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How To Explore Israel Like A True Israeli: Top Do’s And Dont’s

So you’re planning a trip to Israel, but you most definitely know that you don’t want to seem like a tourist when you arrive.  So here we go! Here are the top things you should avoid doing starting with when you land.  Let’s start with the easy ones: Do not try out your Krav Maga moves on the customs officials at Ben-Gurion Airport. Do not look for camels at the airport. Do not look for olive oil on the Mount of Olives. Do not confuse the Via Dolorosa with Via Veneto. Also do not pet the jellyfish.

But then there are the less obvious don’ts…like not paying for an overpriced (and maybe overrated) hotel room in Tel Aviv, and more.

Ahh Not a Tourist:)

Golden Don’ts :

Do not make the mistake of thinking you MUST stay in a certain hotel because everyone says it’s the place to be.

These days, the instant a new hotel sees light of day, legions of travel writers rush forward to proclaim it the new “must”; but the fact that they’re paid (or paid off) to praise it might have something to do with that. Remember that many of the newer trendy hotels in pricey Tel Aviv have tiny rooms or other features that make them, if not awful, then certainly less fantastic than the hype would have you believe.

Spend your shekels where you’ll get the most for them. For more info on getting the best for your buck check out: http://www.talknsave.net/blog/staying-israel-budget/

Trendy Doesnt Mean the Best

Do not believe that the only thing to eat in Israel is hummus and falafel.

Of course, there are many fabulous hummus joints and falafel spots in Israel, but the moveable feast doesn’t stop there. One of the best restaurants you’ll find anywhere is in Jerusalem. And check out Tel Aviv’s hot tables, too.

 Hummus is not a staple food

Do not feel guilty if you don’t see everything in Israel in one week

Seven days in Israel might not be enough to take in all of Israel’s historical, cultural and culinary pleasures. If you’re enticed by the beach and nightlife of Tel Aviv, Israel’s Mediterranean metropolis, focus on that city. If history and holy sites are more important for you, consider basing yourself in Jerusalem. But, if you’re feeling more ambitious, it is possible to see many of Israel’s top sights in one week. For more ideas check out: http://www.talknsave.net/blog/top-10-things-tel-aviv/.


Take your Time and Explore Israel

Definitely do not feel guilty if you don’t visit a single museum

But if you do want to explore culture, remember that Israel does have an incredible array of museums.


Who ate the Apple? Israel Musuem?


Don’t Think That All You Can Buy in Israel is a Ceramic Menorah.

True, you can actually buy some pretty incredible menorahs as well as other articles of Judaica in Israel, and the museum gift shops in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem are great places to start.

But there are myriad other shopping opportunities, particularly in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv, from designer fashions to gourmet products and more.

Do not settle for the first price offered on anything when at the Shuk HaCarmel market in Tel Aviv or Mahane Yehuda market in Jerusalem.

We’re talking the opposite of Walmart here. At these famous (and touristy) marketplaces, bargaining is the name of the game. For more ideas check out: http://www.talknsave.net/blog/the-best-places-to-shop-in-israel-its-the-little-things/.


Haggle at the local markets


Top Do’s To Act Like a Local

Explore Like A Local

Immerse Yourself in Local Tel Aviv, Tel Aviv Greeter provides free walks in the city with local residents who want to share their Tel Aviv with visitors from all over the world. You get the amazing explore the city in places that locals themselves love and want to share with others. These are usually off the beaten track places that usually tourists do not know about, nor can they learn about them through standard tourist guides.


Explore Like a Native Israeli


What to do in Israel when you have seen all the touristy stuff, partied hard in Tel Aviv, done with all the fun things to do in Israel but still have a night spare? Betzavta is a new concept that brings locals and travelers together and enjoy a traditional Israeli dinner together. It doesn’t get more authentic than this. You get to enjoy delicious food and local conversations! If you are looking for unique things to do in Israel this is definitely one of them as this is not something you will find in your guidebook! Make local friends, Enjoy home cooking!


Cant get more Israeli than a local shabbat meal.

Bitemojo Food Tour

After you have strolled around the old town of Jerusalem and you saw all the standard touristy stuff in this crazy city it is time to do something fun. Walking around in a new city is fun, but when you are looking to eat somewhere you have no idea where to go. Bitemojo is a game changer as they came up with the idea of a food tour app. You sign up, pick a food tour and they will guide you from one restaurant to another filling your stomach with local bites, delicious snacks, and drinks. The concept is brilliant and definitely one of those unique things to do in Israel.

No need to search yourself for a cool spot anymore, they are already chosen for and you just rock up and show them you are on a Bitemojo food tour.

Your Taste Buds Will Thank You

Bedouin Camp

Would you associate traveling in the Holy Land with staying in a Bedouin Camp in the desert? It is a Middle East thing to do, so yes here in Israel you have the opportunity as well. Meet a Bedouin family, drink tea and listen to their story. Ask them all you ever wanted to know about life in the desert, as these people were the ancestors of the modern digital nomads. The Negev Desert is their playground and an off the beaten path Israel destination for tourists. For more info check out Kfarhanokdim.


Explore Israel's hidden jems

Up Up And Away

When you think about fun things to do in Israel a hot air balloon ride does not pop up in your mind straight away, but damn this is the best start of your morning.

Up in the air you can watch the sunrise in the distance and enjoy the amazing views over the vast landscape. If you are looking for romantic things to do in Israel then surprise your lover with a balloon ride and a breakfast for two on a unique location afterwards.


Fly Away

For more travel tips check out https://www.talknsave.net/blog/top-must-see-sites-sea-galilee/ and since it’s winter time here is how to make the most out of Israel’s winter wonderland.


Hope this post has given you the confidence you need to get yourself out there and embrace true Israeli culture. I would love to hear your feedback, so, please don’t be shy, and share your stories with us.

Beth Zuckerman
Beth Zuckerman
Beth is a former Upper Westsider, who made aliyah 8 years ago. She is a coffee addict and a lover of classical rock. Beth is the content and marketing manager at talknsave, in that order.

1 Comment

  1. Joe Z says:

    Thanks Beth; really learneed a lot from ur blog.

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