Top 10 Most Popular Destinations in Israel for History and Arts

Israel, a Middle Eastern country on the Mediterranean Sea, is regarded by Jews, Christians and Muslims as the biblical Holy Land. Its most sacred sites are in Jerusalem. Within its Old City, the Temple Mount complex includes the Dome of the Rock shrine, the historic Western Wall, Al-Aqsa Mosque and the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. Israel's financial hub, Tel Aviv, is known for its Bauhaus architecture and beaches.

Top 10 Most Popular Destinations in Israel for History and Arts

To the north lie Nazareth and the freshwater Sea of Galilee, important New Testament sites in the life of Jesus. Haifa offers vistas from Mount Carmel and manicured, terraced gardens. Down the coast are the ruins of Caesarea, King Herod’s Roman port. The 1st-century-B.C. clifftop fortress Masada overlooks the Dead Sea, known for its spas and mineral-heavy water. In the south, hiking trails cross the Negev Desert. At the southern tip, Eilat is a Red Sea resort with coral reefs and high-rise hotels.

When to visit Israel

Peak periods include the hot, humid summer (June–September) and major Jewish holidays such as Passover (April, dates vary), Rosh Hashanah (September/October, dates vary) and Yom Kippur (September/October, dates vary), for which many businesses close or have limited hours. Winter (November–March) is cool and rainy. Key events include the Israel Festival (Jersualem, May/June), with international performing-arts companies; White Nights (Tel Aviv, June), with all-night concerts and art shows; and the Red Sea Jazz Festival (Eilat, February & August), featuring major artists.

10 Most Popular Destinations in Israel for History and Arts at Glance:

  • Nazareth
  • Jerusalem
  • Tel Aviv-Yafo
  • Sea of Galilee
  • Haifa
  • Negev
  • Beit She'an
  • Be'er Sheva
  • Ashdod
  • Eilat

1. Nazareth (City in Israel)

Nazareth is a city in Israel with biblical history. In the old city, the domed Basilica of the Annunciation is, some believe, where the angel Gabriel told Mary she would bear a child. St. Joseph’s Church is said to be the site of Joseph’s carpentry workshop. The underground Synagogue Church is reputedly where Jesus studied and prayed. Nazareth Village, an open-air museum, reconstructs daily life in Jesus’ era.

The modern-day Mary’s Well (Miriam’s Well) drinking fountain is built over an ancient well. It’s adjacent to the remains of the underground Ancient Bath House. These were both fed by the spring that still runs inside the underground chapel of the Greek Orthodox Church of the Annunciation, on the northern side of Ha-Knesiya Square. Inside the church is a mural depicting the angel Gabriel appearing to Mary. East of the city, Mount Tabor rises above the plain. At its summit is the Church of the Transfiguration, part of a Franciscan monastery complex, with grottoes dating back to Crusader times.

When to visit Nazareth

Nazareth is a year-round destination, with hot, dry summers (June–September) and mild winters (December–February). Christmas (December), when there are Christmas trees, festive markets, concerts and special church services, is a popular time to visit.

Popular places:

A- Mary's Well

Mary's Well

Mary’s Well is reputed to be located at the site where, according to the Catholic tradition, Angel Gabriel appeared to Mary, mother of Jesus and announced that she would bear the Son of God – an event known as the Annunciation.

Located in: Església Ortodoxa Grega de l'Anunciació
Address: Al-Bishara St 55, Nazareth, Israel

B- Mount Precipice

Mount Precipice

Mount Precipice, also known as Mount of Precipitation, Mount of the Leap of the Lord and Mount Kedumim is located just outside the southern edge of Nazareth, 2.0 km southwest of the modern city center. It is believed by some to be the site of the Rejection of Jesus described in the Gospel of Luke.

C- Nazareth Village

Nazareth Village is an open-air museum in Nazareth, Israel, that reconstructs and reenacts village life in the Galilee in the time of Jesus. The village features houses, terraced fields, wine and olive presses all built to resemble those that would have been in a Galilee village in the 1st century.

Address: 5079 St, Nazareth, Israel

2. Jerusalem (Capital of Israel)

Jerusalem is a city in the Middle East, located on a plateau in the Judaean Mountains between the Mediterranean and the Dead Sea. It is one of the oldest cities in the world, and is considered holy to the three major Abrahamic religions—Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. Both Israel and the Palestinian Authority claim Jerusalem as their capital, as Israel maintains its primary governmental institutions there and the State of Palestine ultimately foresees it as its seat of power; however, neither claim is widely recognized internationally.

