Visiting Israel during Shauvot
February 6, 2019 4:27 AM   Subscribe

I’ll be in Israel during Shauvot this June and am wondering whether there’s anything special I might need to know about visiting at this time.

A bit more info about my trip that might help with recommendations:

- I’ll be in Israel from the morning of Sunday June 2nd to the morning of Tuesday June 11th. Shauvot is from sunset on Saturday June 8th to sunset on Monday June 10th.

- I’m planning on staying Jerusalem from Sunday to Wednesday to see the Old City and the museums, and then staying in Tel Aviv for the rest of my trip, with daytrips to Haifa, Caesarea and Akko. Would this work? Should I consider staying elsewhere?

- Does Shauvot have an effect on shop/restaurant opening times, traffic, museum hours, etc.? Or is it more of an observance than a holiday, a bit like Flag Day in the US?

- I’d love some out-of-town nature/desert/countryside/beach time that is transit-doable - but how do trains/buses work on holidays? Should I rent a car during the holiday?

Thanks! (Also: are there unmissable Shauvot-only snacks? Do tell!)
posted by mdonley to Travel & Transportation around Israel (1 answer total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Shavuot is a yom tov (a major holiday), so most buses won't run and any other services that are closed on Saturdays will also be closed. The good news is, in Israel it's only a 1-day holiday, so it will only be going on till after sundown on Sunday. Museums will likely be closed, but Muslim and Christian sites (like the Church of the Holy Sepulchre) will be open. Shops and restaurants vary - Jerusalem will be more shut down than Tel Aviv where more of the population is secular. If you're staying at a hotel, they make some sort of arrangements for meals in advance.

It looks like your schedule should work - being in Tel Aviv over the holiday will give you a lot more options on things to do than being in Jerusalem. You definitely want to rent a car if you foresee traveling on the holiday and/or on the Saturdays.

As far as Shavuot snacks go, that's the holiday where a lot of Jews traditionally eat dairy meals - so cheesecake, blintzes, and a lot of fruit-based dishes since it's also a harvest holiday.
posted by Mchelly at 6:36 AM on February 6, 2019

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