Things to do in Israel?

Questions on how we spend our money and our time - consumer goods and services, home and vehicle, leisure and recreational activities

Things to do in Israel?

Postby protagonist » Sat Mar 23, 2013 5:57 pm

I will be in Israel for a week or so starting Tuesday. Never been before. Jerusalem will be my base.

Questions:

1. If you had about a week in Israel, where would you go and what would you do? Any recommendations out of the ordinary and obvious? I figure Jerusalem is good for several days of walking....thought a day trip to Masada by the Red Sea.... I have some other ideas as well, but I don't want it to turn into an "If it's Tuesday, this must be Belgium" kind of vacation.

2. Recommendations of places to eat, drink, music, etc??? Local hangouts preferred over tourist traps.

3. I might make a day trip to a city in the West Bank as well. Which would you recommend, between Bethlehem, Ramallah and Hebron?

It will be both Passover and Easter Weeks, so I imagine it will be a bit insane, but less so than Semana Santa in my sleepy little fishing village.
protagonist
 
Posts: 2180
Joined: Sun Dec 26, 2010 1:47 pm

Re: Things to do in Israel?

Postby HopeRetNow » Sat Mar 23, 2013 6:56 pm

What a wonderful time of year to be in Israel. I have no recommendations. Just be safe, enjoy being in the Holy Land. My prayers are with you.
HopeRetNow
 
Posts: 19
Joined: Thu Oct 25, 2012 10:04 am

Re: Things to do in Israel?

Postby cinghiale » Sat Mar 23, 2013 7:01 pm

La Bella Signora and I will be in Israel in June. It appears that protagnist's questions mesh well with ours. I look forward to hearing the insights and recommendations of those who have been there.
-- Cinghiale

"We don't see things as they are; we see them as we are." Anais Nin
User avatar
cinghiale
 
Posts: 831
Joined: Wed Oct 17, 2007 5:37 pm

Re: Things to do in Israel?

Postby obgraham » Sat Mar 23, 2013 7:06 pm

In Akko, the medieval city of Acre, there is a superb underground restoration going on, right on the waterfront.
Likewise at Caesarea, not far away.

Heck the Old City of Jerusalem could keep me occupied for the whole week. Loads of stuff to see there. Especially if you like history, religion, and/or shopping bazaars.

Though security awareness is everywhere, I think it's a safe country for a tourist.
obgraham
 
Posts: 364
Joined: Mon Jan 28, 2013 8:30 pm

Re: Things to do in Israel?

Postby Wolkenspiel » Sat Mar 23, 2013 7:42 pm

I only spent a week in Israel, and I'm generally not a well-organized tourist. My general sense of safety also has a somewhat negative correlation with the number of drawn sub-machine guns I see. In the end, except for getting ripped off by AVIS for my car rental and being double-charged by the hotel in Jerusalem, I didn't have any negative experiences.

That said, the Jerusalem Old City is the single most intense and mind-blowing "tourist attraction" I have ever been to and I could possibly imagine. It is not just the layers and layers of history condensed in a tiny place, but also the fact that more than any other historic place I can think of it is decidedly and intensely alive. It absolutely has to be seen.I don't think there is anything like it.

I drove a rental car from Tel Aviv to Eilat and from there to Jerusalem. I was not impressed by Eilat. The drive through the south through the desert and north past the Dead Sea is as scenic as any (and no, nobody shot at us. Probably ok not to believe everything one reads on the internet). Approaching Jerusalem, the contrast between the Palestinian sub-3rd world settlements next to the highway and the modern city just a few km further is as surreal as it is depressing.

Foodwise, in two days in Jerusalem we lived mostly on Shawarma, with one dinner of excellent mezze, accompanied by two large pitchers of some fanstastic lemon-mint-ice lemonade.

Overall, a fascinating trip. Not somewhere I would want to go every year, but one needs to have been there (and maybe more than once).
Wolkenspiel
 
Posts: 409
Joined: Wed Sep 30, 2009 8:45 am

Re: Things to do in Israel?

