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Your Guide To Backpacking In Israel


Modified: January 3, 2024

by Katy Mcmichael



Welcome to Israel, a land of ancient history, diverse landscapes, and vibrant culture. Whether you’re a seasoned backpacker or embarking on your first backpacking adventure, Israel offers a wealth of experiences that will leave you mesmerized and wanting more. From exploring bustling cities to hiking in breathtaking natural wonders, backpacking in Israel is an unforgettable journey.


With its rich historical sites like Jerusalem’s Old City and religious destinations such as the Western Wall and the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, Israel is a melting pot of cultures and a cradle of civilizations. But it’s not just about history and religion – Israel’s diverse landscapes will take your breath away. From the stunning beaches of Tel Aviv to the tranquil shores of the Dead Sea, and from the rugged mountains of the Galilee to the vast expanse of the Negev Desert, there is something for every adventurer.


Israel is a backpacker-friendly destination, offering a wide range of budget accommodation options, convenient transportation, and a vibrant backpacking community. Whether you prefer staying in hostels, camping under the stars, or immersing yourself in the local culture through homestays, there are plenty of choices to suit your style and budget.


In this guide, we’ll provide you with all the information you need to plan your backpacking adventure in Israel. From essential gear and transportation options to must-see destinations and cultural etiquette, we’ll cover it all. Get ready to explore this fascinating country, meet friendly locals, indulge in delicious cuisine, and create memories that will last a lifetime.


So, pack your backpack, put on your hiking boots, and get ready for an adventure of a lifetime. Let’s dive into the world of backpacking in Israel.


Getting Started with Backpacking in Israel

Before you embark on your backpacking adventure in Israel, there are a few essential things to consider. First and foremost, make sure you have a valid passport with at least six months of validity remaining. It’s also a good idea to check if you need a visa before entering the country, as visa requirements vary depending on your nationality.


Once you’ve sorted out the necessary travel documents, it’s time to plan your itinerary. Israel offers a plethora of unique experiences, so take some time to research and decide which destinations you want to explore. Whether you’re interested in historical sites, natural wonders, or vibrant cities, Israel has it all.


When it comes to choosing the best time to visit, Israel has a Mediterranean climate, with hot, dry summers and mild, rainy winters. Spring (March to May) and autumn (September to November) are generally regarded as the best times to visit, as the weather is pleasant and you can avoid the peak tourist season.


As you plan your backpacking route, consider the length of your stay and the distance between destinations. Israel may be small, but its attractions are spread across the country, so allocate enough time for each place you want to visit. Don’t forget to factor in some flexibility in your itinerary, as you may discover unexpected hidden gems along the way.


Now that you have a rough itinerary in mind, it’s time to think about the essential gear you’ll need for your backpacking adventure. A sturdy backpack, comfortable walking shoes, lightweight clothing, a hat, sunscreen, a reusable water bottle, and a good quality camera are just a few items to consider packing. Don’t forget to check the weather forecast before your trip and pack accordingly.


As you explore the diverse landscapes of Israel, it’s important to stay hydrated and take necessary precautions, especially if you plan on hiking or spending time in the desert. Carry enough water with you and use sunscreen to protect yourself from the sun’s strong rays. It’s also a good idea to have a first aid kit handy with essentials such as bandages, antiseptic ointment, and any personal medications you may need.


In the following sections, we’ll dive deeper into each aspect of backpacking in Israel, from planning your route and accommodation options to must-see destinations and budgeting tips. So, grab your map and get ready for an adventure-packed journey through this fascinating country!


Planning Your Backpacking Route

When it comes to planning your backpacking route in Israel, the possibilities are endless. Whether you have two weeks or a month to explore, there are numerous routes you can take to make the most of your trip. Here are a few popular routes to consider:

  1. Classic Highlights Route: This route covers the must-see destinations in Israel, including Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, the Dead Sea, and the Sea of Galilee. It’s perfect for first-time visitors who want to experience the iconic landmarks and cultural treasures of the country.
  2. Nature and Adventure Route: If you’re a nature enthusiast and thrill-seeker, this route will take you through Israel’s stunning natural wonders. Explore the Ein Gedi Nature Reserve, hike in the beautiful Ramon Crater, and experience the breathtaking views from Mount Masada.
  3. Coastal Route: Follow the Mediterranean coastline from north to south, visiting vibrant cities like Haifa, Caesarea, and Ashkelon. Enjoy the beautiful beaches, indulge in delicious seafood, and immerse yourself in the vibrant local culture along the way.
  4. Off-the-Beaten-Path Route: For those seeking a more unique and lesser-known experience, venture off the beaten path. Visit the enchanting city of Safed, explore the ancient ruins of Beit She’an, and discover hidden gems in the Negev Desert.

