Showcasing the things that make Palestine a unique and inspiring destination
Frequently Asked Questions
This section provides more information for common questions relating to travelling to Palestine. This list is by no means exhaustive and I encourage everyone who wants to visit to do their own research to ensure you are comfortable with everything.
Please note that it is possible to be very safe while in the region - provided certain precautions are taken. The FAQ will deal with some of the questions.
This page needs some updating but in the meantime you can read this article for an excellent overview of FAQs for Palestinians.
There are essentially two ways to get to Palestine. Via Israel (Ben Gurion Airport in Tel-Aviv), or via Jordan (Allenby Bridge).
Flying into Ben Gurion near Tel-Aviv is the easiest option. This airport is serviced by many international airlines. From the airport, you can take publich transport or a taxi directly to Ramallah. A taxi will take around 45 minutes to get to Ramallah and costs $100. This is currently the best option as the public transport option involves passing by Damascus Gate in Jerusalem, where tensions are showing!
2. The Allenby / King Hussein bridge between Jordan and Jericho is also an option. This is probably the best option if you would like to see Petra on your trip as well. The process of crossing this border is not for the faint hearted. Please research this online.
Q. Do I need a visa?
Israel will issue a visa on arrival - the visa is typically valid for 90 days. There is no need to do anything before your arrival.
The visa will cover you for Palestine as well - there is no separate visa for Palestine.
Q. What is a Checkpoint and what should I expect?
Israel regulates all entry/exit points to the West Bank, and although passing through a checkpoint can be daunting, it is a really important part in understanding the dynamics of the situation.
Most checkpoints resemble border controls that we used to see in Europe in the 90s - they are manned with border policy, but you are rarely stopped - especially on your way into the West Bank.
Qalandia checkpoint, near Jerusalem, is the most fequently used checkpoint for travel in and out of the West Bank. For foreigners the proess is easy and straightforward. Just stay in your vehicle, whether it be a taxi or bus. You will not be stopped. Getting back into Israel via Qalandia, you also stay in your vehicle. But you will have to show your passport and Israeli entry visa. This process can take a while, depending on the time and day.
Q. I'm concerned about safety, what are your top tips?
Safety can be an issue for some travellers, but taking just a few precautions can make the area much much safer:
- Take taxis and avoid public transport in Israel.
- Avoid Damascus Gate in Jerusalem as well as Hebron.
- Do not wear very 'hippy, flowery, flowing' skirts and tops (for girls) as this can make you look like a settler. Try to look a little like a tourist.
- Avoid Jersalem on a Friday, where muslim prayer time can be a source of tension.
- keep up to date with news.
- talk to people, they will know when it is not safe to visit a certain place.
Q. After all of this, why bother going???
A natural response to the ongoing safety concerns here is "Why bother going???".
My answer to this is that it is completely worth the hassle - Palestine is a fascinating country and the Palestinians are beautiful, warm people. Visitors are made to feel very welcome, and there is a lot to see and do.
I believe it is part of being human, and experiencing a broader spectrum of perspectives and people, which makes visiting Palestine so unique. It is certainly not a 'relaxing' holiday by the beach with a good book, but everyone will be rewarded for their efforts to visit and to gain a better understanding of one of the central conflicts of our time.