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Frommer's Israel

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Frommer's Israel

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Frommer's Israel, 5th Edition
By Robert Ullian
Frommer's (2009)
A Branded Imprint of Wiley Publishing, Inc.
ISBN: 978-0-470-28969-3

Reviewed by Simone Bonim - February 3, 2009

Going to Israel or interested in doing a little armchair traveling? If so, the new, fifth edition of Frommer's Israel is the perfect choice for your journey's guide. Written by Robert Ullian, this handy guide covers every aspect of your trip including planning your trip, where to eat and stay, what to see, and how to get the most value for your dollar. Throughout you'll find that the various venues, hotels, restaurants and the like are marked with notations such as inexpensive, moderate, and expansive. General prices are also given, as well as directions, telephone numbers, hours of operation, and other essential information are also provided throughout the guide.

This guidebook is divided into twelve main sections:
  1. The Best of Israel, Jordan & Sinai
  2. Israel in Depth
  3. Planning Your Trip to Israel
  4. Suggested Itineraries
  5. Settling Into Jerusalem
  6. Exploring Jerusalem
  7. Tel Aviv
  8. The Golden Coast (including Herzlia, Netanya, Caesarea, Israel's Wine Country, Akko (Acre), Nahariya, Akhziv, and Rosh Ha-Niqra)
  9. Haifa
  10. Galilee (including Nazareth & the Yizreel Valley, Tiberias, the Sea of Galilee, Safed (Zefat), the Upper Galilee & Golan Heights, and the Jordan Valley)
  11. The Dead Sea & the Negev (including Beersheva, Arad, Neve Zohar/Ein Bokek, Sodom, Qumran, Ein Gedi, Masada, Eilat, and Mount Sinai)
  12. A Side Trip to Petra (Jordan)
In addition to the main sections, this book also includes a nice selection of maps, although more would have been nice (you can never have too many maps when traveling). In addition, Ullian has included a wealth of handy tips to make your trip more enjoyable, useful telephone numbers and information on where and how to obtain the most up-to-date information for your trip. Also included are 'fast fact' sections providing a quick overview of specific areas, as well as advice and information on just about everything from people-watching to the areas history and culture. Most important, throughout the book you'll find warning boxes, alerting to you to potential problems such as the importance of not having an Israeli visa stamp stamped directly into your passport if you are planning to travel to an Arab or Muslim country in future. (In most cases, upon request, the immigration officials will put your visa stamp on a separate piece of paper that you can later remove from your passport - after you leave Israel.)

Overall, I found the fifth edition of Frommer's Israel to be extremely up-to-date, with a wide selection of restaurants and accommodation options, including hostels and guest houses. Ullian also provides a nice round-up of where to shop, what to see, and what to avoid. A short list of useful phrases has also been included. Best of all, this guidebook is small enough to carry with you with ease, and it gives you an insider's feel for the country. I highly recommend this book for all travelers to Israel, from the most extremely budgeted minded to the high flyers, as well as armchair travelers and to anyone simply interested in learning more about a vibrant and exciting country that you can learn from just reading a history book or watching a tv special.

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