Israel’s calendar is so jam-packed with events and festivals that it’s hard to narrow them down. No matter where you are in the country and when you visit, we guarantee there will be something unforgettable going on that you shouldn’t miss.
To get you started, here’s five annual events we recommend attending.
The International Arts and Crafts Fair – Jerusalem
For over 40 years, Jerusalem has held the International Arts and Crafts Fair at the Khutsot Hayotser Arts and Crafts Center – located just outside of the Old City Walls.
Israeli artisans showcase weaving, textiles, Judaica and ceramics (among many other crafts). They are joined by international craftspeople from all over the world, including Turkmenistan, Madagascar, Cameroon and Bolivia.
The entrance ticket also includes a nightly performance from some of Israel’s biggest musical stars making this a feast for the eyes and the ears.
Next: August 2023
Midburn – Desert
Nevada may have the Burning Man festival, but Israel has its own version: Midburn. This five-day event takes place in the Negev desert (yes, it’s hot; very hot – average temperature of 32 degrees) and dusty. Described as “more of a metropolis than a festival,” this is a little bit of America brought over to Israel and reveals a very different side to Israel.
Next: Date still to be announced.
Safed Klezmer Festival
For three decades, the narrow, winding streets of the northern town of Safed have thrilled to the sound of klezmer – the musical tradition of the Ashkenazi Jews of Eastern Europe.
For three nights each year, musical performances take place in the Jewish and Artist Quarters of this ancient city. Best of all, all the performances are free of charge!
Next: August 2023
Red Sea Jazz Festival – Eilat
Get your groove on at the Red Sea Jazz Festival in the Southern Israeli city of Eilat. Showcasing local Israeli music and international sounds, this is one hot ticket on the world music scene.
Take advantage of this beach-side city during the day and enjoy the music late into the night. Held twice a year, you can either sizzle in the summer or enjoy some winter sun. Either way, the music is the main attraction.
Next: November 2022
Tel Aviv White Night
While Tel Aviv is renowned as a real party city, where nothing happens until long after dark, once a year, during the Tel Aviv White Night (Laila Lavan) event, the whole city keeps going until dawn.
Each year, the gathering gets bigger and more creative with exhibitions, performances, instillations and events taking place across the whole city. Restaurants and bars get in on the act and even shops are open way past normal allowing you to shop, drink, eat and groove and thrill the night away.
Next: June 29 2023