Postby avalpert » Sat Mar 23, 2013 8:53 pm

If you are there for just a week I would just stay in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv with a day trip to the Dead Sea if you really are interested in the novelty of it (if you want you can do Masada while you are there but for me it isn't worth it - may be because I have done it so many times when on trips as a kid) better than Masada would be a hike in Ein Gedi followed by a swim in the Dead Sea. Three days exploring Jerusalem and three exploring Tel Aviv and Jaffa will be a good introduction to the historical and modern range of the country.

Eating in Jerusalem will be a little more limited because of Passover, Tel Aviv shouldn't be. Assuming you aren't a Jew who keeps kosher, you will likely be disappointed with standard European meat dishes so you should focus on eating at falafel/schwarma stands and middle eastern restaurants. The country will be crowded with tourists this time of year but it isn't as bad as summer.
avalpert
 
Posts: 2977
Joined: Sat Mar 22, 2008 5:58 pm

Re: Things to do in Israel?

Postby protagonist » Sat Mar 23, 2013 9:10 pm

Wow....thanks for the helpful suggestions! It's amazing what you can learn on Bogleheads. It's sort of one-stop shopping.

I read about Akko....sounds great...and it is a destination I am considering. Is it great enough to be worth the excursion if I am only in the country for a week? I am not saying yes or no, I am asking.

I have to be selective, because I imagine, as obgraham suggested, that Jerusalem itself could keep me quite busy. I thought Masada would be fascinating, especially after reading Josephus' account of the rebellion. I do not keep kosher so that is not a limitation.

My take on Tel Aviv is that it is probably less interesting/unique than some other places, and I was not planning on including it in my itinerary, except perhaps for the full day that I have to kill before my flight home. I have the impression that it is a very vibrant city, and probably a fun place to hang out, but not strikingly distinctive enough to focus on. But not having visited Israel before, I am interested in others' first hand experiences.

I'm a bit afraid that visiting any major attraction could be difficult since it is both Passover and Easter week and I imagine huge busloads of tourists and pilgrims and interminable lines and waits.
protagonist
 
Posts: 2180
Joined: Sun Dec 26, 2010 1:47 pm

Re: Things to do in Israel?

Postby chaz » Sat Mar 23, 2013 9:15 pm

Haifa, Sea of Galilee, the Golan Heights. I would avoid the West Bank, a safety concern.
Enjoy the trip.
Chaz

“Money is better than poverty, if only for financial reasons." Woody Allen

http://www.bogleheads.org/wiki/index.php/Main_Page
chaz
 
Posts: 12980
Joined: Tue Feb 27, 2007 3:44 pm

Re: Things to do in Israel?

Postby avalpert » Sat Mar 23, 2013 10:03 pm

protagonist wrote:Wow....thanks for the helpful suggestions! It's amazing what you can learn on Bogleheads. It's sort of one-stop shopping.

I read about Akko....sounds great...and it is a destination I am considering. Is it great enough to be worth the excursion if I am only in the country for a week? I am not saying yes or no, I am asking.

I have to be selective, because I imagine, as obgraham suggested, that Jerusalem itself could keep me quite busy. I thought Masada would be fascinating, especially after reading Josephus' account of the rebellion. I do not keep kosher so that is not a limitation.

My take on Tel Aviv is that it is probably less interesting/unique than some other places, and I was not planning on including it in my itinerary, except perhaps for the full day that I have to kill before my flight home. I have the impression that it is a very vibrant city, and probably a fun place to hang out, but not strikingly distinctive enough to focus on. But not having visited Israel before, I am interested in others' first hand experiences.

I'm a bit afraid that visiting any major attraction could be difficult since it is both Passover and Easter week and I imagine huge busloads of tourists and pilgrims and interminable lines and waits.


What I meant about keeping kosher is not that it is a limitation but instead for one who isn't usually restricted to kosher restaurants in the US, the restaurants in Jerusalem won't be all that interesting so you would be better off going on the low end scale - falafel/schwarma, make a lunch out of fresh fruit in Mahane Yehudah with Marzipan rugelach for desert (actually, what every you do don't go home with out getting rugelach from marzipan, it's at the edge of the marekt on Agrippas st. and if you bring a few pounds home I will happily reimburse you for them).

