Tourism in Israel

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Poster promoting tourism in Palestine, 1940s.
An aerial view of the Sea of Galilee
Tel Aviv, the second-largest city in Israel

Tourism in Israel is one of Israel's major sources of income, with a record 4.55 million tourist arrivals in 2019,[1] and, in 2017, contributed NIS 20 billion to the Israeli economy making it an all-time record.[2][3][4][5] Israel offers a plethora of historical and religious sites, beach resorts, natural sites, archaeological tourism, heritage tourism, adventure tourism, and ecotourism. Israel has the highest number of museums per capita in the world.[6] For practical reasons, this article also covers tourism in the Israeli-occupied West Bank and the occupied Golan Heights, since it is closely interconnected with the mass tourism in Israel.

In 2017, the most popular paid tourist attraction is Masada.[7] The most visited city was Jerusalem and the most visited site was the Western Wall. The largest percentage of tourists came from the United States accounting for 19% of all tourists, followed by Russia, France, Germany, the United Kingdom, China, Italy, Poland, and Canada.[4]

Religious tourism is very popular in Israel and in the West Bank. As of 2007, the two most visited Jewish religious sites were the Western Wall and the grave of Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai;[8] The most visited Christian holy sites are the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem, the Church of the Nativity in the West Bank town of Bethlehem, and the Basilica of the Annunciation in Nazareth, Israel. The most visited Islamic religious places are the Masjid Al-Aqsa (the Temple Mount) in Jerusalem, and the Ibrahimi Mosque at the Tomb of the Patriarchs in the West Bank town of Hebron.[citation needed]

Most-visited cities[edit]


Western Jerusalem

Jerusalem is the most-visited city with 3.5 million tourist arrivals annually as of 2017. One of the oldest cities in the world, it is the proclaimed capital of,[Note 1] and largest city of Israel, if the area and population of Israeli-occupied East Jerusalem are included. It is a holy city to the three major Abrahamic religionsJudaism, Christianity, and Islam – and hosts many historical, archaeological, religious and other attractions.[9]

West Jerusalem was built starting in the 1800s with the expansion beyond the Old City walls, gradually expanded throughout the British Mandate, and continued after the creation of Israel in 1948. Selected tourist attractions in this area are:

East Jerusalem was captured by Israel in the 1967 Six-day War and considered by the international community as Palestinian territory held under Israeli occupation, although it was effectively unilaterally annexed in 1980 under the Jerusalem Law. It is the location of:

The controversial status of East Jerusalem has been an issue when attempting to market Jerusalem to international tourists. In 2009, 2010, and again in 2015, the UK Advertising Standards Authority ruled against a series of Israeli Ministry of Tourism advertising campaigns that displayed images and information about tourist sites located in East Jerusalem. The Authority wrote in its ruling that "the status of the occupied territory of the West Bank was the subject of much international dispute, and because we considered that the ad implied that the part of East Jerusalem featured in the image was part of the state of Israel, we concluded that the ad was likely to mislead." Israel rejected the ruling, with the Ministry of Tourism releasing a statement that said the ad provided "basic, accurate information to a prospective UK visitor". The ruling from 2009 also included criticism about Gaza, the West Bank and the Golan Heights being shown as part of Israel.[15][16]

Tel Aviv[edit]

  • With 2.3 million tourist visits in 2013,[17] Tel Aviv is Israel's second-largest city and a cosmopolitan, cultural and financial global city. The city's greater area is the largest with 3 million inhabitants. Tel Aviv exhibits a UNESCO world heritage area of Bauhaus architecture. The nearby historical city of Jaffa is experiencing a tourism boom. In 2010, National Geographic ranked Tel Aviv as one of the world's ten best beach cities.[18]
  • Tel Aviv is called the "city that never sleeps" by the locals because of its vibrant nightlife scene. Tel Aviv was named "the gay capital of the Middle East" by the Out magazine.


Around the city, there are many nature reserves and archaeological sites notably the ancient synagogues.

Acre (Akko)[edit]



Tiberias is one of the four holy cities in Judaism, overlooking the Sea of Galilee.


