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Palestinian Territories Travel Guide

Embark on a journey to the Palestinian Territories, a land rich in history, culture, and natural beauty. Here, ancient traditions blend seamlessly with the vibrancy of modern life against a backdrop of rolling hills, olive groves, and historic cities. From the sacred streets of Jerusalem to the serene landscapes of the West Bank, the Palestinian Territories offer a unique and profound experience for travelers.

While the region's complex political situation can present safety concerns, visitors who travel responsibly can discover a destination of immense historical significance and welcoming hospitality. Explore with an open heart and a keen sense of history, and you'll uncover the many layers that make this land so special.

Update: if you have been watching the news, you should know that this region is unsafe for travel right now.

10 Handpicked Highlights of the Palestinian Territories

The Old City of Jerusalem

The Old City of Jerusalem, a city of profound religious and historical significance, is a must-visit. Within its ancient walls, sacred sites such as the Western Wall, the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, and the Dome of the Rock stand as testaments to the city’s diverse religious heritage.

The narrow, winding streets, bustling with vendors, pilgrims, and the scents of Middle Eastern cuisine, offer an immersive cultural experience. Exploring the Old City is not just a journey through vibrant markets and sacred sites; it’s a walk through history itself, where every stone has a story to tell.


Bethlehem, revered as the birthplace of Jesus Christ, is a cornerstone of Christian history. The city’s focal point is the Church of the Nativity, a UNESCO World Heritage site that attracts pilgrims from around the world. Beyond its religious significance, Bethlehem offers a rich cultural experience with its narrow streets, traditional markets, and local artisan shops selling olive wood carvings and embroidered textiles.

The city’s vibrant atmosphere is complemented by its welcoming people, making Bethlehem a compelling destination for those seeking both spiritual and cultural enrichment.



Ramallah, the de facto administrative capital of the Palestinian Authority, is a dynamic city blending tradition and modernity. Known for its lively cultural scene, Ramallah hosts numerous cafes, galleries, and theaters, reflecting the vibrant spirit of its people.

The city also serves as a hub for understanding Palestinian culture and politics, with landmarks such as the Mahmoud Darwish Museum and Yasser Arafat’s Mausoleum. Ramallah’s bustling streets and rich cultural life offer a unique perspective on contemporary Palestinian society.

Hebron’s Old City

Hebron’s Old City is a fascinating destination steeped in history and tradition. The city is home to the Tomb of the Patriarchs, a site revered by Jews, Christians, and Muslims alike.

The ancient bazaar, with its narrow alleys and traditional crafts, offers a glimpse into Hebron’s rich cultural heritage. The city’s complex history and present-day reality provide a profound insight into the region’s historical and cultural heritage.


Jericho, one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world, offers a unique blend of history, archaeology, and natural beauty. The ancient city is home to significant archaeological sites like Tell es-Sultan (ancient Jericho) and the Hisham’s Palace, showcasing millennia of history.

The surrounding area, with its lush date palms and natural springs, provides a serene escape from the urban bustle. The nearby Mount of Temptation, accessible by cable car, offers panoramic views of the Jordan Valley.


The Dead Sea

The Dead Sea, bordering the West Bank, is a natural wonder and a must-visit destination. Famous for its hyper-saline water and mineral-rich mud, the Dead Sea offers a unique swimming experience and therapeutic benefits.

The surrounding area is also home to several natural reserves and historical sites, including the Qumran Caves, where the Dead Sea Scrolls were discovered. The serene beauty of the Dead Sea, combined with its health and wellness offerings, makes it a unique and relaxing destination.


Nablus, nestled between the mountains of Gerizim and Ebal, is a city rich in history and culture. Known for its traditional soap factories and bustling spice markets, Nablus offers an authentic taste of Palestinian life.

The city is also home to significant religious sites, including Jacob’s Well and the ancient Samaritan community on Mount Gerizim. The local cuisine, especially the sweet knafeh, is a highlight, offering a delicious insight into the region’s culinary traditions.

Wadi Qelt

Wadi Qelt, located in the Judean Desert, offers a stunning natural escape with its deep canyons and spring-fed pools. The area is perfect for hiking and exploring the natural beauty of the Palestinian landscape.

The Wadi is also home to the St. George Monastery, an ancient cliff-hanging complex offering breathtaking views and a peaceful retreat. Hiking through Wadi Qelt is not only an adventure but also a journey through the natural and spiritual heritage of the region.

Wadi Qelt
Wadi Qelt

Gaza Strip

The Gaza Strip, despite its challenging circumstances, offers a glimpse into the resilience and hospitality of the Palestinian people. The region has a rich history, evident in sites like the ancient port of Gaza and the Great Mosque.

The bustling markets and the Mediterranean coastline provide a different perspective on life in Gaza. Visitors to the area should be aware of the current socio-political situation and travel with sensitivity and awareness. Update: the Gaza Strip has been largely destroyed by the ongoing war with Israel.


