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I’ve wanted to come to Israel (and Palestine) since I was a kid, but to be perfectly honest I’ve been daunted by the passport stamp. Basically, if you have an Israeli stamp  in your passport then you won’t be allowed entry into a host of other countries, like Iran or Pakistan. Bummer. But all is not lost….

Old City from the Mount of the Olives

DEALING WITH ISRAELI PASSPORT STAMPS:

Then I discovered another possibility! If you’re friendly to the border guards when you arrive at Tel Aviv airport, you can avoid getting stamped in. They simply stamp a on a supplementary piece of paper and save your ‘entry’ on their computer stamp. Awesome. So I did exactly just that. Hello Israel.

 

WHY COME TO ISRAEL?!

I could spend the next 10, 000 words answering that question. But I’ll try to be concise.

– You can swim in the Dead Sea, the world’s lowest point

– Check out Jerusalem, the Holiest city in the world

– Party in Tel Aviv

– Visit Nazareth

– Learn about the Israeli/Palestinian conflict in the West Bank.

– You can visit the birthplace of Jesus, where he was baptized, where he was crucified and where he was resurrected.

– Watch sunrise at the UNESCO ruins of Masada

– Eat hummus until you pop

– The list could go on and on and on… I’m so excited

masada sunrise
Sunrise at Masada, can’t wait!

 

I flew from Budapest to Tel Aviv and made a bee-line straight to Jerusalem (which I’ll talk about in my next blog post). Jerusalem is the best place to base yourself as you plan your trip in Israel, and it’s also home to Abraham’s Hostel, the best hostel I’ve ever visited. I’ll talk more about the hostel in my post about Jerusalem, but rest assured, it’s nothing short of amazing (think pool tables, roof top beers, wifi in every room, awesome owners, spacious – seriously, it’s unreal.

 

I’ve got some awesome trips planned through Tourist Israel, the coolest Israeli travel guide, their website and facebook group really got me inspired about visiting the country, so make sure to check them out too.

 

I’m gonna be here for 2 weeks so expect loads of blog updates, day 1 is going to be spent exploring Jerusalem followed by an great Shabbat dinner in the hostel. Next day I’m off to the West Bank, Palestine so that should be really interesting. Anyways, I just wanted to share my plans with you guys because I feel like a kid on Christmas morning! Happy travels!

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6 thoughts on “So I’m Finally Backpacking in Israel!

  1. I’ve been to Israel twice and am now thinking of going a third time as a backpacker. (1st tour group, March ’98, 2nd solo trip to Jerusalem, Oct, ’15). I totally agree with you about Abraham Hostel Jerusalem! Amazing place. So close to everything – the market, King of Kings (for worship), Old City, the tram to Yad Vashem. I was wondering, if I want to camp out under the stars is that okay to do? Or are there group camping areas so you’re not alone in the elements? I’d like to be free to move around all of Israel next trip – hopefully the full 90 days of my visa time from Eilat to Haifa to Golan Heights and revisiting a lot of the archaeological digs.

  2. Hope it lives up to you expectations and dreams 🙂

    It’s where I shall finish my year so thanks for a heads up on the stamp thing.

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