  • Nazareth is known as the 'Arab capital of Israel'.
  • Visit Nazareth's old city and historical sites around the city
  • Jesus's hometown and the site of many of his reported acts and miracles.
  • Many churches, including The Church of the Annunciation, the largest church building in the Middle East. In Roman Catholic tradition, it marks the site where the Archangel Gabriel announced the future birth of Jesus to the Virgin Mary (Luke 1:26–31).
  • Starting point for the Jesus Trail, a network of hiking routes connecting many sites from Jesus's life and ministry.




Landmarks outside cities[edit]

Sidonian Burial Caves at Beit Guvrin
Byzantine Church ruins at Ashkelon National Park
Rosh HaNikra grottoes near the Israeli-Lebanese border crossing
Solomon pillars at the Timna Valley
Nahal Ayun waterfalls


Masada is an ancient fortification in the Southern District of Israel situated on top of an isolated rock plateau (akin to a mesa) on the eastern edge of the Judaean Desert, overlooking the Dead Sea. Herod the Great built palaces for himself on the mountain and fortified Masada between 37 and 31 BCE. According to Josephus, the Siege of Masada by troops of the Roman Empire towards the end of the First Jewish–Roman War ended in the mass suicide of the 960 Jewish rebels and their families hiding there. Masada is located 20 kilometres (12 mi) east of Arad. Masada is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and Israel's most popular tourist attraction only second to Jerusalem.


Caesarea's ancient city includes Roman and Crusader ruins, such as the amphitheater and hippodrome, where live concerts of classical and popular music are frequently held, as well as the harbor from which St. Paul was taken as a prisoner to Rome. It is one of Israel's biggest archaeological sites.

Beit She'an[edit]

Beit She'an (Scythopolis) was a Roman Decapolis city. One of the largest archaeological sites in the Middle East.

Beit She'arim[edit]

Beit She'arim National Park was an ancient Jewish Necropolis, it is having many tombs of Jews with many significant signs like animals and menorah, it is also includes a Jewish city and an ancient synagogue ruins.

Biblical tells[edit]

There are around 200 biblical Tells in Israel. Tel is an archaeological site that is not created by nature but by ruined human settlements. The biblical tells are from the Bronze Age and located on ancient cities that are mentioned in old testament. the chosen cities are Tel Hazor, Tel Megiddo and Tel Be'er Sheva which are also UNESCO World Heritage Sites. These tels also have some of the most ancient water systems in the world. Other biblical tells around Israel include Jerusalem, Tel Arad, Tel Gezer and Tel Lachish.

Mount Carmel prehistoric caves[edit]

Sites of human evolution at Mount CarmelNahal Me'arot Nature Reserve is a site of human evolution at Mount Carmel in Haifa, Northern Israel. It has four caves such as Me’arat HaTanur (the Oven Cave; also known as Tabun Cave), Me’arat HaGamal (the Camel Cave), Me’arat HaNahal (the Stream Cave) and Me’arat HaGedi (the Young Goat Cave). The site was proclaimed as universal value by UNESCO in 2012.The site indicates the prehistoric man's settlements and unique evidence of a first burial.

Negev Incense Route[edit]

Incense Route – Desert Cities in the Negev – The Negev incense route located between Jordan's Petra and Palestine's Gaza, the Nabataeans have built many fortresses, caravanserai but especially known for their four important cities of Avdat, Mamshit, Shivta, and Haluza that located on this important trade route, the Negev Incense Route is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Ancient synagogues[edit]

Israel is the birthplace of Judaism and cradle of Jewish history includes many ancient synagogues from the Second Temple Period and Byzantine-Muslim periods from Northern to Southern Israel. Among the more impressive synagogue remains are those from Capernaum, Magdala, Masada, Anim, Bar'am, Gush Halav, Beit Alpha, Hukok, Nabratein, Ein Gedi, Caesarea, and Hamat Tiberias.

Additional synagogues can be found in the Israeli-occupied territories of the West Bank, for example Susya and Herodium, and the Golan Heights, such as Gamla and Umm el Kanatir.

Muslim shrines[edit]

Next to the ancient city of Arsuf stands the Sidna Ali Mosque, which is still in use and holds the tomb of Muslim holy man. The Nabi Musa shrine, believed to be the tomb of Musa (Moses) according to a local Muslim tradition, is located near the West Bank city of Jericho.

