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Palestine: Comprehensive Travel Guide 2024 & 11-day Itinerary

  • On Oct 8, 2023

This ultimate travel guide to Palestine (West Bank) is everything you need to know for an independent trip to the most interesting places in Palestine. Read our 11 days Palestine itinerary with detailed descriptions of transportation, including the exact shared taxi locations, prices, where to stay, including refugee camps, how to cross the checkpoints, safety in Palestine and many other valuable tips.

I wrote this post to include everything you need to know before you travel to Palestine with confidence and knowledge of what to expect. Consider this as your best travel guide to Palestine.

We always wanted to visit Palestine but were hesitant to go through Israel with a passport full of stamps from other Middle Eastern countries. However, after travelling through Egypt and wondering where to go next, we decided to  cross the Taba border from Egypt to Israel  and continue to Palestine. 

Since, at that time, we were travelling more than a year in a row, we couldn’t swap our passports. We had to use the ones with stamps from Lebanon, Syria, Iraq and other interesting countries, and that’s why we ended up being detained and questioned at the Taba border by Israeli officers for 5 hours. However, since you’re reading this Palestine travel guide, it is clear we successfully made it, so now it’s time to show you that Palestine is a land worth visiting.

WARNING! October 2023: The ongoing war between Israel and the Gaza Strip is currently taking place, and before you travel to the West Bank, it is necessary to seek the most updated information. The conflict does not hit West Bank, but high tension is expected.

WHY VISIT PALESTINE

Where there is a conflict, there might be hope and soon a solution. However, this is not the case in the long-lasting Israeli-Palestine conflict. To understand better the situation in Palestine, you need to get off the trail. You need to stay with people in refugee camps. Listen to their stories. Have coffee with strangers and talk. Listen. Only after that we realised how hopeless the situation in the occupied land of Palestine is. It is an emotionally draining, eye-opening journey that we recommend you embark on. 

We rate visiting Palestine high on our list of favourite countries, as it left a big impact on our hearts. And apart from the bad things happening there, Palestine deserves attention because of its rich history, delicious cousin, breathtaking monasteries and because of the people who are amongst the most hospitable people on earth.

We recommend you check our  stories on our Instagram Brokennavigation_  where we documented our journey through Palestine in detail.

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PRACTICAL INFORMATION

  • Religion:  Palestine is a Muslim country with a majority of Sunni Muslims. As in other countries of the Middle East, people are very welcoming and hospitable. They really want to talk about life in Palestine and are very happy to meet foreigners and invite you for tea. Even though I just said that the majority of people in Palestine are Sunni Muslims, Christianity here plays a significant role. Especially in Bethlehem and also in Ramallah and Jericho. Would you expect to find a local brewery here?
  • Language:  official language in Palestine is Arabic. We found it very pleasant to travel around Palestine as most people we met spoke at least basic English; therefore, it was very easy to communicate. 
  • Currency : The currency in Palestine is the Israeli Shekel. 1$ = 3.58 ILS.
  • Visa: You don’t need a visa to visit Palestine; however, you must show your passport and the Israeli immigration slip you got once you entered Israel.

Interested in the Middle East? Read our guides from Syria, Iraq, Lebanon and more.

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SAFETY AND SITUATION IN PALESTINE

Israel has occupied Palestine since 1967, and the situation is only getting worse with Israel building more and more Jewish settlements in Palestinian territory. Basically, Palestinians have no way to fight back because as soon as they try, the Israeli army attacks back with much more power. Does this fact affect your travel? Yes and no. Yes, because the land is very sensitive, and riots are happening on a daily basis, especially if you decide to  stay in a refugee camp  with local families. All the army attacks on Palestinian people occur at night and early in the morning. Therefore, try to avoid being outside at that time.

During our time in Palestine, we were informed by local people that there is daily shooting in refugee camps and dangerous situations for Palestinians happening. We personally did not see anything dangerous, and we did not go out at night & very early morning. We felt very safe and welcomed.

Palestine territory is divided into the West Bank and Gaza Strip. Gaza Strip is absolutely off-limits to tourists; therefore, all travel guides we wrote about Palestine refer solely to the West Bank territory.

Essential reading: Is it safe to visit Palestine? Our experience. (Coming soon)

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Israel also limits the water supply for Palestine since the reservoir is on Israeli territory. They open the water for Palestinians only two days per month. That’s why you will see many water tanks on the rooftops of houses. Because they have to collect rainwater and in those two days when they have the water they collect as much as possible.

Electricity & Internet works well everywhere we have been in Palestine. Use VPN for accessibility to certain sites.

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SNIPERS AT BUS STOPS

When travelling in Palestine, get used to seeing snipers behind the barriers, either made of sandbags or bulletproof glass. They are usually located close to where the Israeli settlers live, next to the bus stations. They point their huge gun directly at incoming cars. Sitting in a car and seeing the soldier pointing a gun at you is a super weird feeling. They are protecting the settlers from potential attacks from Palestinians. Notice the huge red signs close to the Jewish settlements that state: ,,This road leads to Area A Under the Palestinian Authority. The entrance for Israeli citizens is forbidden, dangerous to your lives and against Israeli law” . So even if Israelis would like to go and see Palestine themselves. They can not, as they are told it is dangerous for their lives.

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Travel Insurance for palestine

Have proper travel insurance for Palestine covering various activities such as IATI Insurance does. They have fantastic customer service and provide different kinds of insurance packages. As a reader of Broken Navigation, you get an exclusive 5% discount.

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Get your exclusive 5% discount for your travel insurance with IATI here.

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CHECKPOINTS

Going through checkpoints is very easy for foreigners. Basically, in most checkpoints between Israel and Palestine, when going in the direction of Palestine, you just freely walk through without any special check. If you want to go from Palestine to Israel, that’s a different story, though. 

Overall, there are more than 100 checkpoints across Palestine and roadblocks to separate new roads, which only Israeli cars can use, from the old and not repaired roads only for Palestinian cars. You will also see the separation wall in Bethlehem, that most likely will leave you emotional with all the powerful graffiti on it. Palestinians say it is to segregate them from the rest of Israel and limit their free movement. Israel claims it is for the safety and preventing the terrorist attack. Come and see yourself. We travelled around Palestine independently to see with our own eyes what was happening. We talked with people to learn their points of view.

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CHECKPOINT 300 – JERUSALEM TO BETHLEHEM

The first checkpoint we crossed was between Jerusalem into Bethlehem. Checkpoint 300. Located South of Jerusalem by the entrance to Rachel’s tomb. This checkpoint is used for Palestinians who are permitted to cross into Jerusalem. If going in the direction from Jerusalem to Bethlehem, it is very easy. You go through the concrete tunnel with multiple one-way gates. There are no officers to check anything as you are going into Palestine, and no one care. If you go in the opposite direction, then officers will check your documents. And for Palestinians, they check their permit. From what we heard, frequent harassment towards Palestinians is happening on these borders. They let them wait for hours.

After we got out into Palestine, there were many taxi drivers. Some of them immediately started chatting with us. Even though they are not used to many tourists coming independently through this checkpoint, they tried to rip us off by asking for crazy amounts of money. That surprised us a bit. Don’t get me wrong. Palestinians are lovely and hospitable people; however, but as elsewhere, be careful about the taxi drivers as they will try to rip you off in many places in Palestine. You don’t need a taxi if you want to explore the separation wall and reach The Walled Off Hotel. You can easily walk as it is an easy 800 m walk from Checkpoint 300. This checkpoint is open 24/7.

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JALAMEK/ EMEK HAROD CHECKPOINT – JENIN TO NAZARETH

Another checkpoint in Palestine we crossed was Jalamek Checkpoint from Jenin to Nazareth. We used this checkpoint on our last day in Palestine to cross into Israel (Nazareth). I have to say; the Jalamek checkpoint was the worst border crossing / Checkpoint we have ever experienced. The way Israeli officers act here is unthinkable. They are rude, humiliate people and make you feel like nothing. Here, the checkpoint is open only at certain times. We arrived here at 2pm, and it was closed. We and other Palestinians waited an hour, and at 3pm, they finally opened the gate. Be careful; it is open only for some time and then closed again. The best way to find out is to ask locals. We were told the checkpoint is open from 2pm, but as you see, they did not open till 3pm. Then the queue was already quite long; we were between the first ones who got through the gate. We recommend you have your bag carefully packed and prepared and have documents handy. As soon as the gate opens, people start rushing and pushing you from behind. Everything goes very fast and hectic. First, you have to send your luggage through the x-ray check, your jacket as well, belt etc. It is a similar procedure to the security check at the airport. We did not expect that. And there was very little space, people were rushing, and we had to pick up our bags quickly & forgot our bag with food there as it was super hectic. Then we continued through the designated path until we reached the officer in a stall behind bulletproof glass. From the second floor, there was an officer with a gun pointing at people. Super weird situation. They checked our passports and took them.

We were asked to go aside, and after a few minutes, the officer & armed guard came to question us. What we did in Jenin was their biggest concern. We said we did not go to Jenin but to Nablus. This was partially true as we slept in Nablus and Jenin we visited when we went through on the way to the border. Why do you go to Israel? What you’re going to do? We showed our itinerary for Israel, explained we were travellers, and they let us go through after a few minutes. Overall, this checkpoint with waiting for opening took 2 hours. Even though the experience here was awful, I recommend anyone to cross this border to see with their own eyes how the officers act towards others. 

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CHECKPOINTS IN HEBRON

When visiting Hebron, you will go through multiple checkpoints. Hebron is divided into two areas known as Area H1, which is under the control of Palestinians and Area H2, which is Israeli controlled area. Both crossings are in the Middle of the city. The tension between those two areas is huge as the checkpoints separate the Al-Ibrahimi Mosque (Holy site for Muslims) from the Cave of Patriarchs (holy site for Jews). One building. Two checkpoints. 

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CHECKPOINT TO AL IBRAHIMI MOSQUE

Basically, to enter the Al Ibrahimi Mosque, you go through 2 checkpoints. In both of them, they ask where you are from, why you are here and if you have any weapon. The officers let people go through a one-way gate only one by one. So when the light is green, you can go. Otherwise, you wait in a queue. 

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CHECKPOINT TO CAVE OF PATRIARCH

To enter the Cave of Patriarch, you return to the main street (in front of the first checkpoint you crossed) and make your way toward the checkpoint that leads into the Cave of Patriarchs. Here you have to answer the same questions, and you also will be asked about your religion. We said we are Christians. Entry for Muslims is forbidden here.

CHECKPOINTS IN H2 AREA – ISRAELI TERRITORY

After visiting the synagogue, we walked around the area H2, which is under Israeli control. It is basically a dead city with a huge military presence. No Palestinians can set foot on those streets. There were multiple barriers with soldiers who always stopped us, asking what we were doing there, where we were from and where we were going. They checked our passports, made a few phone calls – I guess to the soldiers on the other barrier and let us go. When we wanted to go and visit  the archeological site up the hill,  the Israeli soldiers told us that area was not safe for us to go alone and would not let us go through without an armed escort. We accepted. Otherwise, we would have to return to area H1, where we had a hotel. After visiting the site, we crossed another checkpoint that brought us back to the H1 area.

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WHEN TO VISIT PALESTINE

When is the best time to visit Palestine? Avoid the summer in Palestine if possible, as the temperatures get way too hot. We visited Palestine in January, and it was a perfect time as we still managed to see a lot of Christmas decorations, and it was not too cold. In Jericho was the warmest weather from the whole trip.

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THE BEST TOURS TO PALESTINE

Independent travelling in Palestine is not a big thing. To be more precise, we barely met any travellers during our travels, and the first hint that Palestine’s destination is not among the most typical is the fact there only exist a few up-to-date travel guides. 

In our eyes, it is very easy to get around independently, and obviously, that way, you experience a whole different point of view than if you take a tour. On the other hand, I understand that many people maybe don’t want to travel alone or want a guide to listen to their opinions on the situation. There are many tours you can take comfortably from Jerusalem. If that’s what interests you, base yourself in  Abraham hostel  in Jerusalem and check our top tour picks:

HOW TO GET TO PALESTINE

There is no international airport in Palestine; no matter what direction you’re coming from, you must go through Israel.

To get to Israel, you can  cross overland borders  from Jordan, or like we did  from Egypt.  However, the most common way to reach Israel is by flight and airports in Tel Aviv or Eilat have frequent flights from Europe with the low-cost airline Wizzair, and you can find flights for as little as $25.

Find cheap flights to Israel here.

Border Crossing Report: How to cross the Taba Border between Egypt and Israel.

HOW TO GET AROUND PALESTINE

Getting around Palestine is very easy as the shared taxi system works very well. Don’t bother using Google Maps, as it always shows you a non-sense, much longer way. Instead, use Maps.me app that shows the correct way. Travelling around Palestine by shared taxis or buses is easy, convenient and safe.

SHARED TAXIS & PRICES OF TRANSPORT

Here you can see the summary of buses & shared taxis we used in Palestine and how much they cost. Bear in mind, when travelling around Palestine, to start your day early as there is much more traffic going to places and also coming back from sights is much easier in the early afternoon rather than in the evening as there are lower chances of catching the shared taxi or you will wait a long time for them to fill up. Usually, the shared taxis run till 6pm, but make sure you ask drivers or locals before. In our experience, we woke up every day early and started exploring no later than 8-9am. We never had any problems with waiting for shared taxis to fill up. It usually took up to 10 minutes only.

  • Jerusalem – Bethlehem:  bus #234 to Checkpoint 300 5.5 ILS ($1.5)
  • Bethlehem – Mar Saba:  Shared taxi to Ubediya 5 ILS ($1.4)
  • Shared taxi in Bethlehem:  From the centre to Dheisha refugee camp 3 ILS ($0.8)
  • Bethlehem – Hebron:  Shared taxi from Dheisha refugee camp 10 ILS ($2.8)
  • Hebron – Jericho:  Direct shared taxi 30 ILS ($8.3) or Shared taxi to Al Azariyah 20 ILS ($5.6) and change to shared taxi to Jericho 10 ILS ($2.8)
  • Shared taxis in Jericho:  From the centre to Hisham Palace 10 ILS ($2.8) to Mount Temptation 20 ILS ($5.6), to St. George Monastery 15 ILS ($4.2)
  • Jericho – Ramallah:  Shared taxi 18 ILS ($5)
  • Ramallah – Nablus:  Shared taxi 17 ILS ($4.8)
  • Nablus – Jenin:  Shared taxi 16 ILS ($4.5)
  • Jenin – Emek Harod Checkpoint / Jamaleh:  Shared taxi 4 ILS ($1.1)

You can expect to spend a total of around 180 ILS ($50) for transportation in Palestine.

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DO YOU HAVE A TROUBLE STAMP ON YOUR PASSPORT?

When we travelled to Palestine, we had two passports with us, and the one we used had stamps from Syria and Iraq and multiple stamps from Lebanon and other Muslim countries. We decided to cross the overland Taba border between Egypt and Israel with that passport as we thought it might be even more suspicious if we used the clean ,,backup” passport, and they found the other one with stamps from those countries. We have been detained and questioned for 5 hours, including a body search and a very detailed bag search. After 5 hours, we successfully made it to Israel. You can read a full report on  crossing the Taba border into Israel here.

After we made it to Israel, we no longer had any issues, even though multiple officers in both Israel and Palestine checked our passports.

The currency in Palestine is the Israeli Shekel. $1 = 3.58 ILS. Regarding ATMs money withdrawal, you don’t have to worry about anything as ATMs are widely spread and easy to find. We withdraw money in Palestine many times and never faced any issues. However, there is always a transaction fee of around 11 ILS ($3). In the Bank of Palestine, the withdrawal fee was even 40 ILS, so don’t even bother. We usually used the ATM of the Arab Bank . We used cash everywhere in Palestine; they are not used to card payments. But it is possible in some places.

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INTERNET & SIM CARD

The Internet in Palestine is very good. In every accommodation we stayed wifi was very fast and reliable. Regarding Sim cards, you have two options. Either buy it in Palestine or Israel. SIM cards in Palestine are cheaper. However, their coverage is not great, and it’s only 2G, sometimes 3G. We recommend getting a SIM card in Israel. We bought ours in Jerusalem. It is not the cheapest, but it worked well in most places. However, we had some outages in Bethlehem and Hebron. Anyway, from what we heard from others, Pelephone is still the best option for Palestine. To access some sites, you will need a VPN. We paid 100 ILS ($28) for a Pelephone SIM card with 100 GB, unlimited use of apps such as Instagram and Facebook, and they provide 5G. Even Palestinians use Israeli sim cards. Don’t buy a sim card at the airport; they are overpriced.

VPN FOR PALESTINE

To access many sites in Palestine, it is necessary to use a reliable VPN app . Don’t use the free VPN apps, as they are unreliable, and there is always a safety risk as they can steal your data. We always use NordVPN everywhere we travel. They have excellent services and very fast support, which is important when you need to access the internet quickly. In some countries we visited, VPN can be blocked, but after we contacted the helpdesk of NordVPN, they quickly navigated us how to connect. Check the link below for the discount option – sometimes you can get up to 65% discount for a 2-year plan.

Check the best prices for NordVPN here.

PRICES IN PALESTINE

  • Entrance fees: usually around 5-10 ILS ($1.4 – 2.8)
  • Accommodation: $17-$35 for both of us per night
  • Transportation: For 11 days in Palestine and using Shared taxis, we spent around $50 per person; you can see more details in How to get around Palestine section.
  • Falafel sandwich: 5 ILS ($1.4)
  • Ice cream: 5 ILS ($1.4)
  • Palestinian Pizza: 7-10 ILS ($2-2.8)

In 11 days in Palestine, we spend around $750 for both of us ($375 per person) , so I’d say Palestine is a very affordable destination. In that budget, I don’t count the flight ticket from Tel Aviv to Europe, which costs an additional $50 per person. 

WHERE TO STAY IN PALESTINE

You can find accommodation on Booking.com and also Airbnb. However, during our visit, the hotels started to disappear from Booking.com due to some new laws and hotel owners told us that the issue is they can not receive money through booking into their bank account due to them being from Palestine. Just another example of unfair play Palestinians have to go through. Anyway, you can also try to contact the hotels directly by searching their number through Google. The majority of people use WhatsApp, and Couchsurfing is also popular. We got in touch with a few incredible people who have been willing to show us around. The sleepover never worked, though, but at least for meeting local friends, it is incredible. See below all the accommodations we used in Palestine. We describe each accommodation in greater detail in our 11 days itinerary below.

The following prices are per night for two people:

  • Jerusalem I Abraham hostel ($52, dorms)
  • Bethlehem I Staying with Ibrahim’s family in Dheisha Refugee Camp ($33)
  • Hebron I Friends Hostel Area B ($32)
  • Ramallah I Eco Hostel Ramallah ($40, dorms)
  • Jericho I Aqabat Jabr Refugee Camp Sami hostel ($33)
  • Nablus I Turquoise Guest House ($36, dorms)
  • Jenin I Jenin Creative Cultural Center ($55)

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STAYING IN REFUGEE CAMPS

If you truly want to understand Palestine, there is no better way than staying overnight in one of many refugee camps in Palestine. We absolutely loved staying with locals in camps, listening to their stories, and seeing the reality with our own eyes. Read our detailed travel guide on how and where you can stay in refugee camps in Palestine and how to book it, including contacts and exact locations in Bethlehem, Hebron and Jericho.

Read more: How to stay in Refugee Camps in Palestine & Things to know.

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QUICK SUMMARY OF OUR 11 DAYS ITINERARY: 

  • DAY 1 JERUSALEM (1 NIGHT)
  • DAY 2 – 3 BETHLEHEM (2 NIGHTS) – Checkpoint 300 to get in West Bank
  • DAY 4 – 5 HEBRON (2 NIGHTS)
  • DAY 6 RAMALLAH (1 NIGHT)
  • DAY 7 – 8 JERICHO (2 NIGHTS)
  • DAY 9 – 10 NABLUS (2 NIGHTS)
  • DAY 11 JENIN – Emek Harod Checkpoint to get out West Bank

Map of the 11-day itinerary for Palestine

11 DAYS ITINERARY FOR PALESTINE

Day 1: jerusalem.

The first minute we stepped out from a bus in Jerusalem, we found ourselves immersed in a culture we haven’t seen before. We felt like we showed up in an old movie with all the fashion people in Jerusalem wear. Jerusalem is today part of Israel. However, East Jerusalem is inhabited by Palestinians.

Not every day you see a city that welcomes more religions, and Jerusalem is the holy place, sacred for Jews, Muslims and Christians. 

Essential reading: How to visit top places in Jerusalem in one day.

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BEST THINGS TO SEE IN JERUSALEM

Temple mount/ al haram ash sharif.