During its long history, Jerusalem has been destroyed at least twice, besieged 23 times, captured and recaptured 44 times, and attacked 52 times. The part of Jerusalem called the City of David shows first signs of settlement in the 4th millennium BCE, in the shape of encampments of nomadic shepherds. Jerusalem was named as Urusalim on ancient Egyptian tablets, probably meaning "City of Shalem" after a Canaanite deity, during the Canaanite period.

Things to do:

Church of the Holy Sepulchre

Church of the Holy Sepulchre

The Church of the Holy Sepulchre is a church in the Christian Quarter of the Old City of Jerusalem. The church contains, according to traditions dating back to at least the fourth century, the two holiest sites in Christianity: the site where Jesus was crucified, at a place known as Calvary or Golgotha, and Jesus's empty tomb, where he is said to have been buried and resurrected. The tomb is enclosed by a 19th-century shrine called the Aedicula. The Status Quo, an understanding between religious communities dating to 1757, applies to the site.

3. Tel Aviv-Yafo (City in Israel)

Tel Aviv, a city on Israel’s Mediterranean coast, is marked by stark 1930s Bauhaus buildings, thousands of which are clustered in the White City architectural area. Museums include Beit Hatfutsot, whose multimedia exhibits illustrate the history of Jewish communities worldwide. The Eretz Israel Museum covers the country’s archaeology, folklore and crafts, and features an on-site excavation of 12th-century-B.C. ruins.

The Tel Aviv Museum of Art highlights Israeli and European modernism, with notable works by French impressionists and Pablo Picasso. The city is also known for its accessible beaches and vibrant nightlife ranging from Lilienblum Street’s lounges to Dizengoff Street’s open-air cafes. Tel Aviv Port’s waterfront promenade is lined with shops and restaurants, and the chic Neve Tzedek neighborhood has high-end fashion boutiques. The metropolitan area includes the once-separate town of Jaffa, whose Old City is a maze of galleries, Crusader ruins, flea markets and minarets.

Things to do:

A- Tel Aviv Museum of Art

Tel Aviv Museum of Art

The Tel Aviv Museum of Art is an art museum in Tel Aviv, Israel. It was established in 1932 in a building that was the home of Tel Aviv's first mayor, Meir Dizengoff. The Helena Rubinstein Pavilion for Contemporary Art opened in 1959. The museum moved to its current location on King Saul Avenue in 1971.

Address: The Golda Meir Cultural and Art Center, Sderot Sha'ul HaMelech 27, Tel Aviv-Yafo, Israel

B- Port of Jaffa

Port of Jaffa

Jaffa Port is an ancient port on the Mediterranean Sea, located in Old Jaffa, Israel. It serves as a fishing harbor, a yacht harbor, and as a tourism destination. It offers a variety of culture and food options, including restaurants where fresh fish and seafood is served.

C- Yarkon Park

Yarkon Park

Yarkon Park is a large park in Tel Aviv, Israel, with about sixteen million visits annually. Named after the Yarkon River which flows through it, the park includes extensive lawns, sports facilities, botanical gardens, an aviary, a water park, two outdoor concert venues and lakes.

4. Sea of Galilee (Lake in Israel)

Lake known as a Christian pilgrimage site, where Jesus was thought to have performed miracles.

Things to do:

Church of the Multiplication

Church of the Multiplication

The Church of the Multiplication is in the area of Tabgha on the western shore of the Sea of Galilee. The church marks the site where Jesus performed the miracle of the multiplication of loaves and fish. This was also the site where Jesus appeared for the fourth time after his resurrection.

The Miracle of Multiplication in the Bible

In Mark 6:30-46 we read how Jesus and his disciples went out on the water to a remote site in search of some peace and quiet. Crowds of Jesus’ followers came after them and as night fell there was nowhere around to find food for the multitudes. To feed the crowd of five thousand people Jesus performed a miracle sharing the meager two fish and five loaves between all the people. Shortly after performing this miracle Jesus performed an additional miracle by walking on the water. The Biblical reference does not mention Tabgha by name but calls it a remote place on the shores of the Galilee.

5. Haifa (City in Israel)

Haifa is a northern Israeli port city built in tiers extending from the Mediterranean up the north slope of Mount Carmel. The city’s most iconic sites are the immaculately landscaped terraces of the Bahá'í Gardens and, at their heart, the gold-domed Shrine of the Báb. At the foot of the gardens lies the German Colony, with shops, galleries and restaurants in 19th-century buildings.

