Make no mistake, Israel is always a fabulous place to visit. But come July 1, when tourists will be welcomed back in the (almost completely Covid-free) country, it’s going to be even better than ever. For one, we’ve learned how to keep physical distance. We know, it’s mind-blowing. As are the more equally enticing reasons listed below.
We hope to see you soon!
- Because you actually can
First things first. The very top reason why it’s especially great to visit Israel this summer is the simple fact that you can.
Throughout the pandemic, the country was pretty much closed off to non-citizens, meaning that you, like many others, had to miss us from afar. Now you can once again enjoy our little dusty corner of the Middle East, so we strongly recommend that you hop on that plane and get your tuches over here pronto.
- We’re celebrating life even more than ever
We Israelis are well-known for celebrating life. We’ve got to – our wars, politics and sense of existential doom are enough to get anyone down. The addition of a global pandemic to the mix wasn’t a fun one, especially that part where we had to stay away from our family and friends and homeschool our offspring. Now that it’s hopefully over, we’re incredibly grateful and really ready to live life to the full, so prepare yourself to be flooded by the good vibes emanating from all around you.
- You can go out to eat anywhere
During the height of the pandemic, eating at a restaurant table and not on our couch seemed like a faraway dream. But since regulations have eased, we’ve been very happily occupying every single table in every single restaurant in the country, enjoying the fact that we can sit in, out or wherever we want.
The food has also never been better: Covid encouraged many aspiring chefs to open their own places, and the many restaurants that managed to survive the crisis are now in top mode. Just don’t forget to book a table. Everything really is packed.
- It’s going to be hot, but Israelis know how to cool off
It’s no secret that summertime Israel is only slightly cooler than your average inferno, but luckily for you, you need not roast if you don’t want to. Your options are endless: you can join us at one of the country’s many beaches (we have over 100 miles of shore), pop into a pool or, in times of dire need, even allow yourself a quick splash at the nearest fountain. Don’t worry, it’s totally legit.
And if water isn’t your thing, contemplate touring the many cool caves dotting the country. Or, you can do like a real Israeli, and simply lie down on the stone floor when you get in from a particularly scorching day. It works like a charm.
- You can escape the heat in Jerusalem or up north
Not all of Israel is sweltering in the summer. In fact, if you make it to Jerusalem make sure you don’t forget to bring a shawl with you – the evening mountain air is surprisingly cool, even at the height of August. Or you could consider traveling up north, where the high mountains offer a breath of fresh air throughout much of the day, as well as gorgeous views.
6. You’ll finally be able to see a show or go to the museum
If you, like us, spent large parts of the pandemic pining for some real cultural events, then Israel is the place for you. Music concerts, art exhibitions and theater shows are back on as usual, giving us much-needed respite from all those TV binges.
You can check out upcoming events in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv here and here. And more good news is that most events are not likely to be packed as it’s going to take some time until tourists are back in full swing. So enjoy.
7. We’ve been busy renovating
While you were away, Israel was busy renovating and upgrading countless infrastructures and experiences. Bike lanes, for example, have been added throughout Tel Aviv, which also boasts a wonderful new park along the route of the old Ottoman railway in the city. Jerusalem, meanwhile, has been working to make parts of the ever-cobbled Old City more accessible, installing handrails and even a soon-to-be-completed elevator that will go down to the Western Wall Plaza. And if it’s hiking you’re after, check out the newly opened Emmaus Trail just out of the city, which offers a fun day’s walk in lush countryside.
8. We’ve gotten (slightly) better at keeping a distance
Pre-pandemic, the concept of personal space was unheard of in Israel. Supermarket lines, public transportation, waiting rooms and even just the office were all grounds for getting up close and personal. Whether this is because we are physically unable to stand in line or because we’re a warm and lovely people, it was all a bit of a mosh pit, really. But now, we’ve proven that it is actually possible for us to respect other people’s space, and that it’s not such a bad idea. Shame it won’t last too long.
9. It’s watermelon season
There is absolutely nothing better in the world than a cold slice of watermelon on a hot day. Except perhaps one accompanied by a piece of salty feta cheese. Which happens to be the national summer dish here in Israel. We really cannot urge you strongly enough to try this bizarre looking yet heavenly combination, and to carry on enjoying it also once back home. You’re welcome.
10. The evenings are wild
We may have mentioned this already, but Israel is in full party mood. Aside from general good cheer, this also means that also absolutely everything is open, and until very, very late. Whether it’s restaurants, rooftop bars or even stores, the late hours of the day is when it’s all happening. So make sure to take an air-conditioned nap in the sweltering afternoon; you’re going to need it.
11. We’ll be really, really happy to see you
Like everyone else in the world, this pandemic year has been a lonely one for us too. The empty streets, desolate airport and ghostlike hotels were a constant reminder of how things aren’t well. So we are truly looking forward to picking things back up and to welcoming you once again into our home. We hope that you have a simply wonderful time.