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Cities

Israel Main Cities

Tel Aviv-Yafo: Tel Aviv, often called “the city that never stops,” was the first modern Jewish city to be built in Israel, and is the country’s economic and cultural center. It is a lively, active city with entertainment, culture and art, festivals, and a rich night life.

Tel Aviv began its history at the beginning of the 20th Century as a suburb of Jaffa (Yafo), an ancient 3,000-year-old city.
It combines a wide range of architectural styles which were influenced by various schools of architecture - among which was the International Bauhaus style. The central portion of Tel Aviv - which is known as “The White City" - contains the largest group of buildings in the world built in this style. For this reason the White City has been declared a World Heritage site by UNESCO.

Tel Aviv is Israel’s center for culture and entertainment with more than 20 museums. The city hosts the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra and the Israeli Opera Company, as well as most of the national dance and theater companies.  

Tel Aviv's best known open-air shopping area is the Carmel Market, probably because of its proximity to the trendy Neveh Zedek quarter in the southern part of town. Carmel’s array of fresh produce, a feast for the eyes, is the place to soak up atmosphere while you buy the ingredients for a picnic lunch at the beach, just a few blocks away, or stock up on fruit for your hotel room. Neveh Zedek was the first Jewish neighborhood outside Jaffa. During the past few years the area has become a meeting point for the bohemian community, Israelis and tourists alike, with its restaurants, coffee shops, boutiques and art galleries.  

On Tuesdays and Fridays, a lively street fair takes place in the adjacent historic Nahalat Benyamin quarter. It features handcrafted jewelry, colorful wooden toys, boxes, glass and other items sold mostly by the artists themselves.

Tel Aviv is also the national center for night life and entertainment and has many night clubs featuring music of all types, dancing, restaurants, pubs, coffee houses, discotheques, movie theaters, auditoriums, and concert halls. Tel Aviv was recognized as one of the top three cities in the world by Lonely Planet in 2011, and is one of the Gay capitals of the world.

South is Jaffa, Tel Aviv’s “older sister” and where its story began. Jaffa has a long biblical history. It was in Jaffa that the apostle, Peter, experienced the divine vision that led him to preach the Gospel to the gentiles at Caesarea. It was from Jaffa that Jonah sailed before being swallowed by a whale.

Today’s Jaffa was built during the Ottoman Empire and its stone houses and narrow alleyways now house a picturesque artists’ quarter and tourist center, along with charming alleys, antiquities, quiet churches and a recently restored fishing port.

Jaffa has been constantly renovated in the past few years, transforming it into one of the jewels of the Mediterranean coast, home to many artists’ galleries and restaurants. Not to be missed is the Ottoman clock tower and the vibrant flea market, especially on Fridays.

 

Jerusalem:  What has not already been said about the holiest city in the world, the eternal city first built thousands of years ago, reunited and today’s administrative capital of the State of Israel? Jerusalem is a city of overwhelming emotions, a city that offers a religious and spiritual experience, excitement and pleasure, interesting tours and entertaining adventures. Here, alongside Jerusalem’s fascinating historic and archeological sites, there are amazingly modern tourist attractions for all lovers of culture, the arts, theater and music, architecture and gastronomic delights.

The Old City: At Jerusalem’s heart is the Old City, which is surrounded by a wall and divided into four quarters - Jewish, Armenian, Christian, and Muslim. Inside the walls are the important holy sites of the three major religions: the Western Wall holy to the Jews, the Church of the Holy Sepulcher holy to Christians, and the Dome of the Rock on the Temple Mount holy to Muslims.

The New City: The construction of the Jewish neighborhoods of the new city began in the late 19th Century. Among  more modern sites are the Supreme Court, the Israel Museum, the Biblical Zoo, the Knesset, Mt. Herzl, and Makhane Yehuda market, with its unparalleled variety of exciting sounds, colors, flavors and aromas. Young people will love the night life of the German Colony, the Ben Yehuda pedestrian mall, Nakhalat Shiv’a, Shlomtsiyon HaMalka Street, and the Russian Compound.

