Recently wrote up some off-the-top-of-my-head Israel tourism ideas for a friend coming in the summer (with a 6-month-old baby).
So, while I’m at it, why not share, right?
There are quite often short-term rentals of apartments in Jerusalem and elsewhere, which is probably a better bet than hotel if you’re coming for a ‘longer’ term, staying in the same city, or coming with kids. Lotsa people are doing it nowadays. Janglo and Flathunting have listings, and homeless.co.il might also. A coworker of mine found a place for two weeks on Israel-local Craigslist, which was impressive to me since I never heard of anyone actually using it.
GroopBuy and Groupon are available here if you want to take advantage of deals for restaurants/activities. You can watch the lists in advance and snatch up the deals for your trip.
I recommend taking hikes around the Ein Kerem/Jerusalem forest/Mazleg area. Gorgeous nature for just walking around freely. Good thing to do with 6-month-old too, if you have a good carrier or backpack.
Tzimmers are awesome, and with baby – well, if you’re baby’s a good sleeper, hey, who knows, you could enjoy some romantic secluded quiet in the north. I’d ask for recommendations on Twitter/Janglo. Many come with access to pools, so find one with a pool or on a farm or somewhere where there are nearby activities.
A coworker of mine bought on GroopBuy passes for hot-air ballooning; I think it’s somewhere near the center, near Modiin but not totally sure.
With a baby, the activities get tricky. I remember I came to New York with mine at about that age. We did a lot of strollering through parks. So if you’re into things like museums, parks, tours, hikes, it’s good with a kid that young because they just chill, if they’re calm babies. We took him to the Biblical Zoo around that time too, though it was more for the walk around and ourselves than him. Herzliyah has a nice boardwalk area with shops and food and beach.
Modiin has a relatively new park called Anava Park; they created a lake and have boating there. It’s near the mall. Thing is, with the baby, it’s tough; we tried with ours at a year old, and the sun was too hot and it was kind of miserable. And if you’re not going to Modiin in any case, not necessarily worth the trip.
Things to do and eat… Well, lately I’ve been hanging out in Ein Kerem, which is gorgeous in spring. It’s an old-style Christian area and on the outskirts of Jerusalem, so it’s a quiet funky place to hang out and get something to eat. There is a relatively new kosher meat place called Charlotte I’ve heard good things about, and an excellent dairy place called Beit HaMaayan.
Oh, there’s also an awesome dairy restaurant by the windmill in Jerusalem – it’s called Montefiore. Gabriel is a meat restaurant with French flair in town (on Shlomtzion Halmalka or near there). I also favor Buffalo steakhouse on Emek (South American-ish). I highly DON’T recommend La Guta on Emek – had two terrible experiences there, food-wise and service-wise.
Also, if you want the whole Israeli grill experience, my favorite is Tzidkiyahu on Yad Harutzim in Talpiot – all you can eat salad course (salads, felafel, fries, rice, and more) with your choice of shishliks (skewers) – chicken, lamb, steak, pargit, etc. Lots of places do this but they are by far the best in my opinion.
I recommend looking up info on the restaurants on rest.co.il. You may already know about eluna and that you can get 15% discounts when you print the coupons for specific restaurants.