In the hilltop Carmel district, the Louis Promenade provides panoramic views. On the western edge of Mount Carmel, the Stella Maris Monastery has a 19th-century church known for its colorful interior. Near the monastery is an aerial cable car that travels down to the Bat Galim Beach Promenade, where you can stroll and dine along the waterfront. Along the western coast, Dado Beach is popular. Elsewhere, the Haifa Museum of Art exhibits contemporary works, and the Israel National Museum of Science, Technology and Space presents interactive displays.

When to visit Haifa

Many travelers visit Haifa's beaches and gardens during the hot, dry summer (May–September). Winter (December–February) is mild and rainy. The long-running Haifa International Film Festival (September/October) showcases popular, arthouse and documentary cinema, and includes open-air screenings. Staged in the Wadi Nisnas neighborhood, the Holiday of Holidays (late-November–December) is an arts, music and family-oriented festival celebrating harmony among Haifa's many faiths.

Things to do:

A. Bahá'í Gardens

Bahá'í Gardens

The Terraces of the Baháʼí Faith, also known as the Hanging Gardens of Haifa, are garden terraces around the Shrine of the Báb on Mount Carmel in Haifa, Israel. The gardens rest in the neighborhoods of Wadi Nisnas and Hadar HaCarmel. They are one of the most visited tourist attractions in Israel.

B- Cave of Elijah

Cave of Elijah

The Cave of Elijah is a grotto written about in the Hebrew Bible, where the prophet Elijah took shelter during a journey into the wilderness. In the Books of Kings Elijah had been travelling for 40 days and nights, when he takes shelter in the cave on Mount Horeb for the night. Upon awakening he is talked to by God.

6. Negev (Desert in Israel)

The Negev is a large desert region in southern Israel. Its main city is Be’er Sheva. Here, the Old City is home to the Negev Museum of Art, with contemporary Israeli and international exhibitions. Nearby is Abraham’s Well, a cultural center with interactive exhibits about the story of Abraham. East of the city, Tel Be’er Sheva is a prehistoric settlement mound with ruins, plus a lookout tower with desert views.

To the southeast is Mamshit National Park, with the remains of a 2,000-year-old Arab city, including a long wall and a 3-story guard tower. West of here, Shivta National Park contains a partially reconstructed Byzantine city, including churches and a dovecote. To its southeast is En Avdat National Park, with a waterfall, canyon and a grove of Euphrates poplars. At the southern tip of the Negev is Eilat, a Red Sea resort city on the Gulf of Aqaba. It's known for beaches and coral reefs. The nearby Eilat Mountains Nature Reserve has hiking trails through areas such as Red Canyon.

When to visit Negev

The Negev has an arid desert climate with hot, dry summers (June–September), mild winters (December–February) and minimal rainfall year-round. Eilat and Be'er Sheva are popular to visit in early spring (March/April). The Eilat Chamber Music Festival (February) features concerts by international artists. Jazz musicians come to Eilat for the Red Sea Jazz Festival, which takes place twice yearly (Aug & Feb) and hosts masterclasses and late-night jam sessions. The Arava Film Festival (November/December) projects movies in an outdoor desert setting.

Things to do:

A- Ashkelon National Park

Ashkelon National Park

Ashkelon National Park is an Israeli national park along the shore of the Mediterranean sea southwest of the city of Ashkelon. The national park is situated in the heart of ancient Ashkelon. It is surrounded by a wall built in the mid-12th century by the Fatimid Caliphate.

7. Beit She'an (City in Israel)

Beit She'an (City in Israel)

Beit She'an, also Beth Shean and Beisan, is a city in the Northern District of Israel, which has played an important role in history due to its geographical location at the junction of the Jordan River Valley and the Jezreel Valley. In the Biblical account of the battle of the Israelites against the Philistines on Mount Gilboa, the bodies of King Saul and three of his sons were hung on the walls of Beit She'an.

In Roman times, Beit She'an was the leading city of the Decapolis, a league of pagan cities. In modern times, Beit She'an serves as a regional centre for the settlements in the Beit She'an Valley. The ancient city ruins are now protected within the Beit She'an National Park.

