There are many excellent day trips from Tel Aviv that you can easily do independently or on a guided tour. All it takes is deciding when and where you want to go.

Tel Aviv is a city bustling with life. Its center is packed with interesting architecture – from the modern skyscrapers to the Bauhaus buildings for which it’s been called the White City and which have been added to the list of UNESCO World Heritage sites. 

It’ll take you a couple of days to discover everything that Tel Aviv has to offer, and you may feel tempted to stay and enjoy its welcoming vibe, its energy. However, Tel Aviv is also a great starting point to visit many other places in Israel, and you should take advantage of its central position to explore the rest of the country. 

In this post, I highlight the best places that can be visited on day trips from Tel Aviv and share some information on how to get there and how to fully enjoy your experience. 

Day trips from Tel Aviv Jerusalem

Jerusalem is the perfect place for a day trip from Tel Aviv

13 Incredible Day Trips From Tel Aviv

Jerusalem

Jerusalem is a favorite destination to visit on day trips from Tel Aviv. 

This is a city packed with history and culture, that you have to visit at least once in life – whether you are religious or not. The city has two souls: a religious one (it’s a sacred city to the three monotheistic religions) and a modern, young and secular one. 

Among the highlights of Jerusalem, there are the Western Wall (also known as the Wailing Wall), Temple Mount with the mesmerizing Dome of the Rock, the Church of the Holy Sepulcher and the Old City Suq. These are all close one to the other, in the Old City. 

If you want to get out of the Old City, head to Mahane Yehuda Market – easily the most fun place to visit, packed as it is with colors, flavors and noise. It’s an excellent place to have a bite as there are many small eateries and there are quite a few bars and pubs. 

To be honest, I think Jerusalem deserves way more time than just a day, but if a day is all you have you may as well go and try to make the most of it. Jerusalem won’t fail to amaze and capture you.

PRACTICAL INFORMATION: You can easily get from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem by public transportation – there is a train that leaves regularly from HaHagana train station and that takes you to the brand new central train station in Jerusalem in around 40 minutes and for under $5 USD. Alternatively, you can take the bus from Savidor Bus Station for around the same price. 

To reach the Old City from Jerusalem Central Station, take the light rail and get off at Jerusalem City Hall. From there, it’s a short walk to get to New Gate, from where you can access the Old City. On your way back, you can get off at Mahane Yehuda to explore the market. 

A guided tour of Jerusalem departing from Tel Aviv may be a good idea to explore all its highlights. These are the best options:

Some tours also go to Bethlehem or the Dead Sea – a bit of a packed itinerary, but you may want to give it a try:

Bethlehem

Bethlehem Separation Wall

Bethlehem

Bethlehem is at about one hour drive from Tel Aviv, in Palestine, and makes for one of the nicest day trips from Tel Aviv. The city is famous for being the birthplace of Jesus and is home to sites of religious, historical and cultural interest for Christians around the world. 

Among the places to visit in Bethlehem, you can’t miss the Church of the Nativity and the Grotto of the Nativity, known to be the birthplace of Jesus. Make sure to also visit the Milk Chapel – according to legend, this is the place where Mary breastfed baby Jesus. As some drops of milk fell of her breast, they colored the chapel of a bright white. 

Finally, you absolutely must see the Separation Wall. Famous for hosting several murals by Banksy, the faceless graffiti artist, this wall is testimony of the conflict and of the suffering of people. 

Make sure to read my post “Everything You Need To Know Before You Visit Palestine.”

PRACTICAL INFORMATION: There are no direct buses that connect Tel Aviv to Bethlehem. You will have to go all the way to Damascus Gate in Jerusalem and from there take the bus (231 or 234) to Bethlehem. 

Since there are no direct buses going from Tel Aviv to Bethlehem, you may want to opt for a guided tour that will make things significantly easier. Most tours also go to other places – ie Jerusalem, the Dead Sea and the West Bank. These are the best options:

Jericho and the West Bank

One of the most popular day trips from Tel Aviv is to the West Bank.

Jericho was founded around 8000 years BC, but research has shown that people used to live in the region already in 10000 BC. If you happen to visit Israel, this is one of the most interesting places to visit because not only it’s the oldest city in the world, but also the lowest – located at 260 meters below sea level.

Among the places to visit in Jericho, you should not miss the Mount of Temptations and Qurantul Monastery. This is the place where Jesus fought with the temptations Satan was giving him. The views from the monastery are impressive – you need to take the cable car to get there. 

You can also go to Wadi Qelt, where St. George’s Monastery is located. It’s a perfect sunset spot. 

PRACTICAL INFORMATION: There are no direct buses from Tel Aviv to Jericho – you will have to change in Jerusalem and take a bus to Mitzpe Jericho. 

The best option is to actually join one of the guided day trips from Tel Aviv to Jericho. These are the best options:

If you want to explore more of the West Bank, you can opt for a tour that takes you to all the most important places to visit there – Ramallah, the current administrative capital of Palestine, Jericho, known to be as the oldest city in the world, the Jordan River and the Baptismal Font and Bethlehem. If you are tight you can opt for this best of the West Bank full day tour from Tel Aviv.