Tel Aviv gives you a great contrast to Jerusalem - a view into the modern secular heart of Israel. Israel is a small country so even with only a week you could head up north to the Kineret or to Haifa - but if it were me I would rather spend the few hour of travel time wandering around the countries two major cities. I don't know where in the US you live but if you want something different for a side detour you could head south to Mitzpeh Ramon, the town at the edge of a distinct crater in the Negev desert with some nice hiking and more of an outpost feel to it. Personally, I would choose that over Masada easily and Masada will definitely have more of the tour bus crowd.

I should add, I haven't been there over Passover since i lived there what is now 15 years ago but, while it is definitely crowded with plenty of Americans around, I don't recall it being as bad as summer or Christmas/winter break.
avalpert
 
Posts: 2977
Joined: Sat Mar 22, 2008 5:58 pm

Re: Things to do in Israel?

Postby Beezthree » Sat Mar 23, 2013 10:55 pm

[Off-topic comment removed by admin LadyGeek]
Beezthree
 
Posts: 130
Joined: Thu May 08, 2008 12:16 am

Re: Things to do in Israel?

Postby goldendad » Sat Mar 23, 2013 11:45 pm

Old City, Bethlehem, Temple Mount, Dead Sea Scrolls, Masada. There is a lot to see.
goldendad
 
Posts: 74
Joined: Tue Apr 10, 2012 11:29 pm

Re: Things to do in Israel?

Postby Meme » Sat Mar 23, 2013 11:57 pm

With only a week in Israel, I would spend most of it in Jerusalem. Once you start day trips out of Jerusalem, you lose a whole day. You can barely touch what there is to see in Jerusalem in a week.

If you can afford to, consider hiring a private guide for a few of your days. A private guide can get you to four or five times the sites as you will be able to get to on your own-usually without waiting in line. They will provide the historical, political and religious background for every site visited, transport you, and you will understand the issues involved with living as a citizen of this country. PM me if interested in a few names.

TripAdvisor is a great website to use to plan an itinerary and get recommendations for restaurants, bars etc. The food everywhere is fabulous because of the local farming etc. You will not have a bad meal anywhere.

Some unusual things that I did on my bucket list trip besides the typical itineraries you can find in guidebooks or websites:

Kotel tour-see the kotel.org-advance tickets needed
Private Evening Sunset Prayer Service at the Monastery of St. Mary Magdalene
Yad Vasheim
Yehuda market on market day
Baptism in the Jordan River while spending a few days on the Sea of Galilee
Political/military tour of the Golan along Israel borders with Syria,Jordan, Lebanon
Dome of the Rock and Al Aqsa mosque visits
Tour of Bethlehem, Jericho, Palestinian settlements and the disputed developments in the West Bank
Some of these places require special access or arrangements

I had a guide the first time I went into the Palestinian Territories, but rented a car and drove through them myself to get to Tiberius after our time in Jerusalem was over.

I spent several days in Tel Aviv site seeing, but would not do that with only a week trip. For a day trip out of Jerusalem, I would choose the Galilee if Christian; or Masada if Jewish.
Meme
 
Posts: 21
Joined: Sun Mar 06, 2011 1:06 am

Re: Things to do in Israel?

Postby cinghiale » Sun Mar 24, 2013 11:02 am

I have two questions which I hope are relevant to this discussion. I do not want to hijack the thread, but simply solicit a bit of detail on two travel and spending issues.

First, our investigations thus far have brought up some concerns about car rentals. For those who have rented cars in Israel, has your credit card coverage been sufficient? Have you purchased additional coverage through the car rental agency? For that matter, is there a recommended car rental agency?

Second, what has been your experience with cell phone usage in Israel? Did you purchase a SIM card from a local Israeli carrier while there? Any other experiences/suggestions on cell phone use? (We have an unlocked phone that we use for European travels and are hoping that it can be used.)

