Aerial View-Beaches ,Tel Aviv, Israel-Courtesy Dana Friedlander


Tel Aviv, often called the Miami of the Middle East, is at its best during the spring and early summer, when visitors can frolic beachside and lap up the luxurious warm weather. The coastal city, with high-rise hotels perched the length of the beach, boasts a spectacular waterfront walkway ideal for early morning runs or late afternoon walks, and a new bike rental system provides family-friendly fun for kids of all ages.

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Interior View-Bethlehem ,Jerusalem, Israel


Revered by Jews and Christians, Bethlehem lies 30-minutes outside Jerusalem, and is a major destination for religious travelers. The city has changed hands throughout history, belonging to the Samaritans as far back as 529 and to the British during World War I. Despite unsteady ownership in the past, Bethlehem has had relative stability since 1995, when the Palestinian National Authority gained control over the city.

The Church of the Nativity abuts Manger Square and is the city’s most visited site. According to the New Testament, Jesus was born in the cave below the church, the Grotto of the Nativity, which now holds a replica manger (lines can be hours long, so go with a guide or be prepared to wait). Despite its religious significance, the church is notably shabby, especially when compared to the stunning Franciscan Church of St. Catherine next door, which is worth a visit just to see the elaborate interior.

The site is deeply meaningful to many, so while it is interesting, non-religious travelers may feel out of place amongst the occasionally emotional crowd. What stands out regardless of religion is Bethlehem’s location in the West Bank, and status as a Palestinian city.

Aerial View-Caesarea ,Tel Aviv, Israel


These coastal ruins, named as a tribute to Julius Caesar, are a remarkable reminder of Israel’s varied past; the town of Caesarea is thought to have been built around 25 BCE by Herod the Great, but later served as an administrative port for the Roman Empire and shuffled between Jewish, Persian and Muslim control. Now a national park, the stunning seaside ruins are a joy to behold, especially later in the afternoon when the sunlight reflects off the bleached stones of the Roman theatre.

Interior View - Church of the Holy Sepulchre,Jerusalem, Israel - Courtesy of the Israeli Ministry of Tourism

Church of the Holy Sepulchre

Located in the Christian Quarter, the Church of the Holy Sepulchre is one of the holiest sites in Jerusalem. The church is regarded as the site of Christ’s crucifixion, burial and subsequent resurrection, and the last five Stations of the Cross are within its imposing stone walls. The church itself is stunning; an immaculate mosaic of Christ details the Church’s inner dome, elaborate lamps and intricate metalwork adorn the Calvary, and the glow of candlelight throughout adds an eerie beauty to the sacred space.

Aerial View - Dead Sea,Jerusalem, Israel - Courtesy of the Israeli Ministry of Tourism, Itamar Grinberg

Dead Sea Excursion

The Dead Sea is not actually a sea, but a lake that sits at the lowest point on earth, 400 meters below sea level.
Aerial View-Herodion ,Jerusalem, Israel-Courtesy of the Israeli Ministry of Tourism


To commemorate a 40 BCE victory over the Parthians, King Herod the Great constructed a sprawling palace, fortress and small town at the battle site, now known as Herodion. The ancient ruins—and suspected burial site of King Herod—lie in the Judean Hills, roughly 30 minutes from Bethlehem and Jerusalem. Excavations began in 1972, and despite nearly 40 years of work (excavations paused when the lead archeologist died in 2010), much of the site is still undiscovered.

Food at Indagare Tour: Cooking Class,Jerusalem, Israel

Indagare Tour: Cooking Class

Second to the food tour of the Old City, this delightful activity is a must for foodies visiting Jerusalem. Your guide will escort you through the Machne Yehuda market, where you’ll pick up groceries and sample treats from some of the best vendors, before heading to the chef’s home to prepare a classic Israeli meal. Indagare members can contact our bookings team to arrange a class.

