Israel Travel Guide : Food, hotel, Cost, Weather & geography, History, language, culture, things to see and do and how to reach

You can find about travel advice such as public places & services, best restaurants, activities, sightseen and other key facts of the Israel .

Israel is a country in Western Asia. It is situated on the southeastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea and the northern shore of the Red Sea, and shares borders with Lebanon to the north, Syria to the northeast, Jordan on the east, the Palestinian territories of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip to the east and west,respectively, and Egypt to the southwest. Tel Aviv is the economic and technological center of the country, while its seat of government and proclaimed capital is Jerusalem, although international recognition of the state's sovereignty over the city is limited.

Israel has evidence of the earliest migration of hominids out of Africa. Canaanite tribes are archaeologically attested since the Middle Bronze Age, while the Kingdoms of Israel and Judah emerged during the Iron Age. The Neo-Assyrian Empire destroyed Israel around 720 BCE. Judah was later conquered by the Babylonian, Persian and Hellenistic empires and had existed as Jewish autonomous provinces. The successful Maccabean Revolt led to an independent Hasmonean kingdom by 110 BCE, which in 63 BCE however became a client state of the Roman Republic that subsequently installed the Herodian dynasty in 37 BCE, and in 6 CE created the Roman province of Judea. Judea lasted as a Roman province until the failed Jewish revolts resulted in widespread destruction, the expulsion of the Jewish population and the renaming of the region from Iudaea to Syria Palaestina. Jewish presence in the region has persisted to a certain extent over the centuries. In the 7th century CE, the Levant was taken from the Byzantine Empire by the Arabs and remained in Muslim control until the First Crusade of 1099, followed by the Ayyubid conquest of 1187. The Mamluk Sultanate of Egypt extended its control over the Levant in the 13th century until its defeat by the Ottoman Empire in 1517. During the 19th century, national awakening among Jews led to the establishment of the Zionist movement followed by immigration to Palestine.

The land was controlled as a mandate of the British Empire from 1920 to 1948, having been ceded by the Ottomans at the end of the First World War. The Second World War saw the mandate bombed heavily. Once the British agreed to supply arms and form a Jewish Brigade in 1944, Yishuv Jews officially entered the conflict on the side of the allies. At the end of the war, amidst growing tensions with the conflict-weary British, the United Nations (UN), eager to appease both Arab and Jewish factions, adopted a Partition Plan for Palestine in 1947 recommending the creation of independent Arab and Jewish states, and an internationalized Jerusalem. The plan was accepted by the Jewish Agency but rejected by Arab leaders. The following year, the Jewish Agency declared the independence of the State of Israel, and the subsequent 1948 Arab–Israeli War saw Israel establishment over most of the former Mandate territory, while the West Bank and Gaza were held by neighboring Arab states. Israel has since fought several wars with Arab countries, and since the Six-Day War in June 1967 held occupied territories including the West Bank, Golan Heights and the Gaza Strip (still considered occupied after the 2005 disengagement, although some legal experts dispute this claim). Subsequent legislative acts have resulted in the full application of Israeli law within the Golan Heights and East Jerusalem, as well as its partial application in the West Bank via "pipelining" into Israeli settlements. Israel exerts full control over almost two-thirds of the West Bank and partial control over 165 Palestinian enclaves; Israel's occupation of the Palestinian territories is internationally considered to be the world's longest military occupation in modern times. Efforts to resolve the Israeli–Palestinian conflict have not resulted in a final peace agreement, while Israel has signed peace treaties with both Egypt and Jordan.

In its Basic Laws, Israel defines itself as a Jewish and democratic state, and the nation state of the Jewish people. The country is a liberal democracy with a parliamentary system, proportional representation, and universal suffrage. The prime minister is head of government and the Knesset is the legislature. With a population of around 9 million as of 2019, Israel is a developed country and an OECD member. It has the world's 31st-largest economy by nominal GDP, and is the most developed country currently in conflict. It has the highest standard of living in the Middle East, and ranks among the world's top countries by percentage of citizens with military training, percentage of citizens holding a tertiary education degree, research and development spending by GDP percentage, women's safety, life expectancy,[68] innovativeness, and happiness.

