“On most vacations, you take a trip. But in Israel, you take a journey you’ll never forget.” Begin your journey to Israel now.
Israel connects Europe, Asia and the Arabic World and is the perfect destination for your next travel whether you are looking for a family journey full of history and culture in Jerusalem, a city trip with your friends to Tel Aviv, one of the world’s top party locations, or a unique travel to the Dead Sea with you loved one.
Jerusalem is one of the oldest cities in the world and a holy city for three major world religions: Judaism, Christianity and Islam. The Temple Mount is the holiest site for Jews. The al-Aqsa Mosque is the place where Muhammad ascended into heaven, according to Muslim belief, and the Church of Holy Sepulchre is where some Christians believe Jesus was crucified. You should also visit the Western Wall which is located between the Temple Mount and the al-Aqsa Mosque.
An earlier name of the city is Urusalima which means “City of Peace” but unfortunately the status of Jerusalem is one of the core issues in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. However, when I travelled to Israel and specifically to Jerusalem, I did not feel unsafe at any point of time. The conflict between Israelis and Palestinians is mostly political and tourists are not affected at all.
Besides the religious monuments, I highly recommend you to visit Yad Vashem. This Holocaust Memorial and Education Centre is what impacted me most during my visit to Jerusalem.
The museum relates stories of Jews living in Europe before the Second World War and highlights the events that led to the rise of the Nazis to power, the prosecution of the Jews, the eviction to the ghettos and the mass genocide. As I walked through the galleries, read letters from Jewish people to their family members during the time of prosecution, watching videos about the ghettos, and looking into the eyes of Israeli museum visitors, I cried. I was ashamed being a German. But I also felt that this museum, the Jews around me were so forgiving. The museum’s architecture exemplifies the oppressive and depressing feeling of the crime against humanity done by the Nazis.
Visiting Yad Vashem is very emotional and heart-breaking. But as you walk towards the exit of the dark and oppressive museum, you suddenly see day light and as you leave museum, you stand on top of Mount of Remembrance with a wonderful view and suddenly you feel hope.
Tel Aviv is the financial centre and technology hub of Israel. And like Mumbai, it is a city that never sleeps. The Party Capital of Israel is home to a vibrant nightlife scene, beautiful city beaches and its LGBT community.
Most of the famous and large clubs are located in the Tel Aviv Port area which draws big crowds of young party people. Another happening neighbourhood is Allenby/Rothschild. Some famous clubs you should remember are: Haoman 17 Club, Block Club, Comfort 13 and Paradise Garage.
And when you need a break from partying, I highly recommend you to check out the White City. It is the world’s largest concentration of international style buildings such as Bauhaus which were built by German Jews in the 1930s. Since 2003, the White City is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The Bauhaus Centre organizes regular architectural tours of the city.
Did you know that the Dead Sea is a Lake? In fact, it is the deepest hypersaline lake in the world. Being 400m below sea level, it is also the lowest location on earth. The salinity (34.2% salt content) and other minerals in the water body inhibit existence of most life forms. That is why it is called Dead Sea.
But the same salt and minerals provide a perfect environment for treatment of your body and mind. Known as “the world’s most natural spa”, the combination of mud, sea and air are highly beneficial for your health. The air contains extra oxygen and bromine which has a relaxing effect and the extra layers of atmosphere help block the sun’s harmful radiation and allow the beneficial properties of sunlight to go through.
And even non-swimmers will flowed effortless in the Dead Sea due to its unique water properties. It is such a picturesque place on earth.
And last but definitely not least: FOOD
You know me. I am a foodie. And Israel is definitely a foodie heaven. The Israeli cuisine is influenced by the local Mediterranean cuisine and dishes brought to Israel by the Jewish Diaspora from around the world. Traditional Jewish food is prepared kosher according to the requirements of Jewish laws.
My favorite food in Israel is pita bread filled with salad, falafel, hummus and French fries. You can find it across the country as this is one of the most popular street foods among locals and tourists.
And if you have a sweat tooth, you must try some of the delicious Israeli sweets such as Baklava, Kadaif and Halva.
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Disclaimer: This blog post is sponsored by Israel Tourism. Opinions on this blog are always my own.