Israel… what a place! I first visited nearly fourteen years ago and hitchhiked all over the country, working in various Kibbutz’ and moshav’ around the country. Funnily enough, I actually have a degree in middle eastern conflict studies so I found Israel especially fascinating to visit!
Let’s break it down, allow me to introduce you to Israel! A young country, in an ancient land, home to incredible holy places, geographical surprises, fascinating cultures and historical gems. Since Israel is also such a tiny country, totaling just 8019 square miles, you should be able to cover a lot of ground while you’re there— lucky you!
What isn’t exactly a walk in the park is figuring out where to stay in Israel as there’s a ton of options and as Israel is VERY popular, many of these book up a long time in advance.
Figuring out the best areas to stay in Israel and where you want to base yourself can be somewhat confusing but near fear amigo, I got your back, and I’m going to run you through all of the best Israel accommodation options so you can book your stay and focus on enjoying your adventure. Say a hearty ahoy to my guide on the top places to stay in Israel.
Ready to visit the Dead Sea or check out the Dome of the Rock? Let’s get into it…
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Quick Answers: Where is the Best Place to Stay in Israel?
- Jerusalem – The Overall Best Place to Stay in Israel
- Dead Sea – Best Place to Stay in Israel for Families
- Herzliya – Where to Stay in Israel for Couples
- Tel Aviv – The Coolest Place to Stay in Israel
- Tzfat – Where to Stay in Israel on a Budget
- Tzfat – One of the Most Unique Places to Stay in Israel
- Eilat – Where to Stay in Israel for Adventure
- Tel Aviv – Best Destination in Israel for Serious Foodies
Map of Where to Stay in Israel
It probably comes as no surprise that Jerusalem is my top vote for the overall best city in Israel. Honestly, I freaking love Jerusalem… I am not AT ALL religious but there’s something undeniably powerful about this ancient city. Jerusalem has major religious significance to Judaism, Islam, and Christianity. It is also home to important religious sites such as the Western Wall, Temple Mount, Dome of the Rock, the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, and al-Aqsa Mosque.
Jerusalem is almost a mini country within a mini country and there are so many things to see and do here that it would be totally reasonable to spend at least a week just in Jerusalem. I’ve visited Jerusalem five times in my life and spent a decent bit of time putting together a guide specifically on where to stay in Jerusalem – check it out for an even more detailed breakdown or skip ahead down below to check out my top three picks.
Best Places to Stay in Jerusalem
Alright folks, listen up! Here’s a bit of insider knowledge gold for you. When staying in Jerusalem, you are definitely going to want to stay in the Old Town or as close to the Old Town as possible. Stick close to the top sites in Jerusalem and you’ll find yourself immersed in some of the most picturesque, quaint, cute, fun and quirky neighborhoods that Jerusalem has to offer!
Best Hostel in Jerusalem – Abraham Hostel
Abraham Hostel is probably my favourite overall accommodation option in Israel. If you are looking to meet people, make friends and form a group with which to explore the city, Abraham hostel is the logical choice. This highly social hostel offers guests plentiful activities such as hummus cooking classes, pub crawls, yoga classes, and Friday Shabbat dinners for starters. This lively hostel sits a 30-minute walk from the Old City, but it’s cheap and with a price tag this low as well as the epic activities they offer— it’s worth the walk.
Abraham hostel full? It often is… for more very cool hostels in Jerusalem, check out my Best Hostels in Jerusalem guide!
Best Hotel in Jerusalem – Agripas Boutique Hotel
The Agripas Boutique Hotel sits right in the center of Jerusalem, just a few thousand feet from the historic Old Town. In fact, you’ll be just a five minutes walk to the Mahane Yehuda Market. There is also complimentary wine, tea, and light snacks served Sunday through Thursday as a happy hour on the rooftop terrace where you can meet other guests.
Best Airbnb in Jerusalem – Best Jewish Quarter Apartment
Right in the heart of Jerusalem’s Old City, this Airbnb is a rare find! As a private room in a charming apartment, you are invited to use all the common spaces. The best part of this Airbnb is that you can see the Western Wall right from the apartment’s front door.
