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Expat Exchange - Best Places to See While on a Look-See Trip to Israel (Plus, Itineraries) 2024
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Best Places to See While on a Look-See Trip to Israel (Plus, Itineraries)

By Joshua Wood, LPC

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Summary: For those contemplating a move to Israel without a specific locale in mind, embarking on a look-see or exploratory journey to explore various expat havens can provide invaluable insights. Here are some top suggestions for places to explore while scouting out Israel.

Moving to Israel - Best Places to See While on a Look-See Trip to Israel (Plus, Itineraries)

Embarking on a Look-See trip to Israel is a crucial step for anyone considering relocation. This exploratory journey offers a firsthand experience of the diverse cities and towns, providing insights into the local lifestyle, culture, and communities. It's an opportunity to assess the practicalities of daily life, from housing and schools to healthcare and transportation. A Look-See trip allows potential expats to make informed decisions about where they might feel most at home in Israel.

Recommended Itineraries

For a 10-day trip, consider starting in the vibrant city of Tel Aviv, then heading to the historical Jerusalem, followed by the northern city of Haifa, and finally the southern resort city of Eilat. If you have 20 days, extend your journey to include the coastal city of Herzliya, the tech hub of Be'er Sheva, the Galilee region with towns like Tiberias and Safed, and the Golan Heights, exploring Katzrin and nearby settlements. These itineraries offer a mix of urban and rural living, cultural diversity, and varying climates to help you find your ideal locale in Israel.

Tel Aviv

Tel Aviv is a bustling metropolis known for its dynamic culture, innovative spirit, and Mediterranean beaches. With a population of over 450,000, it's a hub for expats, retirees, and digital nomads who are drawn to its cosmopolitan lifestyle. The cost of living is on the higher side, but the city offers a plethora of amenities, a thriving job market, and a vibrant nightlife. Tel Aviv is also known for its inclusivity and is considered one of the most LGBTQ-friendly cities in the world.

Travel Tip: While in Tel Aviv, don't miss the chance to dine at Port Said, a trendy restaurant offering a fusion of Middle Eastern flavors. Also, take a stroll along the historic Jaffa Port for a blend of ancient and modern vibes.


Jerusalem is a city steeped in history and spirituality, attracting those interested in its rich cultural tapestry. With a population exceeding 900,000, it offers a unique blend of ancient and modern living. Expats and digital nomads often appreciate the lower cost of living compared to Tel Aviv, as well as the city's diverse neighborhoods. Jerusalem is also a center for education and healthcare, with numerous institutions and hospitals.

Travel Tip: Visit the Mahane Yehuda Market to experience local flavors and shop for fresh produce. The Western Wall and the Old City are must-see landmarks that provide a deep connection to the city's ancient roots.


Haifa, Israel's third-largest city, is known for its stunning Baha'i Gardens and a more laid-back atmosphere compared to Tel Aviv. With around 280,000 residents, Haifa offers a mix of mountain and sea views, a diverse population, and a relatively affordable cost of living. It's a popular choice for families and those seeking a quieter lifestyle without sacrificing urban conveniences.

Travel Tip: Enjoy a meal at Fattoush restaurant for excellent Middle Eastern cuisine with a view of the gardens. Don't forget to visit the Carmel National Park for a nature escape within the city limits.


Eilat is a resort city on the Red Sea, renowned for its coral reefs and marine life. It's a smaller city with around 50,000 residents, offering a relaxed vibe and a warm climate year-round. The cost of living is moderate, and the city is a favorite among retirees and those looking for a vacation-like lifestyle. Eilat is also a duty-free zone, which can be an attractive perk for shoppers.

Travel Tip: Dine at the Last Refuge for some of the best seafood in town, and make sure to go snorkeling or diving in the Coral Beach Nature Reserve to explore the underwater world.


Herzliya is a coastal city just north of Tel Aviv, known for its upscale neighborhoods and high-tech business park. With a population of about 95,000, it offers a blend of beachfront living and modern amenities. The cost of living is high, but it's a desirable location for expats working in the tech industry or those seeking a luxurious lifestyle.

Travel Tip: Visit the Herzliya Marina, the largest marina in Israel, and enjoy a meal at one of the waterfront restaurants like Meat Bar for a high-end dining experience.

Be'er Sheva

Be'er Sheva is the largest city in the Negev desert and a growing center for technology and innovation. With a population of over 200,000, it offers a lower cost of living and is becoming increasingly popular among expats and digital nomads. The city is home to Ben-Gurion University, which contributes to its vibrant student population and research opportunities.

Travel Tip: Explore the Negev Brigade Monument for a piece of Israeli history and panoramic desert views. For a culinary treat, try the local dishes at Ha'Ogen Café.

Galilee Region

The Galilee region is known for its lush landscapes, historical sites, and diverse communities. Key towns to visit include Tiberias, a city by the Sea of Galilee with hot springs and religious significance; Safed, a center for Jewish mysticism with an artists' quarter; and Rosh Pina, a quaint town with a growing expat community. The cost of living varies but is generally lower than in the major cities, and the region offers a peaceful, rural lifestyle.

Travel Tip: In Tiberias, dine at Decks Restaurant, which offers lakeside seating and grilled specialties. In Safed, visit the ancient synagogues and the Safed Candle Gallery for unique handcrafted candles.

Golan Heights

The Golan Heights is a region characterized by its strategic importance, vineyards, and natural beauty. Katzrin is the region's administrative capital and a good starting point for exploring the area. The cost of living is affordable, and the region is suitable for those seeking a quieter, more rural lifestyle. The Golan Heights is also becoming a destination for wine enthusiasts.

Travel Tip: Visit the Golan Heights Winery for a tour and tasting of their award-winning wines. For a historical experience, explore the ancient Katzrin Village and the Golan Archaeological Museum.

About the Author

Joshua Wood Joshua Wood, LPC joined Expat Exchange in 2000 and serves as one of its Co-Presidents. He is also one of the Founders of Digital Nomad Exchange. Prior to Expat Exchange, Joshua worked for NBC Cable (MSNBC and CNBC Primetime). Joshua has a BA from Syracuse and a Master's in Clinical and Counseling Psychology from Fairleigh Dickinson University. Mr. Wood is also a licensed counselor and psychotherapist.

Some of Joshua's articles include Pros and Cons of Living in Portugal, 10 Best Places to Live in Ireland and Pros and Cons of Living in Uruguay. Connect with Joshua on LinkedIn.

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