A beautiful sovereign state, Palestine is favorite among offbeat travelers and explorers for being home to innumerable undiscovered beauties. Though the place is also a center of political conflict, its popularity amongst tourists cannot go unnoticed. After all, it is also a site of religious significance for the followers of Christianity, Islam, and Judaism. The Church of Nativity, one of the oldest on the planet, keeps a hold on every kind of tourist for the place is of great historical, cultural, and architectural prominence. Visit Palestine and encounter hidden stars. Take a walk by the shores or go deep into street markets and food streets to explore the raw culture of the Middle East. Explore the Palestinian hills, streams, forests and more as you indulge in nature love and photography.
USEFUL INFO ABOUT PALESTINE
Sovereign State: The State of Palestine
Proclaimed Capital: Jerusalem
Administrative Centre: Ramallah
Form of Government: Unitary Semi-Presidential Republic
Palestine Population: Approximately 5 Million (As of 2020)
Official Languages: Arabic
Major Languages Spoken: Arabic, English
Ethnicity: Palestinian Arabs 83% and Israeli Jews, others 17%
Map Referred: Asia
Area: 6020 Sq. Km
Water: 3.50 %
Land: 96.50 %
Highest Point: Mount Nabi Yunis 1030 Meters
Lowest Point: the Dead Sea 429 Meters
Coastline: 50 Km approximately
Famous For: Jerusalem | Bethlehem | Religious Sites | Church of Nativity | Lush Greenery | Unexplored Landscapes | Beautiful Shores | Palestinian Food | Olive trees
National Symbols: Palestine Sunbird | Palestinian Poppy | Olive Trees
Time Zone: Palestine GMT +3
Ethnicity: Palestinian Arabs 83% and Israeli Jews and others 17%
Driving Side: Right
Airports in Palestine: Tel Aviv International Airport (Israel)
Though Palestine is not a highly advanced state, the telecom infrastructure in the sovereign state has been witnessing rapid growth. Hence, one does not find many difficulties regarding internet connectivity and phone services while in Palestine. All the major hotels and resorts in the state provide free Wi-Fi services. You can use these services to remain connected to the online world. Always use web-based applications to call or text someone out of Palestine, otherwise be prepared to pay hefty charges.
Buy a local prepaid SIM card at the airport or at telecommunication shops in the state as it would help you remain connected to the outside world while on the go.
The most popular mobile network operators in Palestine are:
You can get a 10-GB 30-day data plan for about $15 in Palestine.
Country Calling Code: +970 Embassy of UAE:
Phone Number: +970 224 12515
Police: 100 Ambulance: 101 Fire : 102
Though Palestine is considered as a sovereign state, it doesn't have any official currency of its own.
As the Palestinian territories are claimed to be a part of Israel, the Israeli new shekel is the main
form of money here. However, US dollars, Euros and Jordanian dinar are also widely accepted as
Palestine currency for exchanging goods and services.
In the past, the state has used numerous other forms of currencies as legal tender including
Palestine pound and Israeli lira. During the rule of the Ottoman Empire, the region of Palestine also
used Ottoman lira as its official currency.
Symbol: ₪ Code: NIS 1 Israeli new shekel = 100 agora
Few Palestine Money Conversion Rates for your reference (As of July 2020) Palestine Currency into USD
1 NIS = 0.29 USD
Palestine Currency into AED
1 NIS = 1.07 AED
Palestine Currency into INR
1 NIS = 21.82 INR
Frequently used Israeli new shekel banknotes are found in the denomination of 20, 50, 100 and 200
Frequently used Israeli new shekel bank coins are found in the denomination of 10 agorae, 50
agorae, 1, 2, 5 and 10.
Due to the location of Palestine on the coast of the Mediterranean Sea, the state has been a popular trade center for centuries. However, the earliest record of human evidence in the state dates to the thousands of years around the Bronze Age. This was the time when modern-day Palestine was the land of agricultural communities. Later, several foreign powers invaded the region including the Egyptian Empire, the Roman Empire, Alexander the Great, and more. During the rule by numerous great powers in the past, Palestine witnessed an exponential rise in the field of culture, trade, education, and agriculture.