Avshalom Stalactites Cave[edit]

Avshalom Cave, also known as Soreq Cave or Stalactites Cave, is a 5,000 m2 cave on the western side of Mt.Ye'ela, in the Judean hills, in Israel, unique for its dense concentration of stalactites Some of the stalactites found in the cave are four meters long, and some have been dated as 300,000 years old. Some meet stalagmites to form stone pillars

Mount Karkom[edit]

Har Karkom ("Mountain of Saffron" in Hebrew), or Jabal Ideid in Arabic is a mountain in the southwest Negev desert in Israel, halfway between Petra and Kadesh Barnea. On the basis that the Israelites travelled across the Sinai peninsula towards Petra in a fairly straight line, a number of scholars have contemplated the possibility of Har Karkom being the Biblical Mount Sinai. Following this theory, Emmanuel Anati excavated at the mountain, and discovered that it was a major paleolithic cult centre, with the surrounding plateau covered with shrines, altars, stone circles, stone pillars, and over 40,000 rock engravings.

Although, on the basis of his findings, Anati advocates the identification of Har Karkom with Mount Sinai,[1][2] the peak of religious activity at the site may date to 2350–2000 BC, and the mountain appears to have been abandoned perhaps between 1950 and 1000 BC; the exodus is sometimes dated between 1600 and 1200 BC. However, no archaeological evidence has been supported by scholars to maintain a date of 1600–1200 BC. Anati instead places the Exodus, based on other archaeological evidence at around 2300 BC

Ancient Ashkelon[edit]

Ancient Beit Guvrin and Maresha[edit]

Beit Guvrin-Maresha National Park is a national park in central Israel, 13 kilometers from Kiryat Gat, encompassing the ruins of Maresha, one of the important towns of Judah during the time of the First Temple,[19] and Beit Guvrin, an important town in the Roman era, when it was known as Eleutheropolis.[20] There are many Muslim saints which are buried in the area, the most known of them is Prophet Muhammad's companion Tamim al-Dari In 2014 UNESCO has recognized it as a World Heritage Site.

Crusader castles[edit]

Israel's territory corresponds in part to the Crusader kingdom of Jerusalem and boasts many castles and city fortifications from that time, although none were left intact by conquerors and the tooth of time. Most of them were built by the Crusaders and some by their Muslim enemies, and the most well-known of them are the cities of Acre and Caesarea, and the castles of Belvoir, Montfort, Arsuf, Sepphoris.

Israel also currently has control over the Arab-built Nimrod Castle in the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights.

Sea of Galilee[edit]

Sea of Galilee is home to many Christian and Jewish holy shrines, the Jewish holy shrines are in Tiberias (click for taking a look of the sites), and the Christian sites are outside Tiberias, some of them are archaeological sites, the sites are – Magdala, Capernaum, Tabgha and the Mount of Beatitudes, there are also another archaeological sites such as Kursi, Hippos, Hamat Tiberias, Tel Bet Yerah, Khirbat al-Minya and Chorazin.

it is also have a collection of fauna and flora.

Mount Arbel and the Horns of Hattin[edit]

Mount Arbel lies near the Sea of Galilee and is a national park with a fortress and synagogue and cliff hiking. The fortress was built by Jewish zealots and then in the Ottoman era by Fakhreddine II on the cliffs of the mountains, the ancient synagogue was built in the 5th century and survived little bit after the Islamic period started. The nearby area is the site of Horns of Hattin famous for his Islamic victory of Saladin at the Battle of Hattin and nearby this is the shrine of prophet shuaib, Maqam al-Nabi Shu'ayb is the holiest shrine for Druze faith; the Druze are making a big Ziyarat every year in April.

Rosh Hanikra grottoes[edit]

The Rosh HaNikra grottoes are cavernous tunnels formed by sea action on the soft chalk rock. The total length is some 200 metres. They branch off in various directions with some interconnecting segments. In the past, the only access to them was from the sea and experienced divers were the only ones capable of visiting. Today a cable car takes visitors down to see the grottos. A kibbutz, also named Rosh HaNikra, is located nearby. The Israeli city Nahariya is located about 10 km (6 miles) south of Rosh HaNikra. you must take a cable car to get into the grottoes. The Cable car is situated very close to the Lebanese border.

