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Gay Guide • ISRAEL | Itineraries, Tips and What to See | Practical Complete LGBT Friendly


Travel solutions with itineraries to discover all the wonders of this destination, places not to be missed, tips about where to sleep and what to eat, and above all many small special tips to enjoy your journey !

Welcome to Israel, between mystery and spirituality,

food and culture, entertainment and a lot of pride.


Tel Aviv is among the most popular destinations for LGBTQ travellers. Clubs, bars, gay beaches and one of the largest prides in Asia make it one of the most gay-friendly cities in the world.

Israel's stance on LGBTQ issues is considered the most tolerant in the Middle East. While same-sex marriages are not performed in the country, Israel recognizes cohabitation between same-sex couples, as well as marriages performed elsewhere. Adoption by same-parent couples, on the other hand, was legalized in 2008.

The Pride parade takes place every year as part of Tel Aviv Pride Week, a series of public initiatives and events that color the city until culminating in the Pride Parade and a party that lasts until dawn.

Jerusalem, contrary to what one might think, is not reserved exclusively for religious pilgrimages. Jerusalem also hosts an annual Pride event and has gay-friendly hangouts, though the vibe is certainly more laid-back than nearby Tel Aviv.


Visiting this destination at its best depends essentially on how long you have to fully enjoy it. Here is a solution based on the number of days available to you:

  • Day 1 - ITALY / Tel Aviv

  • Day 2 - Tel Aviv – Cesarea – Haifa – Akko - Tel Aviv - Google Maps

  • Day 3 - Tel Aviv - Gerusalemme - Google Maps

  • Day 4 - Gerusalemme - Masada - Dead Sea (Ein Bokek) - Google Maps

  • Day 5 - Mar Morto (Ein Bokek) - Eilat - Google Maps

  • Day 6 - Eilat - Jerusalem - Google Maps

  • Day 7 - Jerusalem - Bethlehem - Tel Aviv - Google Maps

  • Day 8 - Tel Aviv - Jaffa - Tel Aviv - Google Maps

  • Day 9 - Tel Aviv / ITALY

(By opening the Maps with Google, you can easily follow our path)


Click'n'Go - Click on the places to find them on the Map





One of the oldest cities in the world and one of the most important places to see in Israel. Holy City for the 3 main monotheistic religions, Jerusalem impresses with its huge walls that surround the city and 7 gateways to the four most important neighborhoods. The holiest places to see in Jerusalem are the Temple Mount, the Wailing Wall and the Holy Sepulchre. It is worth investing a few days to complete the visit of these places, combining them with other no less interesting ones such as the Mount of Olives, the Muslim and Jewish Quarter, the Last Supper, the Tomb of David, the Via Dolorosa and the magical Garden Tomb, among many others. We also recommend that you explore Jerusalem by getting lost in the alleys and narrow streets of the neighborhoods.

Tel Aviv & Jaffa

The city of Tel Aviv is the second largest city in Israel, after Jerusalem, and is known as the "city that never sleeps" due to its vibrant nightlife. In addition to clubs and discos where the best DJs in the world play, this city has numerous museums, more than 14 kilometers of beaches, markets and charming neighborhoods. All of this is Tel Aviv. Among the must-see places to see in Tel Aviv, our favorite is Jaffa, the old port city, a short distance from the center. Don't miss the Clock Tower, the Bridge of Wishes, the Zodiac Fountain, the Mahmoudiya Mosque, St. Peter's Church and the Jaffa Lighthouse.

Dead Sea

Floating in the sea without any kind of assistance is one of the most amazing experiences and one of the best things to do in Israel. All this is possible in the Dead Sea, the lowest point on the planet, at 435 meters below sea level. Remember not to get your face (especially your eyes) wet, wear flip flops or shoes to avoid cutting your feet and high factor sunscreen.

Masada Fortress

The Masada fortress, located on the flat top of a lonely mountain in the Judean Desert is another of the top places to visit in Israel. The story says that a group of Jews resisted in this fortress the siege of an entire Roman legion during the first Judeo-Roman war. Before the conquest of the fortress by the Roman troops, all the rebels of Masada decided to commit suicide to avoid surrendering and being enslaved.

Today in the archaeological site of Masada you can see ruins of ancient palaces, cisterns, towers, Byzantine chapels and above all breathtaking viewpoints. To reach the fortress it is advisable to take the cable car up and go back to the parking lot by going down the path.


