Beer Sheva is the perfect haven for those who want to take in all that Israel has to offer but stay "off the beaten path". There's more here than just the remains of an Ottoman Empire stronghold or significant Biblical landmarks. There's a way of life and a culture that's just waiting to be explored.
With its pleasant weather, historic architecture, and easy-to-navigate roadways, there's nothing better than grabbing a bike and spending the whole day cycling around.
What's a true oasis in the desert in the modern day? Spa Neve Midbar. Make sure to book in advance and take full advantage of the romantic setting, along with the intense hot spring waters.
Because Beer Sheva is not as "crowded" as Tel Aviv or Haifa, there's a focus on local cuisine and truly authentic Israeli dishes. Eat your way through the city and skip the high prices.
Nightlife in Beer Sheva is underground and full of students and intellectuals who like to dance as hard as anyone. Check out Baraka Club.
Declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site, this must-see spot allows visitors to witness how people lived in Biblical times.
The best time to visit the region in general and Beer Sheva specifically is the winter months, from January to around March. Once April hits, the temperatures rise to 80 and keep climbing, along with the humidity.
You'll land in Tel Aviv's Ben Gurion Airport (TLV), if you're flying internationally. From here, use the bus or train to get to Beer Sheva.
To get to Beer Sheva from cities like Haifa or Tel Aviv, use Israel Railways and book online. Prices for a direct trip from Tel Aviv to Beer Sheva start at ₪30.
If you're driving from Tel Aviv, use the Yitzhak Rabin Hwy/Route 6 to go south to Beer Sheva. To get from Jerusalem to Beer Sheva, start by taking Route 1 and then transfer on to Route 431, eventually getting on the Yitzhak Rabin Hwy/Route 6.
Coming in from Tel Aviv, take the 370 from Tel Aviv Central Bus Station. It costs ₪16.50. Getting in from Jerusalem, take the 470 for ₪30.
If you have room to splurge, book a suite at the Mashabim Holiday Village. The Desert Inn is a good option if you're looking to stay in a mid-range hotel. Backpackers will enjoy how affordable and yet comfortable the Beit Yatziv Youth Hostel is.
Alef - located north of the Old City, Alef is so called because it was the first neighborhood to be built after Israeli independence. It's mainly residential, with quite a few apartment blocks and townhouse rows.
Gimmel - located northeast of Old City and built in the 1950s, this is where the Ben-Gurion University of the Negev is. Expect to find a large student population, lots of little eateries, and university dorms.
Old City - the unofficial downtown and the official historical center of Beer Sheva, Old City, as it's translated, is the original Ottoman conception of the stronghold of Beer Sheva. As such, it has a whole range of beautiful 19th-century buildings, is the commercial center of the city, and home to its main transportation hubs and terminals.
Beer Sheva has an informal but regular public transit bus system. It costs ₪4.30 for a one-way adult ticket and ₪200 for a monthly pass.
Taxis in Beer Sheva can get pricey. The flat rate is ₪25 and it's ₪2.40 per mile thereafter. Expect to pay about ₪30 - ₪40 to get around.
Hire a car from companies like Sixt and Budget. Daily fares vary based on provider but average ₪50 a day for a standard, 4-door compact car.
Mall-goers will love the BIG Shopping Center, which is an open-air shopping center, similar to the outlets or "power centers" in North America.
A quart of milk costs ₪5.73 in Beer Sheva and a dozen eggs will run you ₪11.62.
Head to Cafe Lola to chow down on a classic Israeli breakfast of homemade bread, smoked salmon, and fresh juice. If you come by in the evening, expect tapas-style snacks or shakes with an Israeli twist, like a blend of dates, candied pecans, and coconut milk. Two can dine for ₪65 - ₪85.