The most important thing we found when honeymooning in Israel was always have a back-up plan! Whether we were caught out by religious holidays or tired of walking in the desert heat, we always set about finding somewhere to eat and drink. You can find our ultimate guide to eating in Israel here, and our ultimate guide to drinking in Israel here, but if you’re after fast answers this is the place to find them: where to eat and drink in Israel, the shortlist!
How many condiments can you count? Standard meal for two in Tel Aviv!
Let’s be real: this is what most people cruising Israel tourism blogs are after, right? This is our list of the best things to see and do in Israel. We’ve split the list into two parts: the best things that we saw and did while we were there, and the things we missed out on that we would have dearly loved to see and do.
Best Things To See and Do in Israel (That We Saw and Did)
Floating in the Dead Sea
This is the number one thing that I recommend, to absolutely anyone and everyone who asks (and even those who don’t). It is a wonderful, unique experience that you won’t find anywhere else in the world. The Dead Sea is one of the densest bodies of water on our planet, meaning that you don’t swim so much as float or bob – like a cork – in the water. Make sure you arrange safe and suitable access: Ein Bokek is the only free public beach, as far as I know, but most hotels in the area will have an arrangement for guests to access patrolled Dead Sea beaches free of charge. (That’s what we did in Ein Gedi.)
My husband floating in the Dead Sea, reading his book. It really is so dense, you can lay back as though on a lounge chair.
We brought you the Ultimate Guide to Eating in Israel, but let’s get real. As a couple, we comprise a bartender and a freelance writer – so we’re quite partial to a decent tipple. One of our favourite things to do in new cities is seek out fun bars and new concoctions to try. Thankfully, Israel did not disappoint! So, we would be remiss if we did not also bring you this: the Ultimate Guide to Drinking in Israel.
What To Drink in Israel
No one really knows what’s in it, so you know it must be good. Tubi is a citrus-based spirit, apparently, but it tastes like a mixture of lemon pips and metallic earth, watered down with methylated spirits. We sampled it in Tiberias on our Day 7 road trip. We couldn’t decide whether we liked it or not, but we suspected that if we had more than one we’d end up really liking it, and we’d never make it back to Tel Aviv. Proceed with caution.
This stuff will blow your socks off!
One of our favourite in-jokes from our honeymoon in Israel was what we liked to call Traditional Israeli Customer Service. If you’re accustomed to travelling in countries with a strong customer-service ethos (say Japan, or Belgium), your experiences in Israel might come as a bit of a shock. Still, if you keep an open mind and a good sense of humour with you at all times, it’s a fun little quirk of the culture that can provide endless entertainment.
Are they ignoring you? Do they know you’re there? Probably. That’s Israel! 🙂
Working out the logistics of a trip to a country as controversial as Israel can be a bit of a nightmare. You might be lucky enough to have an amazing travel agent to manage it all for you. If not, never fear: we’ve got it all in one place on Our Honeymoon in Israel. This is our guide to everything you need to know about travelling to Israel.
Visas to Enter Israel
For Australian and Kiwi tourists travelling on an Aust/NZ passport: you don’t need to apply for a visa ahead of time. Upon arrival, you’ll fill out some forms, and they will issue you a three-month tourist visa on the spot (free of charge). They might also ask you a few questions about why you’ve come to Israel, what you plan to do there, and when you’ll be leaving. You’ll receive a tiny slip of paper (it looks like a fancy EFTPOS receipt), and you need to keep this on you at all times. We kept ours tucked inside our passports, and we were asked to show them on several occasions. You’ll also need it to depart without problems.
Israel has similar arrangements with a number of other countries (including the U.S., U.K., and much of Europe), but it’s always best to double check with your Israeli embassy or your own government before jetting off. If you’re one of the unlucky ones that does need to apply in advance, there’s a visa application form available online, which needs to be sent ahead along with copies of your passport and roundtrip ticket (and, of course, a small fee).
Bear in mind that these rules apply for tourists only: if you’re planning to work or live (>3 months) in Israel, you’ll need a different visa.
For those of you lucky enough to have no dietary restrictions, the ability of a country to cater to your needs (literally!) is not a high-priority criterion when deciding on a honeymoon destination. Unfortunately, I can’t count myself among you. I am (sigh) the gluten-free girl. That means wherever I travel, I need to spend a bit of time researching which local cuisine options won’t kill me, and how to ask about them in the native tongue. You might be surprised to learn that Israel is excellent at accommodating the needs of travellers in this way. That’s why this edition of the Ultimate Guide to Eating in Israel will highlight what’s available for the intolerant and observant among us. There are restaurant listings available everywhere (Best vegetarian restaurants in Tel Aviv! Best kosher meals in Jerusalem! etc.), so this guide will focus on more general information about what’s available, wherever you go.
You can’t swing a cat in Tel Aviv without hitting a vegetarian/vegan menu. Veggie options are available everywhere – moreso than kosher, even (see below). This is partially because a lot of traditional Israeli foods fall into this category without modification (e.g., hummus, falafel), but also because Tel Aviv prides itself on being a cosmopolitan hub of progressives and bohemians and those communities more inclined to chose a plant-based life.