Israel & Palestine
Perhaps, this is the most complex country or territory in the world.
Located in the heart of the most turbulent region on Earth, Israel and Palestine have been in conflict for ages but, despite all clashes, their endless number of holy sites have been always attracting all sort of travelers from all over the world.
Capital of Israel – Jerusalem
Capital of Palestine – Ramallah (but if Palestine would ever become independent, East Jerusalem would be its capital.
Population – 8.1 million, 96th (Israel) and 4.6 million, 123rd (Palestine).
Language – Hebrew in Israel and Arabic in Palestine
Visa – Almost everybody can get a free visa on arrival via any port of entry. The Palestinian visa doesn’t exist but you get an Israeli visa which allows entering the Occupied Territories of Palestine.
Safety – Israel is a Westernized, safe country. Palestine is divided into the West Bank and Gaza. The West Bank is the safe part where all the touristic sites are. The Gaza Strip is where the bad things are going on but you can’t go, even if you wanted to.
Israeli stamps – Since some time ago, Israel doesn’t stamp your passport anymore. This is a complicated topic. For more information, read: Avoid the Israeli stamp – FAQs.
Getting to or from Jordan – The Israel-Jordan border is a very popular route. Here’s everything you need to know about it: How to cross the Israel-Jordan border.
Travel insurance – Remember to always travel with proper travel insurance. I recommend World Nomads for the following reasons:
- It is the only company that covers with an unlimited budget
- It provides coverage for a very big bunch of adventure activities, including trekking in high altitudes
- You can hire it while on the road
5 Top Experiences in Israel and Palestine – My favorites:
- Explore the eternal city of Jerusalem – The center of the 3 main monotheist religions.
- Learn about the conflict first hand in Hebron – The most troubled city in Palestine. Read: Visiting Hebron, the most troubled city in Palestine.
- Hang out in cosmopolitan Tel Aviv – The most Westernized city in the entire Middle East.
- Discover monasteries carved from rocks – Palestine is filled with stunning mountain Orthodox monasteries
- The Old City of Nablus – The best Old Town in the country.
For more information, read my 2-week itinerary to Palestine
Accommodation – There are hotels and budget hostel all over the country. You can find all of them on Booking.com.
You can also stay in a refugee camp. Read more about it: Airbnb in a Palestinian refugee camp
Transportation – Very easy. In Palestine, there are loads of buses and shared taxis. In Israel buses also go everywhere except for Shabat. Hitchhiking is also very feasible.
Money – They use the Israeli Shekel, in both Israel and Palestine. Israel is as expensive as any European city. Palestine is cheaper but it is not a very budget destination. For a more detailed cost breakdown, check my 2-week itinerary.