A beautiful sovereign state away from the eyes of common travellers, Palestine has developed a loyal fan-base amongst offbeat travellers and explorers for being home to innumerable undiscovered beauties. Though the place has remained a centre of political conflict for decades, its popularity amongst tourists has never declined. After all, it is a site of religious significance for the followers of Christianity, Islam and Judaism. Palestine also has hills, streams, forests and more to lure nature lovers and photographers. Take a walk by the shores or go deep into street markets and food streets to explore the raw culture of the Middle East represented by popular countries like Egypt, Syria, UAE, Israel, and more. Here are the top things to do when in Palestine.
Top Things To Do In Palestine
1. Visit the Church of Nativity
A beautiful basilica located in Bethlehem, the birthplace of Jesus Christ, the Church of Nativity is one of the most prominent religious sites in the world. The church has a history of thousands of years and hence, it is often considered one of the oldest in the world. People come from around the world to witness its magnificent aura and delve into the beauty of its architecture. From dazzling interior to awe-inspiring exterior, every corner of this age-old church is worth a visit.
Average Price: $2-$3
06:30 am to 07:30 pm (April to September)
05:30 am to 05:00 pm (October to March)
(Closed on Sunday mornings)
Pro Tip: Visit the church during the midday as this is the time when you would find less crowd and more peace.
2. Explore What’s There at Hisham’s Palace
One of the major parts of Palestine tourism and one of the most prominent heritage sites in Palestine, Hisham’s Palace is located in the proximity of Jericho and was built in the 8th century. The palace is spread over an area of about 60 hectares and encompasses a number of intriguing sites. From the ornate bath complex to the palace’s spherical window, everything grabs the attention of a curious traveller. Appealing mosaics and other lovely designs over the ruined structure are the souls of the palace.
Price: $3 per person
Timings: 10:00 am to 05:00 pm
Pro Tip: Do checkout the mosaic tiles in the bathroom as those are too magnificent to miss out.
3. Hike Up Green Terrains
Palestine has a beautiful topographical landscape that caters to a number of trekkers and hikers. The state houses beautiful trails that lead to ultimate peace and serenity. If you are a nature lover by heart, you shouldn’t miss these interesting hiking routes. Set off on a journey through unexplored corridors of nature. The must-visit hiking trails in Palestine include Masar Ibrahim al-Khalil, Wadi Makhrour, Sebastia, and Wadi Qelt.
Recommended For: Adventure Lovers
Price: $8 – $10 per day for a guide
Ideal Timings: 06:00 am to 05:00 pm
Pro Tip: Hiking trails here can be quite offbeat and hence, make sure you have a plan with proper hiking gears before you venture out.
4. Visit the Dome of the Rock
An ever-radiating shrine hypnotizing its visitors with the golden dome and intricate designs, Dome of the Rock is a must-visit site for architecture enthusiasts. It is believed to be the place where Abraham tried to sacrifice his son on the god’s order. Hence, it is one of the most significant places in Palestine. As per archaeological evidence, the shrine is believed to have a history of about 1500 years. No wonder the site attracts history lovers in equal proportion as well.
07:30 am to 10:30 am & 12:30 pm to 1:30 pm (October to March)
08:30 am to 10:30 am & 1:30 pm to 02:30 pm (April to September)
Pro Tip: Visitors might be asked to show their passport before entering the religious site. So, do carry your passport along.
5. Swim In the Dead Sea
Take a break from all your excursions and exploration and plunge into the waters of the Dead Sea. Being one of the saltiest bodies of water on the planet, it allows visitors to swim in the waters without any support. Just float above this magical lake and enjoy the essence of calmness under the clear blue sky. However, make sure the water doesn’t get into your eyes or touch any wounds. Undoubtedly, the Dead Sea is one of the major Palestine attractions.
Price: No Entrance Fee
Pro Tip: The best time to visit the Deas Sea is between March and April and October and November.
6. Explore Mar Saba Monastery
If you are looking for a place in Palestine where you can relish the charm of nature as well as enjoy turning the pages of history, then the marvellous Mar Saba Monastery is your destination. It is one of the oldest continuously inhabited Christian monasteries in the world as it was constructed in the late 5th century. Judean Hills and Kidron Valley surrounding the monastery paint a delightful picture. So, do not forget to bring your camera. Visit and capture the gorgeous panoramas of Palestine.
Price: No Entrance Fee
08:00 am to sunset
(Closed on Wednesdays and Fridays)
Pro Tip: The surrounding region is exceptionally beautiful. So, do not forget to bring along your camera.
7. Go on a Tour of Taybeh Village
Visit this cute little village on the outskirts of Jerusalem and spend a peaceful weekend while in Palestine. Experience countryside life and take pleasure in savouring the locally-produced Taybeh beer. As Taybeh is the only village in the state that produces local beer, its popularity amongst travellers has increased tenfold in the last few years. However, you would also come across a number of ancient sites here as the village has been in existence for thousands of years.
Pro Tip: Do not forget to try the local beer here.
8. Relish Great Food at Nablus
Palestinian cuisine has been influenced by kitchen practices from a number of countries including Israel, Jordan and others from the Middle East. And hence, one would find a number of flavours in the restaurants and cafes of Nablus. This beautiful city is often credited to be a food haven. Try kanafeh here and satisfy your taste buds. Other dishes to binge upon include falafel, kubbeh, manqousheh and shawarma.
Recommended For: Foodies, Explorers
Location: Nablus, Palestine
Average Price: $4 – $6 (at an average restaurant per meal)
Ideal Timings: 08:00 am to 10:00 pm
9. Marvel at the Old city of Jerusalem
The Old City of Jerusalem might be small but the kind of stories it has in its streets are unmatchable. Stroll through the walled town marked by seven strong gates and 37 towers and find yourself walking through time. Watch streets lit with beautiful lamps at night and explore the ancient beauty the city hides in its age-old settlement. The major attractions in the Old city of Jerusalem include Dome of the Rock, Damascus Gate, the Western Wall, Church of the Holy Sepulchre and more.
Recommended For: History Lovers, Culture Explorers, Architecture Enthusiasts
Location: Jerusalem, Palestine
Pro Tip: Visit the Mahane Yehuda Market here to relish some great delicacies.
10. Explore the Beautiful Al-Aqsa Mosque
One of the holiest sites amongst Muslims, Al-Aqsa Mosque is all set to take your breath away with its prepossessing architecture. However, the site is famous for being the place where Muhammad offered prayers to Allah and was directed to visit Kaaba in Mecca. That’s why the place is of utmost religious significance in the Islamic tradition. Visit it and find yourself the kind of artistry it boasts of. Exploring this wondrous place is surely one of the best things to do in Palestine.
Price: No Entrance Fee
Timings: 07:30 am to 11:00 am (Sunday to Thursday)
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