Best Jewish Quarter Apartment is one of our favourites in Israel but they’re not taking guests right now. We’re not sure if they’re closed for good but we hope they’ll come back soon.
The Dead Sea is hands down one of the best areas to stay in Israel if you are traveling with your family. The Dead Sea is actually a salt lake that sits between Jordan and Israel in what is known as the Jordan Rift Valley. Also, the Dead Sea is the lowest place on Earth, dwelling a whopping 434 meters below sea level which is pretty cool.
Besides seeing the Dead Sea itself, the Ein Geri Nature Reserve is amazing to hike through. It is filled with freshwater pools, waterfalls, and amazing animals like wild ibexes. Kids and kidults alike are sure to love seeing these dazzling animals in their natural habitats!
Staying connected in this area is a little more of a challenge since you can get out of range of hotel wifi super easily. Picking up a local sim card is a really good idea in Israel and if you’re heading off on hikes, hitchhiking or staying in a more remote moshav, you really should get one.
Best Places to Stay in the Dead Sea
Most of the accommodation here is found around the beach, however, there are some more budget-friendly options farther away from the shoreline near the Ein Geri Nature Reserve.
Best Hotel in the Dead Sea – The Oasis Dead Sea Hotel
The Oasis Dead Sea Hotel is set right along the shore of the Dead Sea. The popular Ein Bokek Beach is just 600 feet away. If you are wanting to take a break from the mineral waters of the Dead Sea, you can always take a dip in the indoor or outdoor swimming pools. This stunning hotel has a striking exterior design, and a glamorous feel inside which is surprising as it isn’t super expensive. This is a good bet if you are traveling with your family or young kids.
Best Guest House in the Dead Sea – The Zimmer Belev HaKikar
This lodge is a great find and is entirely family-friendly! There is even a children’s playground on site. However, this lodge does sit nearly 23 miles away from the Dead Sea, but given its relaxed atmosphere and clean, comfortable environment it’s worth the drive to be a little farther away from all the action if you’re worried about dealing with crowds.
Best Airbnb in the Dead Sea – Vacation Apartment
This Vacation Apartment is a two-bedroom and one bathroom private home that has gorgeous views of the Dead Sea right outside the front windows. Situated in the botanical oasis of Kibbutz Ein Gedi, you’ll love having this home to yourselves. Plus, there’s also six individual beds inside so if you happen to have more than a kid or two, this home truly is perfect for you!
Vacation Apartment is one of our favourites in Israel but they’re not taking guests right now. We’re not sure if they’re closed for good but we hope they’ll come back soon.
Herzliya sits on the central coast of Israel, just 13 kilometers north of Tel Aviv. It’s known for its hip, young culture as it’s home to tons of start-ups. It’s a very affluent community that is home to the rich, the famous, and the techies. It’s where the tech companies like Apple, Amazon, and Microsoft have their branches.
What makes Herzliya one of the best places to stay in Israel for couples is that it has beautiful— and much less populated—beaches, a charming marina, and a nice swath of seafront restaurants and cafes. Plus, it’s a great spot to go scuba diving or to learn how to surf. Also, the sunset views right on the Mediterranean really amp up the romantic vibes. Staying in Herzliya gives couples the privacy they desire, while still allowing them easy access to all the incredible sites in Jerusalem.
Best Places to Stay in Herzliya
Keeping in mind that Herzliya is only 21.6 square kilometers big, the best area to stay in Herzliya is west of the Highway in the neighborhood of Herzliya Pituach. This area is where the beaches and the best restaurants are found. If you head east of the highway, you’ll be in a mainly commercial and residential area.
Best Airbnb in Herzliya – Exclusive Luxury Apartment at the Beach
This luxury apartment is crisp, clean, and very modern. It’s a one-bedroom and one bathroom apartment with a fully equipped kitchen. It sits just a one minute walk from the beach and from the best shops and restaurants in Herzliya. In fact, there is a great cafe right under the apartment that makes a mean cappuccino.
