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 always attracted all sorts of traveler from all over the world.
need to know for traveling in Israel and Palestine
Capital of Israel: Jerusalem
Capital of Palestine: Ramallah
Population: 8.1 million, 96th (Israel) and 4.6 million, 123rd (Palestine).
Language: Hebrew in Israel and Arabic in Palestine
Area: Israel – 20,770km² (149th largest country) and Palestine – 6,020km² (163rd largest country)
Almost everybody can get a free visa on arrival at any port of entry.
There is no Palestinian visa but an Israeli visa allows you to visit the Occupied Territories of Palestine.
Tel Aviv International Airport is a well-connected airport throughout the world.
You may also cross from either Jordan (one of the busiest border crossings in the Middle East) or Egypt.
For Israel + Palestine, I recommend IATI, which: covers full travel in Palestine + Israel.
5% discount if booking here:
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 tourist sites are.
The Gaza Strip is heavily restricted and the epicenter of the conflict.
Today, tourist visas for Israel are not stamped in your passport, so you can’t be banned from entering certain Muslim countries.
However, if you travel overland into Israel, you’ll get the border stamp from either Jordan or Egypt, giving evidence that you were in Israel.
Check our Israeli stamps guide.
Can you visit Gaza?
The Gaza Strip is one of the most difficult places to enter in the world. Tourist visas don’t exist, so you can only go there as a journalist or a humanitarian worker.
Despite all the trouble and crisis, life in the Gaza Strip goes on and while it lacks sights as such, it’s a place where you can experience the local life of kind-hearted Palestinians who have had a pretty hard life since they were born.
Check our Gaza travel guide.
Staying in a Palestinian refugee camp
One of the most beautiful experiences we have ever had was an Airbnb stay in a Palestinian refugee camp and spending 3 days with a lovely, humble Palestinian family.
Top experiences in Israel & Palestine
Explore the eternal city of Jerusalem
The center of the 3 main monotheist religions.
Learn about the conflict firsthand in Hebron
The most troubled city in Palestine. Read our Hebron travel guide.
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
Check our 2-week Palestine itinerary
tips for Israel & Palestine
You can find hotels and modern hostels all over the country, including in Palestine.
Day trips from Jerusalem
You can book endless activities and day trips from the city of Jerusalem, including a visit to Palestine, with just one click.
In Palestine, there are loads of buses and shared taxis going to every city and village.
In Israel buses also go everywhere except on Shabbat. Hitchhiking is also very feasible.