Makhtesh craters of the Negev desert[edit]

A makhtesh is a geological landform considered unique to the Negev desert of Israel. A makhtesh has steep walls of resistant rock surrounding a deep closed valley which is usually drained by a single wadi. The valleys have limited vegetation and soil, containing a variety of different colored rocks and diverse fauna and flora. The best known and largest makhtesh is Makhtesh Ramon. Other makhteshim are Makhtesh Gadol, Makhtesh Katan and Mount Arif.

Ancient city of Sepphoris[edit]

Sepphoris was an ancient Jewish city with synagogue, villas, baths, water tunnels, a Crusader fortress and more. An old Christian tradition places there the house of Saints Anne and Joachim, the parents of the Virgin Mary.


Hula Valley[edit]

Hula Lake Park, known in Hebrew as Agamon HaHula, is located in the southern part of the Hula Valley, north of the nature reserve. It was established as part of a JNF rehabilitation project.[21] In the early 1990s part of the valley was flooded again in the wake of heavy rains. It was decided to develop the surrounding area and leave the flooded area intact. The new site has become the second home for thousands of migrating birds in the autumn and spring.[22] The lake covers an area of one square kilometer, interspersed with islands that serve as protected bird nesting sites. It has become a major stopover for migrating birds flying from Europe to Africa and back, and also a major birdwatching site. In 2011, Israeli ornithologists confirmed that Lake Hula is the stopover point for tens of thousands of cranes migrating from Finland to Ethiopia every winter. In Israel, farmers set out food for them to keep them from damaging crops near the lake.[23]

Tel Dan[edit]

Ein Gedi[edit]

Ein Gedi is a special nature reserve, known for its big number of friendly Nubian ibex and rock hyrax, waterfalls, and there are some archaeological finds on the trail. Ein Gedi is an oasis in the desert which is good for relaxing and for those who want to take refuge from the hot Judean Desert, located near the Dead Sea

Keshet Cave[edit]

A big natural arch in Israel's Upper Galilee, which was a cave that was destroyed due to geological reasons over the years. Today only the arch remains and is a popular attraction for professional hiking.

Nahal Ayun[edit]

Ein Avdat[edit]

Bird watching[edit]

Israel is among the world's leading destinations for birdwatching, with birders and ornithologists heading especially for the annual migrations that funnel through Eilat and the Hula Valley.[24]

National parks and nature reserves[edit]

Israel has 67 national parks and 190 nature reserves. Some of them are located at archaeological sites. Beit Guvrin-Maresha is a large archaeological complex in the Judean Mountains. Sepphoris is an ancient Roman town with elaborate mosaics and a historic synagogue. Ein Gedi, a desert spring, is a starting point for tours to Masada and the Dead Sea.

Hiking trails[edit]

Tabgha pool, Jesus Trail


A network of kibbutzim dot the countryside, some offering guesthouses and country lodging. They are undergoing a process of modernization and re-organization. Well known in Israel for great contributions to Israeli history, politics, the army, and Zionism. Long-term visitors, both Jewish and non-Jewish, can volunteer on Kibbutzim in exchange for food and lodging.


Tower of David Museum

With over 200 museums, Israel has the highest number of museums per capita in the world, with millions of visitors annually.[25]

Restaurant culture[edit]

As part of its hospitality industry, including hotels, restaurants and wineries, one of the most vibrant restaurant cultures in the Mediterranean region has developed in Israel since the 1990s, catering to both tourists and citizens.[27] Professional training for Israeli chefs, hotel owners, sommeliers and vintners is of a high standard, and top hotel chefs have international education and experience.[27]

There are thousands of restaurants, casual eateries, cafés and bars in Israel, offering a wide range of choices in food and culinary styles.[28] In addition to Middle Eastern specialties, there are restaurants offering a wide selection of ethnic food, including Italian, French, Greek, Russian, Ethiopian, Balkan, Thai, Chinese, American and fusion cuisine.[27]

Places to eat out that are typically Israeli include falafel stands or kiosks, which also offer extras like French fries, fried eggplant, salads and pickles with the falafel, and the hummusia, which specializes in hummus, and offers only a limited selection of extras. The Misada Mizrahit (literally, "Eastern restaurant") is an inexpensively priced restaurant that serves a basic selection of meze salads followed by grilled meat with French fries, fried kibbeh and simple desserts, while Steakiyot are restaurants which serve a meze of salads, followed by skewered grilled meats, particularly meorav yerushalmi and kebabs[29] or sometimes by kibbeh stew like kibbeh in okra and tomato stew, beet stew.

