Israel is known for its gorgeous and diverse landscapes, its food, its beaches, and its hospitality. But the Land of Milk and Honey also boasts unsurpassable culture, and some amazing events you may not have heard of but absolutely need to incorporate into your travels. Here are our five favorite experiences to entice every palate.
New Year’s Eve in Tel Aviv: it’s not just the best because it rhymes. Tel Aviv is known for its vibrant night life and dynamic atmosphere. Every night is exciting in the City That Never Sleeps – so can you imagine the biggest party night of the year? Lights, champagne and fireworks paired with some of the best food, people, and beaches in the world. Venues citywide also offer tons of great extravaganzas, from the funky underground hip-hop scene of The Warehouse to the exclusive and swanky Brown Hotel Bar.
To work off all those beer calories, the Jerusalem Marathon is an unparalleled way to get fit in one of the world’s most ancient and historic cities. Run every year in March, the marathon is 42 kilometers long (just over 26 miles), beginning at the Knesset and ending in beautiful Sacher Park. Along the way, participants get to take in several of Israel’s iconic sites, including Mount Scopus, the Old City,Jaffa and Zion Gates, and the piney air of the Jerusalem Forest.
Who doesn’t like winding down with a good story? The annual International Storytelling Festival is not just for the literary-minded. Occurring every Sukkot in Givatayim, the lineup features over 800 performers from all over the world, there to express themselves through narratives and to keep their audiences extremely entertained. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, you’ll want to go back every year.
Then, if you want to really feed your inner artist, Tel Aviv from late September through early October is the place to be. The Fresh Paint Fair brings together artists from every corner of society, showing off painting, photography, sculpture, and installation to over 35,000 visitors each year. True to its name, the fair will totally refresh your definition of Israeli culture and put a fresh coat on your visit.
Perhaps even more than visual art, music is inextricably bound with the history of Israel. Jacob’s Ladder Festival is one of the best ways to celebrate that heritage, with a deep focus on the folk tradition and stunning talent. In short, it’s a celebration of our human connection through music, and takes place over a gorgeous weekend in May each year on the shores of the Sea of Galilee just north of Tiberius. Could you ask for a more idyllic setting?!
These are just a few of the singular many events taking place in Israel every year. Throw one of these into the mix and you are guaranteed to have an insanely fun and possibly life-altering experience. Now go adventure!