The biggest landmark in Jerusalem, especially the  Dome of the Rock , is the most holy and famous site. There are nine gates for Muslims to enter; however, as a non-muslim, you can only enter through the Gate of Moors (Bab Al Maghrib). It is recommended to line up early, as many tours are coming and you should expect huge queues. When we visited in January, there was a small queue, and it took just 10 minutes to get inside. You will go through the security check and then follow the wooden bridge that gives you a perfect view of the Western Wall.

The Dome of the Rock is where you find the foundation stone Jews believe is the centre of the earth. For Muslims, it is a place where Mohammed made his ascent. Non-muslims can’t enter the Dome of the Rock or Al Aqsa Mosque. But even from outside, we had a great time wandering around its plaza and admiring the architecture, which is simply stunning. 

  • Sites inside Temple Mount Areal:  Dome of the Rock, Al Aqsa Mosque, Dome of the Chain, Sabil of Qaitbay, Scales of Souls, Bab Al Qattanin
  • Opening hours for Temple Mount for non-muslims:  7 – 10:30am and 12:30 – 1:30 pm in winter and 7 – 11am and 1:30 – 2:30 pm in summer. Fridays and Saturdays are closed.
  • Entrance fee:  Free
  • Security:  They take security seriously in Temple Mount, and they will thoroughly search your bag while entering by the Gate of Moors. The military presence here is huge.

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Western Wall

Western Wall is the holiest site in the world where Jews pray by the wall. We already mentioned above you get a perfect view of the Western Wall from above when walking on the wooden bridge when visiting Mount Temple. Stop there for a few minutes and just watch how Jews pray here. Western Wall is open 24 hours a day, but it makes the most sense if you come here after visiting Mount Temple as it is very close. 

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Church of the Holy Sepulchre

After seeing the holiest site for Jews, it’s time to move to the Christian Quarter, where the main pilgrimage site for Christians, the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, is to be found. Christians come and pray here by the empty tomb of Jesus. It is the place where Jesus was crucified. You find here the Stone of Unction, which is apparently where Jesus’ body was laid and prepared for burial. 

  • Opening hours of Church of the Holy Sepulchre:  5am – 8pm from April to September and 5am – 7pm from October to March.
  • Entrance fee:  Free

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Via Dolorosa

Via Dolorosa is the holy walk through the Jerusalems’ holiest sites. It takes roughly one hour to walk this 600m paths; that is the one believed that Jesus took carrying the cross. We took a whole walk and did not expect such a spiritual experience. Having a map from Lonely Planet and reading the description of places as you go is worth it. The walk starts by St. Stephen (Lion’s) Gate, and it ends at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre.

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Mount of Olives

To end the day and watch the sunset with an unbeatable view over Jerusalem, head to the top of the Mount of Olives. We decided to walk from the old city, but you can also take bus number #83, which runs between Jaffa Gate and the top of the Mount of Olives. The viewpoint lies over the slopes of the cemetery where more than 150 000 Jews are buried. It is worth it to come here for epic views of Jerusalem with the shining golden Dome of the Rock.

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Mahane Yehuda Market

We enjoyed strolling through this vibrant market after sunset. You can expect many halva, bakeries, cool food stalls and eateries. If you want to buy some locally grown products such as dates, oils and much more, this is the place to be. This market stood here since the Ottoman period and is located on Yehuda St., which is an open market, especially for veggies and butchers, and Etz Chayim St., where all the eateries, bakeries and halva makers are. We ended our day in Jerusalem here. 

  • Opening hours for Mahane Yehuda Market: 8am – 7pm and 9am – 3pm on Fridays.

We managed to  visit all these top sites in Jerusalem  during a 1-day visit. We started exploring early in the morning, and we had plenty of time to see most places. However, you can easily spend more days here as there are many historical and religious sites to visit.

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HOT TO GET AROUND JERUSALEM

Use Rav Kav Card and travel with trams and buses all around Jerusalem. You find the correct timetables in Moovit App. However, if you base yourself in the old town or close, you can basically visit all places by just walking around.

HOW TO GET TO JERUSALEM FROM EILAT

In Eilat, we took bus #444, which goes from Eilat Central Station. We got our tickets for 63 ILS and waited for an hour for the next bus as it was Shabbat, and the bus went every hour from 3pm. The bus wasn’t full, so I believe it was enough to get the bus ticket on the spot. We also bought here the Rav Kav card for public transport in Israel.

WHERE TO STAY IN JERUSALEM

The budget I Abraham Hostel – we highly recommend you stay here, as Jerusalem is pretty expensive, but staying in Abraham Hostel gives you a lot of advantages. They serve a huge, healthy local breakfast buffet that will make you full for most of the day. And if you pay for your stay in advance, you also get a free ticket for a beer in their bar. It is also located close to the centre, with a tram station right in front of them. It is one of the best hostels we have ever stayed in.

DAY 2-3: BETHLEHEM

Bethlehem is a synonym for religious travel in West Bank. Many pilgrims come to see the main sight, which is the Church of the Nativity. Many tours are coming here, but is there more to see from Bethlehem? Oh, yes, but you have to go behind the tourist trail. Many tourists come with a guide as they’re worried about crossing the checkpoints independently into Palestine. What a shame because the true understanding of what is happening in Palestine does not lie in the Church of the Nativity. But far behind the line when you experience  staying with a local family in the Dheisha refugee camp  in Bethlehem. Read our recommendation of places that you can visit in two days in Bethlehem.

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BEST THINGS TO SEE IN BETHLEHEM

Israeli separation wall.

As soon as you cross Checkpoint 300 to Palestine, you will see the huge separation wall that is known as Israeli Separation Wall. It is a concrete wall up to 8m high that separates Israel from West Bank. The first feeling of this wall is pretty depressing. Follow the path along the wall and walk towards Walled Off Hotel. It is where you will see the most powerful graffiti. Basically, the whole wall is covered with graffiti, and each of them has a powerful message. Take your time to read it, to carefully watch all the art that helps Palestinians express how they feel. Truly powerful. Before we turned to the street that led to the Walled Off Hotel, there was a petrol station where we left our backpacks. The friend of Ibrahim, our host in Bethlehem, arranged it for us so we didn’t have to carry it the whole day before he picked us up later in the evening. Take your time and make a loop from Checkpoint 300. Go straight until the turn left that takes you to the Walled Off Hotel. Then turn left again, follow the wall until you can turn left, and follow the path down the hill, check the graffitis along the way. This loop is the most common to walk, as you will see most graffiti on the wall.

From the point of Israel, they built this wall for the safety of Israelis as frequent bomb attacks were taking place in the past, killing many Israelis. From the Palestinian point of view, this wall is to separate Palestinians, humiliate them, control their movement and show who has the power.

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Walled-off Hotel + museum

If there is only one place you should see in Bethlehem, you need to visit the museum inside the Walled Off Hotel. Hands down, this museum was the best we have ever seen, as it’s a good start to understanding the problem between Israel and Palestine. 

You can’t take photos inside the museum. But there was (not only) one powerful moment when you walk through the museum and suddenly the phone rings. I came closer and saw the sign: ,,Please, answer the phone” . When I answered the phone, I heard: ,,This is Israeli Defence Forces; you have 5 minutes to leave your house until we blow it away” . I felt sick in my stomach. Is this the life people face here?

Besides the museum, the hotel is stylish inside, with a piano bar, interesting decorations, and occasional live music on Saturdays. If you don’t want to spend the night in a refugee camp, you can stay here. Who would not like to stay in a hotel that claims to have the worst view in the world?

  • Opening times of the museum: 11am – 7:30pm
  • Entry fee: 20 ILS ($5.5)

Want to stay in the Walled-Off Hotel?  Book it here .

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Church of the Nativity

The most important religious site in Bethlehem. This Church is believed to be built on the spot where Jesus was born. To enter the Church, you must bow your head through the tiny Door of Humility built in the Ottoman Era. Once you admire the detailed decoration in the main hall, descend the stairs into the Grotto of the Nativity. It is the place where Jesus was born. When we visited, we even saw a priest walking around the Church. However, expect lots of people to visit this site.

  • Opening Hours:  6:30am to 7:30 pm and 6:30am to 6pm in winter.

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St. Catherine Church

Right next to the Church of the Nativity, there is St. Catherine Church. Visit the underground praying hall and the outside little garden. We liked this Church; very peaceful and atmospheric.

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Milk Grotto Chapel

Visitors often overlook this Chapel, but once in the centre, it is just a short walk to visit this beautiful place. It is believed that it is where Mary and Joseph fed their baby, and after the milk dropped on the floor, it turned the red rock into white. 

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Green Market

The main souq in Bethlehem, you can visit after the Church as it is right in the centre. Here, you will meet very friendly people, have a chat with them, buy some fresh fruit or a small snack and absorb the atmosphere. 

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Refugee camps in Bethlehem

Another must and very important thing to experience not only in Bethlehem but the whole of Palestine is to visit refugee camps. There are two camps in Bethlehem. Dheisha and Aida. We visited both independently and spent a night in Dheisha with Ibrahim’s family. It was an unforgettable experience; you got to learn so much and hear the stories that you would never hear in media. 

We visited the Aida refugee camp on our second day after we returned from Mar Saba Monastery. We walked through the camp, took some photos and did not experience any issues. People there are very friendly and welcoming, happy to see foreigners coming on their own. Right by the entrance, we were invited into the Car Mechanic shop because as soon as they saw us, they almost yelled with excitement. It was such a warm welcome; we had a nice conversation with a cup of coffee. 

Essential reading: How to spend a night in a refugee camp in Palestine.

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Mar Saba Monastery (Half-day trip)

Mar Saba is a dramatic cliff-clinging monastery half an hour from Bethlehem. It is our favourite place we visited as the monastery, and the surroundings are breathtaking. Women are not permitted inside, but let’s make it clear. It is the outside look over the monastery from the opposite slope that is the main goal of this trip. Men can enter inside and take a tour with one of the monks. When we visited in January, it was open between 9am to 2pm. Once you arrive at the monastery, follow the stairs and trail that leads down the valley. Once there, cross the small bridge over the river and follow the trail that takes you all the way up the slope opposite the monastery. From there, find a spot and the best viewpoints to view the Mar Saba Monastery. When we visited, we were the only ones who hiked on the opposite slope, but surely it is worth it; otherwise, you miss out on the main beauty. It takes only half an hour to get to the other side of the slope. Ensure you have water with you; it is quite warm when the sun shines. On both sides, there is a stall where two brothers sell some small snacks, tea, coffee and water.

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How to get to Mar Saba from Betlehem

Take a shared taxi (yellow minivan) from the central bus station located in the basement of the Bethlehem city mall, where KFC is. You’ll see a lot of yellow minivans waiting there. Search for one that goes to Ubediya. Be aware that some taxi drivers might want to cheat you; they told us that it is dangerous to go alone and that we should go with them, a private taxi for 150 – 200 ILS. We did our research and talked with locals, and we found it very safe and cheap to go independently. Shared taxi costs 5 ILS ($1.4), and the ride takes around 30 minutes, it is 12 km. The shared taxi stop is at the end of the village, by the brown sign pointing the way to Mar Saba. 

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From there, hike down the hill on the road, 4.5 km, until you reach the monastery. In the middle of the way, there is a nice viewpoint. Many taxis and buses with tourists or locals go there every day. You can also hitchhike. We were hiking, and after just a few metres from the shared taxi stop, a taxi with a French tourist stopped and offered us a lift to the monastery for free and we gladly accepted. We stopped at the viewpoint on the way down. 

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To go back, it’s the same process. Ask someone to take you up the hill, where the shared taxi dropped you. Or hike, but note this part is only uphill four and a half km. It will take around one and a half hours to hike, and it is a safe area. There is a local guy selling tea & snacks, and he offered to take us uphill for 19 ILS ($5.3). Since there were no more cars at the monastery when we finished exploring, we accepted his offer, as simply it was a faster and easier solution than hiking 4.5 km uphill. After 10 minutes ride, we arrived exactly when the shared taxi arrived, and we made our way back to Bethlehem from the same spot where they had dropped us off earlier (5 ILS). 

Is it safe to go alone?  Yes. We felt perfectly safe and comfortable. You basically just walk down the hill from Ubediya town; you have almost all the way the monastery in sight. There is traffic daily, either tour buses, many taxis and local people coming. Chances are that someone will offer you a lift, or if you feel like you can ask them & hitchhike.

  • Opening times:  9am – 2pm
  • Entry fee:  Free 
  • Total time  from leaving Bethlehem and being back to Bethlehem: 3 hours (9-noon)

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HOW TO GET TO BETHLEHEM

From Jerusalem, we took bus #234 (5.5 ILS, 30 minutes) from HaNevi’im Terminal from Damascus Gate, which takes you to Checkpoint 300, which we crossed on foot. There is no control if you’re crossing in the direction from Jerusalem to Bethlehem, so it is very fast and easy to get into Palestine. 

Another option is to take bus #231, which actually crosses into Bethlehem, but it takes 1 hour, and we felt like it is better to experience and cross Checkpoint 300 ourselves.

TIP:  As soon as you get to Israel, get a Rav-Kav card for public transport. You can top it up in kiosks or online through the Rav-Kav Online app and then use it for buses in Jerusalem.

HOW TO GET AROUND BETHLEHEM

Taxi or shared taxi is the common way of transportation, and it is quite cheap. Yellow taxi with black sides is a shared taxi , and you can expect to pay 3 ILS for the ride in the city or to Dheisha and Aida refugee camps. If the taxi is only yellow, it means it is private, and the charge will be higher. You can expect to pay around 15 – 20 ILS for a private ride.

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WHERE TO EAT IN BETHLEHEM

Afteem restaurant .

This restaurant is located on the corner opposite the Church of the Nativity. They serve delicious Masabacha, which is a warm hummus with whole chickpeas. It was also our go-to restaurant for falafel sandwiches. Very tasty.

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Stars Bucks

Located across Manger Sq, this cafe serves delicious coffee and snacks. Not talking about its name. 

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Coffee stalls on the square

You will see some coffee stalls on the square in front of the Church of the Nativity. Getting coffee, sitting on the bench and enjoying the atmosphere is worth it. Coffee costs only 1 ILS ($ 0.3) you won’t find cheaper.

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WHERE TO STAY IN BETHLEHEM

Dheisha Refugee Camp I Stay with a family in Dheisha refugee camp.

Walled Off Hotel I Stay here for the worst view in the world. This hotel is located right next to the Israeli’s separation wall.

DAY 4-5: HEBRON

Despite the fact that Hebron is the most problematic city in Palestine, it is a rich cultural and handicraft centre, and it is one of the most interesting places to visit in Palestine. What is the problem in Hebron? The city is divided into two areas H1: the area under Palestinian control, and H2: the area under Israeli control. And as if this is not enough, Jewish settlements are built within the old city. The city is divided by many checkpoints, and Palestinians can not walk on certain streets. The tension in this city is high, to say at least. You won’t meet many independent travellers here; we met only two other independent travellers; others came with a tour. The best thing to see in Hebron is visiting the Mosque and Cave of the Patriarchs, a holy place for Muslims and Jews and inside, it is separated by bulletproof glass. 

Expect going through many checkpoints in Hebron, have your ID ready and be prepared for questions such as your nationality, why you are coming, and your religion. I already described it in the Checkpoints section.

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BEST THINGS TO SEE IN HEBRON

Area h1: palestine territory: market.

The main place to visit is the market that used to be bustling with life once upon a time. Today, some shops are open, but it is just a short part. The market has a fence from above to protect people from Jewish settlers who throw trash and worse at Palestinians. You can still see lots of garbage, church and different items thrown at people and stuck in the fence. 

Actually, the Friends hostel, where we stayed, is located inside this market and to get inside you go through one of the shops. You can buy clothes, fruit and vegetables in the market, especially lots of colourful pickled veggies and olives. Some art shops are open, and it was a pleasure to talk with some shop owners about the situation and their opinion about the future of Palestinians. You will see many barriers on sidewalks that Israelis have placed. 

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Tomb of the Patriarchs and Ibrahimi Mosque 

An important holy place for both Muslims and Jews who believe here is the final resting place of Ibrahim. One building. Two separate entrances. Two checkpoints from each side to enter. The security and amount of military is insane. This must be one of the most controlled places in Palestine. We entered both sides and seeing two completely opposite worlds was interesting. In the middle of the building is placed the tomb, which is protected with bulletproof glass, as you literally see from the mosque to the synagogue.

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Area H2: Israeli Territory

From the Ibrahimi mosque, you can continue your way to Area H2, which is hugely protected by the Israeli military. We walked through the deserted city, and in a 1 km walk, we were stopped at least six times. They checked our ID and then let us go. You can see lots of military presence here, and deserted streets with tens of shops closed down.

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Herbawi Kuffiya factory

Everybody knows the Palestinian scarf; this factory is the first Kuffiya factory in Palestine. The entry is free; you can see how the scarf is made. There is also a little shop where you can buy a scarf. We bought ours there.

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Glass Factory

Another souvenir we brought from Palestine is a Christmas decoration made in the Glass Factory. You can watch here how the glass is made, and there is a shop with hundreds of different glass products.

Sidr family

You can visit the Sidr family, one of many families living in the old town who was offered millions of $ to leave their house to make space for Jewish settlers. They refused. They welcome people from outside to come and talk about the situation. Read more in our separate  post about Hebron.

Essential reading: The ultimate guide to visiting Hebron. The troubled city in Palestine. (Coming soon)

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HOW TO GET TO HEBRON FROM BETHLEHEM

If you stayed with Ibrahim in the Dheisha Refugee camp in Bethlehem, just walk back to the main street and wait for the shared taxi van that goes directly to Hebron. It cost 10 ILS ($2.7); this is what we did. Otherwise, take a shared yellow and black taxi for 3 ILS, which takes you close to the Shepherd Hotel, which is the station for shared taxis. There, find the one that goes to Hebron.

HOW TO GET AROUND HEBRON

You can easily walk everywhere. Or catch a taxi. 

WHERE TO EAT IN HEBRON

Who would guess that Hebron is the ultimate foodie destination? Everywhere you go, there is delicious food. A falafel sandwich typically costs around 4 ILS. Try also Palestinian chocolate; many stores in Hebron sell many kinds of small chocolate.

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WHERE TO STAY IN HEBRON

Friends Hostel Area B I The best and most welcoming place to stay in Palestine. Akram really makes sure you feel well; his place is full of useful maps and recommendations on what to visit. He made sure he sat down for tea with us, let us ask as many questions about the situation in Hebron and Palestine as we wanted, and explained everything passionately. This hostel is located right in the centre so you can walk from here everywhere.

You can also stay in  the refugee camp at Hebron   Hope Guesthouse.

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DAY 6-7: JERICHO

Jericho is one of the world’s oldest continuously inhabited cities and the hottest area in Palestine. Jericho doesn’t have the old historical centre. Still, it is the monasteries carved into mountains, archaeological sights and close proximity to the Dead Sea that make it an attractive destination for foreign and local tourists. Two days are sufficient for the places below; if you want to visit the Dead Sea, you need to add one more day. On day 1, we started exploring late at 1pm by visiting Hisham’s Palace, Mount of Temptation and Jericho City Centre. On day 2, we hiked to St. George Monastery and explored the Jericho city and refugee camp where we stayed. I can not forget to mention the people of Jericho, who are amongst the friendliest we have met in Palestine. Many times we were invited for a coffee and friendly chat.

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BEST THINGS TO SEE IN JERICHO

Hisham palace  .

We arrived in Jericho around 1pm, and the first thing we visited was Hisham’s Palace. We took a taxi for 10 ILS from the city centre. But you can walk, it would take around 40 minutes. After you get inside the area, watch the 10 minutes documentary explaining the history of Hisham Palace. It is an Islamic ruin with one of the most well-preserved mosaics. Search for the Tree of Life, the most famous mosaic in the palace.

  • Opening times for Hisham Palace:  8am – 6pm
  • Entry fee:  10 ILS
  • Time:  45 minutes

How to get to Hishams palace

You can easily walk from the city centre to Hisham’s palace. It is roughly 3 km and 40 minutes on flat terrain through the city. Or take a taxi for 10 ILS ($2.7).

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Mount of Temptation (Deir al Krntl)

This Monastery is carved high in the mountain into the cliff, which is totally impressive. I’d say one of the most beautiful sights in Palestine. Unfortunately, when we came, it was closed. It means they lock the gate, and you can not get inside. However, you can still have a nice view from the area around you and take a small hike that takes you under the Monastery, where you can see a lot of caves and the Monastery from below. The Monastery is built on the spot where Jesus resisted Satan after 40 days of fasting. You get amazing views over the Dead Sea and the agricultural area of Jericho.

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How to get to Mount of Temptation

From Hisham’s Palace, it makes sense to head to the Mount of Temptation, as it’s in the same area, only 4.5 km away. It’s the Monastery carved into the rock on the opposite hill. We took a taxi for 15 ILS to reach the bottom of the Mount of Temptation. It takes 15 minutes to hike on the gravel path to reach the top. It’s a pretty easy short hike; you see the Monastery right above you all the time. If you go from the city centre, just take a taxi for the same price.

