Trip Ideas - 12 min read

Best Time to Visit Israel (Best Weather & Unique Cultural Experiences)

Kaylee Giacomini

Kaylee Giacomini, Updated November 17, 2022

Israel is an important cultural destination. It also has a booming tourism industry with exciting things to engage any visitor. From marvelous, ancient cities to breathtaking hikes, it is impossible to be bored in Israel. 

There is plenty to do at all times of the year, but some months are favorable to others. Weather and crowds are important aspects to consider when planning your next trip to Israel. 

The best time to visit Israel is in the spring and fall when the temperature is between 70 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit and crowds are manageable. The cost of travel in April, May, and November decreases by approximately $200 per day. Although you will see the smallest crowds and lowest rates in January, the weather can be unpredictable.

Plan enough time in Israel to see more than one city. Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, and the Dead Sea are just a few destinations worth visiting. 

What is the Worst Time to Visit Israel?

One of the worst times to visit Israel is in July and August. This is because it can get incredibly hot and dry in the summer heat. This heat can make doing any outdoor tourism activities brutal.

December and January face another problem – lots of rain and the potential for crowds over major Jewish holidays. Hanukkah sees a significant influx of people. Especially to the cities of Jerusalem and Eilat. 

The weather in the winter is not only cold, but it can also be torrentially rainy. Some places can even develop snow. Be wary of the weather and come prepared for anything if you choose to visit in the winter. 

What is the Cheapest Month to Visit Israel?

The cheapest times to visit Israel fortunately yields some of the most pleasant weather. The summer marks tourist high season, so avoid coming during this time. 

The cheapest months to visit Israel are April, May, and November. Expect thinned crowds during this time and lowered travel expenses.

What Time of Year Does Israel Have the Best Weather?

Israel has some of the best weather in the spring and fall. Temperatures tend to remain between 70 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit during this time with low rates of precipitation. 

Weather in Israel is essential to consider due to all of the outdoor activities. Some of the top-rated attractions include foot tours, hiking expeditions, and visiting the Dead Sea and the Red Sea. 

The Best Time to Visit Israel

January: Israeli Fashion Expo in Tel Aviv

Tel Aviv is one of the main shopping hubs of the Middle East. Every January, the city hosts the Israeli Shopping Expo. The Shopping Expo features different types of goods such as clothing and pottery. 

The Shopping Expo occurs in the main convention center of Tel Aviv – Ganei HaTa’arucha. The event boasts having something for everyone, especially fans of designer fashion.

A range of local and international designers send their products to Tel Aviv for the Fashion Expo. Most items are significantly marked down, making high fashion more accessible. Browse the racks and pick up some lavish souvenirs at bargain prices. 

If you visit Tel Aviv around the New Year, hit one of the city’s restaurants or bars. Many host extravagant New Years parties with delicious Israeli food and beverages. 

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February: Run the Dead Sea or Tel Aviv Marathon

February is the perfect time to visit Israel for distance runners looking for a challenge. This month, Israel has two different marathons to participate in. 

The Dead Sea Marathon is one of the most unique runs in the world. It is held at the lowest point on earth on the banks of the dead sea. Courses range from promenades to sandy shores. 

The Tel Aviv Marathon is one of the largest marathons in the world with an average of 40,000 runners. Every February, athletes gather in the city for the 26.2-mile race. 

The racetrack winds through the streets of Tel Aviv. The city is a UNESCO World Heritage site, making it a gorgeous track. 

Not sure if you can keep up with the professionals? The Tel Aviv Marathon hosts inline skating and handcycling tracks too. 

March: Fattal Rock Festival

Every March, Eilat, Israel hosts one of the biggest parties in the nation. The Fattal Rock Festival is a weekend event highlighting Israel’s biggest rock stars. 

This year, some of the headliners include the Outside Kids, Ninet, Shalom Hanoch, and Elai Botner. 

Tour around the historic port center while visiting Eilat. Eilat is Israel’s southernmost city. It is a resort hub located on the banks of the Red Sea with gorgeous hotels and extravagant shopping. 

March is also a great time to visit the beach in Israel. The weather tends to linger around the 70s (Fahrenheit). While in Eilat, check out the 10 km of Red Sea shoreline. Go swimming, snorkeling, or lounge around in the sand. 

April: Boombamela

Every year, the Hof Nitzam Beach hosts Boombamela. Boombamela is a social festival described by its organizers as “a place for meeting, experiencing, crossing borders, and transcending social limitations through music, creation, and connection with nature,” (World Festivals). 

Some of the music to look forward to includes rock, reggae, trance, hip-hop, and Indian Ragas. 

Although music has a significant presence at Boombamela, this is not your average music festival. It also emphasizes social and spiritual connections.  

All festival-goers live in villages comprised of campgrounds. These camps feature spiritual teachings representing a number of denominations, performances, and social gatherings. Visitors are also encouraged to check out the social “chai shops” for tea and socializing. 

Related Read: Best Time to Visit Jordan

May: Israel Festival

Israel festival is an annual event held in the late spring. The festival’s inaugural year was in 1961 and it has only grown over the past sixty years. Today, it welcomes an international group of performers, vendors, and tourists. 

The festival started small and was initially hosted in the ancient Roman theater of Caesarea. By 1981, the festival outgrew the amphitheater. The city of Jerusalem now hosts the festival. 

Visitors can see a range of shows such as ballet, live theater, various musicians, and more. One of the draws of the festival is that most of the performances are free. Bigger named acts have tickets, but for the most part, festival-goers can enjoy them at no cost. 

June: Jerusalem Festival of Light

The Jerusalem Festival of Light is an annual spectacle hosted in Israel. The festival is so popular that it welcomes over 250,000 annual tourists. 