In modern times, the Ottoman Empire ruled the state. However, Palestine has become a subject of political conflict since World War I as it is claimed by numerous nations, though Israel commands its rule over most of the state. Despite all this, Palestine has been a beautiful stoppage for travelers from across the world for decades now.
Today, Palestine is quite popular amongst tourists and is known to be a great destination for history buffs, culture explorers, architecture enthusiasts, and wildlife lovers. Here, one comes across every kind of beauty ranging from hills to ancient ruins. Hence, it is frequented by millions of tourists from across the globe.
Spread over an area of about 6020 sq. km, the State of Palestine comprises the region of West Bank with an area of about 5655 sq. km and the Gaza Strip with about 365 sq. km. It is located on the coast of the beautiful Mediterranean Sea and hence, Palestine has been a popular place amongst sailors.
The terrain of Gaza Strip and West Bank are quite different from each other as Gaza lies on the coast and is characterized by dunes and flat or rolling surface. On the other hand, the terrain of the West Bank is a rugged upland. However, you would also find barren land in the region of West Bank.
The highest point in the Gaza Strip is Abu Awadh at an elevation of about 344 feet, while in West Bank, the highest point is Mount Nabi Yunis at about 3380 feet above the sea level. The lowest point in Palestine is the Dead Sea, which lies at about 1407 feet below the sea level.
The landscape of Palestine is varied and hence, one finds every kind of natural beauty within its boundaries. Ranging from forests to shores and hills to plains, a tourist encounters everything while exploring around in the state. It also has numerous water bodies including lakes, ponds, rivers and more. Of the total area, about 3.50% makes up the water region, while the remaining 96.50% covers the land.
Art and Music
Palestine art has been evolving since time immemorial. From pottery to embroidery, the art has seen a lot of progressions here. Today, several other new forms of art have captured the attention of Palestinians. Because of globalization, things have changed. Global art has become a major thing here. To encourage local artists, the state hosts several art festivals and exhibitions where people from around the state get the opportunity of displaying their talents.
Like art, the music of Palestine has also witnessed a lot of changes. Though the traditional Palestinian music has derived its values from Arabic music, it has its own charm and popularity. Along with folk beats and classical music, rock, hip-hop, jazz, and other genres of music have also established a place in the society of Palestine. Several music festivals are organized every year in Palestine. Some of them are popular amongst locals and a few of them are celebrated on an international level.
Food and Drink
Palestinian cuisine has been influenced by kitchen practices from a few countries including Israel, Jordan, and others from the Middle East. As the state has been under the rule of a few foreign invaders, its cookery techniques are a mix of numerous traditions. The authentic Palestine food is all about the use of rice, bread, and meat.
However, Palestine has learned to savor the global cuisine over a period. Here, you would find people enjoying Italian delicacies as well as Indian dishes. People also revel in Chinese flavors. The Palestinians also take pleasure in savoring drinks. Coffee, beer, and a number of locally produced alcoholic beverages are loved across the state.
Palestine is a land of great culture and moral values and that is one of the reasons tourists encounter a sweet and generous crowd while exploring around. People here are helpful and quite welcoming. Though much of the population in the state follow Islam, you would come across broad-minded folks. They would treat you like their guests and would help you whenever and wherever necessary.
Explore an unexplored world of hidden trails and walk past a series of unveiled historic sites that whisper legends from the past
Learn about the rich culture and traditions of the Middle East and the vibrant lifestyle of its people.
Palestinian cuisine is there to satisfy the food lover in you as you relish lip-smacking delicacies.
Witness the charm of untroubled nature at uncrowded hills, streams, shores, and forests.
Experience a countryside life on the outskirts of major cities and bring home loads of memories.
Visit sites of extreme religious importance and feel divinity in the air as the state is considered a holy place for the Christians, the Muslims as well as the Jews.
Learn in detail about the untold history of the Middle East at age-old sites and capture wonderful pictures.
Palestine is an affordable destination, also known for its beautiful weather.
Take a wonderful tour of the beautiful groves of olive, apricot, and fig.
Due to the presence of the Mediterranean Sea, the coastal region of Palestine experiences a different climate in comparison to its inland areas. However, the elevated regions or the highlands of Palestine experience almost cool weather throughout the year.
Gaza experiences a hot semi-arid climate because of which it gets moderate winters and dry hot summers. The region in and around West Bank gets a Mediterranean kind of climate.