Food at Indagare Tour: Food Tour of the Old City,Jerusalem, Israel

Indagare Tour: Food Tour of the Old City

Wandering the streets of the Old City can be overwhelming given the plethora of vendors all seemingly selling the same falafel, pita and baklava. With the help of a guide, navigating the madness becomes a delicious treasure hunt. Stop in at a tahini factory hidden in the back of a convenience store, learn the secret to making the best pomegranate juice (only one place in the city knows it), duck into a true hole-in-the-wall for a sweet and savory Lebanese pastry and sample a delicious pita-pizza mash up served at an unmarked storefront. This foodie tour is best to do on your first day, as you’ll want to return to many of the restaurants in the following days. Indagare members can contact our bookings team to arrange for a tour with an expert guide.

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Indagare Tour: Political Briefing

For even the most up-to-date politicos, keeping up with the situation in the Middle East can be challenging, and understanding Israel’s political situation makes it easier to engage with and understand the people, places and historical sites. Whether you want to converse with an expert or have a family-friendly tutorial on the basics, Indagare can organize an experience to meet your needs. Members can contact our Bookings Team for help arranging a tailor-made experience.

Exterior View - Indagare Tours: Bauhaus Architecture, Tel Aviv, Israel - Courtesy Avishai Teicher

Indagare Tours: Bauhaus Architecture

Tel Aviv contains some of the most important Bauhaus style architecture in the world. The white apartment buildings from the 1930s that line Rothschild Boulevard were declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2003. An architecture expert and historian can guide you through the top landmarks and recount the story of the city. Members can contact the Indagare Bookings Team to arrange.

Painting - Indagare Tours: Graffiti Tour, Tel Aviv, Israel

Indagare Tours: Graffiti Tour

The street artists of Tel Aviv have a culture all their own. It may have been inspired by the scene in New York but it has evolved. Learn about the lexicon—the difference between tags, pieces, poetry and art—and the players (there are crews as well as emerging and established names to know) and the rules. On a one or two-hour tour around Neve Tzedek and other neighborhoods, you can explore the language and symbolism of the city’s best known street artists. It is a fun and interesting way to explore the city for art lovers and families. Members can contact the Indagare Bookings Team to arrange.

Indagare Tours: Shop with a Stylist

Tel Aviv is home to many up-and-coming artists and designers. Visit their studios and boutiques with a savvy local who knows the fashion and art scene. Members can contact the Indagare Bookings Team to arrange.

Aerial View - Indagare Tours: Sunset Cruise,Tel Aviv, Israel - Courtesy Yair Haklai

Indagare Tours: Sunset Cruise

See the city from the water on a sunset cruise on a private boat. Members can contact the Indagare Bookings Team to arrange.

Interior View - Independence Hall,Tel Aviv, Israel

Independence Hall

Located on the picturesque Rothschild Boulevard, this iconic attraction was the site of the signing of Israel’s Declaration of Independence in 1948. A short, 45-minute tour gives a condensed but thorough history of the founding of the city, the logic behind its naming and a background of the men crucial to establishing Israel as an independent state.

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Exterior View - Israel Museum,Jerusalem, Israel - Courtesy of the Israeli Ministry of Tourism

Israel Museum

Israel’s national museum boasts a well-curated roster of rotating exhibitions, a sprawling replica of Jerusalem, delightful art garden and most notably, the Shrine of the Book. The white-domed structure—built to resemble the jar in which the ancient manuscripts were found— houses the Dead Sea Scrolls, the oldest biblical texts in the world. Discovered in 1947 in a cave near the Dead Sea, the documents are written on parchment, and significant as they are the earliest evidence of Jewish religious sentiments later included in the Hebrew Bible. Because of the delicate nature of the scrolls, they are not always on display, so check with your concierge before going.

Aerial View-Masada , Jerusalem, Israel-Courtesy of the Israeli Ministy of Tourism, Itamar Grinberg


If you’re Jewish—or even if you’ve only seen the 1980 movie on TCM—you’ll probably know not just the name “Masada” but the story of its fall to the Romans. As the famous tale goes, this fortified mesa-top city overlooking the Dead Sea was the last rebel stronghold during the first Jewish revolt, which began in 66 AD. When its seemingly impenetrable walls were breached in 74 AD, after a months-long siege by Roman soldiers, the leaders of its nearly 1,000 occupants chose death for the entire population rather than submission—thereby making Masada a symbol both of adherence to Jewish faith and of religious freedom. Today you can reach the fortress, located an hour-and-a-half southeast of Jerusalem, by means of a cable car instead of the enormous ramp and battering ram used by the Romans, and even though much was destroyed over the centuries, enough remains of King Herod’s skyward citadel to constitute a remarkable site. Looking down from 1,200 feet at the desert beneath it and the Dead Sea, you can still see shadowy outlines in the sand of the eight camps built by the Roman army to encircle the mountain during the assault.