I have appreciated the responses this far and look forward to getting further insights from the group.
-- Cinghiale

"We don't see things as they are; we see them as we are." Anais Nin
User avatar
cinghiale
 
Posts: 831
Joined: Wed Oct 17, 2007 5:37 pm

Re: Things to do in Israel?

Postby gasman » Sun Mar 24, 2013 11:27 am

For the day in Tel Aviv I would recommend israel's independence hall and the Rabin Center.
User avatar
gasman
 
Posts: 552
Joined: Mon Jul 30, 2007 7:13 pm

Re: Things to do in Israel?

Postby avalpert » Sun Mar 24, 2013 12:05 pm

cinghiale wrote:I have two questions which I hope are relevant to this discussion. I do not want to hijack the thread, but simply solicit a bit of detail on two travel and spending issues.

First, our investigations thus far have brought up some concerns about car rentals. For those who have rented cars in Israel, has your credit card coverage been sufficient? Have you purchased additional coverage through the car rental agency? For that matter, is there a recommended car rental agency?

Second, what has been your experience with cell phone usage in Israel? Did you purchase a SIM card from a local Israeli carrier while there? Any other experiences/suggestions on cell phone use? (We have an unlocked phone that we use for European travels and are hoping that it can be used.)

I have appreciated the responses this far and look forward to getting further insights from the group.


There cell phones are on 900/1800 gsm bands so as long as that is the same as your phones you will be find - no problem picking up a sim card when you get there at post offices, kiosks and most markets. It depends on what you want the cell phone for, but one alternative if you will only need to make occasional calls home is to use VOIP over wifi from the hotel if your phone has it and you have an account or want to set one up - it is what I end up doing now most of the time when we are travelling without the kids somewhere in the world and want to call them.

As for driving, Israel has a reputation for crazy drivers which is probably overstated. Your credit card coverage should be sufficient (I never take additional coverage when renting even abroad except when I am doing off-road driving and my card won't cover damage). Can't recommend any specific agency but all the major international firms are represented and you should probably just search for the best rate - also, I would avoid driving through Jerusalem, the narrow roads and aggressive drivers (particularly bus drives) isn't worth it when buses and taxis will take you anywhere you want to go that you can't walk to.
avalpert
 
Posts: 2977
Joined: Sat Mar 22, 2008 5:58 pm

Re: Things to do in Israel?

Postby Wolkenspiel » Sun Mar 24, 2013 12:31 pm

cinghiale wrote:First, our investigations thus far have brought up some concerns about car rentals. For those who have rented cars in Israel, has your credit card coverage been sufficient? Have you purchased additional coverage through the car rental agency? For that matter, is there a recommended car rental agency?


Regarding car rental: Here is my experience with Avis at Tel Aviv airport. I arrived in the evening with my family (incl. two kids) to pick up a car reserved through Orbitz (IIRC) and drive to our hotel in the south of Israel. I was told that taking the Avis CDW, which easily doubled the booked rate, was mandatory due to government regulations. They would not accept my AMEX premium insurance coverage or allow self-insurance. I obviously was in no position to negotiate (if I had stayed in Tel Aviv, I would have told them what to do with their car). Upon return, I was unable to find a gas station at the airport to top up the tank (bad planning on my part). In addition to the overpriced gas (again, my fault), I ended up with some additional charges on top of the Orbitz rate, the CDW and the refilling charge I didn't understand, but was told was mandatory. Again, with my flight about to leave, given the extra time for security needed in Israel, I was in no position to argue. Overall, the rental cost about triple the rate quoted by Orbitz. The car itself was ok (although it felt like it had done twice the indicated 30k miles). I didn't think driving in Israel was a problem (to calibrate, the only place where I would not want to drive myself is India).
Wolkenspiel
 
Posts: 409
Joined: Wed Sep 30, 2009 8:45 am

Re: Things to do in Israel?

Postby Bill Bernstein » Sun Mar 24, 2013 12:43 pm

Hotel strategy: you will be spending most of your time in the Old City, one of the most amazing places in the world.

There are no high-end hotels there, which is just as well, since in the New City they tend to be expensive and have typical lousy Israeli service.

