Durham (New Hampshire)
I'm going to Israel for the first time and was wondering if anyone had tips for a first time visitor? Things to avoid, places I can't miss, general info about visiting? Would appreciate any advice, thanks!
I would get a local sim card with a data option or use free wifi which is available almost anywhere. You can rent a smartphone at the airport when you arrive. For getting around there are a few apps that are very helpful - waze if you are driving, movit if you're using public transportation and googlemaps if you're on foot.
Bring good walking shoes or sandals - best way to get around is walking, or cycling in Tel Aviv (lots of rental bikes all around the city - you can pick up and leave in different places).
Taking a hike somewhere (depending on weather at the time) is a great way to experience. For summer hiking - you can hike up Masada for the sunrise, hike in water in the Israel National Trail or the Banias Nature Reserve up north, Ein Gedi near the Dead Sea - these hikes are accessible and well signed. Time your hike for early morning or afternoons - do not hike at the hottest time of day. Be sure you have plenty of water with you anywhere you hike.
Public transportation is good and covers most of the country. Train and bus service are pretty reliable. Timetables and transport options are posted online. Though the app movit will be more useful to tell you when the bus you are waiting for will actually arrive and to plan your travel. Take into account that from sundown on Fridays to sundown on Saturdays, most public transportation shuts down for the Sabbath. Certain areas in Jerusalem, Haifa and Nazareth that have a large non-Jewish population will still have public transportation.
Wear sunscreen, bring a hat and enjoy your time here. One of the most fascinating places to visit.
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