The gates of the Old City of Jerusalem, which have been visible on most maps over the past 1,500 years, include the Golden Gate, which was sealed back in 1541, the Damascus Gate, Jaffa Gate, and Lion’s Gate. Other gates that have fallen into disuse include the Tanners’ Gate and the Single Gate, which led to an underground vaulted area known as Solomon’s Stables.

The Church of the Holy Sepulchre, traditionally dating back to the 4th century, the Western Wall, the Hurva Synagogue and the Tower of David are some of the other landmarks that should undoubtedly be on your itinerary. If you want to take a break from the living history lesson, you can take a stroll through one of the street bazaars and look at the wide range of goods they offer, from spices to colorful fabrics.

Israel Connection can provide you with personalized excursions to the area, depending on your requirements. If you’re on a spiritual journey, you can tour the sacred sites and experience a pilgrim’s journey. If you travel with your family, you’ll get to share some of the most spectacular highlights of Israel, including hiking in the Golan Heights, snorkeling by Eilat’s coral, sky diving and trying out traditional restaurants and eateries.

Tel Aviv 

The most populous city of the Gush Dan metropolitan area, it is the technological and economic center of the country. There’s a saying that you go to Jerusalem to pray and Tel Aviv to play, which is very true. The city is one of the party capitals of the Middle East, boasting a vibrant nightlife scene and a 24-hour culture. Many of the nightclubs stay open well past midnight. The Haoman 17 is a well-known spot for alternative clubbing.

Tel Aviv is also a significant center for culture and performing arts. The Suzanne Dellal Center for Dance and Theatre hosts varied performances, festivals, and contemporary dance and theater events. The Heichal HaTarbut, the largest concert hall in Tel Aviv, is home to the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra. 55% of all performances and 75% of all attendance in Israel occurs in entertainment locations based in Tel Aviv. Three of the largest museums in the country are located in Tel Aviv, which is quite significant considering that Israel has the highest number of museums per capita out of any country in the world. The Tel Aviv Museum of Art hosts an extensive collection of modern and contemporary art from Israel and the world.

Tel Aviv has been consistently ranked as one of the most LGBT-friendly cities in the world. It has become one of the international centers of fashion and design and offers an eclectic food experience, with over 100 sushi restaurants and eateries serving local and international recipes. You also can’t miss out on the chance to try the Halva ice cream, topped with pistachios and Silan, a traditional date syrup.

Since you’re on a cultural journey in Israel, you might want to look at Jewish Education and consider learning Hebrew. There’s nothing quite like understanding a language to fully grasp a country's culture. There are roughly nine million people worldwide who speak Hebrew fluently, and approximately six million are native speakers. The cultural and religious foundations of the language are without match, and studying it would be an outstanding personal achievement.

Natural sights

Aside from the cities, Israel is also home to many beautiful natural sights. The Dead Sea, roughly ten times saltier than the ocean, is a harsh environment for any marine life but makes for a spectacular spot to visit. The water and mud have been used for centuries as a means to treat joint problems and skin conditions and are still used in cosmetics to this day. The Dead Sea is one of the world’s earliest health resorts.

Masada, meaning “fortress” in Hebrew, is an ancient fortification dating back to approximately the 1st century BCE. Located on the top of an isolated rock plateau, to the eastern side of the Judaean Desert and overlooking the Dead Sea, it is one of the most popular tourist attractions in the entire country. Masada was the site of one of the final events of the First Jewish-Roman War, a siege that lasted for nearly a year.

Visiting Israel means stepping into a country that embraces the present, focuses on the future, and yet never forgets the past. From sacred locations to entertainment avenues, to visit Israel is to embark on an unforgettable journey that will enrich your life.


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