Forget what you may have heard about travel in Israel: this ultimate bucket list is the resource you need for the must-sees in Israel for your trip. Israel is a small but diverse country that offers 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 you can always expect one thing- the unexpected!
1) Get some Vitamin “Sea” – Beaches, Beaches, 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 ping-pong). 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.
Central and Northern Beaches
- 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.
- 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. It’s also hard to miss the ancient Roman aqueduct along the beach. Check out our popular Caesarea, Haifa, and Akko tour which leaves Tel Aviv and Jerusalem, heading north to three locations on Israel’s northern Mediterranean Coast.
- Eilat Beaches: If you are down south in Eilat, the beach vibe is a little different on the Red Sea. 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. It’s the 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 from Tel Aviv or Jerusalem. Definitely not to be missed and a great idea also for days that happen to be rainy.
2) Step Into the Past- 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 thousands of years of history filled through these magnificent sites. Why not spend a day with a knowledgeable guide who can enhance the experience? Explore with our Jerusalem Day Tour or as an extended trip with our Jerusalem, Dead Sea, Bethlehem, & More Tour. Many other Jerusalem Tours could appeal to your interests.
- Masada: This 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. We highly recommend visiting this important site. Our popular tour to Masada leaves every day. Want to watch the sunrise atop the fortress? Why not join our sunrise tour!
- Megiddo: Located in the Lower Galilee Region, this ancient city is notable for its importance in history, and it’s key in the story of Armageddon. Megiddo is situated in the northern entrance to the Wadi Ara, this is the area connecting the Jezreel Valley.
- Underground City: Located beneath the streets of the Old City of Jerusalem, go below ground to explore these unique tunnels. They showcase some unforgettable Jewish sites. Check our Underground tour of Jerusalem.
- Old Jaffa: the walled city and possibly oldest port in the world, located just south of Modern Tel Aviv. Check out our Tel Aviv and Jaffa walking tour.
Less Ancient History
- Independence Hall Tel Aviv: If you are spending a day in Tel Aviv, stroll down Rothschild Boulevard and stop at Independence Hall. This is where the Israeli Declaration of Independence was signed. See it on an Urban Tel Aviv Tour.
- 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 adored by Christians worldwide. It is a special site for all travelers, regardless of religion. Our Bethlehem, Jericho, and Jordan River Tour is available from Tel Aviv and Jerusalem and will take you through this glorious site.
3) Natural Wonders – Nature and Wildlife in Israel
While the cities offer endless options for what to do in Israel, it’s always nice to venture out into the great outdoors! Israel delivers a range of diverse options across its storied sands. 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, it offers an opportunity to hike along multiple paths. Join one of our daily tours to Masada and Ein Gedi.
- Bahai Gardens: While up North, also be sure to stop in Haifa and visit the Bahai Gardens. They’re immaculately manicured and perfectly gorgeous gardens with a stunning view of the sea. Make a quick stop on our day tour to Haifa from Tel Aviv or Jerusalem, or travel there on your own to spend a full day exploring this lush, beautiful garden.
- 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!
- Rosh Hanikra: This impressive geological formation located north near the Lebanon border offers breathtaking views of the wonders in the grottoes. Make a day of it and spend the day on a tour in the northern region of Israel.
- Timna Park: It’s 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.
4) Museums – From Art to History
Israel houses some of the most impressive museums, from modern and contemporary art to details from history. Whatever your interests, there are many museums to visit. It is also a great alternative when the weather gets hot or rainy.
Our Favorite Sites
- Yad Vashem: Israel’s Holocaust Museum and the country’s largest Holocaust memorial located in Jerusalem – it’s also included in the Jerusalem Old City and Yad Vashem Tour.
- Tel Aviv Museum of Art: Housing a wide range of art exhibits, it 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 “Rites of Passage” – Must-Do’s in Israel
- Relax and kick back as the Jewish day of rest descends with the Friday sunset. Enjoy the peaceful atmosphere of an Israeli Shabbat, including a lavish dinner.
- Experience the urban vibe of the iconic “White City” by joining our Tel Aviv and Jaffa Walking Tour. From touring Old Jaffa to the street art scene, there is much to be discovered in Tel Aviv.
- Eat hummus! Eating hummus belongs on any Israel bucket list. Many hummus joints will claim they have the best. 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 with one of our Negev tours. Enjoy these amazing animals! We promise it’s an experience you will not forget.
- Sleep in a Bedouin tent beneath the expansive desert skies. 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. Haggle with the street vendors and get the best price! Join our Tel Aviv Carmel Market Tour or Machane Yehuda Market Tour, 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 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.
Our Favorite Tours
- 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, a water bottle, a 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 4 Day Tour is an excellent option for those who want to experience a few days in Jordan. This includes an authentic Bedouin experience, a visit to Jerash, Madaba, Mount Nebo and more. This 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.
Checking Off Your Bucket List Items
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 packages, hotels, transfers, and private tours. If you have a question about public transportation, our transportation services, or a group tour, contact our amazing Travel Geniuses! We know that you won’t be disappointed, and cannot wait for you to explore the beauty and wonder of Israel!