Going to the West Bank is easy!

Ramallah: Travelling from Tel Aviv or Jerusalem to Ramallah is simple. Only 20 minutes north of Jerusalem and an hour from Tel Aviv, Ramallah is the center of Palestine's tech activity.

The city is also a showcase of Palestine life, with a vibrant arts and culture scene, impeccable restaurants, bustling streets. Visiting Ramallah will also provide the opportunity to meet young Palestinians in the tech scene and see a small glimpse of the life Palestinians lead everyday, where you'll have to pass through a checkpoint and drive along the Separation Wall.

Bethlehem: The historic Biblical city is 20 minutes south of Jerusalem and easily accessible. You can visit the Church of the Nativity at any time of year, with special events between Christmas season in mid-December till Orthodox Christmas in mid-January.

Bethlehem has also become a destination for street artists, including 9 works by Banksy located in the city and along the Separation Wall and is home to Banky's "Walled Off Hotel."

Nablus, Hebron, and Jericho: See the Lonely Planet guide to the West Bank, which has details on exploring each of these historic cities.

Tip: Check out This Week in Palestine to stay up to date on events

 


Tech in Ramallah

Young startups, software development houses, along with a growing population of engineers, designers, and investors are the cornerstones of Ramallah's growing tech scene. 

Ramallah has also come to host a series of tech-educational programs - bootcamps and the like - including programs through Udacity and Code.org.

In the past few years, a number of Stanford CS and d.School students, along with engineers and designers from some of Silicon Valley's leading companies (Google, Facebook, WhatsApp, Dropbox, and others) have come to Palestine to teach students through various programs sponsored by the PalTel Group Foundation.

If you're interested in mentoring or participating in an educational program over the summer, see our page on getting involved.


 

 

West Bank Itineraries

Day-trip: Ramallah

Pre-planned: If you're visiting Tel Aviv or Jerusalem, plan a day trip to Ramallah - you can arrange a visit to a local startup, incubator, or co-working space - and get a feel for the daily life of Palestinians. Learn more.

Impromptu: If you can't pre-arrange a trip, you can still visit Ramallah on the fly: Entering and exiting through the Qalandiya checkpoint (see FAQ) and making your way into the city for a meal or short tour promises to be a unique and educational experience. 

Many professionals visiting Tel Aviv for work purposes have chosen this option in order to get a glimpse of life in Palestine, and plan longer stays in the future.

Tip: See our Logistics page for details on taxis, buses, and other things you need to know for a trip to Ramallah!

2-3 Days: Ramallah & Bethlehem

Spend a night in Ramallah and take the opportunity to potentially mentor or participate in a tech-related program. Enjoy Ramallah's museums, nightlife, and restaurants - you'll find Palestinians to be incredibly hospitable hosts.

Grab a taxi to Bir Zeit, a village near Ramallah that's home to a university and The Palestinian Museum.

Tip: Grab breakfast or brunch at the Falafel Republic, a made-to-order home-style kitchen tucked away in the Old City - highly recommended.

Add an additional day in Bethlehem, the historic Biblical city where you can take an organized tour of one of the world's most fascinating cities.

Tip: Take a break for lunch or dinner at Hosh Yasmine, an organic farm-to-table restaurant with a view overlooking the hills of the West Bank. Learn more about their story on Vice.

5 Days: Experience Palestine

With a full week, you have the opportunity to see much of what the West Bank has to offer. We recommend Ramallah as a base, with the option of spending 1-2 nights in Bethlehem or Jericho.

Take two full days to explore Ramallah and connect with the tech sector there (see more). From there, you can make a day trip to the historic city of Nablus and head out to Jericho and the Dead Sea.

Tip: Visit Banksy's Walled-Off Hotel in Bethlehem while it's still operational, along with the museum.

If you plan to spend 1-2 nights in Bethlehem, you can take a day-trip to Hebron, which is home to the Tomb of the Patriarchs, one of many UNESCO World Heritage Sites located in the West Bank.

Tip: Try Green Olive Tours or for an Israeli perspective on the political situation, you can arrange a tour with Breaking the Silence.

 

Gallery: The tech scene in Ramallah

Left to right: Startup Weekend in Ramallah; Stripe CEO Patrick Collison in Ramallah with Saed Nashef, GP at Sadara Ventures, hosting a fireside chat with the startup community; A Stanford student instructs high school students at Code for PalestineYamsafer's offices, one of Ramallah's fastest growing startups.