Israel famous for

  • Author :
  • TATA AIG Team
  • Published on :
  • 08/05/2024

If you want to sail back in time, trust us, visiting Israel will be worth your time. This small country is divided into four regions: the Mediterranean coastal plain, the Great Rift Valley, the arid Negev, and the hill regions of the northern border that end in the central part of the country.

As a traveller, you will be mesmerised by the breathtaking valleys, calmness of the Dead Sea, and multi-coloured Makhtesh Ramon canyon. So, without wasting any time, let's discuss what is Israel famous for and what makes this country a tourist paradise.

Famous Places in Israel

Israel is famous for its religious and natural wonders. Here are some notable cities or places you should visit.

Jerusalem

Jerusalem is a living history book. You can explore the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, which is identified as the site of Jesus' crucifixion and resurrection. Another place to visit is Haram Al-Sharif, which is home to the iconic Dome of the Rock and the Al-Aqsa Mosque. This place is sacred to Jews, Christians, and Muslims alike. It is believed that this is where Abraham offered his son as a sacrifice to God.

Other famous attractions include

  • Western Wall

  • Via Dolorosa

  • Mount of Olives

  • Yad Vashem

  • Bible Lands Museum

  • The Citadel (Tower of David)

Tel Aviv

Tel Aviv is on the Mediterranean coast, showcasing golden sands and pristine waters. It has many famous beaches like Gordon, Frishman, and Banana. But the most notable place is the ancient port town of Jaffa. You can visit historic sites like St. Peter's Church and the Great Mosque here. If you want to explore the city's artistic and architectural heritage, visit the Bialik House Museum on Bialik Street.

Other notable Israel tourist attractions here are:

  • Yemenite Quarter

  • Dizengoff Circle & Surrounds

  • Tel Aviv Museum of Art

  • Neve Tzedek Quarter

  • Namal: The Old Port Area

  • Eretz Israel Museum

  • ANU (Museum of the Jewish People)

Eilat

Eilat is Israel's southernmost city and a famous port and resort town on the Red Sea. When here, don't forget to visit Coral Beach Nature Reserve. This underwater observatory tower offers a unique glimpse into aquatic life. Another place to see here is Timna Park, about 25 kilometres north of Eilat. Timna Park is an ancient copper mining site with unique rock formations like Solomon's Pillars, the Mushroom, and the Arches.

If you wish to stay at this place for longer, also visit

  • Dolphin Reef

  • Red Canyon for hiking trails through narrow red sandstone canyons.

  • Eilat Promenade

  • King's City

  • Ice Mall

Haifa

Haifa is on the slopes of Mount Carmel. It is an ideal combination of natural beauty and cultural heritage. The must-visit places here are Bahá'í Gardens and Golden Dome, the Shrine of the Báb. The garden has manicured gardens cascaded down 19 terraces.

Elijah's Cave, located at the foot of Cape Carmel, is another must-visit place. It is a site revered by Jews, Christians, Muslims, and Druze.

Other notable Israel places to visit here are:

  • Madatech - National Museum of Science, Technology, and Space

  • Haifa Museum of Art

  • Stella Maris Monastery atop Mount Carmel, with a statue of Elijah the Prophet in the monastery's interior.

  • German Colony

  • Louis Promenade

Nazareth

Nazareth is a city with biblical history. The towering Basilica of the Annunciation is believed to be where the Angel Gabriel announced to Mary that she would give birth to Jesus. The lower level has the Grotto of the Annunciation, while the upper level serves as a parish church.

A short drive from Nazareth is Cana of Galilee. A Bible story suggests that Jesus turned water into wine here. When in this place, visit the Wedding Church and participate in the renewal of marriage vows.

  • Other places to explore:

  • St. Joseph's Church

  • Nazareth Village

  • Centre International Marie de Nazareth

  • Synagogue Church

  • Mount of Precipice

  • The White Mosque (famous for Ottoman architecture)

Caesarea

This historic city was founded by King Herod in the 1st century BCE. This place is known for its archaeological wonders and contemporary indulgences.

