Are you thinking of planning your own trip to Israel?
Embarking on a DIY adventure can be a cost-efficient way to experience the country’s rich culture and history. But where do you begin? Here are some valuable tips and essential tools you need to make your Israel Do It Yourself journey a success. Learn how to keep your expenses down and make the most of your trip with these helpful suggestions. Start planning your unforgettable journey to Israel today!
When is the best time to travel to Israel?
Here are three great times to come to Israel:
- September: After the summer craze and before the Jewish Holidays.
- January: for the winter break, arriving after Christmas is great. The country has fewer tourists.
- May and early June: great weather, green meadows, before peak season.
Should you rent a car in Israel?
When visiting Tel Aviv and Jerusalem, it’s best to avoid renting a car due to challenges with parking and high costs. Taxis are a more convenient and cost-effective option within the cities. However, if you plan to explore rural areas like Galilee or the Negev Desert, renting a car can be helpful as these areas are inaccessible without one. It’s advisable to keep things simple and rent a car only when necessary for rural tours. For example, rent a car when traveling to Masada from Jerusalem before continuing to Galilee or the Negev Desert.
What is the dress code in Israel?
Casual, athleisure. Pack light. You can wear anything you want anywhere you go. Some religious sites may require long pants and covered shoulders. Otherwise, wear what is most comfortable for you. Comfortable walking shoes are important, especially in archaeological sights and in Jerusalem.
What are the tipping customs in Israel?
We Would recommend bringing multiple bills of 10 and 20 USD or Euros.
It is customary to tip in Israel as follows:
- Restaurants: 15%. You would need to notify the restaurant before they swipe your card or tip cash after.
- Taxis: Usually not necessary on short rides. You can always round up. If there is luggage involved, or if on longer rides of 1 hour, 10-20 USD would be appreciated. Half-day or Full day taxi services should be tipped $35-$70.
- Bell Boys- $10 for a couple, $15 for a family.
- Touring services:
- On a bus: $10-$20 per person per day. Same for walking tours as part of a group.
- Private walking tour- half day: $50-$70
- Guest lecturer\special tour of 1-2 hours- $40-$50
- Private tour- whole day with transportation: $100-$150
Where should you visit?
Here are some great options for self-touring:
- The Old City
- Running tour of Jerusalem through RUNJLM.
- Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial (needs booking here).
- Israel museum- is one of the world’s best museums. It contains some of the most famous findings of all time. For example, the Dead Sea Scrolls, the Tel Dan inscription, and Herod’s grave.
- Machneyuda food market
- Western Wall
- Holy Church of resurrection (Jesus’s tomb).
- Independence trail on Rothschild street.
- Anu museum of the Jewish people.
- Private tour of neighborhoods\foodtour\graffiti tour.
- Tel Aviv beaches
- Park Hayarkon: stroll around the stream, where the locals enjoy life.
- Palmach museum: tells the story of the youth fighting during the war of independence. Requires booking.
- Carmel market, the main food market in Tel Aviv.
Out of the cities, with a car OR private guide:
- Dead Sea
- Caesaria, Herod’s port and capital from the time of Jesus.
- Acre (Akko), the Crusaders’ capital.
- Beth Shean Roman city.
- Sea of Galilee- exploring Jesus’s ministry.
Should you use a Tour Guide?
Yes. It is beneficial to use a tour guide for at least some of your tours. Read more about the best way to tour Israel.
Where should you eat?
Israel’s cost of living has risen considerably in recent years. Food is one of the most expensive necessities while visiting Israel. Having said that, street food in Israel is healthy, easy to find, and inexpensive. Try not to stress over looking for “the best” falafel or shawarma stand. Most places you find on the street are very good. Here are the top Israeli street foods you should check out:
- Falafel: the greatest all-around sandwich in a pita. Fried chickpea balls. And it’s vegan.
- Shawarma: Meat in a sandwich stuffed with salads.
- Sabich: eggplant and hard-boiled egg delicacy.
- Hummus: in a plate. Wipe with pita bread.
- Shakshuka: eggs in a pan with tomato-pepper sauce.
- For dessert: Babka, Halva (made of sesame), Baklawa, and Kenafe.
How else can you save money?
When it comes to booking accommodations, it’s best to do it yourself. I highly recommend using Booking.com and checking the ratings as they are known for their reliability. However, it’s important to read the fine print carefully and make note of payment deadlines. For families, booking apartments can be a great way to save money in comparison to booking hotels.
Feel free to consult with us.