 

 Eilat: Over the years, the city of Eilat has become the ultimate resort city with hotels and beaches packed with thousands of Israeli vacationers and tourists from around the world, who come to relax in the country’s southernmost leisure resort. In the winter it mainly attracts tourists from Europe who prefer vacations in a warmer and more pleasant climate while Israelis flock to the city in the summer.

The bay is one of the major attractions, thanks to the beautiful beaches, the developed water sports and some of the best diving spots in the world. To the south of the city is the Coral Reserve, with splendid tropical fish among the reefs.

The city’s many and varied restaurants suit all tastes, and there are also clubs, colorful shops and a promenade along the northern shoreline where vibrant bazaars are held during the summer. Although the Arava region north of the city and the Eilat Mountains is an arid desert, hidden among the bare mountains are many nature reserves and beauty spots as well as archaeological and historical sites, all of which which make Eilat a good starting point for special trips in the area, such as camel treks, jeep tours and more.

Eilat is as an excellent hub for touring neighboring countries, with daily tours to Petra in Jordan and to the monastery of St. Catherine in Sinai, and even to Cairo.

 

Nazareth: Nazareth is the cradle of Christianity, the city where, according to tradition, the angel Gabriel told Mary that she would conceive by the power of the Holy Spirit, and the place where Jesus spent his childhood and youth. This is a city of religion and faith, of spirituality and holiness, but also a city with a rich history, fascinating archeology, modern culture and Middle Eastern charm.

Today Nazareth is the largest Arab city in Israel and has about 30 churches and monasteries, as well as mosques and ancient synagogues. Most of the sites are concentrated in the Old City, built in the mid-19th century in a charming Middle Eastern architectural style. A walk through the narrow streets, between the picturesque houses, is an amazing experience and it is worth walking slowly to enjoy their beauty.

No tour of Nazareth’s Old City would be complete without a visit to the local market, which has become a popular and well-known attraction thanks to the colorful stalls and the variety of merchandise. Nazareth, which has welcomed pilgrims for centuries, offers an array of hostels and high-class hotels for Christians and other tourists who throng to this important site, especially around Christmas. Dozens of restaurants serve delicious food with wonderful aromas, food that attracts visitors all year long.

 

Haifa: Israel’s third largest city and one of its prettiest, Haifa has a lot to offer visitors. It has the country’s largest port, a particularly active beach and is the home of the World Center of the Bahai Faith. With residents from the three largest religions as well as from various minority faiths, Haifa is also a symbol of outstanding co-existence and tolerance.

One of the most famous attractions is The Bahai World Center, an extensive and well-designed complex on the slopes of the Carmel Mountain, famous for its magnificent gardens. At the foot of the Bahai Gardens lies the picturesque German Colony, founded in the nineteenth century by German Templars who came to establish a Christian community in the Holy Land. The pretty stone houses lend charm and romance to the neighborhood and reflect its special qualities.

 

Tiberias: Tiberias is synonymous with vacations in Israel. Here one can enjoy a variety of activities in a city that offers wonderful opportunities to mix relaxation with nature, history with contemporary attractions, serene quiet with active water sports, and pilgrimage sites with unique tourist attractions.

Located on the shores of the Sea of Galilee at 200 meters below sea level, Tiberias is Israel's lowest city attracting thousands of tourists and travelers. Visitors discover a lively tourist city offering a variety of attractions and activities for every age. Expansive lawns, a water park for the whole family, restaurants and bars, and extreme water sports are just a sampling of what the city has to offer.

The city is also a base for touring the northern area of Israel, including the many Christian and Jewish sites around the Lake and in the Upper Galilee. From here one can tour the nearby Golan Heights with its many streams, ideal for trekking, and visit the Hula Valley Nature Reserve, especially popular among bird watchers. Every year more than 500 million birds cross Israel’s skies and many can be seen resting here during their long journey.