After we were done exploring, we hiked down the mountain back to the road and saw a shared taxi coming. We asked the driver if he went into the centre and he pointed that we can jump in. So we did. We showed him where we wanted to go – to the Jericho centre, and he dropped us off there for 3 ILS. Otherwise, you can walk back to the main road and catch any shared or private taxis passing by. 

Another option to reach the Mount of Temptation is to go by cable car, which costs 60 ILS. A big restaurant is on the top where the cable car stops, just a few metres from the entrance.

  • Opening times:  Mo, Tu, We, Th, Sat: 9-15:30, Sun: 10-15, Friday: Closed
  • Entry fee:  free

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St. George Monastery 

Another monastery carved into the cliff. You get a fantastic view from the upper viewpoint. Be prepared for many locals pushing you to take a donkey ride down to the Monastery. Apparently, beautiful paintings are inside the chapel, and you can see parts of the original mosaic floors.

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How to get to St. George Monastery from Jericho 

Reaching the Monastery is straightforward. From Jericho city centre, it’s 6 km to reach the Monastery. You should open Maps.me while reading this description, as it will be easier to understand. From the city centre (Mount 41 hostel), walk or take a taxi to Wadi Al Qelt hostel – it’s 2,5 km through the city and along the road. 

When we walked this way, after the roundabout towards the Wadi Al Qelt Hostel, the car with two friendly locals stopped and offered us a ride for free to the Monastery. Which was super nice, so you can also try to hitchhike; locals in Jericho are very friendly. 

Ok, if this won’t be your case, the way is following. There are two ways from Wadi Al Qelt Hostel. The first one is to follow the road for cars, which will take you to the Monastery. It’s a steep uphill road. This way, you turn up at the Monastery’s viewpoint (the most beautiful one). You can also take a taxi from Jericho centre to this viewpoint; when we asked around, the lowest price was 10 ILS per person. To reach the Monastery, you just walk from the viewpoint down the steep road; it takes maybe 10-15 minutes. 

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Second option: Little bit before Wadi Al Qelt hostel, there is a brown sign on your right that says ,,Herod’s Palace”. Turn right. After you cross the bridge, turn left and follow blue or red signs that will take you through the valley, through the beautiful scenery to the Monastery. It takes roughly 1 hour and 15 minutes through this hiking trail. The first part is uphill, and the rest is more or less flat. This way, you will appear directly by the Monastery. To get to the viewpoint, it’s a very steep hill. 

Therefore we recommend you go the other way around (like we did). Walk along the road for cars to get to the top viewpoint (or take a taxi), then check the viewpoint and hike down to the Monastery to explore. After you’re done, walk back to the city through the hiking trail. Btw, the hike through the valley was wonderful; we enjoyed the scenery very much and met many marmots. Bear in mind that this hike goes through the valley, and we were the only people on the trail. It’s a hiking trail, and only a few people actually do it. However, we enjoyed the views, and the valley was stunning. After the hike, we returned to the road close to Wadi Al Qelt hostel by the brown sign described above. From here, it is roughly 2,5km back to the centre. We took a taxi for 15 ILS.

  • Opening times of St. George Monastery:  9-13, but when we arrived at 12:20, they had already closed
  • Entry fee:  Free

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HOW TO GET TO JERICHO FROM HEBRON

Take a shared taxi from this location. You can also find shared taxis to Ramallah and other locations from here.

We took a direct shared taxi to Jericho for 30 ILS. The ride took 1 hour and a half. Be careful; some taxi drivers are very sneaky and wanted us to go to the wrong location just to get money from us. Luckily other taxi drivers teamed up and took us to the right car to Jericho. The second option is to take a shared taxi to Al-Eizariya (20 ILS) and change there for another shared taxi to Jericho (10 ILS). 

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HOW TO GET AROUND JERICHO

If you stay in Jericho refugee camp, like us, reaching the city centre is around 3 km. The good thing is a shared taxi stops in front of the Sami Hostel , where we stayed and for 3 ILS goes to Jericho centre. This shared taxi runs very often, so it is not a problem. Once in the centre, you can easily walk almost everywhere.

Prices of shared taxis in Jericho

  • Jericho Centre – Hisham Palace: 10 ILS
  • Jericho Centre – Mount Temptation: 20 ILS
  • Jericho Centre – St. George Monastery: 15 ILS

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WHERE TO EAT IN JERICHO 

Restaurants in the city centre (roundabout by Mount 41 hostel) are very overpriced and cheat customers by serving small portions. If you go a bit further away, you’ll find good local eateries.

Abu Feras restaurant  – our favourite place to go. Falafel or hummus 5 ILS. They also have shawarma, Palestinian food (rice, small dishes and chicken) and more. It’s across the Bank of Palestine in this location.

مخبزومعجناتالشام – if you want a change from all the typical Middle Eastern food, head to this bakery , as this bustling place serves the best pastries we had in a while. Pizzas, different kinds of filled pastries. Super yummy. Prices range from 3-10 ILS.

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WHERE TO STAY IN JERICHO 

Jericho has not many budget options. However, depending on your preferences and budget, you can easily find a place to stay. You can stay in the city centre or a refugee camp. We recommend you stay in the camps as they are a big part of Palestine, and everyone should experience the reality.

Budget I Sami hostel – the backpacker’s option in Jericho; this hostel is located in a refugee camp, that’s why we decided to stay there. The owner is friendly and helpful. It’s located 3 km away from the city centre however there are restaurants and stores right in front of the hostel. A shared taxi (3 ILS, 15 min) runs all the time between the centre and Sami, and they stop right in front of the hostel, which is super convenient. You can see life in the Palestinian camp, which was the first one built in Palestine. The area is safe to walk even after dark. You can book dorms online, but double rooms are available too, and the owner will most likely upgrade you. Also, it is a great option to talk to people about life in a refugee camp, the current situation and their opinions. A private double room costs 120 ILS ($33).

Want to stay in refugee camps in Palestine? Read our experience here.

Mid-Range I Mount 41 – if you don’t want to stay away from the centre, the best option is to stay in hostel Mount 41, which has the best central location in the city. However, there are only dorms. 

Mid-Range I Auberg-Inn Guesthouse – another popular option amongst travellers. It’s close to the Mount of Temptation, the rooms are big, and the place is clean. 

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DAY 8: RAMALLAH 

Honestly, Ramallah was a bit disappointing as we felt like not much was going on here. We enjoyed the Christmas decorations around the cosmopolitan city and the good Palestinian pizza in local bakeries. But also the famous local ice cream you can taste at Rukab’s Ice Cream.

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BEST THINGS TO SEE IN RAMALLAH

Yasser arafat museum.

As the name suggests, this museum is dedicated to the life of Yasser Arafat. In my opinion, the museum is made in quite a chaotic way, and if you’re not familiar with Yasser Arafat’s actions, it might be a bit confusing. A whole section in the museum shows the life of Yasser under the Israeli Siege during the years 2001 and 2004. The first thing you see when entering the area is the Mausoleum. However, these days, it is not guarded by soldiers anymore.

  • Opening times of Yasser Arafat Museum:  10am – 6pm
  • Entry fee:  5 ILS ($1.4)

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Taybeh Beer Brewery

We wanted to visit the beer brewery in Taybeh, so we went to parking lot where buses to Taybeh goes. We entered the bus and waited half an hour for the bus to fill up, but no one showed up. We used Google Translate, and the driver said it could sometimes take even a few hours. We searched for a shared taxi instead, which was right on the road next to this parking lot . We were the first ones in the taxi, another two ladies joined, and then we waited another half an hour, and no one showed up. We gave up as we thought getting back might be even more problematic.

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HOW TO GET TO RAMALLAH FROM JERICHO

Take a shared taxi that has a station in the centre opposite the Mount 41 hostel in Jericho. They charge 18 ILS. 

How to get around Ramallah or to other cities

Ramallah is very confusing with the shared taxis system as there are many stations from where the shared taxis or buses leave, The best is always to talk to local people, and they will show you where to go.

WHERE TO STAY IN RAMALLAH

Eco Hostel Ramallah is a place where travellers meet in Ramallah and also volunteer. The German guy checked us into the hostel earlier than check-in time, which we appreciated. We stayed in shared dorms for 75 ILS ($20) per person, which is quite a lot in our opinion; it was the most expensive accommodation we had in Palestine. The place is very clean; you can use the kitchen, fast Wi-Fi, free water and a coffee & tea station.

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DAY 9-10: NABLUS

Nablus surprised us with its beautiful atmosphere and old city, where we felt like being back in  Tripoli in Lebanon . It is a conservative and authentic city that does not attract many foreigners. At the time of our visit, a new terrorist group was forming with the aim of fighting the Israeli forces. The area from Nablus towards the north is quite sensitive, and during our stay, we were informed by our hotel not to go outside after sunset. The whole old city and market shut down before 5pm, which is when we should go back to the hotel. One evening, around 5pm, we were already chilling when we heard gunshots right in front of our window. Hundreds of people of this Nablus group with guns went into the streets and shot into the air. That day, we saw a small boy holding a huge gun and casually walking around the market. Even though it sounds dangerous place to be, this group aim to protect Palestinians, and you, as a tourist, have nothing to fear about. However, if the bullets are in the air, they must also go down; so it is better to be inside your hostel in the evenings.

That night, there were big riots close to Jacob’s Tomb as Jews, and the Israeli army, which protected them, came to pray at this holy site. There was shooting, fire on the streets and fights until late that night. In the hostel, we met US journalists who were preparing to go there to film and make a report on this.

People in Nablus are suspicious of foreigners at first, so they checked on us many times, asking where we are from, if we are journalists, and why we came. After we explained we were just tourists, they relaxed and were very nice to us. Actually, Nablus is a place where we would like to return one day.

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BEST THINGS TO SEE IN NABLUS

Traditional souq.

This souq had many shops with traditional products and crafts, where the recipe is passed from generation to generation: Halva, sweets, honey. There is even a store with a crocodile and snake skin that the owner brought from India. The whole market and old city are covered with posters and flags of the activist group, showing martyrs killed in fights with Israel.

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The old city and watch tower

The old city has an authentic vibe, narrow streets and charismatic stone houses. Come to the square with the watch tower, have a coffee from one of the stalls and enjoy the place. It has identical Ottoman Era architecture as we saw when we visited Damascus during our trip to Syria.

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Try the best Kunafeh in Palestine in Al Aqsa Kunafeh , the famous Kunafeh place in Palestine. Their Kunafeh tastes like heaven, and there is no wonder why this place is bustling with locals every day. You can also see the whole process of making kunafeh which is a cool experience. 

The next sweet thing you must try is Tamriyah , a fried pastry filled with semolina pudding that costs only 1 ILS. Zalabye Pumpkin is to die for. It is something like a crepe filled with sweet pumpkin filling and then fried. It costs 7 ILS and is totally delicious. Halva . Oh, halva. We visited two traditional places where they make halva, the owners took us inside, showed us around, and gave us a taste of their delicious halva, and we bought a few boxes to bring back home with us. The food in Nablus is fresh and so good.

You can get local Palestinian food, falafel sandwiches or hummus in many places. We didn’t make a mistake in any of the eateries we visited in the old town.

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Soap factory 

There are numerous soap factories in Nablus. Visit one, check out the colourful soaps and lovely smell and learn about the soap-making process.

As you can guess, Nablus is our favourite city in Palestine, and that’s why we dedicated a whole separate post about Nablus and the best things to do and eat there, but you can also read about the safety situation. 

Read more in our post: How to visit Nablus, Palestine, in 2023 & Is it safe? (Coming soon)

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HOW TO GET TO NABLUS FROM RAMALLAH

We asked the local man where the shared taxi have a station, and luckily he took us to the building, where we took a lift and after we saw the place where many share taxis stand. We paid 17 ILS. The location of the multi-floor building from where the shared taxis leave is here .

HOW TO GET AROUND NABLUS

Stay in the centre of Nablus, and you can easily walk everywhere. If you want to go further, take a taxi for 5-10 ILS.

WHERE TO STAY IN NABLUS

Turquoise Guest House I without a doubt, is the best place to stay in Nablus and maybe the whole of Palestine. It is right in the old town, located on the second floor of the stone house. There are some private rooms and also separate dorms for men and women; that’s where we stayed. We met interesting people here, travellers and volunteers who helped at Turquoise Guest House. The owner and family took the time to discuss things about Nablus; they have generally been very helpful. The guest house has an amazing rooftop from where you can see the whole of Nablus. After sunset, it’s a show of lights.

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DAY 11: JENIN

Jenin is not your typical holiday destination as it is a place of frequent riots and a place where the Palestinian journalist Abu Akleh was killed when reporting for Al Jazeera. Her face is a symbol of Palestinian activism. You will see graffiti with her face and posters all around Palestine.

When you cross the Emek Harod checkpoint to Nazareth, expect you will be suspicious as only activists and journalists usually go to Jenin. We decided not to spend a night there and only go for a day trip. Jenin is a traditional Palestinian city with similar vibes to Nablus. We felt there very well, safe and welcomed. People stopped us on the street and wanted to practice English. 

The market in the centre, together with the one in Nablus, is the best market we visited in Palestine. We wandered around its streets for a couple of hours. We used our time, especially for walking around the centre of Jenin, talking with people, and tasting some food and pomegranate juice. And then, we took a shared taxi towards the border as the plan that day was to make our way to Nazareth, Israel.

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HOW TO GET TO JENIN FROM NABLUS

In Nablus, take a shared taxi to Jenin from this location . It costs 16 ILS.

WHERE TO STAY IN JENIN

Jenin Creative Cultural Center – I got in touch with Yousef through Facebook messages . He runs this place and is a director of an NGO in Jenin. They charge quite a higher price for accommodation, but since there are not many hotel options, this is the place to be. We spent a half day in Jenin on the way to the border, so we didn’t stay overnight. 

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HOW TO GET TO NAZARETH FROM JENIN

Take a shared taxi from Jenin to Jalamah, the city right by the Emek Harod Checkpoint, where you cross to Nazareth in Israel. We asked locals, and they brought us to the shared taxi location. We paid 4 ILS for a ride. 

We already described the Emek Harod Checkpoint above in the Checkpoint section .

After you cross the checkpoint, you find yourself back in Israel. Follow people and go outside of the building. Then continue your way to the bus stop by the main road. On google maps, you find the bus stop as Jalamah Checkpoint and wait for the bus to Nazareth. Check the Moovit App to find the bus that is going there. We took bus #52 and then changed to bus #354. More buses are going as well as taxis. It is only 25 km from Nazareth.

Read more: Visiting Israel on budget: Tips & Perfect 5 days itinerary. (Coming soon)

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More from the Middle East

Palestine / israel.

How to visit Jerusalem in 24 hours: Safety, Tips, Itinerary

Visit & Stay in refugee camps in the West Bank.

Taba Border Crossing: Dahab (Egypt) to Eilat (Israel) with Troubled Stamps in Passport

How to travel to Lebanon & Ultimate 11 days itinerary

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Is it safe to travel to Lebanon? Our experience

How to travel to Syria & Is it safe to visit?

How to travel to the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus

Travel off the beaten path in Cyprus

Epic road trip: The King’s Highway in Jordan

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Travelling for years now, she found the passion in unique and off the beaten path places. Romana is a food lover, but it doesn’t stop her from hiking the mountains for several days. By sharing her experiences, she wants to help you experience the same.

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Hebron Mountains

Palestinian Territories

Split between the West Bank, with its sun-baked hills, chaotic cities and ancient biblical sites, and Gaza, a war-ravaged strip of coastal land sealed on three sides by Israel and Egypt, the Palestinian Territories has long been an unorthodox stop on a Middle East itinerary.

Attractions

Must-see attractions.

Saint Sabas (Arabic: Mar Saba) monastery, in the Judean desert on the southern cliffs of the Kidron creek.

Mar Saba Monastery

A must-see on any journey through the Holy Land is Mar Saba Monastery, a bleak and beautiful 20km drive east of Bethlehem (beyond Beit Sahour).

Exterior of the Yasser Arafat Museum in Ramallah.

Yasser Arafat Museum

Next to the ornate tomb of the late Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat is a new museum that bears his name. Divided into two parts, the first half traces…

Hisham's Palace in the West Bank city of Jericho.

Hisham’s Palace

A short drive north of Tel Al Sultan, this is a spot not to be missed. The sprawling winter hunting retreat of Caliph Hisham Ibn Abd al Malik must have…

Freedom Theatre

Freedom Theatre

Set in Jenin's refugee camp, the Freedom Theatre has persevered in the face of unimaginable odds, including the assassination of its founder, Juliano Mar…

The interior of the Nativity church, Bethlehem, West bank, Israel.

Church of the Nativity

For the millions of pilgrims who descend on the Holy Land every year, the Church of the Nativity is the main reason for visiting Bethlehem. The church,…

Ruins of Samaritan Temple on Mount Gherisim, Israel.

Samaritan Ruins

The ancient site of the Samaritan Temple is a 10-minute walk uphill from the village, via a locked gate: ring the intercom and a guard will let you…

Ibrahimi Mosque/Tomb of the Patriarchs

Ibrahimi Mosque/Tomb of the Patriarchs

The focal point of Hebron for most visitors is the Tomb of the Patriarchs (Cave of Machpelah), known to Muslims as Ibrahimi Mosque (Ibrahim is the Muslim…

Sebastia

Sebastia is a collection of ruins above a village of the same name that is believed to be one of the oldest continuously inhabited places in the West Bank.

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Palestinian territories and beyond.

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GETTING INTO PALESTINE

getting-into-palestine

Both Palestinian territories – the West Bank and Gaza – are confined by a large, military separation wall which allows Israeli forces to control what, and who, goes in and out. If you wish to enter or exit either of the territories, be you foreign or Palestinian, you will first have to successfully pass through checkpoints controlled by the Israeli military.

There are no direct flights to either the West Bank or Gaza. In 2000 the airport at Qalandia was closed for civilian travel and the Israeli Defence Forces took over control.

Instead, you must fly to either an Israeli airport or that of a neighbouring country (such as Jordan) before entering via an Israeli checkpoint.

Flying to Ben Gurion airport in Tel Aviv, Israel is the fastest, ‘easiest’ way to enter either the West Bank or Gaza. However, the vast majority of Palestinian nationals possess only a green identification card and not a blue one. This forbids them from entering any area now considered to be Israel. Therefore, most Palestinians living in the West Bank that wish to travel must do so via Jordan.

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getting-in-westbank

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TOP OF PAGE

Quick Facts

Best Time To Go

Cost & Spending

Travel Tips

Regions & Highlights

What To See & Do

What To Eat

Where To Stay

Trip Planning

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Welcome traveler!

We're Andre & Lisa, adventurers and experienced budget travelers.

We have over two decades of travel experience and  since 2018 have led a full-time nomadic lifestyle.

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Thank you for visiting and we hope you find value in our destination pages! ​We thoroughly research and curate all content ourselves and everything you find on this site is put together by only the two of us.

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PALESTINE TRAVEL GUIDE

Palestine, recognised officially as the State of Palestine by the United Nations and other entities, is a de jure sovereign state in Western Asia claiming the West Bank and Gaza Strip with Jerusalem as the designated capital, although its administrative centre is currently located in Ramallah. The Palestinian territory, in a wider sense and together with Israel, is considered the Holy Land for three of the world's major religions: Judaism, Christianity and Islam.

The West Bank, administered by the Palestinian Authority, has been under Israeli occupation since 1967; Gaza, under Hamas control and at odds with the PA in the West Bank, is under an Israeli-Egyptian blockade. The final status of these territories remains the subject of ongoing and future negotiations. The stated outcome of negotiations and final status talks is currently regarded as the eventual creation of a new, sovereign state - to be called The State of Palestine - however many difficulties currently block the creation of this state, namely the internationally-illegal Israeli settlement programme that dots the West Bank. Therefore, it is commonplace to refer to the West Bank and the Gaza Strip collectively as Palestine although the accepted terminology used by the United Nations remains the "Occupied Palestine"

Capital : de facto administrative capital: Ramallah / de jure capital: East Jerusalem

Government : PNA (Palestinian National Authority)

Currency : Israeli new shekel (ILS) with Jordanian dinars widely accepted in the West Bank (JOD)

Area : 6,020 km²

Population : 5,052 million (2020)

Language : Arabic; English and Hebrew are the most commonly used foreign languages

Religion : Muslim 75% (predominantly Sunni), Christian and other 8%, Jewish 17%

Electricity : 230V, 50Hz (Israeli plug)

DO YOU NEED A VISA FOR

<<VISA RESULT>>

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Let iVisa take the pain out of travel planning and assist you with Electronic visas, Travel Authorizations, Visas on Arrival, and even Paper Visas. They can also help with Health Declarations and Embassy Registrations. If you're from the US, they provide a One-Stop Shop to renew your Passport securely and error-free.

