You know where to find the Western Wall and the beach in Tel Aviv, but now you are looking for more unique things to do in Israel, right? Everywhere you will find the same lists of things to do but I created a list with a couple fun things to do in Israel that are completely different and you wont find in an Israel travel guide. Take a look at this list and I am sure this you will spice up your travels in this amazing country.
In 2017 I visited Israel for the first time and in August 2019 I was able to travel to Israel again. In the following link you will find all the things to know when you travel to Israel, full of travel tips. Also great to know is that you can find cheap Israel sim cards online (free shipping included) to keep you connected on your trip. Or see here where to buy a sim card at Tel Aviv Airport Ben Gurion or what is the best Israel prepaid sim card for tourists.
Unusual things to do in Israel
What to do in Israel when you have seen all the touristy stuff, partied hard in Tel Aviv, done with all the fun things to do in Israel but still have a spare night? Betzavta is a new concept that brings locals and travelers together as you will get invited to a local home for a traditional Israeli dinner. More authentic than this it doesn’t get. Betzavta sets you up with a family around your location.
In my case a family cooked for all my friends. When I walked into the family's house I could not believe my eyes, this was like a 5* hotel buffet. We introduced ourselves briefly, before the dad opened the buffet with a short prayer and the feast started. The food was delicious, the conversations super interesting and best of all it was a lot of fun!
If you are looking for unique things to do in Israel this is definitely one of them as this is not something you will find in any Israel travel guide! Check out the Betzavta website here.
2. Bedouin camp
Would you associate traveling in the Holy Land with staying in a Bedouin Camp in the desert? It is a Middle East thing to do, so yes here in Israel you have the opportunity as well. Meet a Bedouin family, drink tea and listen to their story. Ask them all you ever wanted to know about life in the desert, as these people were the ancestors of the modern digital nomads. The Negev Desert is their playground and an off the beaten path Israel destination for tourists. For more info check out these tours:
3. Hot air balloon ride
When you think about fun things to do in Israel a hot air balloon ride does not pop up in your mind straight away, but damn this was the best start of my morning in a long time. It was kept a secret and only the night before it was announced: Guys tomorrow morning we have to get up and leave the Bedouin Camp at 3.00am! ‘No, you are kidding right?’ Nope but we are going to watch sunrise from out of a hot air balloon! :)
We were somewhere in the middle of the desert and we definitely needed a jacket to keep us warm, but you could feel the excitement among everyone as we were about to do one of the most unique things to do in Israel. Up in the air we watched the sunrise in the distance and enjoyed the amazing views over the vast landscape. If you are looking for romantic things to do in Israel then surprise your lover with a balloon ride and a breakfast for two on a unique location afterwards.
4. Gay parade
Ok I admit you will most probably find this in your guidebook as almost 30% of the people in Tel Aviv is gay and this yearly returning festival is the second biggest gay parade in the world. But did you know that even if you are straight this is one of the most fun things to do in Israel. With 200.000 happy people in the streets of Tel Aviv expressing their happiness there is no escaping, you will have to party along! I went out around midday and partied until sunset on the beach. Yes obviously there were ‘too many’ gay people, so this is the reaction of a straight guy finally seeing a girl!
But as you can see I had a blast!
5. Boat tour on the Dead Sea
This is definitely not an off the beaten path Israel destination, this is one of their most popular tourist spots so why did I add this to my list of unique things to do in Israel you must be thinking. Well let me tell you that there are only two boats on the Dead Sea and one boat that takes tourists out. This boat tour is by far the best way to see the coastline of the Dead Sea. This unique place on earth should be one of the reasons to visit Israel.
6. Buggy riding and zip lining in Maktesh Ramon
Stop here if you are looking for fun things to do in Israel! This was one of my favorite activities I did on my trip around the country with Abraham Hostels. Makhtesh Ramon looks like a massive crater hit by an unimaginable huge meteorite, but that is a myth. It has something to do with tectonic plates and stuff, but I will save you the details. Admiring the view from the crater rim is already one of the top things to do in Israel, but making your way down to the bottom and exploring the area in a buggy or ATV or Tomcat or whatever it is called is super fun. Damn these things are powerful but this is exactly what you need in a rough landscape like this. Fasten your seat belts here we go… Zip lining can also be arranged all through.
In case you are in for a different adventure then may be you want to try to hike through Maktesh Ramon.
7. Israeli Food Tour
After you have strolled around the old town of Jerusalem and you saw all the standard touristy stuff in this crazy city it is time to do something fun. Walking around in a new city is fun, but when you are looking to eat somewhere you have no idea where to go. Bitemojo is a game changer as they came up with the idea of a food tour app. You sign up, pick a food tour and they will guide you from one restaurant to another filling your stomach with local bites, delicious snacks, and drinks. The concept is brilliant and definitely one of those unique things to do in Israel. When I was in Jerusalem I got to try it and the app guided me from a local bread with cheese snack, a beer, hummus, a burger, more local snacks, healthy juices and I ended with a delicious ice cream.
If you are keeping up with my blog then you would know that if you ask me about the best things to do in Israel, Midburn Festival will definitely be on my list. It is the second biggest Burning Man festival in the world and apart from dancing until sunrise this festival is a fabulous experience for those who are looking for off the beaten path Israel destinations. Welcome to CrazyLand, a temporary city in the middle of nowhere somewhere in the Negev Desert in South Israel that arises out of nothing and one week later will be gone leaving no trace or whatsoever.
Read my full experience in The 10 Principles Of Burning Man As A Virgin including all the photos. Something you have to see! If this fits into you agenda then you just found yourself one of the top things to do in Israel!
9. Local markets turn into party places at night
Main cities all over the world have their local markets, where you can find fresh fruits and vegetables, spices, antiques, and Artisan stores. Visiting markets like Mahane Yehuda Jerusalem or the Flea Market in Tel-Aviv will give you a colorful, tasteful and cultural experience by itself. But, for me, what makes this experience a unique thing to do in Israel is to go to those markets at night! Around sunset, they change their face, suddenly they become a nightlife center. In my blog with Israel tips I already told you the Israeli nightlife is booming and this is another example! Find restaurants, bars, great music, and local beautiful people. What a fun and unique atmosphere. Romantic Tel Aviv travel tip: if you are around the Flea Market with your other half, finish your evening with walking around Jaffa port, it's super romantic and quiet.
So many cool things to do in Israel
In 2017 I traveled around Israel for 2 weeks, partied in Tel Aviv, went to Midburn festival, saw Jerusalem, swam in the Dead Sea, went off the beaten path in Israel as I explored the Negev Desert, crossed off more of tsome of the best things to do in Israel and partied again in Tel Aviv. I was invited by Vibe Israel, a non-profit organization that promotes Israel as a destination and needless to say but I had a blast!
Israel was a really surprising destination in many ways. Therefore in August 2019 after my trip to Syria I visited Israel again. If you decide to travel to Israel then check out this list of Israel travel tips.
Mostly all of the above tours can be arranged through Abraham Tours, see the multi day trips to nearby Petra in Jordan, one of the 7 world wonders. They have great discounted tours for the grab and can arrange cheap accommodation around Israel as well. Israel is not a budget destination, but these guys can help you travel around without breaking the bank, plus the people on their tours are amazing travelers just like you and I. Click on the link to see their last offers. And if you still need some convincing I summed up 24 reasons to travel to Israel.