Israel is a small country but…
at the center of many conversations and frankly, conflict. However, this small country located in the Middle East is a land full of many historical landmarks and beautiful landscapes. We recently had a chance to visit this small country and while we stay out of the political discussions, we want to show you how you can get the most out of a trip to Israel, should you decide to visit!
Is Israel expensive?
In a word, YES! However, there are ways to manage to make it a destination even if you are on a budget. We have five ways that can help you to experience the country while staying within your budget.
1. Plan Ahead
You’ll want to plan ahead before coming to Israel. This isn’t a great place to wait until the last minute to make your plans because you will pay more, and likely a lot more. So to get the most bang for your buck, think about what you want to see while here.
Are you interested in visiting the historical sites or biblical monuments? Do you like the city scene and want to party in Tel Aviv? Are you a foodie, looking to indulge in the Middle Eastern cuisine? Decide what you want to do and see in advance and make a little itinerary.
Also, check if the time you are planning to visit Israel is during the high or low season. If you want to save money don’t go during the high season or during any national holidays. The winter and summer times are the low season for Israel, so keep that in mind while you’re planning.
Even if you are a person that likes the freedom of changing your plans on the fly, try to book your accommodations in advance for the main cities: Tel Aviv and Jerusalem. These cities are the most expensive and it may be harder to find something within your budget if you wait.
2. Do as the Locals Do
Don’t fall for the tourist traps! Try to find out where the locals hang out and attend local events. These are likely to be low cost or sometimes free. If you will be visiting Tel Aviv check out this site to find out about local events and cool things to do and see in the city.
3. Eat at the Markets
This is where you could save a lot! Eating at the local markets will give you a real sense of the cultures represented in Israel. You’ll find plenty of fruits, vegetables and local delicacies that will please your palette. Do make sure to try falafel, shakshouka, hummus, and sabich! You’ll be full and your wallet will thank you!
4. Choose Your Accommodations Wisely
We found that in Israel, especially in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem, there is a lack of accommodations. So many hotels and hostels fill up fast. Even on sites like Airbnb, the choices can be limited if you don’t book ahead. You will also notice that the prices can be quite steep to stay in the major cities. So definitely choose your accommodations wisely and in advance if possible.
We chose to stay at hostels and Airbnb during our visit and this proved to be a good choice. In Jerusalem, we stayed at the Stay Inn Hostel. It was a great choice! While we usually are not into the wild party type of hostels, Stay Inn was the opposite. The Stay Inn Hostel is a modernly styled hostel, that’s clean and has a laid-back vibe.
You will find that the staff is friendly and there’s an awesome breakfast included with local products. You’ll enjoy being right in the middle of the city with all the main attractions at your doorstep. Plus it’s easily accessible by public transport. If you come to Jerusalem we definitely recommend Stay Inn!
5. Get into Nature
If you really want to save money, get out into nature! Israel has some beautiful and unique areas to discover! One of our favorite trips was going to the Dead Sea. The Dead Sea is the lowest spot on earth, it’s nine times as salty as the oceans and you can float easily. Its waters are known to promote many health benefits to the skin and muscles and it’s definitely a place to get away from it all and RELAX!
There are also many national parks in Israel, one of the more famous ones is Ein Gedi National Park. It’s actually an oasis and nature preserve located near the Dead Sea. This is the place to go if you love hiking and seeing spectacular varied landscapes.
If you are a diver or love to snorkel, head down to Eilat. This is a resort town near the Red Sea and it’s known to have beautiful beaches and one of the world’s best diving regions. There’s also Timna Park and the Red Canyon which are great for day hikes and seeing some dramatic, changing landscapes.
So even though Israel is known to be an expensive destination, you can still find plenty to do with a budget and be able to explore this far and away destination. Have you ever been to Israel? Comment below and let us know what you did!