Taybeh, a small village in the West Bank, is known for its unique character and historical significance. This predominantly Christian village is famous for the Taybeh Brewery, the first microbrewery in the Middle East, offering tours and tastings.

The village also hosts an annual Oktoberfest, celebrating Palestinian culture and community spirit. Taybeh’s serene setting and rich history, including the Byzantine-era ruins, make it a charming and unexpected destination in the Palestinian Territories.

Palestinian Territories' Geography & Landscapes

The geography of the Palestinian Territories is marked by its diversity, ranging from coastal plains to mountainous regions. Here are the key geographic features:

  • Coastal Plains: The Gaza Strip lies along the Mediterranean coast, featuring sandy beaches and flat, agricultural lands.
  • Mountain Regions: The West Bank is characterized by a series of mountain ranges running north to south, including the Judean Hills near Jerusalem and the mountains around Nablus and Hebron.
  • The Jordan Valley: This rift valley to the east of the West Bank descends to the Dead Sea, the lowest point on Earth’s surface. It features a hot, dry climate and unique landscapes.
  • The Dead Sea: Bordering the West Bank, this salt lake is renowned for its high salinity and mineral-rich mud, offering unique natural and health-related attractions.
  • The Negev Desert: While primarily in Israel, the desert’s northeastern edge extends into the Palestinian Territories, showcasing a stark and beautiful desert landscape.

Best Time To Go To The Palestinian Territories

The climate of the Palestinian Territories varies from Mediterranean along the coast to more arid in the east and south. The best time to visit depends on what you want to experience:

  • Spring (March to May): The weather is mild and pleasant, ideal for outdoor activities and sightseeing. The landscape is lush and green, especially in the hills and valleys.
  • Summer (June to August): It can be quite hot, especially in the Jordan Valley and the Gaza Strip. This is a popular time for visiting the coast and enjoying the beaches.
  • Autumn (September to November): Similar to spring, with mild temperatures and less rainfall. It’s a good time for exploring historical sites and hiking in the mountains.
  • Winter (December to February): This season sees cooler temperatures and rain, especially in the mountainous regions. It’s a quieter time for travel, but some outdoor activities may be limited due to weather conditions.

Spring and autumn are generally considered the best times to visit the Palestinian Territories, offering comfortable weather for a full range of activities, from exploring ancient cities to enjoying natural landscapes.

Al Aqsa Mosque, Jerusalem
Al Aqsa Mosque, Jerusalem

Traveling in the Palestinian Territories

Staying Safe

While the Palestinian Territories offer rich cultural and historical experiences, travelers should be mindful of safety concerns. Here are some tips to ensure a safe visit:

  • Stay Informed: Keep up-to-date with the latest travel advisories and news.
  • Avoid Areas of Conflict: Be aware of the current political situation and avoid areas of unrest or demonstrations.
  • Respect Local Customs and Traditions: Dress modestly and be sensitive to local cultural norms.
  • Checkpoint Navigation: Be prepared for checkpoints, particularly when traveling between different areas.
  • Health Precautions: Ensure you have travel insurance and access to necessary medications.
  • Keep Emergency Contacts: Have contact information for your embassy and local emergency services.
  • Be Cautious of Photography: Ask for permission before photographing people and avoid taking pictures of military or security personnel and installations.
  • Hydration and Sun Protection: Carry water and use sun protection, especially during the hot summer months.
  • Cultural Sensitivity During Religious Times: Be particularly respectful during religious holidays.
  • Stay Connected: Keep your mobile phone charged and with you at all times for navigation and emergencies.

Getting to & Around the Palestinian Territories  

Transportation within the Palestinian Territories is influenced by the region’s unique political situation:

  • Air Travel: There is no functioning airport within the Palestinian Territories. The nearest major airports are Ben Gurion Airport in Israel and Queen Alia International Airport in Jordan.
  • Road Travel: Buses and shared taxis (servis) are the main modes of transport. They are inexpensive and cover most areas, though schedules can be irregular.
  • Car Rentals: Renting a car is an option but be aware of restrictions at checkpoints and borders.
  • Taxis: Readily available in cities and towns. Agree on the fare in advance.


Accommodation in the Palestinian Territories ranges from basic guesthouses to luxury hotels:

  • Hotels: Available in major cities like Ramallah, Bethlehem, and Jericho, offering various levels of comfort and amenities.
  • Hostels and Guesthouses: Budget-friendly options are available, particularly in popular tourist destinations.
  • Traditional Stays: Some areas offer homestays or traditional accommodations, providing an immersive cultural experience.
  • Price Range: Varies based on location and type of accommodation, with options to suit most budgets.
  • Booking: It’s advisable to book accommodation in advance, especially during peak tourist seasons and religious holidays.

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