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Saturday, December 17, 2016

Why Israel should be on your travel plan

Most Indians, when it comes to holidaying, stick to tried and tested destinations in Europe or Asia. We are hesitant to explore lesser visited countries and form our own opinions on rest of the world. But there are many countries which are seriously under explored and deserve more attention from travellers. Israel is one of them. Israel is a small but diverse, modern Middle Eastern country offering rich experience in terms of culture, food, deserts, places of historic importance and night life.
Israel is picking up as the latest destination for Indian tourists who are traveling towards this middle-east country in good numbers. In this post, let us see why Israel should be on your list of destinations to visit and how you can plan your next trip.

Key Attractions and things to do in Israel: While there are dozens of attractions and things to do in Israel, visiting the holy sites in Jerusalem, enjoying a dip in Dead Sea and partying in Tel Aviv are the most recommended activities while you are in Israel.

1. Jerusalem:
Jerusalem is a holy city. It is one of the oldest cities in the world and means ‘City of Peace’. Jerusalem has places of religious importance to multiple religions - Jewish, Christian and Muslim. The Church of Holy Sepulchre, Tower of David (Citadel and surroundings), Dome of the Rock, Temple Mount (aka Haram Al Sharif), Western Wall, Via Dolorosa (way of Sorrow) in the Old City are some of the most important spots in Jerusalem.

Do not miss the sound and light show every evening at Tower Of David.

2. Tel Aviv city
Yarkon Park and Botanical Garden, Eretz Museum, Palmach Museum, Tel Aviv Museum of Art, Bauhaus Centre, Tel Aviv Port, Beit Hatfutsot (history and cultural museum) are some of the most popular attractions in Tel Aviv. Tel Aviv also attracts tourists in large numbers because of its food, culture and night life. Tel Aviv is known as party capital of Middle East, because of its young crowd, Mediterranean climate, sea side locations and more. Central Tel Aviv is the most happening place where beach parties are also popular during the weekends.
3. Dead Sea
Dead Sea is an extremely unique experience. Dead Sea is lowest place on earth- It is a hyper saline lake- about 10 times as salty as a normal sea. Because Due to its excessive salty nature, marine life can’t sustain here, hence the name Dead Sea. However its mineral rich black mud is believed to have therapeutic and medicinal values. There are dozens of hotels and resorts adjacent to the Dead Sea shore. You can spend a night or two in these resorts for up-close experience or even try camping near Dead Sea.

Do visit Masada and Ein Gedi when you visit Dead Sea. Masada is a UNESCO world heritage site- visit early morning before it gets hot and you can get great view of the ruins at the top. The Ein Gedi National Park offers lots of cool water hiking trails, offering a relaxed hiking experience despite hotter surroundings.

4. More things to do
You can also try hiking and sand boarding in Negev, hop across the border to visit Petra/Jordan, try or the jeep safari tours.
 
Above: An evening view in Israel...
Do check this video on Israel tourism which is sure to inspire you -



Important Travel Information
Israel Visa needs for Indians
Indian passport holders will need prior visa, which can be obtained from Israel Visa application centre (VFS) in Delhi, Mumbai and Bengaluru. Please allow at least one-month time for visa application processing (21 working days). Visitors will need a B2 visa (Business/visit visa-no work permitted) - no physical appearance is needed for B2 but passport needs to be submitted.

Reaching Israel
Tel Aviv is the most connected city.

Qatar Airways, Turkish and Lufthansa offer easy connectivity to Tel Aviv from major Indian cities. Ticket fare is usually Rs. 50k onwards for return.

Stay: 
AirBnB and Booking.com can be your best bets to find an accommodation option of your budget and luxury level.

Currency:
Shekel or Israeli New Sheqel New Israeli Shekel is the currency in Israel (currency code NIS). One USD= approx NIS 4

Language:
Hebrew and Arabic are official languages, but are perfectly possible to manage with English when you visit Israel

Traveling around in Israel: 
Airport shuttles are available. There are many daily tours and package tour options to choose from in Israel. You can also hire cabs or move around using public transportation.

To plan your Israel trip further, please refer this link. It has the event listings, Best Deals, FAQs and all the information you would need to plan and book your trip. 



Happy Journey!
Indian Bloggers

5 comments :

Sujata Tawde said...

After reading 'Operation Entebbe' in school days, I have been dreaming of visiting Israel. Your practical blog-post has revived that dream. Wish me luck with it. Amen!

Shrinidhi Hande said...

Thanks Sujatha- Best wishes- travel soon

vignesh said...

Be aware that having an Israel stamp on your passport could prevent entering into other countries such as UAE. I am not sure whether the restriction is still there.

Better choose Jordan instead of Israel as Indian can get visa on arrival, and it offers the same experience as that of Israel plus Petra, one of the wonders of the world.

Shrinidhi Hande said...

Yes, that is what I heard...

Partim Sangoi said...

Hi all,
It’s really a nice & informative post shared here & I also agree that Israel is really best place to plan a trip which I have already traveled through Mantis Tours. Before 6 months ago we had planned to go Israel but we have no visa & after searching some travel agency I found that they are providing travel visa to Israel. I was so happy to know about this & booked 7 days Israel tour package through them. We had enjoyed a lot which is unforgettable for us.
Thanks for sharing & I request to all that to go Israel once in your life.