Located about 100 kilometers north of Tel Aviv, it is the third largest city in the country and another of the most important to visit in Israel. This city at the foot of Mount Carmel is considered an example of coexistence between Jews, Muslims and Christians. Also, the city has the largest port in the country. Don't miss the Baha'i Gardens, one of Israel's jewels, with their 19 terraces and spectacular temple. Lose yourself in the most picturesque neighborhoods of the city: the German Colony, the Hadar neighborhood and the Arab quarter of Wadi Nisnas. The best way to get to Haifa from Tel Aviv is by car or train (about an hour).


Halfway between Tel Avid and Haifa is the Caesarea Archaeological Complex, one of the best preserved and most interesting sites to see in Israel.

The well-preserved state of the complex with the impressive original Herod's theater, the hippodrome, the remains of Herod's palace and other ruins that are submerged under the waters of the port, make it a must see.

Bethlehem (Palestine)

Bethlehem, although in Palestine, in our opinion is a must for anyone visiting Israel. Located just 9 kilometers from Jerusalem, it is here that, according to the Bible, Jesus was born. Its most visited place is precisely the Basilica of the Nativity which hides inside the exact place of his birth, visited every day by hundreds of tourists and pilgrims . Other biblical places in Bethlehem are the Milk Grotto, where a drop of milk fell from the Virgin Mary as she nursed Jesus, and the Field chapel of the Shepherds' Church, where an angel appeared to some shepherds to announce the arrival of the Messiah. We also recommend that you get lost in the alleys that start from the famous Piazza della Manger to experience first-hand one of the most beautiful cities in the world.


Eilat is a small resort town where everything is literally at hand. The perfect combination of mountains, sea and sun. It is in fact one of the most famous resorts on the Red Sea coast. Diving or snorkeling, jeep safari or mountaineering, sailing or cycling, surfing or full relaxation on the beach - Eilat cannot boast of historical and architectural monuments, but it offers a huge choice of entertainment. Do not miss the underwater observatory, the main attraction of Eilat, where you can admire the beauty of nature both on the surface and under the water. From the observation deck you can see four countries at once: Israel, Egypt, Jordan and Saudi Arabia.

Acre or Akko

Little Acre, or Akko in Hebrew, is one of the oldest cities in the world and another must-see in Israel. This city has an important Templar past which can be appreciated by visiting the Templar tunnel and the fortress of the Order of the Hospitallers, the great jewel of Acre. Other interesting points of the city are the Al-Jazzar Mosque, the El-Zeituna Mosque, the Khan Al-Umda Caravanserai and the walls of ancient Acre.


Safed, located 900 meters in the Upper Galilee mountains in the north of the country, is one of the four holy cities to see in Israel and is known as the city of Kabbalah, the mystical branch of Judaism. This city is distinguished by its historic center full of narrow cobbled streets, galleries and shops of local artists and ancient synagogues. Other interesting places in the city are the cemetery, the citadel, the Ma'alot Olei Hagardom stairway and the Shem and Ever cave, which is said to have been the study site of Noah's son and grandson.


According to the Gospels, Nazareth is the place where Jesus spent the first years of his life and where the Archangel Gabriel announced the future birth of Jesus to the Virgin Mary. Nowadays Nazareth is a city with an Arab majority and its main tourist attraction is the Basilica of the Annunciation, one of the most important places to see in Israel. The modern building of the Basilica stands on the site where, according to Christian tradition, the Archangel Gabriel announced the birth of Jesus to Mary. It is also worth visiting the White Mosque, the oldest in Nazareth, which played a decisive in the harmony between the religious communities of this city.


Experience Tel Aviv Nightlife

Most Israeli cities have a lively nightlife, but there is no doubt that the party queen is Tel Aviv, also known as the New York of the Middle East. The city is full of bars, restaurants, cafes, and many night clubs of all kinds and for all tastes and budgets. Tel Aviv is also known for its LGBT scene. There are many other reasons to visit Tel Aviv, but if you're a party animal, it's the perfect city for you.

Floating in the Dead Sea

At 400 meters below sea level, the Dead Sea is the lowest point on earth. Its waters are among the saltiest in the world, which is why it floats easily. Don't forget to slather your body and face with Dead Sea mud for a 100% natural beauty treatment.

Explore the Old City of Jerusalem

If someone has only a few hours to explore the country, the best thing to do to make the most of the limited time is certainly to explore the Old City of Jerusalem. Here 3,000 years of history are condensed into places full of charm and meaning.