As you plan your route, consider the time you have available and the attractions that interest you the most. It’s important to strike a balance between visiting popular tourist destinations and discovering lesser-known places that offer a more authentic experience.


Furthermore, make sure to research the transportation options available along your route. In Israel, public transportation is well-developed and can be a convenient and cost-effective way to get around. Buses and trains connect major cities and towns, and there are also shared taxis (sheruts) that operate on specific routes. For more flexibility and freedom, you may choose to rent a car or even bike in certain areas.


Don’t forget to consider the time and cost of travel between destinations. While Israel is relatively small, factors like traffic and the need for transfers may add more time to your journey. It’s always a good idea to have a contingency plan or alternative route in case of unforeseen circumstances.


Lastly, stay open to spontaneous detours and recommendations from fellow backpackers or locals you meet along the way. Some of the most memorable experiences often come from unexpected discoveries. So, grab a map, plot your route, and get ready for an awe-inspiring adventure through the diverse landscapes and rich history of Israel.


Essential Gear for Backpacking in Israel

When preparing for your backpacking adventure in Israel, having the right gear can greatly enhance your overall experience. Here are some essential items to consider packing:

  1. Backpack: Invest in a durable, comfortable backpack that can accommodate all your belongings. Look for one with adjustable straps, multiple compartments, and a waist belt for added support.
  2. Footwear: Choose a pair of sturdy and comfortable walking shoes or hiking boots that are suitable for various terrains. Make sure they are broken in before your trip to avoid blisters.
  3. Clothing: Pack lightweight and breathable clothing suitable for the weather conditions during your visit. Quick-drying, moisture-wicking fabrics are ideal, especially for outdoor activities.
  4. Headgear: Protect yourself from the sun by packing a hat or a cap. Additionally, consider bringing a lightweight scarf or a bandana for extra sun protection.
  5. Sunscreen and Insect Repellent: Israel’s climate can be hot and sunny, so remember to bring sunscreen with a high SPF and insect repellent to protect yourself from sunburn and insect bites.
  6. Reusable Water Bottle: Staying hydrated is essential, especially while exploring under the sun. Carry a reusable water bottle to refill throughout the day and minimize plastic waste.
  7. First Aid Kit: It’s always wise to have a basic first aid kit with you. Include items like adhesive bandages, gauze pads, antiseptic ointment, and any personal medications you may require.
  8. Electronics: Don’t forget to pack any electronic devices you’ll need, such as a camera, smartphone, or e-reader. Remember to bring the necessary chargers and adapters for Israeli electrical outlets.
  9. Travel Accessories: Other useful items to consider include a travel towel, a multi-purpose pocket knife, a portable power bank, a flashlight, and a travel lock for securing your belongings.
  10. Miscellaneous: Don’t overlook other essential items like a travel-sized toiletry kit, a travel-sized laundry detergent, a travel pillow, and a comfortable sleeping bag or travel blanket.

Keep in mind that the specific gear you need may vary depending on the activities you plan to undertake. If you’re planning on hiking or camping, additional gear such as a tent, sleeping pad, and cooking utensils may be necessary. Research your intended activities and destinations to ensure you have the appropriate gear.


Lastly, pack smart and consider the weight and size of your backpack. Only pack what you truly need and leave room for souvenirs or additional items you may acquire along the way. Remember, a lighter backpack will make your journey more comfortable and enjoyable.


With the right gear in tow, you’ll be well-equipped to explore the diverse landscapes and embark on exciting adventures during your backpacking journey in Israel.