Solution: stay in a hostel/guest house in the Old City; there are a number of these where you can get a decent double with Internet and b'fast for not much more than $100 double, great Boglehead-type places. (We were happy at the Lutheran Guest House, there are a number of other similarly named places.) The main drawback of these places is that you can't drive to them; you have to walk in from a city gate, so pack light into good lightweight rolling suitcases.

Bill
Bill Bernstein
 
Posts: 422
Joined: Sat Jun 23, 2007 1:47 am

Re: Things to do in Israel?

Postby protagonist » Sun Mar 24, 2013 12:52 pm

cinghiale wrote:
Second, what has been your experience with cell phone usage in Israel? Did you purchase a SIM card from a local Israeli carrier while there? Any other experiences/suggestions on cell phone use? (We have an unlocked phone that we use for European travels and are hoping that it can be used.)

I have appreciated the responses this far and look forward to getting further insights from the group.


If your trip to Israel is not very long and you can accept just calling out when within wi-fi range, you might consider getting a gmail account (if you don't already have one). They have a Google Voice feature which allows you to call out anywhere in the world...US and Canada are free and other countries are ridiculously cheap (I call the US from Venezuela for about a penny per minute). I have read that parts of Jerusalem have city-sponsored wi-fi coverage, and that cafes, etc that offer free wifi are ubiquitous. If you don't have a lot of phone needs, that could save you money and hassle.
protagonist
 
Posts: 2180
Joined: Sun Dec 26, 2010 1:47 pm

Re: Things to do in Israel?

Postby tacster » Sun Mar 24, 2013 1:23 pm

Meme wrote:
If you can afford to, consider hiring a private guide for a few of your days. A private guide can get you to four or five times the sites as you will be able to get to on your own-usually without waiting in line. They will provide the historical, political and religious background for every site visited, transport you, and you will understand the issues involved with living as a citizen of this country. PM me if interested in a few names.



Approximately what are the prices for private guide services?
INSERT PITHY QUOTE HERE
tacster
 
Posts: 124
Joined: Sat Apr 09, 2011 12:08 pm

Re: Things to do in Israel?

Postby protagonist » Sun Mar 24, 2013 6:54 pm

wbern wrote:Hotel strategy: you will be spending most of your time in the Old City, one of the most amazing places in the world.

There are no high-end hotels there, which is just as well, since in the New City they tend to be expensive and have typical lousy Israeli service.

Solution: stay in a hostel/guest house in the Old City; there are a number of these where you can get a decent double with Internet and b'fast for not much more than $100 double, great Boglehead-type places. (We were happy at the Lutheran Guest House, there are a number of other similarly named places.) The main drawback of these places is that you can't drive to them; you have to walk in from a city gate, so pack light into good lightweight rolling suitcases.

Bill


Thanks, Bill. I'm one step ahead of you here. I booked at The Kaplan Hotel, which got very good reviews on TripAdvisor (http://www.tripadvisor.com/Hotel_Review ... trict.html). Great minds think alike. The owner, Eli Wasserman, addresses me in emails as "young man", which already wins him points in my book.

By the way, off topic, but I just bought a copy of The Investor's Manifesto as a gift for somebody who needs it. Maybe I will actually read it myself someday (giggle)

Michael
protagonist
 
Posts: 2180
Joined: Sun Dec 26, 2010 1:47 pm

Re: Things to do in Israel?

Postby jon-nyc » Sun Mar 24, 2013 7:22 pm

One thing to add - while in Jerusalem grab a happy hour drink at the American Colony Hotel.

Its beautiful and historic, and caters to an interesting crowd, mostly foreign reporters and NGO types. ANd they tend to be chatty. I learned a lot there in a couple of hours (we stayed nearby at a cheaper place :) )
jon-nyc
 
Posts: 896
Joined: Sun Nov 15, 2009 10:02 am
Location: New York

Re: Things to do in Israel?