Attend a Shabbat Dinner with an Orthodox Jewish Family

Shabbat is the day of rest for the Jews. It begins on Friday when the sun sets and ends on Saturday when the stars are out. On Fridays there is a special dinner, with some signature dishes that will vary according to the family (Israeli Jews have come from many parts of the world), but never missing a special bread called challah. Many Jewish families celebrate this dinner on a Friday night, but if you want to experience it in the most traditional way, it's best to spend it with an Orthodox Jewish family.

Explore the City of David

"Where it all began". Here King David built his city 3,000 years ago, a city that has been conquered, destroyed and rebuilt many times throughout history. At this archaeological site you will be able to walk on the same ground that existed in the time of King David, see the original foundations of the city (4000 years ago) and admire the ruins of the destruction of the First Temple by the Babylonians (586 BC).

Shopping in Machane Yehuda Market

One of the main attractions of Jerusalem where you can not only taste the dishes and drinks of exquisite Jerusalem cuisine but also try international food of all kinds (Eastern European Kiguel, Georgian khachapuri, Kurdish kibe, Ethiopian injera, Moroccan couscous , Yemeni cedar juice, Italian ice cream, Argentinian empanadas). Over 250 stalls but not only of food, you will find a bit of everything at the Machane Yehuda Market. Thursdays and Fridays are the favorite destination for Jews to shop for Shabbat.

Taste one of the award-winning Israeli Wines

Israel has excellent wines that are renowned all over the world. The wineries are mainly located in the Golan Heights, Jerusalem Hills, Elah Valley, Zijron Yakov area and even in the Negev Desert. Depending on where your travel plans take you, take a short detour to a winery and experience a tasting tour.

Watch the sunrise over the Masada Fortress in the Judean Desert

Masada is a fortress built on high ground, 450m above the level of the Dead Sea. The inhabitants of Masada in 73 AD. they resisted the Roman siege until committing suicide rather than accept surrender. When the Romans entered Masada, they found a mountain of more than 950 dead bodies and only seven survivors: two elderly women and five children who had gone into hiding.

Spend a Night in the Desert under the Stars

As small as Israel is, half of the country is desert! There are several places that offer stargazing tours, mainly in the Mitzpé Ramón area.

Remembering the Victims of the Holocaust at Yad Vashem

The Yad Vashem Museum (Holocaust History Museum, outside Jerusalem) is dedicated to the permanent memory of the horror of the Holocaust and the ongoing tribute to its victims.

Visit the Mea Shearim Ultra-Orthodox Neighborhood in Jerusalem

Mea Shearim (meaning a hundred gates in Hebrew) is an ultra-Orthodox neighborhood and one of the oldest in Jerusalem. This neighborhood is mainly inhabited by Haredi and Hasidic Jews, and you should dress according to the neighborhood's "modest" requirements during your visit. Strolling the streets of Mea Shearim can feel like a trip in a time machine, as most still wear their traditional clothes, the same ones worn in Eastern Europe in the 19th century.

Walk part of the Israel Trail

Israel Trail is a hiking route that crosses Israel from north to south. (The length of Israel is just over 550 km). National Geographic included it in their list of "The World's Best Hikes."

Kayaking on the Sea of Galilee

The Sea of Galilee is the largest freshwater lake in Israel, surrounded by many natural sites and villages. For most of the year, the water is very calm, so hop in a kayak and explore the lake and its surroundings.


Red Sea Jazz Festival (Eilat) (February)

Not just for jazz aficionados, this southern Israel festival also welcomes world music (from the Balkans to Cuba), Middle Eastern sounds and pop music. About 35 events in the magnificent of Eilat. A great feature of this festival, which takes place in winter and summer, is the free jam sessions.

Jerusalem Marathon (March)

One of Israel's largest marathons attracting around 30,000 runners. The route passes some of the most beautiful monuments of the Israeli capital, including the Mahane Yehuda market in Jerusalem, the walls of the Tower of David and Mount Scopus.

Birkat Kohanim (April)

The Birkat Kohanim sees tens of thousands gather at Jerusalem's Kotel (Western Wall) to witness the priestly blessing. Jewish men belonging to the Kohanim tribe cover their heads with their prayer shawl (tallit) and bless the crowd during morning prayers.

Tel Aviv Pride (June)

Tel Aviv Gay Pride is Tel Aviv's party of the year. Unique atmosphere, colors and, of course, fun! As one of the most gay-friendly cities in the world, Tel Aviv Pride Week is an event not to be missed. Throughout the city you can find parties, events and celebrations. One of the highlights of the week is the Pride Parade, an explosion of color and music to celebrate freedom and inclusiveness. The parade starts from Ben Tsiyon/Melchet and makes its way through Tel Aviv ending at the giant Park, where the famous beach party is held.

