My brother, grandma and I are planning a trip to Israel from 15th December till 30th December (this does not include travel days).
At this stage, we are planning to base ourselves 6 nights in Jerusalem (with a day trip to Masada and the Dead Sea), 4 nights in Haifa (with a trip to Akko and Nazareth or Galilee) and 5 nights in Tel Aviv.
My questions are as follows:
1. The itinerary I have planned will have us in Haifa on Christmas Day. Are there any issues that I will need to deal with being in the city on Christmas Day?
2. My 80 year old grandma has been to Israel twice before (and lived there for 8 years), so she is happy for my brother and I to do a few things on our own if she gets too tired. However, she can walk (though with a walking stick) for 30 minutes non-stop. The main issue will be stairs for her. Are there any sites in Jerusalem, Haifa and Tel Aviv that will be too difficult for her?
3. My itinerary has us leaving Jerusalem to Haifa on a Saturday. Will there be transport issues with Shabbat?
4. Where is the best area to stay in Jerusalem? At this stage, I am leaning toward staying at Harmony Hotel as it is in the City Centre and walking distance to various sites (though we will take cabs if my grandma isn't up to walking).
Any insight would be much appreciated. I currently have the Lonely Planet and Frommer's guidebooks and am using those as well as Tripadvisor to plan the vacation.
Thank you in advance.