Best Guest House in Herzliya – Luxury Sea View Apartment
Rent this divine apartment for a dream couples getaway location. It’s just over 100 meters from Acadia Beach, and the apartment itself has a restaurant, bar, and shared lounge on-site if you aren’t in the mood for wandering far. Additionally, there is a complimentary giant buffet breakfast provided each morning for guests. Lastly, the popular Reef Diving and Surfing Club is just under a mile from the apartment, if you and your significant other are in the market for taking to the sea!
Best Hotel in Herzliya – Daniel Herzliya Hotel
The Daniel Herzliya hotel lies directly on the beachfront. It’s a luxurious hotel that has amazing leisure facilities from tennis courts to swimming pools to a gym! Also, absolutely all of the rooms offer stunning views of the Mediterranean Sea. Plus, you’ll be just around a half a mile walk from the Arena Mall and from the Herzliya Marina.
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Tel Aviv lies on the Mediterranean coast of Israel and is the most populated city in all of Israel. It is home to over 4,000 structures that have an international style of architecture, most predominantly in the Bauhaus style. So if you are an architecture lover, you’re in for a real treat in Tel Aviv! There is also a vibrant street art scene found in the Florentin neighborhood.
Tel Aviv is a buzzing metropolitan city that has incredible nightlife, delectable gastronomic delights, and great beaches. As the coolest place to stay in Israel, it comes as no surprise that there are tons of amazing things to do and to see. The Suk HaCarmel market can’t be missed, neither should the Shuk Hapishpeshim Market which is the best flea market in Tel Aviv! Try out your bartering skills and pick up everything from spices to food to unique souvenirs.
The Tel Aviv Museum of Art is also a real treat to visit, as is the Center for Contemporary Art. If you can squeeze it into your Tel Aviv travel schedule, try to catch a live dance show at the Batsheva.
Lastly, if you need a nice strong drink after a day of exploring Tel Aviv’s neighborhoods, head on over to the Beer Bazar and quench your thirst!
Wonder if Tel Aviv is safe to travel? Find out in our Tel Aviv Safety Guide!
Best Places to Stay in Tel Aviv
The Florentin neighborhood is an awesome place to stay as it’s home to Tel Aviv’s creative class and has tons of unique venues. As the popular neighborhood of Jaffa sits right next door to Florentin, either neighborhood provides some of the coolest choices for lodging in Israel!
Best Hostel in Tel Aviv – Florentine Backpackers Hostel
Florentine Backpackers Hostel Tel Aviv, is an amazing hostel right in the trendy neighborhood of Florentine, plus Alma Beach is just a 15-minute walk away. There are mixed and female-only dorms available, as well as private rooms. This lively social hostel provides 100% value for your money!
For more very cool hostels in Tel Aviv, check out our Best Hostels in Tel Aviv guide!
Best Hotel in Tel Aviv – Joseph Hotel TLV
The Joseph Hotel TLV is an elegant and moody hotel that looks like it could have been the set of a movie. It’s velvet furniture and dark green walls induce an exceptionally classy atmosphere. Sitting just 2,450 feet from Alma Beach in the fun neighborhood of Jaffa, you’re sure to love your stay at this unique hotel!
Best Airbnb in Tel Aviv – Noga Suites
This studio apartment comes at a steal in the Florentin neighborhood, close to lots of art galleries, bars, restaurants, and museums. Everything you need is within walking distance. It’s a great value Airbnb with lots of room to spread out.
Noga Suites is one of our favourites in Israel but they’re not taking guests right now. We’re not sure if they’re closed for good but we hope they’ll come back soon.
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First things first, I definitely want to mention that Tzfat goes by another name too, Safed. The names are used interchangeably, so don’t be surprised if you encounter some information on Tzfat or Safed and it sounds the same— it’s the same place! Tzfat sits in the Northern District of Israel and is actually the highest city in all of Israel.