Sleepless Night Tel Aviv (June)

Nicknamed "the city that never sleeps," Tel Aviv lives up to its vibrant reputation during "Laila Lavan," an event where music goes on all night around the city. Main concerts are held in Bialik Square, Shuk HaCarmel, Rothschild Boulevard, and Kikar Rabin, while parties and concerts can be found in many bars and clubs in Tel Aviv and Jaffa.

Jerusalem Festival of Light (June)

Stunning displays of artwork, statues and installations against the backdrop of the Old City walls delight visitors to Jerusalem as night falls. Attracting crowds of around 250,000 over 10 days, the event's artworks are made by artists from Israel and abroad.

Midburn Festival (Negev) (October)

Inspired by the legendary event in the Nevada desert in the United States, the Midburn event is an opportunity for its participants to unleash their creativity through interactive art, performances and self-expression. Don't expect the traditional festival setup with stages and music but rather a giant campsite in the Negev desert.

Tel Aviv Night Run (October / November)

This 10km race takes place at night to give its 25,000 participants a different view of Tel Aviv. Open to anyone over the age of 14 who can present a medical certificate proving their fitness level, the race starts from Rabin Square, the city's hub for all major events, and concludes with a celebratory festival at Ganei Yehoshua.

Taste of Galilee Food Festival (December)

Set in the verdant and relaxing Galilee region, this annual celebration of Israeli gastronomy will appeal to foodies. The week-long event features workshops, special events hosted by area restaurants, as well as a focus on specific local produce.

Christmas in Bethlehem (December)

A wonderful way to celebrate Christmas is to spend the evening of Jesus' birth in the very city where he was born. Before attending midnight mass either inside the church or on a giant screen in Manger Square, you will have the opportunity to visit Bethlehem's key site related to the birth of Jesus, the Church of the Nativity.



Jerusalem - Mamilla Hotel *****

Jerusalem - Abraham Hostel



Tel Aviv - €€€ - Dallal Restaurant

Tel Aviv - €€ - Suramare (with View!)

Tel Aviv - €€ - Night Kitchen

Tel Aviv - €€ - Shakshukia

Tel Aviv - €€ - Dr Shakshuka

Tel Aviv / Jaffa - €€ - Cafe Puaa

Jerusalem - €€€ - Restaurant Rooftop

Jerusalem - €€ - Taboon & Wine by Rewined

Jerusalem - €€ - Azura

Jerusalem - €€ - Bulghourji

Jerusalem - €€ - Nafoura Restaurant

Haifa - €€ - Shtroudl

Haifa - €€ - Ein ElWadi Restaurant

Akko - €€ - Restaurant Doniana

Ein Gedi - €€ - Ein Gedi Hotel Restaurant

Ein Bokek - €€ - Ein Bokek Restaurant

Eilat - €€ - Nine Beach Eilat

Eilat - €€ - Fish Market




We love it. A puree of chickpeas seasoned with garlic, tahini and lemon juice. Served with pita bread it is a delight.


Fried meatballs traditionally made with broad beans, but today mostly chickpea based. Served in pita bread, usually with hummus, greens, cabbage and zejug (a type of Yemeni chili pepper). This is the most common street food in Israel and can be found almost everywhere.

Baklava (Baklawa)

This dessert is made of phyllo dough, walnuts and lots of sugar syrup. Cooked in large trays, cut into small portions and served. Wonderful.


This orange colored dessert is made of fried kadaif noodles with cheese, sugar syrup and rose water. It is originally from Nazareth in northern Israel, so don't miss the chance to eat it in its hometown.


Israel is known for its delicious salatim, an array of fresh salads, pickled vegetables and spreads. These dishes are often served as appetizers with warm crusty bread and eaten throughout the meal.

Laffa (Iraqi PITA)

With the mass immigration of Iraqi Jews to Israel in the 19th century came Laffa, a wood-fired oven-baked bread thicker than pita, usually used to wrap around kebabs, falefel, and Shawarma.


Meat lovers, this is the dish for you! This delicacy is one of the most popular street foods in Israel, Egypt, Pakistan and throughout the Arab world. Very similar to kebab, it is lamb, chicken or goat meat cut into thin strips and rolled in a laffa or pita with pickles, salad, tahini, hummus, hot sauce, eggplant, chips and Amba (mango salsa). It is undoubtedly one of Israel's most beloved dishes and a must on any visit to the country.


This word in Hebrew means "all together" or "all mixed up". This typical dish of Israeli cuisine includes poached eggs in tomato sauce accompanied with pepper, onion, cumin and paprika.


