Travel Guide: Israel & Palestine
Israel is a country with many sides and many cultures living in one place. The on-going conflict with neighbouring Palestine and fight for recognition make this area a spot for tension and inequality. With rich history and immeasurable religious importance, Israel and the Palestinian Territories are 2 unmissable countries.
*We decided to cluster these 2 countries in the same section as their are closely related to each other and unfortunately, we didn’t have the time to spend as much as we would’ve liked in Palestine. We recognise their different story and culture and on this page, we are sharing information mainly on Israel. For more info on Palestine read this post.
When to Travel
Israel is best around Summer (April to October), which makes it almost rain-free and sunny. During Winter, temperatures drop (no snow in most parts) but it can get pretty cold and rainy. Not an ideal time to enjoy the beaches of Tel Aviv and the Dead Sea.
Israel is one of the most expensive countries we’ve travelled to. Closer to European cities like London. For a backpack in Tel Aviv or Jerusalem, we paid around AU$30 per person in a room with 10 other people. Airbnb is perhaps a better option if you wouldn’t like to stay in a hostel and you can find cheaper options outside the city centres.
Food. This place has a thing with food. We couldn’t have been better off in a country like Israel. Delicious, healthy and the most vegetarian/vegan friendly we’ve ever experienced. Unfortunately, it comes with a price tag. Food and alcohol is still quite expensive with a meal starting at around AU$15 (ouch).
In and out of the main cities is quite easy to go around. Tel Aviv and Jerusalem both have buses and a tram serves most of Jerusalem Old City and beyond. We walked to most parts too, as everything around is somewhat close. There are buses that travel to and from Tel Aviv to the main cities daily. To travel to the Dead Sea and to West Bank, we hired a car but you can easily take a tour with several hostels and tours that offer a complete package.
Things to Do
- DYOT: Road Trip to the Dead Sea
- We Drove Through West Bank to Visit the Walled Off Hotel
- A Break from Backpacking: Staying at Sheraton Tel Aviv
- Travelling in Israel is very expensive so keep your tabs in check while there.
- Make an effort to talk to the locals, even to those who seem a bit ‘rude’. Israeli people are very nice and helpful. Likewise, in Palestine, everyone is very friendly and welcoming. Take your chances and try to speak to everyone.
- Sometimes we found it hard to find people who could speak English, so be advised to have your Google Translate in hand.
- If you venture driving in Israel, beware that the traffic is slightly chaotic, compared to Australia or European countries for that matter. Drivers fail to indicate quite often and sometimes it’s a bit difficult to change lanes, last minute (be warned!).
- If you intend to visit West Bank when in Israel, make sure to keep that out of your list if questioned by immigration. The process to enter the country can be painful if you have any suspicious or Muslim connections (like names or stamps on Arab countries).
*Cost breakdown shown below refers to expenses per day for 2 people for Australian & Brazilian passport holders (visa).
- Accomodation: AU$82
- Food: AU$47
- Entertainment: AU$21.5
- Visa: NIL
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