L’chaim: It’s how to say “cheers” in Hebrew.
Masada: This desert fortress was the scene of the tragic last resistance of the Zealots, an ancient Jewish sect, to the Romans in 73 A.D. You can still see the ramparts that the Romans built as part of their siege of Masada, and many other evocative ruins as well. Reach the 1,300-foot peak by hiking up the Snake Path or by cable car.
Nazareth: Nazareth is a city in northern Israel that has been a site for human settlement for thousands of years, but it is mostly famous for one thing: according to the New Testament, it was the childhood home of Jesus Christ. It should be more famous for its amazing Arab-Israeli restaurants: Chow down!
Opera: Catch one, if you must, at the Tel Aviv Performing Arts Center. But don’t waste your money on an opera at Masada. Those shows are strictly for tourists.
Palestinian areas: Not all of them are as inaccessible as you might think. Bethlehem can be easily visited on organized day trips from Jerusalem.
Qumran: On the western shore of the Dead Sea, this is where the Dead Sea Scrolls were discovered. At 1,360 feet below sea level, the Dead Sea is the lowest point on earth. Its water is about ten times saltier than the ocean's, giving it a buoyancy that makes you float.
Rockefeller Museum: Who new there was a Rockefeller Museum in Jerusalem?
St. John the Baptist: If you want to walk on the land where John the Baptist was born, you can do it in the Holy Land. Head to the village of Ein Kerem, on a wooded slope on the western outskirts of Jerusalem.
Tel Aviv is to Israel what New York City is to the United States: its commercial heart and cultural center. The fact that it was founded in 1909 makes it ridiculously young in a part of the world where many cities began not just centuries, but millennia ago. In contrast to Tel Aviv's teeming modernity, the old city of Jaffa (Yafo) traces its roots to biblical times and possibly even before.
UV light: The sunlight in Israel is among the strongest in the world, so don’t forget to cover up.
Vicky Cristina: Great al fresco tapas bar located in a leafy courtyard at the HaTachana marketplace in Tel Aviv. Stays open til the wee hours.
Western Wall: The Western Wall, also known as the Wailing Wall, is one of Judaism's most holy sites and forms part of the western flank of the holy site of the Temple Mount. The wall is the imposing remnant of Jerusalem's Second Temple, which the Romans destroyed in 70 CE. According to Jewish tradition, despite the temple's destruction, the divine presence never left. While the wall itself stands as an impressive archaeological record from the time of King Herod, the hush that envelops the plaza in front of it as Jews approach the base of the wall to pray is also captivating.
Xanadu: After a semi-drunken night on the town in Tel Aviv, you could be forgiven for fantasizing that you co-starred opposite Olivia Newton-John in 1980's most disappointing yet oddly satisfying romantic comedy.
Yad Vashem in Jerusalem is the largest Holocaust museum and memorial in the world. It was established in 1953, but the more recent Holocaust History Museum (part of the same complex), designed by architect Moshe Safdie, opened in 2005. There are numerous exhibition halls within its dramatic central triangular structure.
Zedekiah’s Cave extends some 650 feet under the Old City of Jerusalem, and could have been part of the route that King Zedekiah took in his flight from the Babylonians. Also known as Solomon’s quarry. Find it on Sultan Suleiman Road (between Damascus Gate and Herod’s Gate).