Experience Tiberias


The city of Tiberias, nestled along the western shores of the famous Sea of Galilee, also known as Lake Kinneret. The city offers many exciting opportunities to experience such as watersports, hot springs, spas, hiking, holy sites, boat rides, and fantastic fish dinners on the bustling promenade. The Sea of Galilee region is a beautiful place to visit full of things to see and do with stunning scenic surroundings and fascinating ancient archeological sites. Tiberias is built around 17 natural mineral hot springs that are 600 feet below sea level.

Tiberias is one of the Four Holy Cities in Judaism. Visitors flock to the city to discover the ancient tombs of sages, the New Testament references the lake several times, where Jesus calmed the stormy sea and walked on waters. It was the largest Jewish city in the Galilee region from the time of the 2nd through the 10th centuries CE. It was the political and religious hub of the Jews in the Land of Israel.

Climb Mount Berenice in the background to take in the spectacular views and explore the fascinating ruins of the 8th century Anchor Church. Views of the stunning sparkling blue lake below are simply fantastic. The lake spans 13 miles north to south and is 141 feet deep, it is the largest freshwater lake in Israel. Tiberias is one of the four holy cities of Judaism, an extremely popular place for Christians visiting the surrounding holy sites.

A sacred sunbaked lakeside resort town decorated with beaches, hotels, verdant hillsides, and brightly colored roofs along the shoreline. Tiberias is Israel’s most popular holiday destination. Wandering along the city’s bustling promenade leads visitors to the town’s major attractions such as the Church of St. Peter built over the remains. The city dates back almost 2,000 years, founded as a Roman city between 20 CE and 44 CE, named after the emperor Tiberius.

Today the city is a place where many come to party, a favored spot for partygoers with pounding discos, party boasts, pubs, and beach bars playing techno tunes and heavy metal in the warm summer months. There are large tourist hotels, restaurants, spas, and boardwalk strolling.

Things to see and do

There are some major attractions located in and around Tiberias to explore and enjoy. First, take a stroll along what tree-shaded main street of Ha Galil Street is lined with several quaint shops and old basalt rock buildings with charming second-story balconies. Ha-Banin Street is just a block east of here, the other main street where high-rise hotels, the Midrehov, and the Pedestrian Mall are located and lead down to the bustling waterfront promenade packed with tourists, restaurants, cafes, pubs, bars, discos, and entertainment.

The Galilee Experience is a modern structure located on the Promenade featuring a 30-minute state-of-the-art multimedia show, emphasizing the life of Jesus, the rise of Christianity, and also on 20th century Zionism. There is a gift shop, a virtual mini-mall for tourists selling oils like frankincense, menorahs, and religious DVDs.

Maimonides, also known as Rambam, was highly regarded as one of the most important Jewish philosophers ever to grace the earth. He was also a Spanish physician and worked in the court of the Muslim ruler Saladin. The revered Rabbi died in 1204 and was interred in Tiberias, the tomb of Maimonides can be visited in the city, a very important pilgrimage site that was renovated and now features a roof to keep visitors shaded from the sun. The rabbi is buried next to Rabbi Yohanan Ben Zakkai, the Holy Land’s most eminent sage at the time of the Roman destruction of Jerusalem.

The city of Tiberias is home to several other important tombs in various stages of neglect, the city is filled with strong pilgrimage traditions that developed over the centuries. The tomb of the Matriarchs is a marble structure found next to a modern apartment building and believed to be the final resting place of a number of biblical women, including Jacob’s third and fourth wives. The tombs are open on Sunday through Thursday from 8:00 am until 4:00 pm, and on Fridays from 8:00 am until 2:00 pm.

Visit the Turkish Citadel set on the highest point in the old town, now home to an art gallery. The remains of the 12th-century crusader fortress were discovered by archeologists and were named the Crusader Castle of Tiberias, where Princess Eschiva the wife of Raymon III Galilee’s leader and Crusader knights stayed before Saladin and his forces captured the kingdom of Jerusalem.

The Church and Monastery of the Apostles is a Greek Orthodox complex found in the city, on the site of a Byzantine monastery that was destroyed during the 7th century by the Persians. The complex has been rebuilt numerous times and the building today dates from the late 19th century, three monks live there and will admit visitors who ring the bell. The complex features four chapels and a pleasant walled courtyard, one of the chapels is dedicated to St Peter, one to the disciples, and one to Mary Magdalene.

Tiberias has long been famed as a spa center since the Roman period, filled with hot springs less than 1.24 miles south of the city. The natural springs and hot pools are the perfect place to relax and unwind and soothe those aches and pains with mineral-rich waters that are great for the body.

Hammat Tiberias Springs was famous back in 110AD when Emperor Trajan had a coin struck dedicated to the springs with images of Hygeia, the goddess of health. She was shown sitting on a rock, enjoying the water, Rambam, the Jewish sage, also recommended the springs to his patients. The town of Hammat boasts the hottest mineral springs in the country reaching temperatures of 140F degrees. The springs and spa are a popular attraction to soak and soothe your body and mind, there is an indoor bath for the wintertime and outdoors to enjoy in the summer. Both pools feature jets, there is a semi-Olympic-sized freshwater swimming pool for laps as well as saunas, a spa, fitness club, and two dining options.

