Forget what you may have heard, and check out our Israel bucket list for the must-dos in Israel, on your upcoming trip. Israel is a small, but diverse country, that offers many unique attractions to travelers of all ages and backgrounds. Whatever the purpose of your trip, this amazing country has something for everyone! Israel offers scenic desert landscapes, lush forests, breathtaking beaches and some of the most important historic sites in the world. Travelers from all around the globe visit Israel every year for a wide variety of reasons, but one thing is always common – the unexpected!
1) Get some Vitamin “Sea” – Beaches, beaches, and more beaches
Spanning the gorgeous Mediterranean coast, the beaches in Israel are some of the most beautiful in the world. You can spot surfers, sunbathers, and always hear the constant “tapping” of Matkot (Israeli beach bats). Whether you are looking for a relaxing moment of quiet and serenity, or want a chance to splash and swim, there are enough options to suit everyone’s interests. Here are some of our favorite spots for your Israel bucket list:
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- Tel Aviv Beaches: There are many beaches to choose from in Tel Aviv and no matter where you end up you will be satisfied. A few of our favs include Banana Beach, Gordon-Frishman Beach, Alma Beach, and Hilton Beach. Whatever you are in the mood for, they all have one thing in common – sunshine and a stunning view! Read more about Tel Aviv beaches here.
- Go South – Eilat Beaches: If you are down south in Eilat, the beach vibe is a little different on the Red Sea, not to mention the temperatures can get hotter down south. With an awe-inspiring backdrop of the Eilat mountains, the beach in Eilat offers a special view. Definitely worth the trip down south to catch some rays, check out of favorite Eilat beaches here.
- While down South in Eilat, although it may not be a “beach” we also recommend checking out the Dolphin Reef. Fun for the whole family, the reef offers the opportunity to swim with the dolphins, while marveling at these amazing sea mammals.
- The Dead Sea is also an absolute must-do while visiting Israel, and a perfect way to spend the day at the beach! Instead of relaxing on the sandy beach, you can float your troubles away in the salty, healing waters. Want to take a tour of it? Check out these great options for ways to spend the day at the Dead Sea. Definitely not to be missed and a great idea also for days that happen to be rainy.
- If you want to head north towards Caesarea, you will also find a special and unique experience at the Caesarea Aqueduct Beach. This beach offers a more quiet experience, and is, of course, hard to miss the ancient Roman aqueduct along the beach. Want to get to Caesarea, and visit some Northern sites? Also check out our popular Caesarea, Wine Country, and Kibbutz Experience Tour as well as the Caesarea, Haifa, Akko and Rosh Hanikra tour.
2) We all have a place in history! – Historical sites
Israel is filled with impressive, important, and inspiring historical bucket list sites that are special for Jews, Christians, and Muslims. Whatever your background, you can spend hours getting lost in learning about what happened so many years ago in these places.
- Old City in Jerusalem: Exploring the endless winding streets in the quarters of the Old City belongs on any Israel bucket list. From the Western Wall to the Via Dolorosa, there are 1000s of years of history filled through these magnificent sites. Why not spend a day with a knowledgeable guide who can enhance the experience and share some knowledge on our Jerusalem Day Tour or as an extended trip with our Jerusalem, Dead Sea, Bethlehem, & More Tour.
- Masada: The notable, and famous fortress, situated near the Dead Sea, is certainly one of the must-dos in Israel. You can take the snake path or the cable car to ascend to the top. Whichever your preference, we recommend visiting this important site. Want to watch the sunrise atop the fortress? Why not join our sunrise tour or even a yoga sunrise tour for a once in a lifetime way to start your day!
- Megiddo: Located in the Lower Galilee Region, this ancient city is notable for its importance in history, and it’s a direct reference to Armageddon. Megiddo is situated in the northern entrance to the Wadi Ara, this is the area connecting the Jezreel Valley. Definitely worth checking out!
- Independence Hall Tel Aviv: If you are spending a day in Tel Aviv, why not stroll down Rothschild Boulevard and make a stop at the Independence Hall. This notable site is where the Israeli Declaration of Independence was signed! Please note: The original Independence Hall is undergoing renovations and the exhibits are temporarily being hosted in the Shalom Mayer Tower, also on Rothschild Boulevard.
- Church of the Nativity: Be sure to visit this prominent site located in Bethlehem. The church contains the grotto where Jesus was born, and continues to be worshipped and held in high adoration to Christians, but is a special site for all travelers, regardless of religion. Make your way to the Church and other sites: Our Bethlehem, Jericho, and Jordan River Tour is available twice every week.
- Underground city: Located beneath the streets of the Old City of Jerusalem, go below ground to explore and discover these unique tunnels showcasing some unforgettable and memorable Jewish sites.
3) Natural wonders – Nature and wildlife in Israel
While the cities offer endless options of what to do in Israel, it is always nice to take a city break and venture out into the great outdoors! Israel delivers a range of diverse options given its contrasting landscapes! Pack your bag, grab your walking shoes, and venture out to see the gorgeous natural beauty!