Cafés are common in urban areas and function as meeting places both for socializing and conducting business. They commonly serve coffee, tea, fruit juice and soft drinks and almost all serve baked goods and sandwiches; many also serve light meals. Most have outdoor seating to take advantage of Israel's temperate weather, and Tel Aviv is particularly well known for its café culture.[29] Tea is also served in cafés, from plain brewed Russian-style with sugar, to tea with lemon or milk, and Middle Eastern-style with mint (nana).[30] There is also a strong coffee drinking culture in Israel and coffee is prepared in many ways, such as instant (nes), iced, latte (hafuḥ), Italian-style espresso, or Turkish coffee.[31][32]


Enotourism is a growing part of the tourism sector in Israel. In early 2008, it was announced that a 150-acre (0.61 km2) wine park would be created on the slopes between Zichron Ya'akov and Binyamina in order to promote tourism in the area and enotourism in Israel in general.[33]

Hot springs[edit]

Hamat Gader hot springs

Israeli-occupied territories[edit]

In March 2021, the Centre for Research on Multinational Corporations published a report that stated: "tour operators across Europe and North America are deceptively offering unsuspecting consumers misleading package tours to Israel and Palestine. These tours are labelled as destined to ‘Israel’ but actually include locations in the occupied Palestinian territory (OPT), and in the occupied Syrian Golan. Many include illegal Israeli settlements, which are the source of a wide range of serious human rights violations suffered by Palestinian communities and the Palestinian people as a whole."[34]

West Bank tourism[edit]

West Bank tourism has been controlled by Israel since the territory was occupied in 1967.[35] Territory that had been off-limits to Israeli citizens was now made available for tourism, and Israel established numerous amenities in these territories and East Jerusalem to make it more appealing to Israeli and foreign tourists.[36] Despite that, Israeli citizens are generally restricted from traveling to parts of the West Bank under Palestinian Authority control.[37] Today, The Palestinian Authority and Israeli tourism ministries work together on tourism in the Palestinian territories in a Joint Committee on Tourism.[38]

Golan Heights tourism[edit]

The Golan Heights were captured by Israel from Syria in the 1967 Six-Day War and are recognized by the international community as Syrian territory held by Israel under military occupation.[43] However, in 2019 the United States recognized Israeli sovereignty of the area. In an act ruled null and void by the United Nations Security Council, Israel applied civilian law to the territory in 1981.[44]

For ease of touring, the Golan can be divided into the north with most of its popular destinations and the south where the administrative capital is located. Travel guides recommend renting a car or joining an organized tour. Although it is slower, some travelers chose to hitchhike throughout the region.[45] Accommodations are typically through bed and breakfasts or cabins called zimmers.[46]

The first Israeli ski resort was established in the Golan.[47] Nature trails and other attractions were established by Israel in order to further entrench its presence in the territory and to attract tourists.[36] As much of the Golan's land is not arable, many of the Israeli settlements established focused on tourism as a way of generating income.[48]

Seas and lakes[edit]

Red Sea coral and marine fish in Eilat
Mediterranean coastal strip
  • Sunny beaches and hotel resorts
Dead sea
  • The lowest point on the Earth's surface and the deepest hypersaline lake in the world, famous for its buoyancy and medicinal qualities
Red Sea
  • Sunny beaches and hotel resorts, popular destination for SCUBA diving and water sports
Sea of Galilee
  • Sunny beaches and hotel resorts
  • Important Christian and Jewish holy sites
  • Many archaeological sites.

Dive tourism[edit]

Eilat is located in the Gulf of Aqaba, one of the most popular diving destinations in the world. The coral reefs along Eilat's coast remain relatively pristine and the area is recognized as one of the prime diving locations in the world.[50] About 250,000 dives are performed annually off Eilat's 11 km coastline, and diving represents 10% of the tourism income of this area.[51] In addition, given the proximity of many of these reefs to the shore, non-divers can encounter the Red Sea's reefs with relative ease.[50] Water conditions for SCUBA divers are good all year round, with water temperatures around 21–25 C°, little or no currents and clear waters with an average of 20–30 meters visibility.

