Israel is renowned throughout the world as “The Holy Land” and is one of the planet’s foremost religious, spiritual, and cultural centers. Excitement levels are high when preparing for a new destination. Well, it would be if not for the logistics and dreaded packing. As a westernized country with cosmopolitan Tel Aviv at its heart, trendy style is a must, though much of the country tends to dress more casually. With this type of cultural and religious diversity it can be hard to know what to pack for your visit. Worry not! I’ve put together a list, with some help from the Israel Ministry of Tourism Team, of the top things to bring on your next trip to Israel!
First and foremost, you must bring an electricity adapter! The Israel Tourism Commissioner for North America, Eyal Carlin, suggests to “always pack a US to European plug adapter. You realize that when your phone is about to die on the first day in Israel.” Below you’ll find more tips on whatever type of traveler you are!
For the Outdoorsy Person
Whether you are going on an adventure to Mount Carmel, Masada, Ein Avdat, Ein Gedi, or any of the other 100+ national parks in Israel, you are going to need a solid pair of hiking shoes. It doesn’t rain in Israel in the summertime no need to lug around a heavy pair of non-breathable waterproof hiking boots on warm-weather hikes, but rather invest in a pair of sneakers or hiking shoes with excellent grips on the soles. This will help you stay secure on Israel’s rocky trails. Also, if you’re into bird watching you must bring your binoculars! Each year in the Hula Valley thousands of birds of more than 300 different species migrate through this valley in Upper Galilee.
For the History + Culture Lover
Spanning across 85 miles of land,Israel is steeped in ancient history and deep-rooted culture. According to Gal Hana, the Israel Ministry of Tourism’s Consul Directory for Canada, “In Israel, multiculturism is our thing, and as such explore and embrace it – from Druze in the north, Beduin living in the south, orthodox Jews in B’nei Brak, and a vast LGBTQ community in Tel Aviv –every culture throughout Israel has its unique traditions.” One of the top spots in the country to visit for every history and culture lover is the Old City of Jerusalem. Packed with ancient holy sites and traces from King David and Solomon, Jerusalem is a dream for enthusiasts of the past. For those looking to visit iconic sites such as Temple Mount, considered to be the holiest place in Jerusalem and a place of importance to those in the Islam, Christianity, and Judaism faith) or Al Aqsa Mosque (one of the holiest sites in the Islamic faith) a pashmina scarf or shawl will be endlessly useful. When entering these holy sites, it’s respectful to cover your knees and shoulders to show respect.
For the Tourist
If you’re planning a few days in Eilat or going to the Dead Sea, you can’t forget to pack a swimsuit! Located 400 meters below sea level, the Dead Sea is any sunbather’s dream with a remarkably high salt concentration resulting in a restful float, and three atmospheric layers of protection so dwellers can absorb the sun’s vitamin D without the risk of sunburn and other skin damage. Visitors can also indulge in the healing properties and restorative nutrients in the Dead Sea’s famed black mud. Jill Daly, Director of the Midwest Region for Israel Tourism, suggests “water shoes and flip flops are a MUST when going into the Dead Sea.” Also, make sure to bring your snorkeling gear (you can also rent some) if you’re going to the Red Sea in Eilat. Located at the southernmost tip of Israel, it is known to be one of the top three locations in the world to go scuba diving. The Red Sea has small wave actions and is known to be the warmest, which is ideal in order to discover the underwater world.
The Beach Goer
The beaches in Israel are some of the most beautiful in the world, so sunscreen and your favorite pair of sunglasses are a must! Whether you are looking for a relaxing moment of quiet and serenity, or want a chance to splash and swim, there are enough options to suit everyone’s interests. With a prime location along to coast of the Mediterranean Sea, there are many beaches to choose from in Tel Aviv and no matter where you end up, you will be satisfied. A few include Banana Beach, Gordon-Frishman Beach, Alma Beach, and Hilton Beach.If you are down south in Eilat, the beach vibe is a little different on the Red Sea. The temperatures can get hotter down south, but the beach comes with an awe-inspiring backdrop of the Eilat mountains.