Things may still be politically unresolved, but at least a million tourists a year safely and happily visit the West Bank to explore the rich history and culture in places like Bethlehem, Nazareth, and Jericho, as well as the Dead Sea coast (in Gaza there are also things to see/do, but even before the war access was restricted/difficult, and now for the foreseeable future it´s totally off limits).

We like almost everyone are appalled at the intense conflict currently escalating between Israel and Hamas, and for those who would like to contribute to humanitarian efforts to aid victims, this article lists several organizations to which to donate.


cover photo: Chloekwak

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Will tourism in Gaza ever exist? If so, here are 8 spots worth visiting

  Ramez Habboub This narrow strip of land along the Mediterranean coast between Israel and Egypt is tiny – just 141 square miles/365 sq. kilometers (about the size of Las Vegas or the British city of  Sheffield) – and with a population of nearly 2.1 million, making it one of the world´s most densely packed territories. And Gaza has of course massively been in the news since October 7 because of the tragic and horrific reasons with which by now we´re all too familiar. And when it comes to…

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A look at contemporary Palestine

      I just came across this interesting 13-minute video in English from Italian vloggers Guglielmo and Valentia Biason, which combines visits to interesting sites such as the Church of the Nativity, with a good dose of historical and sociological context. Very much worth a watch.        

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'conflict tourism' in Palestine and elsewhere

These days we hear about a few Westerners (mostly young men) who have been going to Syria to get a closer look at the war, and it reminds me of several years when I was working as a guide in Palestine. My clients were, for the main part, politically engaged people of diverse backgrounds, mainly from Europe and the USA, who had been involved with Palestinian solidarity campaigning back home and wanted to see the situation for themselves... keep reading

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  • Tragically, the situation in Gaza is horrific and likely to get even worse. But strangely, it got me curious about tourism. When it comes to Palestine, we hear about the great stuff in the West Bank but virtually nothing about Gaza - partly because the situation has been so difficult there for so long, and few tourists have been able venture there even if they wanted to. But I went to my favorite "off the beaten track" expert, Joan Torres, from Barcelona, and sure enough, on his fascinating site he has a whole section on Gaza - what to see as well as some very important info about logistics and planning. He even updated it on October 2 - perhaps poorly timed, a mere several days before this whole Hamas mess (although he does have a caveat that "the major risk a foreigner can face there is military escalation" and "If the situation “erupts” while you are there, try to leave the Strip as soon as possible. If the borders are closed, the best option would be to stay at your hotel/accommodation and ask the staff for safety instructions." Certainly prescient. Anyway, check this out and I think you´ll find it quite interesting:
  • Nazareth is Palestine´s biggest city, and earlier this year, a site run by a Czech couple, did a pretty good overview of what to visit here:
  • Bethlehem is one of Palestine´s most popular destinations, and has a great rundown of its top attractions for visitors:
  • Just today, the UK Guardian reported on the West Bank receives hundreds of thousands of Christmas visitors for the first time after two years of pandemic restrictions:
    No room in Bethlehem’s inns as tourists return for Christmas season | Palestinian territories | The…
    West Bank city gears up for festive season after two years of pandemic restrictions
  • An interesting recent look at tourism in Bethlehem:
    Tourist influx offers hope for hard-hit Bethlehem
    RAMALLAH: An influx of visitors to Bethlehem ahead of the Easter holiday has been welcomed by tourism chiefs desperate for a return to “business as u…
  • Hi... Anyone with late information concerning visitors? 

  • Hi David,

    thanks for your response. I'd say the main place not to miss would be Nablus and, if you have time for a day-trip or quick overnight from it, nearby Sebastia. Nablus has some wonderful scenery, great ancient remains, the intriguing Old City, good restaurants and the Samaritan community on the hillside above. It also has a range of hotels to suit different budgets - my favourite, when I can afford it, being the Yasmeen, right in the middle of the Old City souk - Sebastia is a gorgeous little village in the hills - olive groves, Greek, Samaritan, Crusader and Ottoman remains and architecture and a fantastic little community tourism centre and guesthouse which can organise hiking etc - see


  • Congratulations, Sarah, that's great news!  Actually, I was thinking of heading to Israel and the West Bank this March, so I would definitely pick up your book. If I have a relatively short time, where should I absolutely make sure not to miss?

  • Ten Highlights of Palestine in The Guardian's travel section...

  • Bradt Guide to Palestine reviewed in Wanderlust magazine - read more here.

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