Accommodation Options for Backpackers in Israel

Israel offers a variety of accommodation options to suit the needs and preferences of backpackers. From budget-friendly hostels to unique cultural experiences, here are some options to consider:

  1. Hostels: Hostels are a popular choice for backpackers, offering affordable rates and a chance to meet fellow travelers. Many hostels in Israel provide dormitory-style rooms with shared facilities like kitchens and common areas. They can be found in popular cities and tourist destinations, making them a convenient and social accommodation option.
  2. Guesthouses: Guesthouses, or “zimmer” in Hebrew, are commonly found in rural areas and smaller towns. These accommodations are often family-run and offer a more intimate and local experience. You may have the opportunity to stay in a traditional stone house or a cozy cabin surrounded by nature.
  3. Camping: Israel’s diverse landscapes make it an ideal destination for camping enthusiasts. There are numerous campsites throughout the country, ranging from basic facilities to more developed sites with amenities like showers and cooking areas. Whether you prefer pitching a tent or sleeping in a camper van, camping allows you to immerse yourself in nature and enjoy the starry night skies.
  4. Home-sharing: Platforms like Airbnb offer a wide range of accommodation options, from private rooms to entire apartments or houses. This can be a great way to experience local hospitality and stay in unique locations. Do your research and read reviews to find the best fit for your needs and budget.
  5. Kibbutzim: Israel is well-known for its kibbutzim, communal agricultural communities. Some kibbutzim offer guest accommodations, allowing visitors to experience the communal lifestyle and gain insights into Israeli culture. It’s a unique opportunity to stay in a peaceful and scenic environment while getting to know the locals.

When choosing your accommodation, consider factors such as location, budget, and the desired social atmosphere. If you’re traveling alone and looking to meet fellow backpackers, hostels and guesthouses are excellent options. If you prefer a more tranquil and local experience, consider camping or staying in a kibbutz.


It’s important to book your accommodation in advance, especially during peak travel seasons, festivals, and holidays. However, keep in mind that flexibility in your travel plans can also allow for spontaneous adventures and unexpected detours.


Lastly, remember to check the facilities, read reviews, and evaluate the accessibility of your chosen accommodation. Some hostels and guesthouses offer additional amenities such as free Wi-Fi, communal kitchens, and organized activities, which can enhance your backpacking experience.


With a wide range of accommodation options available, you’ll have no trouble finding a comfortable and affordable place to rest your weary feet as you delve into the wonders of Israel.


Transportation in Israel for Backpackers

When it comes to getting around Israel as a backpacker, there are several convenient and affordable transportation options to consider. Here are the main modes of transportation to help you navigate the country:

  1. Public Buses: Israel has an extensive network of public buses that connect major cities, towns, and tourist destinations. Egged is the largest bus company, offering regular services throughout the country. Bus fares are relatively affordable, and you can purchase tickets at bus stations or directly from the bus driver.
  2. Trains: Israel’s railway system is efficient and connects various parts of the country. The train network is particularly useful for traveling between major cities like Tel Aviv, Jerusalem, Haifa, and Be’er Sheva. Trains are comfortable and offer scenic views along the way, making them a popular choice for backpackers.
  3. Shared Taxis (Sheruts): Sheruts are a unique form of transportation in Israel. These shared taxis operate on specific routes and can be a convenient option for traveling shorter distances. While they may cost slightly more than buses, they often provide a faster and more direct service.
  4. Car Rental: If you prefer more flexibility and autonomy, renting a car is a great option, especially if you plan on exploring remote areas or rural regions. There are numerous car rental companies in Israel, and having your own vehicle allows you to set your own pace and discover hidden gems along the way.
  5. Bicycles: For eco-conscious travelers and fitness enthusiasts, cycling is a fantastic way to explore Israel. Many cities, such as Tel Aviv and Jerusalem, have well-established bike rental services and dedicated cycling lanes. Cycling allows you to experience the country up close, enjoy the scenery, and get some exercise along the way.

When using public transportation, it’s essential to familiarize yourself with the schedules and routes. Check the official websites or use mobile apps to plan your journeys and stay updated on any schedule changes.


Additionally, it’s worth noting that transportation services may be limited or operate on different schedules during religious holidays, so plan accordingly if your visit coincides with these occasions.


Israel is a relatively small country, and many of its popular tourist destinations are within a few hours’ travel distance from each other. Factor in travel time when planning your itinerary and be prepared for occasional traffic delays, especially when traveling during peak hours in urban areas.


Lastly, keep an open mind and embrace the local transportation experience. Strike up conversations with fellow travelers or locals you meet along the way, as they can provide valuable insights and recommendations for navigating the Israeli transportation system.


With the various transportation options available, you’ll have no trouble traversing Israel’s diverse landscapes and reaching the exciting destinations on your backpacking itinerary.