Foods in Israel  :
(1) Falafel : 

Falafel is probably the most recognisably Israeli food there is. In almost every town in Israel you can find a choice of shops attracting the hungry with the delicious smell of frying falafels. The Shuk (market) Betzalel area in Tel Aviv, for example, is famous for its excellent falafel. Falafel balls are made of spicy chickpeas (humusim) or broad beans. They are then stuffed into a pita bread with a salad, pickles, and tahini. Before starting to fill the pita bread, it's recommended that you spread houmous inside it. If you find yourself extra-hungry, you might like to add fries or an extra falafel ball or two to make for a filling and delicious feed. It’s best to hold your customised treat away from your body while eating so that you don’t get tahini all over yourself.Many versions of the falafel have been developed in Israel, from green or square patties to a waffle-like falafel. The classic taste is yet to be bettered, though.

(2) Shakshouka : 

Shakshouka is one of Israel’s most common dishes and is commonly eaten for breakfast and dinner, as well as being a popular street food. The main ingredients of shakshouka are eggs and tomatoes. Upon this base, you can add ingredients to suit the specific quirks of your own taste buds. Onions and peppers are usually added, but you can usually find spinach, feta cheese, herbs and other ingredients available in restaurants to add to the mix. Shakshouka has 2 main versions, each with its own devout followers. Some claim passionately that the egg yolks should remain in their pristine state, like in a sunny-side-up fried egg, while others insist that the yolk should be mixed with the white, as in an omelette. Our recommendation is to try both versions and make your own choice.Like many other foods, Israelis like their shakshouka stuffed inside a pita bread. For this reason, in many street food places, you can find tasty, hot and steaming shakshouka served inside a houmous-lined pita.

(3) Jerusalem Mix (Me’orav Yerushalmi) : 

Unlike some dishes associated with Israel that originated in other Middle Eastern cultures or in Europe, Jerusalem mix was most probably created in a Jerusalem steakhouse in Israel. It’s made of beef and chicken offal, such as liver, spleen, heart, and sometimes a chicken breast mixed together with herbs such as onion, cumin, and turmeric. The meat chunks are fried or roasted over a fire, resulting in tempting smells that are difficult to miss as they waft from the restaurants or street stands that serve Jerusalem mix.This dish is normally served on a plate as a main dish at lunch, along with houmous, fries, and an Israeli salad. However, at street food stands, Jerusalem mix is usually served warm inside a pita bread spread with houmous and tahini, together with vegetables, pickles, and fries. You can, of course, choose how spicy you want yours, from mild to extra hot.

(4) Schnitzel : 

The Israeli schnitzel is made of fried thin slices of chicken breast coated with egg and breadcrumbs. The coating can come in a wide variety of colours and tastes, including being lightly or heavily spiced, and many restaurants have their own special way of preparing their schnitzel. It's usually served as a main dish for lunch or dinner alongside fries, rice, or pasta. Street food stands serve schnitzel inside pita bread as one of their most popular dishes. Usually, it comes with houmous, tahini, salad, pickles, and fries. Popular wisdom suggests the thinner it is, the tastier it is.Even if you don’t eat meat, you can enjoy vegetarian schnitzel in fast food restaurants or buy them in supermarkets for consumption at home. They're usually made with corn, tofu, or other plant-based sources.

(5) Houmous : 

A plate of houmous is one of Israel’s most iconic dishes. Israelis can have heated discussions as to which is the best humusiya (houmous restaurant) in the country, with everyone passionately defending their favourite one. Houmous is made with chickpeas that are ground to various textures and thicknesses, according to taste. In a typical humusiya, it's normally served as a main dish accompanied with a boiled egg, a little olive oil, herbs, and with chickpeas or broad beans on the side. Middle Eastern restaurants usually serve houmous as an appetiser, along with at least a dozen small plates with various salads, both spicy and mild.Houmous should be “wiped” from the plate using a pita or laffa (taboon bread), with many people developing their own wiping style. Given time and practice, you may even develop a wiping style all of your own.

(6) Pitzukhim : 

Pitzukhim (literally 'things to crack') are very popular snacks in Israel and are definitely some of the most varied and healthy ones available. You can buy them in shops and kiosks known as ‘pitzukhiya’ or ‘pitzutziya’. They’re sold by weight in small paper bags. They can also be bought in supermarkets in separate or mixed packaging. Pizhukhim got their name due to the common habit of cracking them with the teeth. You eat the kernel and spit out the shell (back into the bag, of course – not on the floor!). The most popular ones are sunflower, pumpkin, or watermelon seeds, peanuts (whole or peeled), almonds, pistachios, and various other types of nuts. Pizhukhim are particularly popular at football matches and synagogues where people crack them during the breaks.On top of being fun to eat and tasty, pitzukhim also have some reported health-promoting qualities – from the prevention of heart disease, to keeping your skin elastic and even, reputedly, improving virility.