Throughout Jerusalem, light installations are installed by artists specializing in technology and color. By day, the city looks familiar, but by night it is a mesmerizing experience. 

The light festival crosses religious and cultural boundaries in the city of Jerusalem. In 2012, they expanded it beyond the Old City and past the Damascus Gate. The Muslim Quarter of the city was included in the spectacle because of this expansion. 

During the day, take advantage of some of the sightseeing, dining, and activities in Jerusalem. It is one of the most historic and culturally significant cities on earth. 

July: Jerusalem Beer Festival

For two days, gather with international beer lovers in Jerusalem for the Beer Festival. The festival has over 150 domestic and imported beers to try. They also boast a unique crowd of vendors, performers, and food to check out. 

Tens of thousands of guests are expected each year at the Beer Festival. It has also gained plenty of international notoriety now that it is in its 16th year. 

The festival lasts all night and day. Outside the festival grounds, bars and restaurants across Jerusalem offer beer specials. Some of the favorites include drink discounts and beer-inspired tasting menus. 

August: Karmiel Dance Festival

The Karmiel Dance Festival is one of the most energetic spectacles in Israel. It lasts for three days and invites tens of thousands of dancers to participate. 8 groups and over 500 individuals perform each year during the festival. 

A parade of 3,000 dancers with orchestral accompaniment marches through the grounds to begin the festivities. Beyond dancing, the festival has plenty of vendors selling artisan crafts.

During the three days, a handful of dance competitions take place. Dancers can compete for prizes in jazz, choreographic dance, and popular dance. 

The festival is a far reach from its inaugural year of 1987 when it strictly focused on Israeli folk dance. 

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September: Taste Festival of Jaffa

Israel is a dining hub of the Middle East. For ten days every September, the city of Jaffa hosts Taste of Jaffa. Taste of Jaffa is a food and dining festival that takes place across the city. 

Visitors can enjoy the festival by supporting local restaurants and vendors. Dining establishments across the city offer deals that allow patrons to dine on the inexpensive side. 

While visiting the Taste Festival of Jaffa, there are certain dishes that you can’t miss out on. The Mediterranean cuisine that Israel specializes in is some of the best in the world. They utilize a wide variety of spices and cooking methods. 

One popular Israeli food is hummus. Hummus is a dip made of chickpeas and tahini typically served with pita bread or vegetables. Try other Levantine spreads while in Israel too. Some other must-try dishes are falafel, shakshuka, and tabbouleh. 

October: Midburn Festival

The inspiration of Midburn Festival is the United States’ infamous Burning Man Festival. Don’t expect stages and performances at Midburn. Instead, show up with an open mind and be ready to let loose. 

Midburn welcomes an international drove of tourists who want to set their minds free for five days. Its tenets include creativity, self-expression, performances, and interactive art. 

The fashion choices at the event are a spectacle in themself. Freedom of self-expression is key at Midburn. 

Midburn Festival occurs in the region of Negev each October. Negev is a gorgeous region to explore beyond the festival grounds. It is mainly desert, but has a few metropolitan areas scattered throughout. 

November: Red Sea Jazz Festival

The Red Sea Jazz Festival is one of the most anticipated music events in Israel. Hosted in Eilat, this festival offers far more than Jazz selections. 

Jam sessions are held during this event with panoramic views of the Red Sea as the background. Watch international artists from Cuba to the Balkans as you dance to some of your favorite tunes. 

The Jazz Festival has 35 events over the period. Some of them are even free. The Jazz festival is also a bi-annual event. It happens both in November and in June. If you don’t get your fill in the fall be sure to come back to see even more artists in the summer. 

December: Hanukkah in Israel

Israel is a multi-cultural destination. However, the governance defines itself as a Jewish Democratic state. It is also the Nation-State of the Jewish people. Hanukkah is one of the biggest Jewish holidays and falls for eight days in late November or December each year. 

With such a large Jewish population, there is no better place to observe Hanukkah than in Israel. Hanukkah is celebrated by lighting candles on a menorah for eight nights, religious readings, and more. In Israel, it is a national holiday with schools closed and lots of parties.

Hanukkah also encompasses classic foods. Items like latkes, beef brisket, and challah are some things you may find on your plate. 

Non-religious Hanukkah traditions have also become commonplace across international Jewish communities. Several festive games are played and families often exchange gifts.

Related Read: Best Time To Visit Istanbul

What is the Best Time to Visit Israel With Family?

The optimal time to visit Israel with family is when the weather is most pleasant. This tends to be in April & May and September & October. Children are more akin to sightseeing and visiting attractions when the weather is gorgeous. Take advantage of this. 

There are plenty of kid-friendly things to do on your trip to Israel. Nimrod’s Fortress is one of the most highly rated activities. 

Nimrod’s is an ancient fortress with tunnels, bridges, and rooms that families can easily spend a few hours exploring. You can also see Golan Heights from the surrounding hills. 

The Dead Sea is another exciting place to bring families. Due to the high salt content of the water, the sea is incredibly buoyant. Children may find floating on the sea to be great fun that parents can easily enjoy with them. 

The Bloomfield Science Museum in Jerusalem is a great place for kids. The exhibits offer fun, hands-on experiences for kids to enrich their minds. Some of the most intriguing exhibits feature Mars exploration, water-pumping, and even nuclear energy. 

What is the Best Time to Avoid Crowds in Israel?

The least crowded time in Israel is the winter. The weather can be cold and unpredictable, but few crowds make up for it. If the rain and snow hold off, the winter has some of the best hiking weather with brisk temperatures. 

The winter is a great time to see both cities and the countryside. Prepare for everything from downpouring rain to snow in the worst-case scenario. Have a few indoor activities on the back burner in case the weather is suboptimal. 

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