July is the hottest month in Palestine with 25℃ as average temperature.
January is the coldest month in Palestine with 8℃ as average temperature.
January is the wettest month in Palestine with an average rainfall of 80 mm.
The summer season in Palestine starts from April and goes up till the end of September, while the winter season starts from December and ends in February.
February to April and September to November
The best time to visit Palestine is from February until the mid of April and from the mid of September to the end of November. This is the time when the climate is characterized by a comfortable environment with tolerable climatic conditions. These are the months when one can roam around without experiencing any weather problem. The temperature is neither too hot to stand nor too cold to bear.
Average Palestine Weather
Average Palestine Temperature in February: 9℃
Average Palestine Temperature in March: 11℃
Average Palestine Temperature in April: 16℃
Average Palestine Temperature in September: 22℃
Average Palestine Temperature in October: 19℃
Average Palestine Temperature in November: 14℃ Visit Palestine with Family/Kids
Visit family fun parks and infotainment complexes such as Dogwood Junction and let your kids have the best of their vacation.
Enjoy a train ride in the woods of Palestine and spend a wonderful time with your family.
Visit museums and art exhibitions and learn about the basic culture, history, and lifestyle of Palestine.
Catch a musical show or dance performance with your kids at an art center.
Venture out and take the beautiful route to lush green hills away from cities.
Visit Palestine as a Couple
Visit a winery or a brewery together and relish different types of wines and other beverages.
Book a luxury property by the shores of the Mediterranean Sea and spend the best of holidays with your partner.
Surprise your partner with a dinner date and revel in authentic Palestinian cuisine.
Take a romantic walk in the hills of West Bank or by the shores of the Gaza Strip.
Visit art museums and exhibitions centers and learn interesting things about the place.
Book your tickets for a traditional Dabke Dance and savor high-energy performances.
Visit Palestine with Friends
Hire a local guide and plan a tour of unexplored hidden places away from the bustling streets of major cities and towns.
Take up an adventurous route in the hills of Palestine and enjoy trekking, hiking, and camping.
Visit the historical sites of Palestine and learn in detail about the history and culture of the state.
Roam around in the old city of Jerusalem and have a great time scrutinizing its age-old beauty.
Go for a homestay in Palestine and live with locals to learn the language and culture faster.
Things to Buy
Dead Sea salt products
Olive wood carvings
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 as one of the oldest in the world. People come from around the world to witness its magnificent aura and delve deep 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 Timings:
06:30 am to 07:30 pm (April to September)
05:30 am to 05:00 pm (October to March)
(Closed on Sunday mornings)
Dome of the Rock
An ever-radiating shrine that hypnotizes 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 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. Price: No Entrance Fee Timings:
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)
One of the major parts of Palestine tourism and one of the most prominent heritage sites in Palestine, Hisham's Palace is 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 several intriguing sites. From the ornate bath complex to the palace's spherical window, everything grabs the attention of a curious traveler. 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
One of the holiest sites, 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 is 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)
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 marvelous 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. Visit and capture the gorgeous panoramas of Palestine in your camera. Price: No Entrance Fee Timings:
08:00 am to sunset
(Closed on Wednesdays and Fridays)
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 savoring the locally produced Taybeh beer. As Taybeh is the only village in the state that produces local beer, its popularity amongst travelers has increased tenfold in the last few years. However, you would also come across several ancient sites here as the village has been in existence for thousands of years. Price: No Entrance Fee Timings: Anytime
Take a break from all your excursions and exploration and plunge into 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 does not get into your eyes or touch any wounds. Undoubtedly, the Dead Sea is one of the major Palestine attractions. Price: No Entrance Fee Timings: Anytime
Other Popular Places to Visit in Palestine
Monastery of the Temptation
Celebrated in the ninth month of the Islamic calendar, Ramadan is one of the most important cultural and religious festivals in the state of Palestine. This is the time when Muslims across the state indulge in prayers and fasting that lasts from sunrise to sunset. Iftar parties are a significant part of Ramadan celebrations. As the festive period is considered holy, people abstain from doing bad deeds. They stay away from hurting others and pray for each other's happiness and prosperity. Place: Across Palestine Time: April/May