POSTS ON PALESTINE

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SEASONS AT A GLANCE

Most destinations have different times of the year when they’re more or less popular with tourists. 

Peak Season

Shoulder Season

Off Peak Season

Climate Chart with avergae monthly temperatues and rainfall

BEST TIME TO VISIT PALESTINE

The best time to visit Palestine can vary depending on your interests and the type of weather you prefer. In general, the climate in Palestine is Mediterranean, with hot, dry summers and mild, wet winters.

  • The summer months (June to August) are the hottest and driest, with temperatures often reaching over 30°C (86°F). This can be a good time to visit if you enjoy warm weather and outdoor activities. However, it can also be quite crowded and touristy during this time.
  • The spring (March to May) and fall (September to November) are generally more moderate, with temperatures ranging from the mid-teens to mid-twenties Celsius (mid-60s to mid-70s Fahrenheit). The weather is usually pleasant and there are fewer tourists, making it a good time to visit for those who prefer a more relaxed and less crowded experience.
  • The winter (December to February) is generally cooler and wetter, with temperatures ranging from the mid-single digits to mid-teens Celsius (mid-40s to mid-60s Fahrenheit). This can be a good time to visit if you enjoy cooler weather and don't mind a bit of rain.

Overall, the best time to visit Palestine will depend on your personal preferences and the type of activities you want to do.

BEST TIME FOR:

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LOOKING FOR ALTERNATIVES

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PALESTINE TRAVEL COSTS

The cost of traveling to Palestine can vary depending on a number of factors, including the time of year you go, your mode of transportation, where you stay, and your personal spending habits.

Some estimates suggest that a budget of around $50-70 per day per person could be sufficient to cover your expenses while traveling in Palestine. This could include costs for accommodation, transportation, food, and activities.

However, it's worth noting that prices can vary significantly depending on where you go and what you do. For example, staying in a luxury hotel in a major city like Jerusalem or Bethlehem will likely be more expensive than staying in a budget hostel or guesthouse in a smaller town. Similarly, eating at high-end restaurants or participating in guided tours or other activities can add significantly to your costs.

Here are some estimates of what you might expect to pay for various expenses while traveling in Palestine:

  • Accommodation: Prices for accommodation in Palestine can vary widely depending on the type of lodging you choose and where you are staying. A budget hotel or guesthouse in a smaller town may cost around $20-30 per night, while a luxury hotel in a major city like Jerusalem or Bethlehem could cost $100 or more per night. Airbnb rentals or apartment rentals may also be an option, with prices ranging from around $30-100 per night depending on the location and amenities.
  • Transportation: Palestine has a well-developed transportation system, including buses, taxis, and shared minivans. A one-way bus or minivan ticket within a city or town may cost around $1-2, while a taxi ride within a city or town may cost around $5-10. Long-distance bus or minivan tickets between cities or towns may cost around $5-10.
  • Food: The cost of food in Palestine can also vary depending on where and what you eat. A meal at a local restaurant or street food vendor may cost around $5-10, while a meal at a mid-range or high-end restaurant may cost $15-30 or more. Prices for groceries will also vary, but you can expect to pay similar amounts to what you would pay in other countries in the region.
  • Activities: Prices for activities in Palestine will depend on the type of activity you choose and where you are. A guided tour of a historical or cultural site may cost around $20-50 per person, while a full-day tour of multiple sites may cost $100 or more. Prices for activities such as hiking, cycling, or water sports will also vary depending on the location and the equipment rental or other costs involved.

It's worth noting that these are just estimates, and prices can vary significantly depending on the specific location and circumstances. To get a better idea of the costs involved in traveling to Palestine, it's a good idea to do some research and make a budget plan based on your specific needs and preferences.

VALUE RANK:

Find discount flights to, travel tips for palestine.

Here are a few travel tips for Palestine:

  • Plan ahead: Palestine is a complex and dynamic region, and it can be helpful to do some research and plan your trip in advance. This can help you avoid potential challenges and make the most of your time in the country.
  • Respect local customs and laws: Palestine is a predominantly Muslim country, and it's important to respect local customs and laws while you are there. This includes dressing modestly, behaving appropriately in public places, and following local rules and regulations.
  • Stay safe: While Palestine is generally a safe place to visit, it's important to be aware of your surroundings and take common-sense precautions to protect yourself and your belongings. Avoid walking alone at night, and be aware of local security alerts and travel advisories.
  • Respect the political situation: Palestine is a politically sensitive region, and it's important to be respectful of the local political situation and the perspectives of the people you meet. Avoid engaging in political discussions or activities that could be perceived as inflammatory or controversial.
  • Be flexible: Traveling in Palestine can involve some unexpected challenges, and it can be helpful to be flexible and adapt to changing circumstances. This can help you make the most of your trip and have a positive and enjoyable experience.

REGIONS & HIGHLIGHTS OF PALESTINE

Palestine is a small country located in the Middle East, bordered by Israel, Jordan, and Egypt. It is divided into several main regions, each with its own unique culture, history, and attractions. Here are some highlights of the main regions of Palestine:

  • The West Bank: The West Bank is a territory in western Palestine that is home to a number of major cities, including Ramallah, Bethlehem, and Nablus. The region is known for its rich history and cultural heritage, with a number of important religious sites, including the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem and the Mosque of the Prophet Younis (Jonah) in Nablus.
  • Gaza Strip: The Gaza Strip is a narrow coastal region in the southwestern corner of Palestine, bordered by Israel and the Mediterranean Sea. It is home to a number of important cultural and historical sites, including the Gaza City Beach, the Al-Omari Mosque, and the Old City of Gaza.
  • Jerusalem: Jerusalem is a city of great religious and cultural significance, revered by Jews, Christians, and Muslims alike. It is home to a number of important religious sites, including the Western Wall, the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, and the Dome of the Rock.
  • Galilee: Galilee is a region in the northern part of Palestine, known for its beautiful landscapes, including the Sea of Galilee, the Golan Heights, and the Mount of Beatitudes. It is also home to a number of important religious and cultural sites, including the Church of the Annunciation in Nazareth and the Baha'i Gardens in Haifa.

Overall, Palestine is a country with a rich and diverse culture, history, and natural beauty, and each of its main regions has its own unique highlights and attractions.

WHAT TO SEE AND DO IN PALESTINE

Palestine is a small but diverse country with a rich culture, history, and natural beauty. There are many things to see and do while visiting Palestine, and the best activities will depend on your interests and the amount of time you have available. Here are a few suggestions of things to consider when planning your trip to Palestine:

  • Visit religious and cultural sites: Palestine is home to a number of important religious and cultural sites, including the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem, the Mosque of the Prophet Younis (Jonah) in Nablus, and the Dome of the Rock in Jerusalem.
  • Explore the outdoors: Palestine has a number of beautiful outdoor areas to explore, including the Sea of Galilee, the Golan Heights, and the Mount of Beatitudes. You can also visit the Baha'i Gardens in Haifa, a beautiful terraced garden with panoramic views of the city and the Mediterranean Sea.
  • Visit historical and cultural museums: Palestine has a number of museums that offer insight into the country's history and culture, including the Palestinian Museum in Birzeit, the Yasser Arafat Museum in Ramallah, and the Al-Quds Museum in Gaza.
  • Try local food and drink: Palestinian cuisine is known for its delicious and flavorful dishes, including hummus, falafel, shawarma, and shakshuka. You can also try traditional Palestinian drinks such as coffee and tea, which are often served with sweet pastries.
  • Shop for local crafts and souvenirs: Palestine has a thriving artisan community, and you can find a wide variety of handmade crafts and souvenirs to take home with you, including ceramics, textiles, and jewelry.

Overall, there are many things to see and do when visiting Palestine, and the best activities will depend on your interests and the amount of time you have available.

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WHAT TO EAT IN PALESTINE

Palestine has a rich and diverse cuisine that is influenced by a variety of cultural and historical factors. Some of the traditional dishes and foods you might want to try while visiting Palestine include:

  • Hummus: Hummus is a popular Middle Eastern dip made from chickpeas, tahini (sesame seed paste), lemon juice, and garlic. It is often served as a starter or as part of a meze (appetizer) platter.
  • Falafel: Falafel is a deep-fried ball or patty made from ground chickpeas or fava beans and a variety of spices. It is often served in a pita bread with vegetables and tahini sauce.
  • Shawarma: Shawarma is a popular street food consisting of thin slices of marinated meat (such as lamb or chicken) cooked on a spit and served in a pita bread with vegetables and sauces.
  • Fattoush: Fattoush is a refreshing salad made from diced vegetables and herbs, typically including tomatoes, cucumbers, onions, and parsley. It is often served with crispy pita chips and a dressing made from lemon juice and olive oil.
  • Maqluba: Maqluba is a traditional Palestinian dish consisting of layers of cooked rice, vegetables (such as eggplant and tomato), and meat (such as chicken or lamb), topped with fried onions.
  • Palestinian coffee: Palestinian coffee is a strong and aromatic coffee that is traditionally served with sweet pastries. It is often prepared in a small pot called a "cezve" and served in small cups.

These are just a few examples of the delicious dishes and foods you might want to try while visiting Palestine. Overall, Palestinian cuisine is known for its flavorful and varied dishes, and there is something to suit every taste and preference.

LGBTQ IN PALESTINE

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WHERE TO STAY IN PALESTINE

For your first visit to Palestine, choosing the right base is crucial to experiencing the country's rich history, culture, and religious significance. Here's a breakdown of top areas and accommodations:

Where To Stay In Jerusalem:

Jerusalem is a city of immense religious and historical significance, home to sites sacred to Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, including the Western Wall, Church of the Holy Sepulchre, and Dome of the Rock.

Budget Accommodation:  Consider Abraham Hostel Jerusalem for affordable dorm beds and a central location near the Old City and major attractions.

Mid-range Accommodation:   The Jerusalem Gate Hotel offers comfortable rooms with easy access to public transportation and key landmarks.

Luxury Accommodation:  Opt for the luxurious ambiance of The King David Jerusalem , featuring upscale rooms, impeccable service, and panoramic views of the city.

Best Value Tip:  Visit during the shoulder seasons (spring and fall) for milder weather and better accommodation rates.

Where To Stay In Bethlehem:

Bethlehem holds significance as the birthplace of Jesus Christ and offers visitors a glimpse into biblical history, with attractions like the Church of the Nativity and Shepherd's Field.

Budget Accommodation:  Stay at Shepherd Hotel for affordable rooms and a central location near Bethlehem's major religious sites.

Mid-range Accommodation:  The Jacir Palace Hotel Bethlehem offers comfortable accommodations with a historic charm and easy access to the city's landmarks.

Luxury Accommodation:  Opt for the luxurious ambiance of The Walled Off Hotel , featuring upscale rooms, unique artwork, and a rooftop terrace with views of the separation wall.

Best Value Tip:  Book accommodation well in advance for Christmas and Easter, as Bethlehem sees a surge in visitors during these religious holidays.

Where To Stay In Ramallah:

Ramallah serves as the political and cultural hub of the Palestinian territories, offering visitors a lively atmosphere, bustling markets, and cultural attractions like the Yasser Arafat Museum and Dar Zahran Heritage Building.

Budget Accommodation:  Consider staying at Lavender Boutique Hotel for affordable rooms and a central location near Ramallah's main thoroughfares and attractions.

Mid-range Accommodation:  The Mövenpick Hotel Ramallah offers comfortable accommodations with modern amenities and easy access to the city center.

Luxury Accommodation:  Opt for the luxurious ambiance of Grand Park Hotel Ramallah , featuring upscale rooms, a rooftop pool, and panoramic views of the city.

Best Value Tip:  Visit during the off-peak season (winter months) for lower accommodation rates and fewer crowds.

By choosing a base in Jerusalem, Bethlehem, or Ramallah, you'll have access to Palestine's diverse attractions while enjoying a range of accommodation options to suit your budget and preferences. Consider visiting during the optimal seasons for each location to maximize your travel experience while getting the best value for your stay.

For hassle-free bookings, use platforms like   Booking.com  for competitive rates or   Holiday Swap  for unique homes worldwide. Ensure to book in advance, especially during peak seasons, and align your preferences with nearby activities such as surfing, snorkeling, or cultural exploration.

CHOOSE ANOTHER DESTINATION

Recent blog posts, plan your trip, visa services, let ivisa take the pain out of travel planning and assist you with electronic visas, travel authorizations, visas on arrival, and even paper visas. they can also help with health declarations and embassy registrations. if you're from the us, they also provide a one-stop shop to renew your passport securely and error-free..

FLIGHTS Find a cheap flight by using  Sky scanner  or  Momondo . These are our favorite  flight search engines. They index other travel websites and airlines across the globe to easily find you the best deal.

ACCOMMODATION

Booking.com is our number one resource for researching and booking accommodation. In addition to Booking.com , we have found  Agoda.com to consistently returns the cheapest rates in Southeast Asia. For longer stays, find unique homes worldwide on Holiday Swap , the most affordable travel platform that allows you to book homes anytime, anywhere in only a few clicks.

TRANSPORT ​

DiscoverCars.com is a leader in online car rental bookings; we compare car rental deals from many companies so that you can choose which is best for your trip.  12Go   connects the world door-to-door, from transfers to flights, under the same user-friendly ticket.

INSURANCE Travel insurance can protect you against unexpecte d illness, injury, theft, and cancellations.

Heymondo (International Travel Insurance)

World Nomads   (Travel / medical insurance for long-term travelers and nomads)

SafetyWing Nomad Insurance (Travel / medical insurance for long-term travelers and nomads)

SafetyWing Remote Health  (Global Health Insurance for Nomads)

Need more help to book your trip? Check our complete resource page  for all the best companies to use when you travel. You will only find the companies we use ourselves.

Please note that some of the links above may be affiliate links, and at no additional cost to you,

we may earn a commission if you end up making a purchase and the income goes to keeping the site ad free.

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Planning a trip to Palestine: A Detailed Guide

Palestine is a magnificent country, despite the bad associations that people have with it due to the tyranny, war, and politics. Every traveler who is prepared to look past the headlines will find that it has much to offer when planning a trip to Palestine. It has a rich history, hospitable people, and breathtaking scenery. As I didn’t have a strong desire to see many religious places while I was in Palestine, my itinerary might not be the best choice for someone who does however, this can serve as a rough guide for people who want an idea for planning a trip to Palestine.

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I really do think it’s important to visit Palestine to see what things are really like. The majority of Palestinians welcome foreign visitors because it indicates that tourists from other countries are going to the West Bank to experience it for themselves. When they return home, international visitors can and should use their experience to promote awareness of Palestine.

There’s a lot of conflicting information on the internet about planning a trip to Palestine, mostly focused on the State of Israel but not much information about visiting the Palestinian territories. This blog post will help with that! You might also find that most blog posts about Palestine are published by men. We travelled to Palestine as a group of 3 women of colour. So planning a trip to Palestine as a group of women is possible and rewarding!

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I also have to say that there isn’t really a ‘correct’ way to visit such a contentious country. When you visit the Palestinian parts, Zionists will be upset. When you visit Israeli parts, Arabs will be upset. While many don’t acknowledge the existence of either Israel or Palestine, both do exist and are functioning societies. However, one is an oppressor and one is the oppressed; it’s very important to compare and contrast both as you have the freedom to do so. At the end of the day, you can only do what feels right to you after doing your own research and making your own decisions when planning a trip to Palestine.

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Note: The flights, accommodation and activities mentioned in this post were NOT sponsored/discounted/gifted.

Is it Safe?

Entering the country, what to do about money, how to travel around, where to stay, what to wear.

  • Panda’s Progressive Geography
  • Day 1: Tel Aviv to Jerusalem
  • Day 2: Jerusalem
  • Day 3: Bethlehem
  • Day 4: Hebron
  • Day 5: Ramallah
  • Day 6: Nablus
  • Day 7: Ein Gedi

I felt quite safe in general but I did check with locals to see if areas I wanted to visit on any particular day were having any protests or demonstrations. I mean, you may want to be a part of this- might be an awesome experience- but I wanted a peaceful and quiet trip. I have to mention that it can be quite intimidating to see men and women with large weapons that have the capacity to kill when passing through checkpoints. You just have to grit your teeth and get through it. But I never felt unsafe.

I personally would not visit during Ramadan or Eid (check the calendar as the dates change with each year), as violence by soldiers tends to increase during this period.

Palestine is illegally occupied by the State of Israel. This means that the borders into the country are controlled by Israeli authorities. You will need to investigate whether you need a visa to visit Israel if you want to visit Palestine. You can use this link to check what your passport requires.

You can enter through the land borders (with Jordan/Egypt) or through Ben Gurion Airport. Either way, you will be subject to the Israeli authorities. This website has more information about entering Palestine. The interrogations and searches done at the entry points are notoriously intense and my experience was quite unpleasant. I think it’s important to be mentally prepared for it so it doesn’t knock you off your feet. I discuss it more in my video .

Please note that you have to keep your passport and blue card on you at all times while travelling in PALESTINE. there is no entry stamp into or out of israel and palestine.

travel ke palestine

The official currency used in Palestine is the Israeli Shekel (NIS). You can easily withdraw or convert money anywhere in the country. Most places accept card payments.

I found the public transportation to be quite extensive and pretty easy to use. The principal method of payment for public transportation is a smart card called the Rav-Kav. It can be used to board a bus or train- in all parts of the country including Palestinian buses. The only exception to this are the ‘servees’ buses which only accept cash.

I found it very useful to have an eSim for navigating public transport through Google Maps. I used Airalo for mine and recommend buying one through Annatel. An Israeli SIM card works in Palestine as well. Click here for my discount code.

I found private taxis to be quite expensive and if you’re on a budget, would avoid using them (we were quoted 40USD for a 20 minute ride on two occasions in two different areas). If you have to use a taxi, insist on the meter being on. It’s slightly cheaper than the fixed price.

I chose to stay at The Seven Arches Hotel in East Jerusalem. Its a wonderful Palestinian business with excellent rooms and views. I would highly recommend a stay here for your time in Jerusalem. Its also simple to use public transportation as they have a bus stop in front of the hotel.

As you will see from my all my photos, I wore clothes that covered my knees and shoulders. I found this to be adequate and didn’t need to cover my hair. Comfortable walking shoes are a must. I would also carry a jacket as it can get cold and rainy if you visit in Spring.

FIRST IT’S TIME FOR A BRIEF PPG (PANDA’S PROGRESSIVE GEOGRAPHY) LESSON!

Please note that this is a very condensed version of decades of conflict.

From the seventh to the twentieth centuries, Palestine was ruled by Muslims, either Arab or Turkish, with the exception of a century of Christian rule during the Crusades. From 1517 to 1917–18, when British forces assumed control of the area during World War I, it was a part of the Ottoman Empire, which was based in Istanbul. During the war, Britain was given the authority to rule Palestine under a League of Nations mandate, and as part of that mission, Britain was tasked with training the Palestinian people for eventual self-rule.

However, since the Zionist movement started urging Jews to build a homeland in Palestine in the late 19th century, the region has been the subject of conflicting Jewish and Arab claims. The majority of the population in the area at the start of the Zionist movement was Arab. Many Jews who were escaping persecution in Europe emigrated to the area with the help of the British, who ruled Palestine following World War I. Many believe that Israel exists because of the Holocaust. However, Zionism predates it. The Balfour Declaration promising Palestinian land to Jewish people was in 1917, nearly 40 years before Hitler and the Holocaust.

In order to construct the new state of Israel, the United Nations partitioned Palestine in 1948, giving roughly equal portions of land to Jews and Palestinian Arabs. As soon as the new nation was established, the neighboring Arab countries launched an attack. Israel gained almost 50% additional territory as a result of the battle, while Jordan and Egypt took control of the remaining territory. Israel captured East Jerusalem, the West Bank (the area west of the Jordan River), the Gaza Strip (the area along the Mediterranean coast northeast of the Sinai Peninsula), and the Golan Heights during the Six-Day War in 1967. (in the upper Jordan River valley). The current map looks like this with the majority of the country under illegal Israeli Occupation:

travel ke palestine

For more detailed information you can try these resources:

These articles by the United Nations and Al Jazeera . Trevor Noah’s video on Palestine. “ Holding Palestinian Ground: Lessons from Gaza to Sheikh Jarrah ,” a panel discussion hosted by Jadaliyyah with Palestinian activists and scholars from across Palestine and abroad.

Itinerary for planning a trip to Palestine

From tel-aviv to the jerusalem.

It was pretty easy to get the train from Ben Gurion Airport to Jerusalem. The train ride lasts around 20 minutes. You can check the train schedules here .

Once you’ve arrived and freshened up, use this time to wander around the different quarters and to get a feel for how diverse the city is. Jerusalem is divided into 4 quarters- the Muslim quarter, the Jewish quarter, the Armenian Quarter and the Christian Quarter. Each section is very different and it’s worth seeing the clear divisions in what should be a united city. You will notice that the Muslim quarter has a lot less land mass allocated for the number of people living there than the other quarters that are more spacious and quiet.