Tzfat is one of Judaism’s four holy cities and is the center of Kabbalah, Jewish mysticism in Israel. Filled with winding cobblestone streets, bright art galleries, and delightful mystical shops, Tzfat is a real treat. This Holy City is also home to ancient sites and sweeping panoramic views. If you’re looking for one of the top places to stay in Israel for unique experiences at budget-friendly prices, Tzfat is for you!
Definitely make sure to visit the Tzfat Cemetery, a place of pilgrimage where tens of thousands of people visit to pray for divine intervention. Lastly, make sure to go to the food stall called the Lahuhe Original Yemenite to try authentic Yemenite delicacies like malawach, lachuchs, and jachnun!
Best Places to Stay in Tzfat
Tzfat is a small mountain city, so you won’t ever be too far from the vibrant Old City. However, if you’re really looking to save some money, if you stay a couple kilometers away and are willing to walk into the Old City, you will really save some extra dough!
Best Hotel in Tzfat – Kibbutz Inbar Country Lodging
The Kibbutz Inbar Country Lodging is a beautiful lodge, nestled right in nature. It gives guests sweeping views of the surrounding countryside. It’s truly an idyllic hotel! Providing guests hearty and healthy vegetarian breakfast each morning, the Kibbutz Inbar Country Lodging is the best hotel to stay at to save some bucks while not sacrificing any amenities.
Best Airbnb in Tzfat – The Reznik Getaway
This affordably priced Airbnb is for an entire guest suite, a one-bedroom and one bathroom suite. You’ll be situated near the Old City of Tzfat, just a minute walk to the city center. It’s a beautiful studio that oozes luxury, yet comes with a budget-friendly price tag!
The Reznik Getaway is one of our favourites in Israel but they’re not taking guests right now. We’re not sure if they’re closed for good but we hope they’ll come back soon.
Best Hostel in Tzfat – Safed Inn
The Safed Inn sits right on the outskirts of Tzfat, but is still within a couple kilometers of the major attractions in the area. The Biriya Forest and Old Tzfat are both just three kilometers away. The Safed Inn offers both private rooms and dorm rooms. They also have a dry sauna and hot tub, which is great for relaxing after a long day exploring!
Safed Inn is one of our favourites in Israel but they’re not taking guests right now. We’re not sure if they’re closed for good but we hope they’ll come back soon.
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As we previously just discussed, Tzfat is a holy city perched on a hill. It is home to mystical shops, a vibrant artist colony, as well as great hikes! You’re going to want to check the main tourist sites off your list like the Tzfat Kabbalah Center, the Artist Colony, the Abuhav Synagogue, and the Ari Ashkenazi Synagogue. Of course, there are more unique things to do like hiking Mount Canaan and going horseback riding at Bat Yaar Ranch.
If you’re in the mood for something truly adventurous, you can travel just around nine miles away to and go river rafting at Jordan River Rafting! Or how about visiting the Tomb of Maimonides a mere 13 miles away?
In and around Tzfat there are plenty of interesting things to do and to see, which makes it one of the top places to stay in Israel for unique experiences!
Best Places to Stay in Tzfat
Staying as close to Old Town as possible means that you won’t miss out on any of the best things that Tzfat has to offer!
Best Guest House in Tzfat – Mendy’s Accommodation
Mendy’s Accommodation is a sweet holiday home nestled right in the heart of the Old Town in Tzfat. With old stone walls and crisp white furniture, you’ll be nice and cozy in this lovely home.
Best Hotel in Tzfat – Mol Hahr
Situated right in the Old Town, Mol Hahr is a beautiful hotel in the perfect location. Very close to the hotel are unique tourist attractions like the Tzfat Kabbalah Center, the Hameiri House, and Safed College. The Artist Colony is just a few minutes walk away too! The hotel itself is very charming, with sloping wooden beam ceilings and lovely private balconies.