While Islam is the major religion in the state, Christianity takes second place. After all, Bethlehem and Jerusalem are considered some of the holiest sites on the planet amongst Christians. Hence, Christmas is observed every year with full vigor. People clean their houses, decorate them, and light up their neighborhood. Christmas Bazaar, where thousands of people shop for their interests every day, is a major part of the celebration. Place: Across Palestine Time: December
Palestine International Festival
One of the oldest and grandest celebrations in the state, Palestine International Festival is all about organizing cultural events including music and dance shows and observing the raw lifestyle of the state. If you are an explorer at heart and would love to witness entire Palestine high on bliss, then you must not miss visiting this wonderful festival filled with surprises. You get to enjoy world-class performances of popular musicians, singers, and other artists. Place: Across Palestine Time: July
Tucked away amid a heaven-like land in the West Bank territory of Palestine, Taybeh is a small quaint village that produces the only local beer in the state. The fest is all about creating an environment of happiness and scenes of joy. People come from all around the state to partake in the celebration and relish Taybeh beer. This is the day when you would find the entire village filled with tourists looking forward to savoring unique tastes of Palestine beer. Place: Taybeh Time: October
Birzeit Heritage Week
Another festival in the state of Palestine that offers the opportunity of witnessing great talents on a stage! Birzeit Heritage Week is all about cultural events, art exhibitions, music and dance shows and tourism events. That's the reason no traveler must miss attending this vigorous celebration that honors the culture and traditions of Palestine. Place: Birzeit Time: July
Other festivals celebrated in Palestine
Artas Lettuce Festival
Jerusalem Music Festival
Olive Oil Festival
Palestine Festival of Literature
If you are looking forward to entering the premises of the Palestinian territories that include West Bank as well the Gaza Strip, then you need to have a valid visa with you. Citizens belonging to visa-exempt nations can enter the boundaries of Palestine without any prior visa. Tourists from such countries can stay in Palestine for a maximum of 3 months. The list of all these visa-exempt nations includes:
All European Union Citizens, Albania, Andorra, Argentina, Australia, Bahamas, Barbados, Belarus, Belize, Botswana, Brazil, Canada, Central African Republic, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Eswatini, Fiji, Georgia, Grenada, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Hong Kong, Iceland, Jamaica, Japan, Lesotho, Liechtenstein, Macau, Malawi, Mauritius, Mexico, Micronesia, Moldova, Monaco, Mongolia, Montenegro, Nauru, New Zealand, North Macedonia, Norway, Palau, Panama, Papua New Guinea, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Russia, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, San Marino, Serbia, Singapore, Solomon Islands, South Africa, South Korea, Suriname, Switzerland, Taiwan, Tonga, Trinidad and Tobago, Ukraine, United Kingdom, United States, Uruguay, Vanuatu and the Vatican City
Below given is the list of all those countries that need to take a confirmation before applying for a tourist visa:
Afghanistan, Bahrain, Egypt, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Malaysia, Mauritania, Morocco, North Korea, Oman, Pakistan, Qatar, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, Tunisia, United Arab Emirates and Yemen
To get Palestine visa or an entry permit, you must have:
A passport with a minimum of 6-month validity
Amount to support your stay
Proof of accommodation
Tourists having a regular passport of all the other countries would need to apply for a regular tourist visa to enter Palestine
Click here to learn more about Palestine visa requirements.
The region in and around West Bank operates local buses on a regular basis. These buses connect West Bank to other cities in Palestine such as Jerusalem. Though they are preferred mostly by locals, you can use them if you do not desire to spend hundreds of bucks on just commutation. Buses are quite cheaper in Palestine as they charge about $2 on average per trip.
Taxis are the most convenient and used means of transport in Palestine. As these are available everywhere across every town and city, tourists prefer exploring places using them. However, make sure to decide the final fare before getting into them as the meter system does not work here.
A day of taxi travel in the territories of Palestine would not cost you more than $30.
Due to an increase in tourism over the last decade, cycling has become a considerable means for getting around in Palestine. However, it is preferred only by a small number of tourists as the roads in the Palestinian territories are not good enough for cycling purposes. You can rent a bicycle in the state at a reasonable price.
