This is a practical post where I share my 10-day Israel itinerary with transport info, what to do, “If I knew before” tips, expenses and much more. I wrote down everything manically just for you!
Have a good plan and let’s start!^_-
- My Israel Travel Itinerary (with Extras)
- How much does Israel cost?
- Israel Travel Tips (when to go, what to bring, airport controls, etc)
1.My Israel Travel Itinerary (with extras)
- Days: 10/9 nights, June-July
- Travelers: 2 (couple)
- Destinations: Haifa (+Akko) > Tel Aviv > Jerusalem (+Masada, Dead Sea)
- Transport: train, bus, Gett (the Israeli version of Uber)
Exploring Israel from the North allowed us to get used slowly to the Country, moving from the relaxed atmosphere of Akko to the extreme climax of Jerusalem, dense and emotional also for not religious travellers.
The Airport Ben Gurion is located between Tel Aviv and Jerusalem, it is very accessible from both and an easy solution for the return. Of course, if your flight arrives late in Tel Aviv, it is probably recommended to stay nearby the first night or to revise the order of this itinerary!
Arrival at Tel Aviv – Haifa/3 nights
Ben Gurion Airport > Haifa by train/direction Nahariya (1,5h)
If I knew before. If the train doesn’t operate, don’t freak out like me (probably it is due to maintenance): just take the free shuttle service to Tel Aviv and then the train to Haifa from the adjacent station.
What to see. Bahai Gardens, Wadi Nisnas, German Colony, Carmel Beach.
How to visit Bahai Gardens: there are frequent buses to reach the top of the mount, don’t be a hero and forget the idea to walk uphill! You can join free tours in several languages every morning except on Wednesday, check out the schedule.
Trip to Akko by train (30 min+20 min walking)/ferryboat (1h, not frequent). Buy the combined ticket at the info centre and ask suggestions about the order of attractions to follow. Check more info about Akko and the ferryboat schedule.
Extra days: Nazareth and Sea of Galilee
If I knew before: consider Akko as base, the old city (very old, 3000+ years!) is stunning and also the beach is very pleasant! Haifa can be an easy day trip: take the train until Haifa Center-HaShmona + bus for HaGefen/Ben Gurion stop.
Tel Aviv/3 nights
Haifa >Tel Aviv by train (1,5h)
What to see. Seafront and beaches, White City-Bauhaus Style, Carmel Market, Rothschild Boulevard, Tel Aviv Museum of Art, Street Art in Florentin, Jaffa old town, Holon Design Museum.
White City tour: the Bauhaus Center organizes every Friday morning at 10:00 a walking tour in English with a guide, any other day with a self-audio guide (starting point: 77 Dizengoff Street). The Municipality offers a free tour on Saturday morning at 11:00 (starting point: 46 Rothschild Boulevard – corner Shadal Street)
If I knew before. If you wish to book a day tour to visit Masada, Ein Gedi, and the Dead Sea, you could add an extra night to Tel Aviv and on the way back in the afternoon step off in Jerusalem. It will be much easy and you will gain an extra full morning in Jerusalem!
Tel Aviv > Jerusalem by bus 405 or 480 (1h)
Jerusalem > Ben Gurion Airport by shuttle bus 485 (45 min from Jaffa Street 220,
every hour 24h/24; ticket on the bus)
What to see in. Mount Olives, Lion’s Gate and Via Dolorosa, Western Wall, Dome of the Rock, Church of the Holy Sepulchre, Tower of the Church of the Reedemer, Cardo, Tower of David, Jaffa Gate, Mount
Zion, four districts (Armenian, Jewish, Arab and Christian). You can join a 2h Free walking Tour (tip amount is free), longer private tours or hire a guide. Read about our experience!
Outside of the old center: Mahane Yehuda Market, the Israel Museum, Yad Vashem (Holocaust Museum)
Daily trip to Masada, Ein Gedi, Dead Sea (car, public bus or daily tour with/without a guide, depending on your budget!)
