Best Travel Time and Climate for Israel
Despite being one of the smallest countries in the Middle East, Israel is not lacking in history and breathtaking landscapes. In just a few days you can experience the ancient city of Jerusalem, the hustle and bustle of Tel Aviv and the wealth of historical, religious and cultural sites across the country.
According to softwareleverage, Israel is primarily known as a major religious destination, but there is much more to discover here than just the religious sites. You can do great outdoor activities, enjoy fantastic food, and experience a variety of cultures here. Many vacationers combine their trip with a visit to Jordan . They usually cross the border at either Allenby Bridge or Sheikh Hussein Bridge.
Best travel time
The best months to visit Tel Aviv are April, May, June, September and October. This is mainly because the winter months (especially December to March) can be rainy and July and August can be expected to be very hot. In winter it can get very cold in Jerusalem, especially at night, but this has no effect on visiting attractions. In Eilat , Israel’s Red Sea resort , you can expect glorious sunny days all winter long, but daytime temperatures are extremely hot in the midsummer months.
Aside from Jerusalem and Tel Aviv, the ancient desert fortress of Masada and the Dead Sea – the deepest point on earth – are undoubtedly the main attractions of Israel. The Judean Desert is a harsh environment and the blazing summer sun can easily dry out if you’re not careful. Therefore, remember to always take enough drink with you. Spring and fall are best for visiting Masada, while summer and fall are ideal for the Dead Sea. Then the salt water is warmest. Both locations are very popular during the Jewish holidays, especially Passover, and are accordingly heavily visited.
Israel is becoming increasingly popular with tourists, but luckily it is rarely as crowded as Paris or Barcelona. August, but also the end of September and October, are usually very busy due to the important holidays and the slightly cooler weather. So it makes sense to include this in your travel plans. If you want to avoid the crowds in key cultural and religious locations, avoid traveling during Passover week (early April).
The best time to travel to Israel depends on whether you are going on a pilgrimage or prefer to take it easy. Many tours for visiting religious sites coincide with religious holidays. So be prepared for larger crowds. Or the opposite: everything is closed. In any case, you should book as early as possible. The Spring brings wildflowers bloom and the desert heat, the country has not yet under control. Expect extremely high temperatures in summer, while it can rain in autumn.
Optimal travel time after months
January – March
Temperatures in Israel are cooler in the first few months of the year, with the occasional snowfall in some parts of the country. This is also the time of year when it is most likely to rain in Israel.
With the onset of spring, the weather in Israel becomes much more pleasant thanks to increasing sunshine and rising temperatures. Evenings can still be a bit chilly, so be sure to pack a light sweater or jacket.
Temperatures rise rapidly in summer. The days are long and there is plenty of sun. Make sure you bring enough sun protection with you if you plan to visit Israel during this time.
In September and October the temperatures cool down again, so the weather is much more pleasant than in the heat of summer.
Late autumn and winter bring cooler winter weather. In November and December there is even the possibility of snow and it is very likely that rain is to be expected in Jerusalem.
Climate in Jerusalem
When is the best weather in Israel? A simple question and yet not that easy to answer. Long, warm (sometimes downright hot), and generally dry summers extend from April to October, while winters (November to March) are generally mild. But there is a big difference between the coastal climate and the hilly areas like Jerusalem and Safed. Tel Aviv is more humid and winters are rainier, while Jerusalem has drier and cooler weather. In Galilee in the north of the country there can even be heavy rainfall in winter with occasional snowfall in mountain regions. In contrast, it hardly rains around the Dead Sea and the Negev desert.
In spring and autumn, hot winds can come from Africa, temperatures rise, and the country becomes covered in dust. These extreme weather conditions are exceptional and usually don’t last long. In general, the best weather can be found in April, May, June, late September and October.
The national language of Israel is Hebrew. However, thanks to the large number of immigrants, you are likely to encounter a variety of other languages, including Arabic and Russian. Most people speak at least a little English, however, and that is how you get on very well in the country.
Israeli cuisine reflects the diversity of its population and is influenced by Jews from Europe and the Middle East, Arabs, Armenians and many other countries. Restaurants in Israel are especially good because the high rental costs force many restaurants to compete at very high levels in order to stay in business. As a result, you can find great meals almost everywhere, especially in Tel Aviv. Street dishes with shawarma, falafel and bourekas are also very popular.
As in much of the Middle East, coffee and tea are incredibly popular in Israel. However, depending on whether you are in a predominantly Jewish or Arab area, there may be slight differences in the way this is served. In Jewish areas you can find tea and coffee in European or American cafes, in Arab areas in coffee houses where often nothing else is offered.
Festivals and celebrations
Due to the large proportion of the Jewish and Christian population, there are several festivals and holidays throughout the year. At the beginning of the year you can witness the festival of Purim, then people hold parades in the streets with music and the gauze with its costumes reminds of the carnival. During major holidays like Yom Kippur, the streets are quiet, shops are closed, and fasting is held across the country. In addition, many Jews refrain from doing any kind of work on the Sabbath – starting at sunset on Friday and ending at sunset on Saturday – even simple things like talking on the phone or turning on the lights. In Jerusalem, many restaurants close on the Sabbath, but hotel restaurants generally stay open.
Israel is very western, but there are a few exceptions in Orthodox or Palestinian areas. Visitors are expected to be appropriately dressed with covered shoulders and legs in certain public areas and religious locations. In some Jewish places it can happen that men are asked to wear a kippah, this is usually provided on site.
Do not photograph anything related to the military or government buildings, especially bridges, canals, or anything that could be considered strategically important. It is also always a good idea to ask people for permission before photographing them.
Smoking in public is generally prohibited in Israel, and some restaurants have separate smoking areas.
Israel’s currency is the shekel. There are 100 agorot in one shekel. Major credit cards are accepted almost everywhere. There are plenty of ATMs, but not all offer the option to switch the language from Hebrew to German or English.
Tipping is not quite as common in Israel as it is in other countries in the region, although it is always a welcome gesture. Some restaurants and cafes have introduced mandatory service fees. In most cases, however, you can leave an individual tip as well. We recommend around 10-15% for good service.