Must-See Destinations for Backpackers in Israel

Israel is a treasure trove of must-see destinations for backpackers. From ancient historical sites to breathtaking natural wonders, here are some places that should be on every backpacker’s itinerary:

  1. Jerusalem: As the capital and one of the holiest cities in the world, Jerusalem is a must-visit destination. Explore the narrow streets of the Old City, marvel at the Western Wall, visit the iconic Church of the Holy Sepulchre, and immerse yourself in the rich history and diverse cultural heritage.
  2. Tel Aviv: Known for its vibrant nightlife, beautiful beaches, and modern atmosphere, Tel Aviv offers a different flavor of Israel. Spend time strolling along the beach promenade, exploring the trendy neighborhoods, enjoying the bustling food markets, and experiencing the city’s lively energy.
  3. Masada: Located in the Judean Desert, Masada is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and an iconic symbol of Jewish history. Hike up to the ancient fortress and enjoy panoramic views of the surrounding desert landscape. Explore the archaeological remains and learn about the heroic story of the Jewish rebels who held out against the Roman Empire.
  4. Dead Sea: Known for its high salt concentration and therapeutic properties, the Dead Sea offers a unique and unforgettable experience. Float effortlessly on the water’s surface, cover yourself in the mineral-rich mud, and indulge in a relaxing spa treatment by the shoreline.
  5. Haifa: Haifa is a picturesque coastal city known for its beautiful gardens, vibrant cultural scene, and the UNESCO-designated Baha’i Gardens. Take a stroll along the city’s promenade, explore the charming German Colony neighborhood, and visit the stunning Shrine of the Báb.
  6. Akko: A historic port city on the Mediterranean coast, Akko is a fascinating blend of Crusader history, Ottoman architecture, and vibrant markets. Explore the well-preserved Old City, walk along the ancient walls, and discover the underground Templar Tunnels.
  7. Eilat: Nestled on the shores of the Red Sea, Eilat is a popular destination for beach lovers and water sports enthusiasts. Snorkel or dive in the vibrant coral reefs, relax on the stunning beaches, and soak up the year-round sunshine.
  8. Galilee: The Galilee region in northern Israel is known for its picturesque landscapes, including the Sea of Galilee, lush green hills, and charming villages. Visit historical sites like Capernaum and Nazareth, hike in the beautiful nature reserves, and experience the warm hospitality of the locals.
  9. Negev Desert: For an otherworldly experience, venture into the Negev Desert. Explore the dramatic landscapes of the Ramon Crater, hike in the stunning desert canyons, and spend a night under the starry sky at a Bedouin camp.

These are just a few of the many incredible destinations that Israel has to offer. Each place has its own unique charm and historical significance, providing endless opportunities for exploration and discovery.


Remember to respect the cultural and religious customs of each location, dress modestly when visiting religious sites, and follow the guidelines for responsible tourism. With an open mind and a sense of adventure, you’ll create unforgettable memories as you explore these must-see destinations in Israel.


Safety Tips for Backpacking in Israel

While backpacking in Israel can be a rewarding and enriching experience, it’s important to prioritize safety during your journey. Here are some essential safety tips to keep in mind:

  1. Stay Informed: Before your trip, stay updated on the current situation in Israel. Monitor travel advisories and check for any specific safety concerns or travel restrictions in the areas you plan to visit. Register with your embassy or consulate for important updates during your stay.
  2. Be Aware of Your Surroundings: Maintain situational awareness and be mindful of your surroundings at all times. Pay attention to your belongings and keep them secure, especially in crowded areas. Stay alert for any suspicious activities and report anything unusual to the authorities.
  3. Respect Cultural Differences: Israel is a diverse country with a rich cultural and religious heritage. Respect the local customs and traditions, especially when visiting religious sites. Dress modestly and follow any guidelines or rules that may be in place.
  4. Stay in Recommended Areas: While Israel is generally safe for travelers, it’s advisable to stay in well-populated and tourist-friendly areas. Avoid venturing into isolated or unfamiliar places, particularly at night. Stick to main roads and well-lit areas when walking alone.
  5. Hydrate and Protect Yourself: Israel can have hot and arid weather, particularly in the desert regions. Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water and protect yourself from the sun by wearing sunscreen, a hat, and lightweight protective clothing. Use insect repellent to guard against mosquito-borne diseases, especially in rural areas.
  6. Use Reliable Transportation: Stick to reputable transportation services, such as licensed taxis, official buses, or recognized ride-sharing platforms. If using a rental car, be cautious and follow local driving rules. Avoid hitchhiking and be cautious of accepting rides from strangers.
  7. Secure Your Valuables: Keep your valuables, including cash, passports, and electronic devices, secure at all times. Consider using a money belt or a hidden pouch to keep them out of sight. Splitting up your cash and storing it in different places can also minimize the risk of losing everything in case of theft.
  8. Stay Connected: Make sure to have a reliable means of communication, such as a working mobile phone with local SIM cards or international roaming activated. Keep important emergency numbers saved in your phone and share your itinerary with a trusted friend or family member.
  9. Trust Your Instincts: Trust your gut instincts. If a situation feels uncomfortable or unsafe, remove yourself from it. Avoid confrontations and seek help from authorities or trusted local sources if needed.