Medical tourism[edit]

Ein Bokek resort on the shore of the Dead Sea

Israel is emerging as a popular destination for medical tourists.[52] In 2006, 15,000 foreign visitors travelled to the country for medical procedures, bringing in $40 million of revenue.[52] The advantages of Israel for health tourism include good natural resources; stable, comfortable climate all year round; a progressive medical systems, and scenic locations which have a calming effect on patients.[53] Medical tourists choose Israel for several reasons. Some come from European nations such as Romania where certain procedures are not available. Others come to Israel, most commonly from the United States, because they can receive quality health care at a fraction of the cost it would be at home, for both surgeries and in-vitro fertilization treatments. Other medical tourists come to Israel to visit the Dead Sea, a world-famous therapeutic resort.[52] The Israel Ministry of Tourism and several professional medical services providers have set out to generate awareness of Israel's medical capabilities.[54]

Tourist demographics and economic contribution[edit]

According to the Israeli Ministry of Tourism, in 2009 54% of the 2.7 million visitors to Israel were Christian. Jewish tourists accounted for 39%. Revenue from tourism in 2009 totalled $3.3 billion.[55] In 2010, tourism constituted 6.4% of the country's GDP.[56] The World Travel and Tourism Council estimates that real GDP growth for tourism in Israel is expected to average 5.0% per annum over the years 2010–2020. The contribution of tourism to Gross Domestic Product is expected by WTTC to rise from 6.4% (US$12.0 billion) in 2010 to 7.2% ($22.1 billion) by 2020.[56] The contribution of the industry to employment is 223,000 jobs in 2010, 7.9% of total employment.[56] Export earnings from international visitors and tourism goods are expected to generate 6.5% of total exports (US$4.8 billion) in 2010.[56] Investment in tourism is estimated at US$2.3 billion or 7.6% of total investment in 2010.[56] The Israel Travel & Tourism economy is ranked number 51 in absolute size worldwide, of the 181 countries estimated by the WTTC.[56]

Tourism abroad by Israelis[edit]

Offsetting the economic contribution by tourists visiting Israel is the larger number of Israelis touring abroad. In 1993, for example, "tourism brought $750 million into the country, but Israeli tourists spent $2 billion abroad."[citation needed] Statistics published a decade later reported "some 2 million Israelis touring the world."[57]

International recognition and awards[edit]

Nahal Arugot waterfall in Ein Gedi

In 2005, Ernst & Young conducted a comprehensive research study on Israeli tourism. The report, entitled "A New Market Strategy for Israeli Tourism" was published in November 2006. The researchers felt that increasing the number of international tourists by 2011 from 1.9 million to 4–5 million was a feasible goal. The report stated that Israel's most attractive feature for international markets was its religious culture and history and the great diversity it offers within a very small country.[58] According to the researchers, Israel's different cultures and religions, its diverse landscapes, the contrasts between cities (Jerusalem, Tel Aviv), and combination of European, North African and Middle Eastern culture produced a "very high density of experience." The report recommended that Israel adopt appropriate marketing strategies to counter any perceived negative imagery associated with political developments.

In 2010, Israel won the title of "most outstanding stand" in all categories at the world's largest tourism fair, ITB, held in Berlin. The Israeli stand won the title of "best presenter" in the Near East and Middle East for the third time in a row.[59]

Most visited sites[edit]


Syrian brown bears in Jerusalem Biblical Zoo

In 2009, the most visited Jewish religious site in Israel were the Western Wall, and the second-most visited Jewish religious site in Israel was the grave of Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai at Mount Meron.[8]


The most popular paid tourist attraction is the Jerusalem Biblical Zoo.[60] The top paid sites of 2012 were listed by Dun & Bradstreet Israel were as follows"[60]

Listing Site 2008 Visitors[7] 2012 Visitors[60]
1 Jerusalem Biblical Zoo 687,647 752,000
2 Masada 721,915 724,000
3 Zoological Center of Tel Aviv-Ramat Gan 581,800 713,000
4 Caesarea 713,648 670,000
5 Hermon National Park (Banias) 430,531 561,000
6 Ein Gedi Antiquities National Park 471,000
7 Hamat Gader 500,000 440,000
8 Yamit 2000 in Holon 412,533 431,000
9 Coral World Underwater Observatory in Eilat 458,000 423,000
10 Qumran National Park 389,291 377,000