Masada Fortress

The Masada Fortress is a must see when in Israel and perfect for day trips from Tel Aviv

Masada, Ein Gedi and the Dead Sea 

Masada, Ein Gedi and the Dead Sea are close to one another and make for perfect day trips from Tel Aviv. 

Masada is one of the coolest places to visit in Israel. This fortress became famous for the siege which ended with the mass suicide of the community of Zealot Jews who lived there, who were unwilling to surrender to the Roman forces that had conquered the region. 

There are two ways of getting to the Masada Fortress. The easiest one is getting the cable car that will take you all the way to the top of the hill where the fortress is located. Alternatively, you can walk the snake path to the top – but I only recommend you do so for the sunrise (start hiking well before the sun rises) as the temperatures tend to be quite hot in this part of the country. 

The sunrise hike to the Masada is one of the best experiences you can have in Israel and I wholeheartedly recommend it. The hike is short and sweet and the sunrise views are splendid. 

Not far from the Masasa, you can visit Ein Gedi Nature Reserve. This is a lovely oasis where you will find lots of hiking trails, wildlife and beautiful waterfalls and swimming spots. You can easily spend days wandering around Ein Gedi, but if a day is all you have it’s one of the best places for day trips from Tel Aviv.

Finally, the Dead Sea is a great addition. Many claim that it is the highlight of their trip to Israel and it is easy to see why! This is a truly unique place. Located more than 400 meters below sea level, the Dead Sea is famous for the high percentage of salt that make it impossible for any creature to survive there, and to swim. You can at most float – and even then, you really need to be careful no water gets into your eyes or into any wounds, as it would really hurt!

PRACTICAL INFORMATION: It takes between 2 and 2 and a half hours to get from Tel Aviv to the Masada. There are public buses going there, but the best way to get there is to either rent a car or go on a guided day trip. 

These are the best tours departing from Tel Aviv and going to the Masasa, Ein Gedi and the Dead Sea:

Sea of Galilee from Mount Arbel

A view of the Sea of Galilee from Mount Arbel

Nazareth, Galilee and Tiberias

I must admit I am not the biggest fan of Nazareth – I fail to see its charm. The region where it is located, however, is very scenic, and from there you can easily get to Galilee, the Sea of Galilee and Tiberias which, on the other hand, are lovely. 

Much like Bethlehem, Nazareth is a sacred place for Christians, as this is where Archangel Gabriel announced the birth of Jesus to the Virgin Mary. On the place where this has happened there now is the Basilica of Annunciation. Other than that, the city has a nice market with narrow scenic alleys and the White Mosque.

Not far from Nazareth, you can find Cana of Galilee, the place where Jesus supposedly performed one of its miracles. Other places of interest include Zippori National Park, home to a lovely archeological site; Horns of Attin – part myth part archeological site; Moshav Arbel with its ancient synagogue and Mount Arbel, from where you can get impressive views of the Sea of Galilee. 

Tiberias and other sites around the Sea of Galilee such as Capernaum and Mount of Beatitudes also deserve being visited. In other words, be as it may Galilee is a good place for day trips from Tel Aviv.

PRACTICAL INFORMATION: You can get from Tel Aviv to Nazareth by public transportation – there are direct buses leaving from HaHagana bus stations. The ride takes about one hour and a half. 

If you want to visit more places in Galilee, you should either rent a car or opt for a guided day trip departing from Tel Aviv. These are the best options:

Golan Heights

The Golan Heights are among the best places to go hiking in Israel, and excellent for day trips from Tel Aviv. Not far from the Sea of Galilee, they are known as the best peaks of the country, where you will find forests, lush vegetation, farmland, vineyards and a plethora of hiking trails

PRACTICAL INFORMATION: The best way to reach the Golan Heights from Tel Aviv is by car. Alternatively, you can opt for a guided day trip like this one or this one.

Akko Israel

Akko is a lovely place to explore

Akko

The lovely Akko makes for one of the most rewarding day trips from Tel Aviv. This city is the closest Israeli one to the border with Lebanon (just 18 km) and it is right on the shores of the Mediterranean sea. 

Akko is packed with history. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, Akko is a maze of narrow alleys, lovely little squares and a market where you will enjoy getting lost. You will find some excellent fish and seafood restaurants too. 

Make sure to visit the Citadel and the City Walls – Akko was originally built by the Crusaders. In the last few months, a series of secret tunnels built by the Knights Templars around 800 years ago have been found below the city.

You can also visit Al-Jazzar Mosque, which was built in the 19th century.

PRACTICAL INFORMATION: Akko is at about 120 km from Tel Aviv. You can get there by car or by public transportation via Egged buses or train. Once in town, you can easily walk around. 

Alternatively, you can opt for a day trip departing from Tel Aviv. These are the best options:

Haifa Israel

Haifa is a lovely city to spend a day

Haifa and Rosh Hanikra

One of the best day trips from Tel Aviv is Haifa. This lovely, laid back city is famous for the beautifully symmetrical Ba’hai Gardens, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. You can pleasantly explore the center of the city on foot, wandering around the streets of the German Colony area, and then heading to the beach for a walk before driving to the top of the Ba’hai Gardens for the impressive views. 