Postby Meme » Sun Mar 24, 2013 8:45 pm

Tacster:

The price of a private guide is about the same as in Rome-$250-$300 a day for a walking guide. Add $200 a day more if you want an automobile. Israel requires chauffers licenses for anyone driving people and it is a separate license from the tour guide license. If your guide has both, you can maybe negotiate a lower rate. If your guide does not have the chauffer license, he will hire a car and chauffer to drive and he will tour.

The guides will work 8-12 hours a day depending on your stamina. When I self tour I can do 2-3 major sites a day. With a private guide I would expect to see 8-9 major sites a day.The good guides will know people at all the sites and likely have arrangements so you will not wait but be escorted to the front of the line.

In Jerusalem there is no need for an auto, so taxi all over with your guide and you pay for the taxi. The tour guide will haggle with the driver for price for you. If you are out of the city and have rented a car, another option is you drive your car-guide will direct you and guide-- you will pay the foot guide price. This option works well too.

I interview guides from home before my trip and confirm my dates with deposits. We negotiate where I want to go based on where I can self tour and where the guide may have special knowledge, contacts or access. I tip 15% on top of the rate and buy their meals. My experience using private guides is that they save you money because you are spending fewer days to see what would take you much longer on your own.

I suggest getting a guide in advance to go into the Palestinian Territories (Bethlehem, Jerico etc). Israeli guides cannot take you into the territories-they are not licensed there.
Meme
 
Posts: 21
Joined: Sun Mar 06, 2011 1:06 am

Re: Things to do in Israel?

Postby phantom » Sun Mar 24, 2013 9:11 pm

Some random tips/thoughts:

The one thing that never gets old for me when visiting Israel is going to the dead sea. It is really fun and relaxing. Go to the free (or almost free) one that's at the very end of highway 1 (after the 1 ends, you take the 90 south for a little bit. you can see little inroads leading to the sea off of the 90 on google maps). Like others said, you can just do this as a day trip from Jerusalem. If you've never been, don't miss it!

As for the car rental company, I highly recommend Eldan. They are quite big inside Israel and usually much cheaper than the international brands (at least if you book a little in advance). And the driving there is definitely not as bad as people would have you believe. I also never had to pay for any additional insurance.

Eilat is highly over-rated, in my opinion. But if you're there, you really should book a tour for take a day trip to Petra in Jordan. It is as incredible as people say.

I think that all the religious stuff in Israel is only worth seeing if it makes you feel something. If you don't really care about it, then I think it can be safely skipped. There is nothing beautiful about the actual sites. Although I think one church in Nazareth was nice architecturally. I am of course not referring to the old city - that is obviously a must (and try to get lost there and find your way to a rooftop ... the views are really nice). I am referring to the other locations that are more out of the away near the sea of Galilee.

And as for the old city, if you are buying something, ask for the price and immediately offer a third of it. You are still getting ripped off (sometimes, you may need to divide by a lot more), but at least now it's by a smaller factor.

As far as safety in the West Bank, I think Bethlehem should be OK (at least it was 3 years ago, and I am not aware of anything that really changed since then).

If you'll travel in the north, stay in a "zimmer." Basically they are little cottages that usually include a jacuzzi. Once I stayed in one that also had a sauna - and they're pretty cheap, too.
phantom
 
Posts: 182
Joined: Fri Oct 31, 2008 3:20 pm

Re: Things to do in Israel?

Postby HomerJ » Sun Mar 24, 2013 10:07 pm

chaz wrote:Haifa, Sea of Galilee, the Golan Heights. I would avoid the West Bank, a safety concern.
Enjoy the trip.


Sea of Galilee is really amazing... Stay away from the West Bank... Zero reasons to go there. Best case, you'll get a bunch of young hoods in your face trying to sell you something... That's best case. Do NOT handle anything they try to hand you.. If they try to hand you something, let it drop to the ground.. Once it is in your hands, they will not take it back, and will insist you buy it.
Last edited by HomerJ on Sun Mar 24, 2013 10:11 pm, edited 1 time in total.
User avatar
HomerJ
 
Posts: 6561
Joined: Fri Jun 06, 2008 1:50 pm

Re: Things to do in Israel?