Another of the best dishes to eat in Jerusalem is this lentil salad, one of the most famous vegetarian dishes in Israel. In city restaurants it is served with fried onion, rice and olive oil.


The flagship product of the Jerusalem stalls are the burekas, triangles of puff pastry filled with meat, vegetables or cheese.


A tasty sandwich filled with fried aubergines, boiled egg, tomato, olives and hummus to accompany. It's perfect for a nice lunch or a quick meal and is sold in both Tel Aviv restaurants and street food stalls.


Another staple of Jerusalem's street food stalls is zaìatar, a thin flatbread covered with the famous Middle Eastern spice mix, za'atar.


One of the most common sweets in Israel and one of the most popular souvenirs from Jerusalem are dried or dehydrated dates.


This sweet typical of Israel and other oriental countries is a kind of dry nougat prepared with sesame seeds and spices.


The alleyways of Jerusalem's Old City are filled with stalls selling freshly squeezed fruit juices, perfect for cooling off and beating the Jerusalem heat.

Shabbat Tradition in Israel

The Jewish day of rest, Shabbat, begins on Friday at sunset and ends on Saturday at sunset. At dinner on Friday evening the recitation of the kiddush blessing over wine precedes the meal. Another blessing is done on the challah bread before the bread is distributed to the diners. Shabbat dinners are usually multi-course and include breads, fish, soups, meats, side dishes, and desserts.


Challah bread, the traditional Sabbath bread, is usually sweet, made with white flour and often enriched with eggs and oil. It is usually woven and fluffy in texture.


Gefilte fish, often served as an aperitif at Saturday dinners, is a fish dish prepared with various types of fish such as carp, pike and whitefish.

The word "gefilte" means stuffed in Yiddish. In the original Eastern European recipe, the meat of the fish is removed from the skin, minced and mixed with other ingredients such as eggs, spices, onions and carrots, and then used as a filling.


Not all recipes are suitable for serving on Shabbat because the meats must be cooked in advance, stored in the fridge, and then reheated the next day under unconventional circumstances according to Jewish cooking laws.


Kugel is a typical Shabbat dish. It is a sort of pasta-based flan


Shabbat meal desserts cannot contain dairy or meat products. During the three Shabbat meals, cakes, biscuits and pies abound.

TRAVEL TIPS about ISRAEL by World Mappers

  • The most frequent question we get asked is: Is it safe to travel to Israel? Israel is overall a fairly safe country. However, considering the ever-changing events, it is best to exercise some caution when traveling to certain areas, such as East Jerusalem, or the West Bank cities of Bethlehem, Jericho and Ramallah. If you want to visit the West Bank, we recommend doing it with an organized day tour from Jerusalem or with a taxi (we did it like this). Despite the constantly unstable situation, the Palestinians are a very hospitable people. Don't miss Jericho, Bethlehem and its street art.

  • Getting in and out of Israel is a long process. Israel is one of the countries with the strictest security controls in the world. When you enter Israel you have to answer a series of routine questions (why are you there, how long will you stay, etc). If you have stamps from certain Muslim countries in your passport (such as Iran, Lebanon or Pakistan), you will be asked additional questions about your stay in those countries. To avoid problems for travelers who might visit some Muslim countries in the future, Israel does not stamp the passport but issues the visa on a piece of paper (to be kept until leaving the country).

  • In Israel everything is expensive. That's right, Israel is an expensive country to visit. Almost everything here costs a lot: hotel, food, entrance fees, clothes, etc. You basically pay more for the same goods than you would in other parts of the world.

  • Prices are negotiable. Bartering is one of the most important tips for people traveling to Israel. Here almost everything is negotiable.

  • Tipping is not mandatory, but it is expected. Tipping in Israel is discretionary but expected, similar to most of the Western world. Unlike in the US, where a tip of between 15% - 20% of the total spend is expected, in Israel a tip of between 10-15% is expected. Waiters and bartenders get a relatively low salary, so most of their income comes from tips.

  • Sabbath (or Shabbath) is the emblematic practice of Judaism. The Feast of Rest, a 25-hour celebration that begins at sunset on Friday and ends after sunset on Saturday. In Israel, Shabbat is more than just a day off from work. It is a unique and special moment to dedicate to family and prayer. Wherever you go when traveling in Israel, make sure you get there before 4pm on a Friday. On Shabbat all public services are closed (except those run by Christians and Muslims), there are no trains and no buses running.

  • In Israel you will see many armed soldiers roaming the streets, but don't be alarmed. Despite many religious frictions, Israel is a fairly safe country to visit.


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