Best Airbnb in Tzfat – Menucha’s Home in Old City Tzfat
Amazingly, this Airbnb is in the middle of all the tourist sites, yet still feels secluded. It has a tranquil ambiance with a garden and pond, but is right in the heart of the Old City. To be exact, this Airbnb is situated right at the entrance of Metzuda Park, the absolute highest point in Tzfat. You will love this unique Airbnb with its peaceful atmosphere and lovely decor.
Menucha’s Home in Old City Tzfat is one of our favourites in Israel but they’re not taking guests right now. We’re not sure if they’re closed for good but we hope they’ll come back soon.
Eilat is in the south of Israel and is a port town right on the Red Sea. It’s one of the best areas to stay in Israel if you’re looking for adventure! Eilat is home to the Coral Beach Nature Reserve which has buoy marked underwater trails for scuba diving and snorkeling. Get ready to see millions of fishes! There is also the Dolphin Reef, which is known for having an abundance of dolphins swimming in the calm waters. Additionally, there are also fun water sports to partake in like parasailing, SUP, and banana boating.
If you need a break from exploring the underwater world, head on over to Timna Park for some mountain biking or hiking through the desert. The Eilat Mountains is a nature reserve that is home to incredible hiking through the picturesque canyons and mountains. Get ready to be amazed!
Best Places to stay in Eilat
When staying in Eilat, try to stay close to the beach to get the most out of your trip!
Best Hotel in Eilat – Rich Royal Suites
Don’t worry that The Rich Royal Suites will break your bank— it certainly won’t! Coming in at an affordable price, this hotel is a great find. It sits just a few minutes walk from the pebble sand Moriah Beach, the watersports-centric Kisuki Beach, and the golden sands of Neviot Beach. When staying at the Rich Royal Hotel, make sure to check out Ola Restaurant just down the block for a delicious meal!
Best Airbnb in Eilat – Sweeping Views & Classy Apartment
This beautiful apartment is for a one-bedroom and one-bathroom apartment that actually has a total of four beds inside. It’s just a five-minute walk to the beach and to the seaside promenade. The outdoors balcony offers sweeping views of the mountains and of the Red Sea. It’s the perfect Airbnb in Eilat to kick up your feet and feel right at home.
Sweeping Views & Classy Apartment is one of our favourites in Israel but they’re not taking guests right now. We’re not sure if they’re closed for good but we hope they’ll come back soon.
Best Hostel in Eilat – The Shelter Hostel
The Shelter Hostel in Eilat is a fabulous hostel with chill vibes and peaceful surroundings. There are dorm rooms and private rooms available coming in at basement prices. With a community kitchen available, you’ll love being able to whip up a snack when a craving sets in! Popcorn, anyone?
The Shelter Hostel is one of our favourites in Israel but they’re not taking guests right now. We’re not sure if they’re closed for good but we hope they’ll come back soon.
Are you a lover of food and of all things delicious? If you are wondering where should I stay in Israel to experience the best food scene then look no further than Tel Aviv! The culinary scene in Tel Aviv is burgeoning and tons of different types of cuisine can be found all throughout the city. However, the true culinary roots of Israel always comes down to pita, falafel and shawarma. Make sure you check out Sabine Frishman and Miznon for some of the best traditional pita in Israel!
If you’re craving a traditional Israeli breakfast, with a widespread of dips, salad, eggs, and bread, you’re going to want to head over to Bread Story for a truly delicious meal!
I would be remiss if I didn’t make sure to mention that you absolutely need to get into the coffee culture in Tel Aviv. Not a single Starbucks can be found in this city! Get ready to try a cafe ha’fooch at some hip coffee shops. I recommend trying Cafelix Coffee or Mae Cafe. Of course, The Urban Bakery is always a good choice.
Best Places to Stay in Tel Aviv
To get the most out of the culinary scene in Tel Aviv, stay in the trendiest neighborhood of Florentine, or in the nearby cool district of Old Jaffa that sits a little closer to the sea.
