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Israel is a special place to me. I went for the first time in eighth grade on an educational trip with my school. Being there with 40 other students who I grew up with was an amazing experience. I went again in 2006 with my family. My previous trips focused on the historical aspect of Israel.
When I saw the international airfare deal for Israel I knew I had to go. My husband and I always talked about going to Israel together, but the cost was something that held us back. Tickets for $327 was unheard of -- I can hardly get back to my hometown in the U.S. for $327! I booked the flights immediately.
We arrived in Tel Aviv after an overnight flight and headed directly to the apartment that we rented. I would recommend renting an apartment as opposed to staying at a hotel if someone is on a tight budget. We stayed in a prime location -- Ben Gurean Street and Ben Yehuda Street -- for $75 a night. The apartment was very nice and bigger than a typical hotel room. For travelers that would like the hotel experience, this also gives an opportunity to save money and perhaps stay at an apartment and then upgrade to a nice hotel for a night or two.
Israel is very easy to get around. Everyone speaks English, and people seemed very happy to see tourism after tensions escalated between Gaza and Israel late last year. Tel Aviv is a very walkable city, so we did not need to rent a car, take public transportation or cabs to get around. There are some great neighborhoods within Tel Aviv that are a must see including Neve Tzedick, which is Tel Aviv’s version of the West Village. Neve Tzedick is actually the oldest settled neighborhood in Tel Aviv. It is now filled with high-end shops, great restaurants and art galleries.
Car rental is very affordable in Tel Aviv, so we did rent a car to take a day trip outside of the city. We headed to Zichron Yakov which is a part of Israel’s wine country. We did some wine tastings and enjoyed the beautiful scenery. I was surprised by how beautiful the landscape was in the area -- I felt like I was Napa. The Israeli architecture mixed with the beautiful scenery was astounding. We also stopped in an artist’s village called Ein Hod. We ate dinner in the village at an Argentinean Restaurant called Donna Rosa. It was fantastic!
Tel Aviv in winter is beautiful. The weather was about 65-70 degrees during the day and in the low 50s. We lucked out with the weather and had sunshine most days. The city is right along the beach -- the perfect weather with the turquoise ocean made for the perfect combination.
Travelzoo Tip: Find airfare, accommodations and activity deals on our Israel Destination page.
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