- Ein Gedi Nature Reserve: The natural beauty and wonder found in Ein Gedi make it a must-see on our bucket list! A great escape for the day, an opportunity to hike and offers different difficulty options, perfect fun for the whole family! Join one of our daily tours to Masada and Ein Gedi.
- Safari Park Ramat Gan: Another great spot for family fun, but can be enjoyed by all ages. This park houses the most extensive group of animals in the Middle East. It is also a great spot to relax and have a picnic in the park!
- Rosh Hanikra: This impressive geological formation located north near the Lebanon border offers breathtaking views of the creatures created below in the grottoes. Make a day of it and spend the day on a tour in the northern region of Israel.
- Bahai Gardens: While up North, also be sure to stop in Haifa and visit the Bahai Gardens. Immaculately manicured and perfectly gorgeous gardens with a stunning view of the sea. Make a quick stop on our day tour to Haifa, or travel there on your own to spend a full day exploring this lush, beautiful garden.
- Timna Park: A truly breathtaking and unique experience to travel through this attraction, located in the south of Israel. We offer several Timna tour options which makes seeing this park much easier and allows you to maximize your experience. You won’t be disappointed!
4) Museums – From Art to History
Israel houses some of the most impressive museums, from modern and contemporary art to important historical events. Whatever your interests, there are many museums to visit. It is also a great alternative when the weather gets hot or rainy.
- Yad Vashem: Israel’ Holocaust Museum and the country’s largest Holocaust memorial located in Jerusalem – also included in the Jerusalem Old City and Yad Vashem Tours.
- Tel Aviv Museum of Art: Housing a wide range of art exhibits, and also happens to be open on Saturdays. Belongs on any art lover’s bucket list for Israel!
- Steinhardt Museum of Natural History in Tel Aviv: The museum showcases natural wonders and living organisms of Israel through interactive exhibits and highlights the implications of urban development, climate change and the ever-changing ecosystems found throughout the region.
- Eretz Israel Museum: Offering both archaeological and historical exhibits, and located in Ramat Aviv with a stunning city view.
- Design Museum Holon: Noted for its innovative design features, and constantly changing the displays to offer creative visions.
- Israel Museum: A cultural institution in Jerusalem, and one of the world leaders, in art and archaeology, a definite must see in Israel.
5) Some “rights of passage” – a few must-dos in Israel
- Experience the urban vibe of the iconic “White City” by joining a Tel Aviv Urban Tour. From the famous Bauhaus buildings situated throughout the city to the street art scene, there is much to be discovered in Tel Aviv.
- Eat hummus! Eating hummus really belongs on any Israel bucket list. Many hummus joints will claim theirs is the best. Regardless of which you eat, you will not be disappointed. Try out a few hummus options and compare, try to find your favorite style! Check out some of our favorite hummus stops.
- Ride a camel! You can visit the Negev area, for example with one of our Negev tours, and enjoy these amazing animals! An experience you will not forget.
- Sleep in a Bedouin tent! Why not take a trip to Petra while in Israel? Did you know Tourist Israel offers 1, 2 and 3-day tours to Petra and Wadi Rum daily from Tel Aviv and Jerusalem? What a great way to enjoy an authentic Bedouin experience. See our Petra tours here.
- Test out your bargaining skills! Whether visiting the Shuk in the Old City of Jerusalem, or Shuk Hacarmel in Tel Aviv, it is an experience unto itself to try and haggle with the street vendors and get the best price! Join our Tel Aviv Carmel Market Tour or Machane Yehuda Market Tour, the perfect ways to experience the best markets in the country. Check out the must-eats in the market or the best spices to buy while in the market.
6) Take a trip from Israel to Petra
Why not take a day trip from Israel to Petra and explore the amazing beauty and magic of nearby Jordan? It is easier than most travelers think to travel between the two countries, and can easily be done in one day. There are also options to spend several days in Jordan, exploring other highlights like the breathtaking Wadi Rum Desert, with overnight accommodation in a Bedouin camp or a visit to the capital city of Amman.
- One of the most popular day tours to depart from Tel Aviv, Jerusalem, Eilat our 1-day tour itineraries to Petra from Israel include all transportation, guiding, entrance fees, water bottle, snack box, and unforgettable memories. Check out the Petra tours from Israel to see the best tour that works for you. We also offer comprehensive tour experiences that are 1-day, 2-day, 3-day, and 4-day itineraries, as well as private tour options.
- Our Petra, Wadi Rum, Amman & Highlights of Jordan – 4 Day Tour from Jerusalem or Tel Aviv is an excellent option for those who want to experience a few days in Jordan, including an authentic Bedouin experience, a visit to Jerash, Madaba, Mount Nebo and more. This tour departs from Israel every Tuesday and Friday. You may even choose to stay in a martian bubble tent in the middle of the Wadi Rum desert!
- Make the most out of the Bedouin Hospitality Check out the resort town of Aqaba situated along the Red Sea.
Not quite sure how to visit some of the sites mentioned in our Israel Bucket List? Tourist Israel offers a wide variety of options including shuttles, and private tours. If you have a question about public transportation or our transportation services or joining a group tour, be sure to contact our amazing Travel geniuses in the reservation team! We know that you will not be disappointed, and cannot wait for you to explore the beauty and wonder of Israel!