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Tel Aviv vs Jerusalem

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Honolulu, Hawaii
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Tel Aviv vs Jerusalem

I'm traveling to see the sites in the Holy City. Would it be best to get a hotel in Jerusalem or stay in Tel Aviv as a home base?

Thousand Oaks...
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1. Re: Tel Aviv vs Jerusalem

How long is your trip and where else do you plan on travelling to?

Will you be renting a car for any portion of your trip?

Dr. Z

Tel Aviv, Israel
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2. Re: Tel Aviv vs Jerusalem

If you are interested in touring the holy sites in Jerusalem's Old City and environs, then, of course, stay at a Jerusalem hotel rather than in Tel Aviv.

My favorite upscale option is the Mount Zion Hotel which some unique Jerusalem character and a fabulous view of the Old City. If you're looking for a lower budget alternative, many in this forum recommend the Harmony Hotel of the Atlas Group.

Paragon
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3. Re: Tel Aviv vs Jerusalem

It would be very helpful to know how much time you will have in Israel.

Assuming you have adequate time you will find it good to spend some nights in Tel Aviv and if you have a deep interest in holy sites you will probably want to spend even more time in Jerusalem. Perhaps you could post back and let us know about the length of your trip.

Kathy

Cincinnati, Ohio
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4. Re: Tel Aviv vs Jerusalem

I will just add that since you said "sites in the Holy City," that means stay in Jerusalem. Tel Aviv is many wonderful things -- and I love it -- but "Holy City" is not one of them. :-)

Douglas Duckett

In Saugatuck, Michigan

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5. Re: Tel Aviv vs Jerusalem

Thank you for your responses. I plan to be there for 6 nights. I know very little about Tel Aviv and presumptively based my initial plans based on seeing the "holy sites" around the Old City, and other "biblical" sites. I also wanted to incorporate holy Islamic sites as well. I don't know really how much time it will take, but if you think 3-4 days in Jerusalem will do it, I'd love to spend some time in Tel Aviv as well. Sorry for my ignorance, but what is there in Tel Aviv to do/see?

Honolulu, Hawaii
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6. Re: Tel Aviv vs Jerusalem

Thank you for the tip. I didn't really know how much time to alot for seeing the "sites" in Jerusalem. I guess a trip to Masada and the Dead Sea is an all day affair....

Tel Aviv, Israel
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7. Re: Tel Aviv vs Jerusalem

If you want to come to understand the modern State of Israel, then a Tel Aviv experience is an absolute necessity. But you should know that there's no city in Israel that's more different than Jerusalem than Tel Aviv. Tel Aviv is an overhwelmingly secular, liberal, cosmopolitan and laid back city. It's the 'capital of Mediterranean cool' and symbolizes efforts of its founding families to create a new Jewish society in an ancient land that would not be bound to the world of traditional Orthodox Judaism.

If this is your first visit to Israel, I suggest a minimum of a 10-day visit with at least three bases for touring (in the following order):

2 nights Tel Aviv

3 nights Galilee

4 nights Jerusalem

From Jerusalem, you can easily do a day trip down to Masada and the Dead Sea (which I also consider a 'must' on any first-timer's trip).

San Juan...
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8. Re: Tel Aviv vs Jerusalem

Like most destinations, Jerusalem is a place where you can get a good feel for it over the course of 3 to 4 days, visiting all of the most important sites in the Old City, Jewish/Christian/Muslim, and even exploring some key New City attractions, like the Israel Museum and Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial & museum. You can even fit in the day trip to Masada if you plan it right.

Then again, Jerusalem is the kind of City where is isn't just about the sites you visit, but about spending time absorbing the encompassing spiritual atmosphere (and I'm not a spiritual person), and of course getting to know the people. You could easily spend your entire visit there.

That being said, I love Tel Aviv--it's not about religious sites at all, but about the miracle that is modern Israel, a cosmospolitan city that never sleeps, right on a fun Mediterranean beach, containing distinctive architecture like the ancient city of Jaffa, the Bauhas district, its early "downtown" Nachalat Binyamin, great restaurants, theatre, music, museums and clubs.

If you can fit in 2 nights in Tel Aviv as part of your visit, you'll be startled by the contrast with Jerusalem--and refreshed.

Cincinnati, Ohio
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9. Re: Tel Aviv vs Jerusalem

I agree with Dave. You said you wanted to see "the Holy City," and I responded accordingly. But if you want to see and understand Israel -- and not a museum for religious tourists -- you should see Tel Aviv as well. It's the heart of modern, secular Israel.

Douglas Duckett

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10. Re: Tel Aviv vs Jerusalem

Inasmuch as you said you will be here for 6 nights I would do 4 in Jerusalem and 2 in Tel Aviv.

I may be wrong but I believe your first question was predicated on the belief that the airport is in Tel Aviv. Despite its' TLV designation it is actually on the road between the two cities. It is about 30 minutes from Tel Aviv and 45 from Jerusalem. So, it doesn't matter where you start and where you end. Both cities have easy access.