Restaurant recommendation: I had never tried Jewish food before so I wanted to try something new. My Jewish friend took me to a kosher restaurant called Tmol Shilshom so I could try traditional foods like Sabich and Challah bread. It was interesting to learn about the concepts of keeping kosher .

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As a tourist I recommend interacting with both Israelis and Palestinians to hear all the different experiences of living on the same land.

Stop 1: Temple Mount (also known as Haram-i-Sharif)

Visiting Dome of the Rock is probably everyone’s first stop when arriving in Jerusalem. However, unless you want to run the risk of it being closed when you go or being knocked over by hordes of tourists, you need to be strategic about when you visit. Temple Mount can be visited by non-Muslims on Sunday through Thursday.

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I would aim to be there at 8am in summer (or 7am in winter) to give yourself enough time before the tour buses arrive at 9am. Non-muslims cannot enter the mosque but they can see the outside. If you try to enter, you may be quizzed by the guardians of the mosque.

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The area is extremely beautiful and scenic- even if you can’t enter the mosques- but just remember to follow the rules (dress modestly and don’t take photos touching a member of the opposite sex outside the mosque). Covering the hair is not necessary for visiting outside the mosque.

Stop 2: Al Mufti Cafe

If you visit Dome of the Rock early, you will find that there aren’t many places open to eat or shop at immediately after. Not far from Damascus Gate and near Hashmi Hotel, is a family owned cafe serving fresh lemon mint juice. Stop by to hear the stories from someone who has lived through the many wars and conflicts the country has experienced. Bonus, you might even meet the guest of honour- a fluffy cat named Sukkar (Sugar).

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Stop 3: Lina’s

Lina’s is the earliest place I could find that opens at 9:30am for breakfast. Join the locals in eating the best hummus and falafel in Jerusalem! This isn’t a fancy establishment but it’s one of those hole-in-the-wall places that are just so good.

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Stop 4: Shopping and more sightseeing

Use this time to visit other religious sites that might be of importance to you or alternatively you can do some shopping in the old city. I found the best prices for things in Jerusalem (surprisingly) as opposed to other Palestinian cities.

Stop 5: Lunch or Dinner

It was really challenging to find real Palestinian food in Jerusalem (weirdly enough) because all restaurants seem to offer international cuisine to entice tourists. The exception to this was Al Liwan in Sheikh Jarrah. We loved this place so much that we ate here twice in a row. I strongly recommend visiting at least once and saying hello to the owner and head chef, Jack (tell him Expat Panda sent you).

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On this day you can take a 30 minute bus ride from HaNevi’im Terminal in Jerusalem to Bethlehem. The bus to take is bus 234 which drops you outside the Separation Wall in Bethlehem. Just follow the locals through the side of the Wall and don’t be alarmed by the turnstiles and potentially- soldiers.

Stop 1: The Separation Wall

Put The Walled Off Hotel on Google Maps and start walking. Many of the Palestinian taxi drivers will tell you that it’s 30 minutes away to walk to the Wall but it isn’t. It’s around a 7 minute walk before you start seeing The Wall. The taxi drivers in Bethlehem can be a bit aggressive so just be aware.

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There is something surreal about walking along the Separation Wall. Nothing can prepare you for the experience of being in front of the wall’s towering presence, no matter how much I’ve read about it and this war. It is overwhelming to see how the wall expresses both so much suffering and so much ingenuity. This is the perfect place to see the effect that Israeli occupation has had on the lives of ordinary Palestinians; the wall restricts their movements, cuts them off from the world and ruins their livelihoods.

Stop 2: The Walled Off Hotel

Also known as the Banksy Hotel (because it’s owned by the famous anonymous artist, Banksy). The hotel serves as an art piece, a political protest, and a luxurious hotel, all while being situated just a few feet from the very contentious (and unlawful) wall separating Israel from the West Bank. The name ‘Walled Off’ Hotel is a hint to the prestigious Waldorf Hotel and fits perfectly with its location next to the eight meters high concrete segregation wall.

As a result, it ranks as one of the most distinctive places to visit in the entire globe.

If you’re not staying at the hotel, it’s still worth a visit to see the unique art and artifacts on display. You can view Banksy paintings in the lobby. Together with the artwork created by Banksy, you can also find paintings and other works of art made by Palestinian artists. The artwork in the first-floor art gallery is for sale. Their art gallery is accessible to the public for no entrance fee. We stopped to have a drink here, witness the self-playing piano and wander around the art gallery.

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Stop 3: Optional Extras When planning a trip to Palestine, we really wanted to visit The Palestinian Heritage Center and do a cooking class by Qandeel but I couldn’t get a hold of the cooking class company and The Heritage Center wasn’t open both times I went to Bethlehem. You might have more luck!

Day Trip to Hebron

If you stay in Bethlehem (and I wish I had done this for 2 nights), this will be an easy trip for you. If you’re coming from Jerusalem, you will first catch bus 234 to Bethlehem and then catch a yellow minibus called a ‘servees’ to Hebron. You can catch the bus from the bus stop near Bayt Jallah. If this means nothing to you, do not worry. Ask anyone in the town where to find the servees to Hebron and they will point you in the right direction.

A servees is like a shared cab; they operate in regions of Palestine where there are no long distance buses or trains. They stop wherever you need to go, the key is to just talk to the driver. It takes about an hour to get to Hebron.

Hebron is a very tense place. When you arrive there, you can feel this undertone of conflict in the air. As an outsider, it’s an interesting feeling. One oddity about Hebron is that it is the only Palestinian city with Jewish settlements right in the heart of the city. It’s a very significant scenario.

For more than 50 years, Israel has been expanding its settlements to the point where the city is now entirely divided. H1 is the region that the Palestinians (80%) control, and H2 is the region that the Israelis (20%) control. I’m providing this basic information because it’s crucial to know this before visiting.

Stop 1: Ibrahimi Mosque

According to religious traditions, the remains of God’s prophet Abraham and several of his descendants, including his wife Sara, their sons Isaac and Jacob and their wives Rebecca and Leah, as well as Jacob’s son Joseph, are believed to be interred in the Al-Ibrahimi Mosque, also referred to as the “Tomb of the Patriarchs” (Gen. 23: 17-20).

Through a metal grating in the mosque’s corner, you can see into the cave. Take note of the tiny niche next to the door where you can see a footprint as you enter the room where you can observe Abraham’s cenotaph. While Jews think Adam made it, Muslims think this is Muhammad’s footprint.

Your journey into this mosque begins with a checkpoint where you enter via a turnstile and show your passport and blue card. This mosque has been the site for many violent attacks over the years so security is tight.

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Abraham’s Tomb, which is a structure shared by both Jews and Muslims, is separated by a bulletproof window. Half synagogue- half mosque, this place is just insane. Jews cannot enter the mosque, and neither can Muslims enter the synagogue due to the intense security checks.

As a tourist you can visit both but I opted for just the mosque. I was overwhelmed with everything to be honest.

Stop 2: Old City (Shuhada Street)

What was once a bustling market in the old city of Hebron, filled with joy and happiness, is now just a partially abandoned region, whose residents can’t help but express their anger at the settlers whenever they encounter a foreigner.

To prevent settlers from throwing trash at the people and the street from their homes, a metal fence surrounds the majority of the Old City. The settlers began tossing eggs, bleach, and excrement once the barrier was put up.

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Due to the fact that the Arab buildings in front of the Jewish structures are also targets for the settlers, their balconies and windows are fortified with sturdy metal bars.

If you’re looking to see more in Hebron, I recommend checking out this link . What I saw was enough for me and I hightailed it back to Bethlehem. The easiest way to find transportation is to ask someone where to find the servees bus back to Bethlehem (spoiler: it’s in a parking garage).

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Day Trip to Ramallah

Getting to Ramallah from Jerusalem is very simple. You need to head to Derekh Schem Terminal and catch the 218 bus (green and white bus). The bus should drop you off right in the middle of the city.

Stop 1: Yasser Arafat’s Tomb

Include this on your list because it is Ramallah’s top attraction. Yasser Arafat, the Palestinian leader who spent a career attempting to establish and defend his Palestinian state, is buried in Ramallah. While Arafat passed away in France in November 2004, his fellow Palestinians will always remember him as he based himself in Ramallah.

I believe it was a 5 or 15 shekel entrance fee. It is quite an extensive museum located at Al Muquata’a, the Palestinian government’s administrative center. You will see Palestinian soldiers but they’re quite friendly so nothing to be alarmed about.

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While I am not a huge museum person, it helps to visit this place so you can better understand the many struggles that the Palestinians have been through and how it has led to the situation the country finds itself in today. Most importantly it emphasizes how the formation of Israel was a colonial move orchestrated by the British (who had no right to give away a country that wasn’t theirs) and not a response to the Holocaust as many people wrongly believe. The museum information is purely factual, not inciting hatred for any groups so it’s a very educational place to visit and is well worth the entry fee!

Stop 2: Nelson Mandela Square

After the museum, we met with my local friend Khaled and he took us to something I never even knew existed- a statue of Nelson Mandela all the way in Ramallah! He told us that Palestinians are inspired by the ending of the Apartheid regime in South Africa by the courage of Nelson Mandela.

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Mandela was a fierce advocate for Middle East peace and the Palestinian cause. His most well-known saying was: “We know too well that our freedom is incomplete without the freedom of the Palestinians.”

The statue is believed to “symbolize the mutual suffering” of the South African and Palestinian people.

Stop 3: Vanilla Cafe

Khaled took us to this local chain of cafes- offering more interesting drinks than your local Starbucks- strongly recommend the Alfajores hot chocolate with dulce de leche. What was great about being here was just seeing young Palestinians out and about, enjoying a coffee shop on a Saturday afternoon. Too often we associate Palestine with conflict, guns, explosions, terror and so it felt surreal to just be doing something so normal in a place that is often sensationalized unfairly.

If you’re looking for something to eat, the spicy artichoke chicken sandwich is my recommendation but it is actually spicy so beware!

Stop 4: Sunset Point at Bayara Park

Ramallah surprisingly offers an excellent viewpoint for sunsets as it is set high up and offers uninterrupted views all the way to Tel Aviv. You can see planes taking off and landing at the airport as well!

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Day Trip to Nablus

Now that you’re used to the public transportation in Palestine, you will be fine navigating to Nablus. If you start your trip in Ramallah, this will be a simple matter of getting the servees to Nablus at the Ramallah bus terminal. If you leave from Jerusalem, you will first need to go to Ramallah and then catch the servees from there. If you can spend a night or two in Ramallah, I would advise it.

Stop 1: The Old City (al Manara Square)

There are many things to do in Nablus, but for me, a day trip was enough time to explore the city. The main tourist draw is the old city, which has a sizable souq (Arabic for market) where you can buy anything from fresh bread and vegetables to furniture and apparel. Take your time exploring the area (and stock up on supplies if you can!) Next to Al-Nasr Mosque in the ancient city lies the renowned Manara Clocktower. In this vicinity you might see buildings with bullet holes and political posters. Don’t be alarmed.

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Al-Aqsa Sweets is a well-known bakery located in the old souq. Don’t forget to sample the kunafa, which is reason enough to travel to Nablus. One of the most well-known sweets in the Arab world is kunafa, a hot cheese dish with nuts and sweet syrup on top. The best kunafa is said to be found in Nablus, at Al-Aqsa Sweets, according to Palestinians. Personally, this was the best kunafa I had ever had!

Palestine is known for its production of olives. The vast bulk of the olive groves in the West Bank are found close to Nablus. There are several historical soap factories in Nablus’ old city where soap was once made from locally grown olive oil, and in certain cases, is still created today. I really wanted to go on a tour of one of the city’s soap factories and even popped into Abualrous Soap Factory, which is near Al-Aqsa Sweets. Sadly they weren’t open so I had to purchase my soap from a nearby shop instead and miss out on the tour.

There’s more to see in Nablus but it was raining on the day I went and I was tired from shopping. Check out this link for more things to do and see in this city.

For our last day, we decided to see ‘how the other half lives’ and ventured into an area under Israeli control. We visited Ein Gedi Nature Reserve to do some hiking and spend time outdoors. Most of the weather during our time in Palestine was not great so a sunny day outdoors was very much appreciated.

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About an hour away from Jerusalem this nature reserve was world’s away from the hustle and bustle of the Muslim Quarter. It offers various walking and hiking trails for people of all ages and fitness levels.

While the most popular trail is to David’s Falls (pictured below), I would skip this and head straight toward Wadi Arugot, aiming to find the Hidden Falls. The trail is extremely scenic if you walk along the blue path but I recommend hiking sandals and not boots or flip-flops.

travel ke palestine

If you go early enough (before 11am), you will have the place to yourself and cool off after an hour-long hike in the refreshing waters.

I wish we had more time here to discover the Upper Pools but we were on a tight schedule and the hordes of school children that appeared around 11am was enough to send us packing (hundreds and hundreds of kids just appeared).

It costs 29 Shekels to visit Ein Gedi Nature Reserve. We rented a car to reach here but you can visit via Bus 487.

If you have an extra day and good weather, you can visit Mar Saba Monastery and do your last minute shopping; otherwise it’s back to the airport you go to be violated by Israeli authorities (I am just being honest).

The history, religious customs, and human sacrifice of Palestine are deeply ingrained into the land. Palestine gives every visitor a glimpse of the remarkable breadth of human existence that has grown on these grounds, from Jerusalem, one of the holiest places in the world, to Hebron, one of the oldest cities in the world. The Israeli occupation is an awful part of the experience in Palestine, but it also promises a unique adventure and a trip to remember. Don’t let it deter you from going because Palestinians need your acknowledgment and support. Don’t let the mainstream media and its bias put you off planning a trip to Palestine either; the best way to learn about things is to see them for yourself. Every trip is a gift because of the warmth of the Palestinian people, their culture and traditions, and their intrinsic friendliness.

travel ke palestine

Lastly, I have a wealth of information on my Instagram especially in the Palestine highlight and my reels. Do have a look. If you enjoyed this post about planning a trip to Palestine, please pin it using the pin below:

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If you’re interested in other destinations in the region, you can browse my other trips here or through the destinations tab in the menu on top of this screen.

Have you visited Palestine before? Or have I inspired you to start planning a trip to Palestine? Let me know in the comments below!

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Thanks for sharing your experience. I just watched your video and it looks like we had similar experiences entering Israel, though mine wasn’t as intense.

I flew into Tel Aviv a few years ago as a solo traveller, US passport, POC. I had a layover at Zurich airport, and when I got to the gate, an Israeli officer pulled me into a private room, opened up my suitcase and went through every piece of my belongings. They even took samples to be tested. There was a lot of questioning about my intentions and itinerary, though the tone definitely came across as very polite, pleasant, professional, etc. There was another American (white guy) who also got pulled into the same room for luggage inspection and questioning. I think we were targeted for being solo travellers, which must have been perceived as suspicious somehow.

When I tried to visit the Dome of the Rock, they wouldn’t even let me access the outside portion – not sure why. There was a security guard who told me in English “Japanese, no!” (I’m not even Japanese…) Very sad to have missed out on it.

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I am really sorry that this happened to you and that you weren’t allowed to visit Dome of the Rock. I think there is no rhyme or reason regarding any of the things Israeli authorities do which makes it an incredibly anxious adventure overall.

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Awesome post and beautiful pictures! This is such a valuable resource and your perspective of traveling to Palestine (the why) is so spot on

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  • Passports, travel and living abroad
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  • Foreign travel advice

The Occupied Palestinian Territories

Warnings and insurance.

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This travel advice covers Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPTs).

Your travel insurance could be invalidated if you travel against advice from the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO).

Areas where FCDO advises against travel

FCDO advises against all travel to Gaza.

Areas near Gaza

FCDO advises against all travel to the area close to the border with Gaza that includes:

  • south-west of Ashkelon
  • south of route 35 and west of route 40 as far as Tlalim, not including Be’er Sheva
  • west of Be’er Sheva
  • north of route 211

The West Bank

FCDO advises against all travel to the West Bank, excluding East Jerusalem and Route 1 between Jerusalem and Tel Aviv.

Northern Israel

FCDO advises against all travel to:

  • within 5km of the border with Lebanon – the Israeli military has announced that the area is a closed military zone and entry into the area is prohibited
  • the Sheba’a Farms and Ghajjar
  • within 500m of the border with Syria (the ‘Alpha Line’)
  • Beit Hillel
  • Even Menachem
  • Granot Ha’Galil
  • Ramot Naftali
  • She’ar Yeshuv

The rest of Israel and the OPTs

FCDO advises against all but essential travel to the rest of Israel and the OPTs .

Find out more about why FCDO advises against travel .

Conflict in Israel and the OPTs

On 7 October 2023 there was a large-scale terrorist attack by Hamas in southern Israel. Hamas continues to launch rockets into Israel and the Israeli Defence Forces are conducting significant military activity in Gaza.

There is also increased military activity by the Israeli Defence Forces around Gaza, within the West Bank and on Israel’s northern border.

There are continued exchanges of rocket and small arms fire over Israel’s northern border with Lebanon and a potential increase in rocket attacks and other incidents of violence across Israel and the OPTs , including the West Bank.

We recognise this a fast-moving situation that poses significant risks. The situation has potential to deteriorate quickly and without warning. This could disrupt air and road links out of the country. If your reason to remain in Israel and the OPTs is not essential, you should consider leaving if it is safe to do so.

If you are in an area affected by the fighting, follow the instructions of Israeli Home Front Command. To find these:

  • visit the Israeli Home Front Command website (available in Israel only)
  • call 104 if you are in Israel

The Israeli government has declared a state of emergency across the whole country. International borders (air and land) in Israel and the OPTs could close at short notice. Check the travel advice for any neighbouring country that you are planning to travel to or through.

Before travelling within Israel or  the OPTs , check the local measures in place, that roads are open and, where appropriate, that scheduled train and bus services are operating.

Monitor this travel advice and other media as the situation is changing fast. Follow and contact FCDO travel on Twitter , Facebook and Instagram . You can also get email notifications when this travel advice is updated.

Read FCDO advice if you’re affected by a crisis abroad .

Travel within or out of Israel or the OPTs is at your own risk. You are encouraged to follow the advice of local authorities, for example on which routes are open or when to take shelter.

Travelling to Egypt from Gaza

The Rafah border crossing continues to be open for controlled and time-limited periods to allow specific groups of foreign nationals, including British nationals, to cross. It is for the Egyptian and Israeli authorities to determine who is permitted to cross, and when. The Egyptian Ministry of Foreign Affairs will contact embassies to let them know when their foreign nationals can cross. Should we receive notification from the Israeli and Egyptian authorities that individuals are permitted to cross, we will notify those people individually.

If you are a British national in Gaza who wants to leave Gaza, you should make contact with us as soon as possible.

If you are a UK visa holder who meets all of the following criteria, you can contact us to request support to leave Gaza:

  • you have a spouse/partner or a child aged 17 or under currently living in the UK; and
  • you hold valid permission to enter or remain in the UK for longer than 6 months

Contact FCDO by calling:

  • +44 176 766 7600 (UK number)
  • +972 (0)3 725 1222
  • +972 (0)2 541 4100

Movement to the Rafah crossing and beyond is at your own risk, and dependent on the permission of the Egyptian and Israeli authorities. You should only travel if you judge it is safe to do so. Check the Egypt travel advice .

Help and support in Israel and the OPTs

Contact your travel provider and insurer.

Contact your travel provider and your insurer. They will tell you if they can help and what you need to do.

Help from FCDO in Israel and the OPTs

Consular support is severely limited where FCDO advises against travel.

If you need consular assistance call:

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Keep up to date with local travel advice through local news outlets and international outlets like the Access Coordination Unit .

Concern for friends and family

If you are in the UK and concerned about a friend or family member who is in Israel or the OPTs call FCDO on 020 7008 5000. 

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No travel can be guaranteed safe. Read all the advice in this guide and any specific travel advice that applies to you:

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Matador Original Series

Traveling to palestine is easier and much safer than you think.

W hatever your interest in Palestine is — be it religious, historical, or cultural-political — there is no better way to get a clear picture of the territories than to visit them. Contrary to the images that the mere mention of Palestine conjures, traveling in the region is easy, safe, and the people are incredibly welcoming. Palestine is composed of two territories: the West Bank (located between Israel and Jordan) and the Gaza Strip (land bordering Israel and Egypt). Travelers can go to the West Bank, but the Gaza Strip is closed to tourism. Here is everything you need to know about visiting the West Bank and the Israeli side of the Gaza Strip border.

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The Palestinian Territories are the areas delimited by the dotted lines. Photo: Google Maps

  • Practical information about the West Bank for travelers

How to get to the West Bank from Israel

What to do in the west bank and where to start your visit, visiting the gaza strip border, the west bank, practical information about the west bank.

