Not knowing how many nights you plan to visit Israel, it's hard to recommend specifically, but if you are planning to visit Tel Aviv, Galilee and maybe some of the desert areas (like Masada/Dead Sea), I think I would recommend that 1/2 your time be scheduled for Jerusalem because of the plethora of attractions.
It really does depend on what your interests are and how long do you have all together.
I just came back from Israel this past Tuesday after being there for 17 days. We spent 6 nights in Jerusalem and I felt that was a good amount of time. We stayed 4 nights in Tel Aviv, 3 nights in Haifa with relatives and toured the Golan, and then flew down to Eilat for 3 nights. Its never enough time. I still wish I had a few more days there especially in Tel Aviv and the Golan area. I went with my husband and 2 adult children. My daughter and I had both been there before but my husband and son were never there. I do suggest to spend a Shabbat in Jerusalem. Going to the wall on a Friday night was so beautiful. Also go on the Western Wall Tunnel Tour which you need to book way in advance from the US.
We stayed 13 nights in Jerusalem of a 23 day tour; the original plan was 10, but we returned to Jerusalem for three final days instead of going to Petra. 13 days was still not enough - but at the same time, we saw less of the north than we would have liked to.
So its all really a matter of priorities and what's important to you. Next trip, we'll probably only stay 8-10 days in Jerusalem and longer than 3 days in the north.
Like the others, it is hard to judge without more details on your trip time and your interests, but like Ric, my rule of thumb is about half the time should be spent in Jerusalem because it is so full of things to see. Plus many people visit the Dead Sea and Masada as a day-trip from Jerusalem. If you will already have seen that prior to your arrival in Jerusalem, you could cut a day off for that.
It really depends on what you arelooking for. We LOVED Jerusalem. It is now my favorite city in the world. We spent a week out of 17 days there. On our next trip we plan on renting a place there for almost the entire time and doing daytrips from there. Then again i will need to spend some time in Tel Aviv. I NEED a liong vacation!
Thank you all for your input. I'm going to be in Israel for 2 weeks and we've decided to spend 4 nights in Jerusalem.
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