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Neve Tzedek

This 19th-century residential neighborhood is considered to be one of the most picturesque areas of the city with lots of galleries, shops and restaurants. You can wander among the restored houses, which have gone from dilapidation to prized real estate in a decade. Browse the stores and galleries and wind up at Ha Tachana, a former train station that is now a shopping and cultural center. Additional cultural spots include the Suzanne Dellal performance center and the Nahum Gutman Museum.

Aerial View - Rothschild Boulevard,Tel Aviv, Israel

Rothschild Boulevard

This historic drag in downtown Tel Aviv makes its way from the bohemian shopping district of Neve Tzedek to the national theatre in the city center. The idyllic tree-lined median is lovely to walk along, and those looking for some history can stop into Independence Hall, located here. Part of the White City of Tel Aviv (a UNESCO World Heritage Site), Rothschild Boulevard is home to a number of Bauhaus-style buildings that are one of the city’s defining features.

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Sarona Market

Similar to New York’s Chelsea Market or Eataly, Sarona Market is Israel’s largest indoor culinary market. The complex, which opened in 2015 in a renovated 140-year-old former Templar colony, offers a modern urban experience that combines culture, entertainment and leisure. With 91 different tenants, there is a wide range of gourmet food and shops.

Stroll through the market to sample foods, or stop in one of the restored buildings that now house cafés and restaurants, as well as art galleries and boutique clothing stores. There are also parks and playgrounds throughout the complex, which are fun if you are traveling with kids. 

If you have an interest in wine, stop by the Tasting Room to sample a wide variety of local Israeli varietals. You can pour your own glass using the automated dispense system, or have the bartenders craft a cocktail to go with the menu of light bites.

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Aerial View-Tel-O-Fun ,Tel Aviv, Israel-Courtesy Rafael Ben-Ari


Tel Aviv’s claim to fame is its long coastline—an attraction only made better by the bike rental system instituted in 2011 that stretches the length of the waterfront and has stations throughout the city. The eco-friendly transport system is as practical as it is enjoyable, and is especially fun for families with teenage children (the minimum age is 15) looking to expend some energy while taking in the beautiful city.

Aerial View - The Austrian Hospice,Jerusalem, Israel

The Austrian Hospice

An insider secret, the rooftop of the Austrian Hospice boasts spectacular, 360-degree views of the Old City. Despite its location on a busy corner in the Muslim quarter, the hostel offers a peaceful oasis and a truly new perspective. While the views are the main draw, the 150-year-old building is also a center and dormitory for Austrian Catholic pilgrims and tourists. The British occupied the formidable structure during World War II, after which the Jordanians used it as a hospital until the 1980’s. If a craving for traditional Viennese delicacies strikes, the café serves schnitzel (an Israeli favorite), Sacher-torte and a number of other Austrian dishes.

Tip: See if you can identify the four quarters based solely on their differing rooftop architecture.

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Interior View - The Ayalon Institute (Bullet Factory),Tel Aviv, Israel

The Ayalon Institute (Bullet Factory)

At first glance, to visitors and to the factory workers once employed there, the Ayalon Institute is nothing more than a hilltop factory comprised of a dining hall, chicken coop, barn, laundry and bakery. In fact, the kibbutz housed a top-secret, underground bullet factory put into place by the Zionist leaders in the 1930’s with the sole purpose of producing ammunition for their fight for independence. The visit here provides a fascinating change of pace from the traditional historical sights. Note that while the experience is fun (especially for kids), it can feel a little cheesy.