8. Be'er Sheva (City in Israel)

Beersheba, also Be'er Sheva, is the largest city in the Negev desert of southern Israel. Often referred to as the "Capital of the Negev", it is the center of the fourth most populous metropolitan area in Israel, the eighth most populous Israeli city with a population of 207,551, and the second largest city with a total area of 117,500 dunams. With an ancient history dating back to the Biblical period, the modern history of Beersheba began at the start of the 20th century when a permanent settlement was established by the Ottoman Turks.

The city was captured by the British during World War I. In 1947, Bir Seb'a, as it was known, was envisioned as part of the Arab state in the United Nations Partition Plan for Palestine. Following the declaration of Israel's independence, the Egyptian army amassed its forces in Beersheba as a strategic and logistical base. In the Battle of Beersheba waged in October 1948, it was conquered by the Israel Defense Forces. Beersheba has grown considerably since Israel's independence.

Things to do:

A- Abraham's Well

Abraham's Well

Abraham's well is one of a number of historical wells at Beersheba, Israel. According to the bible, Abraham’s well was seized by Abimelech’s men, and Isaac’s servants dug a well at Beer-sheba also. The well is near the Old city of Beer Sheva and Nahal Beer Sheva on the road to Eilat.

B. Tel Be’er Sheba

Tel Be’er Sheba

Tel Sheva and Tel Be'er Sheva are the Hebrew names, and Tell es-Seba the Arabic name of an archaeological site in southern Israel believed to be the remains of the biblical town of Beersheba. It lies east of the modern city of Beersheba and west of the new Bedouin town of Tel Sheva/Tell as-Sabi.

9. Ashdod (City in Israel)

Ashdod is the sixth-largest city and the largest port in Israel accounting for 60% of the country's imported goods. Ashdod is located in the Southern District of the country, on the Mediterranean coast where it is situated between Tel Aviv to the north 32 kilometres away, and Ashkelon to the south 20 km away. Jerusalem is 53 km to the east. The city is also an important regional industrial center.

Modern Ashdod covers the territory of two ancient twin towns, one inland and one on the coast, which were for most of their history two separate entities, connected by close ties with each other. The first documented urban settlement at Ashdod dates to the Canaanite culture of the 17th century BCE. Ashdod is mentioned 13 times in the Bible. During its pre-1956 history the city was settled by Philistines, Israelites, Greek colonists coming in the wake of Alexander's conquests, Romans and Byzantines, Arabs, Crusaders, and Ottoman Turks. Modern Ashdod was established in 1956 on the sand hills near the site of the ancient town, and incorporated as a city in 1968, with a land-area of approximately 60 square kilometres.

Things to do:

Museum of Philistine Culture

Museum of Philistine Culture

Museum of Philistine Culture is an archaeological museum in Ashdod. Museum is dedicated to the culture of the Philistines, the ancient people who inhabited the maritime part of Israel from the XII century BC. It is the only museum in the world completely dedicated to this topic.

10. Eilat (City in Israel)

Eilat is a southern Israeli port and resort town on the Red Sea, near Jordan. Its beaches are noted for their calm waters, like Dolphin Reef, where the aquatic mammals are often spotted. Known for snorkeling and diving, Coral Beach Nature Reserve has buoy-marked underwater trails among fish-filled reefs. Nearby Coral World Underwater Observatory Marine Park has a glass-enclosed observation center submerged offshore.

Spanning the hotel-lined waterfront, North Beach is the central site for swimming, water sports and boating. The International Birding and Research Center encompasses a salt marsh with observation points for viewing migratory birds. At the Botanical Garden of Eilat, trails run through terraced plantings. In the Negev Desert 30 kilometers north, Timna Valley Park features hiking routes to ancient copper mines and the Solomon’s Pillars sandstone formation. The Yotvata Hai-Bar Nature Reserve harbors rare animals like the Arabian oryx and African wild ass.

Things to do:

A- Underwater Observatory Park

Underwater Observatory Park

Eilat's Coral World Underwater Observatory is a public aquarium, park and conservation center located in Eilat, Israel. It is the biggest public aquarium in Israel, and it hosts over 800 species. It was founded in 1974 and was the first of its kind.

B- Eilat's Coral Beach

Eilat's Coral Beach

Eilat's Coral Beach Nature Reserve and Conservation area is a nature reserve and national park in the Red Sea, near the city Eilat in Israel. It covers 1.2 kilometers of shore, and is the northernmost shallow water coral reef in the world.


Post a Comment


  1. Bestways Travels is licensed with the prestigious IATA. This license helps us provide our clients with the most economical rates possible in the industry.