December 23rd 2014
Jerusalem and Tel Aviv are the heavy hitters, the most well-known and populated cities in Israel. But for the tourist who wants to get a taste of the rich diversity in the tiny country of Israel, make sure to put all six of these urban locales on your itinerary!
The southern tip
If it’s the resort life you’re looking for, head to Eilat, located at the southern tip of the Negev, on the shores of the Red Sea. Hotels for
every price range, beaches, water sports and the famous Eilat boardwalk. Rust-tinted mountains make the scenery breathtaking, while the Underwater Observatory Marine Park and the Coral Beach Reserve are must-see activities.
The cultural heartbeat
Tel Aviv, the first city to be built in the Zionist era, is the most cosmopolitan of Israel’s population centers. Tourists love Tel Aviv for its myriad entertainment, culture, street festivals, arts, dining and boutique hotel options. Locals know Tel Aviv as the country’s center of commerce. The entertainment and nightlife in Tel Aviv is spectacular and includes a wide range of clubs, dancing, dining, coffee houses, pubs, discos, concert halls, movie theaters and more.
The spiritual center
With ancient and modern side-by-side, Jerusalem captivates all her visitors. See the ancient Western Wall in the Old City in the morning, shop for patries and souvenirs in the Machne Yehuda shuk in the afternoon, and catch a street performance at the First Station recreation complex in the evening. That’s how you spend a day in Jerusalem!
The port on the bay
Haifa is home to residents of all three major monotheistic religions, as well as members of smaller faith groups. It’s a bastion of coexistence and tolerance in the Middle East. The Baha’I Gardens of Haifa are a major attraction, as are the Haifa Port, a series of nautical-themed museums and the surrounding Druze villages.
The mystical essence
Nestled in the hills of the Galilee, Tzfat is the unofficial home of Kabbalah, Judaism’s mystical tradition, as well as a vibrant visual art scene. Winding stone alleys, clusters of workshops and studios, ancient cemeteries with tombs painted a deep blue, age-old synagogues and mountain views all contribute to the mystical holiness that characterizes Tzfat.
The lakeside recreation
Tiberias, which sits on the western shore of the Kinneret (Sea of Galilee), is where locals come to enjoy freshwater recreation. Tiberias offers water parks, extreme water sports, party cruises, a world-famous kosher seafood restaurant and a boardwalk that teems with life, especially in the summer evenings. Hire a horse-drawn carriage for a land-based tour of the city, and don’t miss the famous falafel stands.
So much sprawl
From the sands of Mediterranean beaches to the ancient stones of Jerusalem, every city in Israel will move you with its special song.