While these safety tips can help minimize risks, it’s important to remember that no destination is completely risk-free. By staying informed, being cautious, and using common sense, you can enjoy a safe and memorable backpacking experience in Israel. 

Cultural Etiquette for Backpackers in Israel

Israel is a country with a rich cultural tapestry, and as a backpacker, it’s important to understand and respect the local customs and traditions. Here are some cultural etiquette tips to keep in mind during your journey:

  1. Dress Modestly: When visiting religious sites or conservative areas, it is recommended to dress modestly out of respect for the local culture. Avoid revealing clothing, especially for women, and cover your shoulders and knees. Dressing appropriately shows respect for the religious and cultural values cherished by many Israelis.
  2. Shabbat Observance: Shabbat, the Jewish day of rest, begins on Friday at sunset and ends on Saturday at sundown. During this time, many businesses and services may be closed or have limited hours. Respect the Shabbat by refraining from loud activities or playing music in public areas during this time.
  3. Interactions with Locals: Israelis are generally friendly and welcoming. Engage in polite and friendly conversations, and respect personal space and boundaries. Keep in mind that directness is common in Israeli culture, so don’t be surprised if individuals are straightforward in their communication.
  4. Religious Sites: When visiting religious sites, be mindful of the sanctity and reverence associated with these places. Dress modestly, remove your shoes if necessary, and avoid loud conversations or disruptive behavior. Follow any rules or instructions given by the religious authorities or site staff.
  5. Language: While Hebrew is the official language of Israel, English is widely spoken, especially in tourist areas. However, learning a few basic Hebrew phrases, such as greetings and polite expressions, can go a long way in showing respect to the locals.
  6. Kosher Food: Kosher dietary laws govern the food choices of observant Jews. If you are invited to a meal in someone’s home, it’s important to respect their dietary restrictions. Additionally, when dining out, look out for kosher-certified symbols if you follow a specific diet or have dietary restrictions.
  7. Photography: While photography is generally permitted in most places, it’s advisable to seek permission if photographing people, especially in religious or sensitive areas. Some religious sites may prohibit photography altogether, so it’s important to respect these guidelines.
  8. Tipping: Tipping is customary in Israel, so it’s a good practice to tip service providers such as waitstaff, taxi drivers, and tour guides. The customary tip is usually around 10-15% of the total bill.
  9. Religious Sensitivity: Israel is home to diverse religious groups, including Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. Show respect and sensitivity towards all religious practices and customs. Avoid engaging in discussions or actions that may be seen as disrespectful or offensive to any particular religious group.

By being mindful of and embracing the cultural etiquette of Israel, you will not only show respect for the local traditions but also enhance your cultural understanding and forge meaningful connections with the people you meet along your backpacking journey.


Budgeting and Money-Saving Tips for Backpacking in Israel

Backpacking in Israel can be an incredible experience, and with the right budgeting strategies, you can make the most of your trip without breaking the bank. Here are some money-saving tips to help you stretch your budget while backpacking in Israel:

  1. Plan Your Expenses: Before your trip, create a rough budget and estimate your daily expenses. Consider costs for accommodation, transportation, meals, attractions, and any other activities you plan to participate in. Having a budget in mind will help you prioritize your spending and make informed decisions.
  2. Accommodation Options: Look for budget-friendly accommodation options such as hostels, guesthouses, or camping sites. These options often offer affordable rates and give you a chance to connect with fellow travelers.
  3. Eat Local: Embrace local cuisine and eat at inexpensive local eateries and street food stalls. Sampling authentic Israeli food like falafel, hummus, and shawarma can be both delicious and affordable. Consider buying groceries and cooking your own meals if you have access to a kitchen.
  4. Transportation: Utilize public transportation like buses or trains, as they are generally more affordable than taking taxis or renting a car. Consider getting multi-day or weekly transportation passes, depending on the duration of your stay and your travel plans.
  5. Free Attractions: Take advantage of free attractions and activities. Israel offers a multitude of free experiences, such as visiting public markets like Mahane Yehuda in Jerusalem, exploring national parks, or hiking in nature reserves.
  6. Discount Cards and Passes: Look into purchasing discount cards or attraction passes that offer admission to multiple sites at a discounted price. These cards can provide significant savings if you plan to visit various attractions during your trip.
  7. Free Walking Tours: Join free walking tours in cities like Jerusalem or Tel Aviv. These tours are often run by passionate locals who will provide insights into the history, culture, and hidden gems of the city. It’s a great way to explore and learn without spending a fortune.
  8. Water and Snacks: Stay hydrated by refilling a reusable water bottle at public drinking fountains or using water refill stations. Carry snacks with you to avoid unnecessary expenses on the go.
  9. Happy Hours and Specials: Take advantage of happy hour deals or specials at bars and restaurants. Many places offer discounted prices during certain hours of the day, allowing you to enjoy a drink or a meal for less.
  10. Souvenirs: Be mindful of your souvenir purchases. Instead of buying expensive touristy items, opt for locally made crafts, unique trinkets, or postcards that are more affordable and meaningful.

Remember, your budget may vary depending on your travel preferences and the duration of your stay. By planning ahead, making conscious choices, and seeking out cost-effective options, you can make your backpacking adventure in Israel an unforgettable experience without draining your wallet.


Delicious Israeli Cuisine to Try While Backpacking

One of the highlights of backpacking in Israel is indulging in the rich and diverse flavors of Israeli cuisine. From mouthwatering street food to traditional dishes bursting with Middle Eastern influences, here are some must-try Israeli culinary delights:

  1. Hummus: Creamy, smooth, and flavorful, hummus is a beloved staple in Israeli cuisine. Enjoy it as a dip with fresh pita bread, drizzled with olive oil, and sprinkled with spices like sumac or paprika.
  2. Falafel: Crunchy on the outside, soft and aromatic on the inside, falafel is a popular street food. These deep-fried balls or patties made with ground chickpeas or fava beans are typically served in pita bread with salad, tahini sauce, and pickled vegetables.
  3. Shawarma: Savor the flavors of marinated, juicy meat (typically chicken or lamb) cooked on a rotating vertical spit. Enjoy it wrapped in a warm pita bread with fresh vegetables, tahini, and a squeeze of lemon.
  4. Shakshuka: This hearty breakfast dish consists of eggs poached in a flavorful tomato and bell pepper sauce, often spiced with cumin, paprika, and chili. Dip your bread in the sauce and savor the combination of flavors.
  5. Sabich: Originating from Iraqi-Jewish cuisine, sabich is a sandwich filled with fried eggplant, hard-boiled eggs, salad, and various condiments such as tahini sauce, amba (pickled mango sauce), and spicy zhug (a chili paste).
  6. Labneh: Indulge in the creamy and tangy goodness of labneh, a strained yogurt cheese. It is commonly spread on bread or eaten as a dip with olive oil, herbs, and spices. It’s a perfect snack for a quick energy boost on your backpacking adventures.
  7. Baklava: Treat your taste buds to the sweet and flaky layers of baklava. This traditional dessert is made with layers of phyllo pastry filled with chopped nuts, sweetened with honey or syrup, and spiced with flavors like cinnamon or cardamom.
  8. Malabi: This refreshing milk pudding is a popular dessert in Israel. It is typically topped with rosewater syrup, pomegranate seeds, and crushed nuts, creating a delightful combination of textures and flavors.
  9. Israeli Salad: Fresh and vibrant, the Israeli salad combines diced cucumbers, tomatoes, onions, and bell peppers, tossed with lemon juice, olive oil, and herbs. It’s a light and refreshing dish that complements any meal.
  10. Jachnun: A traditional Yemeni dish slowly cooked overnight, jachnun is a tender, rolled pastry made with layers of dough, served with a side of grated tomato sauce and drizzle of honey. It’s a delicious treat for breakfast or brunch.

As you embark on your culinary journey, don’t forget to explore the local markets and street food stalls, where you can find an array of flavors and aromas. Allow your taste buds to guide you and embrace the diverse and delicious Israeli cuisine that awaits you on your backpacking adventure.


