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Israel Tourism


Tourism in Israel is one of Israel's major sources of income, with 3.5 million tourist arrivals in 2012. Israel offers a plethora of historical and religious sites, beach resorts, archaeological tourism, heritage tourism and ecotourism. Israel has the highest number of museums per capita in the world. In 2009, the two most visited sites were the Western Wall and the grave of Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai the most popular paid tourist attraction is Masada. Most tourists visit from the United States, Russia, France, United Kingdom, Germany, Italy, Poland, The Netherlands, India, South Korea, Australia, Argentina, and Brazil.

Most-visited cities Jerusalem

Jerusalem is the most-visited city with 3.5 million tourist arrivals annually. One of the oldest cities in the world, it is the proclaimed capitaland largest city of Israel, if the area and population of East Jerusalem are included. It is a holy city to the three major Abrahamic religion Judaism, Christianity and Islam, and hosts a myriad of historical, archaeological, religious and sundry other attractions.

The Old City of Jerusalem, traditionally divided into four quarters: Armenian Quarter, Christian Quarter, Muslim Quarter and Jewish Quarter. Most importantly, the Temple Mount (known in Arabic as Haram ash-sharīf, the Noble Sanctuary), site of the ancient Temple in Jerusalem with only the Western Wall at its foot remaining, and now with the Dome of the Rock and Al-Aqsa Mosque. The Mount of Olives and Kidron Valley: with its lookout point, Tomb of Absalom, and other Jewish tombs and burial grounds dating back 3000 years], and churches, Gethsemane, church of all nations, Dominus Flevit, and the Church of Maria Magdalene (Russian orthodox church). Various locations have been proposed as the Tomb of Jesus, traditionally identified as where the Church of the Holy Sepulchre stands. Nor has Golgotha, the nearby hill where he was crucified been located. Immediately south of the Jewish Quarter lies the City of David with archaeological digs including Hezekiah's Tunnel.

Tel Aviv

With 2.7 million tourist arrivals in 2011, Tel Aviv is Israel's second-largest city, and a cosmopolitan, cultural and financial global city. The city'sgreater area is the largest with 3 million inhabitants. Tel Aviv exhibits a UNESCO world heritage area of Bauhaus architecture. The nearby historical city of Jaffa is experiencing a touristic boom. In 2010, National Geographic ranked Tel Aviv as one of the world's ten best beach cities.

Tel Aviv is called the "city that never sleeps" by the locals because of its vibrant nightlife scene. Tel Aviv was named "the gay capital of the Middle East" by the Out magazine. 


Tiberias is one of the four holy cities in Judaism, overlooking the 
Saint Peter's house at Capernaum, Tabgha and the Mount of Beatitudes.


Nazareth is known as the 'Arab capital of Israel'.

Jesus's hometown and the site of many of his reported acts and miracles.

Many churches, including The Church of the Annunciation, the largest Christian church building in the Middle East. In Roman Catholic tradition, it marks the site where the Archangel Gabriel announced the future birth of Jesus to the Virgin Mary (Luke 1:26-31).

Starting point for the Jesus Trail, a network of hiking routes connecting many sites from Jesus's life and ministry.

Most visited sites

Listing Site 2008 Visitors 2012 Visitors
1 Jerusalem Biblical Zoo 687,647 752,000
2 Masada 721,915 724,000
3 Zoological Center of Tel Aviv-Ramat Gan 581,800 713,000
4 Caesarea 713,648 670,000
5 Banias 430,531 561,000
6 Ein Gedi 471,000
7 Hamat Gader 500,000 440,000
8 Yamit 2000 in Holon 412,533 431,000
9 Coral World Underwater Observatory in Eilat 458,000 423,000
10 Qumran 389,291 377,000

Foreign visitor arrivals in 2011
Top 21 (2011)

United States: 633,868 Brazil: 56,889
Russia: 491,469

Spain: 56,204
France: 300,566 Nigeria: 45,095
United Kingdom: 221,095 Switzerland: 40,912
Germany: 220,692 Romania: 40,255
Italy: 151,252 India: 38,870
Ukraine: 137,342 Belgium: 37,039
Poland: 95,958 Austria: 35,166
Canada: 76,636

Australia: 34,203
Netherlands: 63,053 Argentina: 33,538
South Korea: 32,718    
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