I should be flying into Tel Aviv in early April for around 7 to 10 days and just wondered if anybody could help with these questions:
How expensive is Israel in general accommadation, food, drink?
Will 10 days be enough time to get around Tel Aviv, Jerusalem, Bethlehem etc?
I have a Malaysian Stamp on my Passport, will this cause any friction at immigration?
Any other advice is very welcome, thank you in advance
7-10 days is very short for Israel, but it still better than nothing.
Country is very small about size but stuffed with things to see and to do.
If you could manage - try to come to Israel before or after Passover , but not at holidays themselves.
At Passover week it could be messy in airport, crowded in all touristic attractions and many of restaurants would be closed, or fixed about special Passover menu (that not the delicious part of local food)
about places to visit:
Tel Aviv - 24 hours/day alive city. Very young, active. Sometimes stunning, sometimes shubby. You can find here all types of restaurants (local food is very good, dont miss it!). Probably in April the sea would be warm enough for you! - if you would like enter water. and , for sure it's good warm weather supposed to be.
Jerusalem - give to Jerusalem at least 2, better 3 days. Endless attractivity. Jerus is just 1 hr by bus from Tel Aviv. But i recommend u days that u plan for Jerusalem - stay in the city itself. May be even 1 day guided tour make sence.
Bethlehem - mmm.. .. if you not very religious - it's not that amazing place. I'd not spend a day from 7 for Bethlehem. Also it could be a little dangerous.
Instead of it i'd visiting Caesarea (about 1 hour of drive in the North direction from Tel Aviv. I think there are also public transport avaliable). Take a look about Caesarea online. It's lovely and complete natural beauty + historical area (Roman ruines) + very good Gallery (of Riconatti), etc. Caesarea - it's a daily trip, no need to sleep there.
As i know also organized tours to the North , that includes Caesarea are avaliable.
it could be 1-2 days, very fast and not deep trip, but very impressive also.
If you could catch one : Tel Aviv > Caesarea > Haifa > Acre > Rosh ha Nikra
- it could be enough impressions for at least 0,5 year
Another option - go to South, desert is flowring at this time. Beautiful!
and.. oh... dont miss the DEAD SEA! the lowest place in the world! It's closer to Jerusalem then to Tel Aviv, you could go there (need full day and better tourist bus) while you stay in Jerusalem , but need add 1 more day there.
head spinning already? I didnt yet begin
Underline: If you want to get a maximum from your short trip - you should make a "home-work" and decide where r u going and which way.
Very important point!
in "Shabbat" - from friday afternoon to saturday evening it's NO PUBLIC TRANSPORT! and many of "kosher" restaurants would be closed. Be ready.
Israel is not cheap , prices are similar to medium-european,
but you always could make your trip less expensive by all backpackers tricks - same all around the world.
About Malaysian Stamp - i have not idea. U'd better check it up in Israeli Embassy that near u.
Enjoy your trip!