Israel has a bad rep when it comes to tourism because of all the headlines and news. For over 1,500 years, Muslims, Jews, and Christians have been fighting over the holy land. Therefore, the sight of barbed wire and armed soldiers is a common sight. However, contrary to popular belief, Israel is extremely safe to travel to and is worth all the time in the world.

From World War II memorials to cosmopolitan cities and crusader fortresses to biblical ruins, Israel is worth your time. There are places to visit in Israel that will take your breath away. Did you know that there are only seven makteshim in the world with five of them in Israel including the biggest – Maktesh Ramon? If that doesn’t fascinate you, its fascinating history of over 5,000 years, beautiful beaches on Mediterranean coasts, buzzing nightlife, and delicious cuisine will.

Usually, when a traveler thinks of a Mediterranean vacation, Greece, Croatia, or Italy comes to mind. This article will try to change your perspective and explain why Israel should be your pick. Here are the most happening places to visit in Israel that will offer your lifetime’s worth of memories and experiences.

Tel Aviv

Tel Aviv is considered the cosmopolitan heart of Israel with cafe culture and buzzing nightlife. Visitors can do a range of activities like exploring the Carmel market, visit Sharona, the oldest modern village existing, and enjoy the scenic sunset over the city.

Additionally, Tel Aviv is also home to some of the best beaches in Israel, including Gordon Beach, Frishman Beach, and Banana Beach. Thanks to the extended coastline, Tel Aviv has amazing marine parks and a ton of water sports activities to offer. The best part, the weather in Tel Aviv offers 300 days of sunshine with a comfortable 20-degrees lower range and 30-degrees upper range to enjoy beaches.

For history buffs, the city has a lot of ancient museums displaying the rich cultural heritage of the place, like the Tel Aviv Museum of Art. All of these attractions and the rich past of the place make a visit to Tel Aviv a must.

Acre

Just an hour’s drive up the coast from Tel Aviv is Acre, also known as the fortress city of Akko. This is one of the best tourist places to visit in Israel, with architectural wonders from the past. Every nook and corner of the city is dotted with ancient monuments, forts, and domed mosques.

The panoramic views and massive towers or minarets are a treat to the eyes. Visitors can check out Burj-el-Kummander, Wall Museum, Citadel, Crusader City, Ahmed El-Jazzar mosque, and Weizmann street in Acre.

Haifa

Haifa is another popular tourist attraction in Israel, with numerous eateries and places to hang out. The strategic location of the port city is a massive draw. The famous town is adorned by beautiful monasteries, promenades, gardens, and beaches.

Haifa offers exciting tourist spots like Stella Maris Carmelite Monastery, Ein Hod Artists Village, BatGalim Beach, Baha’i Gardens, Mount Carmel, Tel Megiddo, Elijah’s Case, and Carmel National Park.

Jaffa

Located to the south of Tel Aviv, the ancient port city of Jaffa is one of the best places to visit in Israel. According to the holy bible, the city has been named after the son of Noah, Japhet. Like the rest of Israel, Jaffa also offers ancient buildings, cafes, and art galleries to visitors.

The most prominent tourist attraction in Jaffa is the Clock Tower that dates back to Ottoman Empire. Apart from that, it’s recommended to take a stroll across Marzuk Street, dine at the Yefet or Olei Zion Street, and enjoy entertainment shows at the flea market area every Thursday night. Other attractions include Jaffa Slope Park, HaPisgah Garden, Jaffa Port, and Ilana Goor Museum.

Eilat

Eilat is one of the hot favorites for tourists visiting Israel because of its rich wildlife, marine life, and extended beach. The place is home to the Red Sea, where visitors can try snorkeling and scuba diving. Visitors can also enjoy wildlife and eco-tours around the national park region and cultural tours in Eilat.

Other must-visit spots include the Eilat Bird Sanctuary, the world’s oldest copper mine, and Coral Beach Nature Reserve. These three attractions are together fondly called Big 3 Park Tour. Apart from these, Timna Park, Dolphinarium, Red Canyon, Timna Park, Eilat Marina, and Underwater Marine Observatory.

These were the top five cities to visit in Israel apart from the obvious Jerusalem, Bethlehem, and Nazareth. Also, a trip to Israel is not complete without a visit to the Dead Sea and the Sea of Galilee, both of which are popular for their natural healing and remedies.