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Visiting Palestine & Israel: Best Historic Sites

The Guide to Israel > Visiting Palestine & Israel: Best Historic Sites
Visiting Palestine and Israel seem like two very different trips. However, after exploring both areas, you will see that they are not much different from one another. Open your eyes to two worlds full of culture, art, religion, food, and fun!

Tabel Of Contents

The Most Popular: 

 

  • Masada

The towering, awe-inspiring fortress stands in the Judean desert. Once home to King Herod, this mountain symbolizes the reliance of the Jewish people. Men, women, and children alike stood atop Masada and fought the Romans who tried to invade in 73 C.E. You can hike up the fortress by foot, or take a cable car up. Don’t forget to take in the beautiful views

visiting palestine

  • The Dead Sea:

The lowest point on the Earth, this saltwater lake is a “must-see” on your trip to Israel. The Dead Sea is usually visited at the same time as Masada, for the two sights are right near each other in the Judean desert. The high salt content in this body of water means no fish can swim there. The mud from this lake has healing properties, helping soothe wounds and making the skin soft. This “sea” is located between Israel and Jordan, and is a part of both the Judean and Negev deserts. Some private beaches you can visit for a relaxing vacation are Kalia beach, Biankini beach, and Neve Midbar beach. A public beach you can go to is the popular Ein Gedi. 

  • The Western Wall:

The symbol that unifies all different types of Jewish people is the Western Wall or Ha-Kotel. No matter what type of Judaism you practice, you are welcome to visit the wall, pray, and leave notes of well wishes–or whatever you want to say–in the cracks of the wall. Located in the Old City of Jerusalem, remember to have your shoulders and knees covered. Witness bar mitzvahs, weddings, grievances–a celebration of life. 

dead sea visiting palestine

  • Shuk Machane Yehuda:

While in Jerusalem, you cannot pass up the Shuk Machane Yehuda. A variety of foods, you will find anything you like here. From traditional Malawach to imported cheese, indulge in all different flavors. Stop for a beer or cocktail, and don’t forget to grab a box of Marzipan rugelach on your way out!

  • Bahá’í Gardens:

One of the main tourist attractions of Haifa, the Bahá’í Gardens are representative of the eighteen disciples of Báb, the founder of the Bahá’í Faith. There are nine concentric circles and eighteen terraces. There is one terrace that houses the Shrine of Báb. The gardens contain an impressive irrigation system, in which a computer distributes water through valves throughout the garden. The computer collects meteorological data and knows how much water to give out based on the numbers. You can take a day trip to Haifa and see the gardens for yourself, admission is free. 

haifa tour

  • The Golan Heights:

A beautiful, hilly region in the North of Israel that is nestled in between the Jordan River and the Sea of Galilee. Come hike Mount Hermon or Mount Meron, you will not be disappointed. Come witness some of Israel’s most beautiful nature reserves, then stop at a winery when you are done. The Golan is a spectacular region to hike, walk, and explore. 

      1. While in the Golan, be sure to visit Nazareth and the Jesus Trail. Located in the Lower Galilee region, Nazareth is believed to contain the childhood home of Jesus. It also houses many Christian holy sites. The Jesus Trail is a very famous trail that starts in Nazareth and ends in Capernaum. Essentially, when you walk on this trail, you are walking in the footsteps Jesus once walked in. Before your trek on the trail, stay at the Fauzi Azar Inn and explore Nazareth, itself. 
  • Tel Aviv:

For a much different vibe, look no further than the city of Tel Aviv. Bustling with shops, restaurants, and nightlife, this city has it all. Spend a day at the mall in Dizengoff Center, then get dinner on the famous Rothschild Street. If you’re into art, go to the Tel Aviv Museum of Art where you can see paintings from Van Gogh and Da Vinci. If you’re looking for a quick bite to eat, look no fighter than the Shuk HaCarmel or Sarona Market. The Shuk offers cheap, delicious, Israeli fare while Sarona Market offers food from all around the world. After this you’ll probably want to lounge on the beach. Tel Aviv’s public beaches (Gordon Beach, Jerusalem beach to name a few) are beautiful with soft, white sand along the warm Mediteraainean Sea. If you’re staying at a hotel, hotels sometimes reserve parts of the beach just for guests. It all depends on what you want! The beaches have good restaurants along them, too (La La Land, La Mer) as well as snack stands. 

  • The Negev Desert:

Located in the South of Israel, the Negev desert region is a dry, flat, hot area of land. The area’s largest city is Beersheba. In this region of Israel, there are other towns, Bedouin tents, and kibbutzim. Bedouin tents are where Nomadic people (traditionally Arabs) live together, moving from place to place in the desert. Kibbutzim are communities in which everyone lives and works within the same area, all helping each other out. There are also a number of hikes and trails you can walk through in Israel’s southern region. 

negev area visiting palestine

  • Eilat:

This city, located in the Southern half of Israel along the Red Sea, is a popular tourist destination. It has a generally dry climate. People vacation here, as the beaches are very pretty. You can also ride camels, scuba dive to see coral reefs, or look at the yachts on the marina. Nightlife is defined by a number of bars, clubs, and pubs

  • Red Sea:

Located along the coast of Eilat, the Red Sea stems from Biblical times. The name was given to the sea because of the red mountains’ reflection on the water. People come to the sea to lounge, do water sports, sail, snorkel, or dive. The water is crisp, blue, and beautiful. 

red sea

For Some Local Flavor: 

 

  • Pool of Arches:

Row a boat through underground waterways. Located in Ramla, there are fifteen stone pillars to navigate your way around. According to ancient Christian mythology, it was ordered to be built by St. Helena to provide water to the town’s residents. 

