The great news: Israel is definitely a country that is a perfect destination for solo female travelers.
But of course, a solo female traveler (and all solo travelers) wants to have the best travel experience possible. That’s why we’ve written this ultimate guide to solo female travel in Israel.
Here’s everything you need to know if you want to visit Israel as a solo female traveler.
Why Israel is a Great Destination for Solo Female Travelers? Let’s start with the basics of traveling in Israel, and what makes Israel a great destination for solo female travelers.
First and foremost, Israel is typically considered very safe, especially for travelers (including solo female travelers). Day-to-day life here in Israel is usually very safe, and the main tourist destinations and sites always have robust security. Israeli soldiers and police also maintain a very visible presence in many parts of the country. Of course, you should always check your local government’s safety recommendations and read the news, to stay up-to-date on what’s going on in any destination you visit.
Female travelers in Israel usually find that the people they experience here are respectable to women, and very friendly. It is not typical to receive aggressive unwanted attention, for example. People here also tend to be very helpful (we’re a very communal country). If you get lost and ask for directions, just about anyone will help you find your way. Women are also typically free to wear whatever their typical clothing is without unwanted attention just about anywhere. The notable exception would be in holy places, where certain dress codes apply to both men and women.
Israel is a relatively small country, which makes it easy to navigate for solo female travelers in a safe and manageable fashion. For example, Tel Aviv and Jerusalem are just 25 minutes apart by high-speed train. From these two main cities, you can reach just about everywhere in the country by public bus. These buses go on well-traveled routes, and a majority of the country is easily accessible by them.
The Middle East is a unique part of the world with an incredible history and culture, and many parts of Israeli culture make it a great destination for solo female travelers. Israel is known for being very hospitable, communal, and friendly. Speaking with strangers in cafes is not uncommon, or chatting with the person sitting next to you at the bar. If you ever need assistance, strangers will likely be able to answer your questions or help you. You’ll notice on Fridays (Shabbat) that people sit outside in the sun, drinking coffee and eating hummus together to start the weekend. All in all, Israeli culture is fairly friendly.
Things to Do
Israel has an incredible amount of things to do, which are perfect for every type of traveler, including solo female travelers. There are endless sites to see, tours to go on, and places to visit, that are all perfect for solo female travelers. We’ll dive into that in our next section.
What to do in Israel as a Solo Female Traveler
So, you want to make the most of your time here in Israel. That’s great! If you’re like most travelers, you probably see that our small country has an absolute ton to see and to do. Your biggest problem might be narrowing it down while you’re here.
Here’s a list of things you should check out as a solo female traveler in Israel:
Visit the Main Cities
Jerusalem and Tel Aviv are the two biggest destinations for travelers, and they both provide a very different experience. Tel Aviv is more modern, it is on the Mediterranean Sea, and is known for its nightlife. Jerusalem is a religious epicenter, with artifacts and monuments that date back to ancient times. Aside from those two cities, other destinations in Israel include Eilat, Nazareth, Haifa, and Caesarea.
Tour Different Parts of the Country
Aside from the specific cities you can visit, there are certain regions that are also wonderful to see. For example, there’s the Sea of Galilee and Golan Heights, the Judean Desert, and the West Bank.
See the Religious and Historical Sites
Israel has arguably some of the most incredible religious and historical sites in the world, and there is no shortage of things to see here. Simple strolling through the quarters of the Old City of Jerusalem is like visiting an open air museum. You can also visit sites like the ancient fortress of Masada. If you want to explore some of the main landmarks in the Old City of Jerusalem, check out our Jerusalem Free Tour, which departs daily at 11:00 and 14:00 from Jaffa Gate.
Hit the Water
Israel has several bodies of water that are perfect for swimming, surfing, and diving. Much of the country has access to the Mediterranean Sea, and there are plenty of beaches in Tel Aviv to choose from. Eilat is great for both diving and snorkeling on the Red Sea, and the Sea of Galilee offers opportunities for swimming in the north. There are also many rivers you can swim in (such as the Jordan River, in certain spots) particularly along hiking trails in the north.
Eat the Local Food
Israeli cuisine is perfect for lovers of fresh, flavorful food. Hummus is a standard dish that’s eaten for lunch, and while you might have had it before from a package in a store, the fresh hummus here in Israel is completely different. You’ve probably seen falafel and shawarma before, but it’s also worth eating them from an authentic local shop while you’re here. Shakshuka is a traditional breakfast dish with eggs and tomato sauce, and it’s perfect to eat at your new favorite local cafe. Since Israel is a country of immigrants from around the region and the world, you’ll also find many other foods here. It’s very common to see Yemeni food, Iraqi food, and Ethiopian food, for example.
Visit the Local Marets
Israel is home to many open-air markets, with vendors selling food, produce, drinks, and other wares. In Jerusalem, you must visit the Machane Yehuda market, maybe the most impressive (and delicious) market in the country. In Tel Aviv, there is also Shuk Ha’Carmel, which is well worth a trip.
Explore the Nightlife
From quaint bars to bumping clubs, Israel definitely has some pretty incredible nightlife options. Tel Aviv is definitely the best city for nightlife, and there is a wide range of bars in Tel Aviv, from places to grab a casual beer to clubs that go all night (and morning). If you want to visit many of the clubs in one awesome evening, Abraham runs a pub crawl in Tel Aviv, where you have a guided experience that takes you to several of the best clubs in the country. Jerusalem is also home to plenty of bars and places to dance, and many other cities have nice places to sit and enjoy a drink in the evening.
How to Travel in Israel (as a Solo Female Traveler)
While Israel overall is a great destination for solo female travelers, there are certain things you can do that will hopefully make your experience as fantastic as possible.
Stay in Hostels
Consider us biased, but we always think hostels are the best places for solo travelers to stay, including solo female travelers. All of our locations have the option of all-female dorms, so you can stay in a room with roommates that you are comfortable with. Of course, when you stay in hostels, you can also easily make friends and join in on activities.
Photo: Carla Boechat
While much of Israel is accessible by public bus, you might enjoy visiting certain places by taking a tour. For example, with one tour you can visit Masada, En Gedi, and the Dead Sea, all in one day, without having to navigate the tricky public transit in the desert. You can also see several places in the West Bank in a one-day tour that is guided to areas that are safe and interesting.
Map Out Your Journey
When traveling between cities and destinations, be sure that you’re comfortable with your route, and that you know what to expect. For example, the buses that travel all over the country take 15 or 20 minute stops at rest stops, and it’s very important to be back on board before the bus leaves. If you’re staying at a hostel, the front desk can help you navigate your route. Google Maps works very well here, and there is an Israeli-based app called Moovit which can help you navigate your routes.
Remember the Weekend Schedule
Here in Israel, many things in Israel are shut from Friday at sundown, to Saturday at sundown. This includes public transit and restaurants in most parts of the country (things in Tel Aviv stay open, but not everything). This is important to keep in mind, especially if you’re looking to travel on the weekend. For example, if you go on a day trip to Jerusalem Friday morning, you will not be able to get back on Friday afternoon by public transit.
If you need ideas for attractions and activities, check out our list of 20 things to do in Israel.