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Back to Israel for the first time in over thirty years.....

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London
posts: 4
reviews: 4
Back to Israel for the first time in over thirty years.....

My friend and I are flying to Israel for 5 days at the beginning of May.

We know it's not much time to do everything, but advice would be very much appreciated.

We will be based in Tel Aviv as I have a couple of old school friends living near that we have to catch up with.

As a young child I visited the wailing wall, and have vague recollections of Jerusalem, but naturally I'd like to see it properly as an adult.

I also want to go to the Dead Sea and Yad Vashem.

Are we better off going by bus or train?

What is the night life like in Tel Aviv? I'm not frum, and the friend I am travelling with isn't Jewish, so going out on a Friday night won't be a problem (sorry if that offends anyone - not meant to) :-)

Also, I want to get a true taste of Israeli cuisine, can anyone suggest the best place to eat at?

Thanks very much in advance. :-)

Jerusalem, Israel
Destination Expert
for Israel
posts: 1,472
reviews: 1
1. Re: Back to Israel for the first time in over thirty years.....

Hello!

The best way to get from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem is by bus. Direct buses to Jerusalem leave every 10 minutes from Arlozorov bus terminal (bus #480) and from Tel Aviv Central Bus Station (bus #405). The duration of the voyage is 50 minutes.

Moving around Jerusalem can be done easily with the tram. Yad Vashem is near Mt. Herzl stop, and the old city (Jaffa gate) is near the City Hall stop.

Tel Aviv - also "The city that never stops" - has a thriving he night life scene, and they are at their peak on friday night. You can look here for a start: http://www.visit-tlv.com/

London
posts: 4
reviews: 4
2. Re: Back to Israel for the first time in over thirty years.....

Thanks very much Amos - extremely helpful!

Ottawa, Canada
Destination Expert
for Jerusalem, Galilee, Tel Aviv
posts: 4,703
reviews: 93
3. Re: Back to Israel for the first time in over thirty years.....

On Friday and Saturday you may want to be in Tel Aviv as it goes all night and Jerusalem pretty much shuts down.

Jerusalem has an active night life on Thursday nights and it can be pretty good too.

Some suggestions- if you are in Jerusalem in the evening, get tickets to the Night Spectacular at the Tower of David

-reserve a tour at the Kotel Tunnels, even for your non-Jewish friend is is really amazing

-If you can make time for it, the City of David and Hezikiah's Tunnel are excellent, especially if you are into history,engineering or caves!

You won't recognize Jerusalem after 30 years. I go regularly and the difference in streets and building in only the last 10 years is phenomenal. Walk through the Mamilla Mall to the Jaffa Gate, the busy Jaffa street is now mainly a pedestrian street with light rail running through it, Ben Yehuda is much the same but the area next door Nachalot Shiva has some terrific restaurants, clubs, galleries, etc.

Tel Aviv is vibrant and exciting. Only 5 days to explore will bring you back for another trip....

Tel Aviv, Israel
posts: 27
reviews: 23
4. Re: Back to Israel for the first time in over thirty years.....

Hey Jussie,

So proud to post my first-ever Tel Aviv advice!

Here's the run-down:

Nightlife in Tel Aviv - doesn't get much easier, this is where the entire metro area of Tel Aviv goes out. Friday night is the big party night, Thursday and Saturday nights buzz with activity as well although you may find people leave a little earlier. There's enough to do on any night of the week though.

Sightseeing outside of Tel Aviv - since you mentioned very mainstream sites, and since you don't have much time as it is, my advice to you would be to get everything done with a daytrip and not bother with independent public-transit sightseeing. Your hotel will have ample information on bus tours that pack major sites in Jerusalem, as well as a visit to the dead sea (sometimes even Masada) into a one-day, $80-per-person daytrip. This will leave you plenty of time to laze on the beach, enjoy Tel Aviv cafes and see your friends.

Should you choose to go on your own, DO NOT take the train to Jerusalem, it takes forever and drops you off in the middle of nowhere.

Hope this helps!

Jerusalem, Israel
Destination Expert
for Jerusalem
posts: 2,684
reviews: 36
5. Re: Back to Israel for the first time in over thirty years.....

Do you have the option of spending a couple of nights in Jerusalem? It's possible to travel back and forth from Tel Aviv but will take you a couple of hours each way once you factor in the bus between the cities (around 1 hour) plus local buses at each end. It sounds like you have a couple of days of sightseeing there, plus the Dead Sea is closer to Jerusalem.

avigail

Israel
Destination Expert
for Israel
posts: 10,248
reviews: 99
6. Re: Back to Israel for the first time in over thirty years.....

What day of the week are you arriving? Will you be hiring a car?

Chana

Israel

London
posts: 4
reviews: 4
7. Re: Back to Israel for the first time in over thirty years.....

Unfortunately, we can't really stay in Jerusalem as we have already paid for the hotel in Tel Aviv, and the budget won't allow an extra hotel. We also won't be hiring a car.

We arrive on a Thursday evening and leave on a Tuesday evening.

Thank you all for the information, it's extremely helpful :-)

NYC/Israel
Destination Expert
for Israel
posts: 25,643
reviews: 18
8. Re: Back to Israel for the first time in over thirty years.....

I have to disagree with Chen. Masada is easier to visit on a day trip and you can do that from Tel Aviv. The other places you mentioned are much better done on your own. Take the bus as mentioned and go see what you want to. The time wasted with a day trip pick up, changing buses and herding along a group of 40 or so people will be more than you spend traveling on your own and maybe getting confused. The difference in money means you could easily take taxis once in Jerusalem if you wanted to move faster than public transportation.

If you tell us exactly what you want to see in Jerusalem we will help plot an organized logical itinerary for the day. ( just don't make it a Friday or a Saturday)

9. Re: Back to Israel for the first time in over thirty years.....

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