The currency used in the West Bank is the same as the one used in Israel: shekel (0.00 per 1 USD). The official language is Arabic although many people in the cities speak basic English. It’s recommended to dress modestly : Both men and women should cover their shoulders and legs, and even their heads and arms to enter some places such as temples and other sacred edifices. Most shops are closed on Fridays because it’s the resting day for Muslims (commercial activity also slows down during the month of Ramadan). But since there is a minority of Christians, some places are also closed on Sundays. Whatever you do, start early, because most places close around 4:00 PM. Note that summer is the hottest time of the year in Palestine, so avoid this season if you can’t handle the heat.

Safety: The West Bank is divided in three areas (A, B, and C), which are administered by Israel and the Palestinian Authority. It has lived in relative peace since the Second Intifada ended (2005), so the answer is yes, it’s safe to travel to the West Bank in general, so long as you follow local guidelines.

Where to stay: Bethlehem has the most accommodation options, which makes it perfect to use as your base. But all places have some kind of lodging. The choice is yours: Airbnb apartments or rooms, hostels, hotels, bed and breakfasts, and even homestays where you can work as a volunteer and participate in the annual olive harvest.

Transportation: We recommend the yellow mini-van shared taxis (pronounced serveece ), which cost about 10 percent of the price of a taxi. Hiring taxi drivers by the hour is an excellent option considering the cost-time benefit, especially if you are sharing the ride with a couple of travelers. Most rental cars companies don’t allow you to take the cars you rent in Israel to the West Bank.

travel ke palestine

Photo: Peace center restaurant /Facebook

Food: Palestinian cuisine has many Mediterranean influences, so you can expect plenty of fresh vegetables and olive oil. There are many Arabic fast-food places that serve falafels and shawarma, but you can also find other types of restaurants. Besides the ubiquitous hummus, try the musakhan (roasted chicken placed on a slice of bread and topped with chestnuts and tons of caramelized onions) at the Peace Center Restaurant in Bethlehem. For a treat, have a kanafeh , a delicious pastry made out of semolina dough, soaked in syrup, and layered with cheese — it can be purchased at most markets, cafes, street stands, and restaurants, and it pairs amazingly well with Arabic coffee. The West Bank also has some microbreweries worth trying; Taybeh Brewing Company is the oldest and is located in the Ramallah District.

You can get to the West Bank from Israel (through different checkpoints) and from Jordan (via Allenby Bridge about an hour from Amman). In both cases you’ll have to go through Israeli checkpoints. I’ve gone to the West Bank from Israel, and I was stopped and had my passport checked only on my way back to Israel. The process took less than 10 minutes, but the time can vary depending on the checkpoint. You’ll need to have your passport and your visa (the slip that was given to you when you entered the country since Israel doesn’t stamp passports) at all times.

travel ke palestine

Photo: gary yim /Shutterstock

Start in Bethlehem. Take a taxi (15 minutes) or the Bus 21 from Jerusalem (near Damascus Gate in the Old City, it takes 30 minutes). Once in Bethlehem, hire a taxi driver (negotiate the fixed price first) to take you around.

The best things to see and do in the West Bank depend on your interest, but here are some great spots to check out for those with a spiritual, cultural, or political pursuit.

According to the Bible, Bethlehem is the place where Jesus was born. Today, it has the biggest population of Arab Christians in the West Bank. The Old City, with its white houses and its narrow limestone streets, is a beautiful sight.

travel ke palestine

Photo: Victor Lauer /Shutterstock

The UNESCO’s World Heritage Church of the Nativity , right in the center of the Old City, is the oldest continuously operating church in the world (326 AD). The temple is administered by three different Christian denominations (Greek Orthodox, Armenian Apostolic, and Roman Catholic). Inside the Church, in the Grotto of the Nativity, is a 14-point silver star that marks the spot of Jesus’s birth. There are usually big lines of tourists waiting to enter, but if you go during lunch, you’ll have the place to yourself. You are allowed to bend over and touch the ground underneath the star, an exciting moment for Christian visitors from all over the world.

travel ke palestine

Photo: Yevgenia Gorbulsky /Shutterstock

Located 7.5 miles from Bethlehem, the Greek-Orthodox monastery of Mar Saba is one of the oldest inhabited monasteries in the world (483 AD), and it’s still functioning. Its founder, Saint Sabas, was one of the first hermit monks in the Negev desert where he worked to establish many other monasteries. The interior of the building is stunning, and one can see the remains of the saint. The setting of the monastery gives one of the most spectacular views of both Israel and Palestine. Women are not allowed to enter, but the drive through the desert to get there and the views are worth the little road trip (especially in the spring when the flowers are in bloom.)

travel ke palestine

Photo: eFesenko /Shutterstock

Many independent travelers want to visit the refugee camps in Palestine, built and still run by the United Nations and now transformed into established neighborhoods. Both Aida and Dheisheh are located near Bethlehem and are easy to visit. There, you can see the politically charged street art and talk to people, including activists about the current political situation. If you go to any refugee camp, go or stay with someone who is familiar with the security situation. Conflicts can arise quickly. Note that there are Airbnbs inside the camps .

travel ke palestine

Photo: badahos /Shutterstock

Bethlehem is also known for its street art. There are three pieces adjudicated to Banksy (who also owns a hotel there) although it is believed that only one is authentic. There are hundreds of street art pieces on the security barrier (wall) that Israel built in 2002 to stop the suicide bombers attacks that killed hundreds of civilians in the ‘90s. Although the attacks have stopped, the wall is extremely controversial and is dubbed the “Separation Wall” by Palestinians. You can go to “ The Banksy Shop ” and get some souvenirs (t-shirts, postcards, etc.) or buy spray paint and leave your personal message on the wall.

When hunger strikes, head to the little souq and buy some delicious snacks like fresh fruits, pastries, nuts and caramelized fruit, dates, etc. Hit one the street stands to enjoy a traditional pomegranate juice.

Other places of interest to visit in or near the Old City include the Chapel of the Milk Grotto , a sanctuary for women who want to increase their fertility and have a healthy breastmilk supply; Rachel’s Tomb where it’s said the biblical matriarch died in childbirth on her way to Hebron; The Mosque of Omar , the only mosque in the city; and the Old Bethlehem Museum for traditional and beautiful Palestinian embroidered clothing.

travel ke palestine

Photo: nayef hammouri /Shutterstock

Hebron is the city of Abraham (Ibrahim in Arabic) and the burial place of the biblical patriarchs and matriarchs (excerpt for Rachel), sacred to both Judaism and Islam. It’s not an easy city to visit because the Jewish settlements are within the city center and in the outskirts, so Hebron is geographically divided; you need to go through checkpoints to go from one side of the city to the other. Unlike the other places in the West Bank, the tension here is palpable, especially since 2014 when three Israelis teenagers were kidnapped and killed. Tension can escalate quickly, especially on Fridays.

On the other hand, if one wishes to learn more about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the visit to Hebron is essential. Take the Dual Narrative Hebron Tour led by two guides, one from Palestine and the other one from Israel, to get a very well balanced and broad perspective of this complex city.

travel ke palestine

Located only 6.2 miles north of Jerusalem, Ramallah is the administrative center of the West Bank (both Palestinians and Israelis consider Jerusalem to be their capital). The city is very cosmopolitan, full of shops, cafes and restaurants, people walking around and talking loudly. The center of Ramallah is Al-Manara Square, with its iconic four sculpted lions. Explore the Al-Muntazah neighborhood and visit the many places related to modern Palestine’s history, like Yasser Arafat’s presidential campground, and his gigantic and solemn tomb, guarded by soldiers and perpetually adorned with wreaths.

travel ke palestine

Photo: posztos /Shutterstock

The archaeological finds suggest that Jericho was built more than 10,000 years ago, which makes it one of the oldest cities in the world. You can visit the archeological site and then take a cable car to the Monastery of the Qurantul, built on the Mount of Temptation, where Christians believe Jesus was tempted by the Devil.

Other places to visit in the West Bank

  • Qasr al-Yahud , on the Jordan River, is the place where some Christians believe Jesus was baptized by John the Baptist (you can see Jordan on the other side of this very narrow river). There is another bapstimal place in the North of Israel, near Tiberias.
  • Nablus is located in a beautiful valley and known for its olive oil soap factories, olive-wood carvings, and its kanafeh. The old city is beautiful. Check out Mount Gerizim and spend some time learning about one of the world’s last communities of Samaritans. Nablus is also home to many hammams , so pick one to relax at the end of a long day of exploration. Hammam Ash-Shifa is a tried and tested bathhouse that we recommend.

travel ke palestine

Photo: Val_Yankin /Shutterstock

The Gaza Strip has been closed to tourism since Israel’s blockade (2006) when Islamist party Hamas took control. But, if you really want to learn about the conflict while you are here, you can get closer to the border to visit some of the neighboring villages and kibbutzim and to see the Strip from a distance.

travel ke palestine

Photo: Laura Bernhein /Facebook

We do not advise to go to the border by yourself, without anyone who is familiar with the security situation. Hamas attacks with rockets (and even with helium balloons full of explosives) are constant in this area and, once the alarms sound, you have only 10 seconds to get to a shelter. So please take it seriously, go with a local, and stay very alert.

Gaza’s population is almost two million people (one of the most densely populated places in the world). The unemployment rate is above 50 percent (some say it’s 70 percent for younger people), and its inhabitants have electricity only four to six hours a day. How things have got so bad in this part of the world is a long, complicated story that differs depending on who you talk to. Take this dual narrative North of Gaza Border Reality Tour for a comprehensive summary on the ancient and current history of the region. For me and my children, the three highlights of the tours were:

  • The Ezer Crossing (the only crossing for people between Israel and Gaza open today) where we had the chance to talk to some Gazans who were waiting for the transportation to go to both Israel and the West Bank to receive medical treatment at the local hospitals. An old man told us with a smile, “We are neighbors, all sons and daughters of Ibrahim.”

travel ke palestine

  • This menorah was made with rockets in the town of Sderot. Sderot is located less than one mile from the Gaza Strip and has been the target of attacks from Hamas. For that reason, the town is full of bomb shelters, as well as artworks made with the rockets destined to damage it.

travel ke palestine

  • The visit to the Moshav Netiv HaAsara (a moshav is an agricultural village), where we participated in the Path to Peace Project by leaving a ceramic piece on the first wall (there are more) that signals the border between Israel and the Gaza Strip.

travel ke palestine

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Travel for Your Life

My guide on how to visit Palestine

Middle East

The first question that comes to mind when people ask about visiting Palestine is – is it safe? Yes, it is safe, if you stay in the advised areas. Traveling through Palestine isn´t something you do and just think “I´ll wing it”. It takes some research, and you also need to understand that there are parts of Palestine that you are advised to stay away from, and there is a good reason for that. Unless you are willing to risk your life, which I obviously advise against. Other areas are super safe and breathtakingly beautiful. The population is welcoming and the food is mouthwatering. So yes, I highly recommend visiting Palestine when traveling through the Middle East.

Beware that since a lot of governments advise from traveling to Palestine your regular travel insurance might not be valid here. Make sure to get one that is. I would recommend World Nomads.

MY GUIDE ON HOW TO VISIT PALESTINE

The Gaza strip and the West bank | Getting in | Currency | Religion | When to go | Costs | Places to visit in Palestine | Jerusalem | Bethlehem | Hebron | Ramallah | Nablus | Jericho

The Gaza strip and the West bank

Palestinian territories are divided into two regions: the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, both separated by the state of Israel. You can’t enter Gaza unless you are a journalist or an NGO worker. Due to constantly ongoing wars, it is not safe to enter Gaza and therefore this post is for those traveling to the West Bank. The West Bank is a totally different place that has lived in peace with Israel for almost twenty years, since the Second Intifada .

Palestine is also divided into Area A; Area B and Area C.   This division was established during the  Oslo Accords , a series of agreements that were signed in the 1990s as part of the peace process.

Area A is in full control of the Palestinian Authorities. There are no Israeli settlements in Area A and Israeli citizens can’t enter it. This counts for around 18% of the West Bank and includes the cities of Ramallah, Bethlehem, Jericho, and about 80% of Hebron, among others.

Area B has Palestinian civil control and joint Israeli-Palestinian security control. It counts for about 22% of the West Bank and there are no Israeli settlements.

Area C is the remaining of the West Bank and it is under full Israeli civil and security control.

visit-palestine-palestinian-citizen

As there are no international airports in Palestine, it is only possible to enter the west bank overland through Israel or Jordan. All Palestinian territories are surrounded by a big concrete wall controlled by the Israeli military hence entering Palestine requires passing through an Israeli military checkpoint. There are two main checkpoints through which you can enter, the Qalandia checkpoint in Israel or the Allenby bridge crossing in Jordan. As an international visitor, it’s easiest to fly into Ben Gurion Airport in Tel Aviv and from there it’s a 45 min taxi ride to the checkpoint. However, since Israel is a small country, the West Bank can be reached within a few hours by public transport or car from wherever you are within Israel. Just note that you are not allowed to bring a rental car from Israel into Palestine. If you do so, it is neither insured nor safe to use as means of transportations. The easiest way to enter is by bus to the border and then enter by foot. Well in Palestine the system of public transportation works well. If you are entering via Jordan the Allenby Bridge crossing is accessible by bus or taxi from Amman and takes a little over an hour. The more annoying part of this entry is the line to get in which is notorious for being long. You should allow at least 3h of queuing if you plan to enter through this way.

You use the same currency as in Israel in Palestine namely, New Israeli Shekel (NIS).

The most practised religion in Palestine is Sunni Islam. Therefore, it is advised to dress respectfully and cover shoulders, cleavage, arms and legs. Hebron , Nablus and Jenin are more traditional and conservative, so you should dress even more modestly there, headscarf is advised for women. Ramallah, the most cosmopolitan city on the west bank and also its capital, is a little bit more laid-back. The same goes for Bethlehem, the city with the largest Christian population.

visit-palestine-jerusalem-cross

The West Bank is a year-round destination. The winters get just slightly cold and the summers don´t get too hot unless you are traveling to some parts of the desert, like Jericho, where the weather can get extremely hot in the summer and freezing cold in the winter.

The West Bank is not really a budget destination, even if it is somewhat cheaper than other places in the Middle East. Count on spending a minimum of 25 – 35 USD per day. The cheapest option for accommodation is staying in hostels, for between 14-20 USD per night. If you´re travelling as a couple or a group of friends, I would suggest you stay in Airbnb´s as that would generally then be the most cost-effective. Where you can really save though is on food as portions are hefty and you really get a lot of bang for the buck.

Places to visit in Palestine

1. jerusalem .

Where to begin? Jerusalem is the holiest place for Christianity, Islam and Judaism. You can literally spend forever here and not stop being amazed, impressed and surprised. I have visited Jerusalem many many times and I never get tired of it. Jerusalem is part of Israel but the eastern part of the city is completely inhabited by Arabs.

Being so important to three main religions also makes it a melting pot for conflicts, meaning you will have to get used to the military constantly patrolling the streets. Their machine guns might seem intimidating, but it is really what makes Jerusalem a safe place.

Remember that you can be asked to show your passport at any time and therefore it is good to carry a copy of it with you.

Things to do in Jerusalem

The Western Wall  

Probably one of the most known sights in the World and one of the most important landmarks in the city. It is a very holy place where, every day, thousands of Jews come to pray. It is also called the Wailing Wall   as, during the Ottoman period, Jews would go there and lament the destruction of the previously destroyed Temple Mount. Visiting the Western Wall it is required to cover shoulders and knees, if you somehow forgot, there are robes to borrow free of charge. Visit the wall respectfully, do not take pictures of others and remember that it is a holy place and not actually a tourist attraction.

visit-palestine-the-wailing-wall

Temple Mount / Al-Haram ash-Sharif

Another landmark of Jerusalem and one of the holiest places both for Jews and Muslims. Biblically, this is where Abraham offered up his son Isaac for sacrifice. The Temple Mount is the third holiest site for Muslims after Mecca and Medina. In Muslim tradition, this is where the Prophet Mohammed made his “Night Journey” to the throne of God. Today, within the area of the Temple Mount, there are about 100 different structures to see spanning different time periods, including prayer locations, arches, and fountains.

Admission is free, but lines can be very long, so get there early. It is closed on Fridays and Saturdays.

Church of the Holy Sepulcher

The  Church of the Resurrection is one of the holiest sites within Christianity and is an impressive building, where Jesus was crucified. This site has been continuously recognized since the 4th century as the place where Jesus died, was entombed, and then rose from the dead.

Mount of Olives

Mount of Olives is towering over 800 meters above sea level and provide stunning views over Jerusalem. This holy site is associated with Islam, Judaism and Christianity, and has been used as a place of prayer and burial since the days of the First Temple.

2. Bethlehem 

Bethlehem is considered to be the birthplace of Jesus and the home of King David hence it attracts millions of visitors each year. It is a picturesque town overlooking the Judean Desert and during Christian holidays the festivities are endless. The pomp, ornate decor, and beautiful displays continue year-round and whether you are religious or not, it is well worth a visit.

Things to do in Bethlehem

The Church of the Nativity The Church of the Nativity is one of the oldest working churches in existence today. It is the oldest complete church in the world. It was built by the emperor Justinian in the 6th century. Erected in the place where Jesus is believed to have been born.

Aida Palestinian refugee camp

Aida camp was established in 1950 on land UNRWA leased from the government of Jordan. The camp is located between the municipalities of Bethlehem, Beit Jala and Jerusalem. It is partially surrounded by the West Bank Barrier. The Aida refugee camp is probably the most well-known refugee camp in the West Bank, but I also found it to be the most commercialized. It is possible to visit the camp and there are several help organizations, such as Volunteer Abroad that offers volunteer programs. The volunteer programs aim to provide help for the refugees but also aim to spread awareness of the situation in the camps.

visit-palestine-refugee-camp

Mar Saba Day trip

Mar Saba monastery in the Judean Desert is reputedly the oldest continuously inhabited monastery in the world, dating back to 439 CE (equivalent to 439 AD). It´s a Greek Orthodox monastery and women aren´t allowed inside the monastery at all but can view it from the opposite side of the phenomenal cliff-clinging copper-domed hermitage. Men, on the other hand, are permitted inside, where tours are available with one of the 15 monks in residence. Even if you´re a woman and cannot get inside, the surrounding Judean Hills and the Kidron Valley are amazingly beautiful places to hike, and the views are absolutely breathtaking. The monastery is set amid amazing scenery, with paths and steps going down into a beautiful valley below. It is only possible to visit the monastery from Bethlehem and therefore I suggest making a day trip out of it. Note that the monastery is closed on Wednesdays and Fridays and opening hours on other days are limited. For more information visit their website.

It really is a must-visit! With the ancient monastery and unique landscape, it feels like travelling back centuries in time.

Hebron the largest city in the West Bank, might be one of the most interesting places to visit in Palestine, but it is also the place with the most tension. There are Jewish settlements within the city, the old city specifically, and the animosity this creates is really noticeable. You can feel that people are on edge, that there is something bothering basically everyone. The Mosque and Synagogue at the Cave of the Patriarchs, one of the holiest sites for both Jews and Muslims, are separated by bulletproof glass. The military is constantly patrolling the streets. To understand why there is such tension, you need to understand the complicated history of Hebron and the ongoing social and political complications. Jews have been present in Hebron from Biblical times, and Muslims have also lived there for many centuries.

In the middle of the 19th century, Hebron was deeply Muslim, and the social climate was hostile against the Jews present in the city. After the 6 Days War in 1967, Hebron came under Israeli occupation. Because of its strong religious symbolism, the Jews then started to build settlements within the Old City itself. Today the city is divided into two areas, H1 (80% of the city controlled by Palestinian authorities ) and H2 (20% of the city controlled by the Israeli military).

Most of the Old City (H1 area) is protected by a fence, to protect both sides from throwing garbage, eggs, bleach and even excrements at each other. Balconies and windows are protected by heavy metal bars. The hatred towards the Israeli settlers is expressed in every other sentence and more so to foreigners visiting. A large part of the Old City has been abandoned as the Palestinian population there have found it too difficult to make a living under the Israeli Military law and because of the division of the old city restricting Palestinian movement between areas within the old city. In the H1 old city areas, you’ll therefore see a lot of empty houses, shops and restaurants.

To visit Abrahams tomb, you must leave the H1-area through a military checkpoint. From there you can enter the tomb as it is literally located between the synagogue and the mosque, so it’s visible from both sites, but separated by bulletproof glass.

visit-palestine-military-checkpoint

The H2 area, the Jewish side, is basically just a residential area for the Israeli settlers and passage for the Israeli military between and around the settlements.

