A LOVE LETTER TO ISRAEL
From majestic landscapes to scenic deserts and tropical beaches, Israel is a mix of eras, cultures and history. Explore all you need to know about the country's culture before your visit
Words: Emily Georgieva
Photography: Jasmin Chew, Ganapathy Kumar, Bucography
22 November 2020
Chaotically incredible - this is a description that seems to fit Israel perfectly. The country is intense and intriguing all at the same time, and travellers cannot help but be drawn to the place like bees to honey. The more you learn about the land, the people and the history, the more you want to know. It is a place that charms and leaves you with a feeling of wanderlust.
As soon as you get to Israel, it becomes easy to see why travellers praise it with countless fascinating stories. An alternative to your usual choice of travel destination, Israel is everything you can imagine from an authentic country and more. It has had been influenced by other cultures in the past, however the feeling you get once you find yourself there is unmistakable and completely unique.
Even though Israel has seen its fare share of instability and political tension, the country still has an influence on the tourism industry. There is something for everyone and you can never get bored whilst exploring the place. As most of the must-see places are free and you can plan a walking route to a lot of places in the main cities, it is easy to make the most of your visit, whichever part of the country you head to.
Past, present and future blend in one in this magical land. The culture is fascinating and complex as a lot of people from different backgrounds have migrated there - from Russia, Poland and Morocco to Ethiopia, Yemen and Brazil. Eastern and Western cultural aspects blend together to form a diverse mosaic. It is a melting pot of cultures and as one there is always something new to learn. Whenever you explore the history, be it through tour guides or simply by visiting the museums and heading to the historical sites, listen and pay attention. There is a lot you can learn about the past of Israel and get inspired to plan your trip to nearby areas.
If you are planning to explore the country, definitely hire a car. However, if you can't stay too long and are only visiting the bigger cities, we recommend that you rely on public transport as looking for parking will prove to be challenging and a waste of time. The cities are walkable and you are likely to find interesting spots you never would have bumped into otherwise.
It is likely that you will see young soldiers walking with guns on the street, seeming as if they are following you around. This is normal and you will quickly get used to it. It is one of the aspects that adds to the authenticity of the place. The soldiers are there to fulfill their duty to protect their country and so be prepared, they will not harm you.
Known to be one of the most hospitable nations, Israeli are friendly and welcoming to nomads. Even though there will be a language barrier as the local language is Hebrew and most travellers don't speak it, you won't have too much trouble getting by. If you are struggling, the younger generation speaks English freely so turn to them for advice when you need to.
From majestic landscapes to scenic deserts and tropical beaches, Israel is a mix of eras, cultures and history. Each day will be different and will make you appreciate the country from a different perspective. Israel is a cultural paradise and is proven to be welcoming to everyone.