Israel things to see and do

Tourist offices

Israel Government Tourist Office in the UK

Address: London, W1A 6GP, United Kingdom
Tel: +44 207 299 1100

Israel Government Tourist Office in the USA

Address: United States
Tel: +1 646 799 6758

Things to see and do

Haifa: Baha’i Shrine and German Colony

Taking pride of place in the heart of Israel's third largest city are the Baha'i Shrine and German Colony. The golden-topped Baha'i Shrine of the Bab, founder of the Baha'i Faith, stands atop an iconic hill that overlooks Haifa and is adorned by the perfectly manicured accompanying Baha'i Gardens. At the foot of the hill, you’ll find the German Colony, the beautifully restored cultural centre of the city full of cafes, restaurants and boutiques.

Jerusalem: Mount of Olives

Dominated by church spires and the white tombs of the Jewish cemetery is the Mount of Olives. Christianity, Judaism, and Islam meet once again where significant events of each religion's past played out. The Garden of Gethsemane, Dome of the Ascension, and Tomb of the Virgin Mary are top pilgrimage sites.


Known as Jesus' childhood home and the scene of Mary's annunciation, Nazareth attracts scores of pilgrims from around the world. In this predominantly Arab Christian city, where tiny, cobbled lanes weave between churches, mosques and a busy souk, you'll find the grand Basilica of the Annunciation looming proud and Nazareth Village, an open-air living-museum showcasing what life would have been like in the time of Jesus.

Negev desert: Makhtesh Ramon

Makhtesh Ramon (Ramon Crater) is a unique geological phenomenon located in the heart of the barren Negev Desert. It was formed after an ancient sea that once covered this region retreated, leaving a massive elongated heart-shaped crater in its wake. Today it measures a vast 40km (25 miles) long, 10km (6 miles) wide, and 500m (1,640ft) deep and provides for some astounding views, a wealth of wildlife-spotting and hiking opportunities.

Old City of Acre

Acre's Old City is a jumble of buildings dotted by minarets and church spires, and encompassed by a great citadel and imposing walls. Crusaders, Ottomans, Napoleon, the British Mandate authorities and Jewish freedom fighters combine to form a colourful past, while today Acre is a lively city with a bustling market and quaint fishing port.

Sea of Galilee

The Sea of Galilee is a large lake in Israel's beautiful Jezreel Valley that is as picturesque as it is historically important. The shores are dotted with churches commemorating Jesus' miracles and baptism, while Tiberias - one of Judaism's four holy cities - is a popular tourist destination for young Israelis.


With four coasts to choose from, Israel has an impressive variety of beaches. Sandy beaches line the Mediterranean Coast, notably Tel Aviv and north of Netanya, while the Red Sea offers access to colourful coral reefs. The Sea of Galilee’s beaches are ideal for picnics and the Dead Sea offers a unique and restorative experience.

Dead Sea

Lying 430m (1,412ft) below sea level and spanning the border between Israel and Jordan, the Dead Sea is a natural wonder. It contains more minerals and salt than any other stretch of water in the world, making it inhabitable for plants and marine life. The saltiness also makes it possible to float on top of the water. Its natural properties make it a prime centre for spa treatments and relaxation therapies offered by a number of resorts in the area. The Dead Sea has strong Biblical connections via the discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls, the oldest known Biblical documents, and as the site where King Herod built his palace of Masada.

Jerusalem: Israel Museum

The Israel Museum in Jerusalem ( houses the country's principal collection of impressive archaeological discoveries and ancient art. These include the Dead Sea Scrolls which are displayed in an urn-shaped grand wing known as the Shrine of the Book. A trip to the museum will open your eyes to Israel's long and complex history.

Jerusalem: the Old City

Jerusalem's Old City is a living museum of religious buildings and historical intrigue. Be sure to visit some of the world's most significant buildings including the Christian Church of the Holy Sepulchre, the Jewish Western Wall and the Islamic Dome of the Rock. Explore the bustling markets and narrow lanes of the four Old City Quarters.

Jerusalem: Yad Vashem Holocaust Museum

The impressive and moving Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial Museum in Jerusalem was built in remembrance of the six million Jewish people who perished in the Holocaust. A visit to Yad Vashem ( is crucial for understanding the history of the country. The museum is extensive and contains many displays and exhibits.


These intriguing collective settlements can be found all over Israel and many offer workshops and accommodation facilities for tourists. They give great insight into local kibbutz life which is unique to the country. Kibbutz Ketura in the Arava Valley had the first photovoltaic solar panel field in Israel and is also the site of date palm sprouted from a 2000-year-old seed found at the archaeological site of Masada.


Exploring the traditional markets is a definite highlight of a trip to Israel. Fling yourself into Tel Aviv's Carmel Market, brimming with spices and fresh produce; try the traditional dishes in the Mahane Yehuda food market in Jerusalem; or haggle for anything from souvenirs to jewellery along the narrow streets of Jerusalem's Old City.


The cliff-top palace of Masada was built by King Herod and offers breathtaking views of the Dead Sea and Negev Desert. It also holds an important place in the history books and hearts of Jews as the last remaining Jewish stronghold when the Romans controlled the land. If you're up for it, make the trek to the top for incomparable sunrise views.

National parks and reserves

Israel's historic treasures and breathtaking landscapes are protected in over 70 national parks and nature reserves ( Remains of once grand cities such as Bet She'an and Caesarea are true archaeological wonders, while the Ein Gedi and Yehudiya nature reserves offer natural beauty and opportunities for hiking.

Visa and passport information is updated regularly and is correct at the time of publishing. You should verify critical travel information independently with the relevant embassy before you travel.