It is a complex place and the history of the conflict is so complicated it is impossible to know what’s “right or wrong”. In order to best understand what’s going on and to form your own opinion, I encourage you to talk to both the Palestinians and the Jews living in Hebron. The conflict is well known internationally and both sides are happy to share their story. Another great option is to take a guided dual perspective tour . The tour will be done by two guides sharing their life story, their experiences and feelings regarding living in Hebron. All is done with empathy for each of their respective countries and without demonizing the other side. It’s a very interesting experience that brings out a lot of emotions and thoughts about humanity’s bad and good sides. It truly is the best way to see both sides of the story and to get a grasp of the complexity and the scope of the situation.

4. Ramallah

Ramallah differs a lot from the rest of the cities in the West Bank. Here the tension is less noticeable, people carry on with their daily life and a lot of them even crosses the border every day to go and work in Tel Aviv, Jerusalem, Haifa or other Israeli cities. It´s a place with lots of restaurants, bars and pubs, but also with lots of history. Here you find the Palestinian History Museum and the tomb of Yasser Arafat.

Things to do in Ramallah

The Mausoleum and Museum

The place where the former President Yasser Arafat is buried is also a Historical Museum that showcases the story of Palestine from the Israeli-Palestinian conflict perspective. It is a really interesting museum and I would recommend spending a few hours, maybe even half a day here.

Eat, eat and eat.

There are so many restaurants in Ramallah and the food is mouthwatering! Palestinian food really is something! Try Peter´s Place ,  with stunning views over Palestine and the Dead Sea and a décor that brings the history of Palestine alive. The menu always changes and it is really one of the best places to experience Palestinian cuisine. And please, don´t miss out on the hummus. Hummus is generally eaten for two out of three meals per day and it´s safe to say that some of the best hummus in the world is found in the West Bank, and particularly so in Ramallah. Another great hummus place is Abu Walid. It isn´t fancy, rather the opposite. It’s a very simple place, plastic chairs, one big pot of hummus, pickles and lemonade. Located behind the maze-like fruit and vegetable market, Abu Walid is a bit tricky to find, but ask any local and you will be pointed in the direction of some of the best hummus you will ever taste!

visit-palestine-ramallah-market

Visit the Old City of Ramallah

The Old City will bring you back to the Ottoman empire. The Old City includes ruins of the ancient watchtower and the Ottoman court. This area of the city will give you a real authentic taste of Palestinian life.

Try the nightlife

Yes maybe bars and clubs aren´t the first to come to your mind when thinking about Palestine and the west bank, but this is a big part of life in Ramallah. The places to go is ever-changing and the best way to hit a homerun is to talk to the locals. They will not only tell you where to go, but they will invite you to their pre-drinks and bring you out with them into the young nights of Ramallah.

Nablus is an off the beaten track destination located in a beautiful valley between Mount Ebal and Gerizim. It has one of the most beautiful old cities in the Middle East. It is a vibrant city, the locals are super friendly and the food is just amazing. On top of that, it is home to some of the world´s best olive oil shops.

Things to do in Nablus

The Old City – Qasaba

Nablus  itself was actually modelled on the capital city of Damascus and wandering the streets of the Old City you will see remains of ancient mosques, public drinking fountains, the alleyways and passages of the Old City, and traditional balconies.

visit-palestine-street

Eat the world´s best Kanafeh

Kna-what? Kanafeh is a traditional  Middle Eastern  dessert made with shredded  filo pastry, or alternatively, fine semolina dough, soaked in sweet, sugar-based syrup, and typically layered with cheese, or with other ingredients such as  clotted cream  or nuts. Even if it doesn´t sound very appetizing it is one of the most popular deserts in Palestine, and most parts of the Middle East. And let me tell you – it is absolutely delicious. Luckily the world´s best Kanafeh can be found in Nablus at Al-Aqsa. Ask the locals for the way and join them in eating the warm Kanafeh in the street outside the tiny eatery Al-Aqsa.

visit-palestine-kanafeh

Jericho is considered the oldest inhabited city in the world. It is also the lowest city on earth, at 400 meters below sea level. It is filled with stunning Christian monasteries as well as ancient ruins, plenty of beautiful hikes and a Bedouin culture.

Things to do in Jericho

Visit Saint George Koziba monastery

A beautiful Greek Monastery was carved into the rocks in Wadi Quilt. The location has great religious significance and is well worth a visit. A dusty road leads up to the monastery and you can either walk or ride on a donkey-taxi to the monastery gate. Unlike many other monasteries, this one is open to female visitors. Even if the entrance is free it´s a good idea to get there early as it quickly fills up with pilgrims and tourists. The monastery welcomes guests from Monday to Saturday 9 am to 1 pm. It is safe to travel to the monastery but probably better to take a guided tour ,  rather than traveling solo, it is a bit of a haggle going there by public transportation. There are plenty of private tours, but I used Micheal Tours and I was really happy with my choice. Michael is super professional and has a lot of knowledge about the West Bank. The tour groups are small and really gives you a chance to see all that you want to see in one day.

visit-palestine-jericho

Mount of temptation and the Monastery of Quarantul

One of the most impressive sites in the entire West Bank is the Monastery of the Qurantul, built on the spot where the Bible says Jesus resisted Satan after his 40-day fast in the desert. Visitors to the mount can take the cable car from  Tel Jericho  to the summit or hike up the mount which will take about half an hour. A visit to the Mount of Temptation is often combined with a visit to Jericho or the Dead Sea because of their proximity. There aren´t really any opening hours for the monastery so the best thing is to go with Micheal tours again or another private tour of your preference.

What are you planning to do when you visit Palestine? Let us know in the comments below.

travel ke palestine

Find out how to quit your job, travel the world, and transform your life

Hey i'm chantell.

travel ke palestine

I quit my job to travel in 2014 and it's one of the best decisions I've ever made. I know first hand how hard it can be to get everything in place in order to be able to travel, to know what to pack and where to go, let alone how best to go about your travels once on the road. Here I share everything I've learnt so far so you don't have to learn through as much "trial and error" as I did... Read more

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10 Things I didn’t know before traveling to Palestine (West Bank)

By Joan Torres 27 Comments Last updated on April 8, 2024

travel ke palestine

Before traveling to Palestine, I didn’t know much about this small Middle Eastern country. To be very honest, I visited it just for political reasons, as all I wanted was to learn about the conflict between Palestine and Israel. 

From a cultural point of view, I thought that Palestine was just one more tiny Arab country, with not much to offer, except for some Biblical sites.

How wrong I was…

Palestine is a land full of surprises and, after spending one month there, these were the things that surprised me the most when I visited Palestine. 

Traveling to Palestine

1 – The West Bank is mostly green and fertile mountains

Remember that COVID travel insurance is mandatory for traveling to both Palestine & Israel I strongly recommend IATI Insurance : COVID-19 coverage + 5% discount 5% discount if purchasing via this link

It turns out that, for the most part, the West Bank is a mountainous, fertile region, consisting of lush, green, meadows, full of peace and harmony, only disturbed by the smell of olive trees and thyme.

Visiting the rural part of the West Bank was, definitely, one of the highlights of my trip, especially in the northern part of the country, around Jenin. Only the south-eastern part of the West Bank (around Jericho) is a desert. 

The green hills around Jenin (Raba village)

2 – Palestine is home to the most colorful job in the Middle East

While traveling in the West Bank, I discovered that selling pickles is the most colorful job in the Middle East . How cool is that? In Palestine, pickles are quite a big deal.

You’ll find them in all colors, shapes and you’ll eat them for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Beautiful shops, like the one below, can be seen all across the country.

The old city of Nablus, West Bank

3 – Be careful, the West Bank is expensive!

Unfortunately, traveling in Palestine is more expensive than you might think, with similar prices to Greece or Portugal. Except for falafel, which is the staple food, everything is quite costly.

Typically, non-fast food meals can cost around 8 to 15 USD. A dorm in a hostel will cost you something between 12 and 20 USD. A bottle of water costs nearly 1 USD! 

Read: Places to visit in the Middle East

Al Akhsa, Nablus. The most popular place for keneffeh

4 – You can find micro-breweries!

Given the large number of Biblical sites in the region, it is not at all surprising that there is a big Christian community in Palestine. In Taybeh, which is the village with the largest Christian population, you can find a micro-brewery that produces the finest and oldest Palestinian beer, named after the village, Taybeh.

Visitors are more than welcome and they even offer a free tour, where you can taste a few of their beers. Taybeh is easily accessible from Ramallah by bus or serveece (25 minutes). 

Visiting Taybeh micro-brewery

5 – Palestine has stunning Christian monasteries 

Before traveling to Palestine, I would have never thought that the West Bank had the most amazing Christian monasteries I have ever seen. Either carved or built on a cliff, these Greek Orthodox monasteries are built on important Biblical sites and, whether you are religious or not, your eyeballs will be blessed by these architectural masterpieces.

The three most important monasteries are: Mar Saba (accessible from Bethlehem on a day trip), Monastery of the Temptation (located in Jericho) and St George Koziba (in Wadi Quelt, very close to Jericho). 

Mar Saba Greek Orthodox monastery,

6 – Palestinians have a Mediterranean culture, similar to Lebanon

Prior to 1948, the current state of Israel was home to many Palestinians, meaning that they used to live along the Mediterranean coast. Today, unfortunately, the West Bank can’t enjoy this coast anymore but they have still kept some of their Mediterranean traditions.

This means that absolutely all your meals will be served with olive oil and, since I am from Spain, I felt at home!

An olive oil shop in the Old city of Nablus

7 – The West Bank is the most modern and civilized region in the Middle East

I’ve been to all the Middle Eastern countries, except for Syria and Yemen so, today, I can say with confidence that Palestine is the most modern and civilized Arab country in the Middle East. With a large middle class population, in Palestine, people drive relatively well, compared to its Arab neighbors, and people even fasten their seat belts on public buses!

Moreover, most restaurants, shops and hotels are clean and I would say that ninety percent of the toilets are Western toilets. Palestine is an easy country to travel around. 

The city of Nablus, the second biggest city in the West Bank

8 – The life in Palestinian refugee camps is not as you may think

The Palestinian refugee camps in the West Bank have been going for over 60 years. At the beginning, these camps were set up on dusty waste ground, full of famine and misery.

However, since the Israeli occupation seems to have no end, Palestinians have had to accept reality and started making these camps their actual homes, to the extent that, over the decades, they built houses, paved the streets, opened shops and, of course, created families. The Palestinian refugee camps have become city neighborhoods. 

One of the best traveling experiences I’ve ever had was staying in one of those camps. You can read about my experience here: Airbnb in a Palestinian refugee camp .

Ghassan Kanafan, Palestinian writer

9 – Food goes beyond shawarma and falafels

Before traveling to Palestine, I had heard so many horror stories about Palestinian food:

You’ll be eating only shawarma and falafel for a whole month! Good luck!

Apparently, one traveler shot himself after eating his 100th falafel!

That’s what some people told me. I was so scared! However, when I got there, I found out that, clearly, they didn’t know where to look for the good food.

Palestinian cuisine is broad and whereas it’s true that most restaurants only serve Arabic fast food, in every city, you can find restaurants serving traditional home-made food, my favorite dishes being Makluba (rice, chicken, eggplant and cauliflower) and Msakhan (roast chicken with loads of onions). 

Palestine Msakhan, consisting of roasted chicken on a thick slice of bread and covered with onions and chestnuts

10 – Ramallah: a modern and westernized capital

The former capital of Palestine used to be Jerusalem but, as it’s under Israeli control today, Ramallah has become the administrative capital. Home to a big expat community, either diplomats or NGO workers, Ramallah is a cosmopolitan and modern city where you can spend time drinking at any of the endless pubs or eating at the best fine dining restaurants in the country.

More information for visiting the Palestine

📢 In my Travel Resources Page you can find the list of all the sites and services I use to book hotels, tours, travel insurance and more.

Don’t forget to check our travel guide to Palestine .

As well as all our Palestine articles:

  • Travel Guide to Hebron
  • A Guide to Kuffiya Factory in Hebron
  • Palestinian Refugee Camp in Bethlehem
  • A City Guide to Gaza

27 comments

Really interesting read. It looks like a beautiful country, and your mention of how its refugee camps have been turned into homely neighbourhoods is very inspiring.. Makluba sounds delicious!

Hi, Shannon. Makluba is the most famous Palestinian dish and we were lucky enough to eat it home-made!

Really cool, amazing to see a side of Palestine that’s totally different from how it is portrayed in mainstream media. Looks like a very multifaceted place! Thanks for sharing 🙂

95% of the times, the media is only talking about Gaza, which is less than 10% of total Palestine and a region which you are not allowed to visit as a tourist 🙂

Joan, what a great, detailed post you have compiled! I’d have never imagined that the West Bank is so picturesque yet expensive. I also really loved your way of flirting with words and especially the descriptions of the food. I am going for lunch now!

¡Muchas gracias, mi amigo, y qué tengas un día estupendo!

thanks Svet! Yeah, beyond Bethlehem and the few touristic sites, the West Bank is full of surprises! Thank you for your kind comment. It’s good to hear from an actual writer. All the best 😉

Brilliant Pedro. These facts are stunning to me because the Western media paints such a dire image of the place. The US media is a freaking joke, dividing the world by reporting that Palestine is some huge war zone, or a terrible place. Disgraceful. Thanks for shedding light on this fascinating, beautiful culture. I can’t wait to visit.

Thanks man. Yeah, and not only American but worldwide. Those Muslim countries are home to an incredible beauty. The only issue is that the media only shows the bad part of it

Looks like a beautiful and interesting place – the Msakhan looks delish 🙂

thank you <:)

It is delicious!

About paragraph #7 – ( “I’ve been to all the Middle Eastern countries, except for Syria and Yemen so, today, I can say with confidence that Palestine is the most modern and civilized country in the Middle East” ) – surely, Israel is the most developed Middle Eastern country, don’t you think?

Thanks for your correction. It’s obviously Israel but I mean Arab countries. I will add ”Arab”

Would you say it’s more developed than Beirut? Lebanon seemed so much more developed than anything I’ve seen in these areas…

You already went to Syria too now 🙂 So only Yemen is missing your list Pretty cool

Israel is illegal apartheid and murderers not developed

This type of comment is not in context to anything content-wise, and should be deleted.

also Saudi Turkey Iran are most developed

Any tips about Gaza Strip? In february I am going on a humanitarian mission during 10 days in Gaza.

Hi Antonio, no i have never been to Gaza

Hi there, this sounds a relieving list of beautiful things in Palestine. I would like your advice as a United States female traveller going from Tel Aviv to visiting Palestine for 2 nights… I have a friend I had invited to come along & is talking me out of staying there because of how we may disrespectfully be ignorant as tourists in their country that has/is experiencing immense suffering. I am torn with changing my itinerary to accommodating her comfort. But how true is her feelings about Palestinians towards tourists? And is Palestine okay to visit in one day? Safety is the biggest concern, which I understand is a common feeling.

I Kat, don’t really understand you first question, but in any case, Palestinians are generally kind towards tourists regardless where you stay. Palestine is OK to visit in one, two or 10 days, no problem, and it is a safe country.

Is it possible to visit Nablus or other Palestinan cities in 2022? As a US citizen? If so do you have to get permission from Israel first like a visa? Thanks!

Hello Ells, you don’t need any permission, anybody is free to go there 🙂

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Things you should know before visiting Palestine

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Do your research

Before visiting any country, it is important to understand the country’s history, culture, and politics, at least on a basic level. As a tourist, it is your responsibility to understand how to travel ethically and safely in whatever country you are visiting.

International Travel

There are no airports in Palestine, so international flights typically fly into Ben Gurion airport in Tel Aviv, Israel. You can also choose to cross into Israel via the Allenby Bridge in Jordan. In either case, there are no direct routes to the West Bank, so you will need to take a private taxi, a bus, a train, or a sherut (shared taxi) depending on your final destination. From Tel Aviv, you will have to take transport to Damascus Gate in Jerusalem. From there, you can find many buses, taxis, and sheruts that can take you to virtually any destination in the West Bank.

Preparing Travel Documents

It is important to note that Israel does not have the best relationship with neighboring Arab countries. If you have passport stamps from other countries in the Middle East, you may be denied entry into Israel. Tourists are allowed to stay for up to three months without a special visa. You need not apply for a visa prior to flying to Tel Aviv; you will be given a ‘blue slip’ visa upon arrival that should be kept in your passport at all times. Do not lose this slip! If you lose your visa, you will be required to pay a hefty penalty fee to the state of Israel before leaving the country.

At the Airport

Depending on your starting point and any potential layovers, you might be questioned about the purpose of your travel prior to entering Israel. Furthermore, depending on your nationality, what passport(s) you hold, and your religion, you may be subject to more questioning upon your arrival in Israel. I recommend preparing an itinerary in case you are asked about your stay. If you are volunteering in the West Bank or participating on alternative tours in Palestine, I recommend not mentioning this to Israeli TSA, as you may be detained longer for further questioning.

Be mindful of the Israeli Occupation

If you are going to be traveling to the West Bank, you will likely have to pass through checkpoints. If you are traveling by bus or taxi, these shouldn’t be too much of a concern. However, if you are traveling with Palestinians in a private car, passing through a checkpoint may be a more stressful situation. Be prepared to answer many questions, including “Where are you from?” and “Where are you going?” ALWAYS carry your passport when traveling in the West Bank because they are often checked at checkpoints. Israeli Defense Force (IDF) soldiers may also stop you as you are walking around to check your travel documents. Therefore, it is crucial to keep your passport and visa with you at all times.

Is Palestine Safe?

A common misconception is that the West Bank is an unsafe place to visit, and this view is perpetuated in the media. However, Palestine is very safe for international tourists. However, I would recommend staying updated with current events through local news channels. There are occasionally clashes between Palestinians and IDF soldiers that may make certain areas less safe and more difficult to travel to. At the moment, it is best to avoid travel to Nablus and Jenin due to ongoing clashes.

What the Language of Palestinians?

Arabic is the official language of Palestine. However, many people speak at least basic English, so it shouldn’t be difficult to get around if you don’t know any Arabic. It might be helpful to learn a few basic phrases before you travel to Palestine, if only to impress your Palestinian hosts.

Palestinian Hospitality

Palestinians are some of the kindest, most welcoming people in the world, perhaps especially to tourists. It is not uncommon to be approached on the street by Palestinians who want to practice their English or invite you to their homes. When passing shops or even gas stations, you will likely be invited in for a coffee or tea. If you have the time, this is an excellent opportunity to immerse yourself in Palestinian culture and honor and respect your Palestinian hosts.

Food in Palestine

Palestine is home to some of the best cuisine in the world. Traditional Palestinian dishes often include rice and meat, either beef or chicken. Vegetarian dishes might be harder to find in Palestine, but not impossible. Falafel and shawarma are excellent ‘fast-food’ and are usually the cheapest food options. For sit down meals, dishes like maklouba or mansaf are highly recommended. My personal favorite dish is called musakhan , which is made of bread, chicken, onion, and olive oil. It is a very simple dish with delicious, savory flavors.

Currency & Cost

The official currency in both Israel and Palestine is the New Israeli Shekel (NIS). Israel is fairly expensive, with similar prices to those in the United States and many countries in Western Europe. Palestine is cheaper than Israel but may be more expensive than you think. Food like falafel is usually around 5 shekels, and shawarma costs around 15 shekels. Sit-down meals might cost between 30 and 60 shekels per person, depending on restaurant and dish choices.

Religion in Palestine

A common misconception is that all Palestinians are Muslim. Though Islam is the dominant religion in Palestine, there is a sizeable population of Christian Palestinians, especially in Bethlehem and Jerusalem.

Dressing Code in Palestine

Because Palestinian culture is typically more conservative and traditional than that in other countries, it is respectful to wear modest clothing. For women, this means covering shoulders, elbows, and knees and avoiding tight-fitting clothing. Jeans and t-shirts are acceptable. For men, this means wearing long pants that cover the knees. Men and women alike may be asked to wear special coverings at holy sites like mosques; they will be provided to you upon your arrival.

Alternative Tours

If you are interested in learning more about the Israeli occupation, Palestinian refugee crisis, and Palestinian life in general, I recommend taking an alternative tour. These are offered by various companies in cities all over the West Bank; Green Olive Tours and Breaking the Silence tours are some of the most popular. The Breaking the Silence tours are not held every day and they book up quickly, so be sure to plan ahead. In Bethlehem, tours of the Separation Wall and Aida Refugee camp are some of the best ways to gain a deeper understanding of the Israeli occupation and Palestinian displacement. The famous Walled Off Hotel, designed by British artist, Banksy, gives two tours a day for 130 shekels per person and your tour guide will be an inhabitant of Aida refugee camp. The Walled Off Hotel is an excellent place to stay in Bethlehem, but it is not the cheapest hotel option. However, it is open to the public and it is recommended that you visit to see the hotel’s museum about the occupation and its art gallery featuring local Palestinian artwork.

