Have my Israel posts been able to inspire you to make your way to one of the most fascinating [and historically and potentially volatile] countries in our world? I hope yes. Yes enough to add it to your bucket list, have day-dreams about it, and make plans for a journey post COVID-19.
Though I’ve ended each post on Israel with related travel tips, I thought I’d collate the important ones into one post and add a few extra. Just to make it easier for you.
I assure you this will be a short post. Most of my Israel posts have been on an average 2,500 words long. If you indeed read through them, credit goes to the country—it is beautiful—and to you. Thank you super much for giving me company through the series, for liking the posts, and for commenting on them. It has encouraged me and kept me focussed on writing the entire set.
So, here goes my last and 13th post in my Israel series, a country that was long on my wish-list and one I finally got to explore on a solo, independent, 15-day travel in November 2019. Wishing you happy travels too, someday soon.
[Please note there are NO affiliate links in this post, or in any of my posts. Links are provided only to help you with your plans or for you to get extra info.]
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Getting an Israeli visa
Is not that complicated. Just make sure you submit ALL the documents required. If you have a valid US or Schengen visa, the processing is quicker. I got my Israeli visa in two working days. Ben Gurion airport immigration was smooth and fast as well.
Why independent travel and not a package tour for Israel
Firstly, because independent travel in Israel is cheaper. Secondly, you’ll have more time at each place. And thirdly, since you’ll have more time and saved on the money part, you’ll be able to have deeper, more meaningful experiences.
Staying there, but where
There are loads of hotels, guest-houses, and Airbnb throughout the country. But when it comes to location, convenience, and price, Abraham Hostels is tops. You’ll find travellers of all ages from all over the world here. Their private rooms with attached bathrooms are spotless, and self-help Israeli buffet breakfasts are generous.
Jerusalem Audio Walking Tours [developed by the Jerusalem Development Authority] has 21 fantastic self-guided walks of the Old City. The App is available on both Apple and Android. Plus, they are free. By the end, you will be a pro on Jerusalem!
Exploring Nazareth and Tel Aviv
You only need a map [which Abraham Hostels will give you] and two sturdy feet.
Day tours for the ‘Sights’ outside the cities
Abraham Tours, a sister concern of Abraham Hostels is again the winner here. There are two types of tours: The self-guided ones provide transport and reading material with time allocated for each stop. The guided ones have an expert to help you get really under the skin of the place.
Food for thought
Do you like Hummus and Falafel? Well, you better, as you will find them everywhere. Pomegranate juice is especially popular in the Arab quarters and there are enough cafes and restaurants serving western fare to ensure you don’t go hungry.
Getting from point A to B
Get yourself a Rav-Kav travel card and save yourself the bother of buying a ticket for each journey on public transport. It is valid for buses, trams, and trains and costs 5 NIS. Once bought, money can be loaded onto it.
Egged buses run between all major towns and cities in Israel. Abraham Hostels has a shuttle service connecting Nazareth, Tel Aviv, and Jerusalem. To explore Palestine, Arab buses leave for various cities from East Jerusalem. For the airport, there are sheruts [shared taxis]. Ask your hotel to arrange one.
International roaming or local SIM
I used a 6 GB 30-day validity data plan sim from 019mobile for US$ 20 which I bought in Israel itself. It ensured I had access to google maps with public transport routes, and that I did not get lost. 😀
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It is a given all hotels have WiFi and local currency can be withdrawn from the ATMs.
Have I missed anything? If you have any questions, please feel free to ask in the comments section. If I have the answer, I promise I will share it with you.
PS. In case you missed any of my Israel and Palestine posts, here they all are. Thank you once again. ❤
- Global travel shot: Uninterrupted prayers at the Wailing Wall
- Nazareth, in search of Jesus Christ’s hometown
- The three magnificent jewels of Israel’s Judaean Desert
- 36 hours in Tel Aviv
- A self-guided walk through Biblical Mount of Olives
- The 5 untold treasures of Northern Israel
- Israel Museum, Jerusalem – Tuesday evening at the Museum
- A self-guided walk through the Yafo of Tel Aviv-Yafo: Old Jaffa
- Top 15 memorable things to do in Jerusalem, capital of the Holy Land
… and Palestine