Best Hostel in Tel Aviv – Caravan Hostel by Roger
Get ready for a unique experience because this hostel is actually made up of caravans, trailers, and campers! You can stay in your own private camper right inside the city center. There are also dorm rooms available inside the main building, should you want a more traditional hostel experience. Situated just a ten-minute walk to the beach in the Florentine neighborhood, you’ll love setting up shop in this spot. Also, this hostel also serves it’s very own home-brewed craft beer.
Best Hotel in Tel Aviv – INTA Hotel
When you stay at the INTA Hotel, you’ll be staying in style. This eclectic hotel is filled with bright art and bold accent walls. It’s an adults-only hotel that has a fantastic terrace bar to kick back and chill out on. You’ll love being right down the block from the Aroma Israeli Cafe and from the local French patisserie, Cafe Dellal.
Best Airbnb in Tel Aviv – Cozy Old Jaffa Loft
By definition, this Airbnb is pristinely clean. It’s a one-bedroom and one bathroom private loft that is positively gorgeous and tastefully decorated. You’ll be close to tons of delicious restaurants and to the beach as well!
Cozy Old Jaffa Loft is one of our favourites in Israel but they’re not taking guests right now. We’re not sure if they’re closed for good but we hope they’ll come back soon.
Top Places to Stay in Israel
There are so many incredible top places to stay in Israel that makes choosing just three quite difficult! We buckled down and made some tough calls. Here are our top three best places to stay in Israel.
Best Hostel in Israel – Abraham Hostel – Jerusalem
Abraham Hostel is a hostel that promises travelers unforgettable experiences. With a super lively social atmosphere, plus with awesome hostel events like hummus making classes, you’re sure to never forget your stay at Abraham Hostel.
Best Hotel in Israel – Joseph Hotel TLV – Tel Aviv
The Joseph Hotel in Tel Aviv is one of the best hotels in Israel. It really could have been the set of a movie! It’s elegant, classy, with gorgeous interior design. It’s the perfect location for your stay, in the popular neighbourhood of Jaffa, just a five-minute walk to both the Flea Market and to the beach.
Best Airbnb in Israel – Sweeping Views & Classy Apartment – Eilat
This beautiful Airbnb dwells in the seaside city of Eilat. Right from your own private balcony, you can soak up the view of the mountains and of the Red Sea. It’s a great, private apartment that provides guests all they could possibly need at an incredibly affordable price.
Sweeping Views & Classy Apartment is one of our favourites in Israel but they’re not taking guests right now. We’re not sure if they’re closed for good but we hope they’ll come back soon.
Books to Read While Visiting Israel
Six days of War – Though it lasted for only six days, the 1967 Arab-Israeli war never really ended. Every crisis that has ripped through this region in the ensuing decades, from the Yom Kippur War of 1973 to the ongoing intifada, is a direct consequence of those six days of fighting. Michael B. Orena’s magnificent Six Days of War, an internationally acclaimed bestseller, is a comprehensive account of this epoch-making event.
I Shall Not Hate – Heart-breaking, hopeful, and horrifying, I Shall Not Hate is a Palestinian doctor’s inspiring account of his extraordinary life, growing up in poverty but determined to treat his patients in Gaza and Israel regardless of their ethnic origin.
Let There Be Water – Let There Be Water illustrates how Israel can serve as a model for the United States and countries everywhere by showing how to blunt the worst of the coming water calamities
Khirbet Khizeh – A classic (if controversial) piece in Hebrew literature, this 1949 novella is penned by S. Yizhar, a soldier in the 1948 Arab-Israeli war. It’s an easy read for it’s length but not so much for its gutwrenching recount of a soldier’s point-of-view on the brutality of that war.
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Final Thoughts on Where to Stay in Israel
Israel is an incredible country filled with ancient history, holy sites, great scuba diving spots, and delectable cuisine! Whether you’re looking to head over to the Dead Sea with your family or go on a culinary tour in Tel Aviv, we’re sure that you will have an unforgettable trip. Hopefully, our list of the best areas to stay in Israel proved useful and provided answers to all the questions on your list!
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