Via Air Route
The Palestinian territories had three major airports in the past. However, all of them have ceased operations and are shut forever. Hence, there is no direct way to enter Palestine by flight. However, you can take flights to the airports of nearby countries such as Queen Alia International Airport in Jordan or Tel Aviv Airport in Israel.
Tel Aviv International Airport is located at about 45 km from Jerusalem and hence, you can easily access Palestine from here.
Via Road Route
The Palestinian territories have a great road network and hence, if you are coming from nearby countries such as Jordan, Egypt and Israel, you can take the road route. Numerous bridges and crossing connect Palestine to other nations. You can either drive on your own or hire a vehicle to reach Palestine.
Via Rail Route
Palestine doesn't have operating railways and hence, it is not possible to reach the state via rail route.
Via Water Route
Though the Gaza strip has a port, it does not harbor passenger ships. Only small-scale fishing activities are allowed at the port. Hence, reaching Palestine via the water route is not a feasible option.
Visit places like Jacob's Well and Enot Tsukim Nature Reserve to explore the hidden gems of Palestine.
Always keep some cash with you as not every shop or complex in the state accepts cards.
If you are a nature lover and would love to spend time in the midst of lush greenery, then head towards West Bank in Palestine.
Though Palestine makes for an affordable vacation, West Bank is more expensive than other parts of the state.
Do visit winery or breweries if you would love to savor the local state of Palestine alcohol.
Stay at cities like Ramallah and Jerusalem to keep all the major historical destinations in proximity.
Spend at least two days exploring the streets of Palestinian cities to learn about the street culture and history of the place.
Homestays are the best option to go with if you are on a tight budget in Palestine.
Visit popular places such as the Church of Nativity and Dome of the Rock early in the morning to avoid the tourist crowd.
Do not explore around in the remotest parts of the state without a local guide.
Keep all your valuable items locked inside your hotel room and do not flaunt anything at public places.
Traffic in Palestine is quite chaotic, especially in major cities. So, make sure you do not violate road safety rules if you are driving in the state.
Do not accept any kind of food or drink from strangers.
Only carry a photocopy of your documents while exploring around. Keep all the original documents inside the hotel room.
Keep a tab on your food, especially while eating at crowded public places.
Make sure that the place you are visiting in the Palestinian territories doesn't have restrictions for tourists.
Refrain from traveling at night or through dark streets. Though people are quite generous and helpful, do not trust any stranger.
Major vaccinations recommended include Hepatitis A, Hepatitis B, rabies, typhoid, shingles, chickenpox, and pneumonia. Do get them before you fly.
The tap water in the Palestinian territories is quite safe to consume.
Use bug spray while venturing out in the woods or in the remote areas.
Get your journey insured so that it could help you cover your bills in case of medical emergencies.
Check with the embassy of Palestine about medication allowances if you are traveling with medicines.
Only eat at places that look neat and clean and strictly focus on hygiene.
What to Pack?
Warm clothes for winters
Light clothes for summers
Dress Code & Etiquette
Wear decent clothes while visiting churches, mosques, or any other place of religious significance.
Show respects towards Palestinian faith and beliefs and does not make fun of their local customs and traditions.
Avoid drinking at public places as a majority of the population in the state is Muslims.
As Palestine has been a center of political conflict for decades, do not indulge in any political arguments with locals.
Meet and greet everyone with a happy smile and make sure people around you are always comfortable.
The lowest point of elevation on the planet is the Dead Sea, which is also found in the state of Palestine.
Palestine is not considered as an independent nation by several countries due to the continuous interference of Israel and the USA.
Though Palestine is a controversial state, it is often visited by tourists from around the globe. The total influx of tourists in the state is in millions every year.
Olive trees have been an important part of Palestine culture as they have been cultivated for thousands of years. About 45% of the total land in Palestine is patched with olive trees.
The Church of Nativity located in Palestine is believed to be the birthplace of Lord Jesus and hence, it is one of the most significant religious sites in the world. The church is also claimed to be one of the oldest on the planet.
Palestine is also home to many rare and endangered species of plants, animals, and trees and hence, it is a great getaway for wildlife lovers.
Palestine is known to be one of the most significant places in the universe for three major religions--Christianity, Islam and Judaism.
Christmas is celebrated thrice in Palestine. Once on 25 December as per western culture, second on 18 January as per Armenian culture and third time on 6 January as per Greek traditions.
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