Aerial View - The Bahá’í Gardens,Tel Aviv, Israel

The Bahá’í Gardens

The Bahá’í Gardens, also called the Hanging Gardens of Haifa, are the can’t-miss attraction of Haifa. Literally. The botanical park is so prominent in this northern Israeli city that there’s no way you could miss it. Running almost a kilometer down one of Mount Carmel’s slopes, the grounds look other-worldly in their manicured perfection, their carpet of bright green grass stepping down oh-so-symmetrically to balustrades of white marble bearing pots of red geraniums. Part of the headquarters of the Bahá’í faith, whose chief prophet is buried here, the gardens were opened in 2001 after almost fifteen years of design and construction. They can be seen quickly—forty-five minute group tours run everyday except Wednesday—but the memory of the garden and breathtaking coastal view last a lifetime.

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Outside View -The City of David , Jerusalem, Israel

The City of David

If you have a few days to explore Jerusalem, taking a tour of the City of David is a must. Located just outside the walls of the Old City, the site is the birthplace of Jerusalem and where King David established his kingdom. Excavations here are ongoing, but the fully excavated site of the Spring Citadel is open to the public and provides access to the Canaanite fortress and underground water systems, where you can tour the tunnels. For families traveling with kids, navigating the 2,700-year-old Hezekiah’s Tunnel is a fun way to experience the city and learn about its history. It is also possible to walk the tunnels from the City of David back into the Old City of Jerusalem to conclude your tour.

Aerial View - The Mount of Olives,Jerusalem, Israel - Courtesy of W. Robrecht

The Mount of Olives

The land between the Old City of Jerusalem and the Judean Desert is one of Israel’s most well-known tourist attractions thanks to the bounty of religious and historic sites located there. Referred to as the Mount of Olives, this stretch of hilltop is home to the Tombs of the Prophets, the Dominus Flavit Church, the Chapel of the Ascension, the Church of Pater Noster and a massive Jewish Cemetery, the final resting place of many prominent Israelis. The base of the Mount of Olives is home to the Garden of Gethsemane, a peaceful garden said to have been the place Jesus wept when he learned of Judah’s betrayal, and the stunning Church of All Nations.

Aerial View - The Old City,Jerusalem, Israel

The Old City

You’ve been here before—to the bazaar, the medina, the souk, the old town, the old city, in Cairo and Istanbul and Marrakech and more. Here again are chaotic, crowd-filled cobblestone streets and alleyways, alternately picturesque and powerfully smelly and full of junk-laden souvenir shops and visitors in search of the real thing, wherever it is and wherever they are. Fortunately, Jerusalem’s Old City has much more than mere tourism to draw the crowds.

Within its famously honey-colored, 16th-century walls are the Western Wall, the most sacred site in Judaism; the Dome of the Rock, where Muhammad ascended; and the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, where Christ was crucified, buried and resurrected. Not bad for three sites about 10 minutes apart. Their presence is what makes Jerusalem “O Jerusalem” and quite arguably the most hallowed ground on earth.

On your first visit, get your bearings and do your pilgrimage—pray at the Wall, prostrate yourself at the mosque or put your hand on the rock of Golgotha. The next day, take it more slowly; now you can start to really see the place, noting the differences between its four quarters (Jewish, Muslim, Christian and Armenian) or walking its walls to appreciate both its compactness and its density. No matter the plethora of vendors hawking hookah pipes and plastic Stations of the Cross placemats, the Old City, against epic odds, remains a one-of-kind pileup of cultures and beliefs and ways of seeing and living in the world. Once you see it and experience being moved by a place that means so much to so many, as you inevitably will, you’ll almost certainly see your own world and beliefs a little differently, long after you get back home.

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Statue at The Stations of the Cross,Jerusalem, Israel

The Stations of the Cross

The Stations of the Cross provide an interactive scavenger hunt of one of the most tragic and widely known events in Christianity: Christ’s journey to his crucifixion. The route is compact and engaging; tourists can stop at one of the many food stalls along the route (one of Jerusalem’s best hummus spots is next to the 5th station), and each station contains an artistic depiction of each chapter of Christ’s final journey. From the first, when Jesus is condemned to death, to the last, where is body is laid in his tomb, the stations provide an easy-to-grasp, visual depiction of the well-known tale. Keep in mind, most of the religious sites are theoretical; while station four marks the place Jesus met his mother, the stations were in installed to give the story a physical home, and are not exact representations. Pilgrims often walk the stations during Lent, but tourists navigate the course all year.


Indagare employees walking up stiars

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