Last Updated on October 17, 2021
When is the best time to visit Israel?
If you are planning a trip, you might be asking when is the best and cheapest time to visit Israel. The answer to this question is multi-faceted.
Best and worst weather conditions when planning a visit to Israel.
Image credit: Unsplash – St James’ Cathedral in Jerusalem
Shoulder seasons – from April to May and September to mid-October is generally the very best time to visit Israel. June, July and August are hot, hotter and the hottest months of the year. Temperatures in Jerusalem, Tel Aviv or Haifa can reach 37°C with high humidity levels. Mercury levels in Eilat, the Negev and the Sea of Galilee regularly break 40. There is far less humidity however.
Expect the occasional light rains in October and November. For the brave ones, December, January and February are the coldest and wettest months of the year – so be sure to pack a warm jacket. Winter offers some perks like major attractions with fewer tourists, more affordable prices, and Christmas atmosphere in Jerusalem, Bethlehem and Nazareth.
Spring is an excellent time to visit Jerusalem, Israel’s capital, as it sees mild comfortable weather. Early autumn thins the tourist crowds – replacing the sun’s rays with a host of fun festivals in October (especially during the Jewish holiday of Sukkot – The Feast of Tabernacles) . Expect crowds of sightseers and tourists in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem during the peak summer months. You might have to wait in line at popular restaurants but an abundance of street food certainly makes up for it.
Most expensive times to visit Israel
The answer to this is simple – whenever there is a Jewish high holiday accommodation in Israel is at a premium especially in Jerusalem, Eilat and the Dead Sea.
April/May during the festival of Passover (Pesach). Enjoy free entrance to a selection of museums throughout Israel during Pesach.
September/October during the New Year holiday (Rosh Hashanah), the Day of Atonement (Yom Kippur) and the Feast of Tabernacles (Sukkot)
December during the Festival of Lights (Hanukah)
A 10 day, tailor-made, Christian pilgrim tour to the Holy Land during Easter and Christmas time will include visits to sites like the Seal of Galilee, Capernaum, Mt. Beatitudes, Jordan River, Nazareth, Bethlehem, a walk along the Via Dolorosa and significant churches and places of worship in Jerusalem can cost in the region of $2,000 (flights not included).
Bahai holy sites are open to the public but for members of the Bahai community pilgrimages to Haifa, Akko and other Bahai holy sites in Israel are arranged via the Bahai World Center.
Cheap hotels and accommodation in Israel
There is plenty of cheap accommodation in Israel. Hostels are an excellent option for budget conscious travelers and backpackers.
Camp sites, especially in Northern Israel are close to nature parks, waterfalls and many historical sites. The Matmon Card offers tourists free entrance into selected parks.
You can find cheap accommodation in Jerusalem for as little as $14/night. The average hotel price is upward of $200/night, but of course, there is plenty in between. Luxury accommodation costs more.
Cheap accommodation in Tel Aviv starts at around $25/night and a night’s accommodation in well known, luxurious, 5 start hotel chains can cost upwards of $500/night
According to the Central Bureau of Statistics 4.4million tourists visited Israel in 2018 which reflects a 14% increase over 2017. This may not seem like a huge number compared to other countries but because of its ancient history and access options, it is impossible to make improvements at many of the ancient sites.
Whenever you decide the best time for you to visit Israel, make sure to book your trip a few weeks in advance and remember that High Festival days are religious holidays and many shops and amenities are closed.