So, your trip to Israel is a week away and you keep checking the weather so that you can plan your packing. There’s one problem, though. In Tel Aviv, you see 60s and sunny, Jerusalem looks chilly, there’s snow in the Golan, and the south is cold at night. As much as you can’t wait to start your vacation in Israel, you don’t want to have to pack your entire wardrobe just to accommodate this “Israeli winter”. I truly get it, since I face this dilemma practically every morning. It really is a puzzling season here. So I have tried to give you the ultimate guide to packing for your winter trip to Israel.
Since Jerusalem is in the hills, it does get cold in the winter. Legitimately cold, not just Israeli standard cold. It can even snow! You will want to wear long clothes and have a warm jacket, and probably that stylish scarf and hat you used in the north. Jerusalem, the Upper Galilee and the Golan Heights tend to be colder than the coastal areas and can even get some snow during winter. Yes. I did say snow. I know some people think of Israel as some sort of scorching desert, but it really isn’t. It really can get unforgivably cold.
At the holy sites (such as the Kotel), women can wear pants or a dress that cover the knees, and if you are warm enough to walk around with short sleeves, don’t forget to bring along a scarf or light jacket to cover your shoulder and arms.
Most days, it is relatively warm (50s and 60s Fahrenheit) and sunny. You might even be fine in a short sleeve shirt during the day. However, it does storm once every week or two, so your jacket will come in handy! Also, it can get chilly at night, so be sure any clothes you have for going out at night are warm enough. Fluctuation is the key word here.
The south is a bit tricky because the sun will fool you. While during the day it is pleasant and can get even relatively warm (60s Fahrenheit), as soon as the sun goes down it is very cold. I recommend packing some layers for your visit in the south, especially to places like the Bedouin tents, or any outdoor meals. Speaking of the desert, remember that it can get very cold during the night out there during wintertime. Don’t let the sun fool you. You can hike in sturdy shoes and shorts during the day, but bring something warm to wear in the evenings and early mornings. Last, but not least, it can actually snow in the desert as well, so keep an eye on the weather forecast if your itinerary includes a desert hike.
FYI the real trick to packing is to prepare yourself for heading to multiple climates all at once. You should also assume that there will NOT be time to do laundry, however, you should pack as lightly as possible. I would also recommend one large suitcase or duffel bag (checked baggage) per person, and a school-sized backpack for your carry-on. (You probably need a backpack to carry with you during the day.) You may want to pack it with your laptop, travel SIM, reading materials, a sweatshirt, etc.–basically stuff that you’ll want during the day.
I hope the tips I provided you with here will help you do just that and keep you comfortable and safe too! If you’re still not sure about something, feel free to ask me here by leaving a comment! I’ll answer the best I can and can even check things locally for you if that will help.