What To See In Israel – 7 Day Itinerary Of Things To Do
Your list of what to see in Israel should include places like The Dead Sea, Masada, Jerusalem, Haifa, and Acre. We want to share additional recommendations for what to see in Israel as well as how you can plan this into a seven-day itinerary for your trip. The places we are about to mention should definitely be on your bucket list when you travel to Israel.
What You Must See In Israel In 7 Days
There are some incredibly diverse things to do and see in Israel. In this travel guide you'll be able to see some significant historic structures in Old City Jerusalem as well as modern architecture at the Baha'i Gardens in Haifa that are sure to make your trip memorable. Additionally, we'll tell you about some must-see natural wonders, like The Dead Sea, which are unique to this region. This one-week itinerary of the best things to see will help you make the most of your time and budget.
Old City Of Jerusalem
Day 1- Old City Tour & Pub Crawl
The best place to start your Israel visit is the Old City Of Jerusalem. This ancient, walled city is full of wonders that can easily take a couple of days or more to see. You can take a free tour with Sandeman's New Europe Walking Tours or just venture into the Old City on your own.
Start at Jaffa Gate, and you will see the Tower Of David right away. Continue in and check out the four Quarters. The Old City consists of the Muslim Quarter (the largest in population), Jewish Quarter, Christian Quarter, and Armenian Quarter. Make sure to stop in at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre and just a short distance from there the Church of the Redeemer which has a bell tower that provides a stunning panoramic view of the entire Old City Of Jerusalem reaching back to the Mount Of Olives.
Check out our article about Things To Do In Jerusalem for more details on what to see there.
After a full day of walking around the Old City and taking in the major attractions, head over to Mahane Yehuda for some great nightlife. This bustling market by day turns into a great place to go at night for some drinks and socializing.
There's also some great street art to admire once the shops close down.
Day 2- Mamilla Neighborhood, City of David, Hummus Making Class
On this day, we suggest taking a quick tour of the art studios located in the Mamilla Neighborhood just outside the Old City walls. There are some fascinating and unique art pieces made and sold here that are certainly worth a look. The studios are in an area that served as stables in ancient times. How crazy is that for "re-purposing" ?!
Located outside of the South-East side of the Old City, near Dung Gate, is the ancient City Of David. After entering, you'll be able to get a great view of the city that is older than the Old City itself! Some of the highlights to catch are Warren's Shaft, Hezekiah’s Tunnel, Pool of Siloam, Temple Road Ascent.
If you still have some energy at the end of the day, take a hummus making class with Abraham Hostel and learn how to make this delicious dish that is, almost always, served with every meal.
Day 3- Mahane Yehuda Market
You've seen Mahane Yehuda light up with energy at night, but the hustle and bustle of the day is also something you must experience. This market is packed full of delicious treats as well as some great restaurants you can dine at.
Try the halva, as it is some of the best I've ever had!
You'll get a chance to try things that you may have never had before. The vendors are friendly and very hospitable so don't be shy if you are curious and want to know more about something they sell. We suggest that you grab a bag of all your favorite treats for your bus ride to Haifa.
The easy and most budget-friendly way to get a ride to Haifa from Jerusalem is by bus. You can purchase your ticket on the same day at the central bus station for 60 ISL per person (about $17 USD). This is the lower price when you have the transportation card that can be used on buses and the electric rail.The 960 bus to Haifa leaves from platform 19 and takes about 2 hours.
Haifa Baha'i Temple And Gardens
Day 4- See the Baha'i Gardens on Israel's Mediterranean coast
The Baha'i Gardens, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, may be the most visited site in Haifa. There are 19 terraces that measure close to a kilometer in length. These terraces, built majestically on the side of Mount Carmel overlooking the Mediterranean Sea, are a sight to see!
Guided tours are a great way to experience the gardens with the magnificent backdrop of the Haifa Bay. There are free tours daily as well as tours that offered in other languages.
Old City Of Acre (Akko)
Day 5- Baha'i Gardens and Shrine & The Old Acre Port
A quick day from Haifa to Acre will give you a chance to walk in the Baha'i Gardens, and Shrine followed by a visit to The Old Acre Port.
The best way to get to Acre sometimes spelled Akko, is by Sherut. Sheruts are the public transportation of Haifa. They are, basically, shared minibuses or shuttles that can take you around town for a cheaper price than taxis. Taking a Sherut may take longer due to multiple stops along the way, but it can save you a lot of money. The trip to Acre on a Sherut can take around 30 minutes.
The Baha'i Gardens surround the historic mansion where, Baha'u'llah the Prophet-Founder of the Bahai Faith, resided during finals years of His life. To walk in these gardens is truly a meditative experience. The beauty that surrounds you here gives the warmest and most welcoming experience.
Visitors can even enter the Shrine during certain days and times.
To walk in these gardens is sure to give you the feeling of utmost peace and serenity.