Weather & geography in  Israel :
Israel has a Mediterranean climate with long, hot, rainless summers and relatively short, cool, rainy winters (Köppen climate classification Csa). ... Summers are very humid along the Mediterranean coast but dry in the central highlands, the Rift Valley, and the Negev Desert.The geography of Israel is very diverse, with desert conditions in the south, and snow-capped mountains in the north. Israel is located at the eastern end of the Mediterranean Sea in Western Asia. It is bounded to the north by Lebanon, the northeast by Syria, the east by Jordan and the West Bank, and to the southwest by Egypt. To the west of Israel is the Mediterranean Sea, which makes up the majority of Israel's 273 km (170 mi) coastline, and the Gaza Strip. Israel has a small coastline on the Red Sea in the south.Israel's area is approximately 20,770 km2 (8,019 sq mi), which includes 445 km2 (172 sq mi) of inland water. Israel stretches 424 km (263 mi) from north to south, and its width ranges from 114 km (71 mi) to, at its narrowest point, 15 km (9.3 mi). It has an Exclusive Economic Zone of 26,352 km2 (10,175 sq mi).The Israeli-occupied territories include the West Bank, 5,879 km2 (2,270 sq mi), East Jerusalem, 70 km2 (27 sq mi) and the Golan Heights, 1,150 km2 (444 sq mi). Geographical features in these territories will be noted as such. Of these areas, Israel has annexed East Jerusalem and the Golan Heights, an act not recognized by the international community.

Southern Israel is dominated by the Negev desert, covering some 16,000 square kilometres (6,178 sq mi), more than half of the country's total land area. The north of the Negev contains the Judean Desert, which, at its border with Jordan, contains the Dead Sea which, at −417 m (−1,368 ft) is the lowest point on Earth. The inland area of central Israel is dominated by the Judean Hills of the West Bank, whilst the central and northern coastline consists of the flat and fertile Israeli coastal plain. Inland, the northern region contains the Mount Carmel mountain range, which is followed inland by the fertile Jezreel Valley, and then the hilly Galilee region. The Sea of Galilee is located beyond this region and is bordered to the east by the Golan Heights, a plateau bordered to the north by the Israeli-occupied part of the Mount Hermon massif, which includes the highest point under Israel's control, a peak of 2,224 meters (7,297 ft). The highest point in territory internationally recognized as Israeli is Mount Meron at 1,208 meters (3,963 ft).

Per day Cost in Israel :
How much money will you need for your trip to Israel? You should plan to spend around ₪347 ($108) per day on your vacation in Israel, which is the average daily price based on the expenses of other visitors. Past travelers have spent, on average, ₪99 ($31) on meals for one day and ₪24 ($7.59) on local transportation.

History of Israel :

The Land of Israel, also known as the Holy Land or Palestine, is the birthplace of the Jewish people, the place where the final form of the Hebrew Bible is thought to have been compiled, and the birthplace of Judaism and Christianity. It contains sites sacred to Judaism, Samaritanism, Christianity, Islam, Druze and the Baháʼí Faith. The region has come under the sway of various empires and, as a result, has hosted a wide variety of ethnicities. However, the land was predominantly Jewish from roughly 1,000 years before the Common Era (BCE) until the 3rd century of the Common Era (CE).[citation needed] The adoption of Christianity by the Roman Empire in the 4th century led to a Greco-Roman Christian majority which lasted not just until the 7th century when the area was conquered by the Arab Muslim Empires, but for another full six centuries. It gradually became predominantly Muslim after the end of the Crusader period (1099-1291), during which it was the focal point of conflict between Christianity and Islam. From the 13th century it was mainly Muslim with Arabic as the dominant language and was first part of the Syrian province of the Mamluk Sultanate and after 1516 part of the Ottoman Empire until the British conquest in 1917-18.

A Jewish national movement, Zionism, emerged in the late-19th century (partially in response to growing antisemitism), as part of which Aliyah (Jewish return from diaspora) increased. During World War I, the British government publicly committed to create a Jewish National Home and was granted a Mandate to rule Palestine by the League of Nations for this purpose. A rival Arab nationalism also claimed rights over the former Ottoman territories and sought to prevent Jewish migration into Palestine, leading to growing Arab–Jewish tensions. Israeli independence in 1948 was accompanied by an exodus of Arabs from Israel, the Arab–Israeli conflict[1] and a subsequent Jewish exodus from Arab and Muslim countries to Israel. About 43% of the world's Jews live in Israel today, the largest Jewish community in the world.

