is it a good choice to go to Israel

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1. Posted by Ils1976 (Respected Member 47 posts) 39w Star this if you like it!

I am thinking of going to Israel in the early beginning of March but I don't know it if it is a good choice. Can anyone give me some ideas of how the country is like?

Since I am on my own I thought it would be safer to go with an organized tour and they have a great program but still I am not sure what to expect.

Is it true that immigration is a pain? Is it possible to see all the major highlights in just 8 days, how are things weatherwise and most of all ... is it safe?

2. Posted by AndyF (Moderator 2094 posts) 39w Star this if you like it!

I've had a couple of days there on a cruise and I wouldn't go back. Oppressive humourless checkpoints with guards pointing submachine guns at you, an attitude that they can push you around and any complaint is met with a shrug and "security".

It’s also the most expensive place I've been. A big mac meal for instance was about triple the cost of London.

I visited both Israel and Palestine, both showed plenty of hatred for the other and I left feeling no love for either. The hatred overshadowed all the historical interest for me.

3. Posted by berner256 (Moderator 1407 posts) 39w Star this if you like it!

If you feel comfortable traveling in Belgium, France and Germany, then by all means travel to Israel, too. All of the countries above have a Level 2 - "Exercise Increased Caution" advisory from the U.S. State Department.

If you feel more comfortable traveling with a tour group, by all means go for it. But I personally don't think it's necessary. All travelers should be alert and aware of their surroundings; and keep up to date with developments in the countries they plan to visit. For that reason I always recommend registering your travels with your country's foreign affairs department. I do with the U.S. State Department's Smart Traveler program.

I plan to be in Israel in April 2020 for an encore visit. I've been to a lot of places around the world; and Jerusalem is one of my favorites. If you've never been, I recommend it.

If you think going through immigration and customs is a pain in Israel, some of my overseas friends think going through immigration and customs in the United States is even more problemmatic.

As travelers we always have trepidations, particularly with the unfamiliar. You just have to deal with it.

4. Posted by Borisborough (Moderator 1546 posts) 39w Star this if you like it!

As berner256 stated above, Jerusalem is a wonderful city to explore, full of history and like anywhere, there are some great local people. And, for someone not from the US, the US Customs and Border Protection is far worse than anything I experienced in Israel. Easy to do independently too.

If you get the chance, take a day trip to Masada and Ein Gedi (and the Dead Sea) too. :):)

5. Posted by berner256 (Moderator 1407 posts) 39w Star this if you like it!

In many troubled lands you'll find that most of the people you meet will welcome you with open arms. They want you to visit; and for many their livelihoods depend on it.

Travel always entails risk, which comes in many forms. Only you can decide what levels of risk are acceptable to you.

This appears to be another record year for tourism in Israel. See this link: https://old.cbs.gov.il/reader/cw_usr_view_SHTML?ID=432

[ Edit: Edited on 29-Dec-2019, 06:07 GMT by berner256 ]

6. Posted by Ils1976 (Respected Member 47 posts) 39w Star this if you like it!

Quoting AndyF

I've had a couple of days there on a cruise and I wouldn't go back. Oppressive humourless checkpoints with guards pointing submachine guns at you, an attitude that they can push you around and any complaint is met with a shrug and "security".

It’s also the most expensive place I've been. A big mac meal for instance was about triple the cost of London.

I visited both Israel and Palestine, both showed plenty of hatred for the other and I left feeling no love for either. The hatred overshadowed all the historical interest for me.

So sorry to hear this, sounds like it wasn't the best holiday ... thanks for sharing!

7. Posted by Ils1976 (Respected Member 47 posts) 39w Star this if you like it!

Quoting berner256

If you feel comfortable traveling in Belgium, France and Germany, then by all means travel to Israel, too. All of the countries above have a Level 2 - "Exercise Increased Caution" advisory from the U.S. State Department.

If you feel more comfortable traveling with a tour group, by all means go for it. But I personally don't think it's necessary. All travelers should be alert and aware of their surroundings; and keep up to date with developments in the countries they plan to visit. For that reason I always recommend registering your travels with your country's foreign affairs department. I do with the U.S. State Department's Smart Traveler program.

I plan to be in Israel in April 2020 for an encore visit. I've been to a lot of places around the world; and Jerusalem is one of my favorites. If you've never been, I recommend it.

If you think going through immigration and customs is a pain in Israel, some of my overseas friends think going through immigration and customs in the United States is even more problemmatic.

As travelers we always have trepidations, particularly with the unfamiliar. You just have to deal with it.

Thanks so much for the info ... I am still thinking of what to do but can only travel in march. I read weatherwise it was good, so since I am still in the planning fase, I hope things will work out. Thanks for sharing that it is as save as in Europe. I had no idea since our Embassy mentions it is a high risk country, but than again you are right ... even Belgium isn't safe, you'll never know what can happen!

Thanks so much!

8. Posted by Ils1976 (Respected Member 47 posts) 39w Star this if you like it!

Quoting Borisborough

As berner256 stated above, Jerusalem is a wonderful city to explore, full of history and like anywhere, there are some great local people. And, for someone not from the US, the US Customs and Border Protection is far worse than anything I experienced in Israel. Easy to do independently too.

If you get the chance, take a day trip to Masada and Ein Gedi (and the Dead Sea) too. :):)

thanks for being so positive, that makes my choices a git easier!

9. Posted by Ils1976 (Respected Member 47 posts) 39w Star this if you like it!

Quoting berner256

In many troubled lands you'll find that most of the people you meet will welcome you with open arms. They want you to visit; and for many their livelihoods depend on it.

Travel always entails risk, which comes in many forms. Only you can decide what levels of risk are acceptable to you.

This appears to be another record year for tourism in Israel. See this link: https://old.cbs.gov.il/reader/cw_usr_view_SHTML?ID=432

Will read this ... THANKS!

10. Posted by BeateR (Full Member 193 posts) 39w Star this if you like it!

Quoting Borisborough

And, for someone not from the US, the US Customs and Border Protection is far worse than anything I experienced in Israel.

I never have been to Israel and for sure I don't want to go there.
But I travel to USA twice year as a tourist and I never encountered an unfriendly officer at the Immigration.
I think it always depends on your behaviour, if you are friendly they are also. "We reap what we sow."