From vibrant to holy places in Israel

While being friends for several years, Magdalena and I finally went on our first trip together to Israel. So, end of March, we took an early flight and arrived at the airport in Tel Aviv three hours later. Once we got off the plane, we went through security and immigration and took the bus to the city center. There, we stayed in a double room at Abraham Hostel close to Rothschild Boulevard and within walking distance to the beach, Old Jaffa, Levinsky market, and other of the city’s main attractions. 

As we arrived in the morning and still had to wait for check-in, we went for brunch at BANA in the meantime. After a short break in our room, we headed out to the city, passing by Bauhaus Center, Dizengoff Square, and the Great Synagogue of Tel Aviv until we got to Jaffa, where we went to the Old Port, the Clock Tower, the Wishing Bridge, and flea market. In the afternoon, we had a late lunch at Yom Tov café before heading to the beach promenade and sat down at a restaurant near Frishman Beach for a drink. Because unfortunately, it was still too cold to go swimming or sunbathing. 

After two days in Tel Aviv, we took the bus to Jerusalem the following day, where we were surprised by the chilly temperatures. However, that didn’t stop us from seeing the city and its historical sights, such as the Temple Mount, Western Wall, Jaffa Gate, the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, and the Mount of Olives. And did you know there is an Austrian Pilgrim Hospice in Jerusalem? There, we first had a cup of typical Viennese coffee and apple strudel and went to the rooftop terrace for the splendid views of the city. Back in Tel Aviv, we bought some drinks at the supermarket and ended our last evening watching the sunset on the hostel’s rooftop.

The following morning, after breakfast at the hostel, we had to hurry to catch the train back to the airport on time. Also, we wanted to be there at least three hours before departure as you must go through strict border control before leaving the country, which can take some time. However, as it took us ages to get to the train station, we missed the train and had to wait for the next one, which was also late. So by the time we finally got to the airport, we only had two hours left until our flight’s departure. Luckily, everything went well, and we made it to our gate in time and back home safely. Concluding, we experienced Tel Aviv as a vibrant, modern, and young city with many things to do and see. But we were also quite impressed by Jerusalem and all its historical sites and places. And although the weather was not always the best, we enjoyed visiting both cities.

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