Hidden Gems and Off-the-Beaten-Path Locations in Israel

While many popular destinations in Israel attract crowds of tourists, the country is also home to hidden gems and off-the-beaten-path locations that offer unique and authentic experiences. Here are some lesser-known gems that are worth exploring during your backpacking adventure:

  1. Ein Gedi: Nestled in the Judean Desert, Ein Gedi is an oasis of natural beauty. Hike through its lush botanical gardens, discover its refreshing waterfalls, and take a dip in its natural pools. It’s a serene and picturesque escape from the hustle and bustle.
  2. Beit Guvrin National Park: Explore the fascinating archaeological ruins of Beit Guvrin, an ancient city with an intricate underground cave network. Go on a guided tour to discover hidden burial caves, impressive bell caves, and unique Byzantine-era churches.
  3. Mount Arbel: For breathtaking panoramic views of the Sea of Galilee, hike up Mount Arbel. This hidden gem offers breathtaking vistas of the surrounding landscapes, providing a stunning and unique perspective of northern Israel.
  4. Safed: Tucked away in the hills of northern Israel, Safed is a charming and mystical city known for its rich history and artistic atmosphere. Stroll through its narrow alleyways, visit its art galleries and ancient synagogues, and immerse yourself in the profound spirituality that permeates the city.
  5. Nimrod Fortress: Located in the far north of Israel, the Nimrod Fortress is a medieval castle that offers a glimpse into the country’s ancient past. Explore its impressive walls, climb its towers, and enjoy the stunning views of the surrounding landscapes.
  6. Avdat: Step back in time as you visit Avdat, an ancient Nabatean city along the Incense Route. Wander through the ruins of this UNESCO World Heritage Site, marvel at its well-preserved structures, and imagine life in this historical trading hub.
  7. Timna Park: Venture into the Negev Desert and discover the striking landscapes of Timna Park. Marvel at the unique rock formations, visit the impressive structures like Solomon’s Pillars, and learn about the ancient copper mining history of the region.
  8. Akko Tunnels: Delve underground and explore the fascinating network of tunnels and vaults that lie beneath the city of Akko. These well-preserved subterranean passages offer a glimpse into Akko’s history as a Crusader stronghold.
  9. Nahal Me’arot Nature Reserve: Embark on a journey back in time at Nahal Me’arot, a UNESCO World Heritage Site that preserves prehistoric caves and evidence of early human activity. Wander through the ancient caves and marvel at the archaeological findings.
  10. Yarkon Park: Escape the urban hustle in Tel Aviv and unwind in the peaceful green oasis of Yarkon Park. Explore its vast green spaces, rent a paddleboat on the lake, or enjoy a picnic in the shade. It’s a tranquil retreat within the bustling city.

These hidden gems and off-the-beaten-path locations offer a different perspective of Israel, allowing you to discover lesser-known aspects of its history, natural beauty, and cultural heritage. So, venture beyond the well-trodden path, seek out these hidden treasures, and create unforgettable memories that will truly make your backpacking journey in Israel remarkable.



Backpacking in Israel is an adventure that combines history, culture, nature, and culinary delights. With its rich historical sites, diverse landscapes, and vibrant cities, Israel offers a unique and captivating experience for backpackers. Whether you’re exploring the narrow streets of Jerusalem’s Old City, floating in the rejuvenating waters of the Dead Sea, or feasting on delicious street food in Tel Aviv, Israel has something to offer for every traveler.


As you embark on your backpacking journey, be sure to plan your itinerary, pack essential gear, and consider budgeting and money-saving tips. Take advantage of the diverse accommodation options and convenient transportation to navigate the country comfortably. Immerse yourself in the vibrant culture, respect local customs, and be mindful of safety tips throughout your trip.


From the must-see destinations like Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, and the Sea of Galilee to the hidden gems like Ein Gedi, Safed, and Timna Park, Israel is a country full of surprises and discoveries. Delight your taste buds with the incredible flavors of hummus, falafel, shawarma, and other delicious Israeli cuisine. Explore the off-the-beaten-path locations and uncover the lesser-known aspects of the country’s history, nature, and spirituality.


As you embrace the challenges and rewards of backpacking in Israel, you’ll not only create unforgettable memories but also gain a deeper appreciation for the rich cultural heritage and diverse landscapes of this remarkable country. So, pack your backpack, embrace the adventure, and get ready to make lifelong memories on your backpacking journey through Israel!