A cultural and spiritual center, Israel is a gem in the desert with its historical sites and Mediterranean beaches. With the arts and culture thriving in its larger cities, Israel has become a major center of influence for centuries. Find the best of the cities of Israel with Dan Hotels!
Cities of Israel
The second-largest city in Israel, Tel Aviv is a gleaming white metropolis filled with polyglot residents. The locals enjoy good quality coffee, fantastic food, and beautiful art in their cafes and galleries. Settled on the Mediterranean coast, the residents love the outdoors (and with good reason), with warm and balmy beaches only a short walk away. Locals play paddle ball on the beach, or just frolic in the warm waters of the Mediterranean.
One of the most stunning sights in the city is the White City, a collection of over 4,000 Bauhaus style white buildings congregating together. Construction on the city began in the 1930s by German-Jewish architects, and together they created the largest collection of Bauhaus style buildings in the world. The city of Tel Aviv has passed legislation that will continue to protect and preserve around 1,000 of the buildings, with another 1,500 scheduled to be restored and preserved. White City was declared an UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2004, and has become a treasured destination for visitors to Israel.
One of the most fashionable areas in Tel Aviv is the neighborhood of Neve Tzedek, located in southwestern Tel Aviv. The first neighborhood built in the “new” city of Tel Aviv in 1887, Neve Tzedek has been home to influential Israeli artists and writers. After a long period of neglect, the neighborhood began to reclaim its former glory in the 1980s, resulting in a vibrant bohemian neighborhood, filled with galleries, cafes, and upscale shopping.
Once a German Templar agricultural colony, Sarona is now a thriving central business district. The original buildings from its founding, some as old as 140 years, have been painstakingly preserved to honor the heritage of Sarona. Today Sarona is one of Tel Aviv’s hottest neighborhoods, with boutiques, restaurants, and bars.
The former biggest port in Israel, the City of Jaffa is a renovated district in Tel Aviv. Jaffa was also the main settlement of many different occupying armies, including the Turks, British, Arabs, and Jews. In Jaffa is St. Peter’s Catholic Church, a Franciscan church built in the 19th century that was said to have been occupied by Napoleon at one point during his campaign across Europe. Jaffa also has the Wishing Bridge, which legend says that if you touch your zodiac sign and face the sea, then your wish will come true.
A city of prophets and kings, Jerusalem is known as “The City of Gold” in Hebrew and a significant site in three separate religions. The city is divided into districts, including the Old City and its ancient walls, which are a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The city is divided into four quarters: the Jewish Quarter, the Muslim Quarter, the Armenian Quarter, and the Christian Quarter. Each of the Quarters has significant historical and architectural sites, including cathedrals, mosques, synagogues, and citadels. The three Abrahamic religions, Christianty, Judaism, and Islam all have pilgrimage sites here within walking distance of each other, including the El Aqsa Mosque, the Western Wall, and the Church of the Holy Sepulcher. The city is shrouded in human history that also transcends religion, its walls the survivors of ancient battles, sieges, and the natural erosion of time.
Originally the palace for Herod the Great, King David’s Citadel has undergone many different occupants and renovations, including the Romans, Crusaders, Mamluks, and Ottomans. It is believed that here is where Pontius Pilate sentenced Jesus to death. The Citadel got its name from the Byzantines, who mistook the ruins after attacks by Jewish rebels as Mount Zion, the burial place of King David. Today it houses the Museum of the History of Jerusalem which tells the story of the city of Jerusalem starting from 2,000 BCE until the end of World War II. An audioguide is available on the website for you to download before you arrive. Twice a night in the internal courtyard is the Night Spectacular, a 45-minute sound and light show depicting the history of Jerusalem.
“You have to know the past to understand the present.” This quote by Carl Sagan is the heart of the Yad VaShem Holocaust Memorial, to educate future generations so past mistakes are not repeated. A visit to the museum is one of the most poignant and moving experiences for visitors, memorializing the six million Jews who died during War World II. The shape of the museum, a triangle, represents the bottom half of the Star of David; this signifies the extent of the destruction, which was so great that the worldwide population of Jews cut almost in half. The Hall of Names memorializes those and their families whose names will never be known and have no one left to say the the memorial prayer. In the Hall of Remembrance, an eternal flame burns next to a crypt with ashes from the victims of the concentration camps, along with one of the cattle cars used to transport victims to the camps, and a memorial to the non-Jews who risked everything to help the persecuted during the War. One of the most moving exhibits is the Children’s Memorial, dedicated to the 1.5 million children who were killed by the Nazis.
Celebrating its 50th year, the Israel Museum was established in 1965 and built in the Givat Ram neighborhood in Jerusalem. The Museum features an Archeology Wing, a shrine housing the Dead Sea Scrolls, a Fine Arts Wing, an Art Garden, and various historical and artistic exhibits. One of the most fascinating areas is the Youth Wing, created in 1966 and educating over 100,000 schoolchildren each year. This wing features galleries, a library of illustrated children’s books, a recycling room, classrooms, and art studios. The Museum sees over 827,000 visitors each year.
Considered to be one of Israel’s most beautiful cities, Haifa is full of picturesque urban landscapes. The city was intended to be a major port and transport hub to Jordan and Iraq. Haifa, like Tel Aviv, also sports beautiful beaches with bustling boardwalks and cafes. The city is also full of museums, galleries, and gardens, making it a top spot for leisurely exploration. Haifa is home to Christians, Jews, Muslims, and other communities that peacefully coexist
On the northern slope of Mt. Carmel, the Baha’i Gardens are also known as the Hanging Gardens of Haifa. These garden terraces surround the domed Shrine of the Báb, a holy pilgrimage site for those of the Baha’i faith. The gardens were constructed over a period of 13 years, from 1987 to 2001, by an Iranian architect named Fariborz Sahba. The Shrine of the Báb is the tomb for the Báb, who was executed in Persia in 1850 and was moved into the shrine in 1909. The 19 terraces are all perfectly constructed with a Classical feel to them, and include fountains, pools, flowers, and sculptures. Men and women visiting the Gardens will need to wear a scarf over their shoulders and keep their knees covered.
The King David Hotel Jerusalem, one of the world’s legendary hotels, is a major landmark in a unique city. Blending the past and old world refinement, the King David Hotel is unquestionably the most famous of all Jerusalem hotels. Superbly located on an elevated site, the King David Hotel Jerusalem offers incomparable views of the walls, minarets and domes of the Old City.
The Dan Tel Aviv Hotel reflects Tel Aviv’s dynamic lifestyle. The first luxury Tel Aviv hotel in Israel’s first Jewish city, the Dan Tel Aviv has always been a prime venue for statesmen, politicians and artists who gathered here from the earliest years of the State of Israel.
As the first exclusive hotel in the City of Haifa, The Dan Carmel’s perfectly placed mountain top location allows for panoramic views over the Mediterranean Sea and a breathtaking backdrop. Overlooking Haifa Bay, and the Galil & Golan Landscape, the sheer magnificence is simply heart-stopping.
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