North of Haifa, Rosh Hanikra if a popular place to visit among Israelis and tourists alike. It’s a beautiful cave of sandstone with pools and waterfalls. There even is a cable car to the top fo the rock from where you can enjoy incredible views of the Mediterranean. 

PRACTICAL INFORMATION: Haifa can be reached by bus from Tel Aviv; it takes little over one hour. You can also drive there and visit other sites such as Caesarea on the way. 

Alternatively, you can opt for a guided day tour that will hit all the most famous places. These are the best options:

Zichron Ya’akov and the Carmel Winery

Not far from Haifa, Zichron Ya’akov is an excellent place for day trips from Tel Aviv. You will find a series of excellent wineries, especially the Carmel Winery, and get fabulous views of the sea, a number of lovely cafes and a lovely center to explore. Its vibe is pleasant, slow paced. It’s the perfect place to relax. 

PRACTICAL INFORMATION: The best way to reach Zichron Ya’akov is by car. It’s around one hour drive.

If you don’t have a car or don’t want to rent one, you can do a guided tour that takes you to the wineries. You can book one here or here.

Be'er Sheva Israel

Be’er Sheva doesn’t get many tourists – that’s what makes it all the more unique

Be’er Sheva

Be’er Sheva hardly gets any tourists – which is why it’s a cool place to hang out and go on easy day trips from Tel Aviv. This small town in the middle of the Negev Desert isn’t exactly the most beautiful one in Israel, but it has a few interesting sights, it can be reached by public transportation, and it’s a cool place to go if you want to get out of the main tourist track. 

Among the nicest sights in Be’er Sheva there are the Old City, which has some nice cafés where you can enjoy a meal or a drink, and the Bedouin MarketAbraham’s Well is located in the Old City, in a nice small square.

PRACTICAL INFORMATION: Be’er Sheva is well connected to Tel Aviv by train. The trip takes about 1 hour and 30 minutes. Once in town, you can easily walk around or use the public buses.

Caesarea archeological site

Caesarea archeological site is one of the best in Israel

Caesarea

There is no doubt that one of the best day trips from Tel Aviv is to Caesarea National Park – especially if you have a soft spot for Roman archeological sites. 

Caesarea and its harbor were founded by Herod the Great during the first century BC. He dedicated the city to Caesar Augustus. Among the ruins, you will be able to spot the thermal baths, the amphitheater, the hippodrome, the aqueduct, the royal palace and the temple of Augustus. 

Much of the site today is under water – and if you are into diving, it’s really a great excursion. 

PRACTICAL INFORMATION: The entry fee to Caesarea National Park is 39 NIS (little over $11 USD). Caesarea is at around one hour drive from Tel Aviv and it is best reached by car. 

You can also opt for a day trip to Caesarea. Most of them include also visits to Haifa and Akko. These are the best options:

Gaza border

Gaza border is not exactly a merry place and you shouldn’t consider going unless you are really interested in learning more about the conflict between Israel and Palestine. If you do decide to go, rest assured that this is by far one of the most interesting day trips from Tel Aviv.

The best way to visit is on an organized tour with a guide that will explain the history, the politics and the logistics of the conflict. 

You can’t cross the border into Gaza – only NGO workers, International Organization workers and journalists with special permits can do that. So you will be driving around the perimeter, meeting local workers who cross the border daily and visiting places of historical significance that will help get a more insightful idea about the conflict. 

As you won’t actually cross the border, you will only have an Israeli guide – but he will do his best to give both sides and perspectives of the conflict. It’s a very intense tour during which you will be receiving lots of information and it’s a great way to learn more about a predominant part of the local culture and way of life.

The tour departs twice a week from Tel Aviv and you can book it here

Petra day trips from Tel Aviv

Petra can be visited on a (rather expensive) day trip from Tel Aviv

Petra

Petra isn’t exactly close to Tel Aviv, and it’s not the easiest of day trips from Tel Aviv. My advice would be to actually consider spending a few days there as part of a longer trip to the Middle East, but I appreciate that you may live on the other side of the world and have limited time for your holidays. If that is the case, then you can opt to visit for just one day. 

This is an incredible, very large archaeological site; a city that started being built as early as 500 BC and whose highlights are the Treasury, the Monastery, and the High Altar of Sacrifice.

Make sure to read my post 13 Things To Know Before You Visit Petra, Jordan.”

TIP: Make sure to wear very comfortable clothes and shoes for your trip to Petra as you will be doing lots of walking.

PRACTICAL INFORMATION: It takes more than 6 hours of driving to get from Tel Aviv to Petra, and you’d have to factor in the time at the border too. 

The only way to do a day trip from Tel Aviv to Petra is to actually do a guided tour that includes flights. These are the best options:

Other posts about Israel

Make sure to read my other posts about Israel – they will be of great guidance when planning your trip:

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Discover the best day trips from Tel Aviv - via @clautavani

 

 

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