Domestic Travel

The cheapest means of traveling around the West Bank are by bus and sherut. Buses typically cost between 5 and 15 shekels, depending on where you want to travel. Sheruts usually cost between 10 and 30 shekels, per person. Be mindful that the holy day in Palestine is Friday, so many shops and restaurants will be closed. Some will reopen in the evenings on Fridays and bakeries and groceries stores are usually open as well. If you are traveling into or around Jerusalem, note that most public transportation is not available between sunset on Fridays and sunset on Saturdays. This is because of the Jewish holy day, known as shabbat. However, you can usually find private and shared taxis on these days.

Visit Palestine!

It is my hope that this “Know Before You Go” list has encouraged you to visit Palestine and piqued your curiosity about one of the most incredible countries I have ever visited. Tourism is one of the best ways to support Palestinians and contribute to the local economy and is crucial to comprehensively understanding the situation in Palestine. Make sure to speak to the locals, ask your guides questions, and keep an open mind. You won’t regret the experience.

  • Our campaign
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  • Background and media

Travelling to the occupied Palestinian territories (oPt) has never been easy. Permission to enter is controlled by Israel’s Coordinating Office for Government Affairs in the Territories (COGAT). Entry is often denied, with little or no explanation. This is all part of the extensive matrix of control Israel has over every aspect of Palestinian life.

It’s about to get even harder. In February 2022, COGAT published a 97-page document called Procedure for Entry and Residence for Foreigners in Judea and Samaria Area . These regulations come into force on 20 October 2022.

The new rules restrict, track, and trace the travel of foreign and Palestinian nationals to the oPt, and require disclosure of personal data. A pre-approval application has to be submitted and requires the names and ID numbers of first-degree relatives, names of family members with whom they will visit, and names and ID numbers for others they will stay with.

Visitors must also state whether they own or stand to inherit property in the West Bank. No equivalent information is required to be disclosed by a traveller staying with an Israeli or other national residing in illegal (as recognised by the UK government) settlements in the oPt.

Due to pressure from the US administration, the introduction of the new procedures has been delayed. So far, the UK has not made any representation to the Israeli government to oppose these new invasive restrictions.

We are working with individuals and organisations to raise the issue with parliamentarians, and demand action to protect access and the rights of people travelling to Palestine.

Check out the excellent Right to Enter Campaign

Read their most recent briefing document on the new restrictions

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It is our mission to inform people about the situation in Israel and occupied Palestine.

This is not just a humanitarian crisis; it’s a political problem that can only be solved when people understand what needs to be done. We provide expert-led small group tours to occupied Palestine and Israel and an online political briefing service for politicians and all those who want to be better informed.

Encounter Palestine Tour

This tour explores the West Bank, including Bethlehem and Jerusalem. You will see the wall and checkpoints, meet with Palestinian and Israelis, and learn about the impact of Israeli settlements. Read more

Palestinian citizens of Israel Tour

Palestinian citizens have been much in the news, and there is greater awareness of the discrimination they face. This tour takes in Nazareth, Jaffa and we also visit the Golan Heights to learn more about the unique situation there. Read more

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We will be running our first tour of Gaza. This will be a chance for you to learn from Palestinians directly about the situation, the history and the future for Palestinians living in Gaza Sign-up for an invite

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Jerusalem & West Bank tours starting up again!

Travel2Palestine are back in action.  We’re taking the first group of the post-Covid era back to Jerusalem at the end of May for a five-day tour of the West Bank.

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Like you, we are horrified by the war against Ukraine and pleased to see concerted international support for Ukrainians, even if this could go further.  From a Palestinian point of view the effect of the war has been, first of all, to overshadow their conflict with Israel – especially in the media – but in…

MPs back recognition of Palestine

Nearly 8 years on, MPs back recognition of Palestine by twenty speeches to six  Backbench debate on Recognition of PalestineThursday February 24th 2022  It’s now nearly eight years since the historic House of Commons debate of October 2014 in which MPs voted by 274 to 14 to urge the UK Government to redeem its endlessly recycled…

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Israel, the West Bank and Gaza Travel Advisory

Travel advisory april 11, 2024, see individual summaries.

Updated with information on travel restrictions for U.S. government employees under Chief of Mission security responsibility. 

Do Not Travel To :

  • Gaza due to  terrorism and  armed conflict

Reconsider Travel To :

  • Israel due to  terrorism  and  civil unrest
  • West Bank due to  terrorism  and  civil unrest

Country Summary:  Terrorist groups, lone-actor terrorists and other violent extremists continue plotting possible attacks in Israel, the West Bank, and Gaza. Terrorists and violent extremists may attack with little or no warning, targeting tourist locations, transportation hubs, markets/shopping malls, and local government facilities. Violence can occur in Israel, the West Bank, and Gaza without warning.

Some areas have increased risk. Read the  country information page  for additional information on travel to Israel and the West Bank, and Gaza. 

Visit the CDC page for the latest  Travel Health Information  related to your travel.

If you decide to travel to Israel, the West Bank, and Gaza.

  • Visit our website for Travel to High-Risk Areas .
  • Check the most recent Alerts at the  Embassy  website for the latest information on travel in all of these areas.  
  • Maintain a high degree of situational awareness and exercise caution at all times, especially at checkpoints and other areas with a significant presence of security forces. 
  • Avoid demonstrations and crowds. 
  • Follow the instructions of security and emergency response officials. 
  • Beware of and report suspicious activities, including unattended items, to local police. 
  • Learn the location of the nearest bomb shelter or other hardened shelter. Download the Home Front Command Red Alert application for mobile devices (available on devices within Israel) to receive real time alerts for rocket attacks. 
  • Obtain comprehensive travel medical insurance that includes medical evacuation prior to travel. Most travel insurance packages do not cover mental health related illnesses/care.  
  • Enroll in the  Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP)  to receive Alerts and make it easier to locate you in an emergency. 
  • Follow the Department of State on  Facebook  and  Twitter . 
  • Review the  Country Security Report  for Israel, the West Bank, and Gaza.  
  • Prepare a contingency plan for emergency situations. Review the  Traveler’s Checklist .

Gaza – Do Not Travel

Do not travel due to  terrorism and  armed conflict .

The U.S. government is unable to provide routine or emergency consular services to U.S. citizens in Gaza as U.S. government employees are prohibited from traveling there. The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) are conducting large-scale military operations in Gaza against Hamas, a U.S. government-designated foreign terrorist organization, which was responsible for the October 7 attack on Israel. As a result of the armed conflict, the security environment within Gaza and on its borders is extremely dangerous and volatile. The pedestrian crossing between Gaza and Israel was damaged on October 7 and remains closed, and the pedestrian crossing between Egypt and Gaza may close without advance notice depending on the security situation. There are sporadic telecommunication and internet outages within Gaza further inhibiting the ability of residents to obtain information. 

Visit our website for  Travel to High Risk Areas .  

If you decide to travel to Gaza:

  • Be prepared for an indefinite stay as the crossings between Gaza with Israel and Egypt can close without advance notice and for long periods during times of unrest and armed conflict.
  • Have a plan for entering and departing Gaza that does not rely on U.S. government assistance.
  • Households with infants and young children should plan for food and supplies, such as diapers and wipes, formula or baby food, and a change of clothing.
  • If you take medication, make sure to have at least five days’ worth at any given time – if you can, we encourage enough for two weeks beyond your scheduled trip and have a copy of your prescriptions handy.
  • If you use assistive or medical devices that require a power supply, be sure to find backup power or other ways that will sustain your device or equipment during a power outage.
  • Draft a will and designate appropriate insurance beneficiaries and/or power of attorney.
  • Discuss a plan with loved ones regarding care/custody of children, pets, property, belongings, non-liquid assets (collections, artwork, etc.), funeral wishes, etc.
  • Leave DNA samples with your medical provider in case it is necessary for your family to access them.

Please be sure to visit our website for How to Prepare for a Crisis for information that may be helpful. 

Israel – Reconsider Travel

Reconsider travel due to  terrorism and civil unrest .

The security situation remains unpredictable, and U.S. citizens are reminded to remain vigilant and take appropriate steps to increase their security awareness as security incidents, including mortar and rocket fire, often take place without warning.

U.S. government employees in Israel under Chief of Mission security responsibility are currently restricted from personal travel to the following locations:

  • Within seven miles of the Gaza demarcation line, as well as the cities of Ashdod and Ashkelon;
  • Within 2.5 miles of the Lebanese and Syrian borders; and
  • Within 1.5 miles of the Israel-Egypt border.

Additional travel restrictions may be imposed on U.S. government employees under Chief of Mission security responsibility, with little to no notice due to increased security issues or threats.

West Bank – Reconsider Travel

U.S. government employees in Israel under Chief of Mission security responsibility are currently restricted from all personal travel to the West Bank, except:

  • U.S. government employees can use Routes 1, 90, and 443 at any time. 
  • U.S. government employees are permitted personal travel to Jericho. 
  • U.S. government employees are permitted daylight travel to: Inn of the Good Samaritan, An-Nabi Musa, Wadi Qelt Nature Preserve, and St. George’s Monastery along Route 1; and Qumran, Kalia Beach, St. Gerasimos/Khogla Monastery, Al Auju, and Qasr al-Yaud baptismal site along Route 90. 

Over the past few months, there has been an increase in settler violence, Israeli military operations, and terrorist attacks.

Additional travel restrictions may be imposed on U.S. government employees under Chief of Mission security responsibility with little to no notice due to increased security issues or threats.

Visit our website for  Travel to High Risk Areas .

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12 Perkara Penting Yang Anda Perlu Tahu Sebelum Travel Ke Jerusalem Palestine

travel ke palestine

Tak begitu banyak info tentang bagaimana untuk ke Palestine yang dikongsikan oleh mereka yang pernah ke sana.

Jika ada yang berkongsi, kebanyakkannya dalam bentuk karangan yang panjang sehingga sukar untuk kita mendapatkan point-point penting secara terus dan straight to the point.

travel ke palestine

Untuk itu, saya berjaya mendapatkan kebenaran daripada Zaid Traveler , seorang anak muda yang berpengalaman travel di negara Timur Tengah untuk berkongsi 12 tips penting yang boleh dijadikan panduan  buat yang ingin ke Palestine.

Untuk pengetahuan, rakyat Palestine sangat mengalu-alukan kedatangan dan kunjungan rakyat Malaysia kerana antara punca pendapatan mereka adalah dari sektor pelancongan.

Selain daripada dapat melihat kesan sejarah, kunjungan anda ke Palestine juga secara langsung akan menjadi sokongan moral kepada saudara seagama di sana yang sentiasa ditindas oleh tentera dan orang-orang Israel.

Baca: Inspirasi Dari Rakyat Gaza. #4 Paling Kontroversi

Berikut adalah tips daripada Zaid.

zaid-traveller-3

Sedikit panduan untuk masuk ke Jerusalem Palestin.

Cara yang paling mudah untuk masuk ialah melalui Jordan (King Hussien Bridge) dan melalui Allenby border Israel. Walaupun Palestin merupakan sebuah negara, tetapi sempadan dikawal oleh askar Israel Zionis. Pelik kan!

Berikut beberapa nota penting dan tip untuk ke Jerusalem :

  • Tak perlu Mahram bagi wanita untuk ke Jerusalem (Masjid Al-Aqsa)
  • Perlu dapatkan visa daripada Israel
  • Visa perlu mohon sebaiknya 45 hari awal, sebab proses ambil masa yang agak lama untuk siap.
  • Untuk mohon visa Israel perlu melalui mana-mana agensi di Jordan, boleh mohon via emel sahaja.
  • Bayaran visa ke Jerusalem dikenakan sebanyak USD15.
  • Bayaran departure tax dekat border Israel sebanyak USD55, untung Israel ni, dah la ceroboh tanah orang, dia paw lagi duit orang. Haha.
  • Dicadangkan minima 3 hari di Palestin, selain dari Jerusalem boleh pergi ke Hebron, Jericho dan Bethlehem.
  • Bagi kaum lelaki, jangan pakai kopiah semasa berada di border Israel, nanti banyak soal askar zionis, urusan pun akan jadi rumit dan lambat. Tunggu lepas masuk ke Jerusalem baru pakai.
  • Walaupun Israel membenarkan kita duduk maksima 3 bulan, tetapi kita tidak boleh duduk lebih dari sebulan, bergantung pada tempoh visa Jordan, maknanya sebelum tamat visa Jordan kita wajib keluar dari Palestin. Visa Jordan boleh mohon masa sampai, dapat 30 hari.
  • Bila masuk melalui Allenby border, masa balik pun mesti melalui border yang sama, tidak boleh untuk kita keluar melalui border lain seperti Eillat ataupun Tel Aviv.
  • Dah alang-alang masuk melalui Jordan, boleh terus jalan-jalan Jordan, banyak tempat-tempat menarik di sana.
  • Dicadangkan 10 hari untuk lawatan ke Palestin dan Jordan.

Untuk ke Gaza lain pula caranya, percubaan saya utk ke Gaza dah beberapa kali digagalkan oleh Israel Zionis. Geram sungguh! Mungkin bukan rezeki lagi.

Baca lagi: 3 Hari Di Palestin, Pemuda Ini Berkongsi Pesanan Daripada Imam Masjidil Aqsa

Buat anda yang membaca, Palestine menunggu kunjungan dan ziarah kita.

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Rakyat jepun seru masyarakat dunia boikot family mart, ini sebabnya, ‘where is malaysia’- warga israel ini ‘perli’ kedudukan malaysia dalam sukan olimpik 2020, israel ‘kantoi’ guna video kursus pengurusan jenazah di malaysia bagi tujuan propaganda, caprice mahu buat pendedahan keadaan sebenar di gaza dalam masa terdekat, umpama siri ‘prison break’, enam warga palestin dilaporkan berjaya bolos dari penjara paling ketat israel, ai: block 4, ai: block 12.

COMMENTS

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  3. Palestine: Comprehensive Travel Guide 2024 & 11-day Itinerary

    This ultimate travel guide to Palestine (West Bank) is everything you need to know for an independent trip to the most interesting places in Palestine. Read our 11 days Palestine itinerary with detailed descriptions of transportation, including the exact shared taxi locations, prices, where to stay, including refugee camps, how to cross the ...

  4. Palestinian Territories travel

    Palestinian Territories. Middle East. Split between the West Bank, with its sun-baked hills, chaotic cities and ancient biblical sites, and Gaza, a war-ravaged strip of coastal land sealed on three sides by Israel and Egypt, the Palestinian Territories has long been an unorthodox stop on a Middle East itinerary. 01 / Attractions.

  5. Getting In

    If you wish to enter or exit either of the territories, be you foreign or Palestinian, you will first have to successfully pass through checkpoints controlled by the Israeli military. There are no direct flights to either the West Bank or Gaza. In 2000 the airport at Qalandia was closed for civilian travel and the Israeli Defence Forces took ...

  6. Palestine Travel Guide 2024: What to See, Do, Costs, & Ways to Save

    Capital: de facto administrative capital: Ramallah / de jure capital: East Jerusalem. Government: PNA (Palestinian National Authority). Currency: Israeli new shekel (ILS) with Jordanian dinars widely accepted in the West Bank (JOD). Area: 6,020 km². Population: 5,052 million (2020). Language: Arabic; English and Hebrew are the most commonly used foreign languages

  7. Planning a trip to Palestine: A Detailed Guide

    Palestine is a magnificent country, despite the bad associations that people have with it due to the tyranny, war, and politics. Every traveler who is prepared to look past the headlines will find that it has much to offer when planning a trip to Palestine. It has a rich history, hospitable people, and breathtaking scenery.

  8. Visiting Palestine

    Palestine is one of the most interesting places not only in the Middle East but in the world. It has a very unique culture, history, friendly people and delicious food. So, it's not only about Biblical places. Based on my experience with and knowledge about Palestine, I've written this comprehensive guide for traveling in Palestine. So,

  9. The Occupied Palestinian Territories travel advice

    Help from FCDO in Israel and the OPTs. Consular support is severely limited where FCDO advises against travel. If you need consular assistance call: +44 176 766 7600 (UK number) +972 (0)3 725 1222 ...

  10. How to Travel to Palestine, What to See in Palestine

    Photo: gary yim /Shutterstock. Start in Bethlehem. Take a taxi (15 minutes) or the Bus 21 from Jerusalem (near Damascus Gate in the Old City, it takes 30 minutes). Once in Bethlehem, hire a taxi driver (negotiate the fixed price first) to take you around.

  11. The ONLY Travel Guide You'll Ever Need When Visiting Palestine

    4. During Your Stay: Things You NEED To See and Eat. What You Need To See: Avoid touristic/historical sites in Jerusalem, the Old City, and the occupied Golan Heights which are run by the Israeli occupation. Increasingly visit Palestinian families in both the West Bank and Gaza, as well as camps.

  12. How to Visit Palestine?

    Heading to Bethlehem (Around 45 minutes) If you are visiting Bethlehem, you may take a bus which is found at the old Arab bus station, Damascus Gate, in Jerusalem. You should look for Bus Number 231 to Bethlehem. These buses depart frequently, and the trip from Jerusalem to Bethlehem should take about 45 minutes and cost about seven shekels.

  13. My guide on how to visit Palestine

    Palestine is also divided into Area A; Area B and Area C. This division was established during the Oslo Accords, a series of agreements that were signed in the 1990s as part of the peace process. Area A is in full control of the Palestinian Authorities. There are no Israeli settlements in Area A and Israeli citizens can't enter it.

  14. 10 Things I didn't know before traveling to Palestine (West Bank)

    1 - The West Bank is mostly green and fertile mountains. Remember that COVID travel insurance is mandatory for traveling to both Palestine & Israel I strongly recommend IATI Insurance: COVID-19 coverage + 5% discount 5% discount if purchasing via this link. It turns out that, for the most part, the West Bank is a mountainous, fertile region ...

  15. Things you should know before visiting Palestine

    Traditional Palestinian dishes often include rice and meat, either beef or chicken. Vegetarian dishes might be harder to find in Palestine, but not impossible. Falafel and shawarma are excellent 'fast-food' and are usually the cheapest food options. For sit down meals, dishes like maklouba or mansaf are highly recommended.

  16. Israel, the West Bank, and Gaza International Travel Information

    Call us in Washington, D.C. at 1-888-407-4747 (toll-free in the United States and Canada) or 1-202-501-4444 (from all other countries) from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m., Eastern Standard Time, Monday through Friday (except U.S. federal holidays). See the State Department's travel website for the Worldwide Caution and Travel Advisories.

  17. Tourism in the State of Palestine

    Tourism in the Palestinian territories is tourism in East Jerusalem, the West Bank, and the Gaza Strip. In 2010, 4.6 million people visited the Palestinian territories, compared to 2.6 million in 2009. Of that number, 2.2 million were foreign tourists while 2.7 million were domestic. [1] In the last quarter of 2012 over 150,000 guests stayed in ...

  18. Travel Palestine

    The new rules restrict, track, and trace the travel of foreign and Palestinian nationals to the oPt, and require disclosure of personal data. A pre-approval application has to be submitted and requires the names and ID numbers of first-degree relatives, names of family members with whom they will visit, and names and ID numbers for others they ...

  19. Travel2Palestine

    Latest News. Travel2Palestine are back in action. We're taking the first group of the post-Covid era back to Jerusalem at the end of May for a five-day tour of the West Bank. Explore Palestine and Israel in small groups with expert political guides: includes Hebron, Ramallah, Bethlehem and Jerusalem.

  20. Israel, the West Bank and Gaza Travel Advisory

    Reconsider travel due to terrorism and civil unrest. U.S. government employees in Israel under Chief of Mission security responsibility are currently restricted from all personal travel to the West Bank, except: U.S. government employees can use Routes 1, 90, and 443 at any time. U.S. government employees are permitted personal travel to Jericho.

  21. Palestine Gaza Walking Tour 4K

    Support our journey: https://gofund.me/1ea48f60Join me in this walking tour in Gaza Palestine. A full experience travel vlog in Gaza Strip Palestine قطاع غزة...

  22. 12 Perkara Penting Yang Anda Perlu Tahu Sebelum Travel Ke ...

    Untuk itu, saya berjaya mendapatkan kebenaran daripada Zaid Traveler, seorang anak muda yang berpengalaman travel di negara Timur Tengah untuk berkongsi 12 tips penting yang boleh dijadikan panduan buat yang ingin ke Palestine.. Untuk pengetahuan, rakyat Palestine sangat mengalu-alukan kedatangan dan kunjungan rakyat Malaysia kerana antara punca pendapatan mereka adalah dari sektor pelancongan.

  23. Jangan Nekat, Begini Cara Keluar dan Masuk ke Palestina

    Dilansir dari ecpalestine, simak cara masuk dan keluar dari Palestina berikut ini: 1. Masuk Palestina Melalui Tel Aviv. Baca Juga: 24 jam setelah Kembali dari Gaza, Seorang Prajurit Israel Bunuh Diri. Untuk masuk ke Palestina, wisatawan bisa terbang ke Bandara Internasional Ben-Gurion yang berada di Tel-Aviv, Israel.