Like most of the world, Israel has been closed to tourists for more than a year due to the coronavirus pandemic. However, that doesn’t meant that the country hasn’t been busy preparing for a return to normality. There are a number of new and exciting tourist attractions to see, and if you will soon be heading to Israel on your gap year, you can be sure that they are ready and waiting for you.
For instance, there has been a huge amount of work going on in the Old City of Jerusalem. New signs have been installed, they have been replacing worn stones, adding explanations, and opening up archaeological finds, all of which has made navigating its narrow streets far easier. Furthermore, elevators and a tunnel are being built to take visitors down to the Western Wall Plaza, and there will soon be new roofed open spaces where people can take a break.
There is also a new route opening up in the Western Wall Tunnels where visitors will be able to view new finds such as the recently uncovered remains of a magnificent public building from the Second Temple era.
The Tower of David Museum has also been working hard. There is a $40 million project underway to preserve the historic site while the Jerusalem History Museum has been doubled in size. It will soon boast a new entrance visitor centre, seven new galleries, a multisensory experience in the archaeological site, new exhibition spaces, and more. There will also be a promenade lined with interesting findings that will take visitors from the new museum entrance to the educational wing.
However, it is not just Jerusalem where exciting projects are underway. Anyone who lives in Tel Aviv will tell you that often the easiest way to get around is by foot or bike. Now a new route has been opened along the old Ottoman railway line connecting Nahalat Binyamin and Herzl Street to the beach. There have also been extensions to many of the city’s bike paths, including along major roads such as Dizengoff Boulevard.
The city is also offering an exciting new multimedia experience, “I Remember, Friend”. It was created in partnership with the Yitzhak Rabi Center and features short films in many languages about the assassination of Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabbin and the lasting impact it has had on the country.
If you go for a weekend away in Eilat, then be sure to check out the new program of “Eilat Free” events. For instance, there are mobile headphone dance parties led by the Elad Theater on the promenade, special performances taking place at the city’s musical fountain, free yoga glasses on the waterfront, guided water walking, and more.
The city will also be running a range of guided tours, covering bird parks, art galleries, and even tastings in local restaurants. The events change regularly, but it is certainly worth checking to see what is on offer.
There are also new tourist experiences to be had in Ashdod, such as an audio-visual hiking trail and a light show. Alternatively, you could try The Emmaus Trail, a new hiking path in the Judean Hills. In short, even if you have visited Israel many times before, there is always going to be something new to discover.