Postby HomerJ » Sun Mar 24, 2013 10:10 pm

Here's a great guide we had...

http://israelwithsandy.com/

Excellent guide... He used to be American (emigrated in the 80s), so his English is excellent... We spent two days with him... and enjoyed every second.
User avatar
HomerJ
 
Posts: 6561
Joined: Fri Jun 06, 2008 1:50 pm

Re: Things to do in Israel?

Postby Levett » Mon Mar 25, 2013 8:20 am

chaz wrote: "I would avoid the West Bank, a safety concern."

I agree.

We were in Israel for two weeks with my alumni association. One of our guides was still IDF. We were warned--for good reason--to avoid taxis to the West Bank.

There's so much else to do and see, whether you are religious or not.

Time at Masadah and the Dead Sea is a must. The Bahai Gardens in Haifa are spectacular.

I certainly wouldn't leave Jerusalem without spending half a day at Yad Vashem.

Too bad you don't have time to stay on a Kibbutz--it's a marvelous experience.

Lev
Levett
 
Posts: 3284
Joined: Fri Feb 23, 2007 3:10 pm

Re: Things to do in Israel?

Postby tacster » Mon Mar 25, 2013 8:12 pm

Meme wrote:Tacster:

The price of a private guide is about the same as in Rome-$250-$300 a day for a walking guide. Add $200 a day more if you want an automobile. Israel requires chauffers licenses for anyone driving people and it is a separate license from the tour guide license. If your guide has both, you can maybe negotiate a lower rate. If your guide does not have the chauffer license, he will hire a car and chauffer to drive and he will tour.

The guides will work 8-12 hours a day depending on your stamina. When I self tour I can do 2-3 major sites a day. With a private guide I would expect to see 8-9 major sites a day.The good guides will know people at all the sites and likely have arrangements so you will not wait but be escorted to the front of the line.

In Jerusalem there is no need for an auto, so taxi all over with your guide and you pay for the taxi. The tour guide will haggle with the driver for price for you. If you are out of the city and have rented a car, another option is you drive your car-guide will direct you and guide-- you will pay the foot guide price. This option works well too.

I interview guides from home before my trip and confirm my dates with deposits. We negotiate where I want to go based on where I can self tour and where the guide may have special knowledge, contacts or access. I tip 15% on top of the rate and buy their meals. My experience using private guides is that they save you money because you are spending fewer days to see what would take you much longer on your own.

I suggest getting a guide in advance to go into the Palestinian Territories (Bethlehem, Jerico etc). Israeli guides cannot take you into the territories-they are not licensed there.


Thank you for the info Meme. Israel is on my bucket list of places to see. I will refer back to this post when the time comes.
INSERT PITHY QUOTE HERE
tacster
 
Posts: 124
Joined: Sat Apr 09, 2011 12:08 pm

Re: Things to do in Israel?

Postby William4u » Mon Mar 25, 2013 9:36 pm

Go to a hummusiyot. These mom-and-pop hummus places are amazing. They are everywhere and take hummus to a new level.
User avatar
William4u
 
Posts: 398
Joined: Fri Jun 01, 2012 4:02 pm

Re: Things to do in Israel?

Postby protagonist » Mon Mar 25, 2013 9:48 pm

William4u wrote:Go to a hummusiyot. These mom-and-pop hummus places are amazing. They are everywhere and take hummus to a new level.


Do you remember any names of ones that stand out? Thanks.
protagonist
 
Posts: 2180
Joined: Sun Dec 26, 2010 1:47 pm

Re: Things to do in Israel?

Postby Levett » Tue Mar 26, 2013 12:11 pm

Levett
 
Posts: 3284
Joined: Fri Feb 23, 2007 3:10 pm

Re: Things to do in Israel?

Postby protagonist » Thu Mar 28, 2013 5:31 pm



Thanks, Lev. I'm on top of it. I went to Abu Shukri for lunch today. Yum.
protagonist
 
Posts: 2180
Joined: Sun Dec 26, 2010 1:47 pm


Return to Personal Consumer Issues

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Dogleheabs, TxAg, TX_TURTLE and 56 guests