Foreign visitor arrivals[edit]

Total number of tourists in Israel in 2018 was 4,113,100. This was an increase of 14% over the previous year.[61][Note 2]

Country 2014[62] 2015[63] 2016[64] 2017[65] 2018[61] 2019[66]
 United States 622,100 637,200 672,100 778,600 897,100 1,007,600
 Russia 555,900 414,700 284,600 330,500 316,100 394,400
 France 298,600 300,100 293,000 308,700 346,000 376,500
 Germany 194,200 197,800 180,100 218,200 262,500 306,400
 United Kingdom 180,100 197,900 197,100 198,500 217,900 259,900
 Italy 120,100 91,200 88,000 107,700 150,600 201,100
 Ukraine 132,400 138,000 164,500 146,800 137,800 181,700
 Poland 77,200 66,200 54,300 97,400 151,900 177,800
 China 33,000 47,400 85,900 113,600 104,900 159,600
 Romania 44,700 45,100 50,900 78,900 106,900 125,900
 Spain 47,300 43,600 46,200 62,400 77,700 109,900
 Canada 66,200 66,700 69,900 80,600 92,000 101,300
 Netherlands 51,800 49,400 51,400 64,000 83,000 94,700
 Brazil 51,900 43,900 35,500 54,800 62,500 86,600
 Switzerland 39,900 40,600 42,900 48,700 57,100 66,100
 India 34,900 39,300 44,800 58,000 70,700 65,600
 South Korea 22,600 22,600 28,300 39,600 45,200 61,200
 Australia 33,100 31,900 32,000 39,900 43,000 53,900
 Mexico 20,700 22,400 20,700 28,300 38,300 53,600
 Austria 30,800 25,700 24,000 29,000 38,700 50,900
 Belgium 33,900 33,800 34,000 36,300 40,700 46,400
Total visitors 3,251,000 3,108,600 3,069,800 3,612,000 4,113,100 4,904,600

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Jerusalem is the capital under Israeli law. The presidential residence, government offices, supreme court and parliament (Knesset) are located there. The Palestinian Authority foresees East Jerusalem as the capital of its future state. The United Nations and most countries do not recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital, taking the position that the final status of Jerusalem is pending future negotiations between Israel and the Palestinian Authority. Most countries maintain their embassies in Tel Aviv and its suburbs or suburbs of Jerusalem, such as Mevaseret Zion (see CIA Factbook and this map of Israel (319 KB)) See Positions on Jerusalem for more information.
  2. ^ 2017–18 statistics come from the Israeli Ministry of Tourism, while other years' stats are from the Israel Central Bureau of Statistics, therefore some data may be inconsistent


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  2. ^ Yan (January 3, 2018). "Israel sees record 3.6 mln inbound tourists in 2017". Xinhua News Agency. Archived from the original on January 24, 2018.
  3. ^ Amir, Rebecca Stadlen (January 3, 2018). "Israel sets new record with 3.6 million tourists in 2017". Israel21.
  4. ^ a b Raz-Chaimovich, Michal (December 27, 2017). "Record 3.6m tourists visit Israel in 2017". Globes.
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  6. ^ "Interesting Facts about Israel". Archived from the original on April 15, 2016.
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  8. ^ a b Irit Rosenblum & Eli Ashkenazi (January 7, 2007). "For first time, religious sites to get state budget of NIS 6.3M". Haaretz.
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  11. ^ Sarah Barnea, "A history of the mapping of the Jewish Cemetery on the Mount of Olives", in Eyal Meron (editor), Researches into the City of David and Early Jerusalem (Vol 5, 2010) (in Hebrew)
  12. ^ The Necropolis from the Time of the Kingdom of Judah at Silwan, Jerusalem, David Ussishkin, The Biblical Archaeologist, Vol. 33, No. 2 (May 1970), pp. 33–46,
  13. ^ "Ancient Jerusalem's Funerary Customs and Tombs: Part Two, L. Y. Rahmani, The Biblical Archaeologist, Vol. 44, No. 4 (Autumn, 1981), pp. 229–235.
  14. ^ Westhead, Rick (December 16, 2012). "Jerusalem's Mount of Olives cemetery running out of room". The Jerusalem Post. Retrieved December 16, 2012.
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