  • Rosh HaNikra Grottoes:

Near the Israeli-Lebanon border, these grottoes are home to natural, turquoise blue water. The caves are very deep, though, so the site used to only be accessible to divers. Now, a cable car has been installed so anyone can explore this aquatic wonder. 

  • Gan HaGat (Wine Press Garden):

Hidden in between buildings in Tel Aviv, you can only get to this park via a small side street. It is mostly unknown, and visitors include young families. There is a playground with swings for kids to play on, but venture up a small staircase and you will reach an ancient wine press. The wine press is said to be dated all the way back to the times of King Alexander Janneus. This hidden gem is a must-see. 

  • Caesarea:

A small, quaint town in the North of Israel, come see the beautiful beaches. Play a game of golf at the golf course, or go to a concert at the famous Roman Theatre. The Ralli Museum is home to paintings by Salvador Dali. You will not run out of things to do at this hub of relaxation and cultural abundance. 

  • Ayalon Institute:

This lesser-known museum used to be an ammunition factory in the 1940s. It was disguised as a kibbutz to fool British authorities. The factory made over 2 million bullets. The museum is about 30 minutes from Tel Aviv, and tours are offered in both Hebrew and English. 

  • The Palmach Museum:

This museum is focused on the Palmach, an underground resistance group during the British mandate. Instead of walking from room to room and looking at displays, this place offers videos, 3D structures, and special effects to really immerse visitors in the experience of being a part of the Palmach. 

 

  • Dialogue in the Dark:

This interactive children’s museum simulates what life is like for blind people. Your eyes are covered and you are only allowed to carry a cane with you as a guide takes you through the museum. The guides are blind people, themselves. At the end of the tour, you are allowed to ask questions about what life is like for them. 

visiting palestine

Palestinian Attractions:

 

Most people are afraid of visiting Palestine. What they do not know is that, with their passport, they can enter some of the territories and see what Palestinians have to offer. There is actually an abundance of culture and beauty, so visiting Palestine should be a great experience. See our guide for everything you need to know. 

 

  • When Visiting Palestine, see Ramallah:

The most liberal city of the West Bank, Ramallah is home to poets, artists, and activists. There is an abundance of restaurants and shops. Visiting Palestine will be great if you come try some local food, or see a variety of museums. 

bethlehem

  • Visit a Bedouin Camp:

Travel to Palestine to see Bedouin camps. They are home to nomadic, mostly Arab people. They live together, work together, and have no permanent residence. Through some tour groups, you can actually eat at and stay overnight at a Bedouin tent. 

  • Visiting Palestine, Hebron & seeing Dual Perspectives:

Hebron offers sites such as the Cave of Patriarchs. As believed by all Abrahamic religions (Christianity, Islam, and Judaism) Abraham purchased the cave and the field near the cave as a burial plot. You can visit an enclosed, rectangular structure divided into two parts. Jews are only allowed entrance on the southwestern side, and Muslims are only allowed to enter through the northeastern side of the structure. The actual caves under the structure are not generally accessible, out of respect for the tombs there. The above-ground structure that you can see, however, is very beautiful. To learn more, see this page

    • Abraham Hostels and Tours will take you to Hebron, a much disputed city. There, you will hear from a Palestinian resident and a Jewish settler. This form of visiting Palestine will be split into two parts, and you will have the opportunity to see both Muslim and Jewish holy sites. 
  • Bethlehem:

Located in the West Bank, Bethlehem is something you need to see when visiting Palestine. It is both the birthplace of Jesus, and the city where David (the first king of Israel) is from. People make pilgrimages to this city for both its religious and historical significance. The earliest this city has been recorded in history is 1400 BCE. Some famous sites to visit are the Church of Nativity (Jesus’ birthplace) , Rachel’s tomb (the burial site of Jewish matriarch Rachel) and Banksy’s graffiti. Banksy, the famous, elusive artist portrays his graffiti on the border wall between Bethlehem and Jerusalem. 

Jericho

  • Visiting Palestine, Jericho:

In Jericho lies the Qasr al-Yahud in the Jordan River Valley. Also known as the “Tower of the Jews,” a baptism site in the West Bank. This place is said to also have been the “spiritual birthplace” of Jesus. In the Jewish religion, this is where the Children of Israel marched through the Jordan River and into the Holy Land after forty years of aimlessly wandering through the desert. The city of Jericho is also in close proximity to the Dead Sea, and is a popular tourism spot for people visiting Palestine. Jericho also boasts many Christian tourist sites (Mount of Temptation, Saint George Monastery). 

  • Battir Village:

West of Jerusalem, Battir Village is home to an irrigation system that provides beautiful terraces with water. This water allows the terraces to flourish, and gives them the ability to grow olives, eggplants, and peppers. The irrigation system used is from Ancient Roman times. When visiting Palestine, you have to come across this natural wonder of nature. 

  • Take an overnight tour of the West Bank:

With Abraham Hostels & Tours, you can spend three days touring different parts of the West Bank with a tour guide & group of people. You will get to see the cities of Jericho, Ramallah, and Bethlehem all on one trip. Visiting Palestine will be an experience you won’t forget. 

visiting palestine

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