You should visit Caesarea National Park. This ancient Roman amphitheatre still hosts performances under the stars, echoing the grandeur of bygone eras. If you want to explore sunken harbours and shipwrecks while witnessing history submerged beneath the waves, go diving at Underwater Archaeological Park.

Other places to explore:

  • Ralli Museum displaying Latin American and Sephardic Jewish art collection

  • Aqueduct Beach

  • Caesarea Golf Club

Ramon Crater

Ramon Crater, also called Makhtesh Ramon, is a geological wonder in Israel’s Negev Desert. It is the world’s most giant erosion crater, stretching 40 kilometres long and up to 10 kilometres wide.

When in this area, visit Akko, a UNESCO World Heritage Site with fortified city walls and Crusader buildings.

Dead Sea

This place is regarded as the lowest point on Earth. Its mineral-rich mud and hypersaline water make it a unique spot for relaxation and healing.

However, over the past four decades, over 6,000 sinkholes have emerged in this sea, transforming it into a hazardous zone.

Israel’s Famous Food

Wondering about famous Israel’s things to do? Relax and savour the traditional gastrointestinal delights.

Shakshuka

Shakshuka consists of poached eggs mixed with a sauce made from tomatoes, onions, and several spices. This dish is traditionally served straight from the skillet. It may also be garnished with fresh herbs like parsley or cilantro.

The origins of Shakshuka can be traced back to North Africa.

Hummus

Hummus has gained international fame for its taste and health benefits. Nutritionally, this dish is packed with protein, fibre, and healthy fats.

This creamy spread is traditionally made from cooked, mashed chickpeas mixed with tahini, lemon juice, garlic, and salt. Its origins can be traced back to the Middle East. However, you can find various regional variations of Hummus, adding a twist to the basic recipe.

Hummus is served with a sprinkle of olive oil and a spray of paprika. It can be accompanied by warm pita bread, fresh vegetables, or part of a larger mezze platter.

Falafel

Falafel is a street food. It is known for its crispy exterior and flavourful interior. It has deep-fried balls or patties cooked from ground chickpeas. Many combine it with cilantro and parsley alongside spices such as coriander and cumin.

Falafel is served stuffed in pita bread with many toppings, including chopped vegetables, pickles, and sauces like tahini or Hummus.

Falafel is originally an Egyptian dish but is now an integral part of Israeli cuisine.

Sabich

Sabich features warm pita or laffa bread stuffed with crispy fried eggplant slices and creamy Hummus. Tahini sauce further enhances the taste of this sandwich.

You will find people serving it in many places with a tangy Israeli salad made with chopped cucumbers, tomatoes, herbs, and lemon juice.

Burekas

Burekas is a pastry that traces its origins to Sephardic Jewish cuisine. These pastries are traditionally made with puff pastry or phyllo dough. The fillings range from rich cheeses like feta and kashkaval to mashed potatoes, spinach, or mushrooms. Each filling is wrapped in the dough and then baked to golden perfection.

Some common variations of this dish are pizza-flavoured burekas and even sweet versions filled with fruit or chocolate.

Jachnun

Jachnun originates from the Adeni Jews of Yemen. This rich, doughy delight is known for its slow cooking process. The preparatory ingredients provide a deep and caramelised sweetness to the pastry.

Jachnun is cooked overnight at a low temperature to comply with religious customs prohibiting cooking on Shabbat.

Kubbeh

Kubbeh is essentially a dumpling. It comes in various forms but typically features a shell made from semolina, bulgur, or rice. The wrapping has a filling of ground meat, often beef. It is seasoned with local spices like baharat.

Malawach

It is another Yemenite delight. Malawach is a pan-fried bread that is crispy on the outside and tender on the inside. This dish is served with fresh tomato dip or hard-boiled eggs.

Halva

Halva is a sweet dish made from sesame paste and sugar. The popular Israeli variation has chocolate, pistachio, and vanilla flavours.

Traditional Festivals of Israel

Rosh Hashanah

This festival observes the start of the Jewish New Year. It is celebrated on the 1st and 2nd of Tishrei in the Hebrew calendar. This festival marks the anniversary of Adam and Eve's creation and symbolises humanity's birth.

