Everything You Need To Know Before Visiting Israel & The Top 4 Must-See Attractions in Israel, otherwise known as the Holy Land is the Jews’ birthplace and is a spiritual and beautiful place to visit. People following Muslim and Christian religions also consider Israel as a sacred place because God lived here when he was in the flesh as Jesus.
Everything you need to know before visiting Israel
While planning a trip, learn everything you need to know before visiting Israel from this guide, including the four best tourist attractions to visit during your stay! Namaste to all the aspiring travelers!
How to apply for an Israel Online Visa
Before you can visit the country, you must apply for and receive an Israel online visa. This is otherwise known as an electronic travel permit.
Standard passport holders from these countries can travel to Israel without an electronic visa. However, if your country is not on this list, follow these steps to apply for an Israel online visa:
- Provide your name, address, email, and other personal information indicators on the online application.
- Select a method to pay the visa fees and send your application.
- Watch for a copy of your electronic visa in the email you provided on your application.
Environmental Precautions To Consider When Visiting Israel
As of October 2022, there are some environmental precautions to consider when visiting Israel. Suppose you are a government employee from the United States. In that case, you should not go inside the Old City of Jerusalem’s Damascus Gate, seven miles away from the Gaza demarcation line, and other areas. Check the link in this paragraph for updates on environmental precautions before you go.
Some areas of the country are facing civil unrest because of terrorism. In the southern areas, Hamas and Jihad are the main groups to watch out for and avoid.
Israel’s Cultural Customs To Heed
Studying Israeli cultural customs and heeding them accordingly is an important task to do before visiting the country. For example, you should not ask someone to remove their hat if they are visiting where you are staying. Men wear kippahs as women usually wear snoods or other forms of headwear, but such garments are culturally acceptable and would be inappropriate to ask someone to remove them.
Other cultural customs you should follow
Observing/meeting/complying/respecting the local cultural customs is the best/right way to travel anywhere in the world. It is good to know a little bit about the country/states you visit and one can always know something more on the trip. It does make a great positive difference. Locals understand and appreciate your attempt, even if you pronounced few words as a natural new visitor. Know a couple of words respectful of someone you are meeting first time in a new place/country, it helps, even if you do not pronounce it as the locals do.
- Do not drive around or use electricity from sunset on a Friday to the same time on a Saturday. This is considered Shabbat if you are in an area where Orthodox Jews reside.
- Observe what others are doing when you are walking around town. Refrain from walking in front of a person praying as this is rude.
- Be sure to have the correct food on hand if you are hosting a gathering where they must eat kosher foods.
- Wear your best clothes and be sure you are showered as Israelis like a well-groomed presentation.
- Israelis prefer people they are meeting with to be on time, but they do not mind if someone is late by up to a half hour. Anything past this time frame is considered uncivilized.
What is Israel’s currency?
Before you visit Israel, you will have to convert your home country’s currency into the New Israel Shekel (NIS). The locals refer to the currency simply as the shekel.
If you are coming from the United States, you can convert many USDs into shekels. One USD is equal to 3.41 shekels, which means that one shekel is equal to about 0.29 USD. Currency conversion rates are always subject to change, so check them a few days before your flight.
As soon as you land in Israel, you can convert some currency into the shekel at the airport, so you can travel to where you are staying. Do not convert all of your currency at the airport because they do not have the best conversion rates. Try banks, hotels, or an exchange agency in the area that’s licensed to do the service to get better conversion rates.
Keep some USD on your person because some tourist attractions take this currency as payment. For example, the Old City of Jerusalem has tours available that you must purchase using USD.
The 4 Best Tourist Attractions in Israel
Now that you have learned the administrative tasks of getting ready for your trip to Israel, now comes the fun part! Plan out your trip to Israel by considering these four best tourist attractions.
1. Nazareth Village
Learn about how people lived in the first century in Nazareth when you visit Nazareth Village. Listen to Jesus’ parables in the Bible reenacted from the Bible for a more visual representation of what you have read.
Tours are usually in English, but you can request them to be done in Hebrew, French, Portuguese, Romanian, and other languages as long as you ask in advance. Plan accordingly as tours last about 75 minutes. You can ask for a Biblical meal at the end to round out the aesthetic of the overall experience.
Address: 5079 St., Nazareth
2. Church of the Holy Sepulchre
The Church of the Holy Sepulchre is home to two of the most important locations related to Jesus. It is where Golgotha is located, which was the setting of Jesus’ crucifixion and the tomb in which his lifeless body was buried and eventually where he was resurrected. Come here to pray and connect spiritually as you navigate the church.
Address: The Christian Quarter inside the Old City of Jerusalem
3. The Western Wall
Visit what is regarded as the holiest grounds by the Jews in Jerusalem which is the Western Wall. Otherwise known as the Kotel, it is the last symbol remaining of the original Jewish temple. Treat this area with respect and the highest regard during your visit.
Address: Three minutes walking distance from the Dome of the Rock
4. Negev Camel Ranch
Camels, or nakot, can be ridden at the Negev Camel Ranch. Book a hotel stay at the farm and enjoy riding the camels any time during the day.
In business since 1986, caregivers and herders take extra good care of the camels to be sure they are well-groomed and well-mannered for riders. Camel rides last for one to four hours, depending on the experience package that you purchase.
Address: Road 25, Dimona, Israel
Final Thoughts on Traveling to Israel
Traveling to Israel is an exciting spiritual experience. Remember to heed cultural customs, the environmental precautions, to get your e-Visa, convert your currency, and enjoy the tourist attractions. Follow the advice/suggestions that this post on Everything You Need To Know Before Visiting Israel enumerates.
Susan Noel is an experienced content writer. She is associated with many renowned travel blogs as a guest author where she shares her valuable travel tips with the audience.