Hebrew Essentials for Your Next Vacation

2 min read
Abigail Zamir, Citizen Café Hebrew teacher
Abigail Zamir, Citizen Café Hebrew teacher

For some people the perfect vacation must include a beautiful beach, warm temperatures, a book and perhaps a Piña colada. For others it’s shopping, enjoying urban architecture, visiting a museum and eating in fancy restaurants. Let’s explore both options and dream about our next holiday, with a pinch of Hebrew!

The ultimate vacation

It’s a known fact that Israelis love a good vacation חופשה (choof-shah), and that the most popular and crowded place in Israel is our airportנתב”ג (The Ben Gurion International Airport). When it comes to enjoying your week off from work, there’s only two types of people in this world (as Britney Spears says): one likes to lay by the pool בריכה (breh-chah) with a gin and tonic, while the other prefers to visit a museum, then go to a restaurant מסעדה (mees-ah-dah), then hop to a theater show – all in one day. For both it’s the ultimate vacation, but one likes to plan לתכנן (leh-tach-nehn) weeks in advance, and the other likes to go with the flow לזרום (leez-rohm).

Two types of travelers

If you are the laid back type, you probably booked your vacation spontaneously and will only need these essential items: a bathing suit בגד ים (beh-gehd yahm), sunscreen, sunglasses משקפי שמש (meesh-kah-feh-yee sheh-mehsh) and your wallet basically. You are the kind of person who loves walking on the beach חוף (chohf), drinking a milkshake once a day, and reading a good book ספר (seh-fehr). If you’re staying at a hostel or a hotel, it could be a great opportunity הזדמנות (heez-dahm-noot) to meet new people: exchange recommendations for restaurants and attractions nearby, and perhaps even go on a boat tour together. This vacation has a special name in Hebrew: בטן-גב (beh-tehn gahv) which literally means “stomach-back”, because you basically turn over from your stomach to your back under the sun, all day long!

If you are the planned type and traveling to the big city, you probably mapped out all the best restaurants and cafes בתי קפה (bah-tehy kah-feh) weeks in advance, and picked an airbnb in the coolest neighborhood. You bought tickets to the new exhibition in the most popular museum מוזיאון (moo-zeh-ohn) and memorized the small streets רחובות (reh-choh-voht) that have the best shops. Make sure you leave some time to wander around aimlessly – from my experience that’s the way to discover the best places and you’ll always be surprised by something. Your essential items are naturally the “lonely planet” traveling guide, a pair of good walking shoes נעליים (nah-ah-lah-yeem), a camera מצלמה (mahts-leh-mah) and all the “just in case”s: an umbrella in case it rains, summer clothes in case it’s hot, 15 pairs of socks “just in case”… you get the picture ?. Everywhere you go, always take the weather מזג אוויר (meh-zehg ah-veer) with you!

Feel like renewing your Hebrew vocabulary before your next vacation? Start by booking yourself a free online intro session and level assessment with one of our teachers to discover our unique Hebrew teaching method!




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