A 15-minute taxi ride will get you to the Old City Of Akko (Acre). Here is yet another walled city that is a must see in Israel. Old Akko is another UNESCO world heritage site that has gone through extensive excavations. One of the oldest ports in the world, the Old City Of Akko has citadels, mosques, khans and baths and is a functioning city home to a mix of Jews, Christians, and Muslims.
The Old Acre Market, Arab restaurants, Khan Al Omdan, The Templars Tunnel, and El - Jazar Mosque are just some of the attractions you can see during your half-day visit.
Once the fun-filled day of sightseeing in Acre is done, you can take a Sherut back to Haifa from which you will take the bus back to Jerusalem. You'll have to take a bus to the central bus station in Haifa first, and tickets can be purchased directly from the bus driver.
Day 6 - Float in the Dead Sea & Give yourself a spa treatment!
One of the highlights of our entire Israel trip was our day spent at the Dead Sea. This is a must-see for anyone traveling in Israel. I guess visitors to Jordan should also enjoy this place since half of it is in that country.
We knew that you could easily float in the water here due to its high salt concentration. What really surprised us was how floating in the Dead Sea made us feel. I'm not sure if either of us had any idea or expectations. We have floated in the ocean before and probably thought this would be the same feeling.
It was a different sensation to float in the Dead Sea than in a pool or ocean. It almost feels like the water is trying to push you up. This is a weird sensation since we've never experienced it before and it made it difficult to actually stand on your legs in the water.
The water is constantly pushing against you and making you take that famous "sitting in a reclined chair" position. Trying to stand up straight after floating can be a bit challenging and awkwardly funny!
Anyway, the whole experience was delightful. The ease of floating and just taking in the surroundings was unforgettable!
After some relaxing and drifting aimlessly, it was time to get down and dirty! Of course, I'm talking about the mineral-rich mud that is abundant here.
The area close to the beach is where you'll find some of this soft, gray looking mud that can give your skin one of the best spa treatments! Just grab a handful of gooey mud and cover your skin, head to toes, with a nice thick layer. Let it dry for a few minutes and then rinse off at one of the "showers" that pours out spring water from deep in the mountains.
My skin felt so incredibly soft after this!
There's even a store there for you to purchase some of the beauty products (yes, there's mud, too) made with Dead Sea minerals.
Masada & Ein Gedi
Day 7- Watch the sunrise from the top of Masada and visit the desert oasis of Ein Gedi
We made the mistake of combining Masada, Ein Gedi, and The Dead Sea into one day. It was a bit much for one day, but very doable if you are pressed for time. I would suggest having a visit to the Dead Sea on a separate day if you have the time.
Getting up early (I mean 3 am early) is a bit much and I'm still debating whether it was worth it. I think that this is one of those things that you just have to do. It can be a little too much for some people if you have been on the move and constantly doing something on your trip.
The hike is about an hour, so make sure you get yourself mentally ready for this. It's hard enough to stand upright sometimes at that early hour, let alone go on an hour long hike. It would also behoove you not to be hung over for this!
It's not a very challenging hike, but you should have comfortable shoes on and have some snacks handy. There are no vendors at Masada so you should go prepared with some kind of breakfast for yourself and water!). You'll need the energy to make it up in time to see the sun come up over the mountains on the opposite side of the Dead Sea.
The dramatic landscape views are incredible from atop Masada. You'll see the Judean Desert, The Dead Sea, and mountains just beyond.
After watching the sunrise, there's lots to see at this ancient "Fortress." Yes, there's more walking, but don't worry there is a cable car that starts running at 8 a.m. so you can always ride it down and just enjoy the view on your way down (58 NIS, or about $15/person- includes entrance to the park).
Take your time and enjoy the views as well as this incredible archaeological site. By the way, for more reading on amazing ancient architecture, take a look at our guide to visiting Chichen Itza in Mexico. That is another must-see if you are in North America!
After a couple of hours at Masada, you can head over (on a bus) to Ein Gedi. The park has some beautiful natural springs and small waterfalls.
You can do some more hiking (if you still have the energy) or just sit and enjoy the views of the flowing water. This is a great spot to dip your tired feet into the cool, clear waters coming down from the springs.
About the Author
Hi! I'm just a California girl addicted to travel and adventure with a passion for art and dance on the side. Born in Iran, but I consider myself a citizen of Earth, adhering to the belief that "The world is but one country and mankind its citizen." I strive to make a positive impact on everyone I meet and learn as much as possible from them. My degree out of college is in Marketing. However, I entered the hospitality business at an early age and worked my way up to hotel management. After about 13 years in that industry (5 of which I was a hotel assistant manager), I made the decision to move to Thailand and leave the 9 to 5 grind behind. My husband and I set off for a life of living abroad and hopes to continue traveling the world, just 3 months after our wedding. It all started with the two of us, along with our cat, together in Thailand. Can't wait to see where life takes us next!