Mar 13, 2011

Friend Heading to Israel Needs Advice!

Hello faithful blog readers! I have a request and need your advice for a friend.

She's planning on a trip for her 30th birthday. Can you give her some advice on good options? Here are the specs:

  • Travelers will be ages 60, 50, 30, and 18.
  • One person is very interested in religion, and three people less so. 
  • All are interested in art and culture and food.
  • Two people are interested in being active (a modest hike, dead sea).
  • Hotel doesn't have to be kosher.
    • Not five-star, but nothing slummed out.
  • Planning a seven-day trip. Maybe 10 days. 
  • Important: No one speaks Hebrew, and two people read it only so-so. 
    • Would you recommend a tour guide?

So? What's your advice? My only major tip is to devote a ton of time to going to The Israel Museum. It's *amazing.* Oh, and go to Papagaio, it's deliciously meaty and amazing.


Batya said...

They should go to kosher hotels. If they're going to Israel, why should they have an "Egyptian or Jordanian experience?" I know some great guides; email me if you want the names.
And they must go to HaGov, the fantastic Jerusalem sports bar & grill open every night except Friday night.

Isreview said...

Important: No one speaks Hebrew, and two people read it only so-so.
◦Would you recommend a tour guide?

Many many people here speak perfect English and almost every attraction or museum you will go to are "English friendly" for those who prefer to "explore" on their own you do not NEED a tour guide. Many attraction offer English tours as well.
Getting around and enjoying the sites should not be difficult even if you do not know Hebrew but often you get more of a full experience if you have a tour guide if you prefer it.
With regards to attraction - what part of the country will you be in.
One attraction I think (based on the ages and interests you mentioned) you might all Enjoy is Mini Israel.
Feel free to get in touch with me with more details about where you will be for more suggestions of attractions you might enjoy.

abi said...

Hiring a tour guide is a real luxury but for me worth every penny. Whenever I go I always hire a guide as not only is it a stress free experience but also they take you off the tourist's path and show you the real Israel and they are just so cool! I always use Nadav Kersh - however he is always so busy so if he is booked I have another guide. Nadav's website contact is
you wont regret it as he is enthusiastic, liberal minded and brilliant!

Israeli said...

There's a lot they can do in English without a tour guide: the Herzl museum on Mt. Herzl and the Begin Heritage Center in Jerusalem are both interactive museums that have English tours (they should call to reserve in advance). Same for the Palmach museum in Tel Aviv, which is terrific. In the Old City, they can take English tours of the Kotel tunnels and the reconstructed Hurva synagogue. And if they go to the Dead Sea, they should stop at the Museum of the Good Samaritan on the way - it has incredible mosaic floors from all over Israel and it takes less than an hour to go through the whole thing.

Ilana said...

Pizzafino in Tel Aviv has the most amazing pizzas.
I also recommend the Palmach Museum (also in Tel Aviv); a bit cheesy in some places, but important in terms of history, and very moving.

Donyel said...

I definitely recommend wandering through the Shuk in Machaneh Yehudah... especially if it's on Thursday or Friday morning when everyone's there buying things for Shabbos.

And I second the motion for the Palmach museum in Tel Aviv. You won't be disappointed.

For the active ones, they offer tours of the water tunnels under the city of David. It's interesting, fun, dark, and just a little wet.

Chaviva Gordon-Bennett said...

GREAT advice, guys! Thank you ooooodles.

Anonymous said...

This is all great advice! Very helpful!

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