The holiday is characterised by the sounding of the shofar, a ram's horn.

Sukkot

Sukkot is known as the Feast of Tabernacles or the Feast of Booths. This festival commemorates the Israelites' forty-year period of strolling in the desert after the Exodus from Egypt.

During Sukkot, participants construct temporary shelters called 'sukkahs.' These sukkahs are decorated with autumnal harvest decorations and often have a natural-material roof.

Another key ritual of Sukkot involves the 'Four Species' or 'Four Kinds': the etrog (citron), lulav (palm frond), hadass (myrtle twig), and aravah (willow twig). These are held together and waved in all directions to acknowledge God's presence everywhere.

Hanukkah

Also known as Chanukah or the Festival of Lights, this eight-day festival marks the rededication of the Holy Temple in Jerusalem.

The festival honours the Maccabees' victory over Greek oppressors and the subsequent miracle where a day's worth of oil ignited for eight days in the Temple's menorah.

Traditional foods fried in oil, like latkes (potato pancakes) and sufganiyot (jelly-filled doughnuts), are prepared to celebrate this festival.

Shavuot

Shavuot is celebrated to mark the giving of the Torah at Mount Sinai. A key tradition of Shavuot is the reading of the Ten Commandments. It symbolises the reaffirmation of the Jewish people's commitment to the Torah's teachings.

Shavuot is celebrated in Israel for one day, while it is a two-day holiday in the Jewish diaspora.

Tisha B'Av

This day mourns the destruction of the First and Second Temples in Jerusalem. This day is marked by fasting and reading the Book of Lamentations.

Famous Artists from Israel

Yehuda Amichai

Born on May 3, 1924, in Würzburg, Germany, Amichai is one of Israel's pioneering poets. Although he penned poetry in Hebrew, his work has been translated into 40 languages. His literary journey has earned him the Shlonsky Prize, Brenner Prize, Bialik Prize, and the prestigious Israel Prize.

Reuven Rubin

Born on November 13, 1893, Reuven Rubin was a prominent figure in Israeli art. His works frequently depict the biblical scenes of Israel and its people. He was noted for founding the new Eretz-Yisrael style, which combined modern and native elements.

Menashe Kadishman

Menashe Kadishman was born on August 21, 1932, in Tel Aviv. His work is famous for its minimalist style and profound symbolism. Kadishman uses themes of nature and biblical references. His iconic sheep sculptures and portraits became synonymous with his name, reflecting Israel's pioneering ethos and the biblical narrative of sacrifice.

Yigal Tumarkin

Yigal Tumarkin was born in 1933 in Dresden, Germany. Tumarkin's art is characterised by its raw, expressive power and ability to provoke thought and emotion. His sculptures, often large-scale and made from industrial materials, are found in public spaces across Israel, including the iconic Holocaust memorial in Tel Aviv's Rabin Square. Other famous works of Tumarkin are Arad Viewpoint and the Sundial Garden in Ashkelon.

Conclusion

Despite having countless historical and religious sites, travelling to Israel these days requires caution due to political turmoil in the country. Moreover, travel insurance is recommended before arriving in this country.

Buying travel insurance online covers trip extensions (unavoidable situations), lost passports, medical emergencies, and many more. Tata AIG’s overseas travel insurance policy for Israel also offers coverage for flight ticket insurance that assists if, due to an unavoidable scenario, you need to cancel your trip but have paid for flight bookings. To buy international travel insurance, visit the Tata AIG website, share your trip details, and get instant coverage.

FAQS

Is Israel a good destination for food lovers?

Yes, Israel's culinary scene is a melting pot of flavours. Food lovers can indulge in traditional Middle Eastern dishes, Mediterranean cuisine, and innovative fusion food.

What historical sites can I visit in Israel?

Israel is dotted with historical sites, such as the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, the Western Wall, Masada, and many others. These sites offer a glimpse into the world's most ancient civilisations and pivotal historical events.

What languages are spoken in Israel?

Although Arabic and Hebrew are the official languages of this nation, English is commonly used, particularly in tourist destinations.

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