In 1979, an uneasy Egypt–Israel Peace Treaty was signed, based on the Camp David Accords. In 1993, Israel signed Oslo I Accord with the Palestine Liberation Organization, followed by establishment of the Palestinian National Authority and in 1994 Israel–Jordan peace treaty was signed. Despite efforts to finalize the peace agreement, the conflict continues to play a major role in Israeli and international political, social and economic life.In its early decades, the economy of Israel was largely state-controlled and shaped by social democratic ideas. In the 1970s and 1980s, the economy underwent a series of free market reforms and was gradually liberalized. In the past three decades, the economy has grown considerably, but GDP per capita has increased faster than the increase in wages.

Language in Israel  :
Arabic is used daily by Israeli Muslims, Christians and Druze, as well as by Jews who originate from Arab countries. It is an official language in the State of Israel, alongside Hebrew.

Culture of  Israel :

The roots of the culture of Israel developed long before modern Israel's independence in 1948 and traces back to ancient Israel (c. 1000 BCE). It reflects Jewish culture, Jewish history in the diaspora, the ideology of the Zionist movement that developed in the late 19th century, as well as the history and traditions of the Arab Israeli population and ethnic minorities that live in Israel, among them Druze, Circassians, Armenians and others.Israel is the birthplace of the Jewish culture and its culture encompasses the foundations of many Jewish cultural characteristics, including philosophy, literature, poetry, art, mythology, folklore, mysticism and festivals; as well as Judaism, which was also fundamental to the creation of Christianity and Islam.Tel Aviv and Jerusalem are considered the main cultural hubs of Israel. The New York Times has described Tel Aviv as the "capital of Mediterranean cool," Lonely Planet ranked it as a top ten city for nightlife, and National Geographic named it one of the top ten beach cities.

With over 200 museums, Israel has the highest number of museums per capita in the world, with millions of visitors annually. Major art museums operate in Tel Aviv, Jerusalem, Haifa and Herzliya, as well as in many towns and Kibbutzim. The Israel Philharmonic Orchestra plays at venues throughout the country and abroad, and almost every city has its own orchestra, many of the musicians hailing from the former Soviet Union. Folkdancing is popular in Israel, and Israeli modern dance companies, among them the Batsheva Dance Company, are highly acclaimed in the dance world. The national theatre, Habima was established in 1917. Israeli filmmakers and actors have won awards at international film festivals in recent years. Since the 1980s, Israeli literature has been widely translated, and several Israeli writers have achieved international recognition.

Place to visit in Israel :

(1) Mount of Olives

(2) Jerusalem

(3) Haifa

(4) Nazareth

(5) Jaffa

(6) The Dead Sea

(7) Bethlehem

(8) Timna Park

Hotel in Israel :
(1) King David Hotel

(2) Waldorf Astoria Jerusalem

(3) Hotel Montefiore

(4) The Norman Tel Aviv

How to reach in Israel :

The main airport in Israel is Tel Aviv's Ben-Gurion International airport. It is closer to Tel Aviv and around 40 kms from Jerusalem. Israir , El air , Arkia air are the national carriers serving many international cities. It is very convenient for travellers to take bus, train, taxi, or Sheirut (shared taxi) from airport to the city. It is to be noted that the bus services will be suspended from friday afternoon till saturday evening (shabbat). Daily direct buses are available from Amman to Tel Aviv, Haifa and Nazareth, via the King Hussein bridge. Taxi can also be hired from the north bus terminal in Amman. You have to pay less if you travel in a group. After crossing border and customs verification , buses are available to Jericho and Ramallah . Take a taxi from there to Jerusalem.To take the bus from Cairo to Israel, buy a ticket from Cairo Gateway Plaza, known as Turgomen Garage (metro stop Orabi).There are five crossings on the border to reach Israel . Two on the Egyptian border and three on the Jordanian border. Syrian and Lebanon nationals do not have access to the border crossings. The three crossings are - Allenby/King Hussein Bridge (located to the north of Dead Sea) , Jordan River ( near Tiberias ) , Yitzhak Rabin ( mostly used by tourists to visit Petra in Jordan for a day trip) . Border crossings with Egypt are : Nitzhana ( closed on religious holidays , so check in advance ) , Taba ( south of Eilat ). Border crossing across Gaza should be avoided as it is very time consuming because of heavy military crossing and cross checking.

Travel Guide for Israel : Food, hotel, Cost, Weather & geography, History, language, culture, things to see and do and how to reach. – Published by The Beyond News (Travelling).