- Daily trip to Jericho and Bethlehem (taxi, public bus with checkpoints on the border or daily tour with a guide)
- Trip to Jordan via organized tour in 1-2 nights from Jerusalem
- Sea vacation on the Red Sea (Eilat), desert daily trip to Negev.
2. How much does Israel cost?
- Currency: New Israel Shekel (NIS – ₪)
- 100 ILS=23,50 Eur/ 27,50 USD
For a 9 nights/10 days trip we spent 1900 Eur/2220 USD as a couple, including everything everything, from flights to souvenirs. Here you can find an average cost breakdown per day:
|Pita falafel||14-18 NIS|
|Water 1,5l||5-15 NIS|
|Soft drink||10 NIS|
|Natural fresh juice||12-20 NIS|
|Cheap meal for 2 (e.g. shawarma wrap+drink)||60 NIS|
|Meal at cozy restaurant for 2||100-150 NIS|
|Bus/light metro||5,80 NIS|
|Train Haifa-Akko||13,50 NIS|
|Train Haifa-Tel Aviv||27,50 NIS|
|Bus Tel Aviv-Jerusalem||18 NIS|
|Bus Jerusalem-Airport||16 NIS|
3. Israel Travel tips
When to go: Israel is warm and sunny most of the year (April-October), but winter (November-March) can be rainy and cold, especially in the mountains at night. Tel Aviv has a warm Mediterranean climate, with a short range of temperature from min 8°C/46°F in Jan to max 31°C/88°F in July. Keep in mind that the desert land around the Dead Sea is much hotter and in the summer can reach pick of 48°C/118°F in the daytime! We have been at the end of June-beginning of July: no rain, sun and comfortable temperatures everywhere.
Languages: Israel’s official languages are Hebrew and Arabic, but most Israelis speak English and in touristic cities Russian as well. Most of the signs are also translated into English.
What to bring: bring a hat, sunglasses and good walking shoes (you will walk a lot under the sun!). For women: don’t forget foulards/headscarves and modest clothing for visiting holy places, knees and elbows need to be covered when entering those sites, especially in Jerusalem and Bahai Gardens in Haifa (they can literally kick you out…). In Tel Aviv feel free to wear whatever you prefer, from technical running clothing to nightlife looks!
Shabbat and transport: during Shabbat public transport simply stop. It means that from Friday afternoon (from 14:00 at the airport) until Saturday’s sunset there are no trains, no buses, no light metro at all, just your feet and few (Arabic) taxis or sherut! If you consider to land on Friday, book in advance your shuttle service with the hotel or move the dates if possible (we landed on Monday and left on Wednesday to avoid any issues!). Also keep in mind that spending Shabbat in Jerusalem means dealing with most of the shops and restaurants that are closed, but for sure you can earn in quietness!
Tech Tip: download Gett, the Israeli version of Uber. It works fine also during Shabbat, just be a bit more patient ^_^
Passport control: we were lucky and for both ways the passport check was painless, with no luggage inspections. But I heard scary stories from friends: just to be sure, arrive at the airport at least 3 hours in advance and be prepared to reply to personal questions.
Visa and passport stamp: Israel is Visa-free for citizens of many countries (in general from all Europe and USA/Canada), up to 90 days stay for tourism purpose. On the arrival, instead of the usual stamp on the passport, an officer will print a small blue paper valid as temporary permit, keep it until you leave the country.
Electric current: electricity is 220 Volts, 50 cycles. European plugs fit well, for UK and US you will need an adapter.
Emergency Phone Numbers:
- Police – 100
- Emergency Medical Services – 101
- Fire Department 102
If you want to read more impressions and inspiration, check my travel guide post Really, Israel?! Yes, Israel!
Do you want to read more about my trip? Did you like my itinerary? Do you have any doubts/questions? Leave me a comment below, I am looking to hearing from you!