Travelling alone to Palestine (West Bank)

Travelling alone to Palestine (West Bank): There are stereotypes in the minds of many people of the world about travelling, especially alone, to Palestine.  While these concerns may be based on actual experiences, they are the exception and not the rule.  Most people around the world know very little about the Palestinian people or even the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and their knowledge is more or less limited to extreme cases that make international headlines.

Security is a concern in Palestine, and can in certain cases make travelling here difficult.  While arriving to and moving around the Palestinian territories, you will undoubtedly encounter Israeli checkpoints.  For most, especially Western, visitors, these are often superficial inspections.  Having said that, it is always advised to keep your passport and Israeli-issued entry document with you will moving throughout the area.  If you are heading through checkpoints on foot, especially near religious or historic landmarks of Jewish importance, the soldiers may ask you about you religion to ensure you are not muslim.

The ubiquitous Israeli presence throughout the territories does raise tensions.  This can lead to Palestinian strikes, demonstrations, and checkpoint closures.  These limitations will inhibit your movement, but will probably not altogether leave you stranded.  

Transportation in Palestine throughout the area is relatively easy for even the mildly experienced traveller.  Having a basic or better grasp on the Arabic language will help you get around, but most Palestinians have at least a introductory grasp of English.  Taxis and buses are cheap, however, some drivers may try to gouge prices for visiting foreigners.  Using the small buses to travel between the Palestinian cities should cost you somewhere around 20-30 shekel, while most taxi rides throughout the city usually cost around 2.50 shekel per person.  Walking through the cities can be an easy way to get around.  Just be aware that some streets may only be labelled at major intersections and roundabouts.  Using a GPS or something like google maps can be helpful, but they may not be able to provide accurate directions in some places of Palestine.

Many foreigners in Palestine will experience an advantageous exchange rate from their home currency to shekel and ATMs can be found throughout the streets and at shopping centers.  Some foreign banks, especially smaller or specialized ones, may not have agreements with the local banks that provide ATMs throughout the Palestinian territories.  If you use one of these banks back home, it may be worthwhile to use only larger international banks as your debit card may be declined outright.  Otherwise you could always bring money to exchange, withdraw money from an Israeli bank’s ATM before entering Palestine, or find an International Arab bank that services Palestine.

Travelling alone to Palestine (West Bank) is relatively easy, you can meet many people, Palestinians and internationals at the Excellence Center and in Palestine and of course you will discover yourself and have a completely travel experiences 

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