Hamath Tiberias National Park has a long history dating back over 2,000 years, it was originally the hot springs of Hammat Tiberias during Roman times. The park now features a small museum which is housed in part of the original Turkish bathhouse, the ancient Severus Synagogue here dates to 230 CE and features one of the best-preserved ancient synagogue mosaic floors in the world. The zodiac floor mosaic is spectacular featuring an unusual mixture of Jewish and pagan symbols with nude human figures, and the depiction of Helios the sun god, surrounded by the signs of the zodiac.

Rent a bike and cycle around Kinneret Lake, this can be a fun full-day activity for the entire family. The entire circuit is 34 miles and there are many beautiful spots to stop along the way and check out different sites. Bring a picnic and find a shaded place to enjoy some lunch, take a dip in the lake to cool off, and continue your ride around the spectacular lake with stunning scenic views.

Aqua Kef is the first floating water park in the country located near the Gai Beach Hotel right on the Sea of Galilee. This park opened in 2016 and is dedicated to kids age six and up and there is also an area for small children. The park is divided into three sections; a family level, a challenger level, and the Olympic area. There are seven water slides, a pool and chairs for lounging, and plenty of food and entertainment to keep the whole family entertained.


Shopping options in the city of Tiberias include the open-air shopping center Big Tiberias, which is the largest traditional shopping mall in the city covering a large area of land. A popular center for the entire family offering a varied and broad mix of 35 stores that include international fashion brands, one of the largest supermarkets, housewares, restaurants, and cafes in a vibrant atmosphere. The center is located in a central strategic junction (Poria Junction) at the main entrance to the city.

There is a famous fish market in the city where visitors can head out early to see dozens of fishing boats heading in from the lake just after dawn and unloading their fresh catch of the day. The Shuk marketplace is where the fresh catch is taken, and close to the market is a popular falafel area.

Galilee is a special place for shopping with all kinds of unique items on sale such as woven carpets, unique souvenirs, specialty gifts, jewelry, crafts, antiques, and more.

The Caprice Diamond and Jewelry Shop in Tiberias is one of the most advanced shops in manufacturing gold and diamond jewelry. The stones are imported from various parts of the world, then handcrafted and polished here to make exquisite fine jewelry. The shop sells beautiful bangles, anklets, wedding rings, earrings, and bracelets. The Tiberias Flea Market is a large open market held on teh weekends in the city, a good place to purchase local crafts, antiques, and vintage clothing in a vibrant, interesting atmosphere.

Food and Nightlife

There are some great restaurants to choose from in Tiberias, many of them have prime waterfront locations and sit along the bustling promenade. The specialty in Tiberias is Saint Peter’s fish, which is the so-called fish that swam in the Sea of Galilee when Jesus called Peter away from his nets to become a “fisher of men”. The white fish is similar to bass and can be found at the restaurants along the Waterfront Promenade.

The countryside surrounding Tiberias also offers some delightful restaurants to choose from with great menu items and a scenic setting. Ha Galil and Ha-Banim streets are other locations where you will find a string of tourist-oriented restaurants, at the north end of Ha Galil Street and Ha-Yarden Street next to Shimon Park, which are considered “Falafel Row”. This is the place for some of the best falafel and shawarma in the city with a great variety of salads and pita.

Avi’s Restaurant is famous in the city, well known for its delicious fresh fish from the Sea of Galilee and its delicious mouthwatering meats.

Decks Restaurant serves delicious barbeque and boats a wonderful waterfront location.

Nof Kinneret, Galei Gil, and the Roast of Fire are waterfront restaurants run by the same management offering the same menus and delicious food. They all feature indoor and outdoor seating and some delicious food including fish cooked in a variety of ways, salads, fries, and pita bread.

There are many opportunities for fun after dark during the summertime with many performances held at the Bet Gabriel Amphitheater and the majestic Sherover Promenade. The hotels in Tiberias often host many folklore events and have nice bars and pubs for drinks, dancing, and entertainment. There are some great pubs, bars, restaurants, and cafes that are a great location at night for a quiet drink offering live music, many can be found along the Leonardo Plaza and the Jordan River, many have terraces.

History and Culture

Tiberias is a beautiful ancient city nestled on the shores of Lake Kinneret or the Sea of Galilee with around 42,000 inhabitants. The lake or sea is the main water source and largest freshwater lake in Israel with a history that goes way back, Tiberias was founded somewhere between 20 CE and 44 CE, named for the emperor Tiberias. Many of Jesus’ miracles occurred here according to the New Testament, including his walk on the water, one of the holiest cities in Israel, it became the center of Jewish scholarship in Israel, and home to the Masoretes who recorded definitive text, vowels, and pronunciation of the Bible, still used to this day.

Tiberias is a thriving recreation spa built around 17 natural mineral hot springs welcoming visitors from every part of the ancient world. The city plays an important role in Jewish History, part of the land bequeathed to Naphtali (Joshua 19:35) and The Sanhedrin relocated to Tiberias from Sepphoris, it was an important spiritual center. Maimonides the great Jewish sage was buried here in 1204, his tomb is found on Zakkai Street just a short distance from the center of town.

The Crusaders captured the city and made it the capital of Galilee, Saladin overtook the city for the Muslim Empire in 1197 and the city suffered a decline until revived by the Ottoman Turks. The city suffered devastation from an earthquake in 1837 and early Zionist pioneers established some of Israel’s first kibbutzim at the turn of the century.