Yigal Allon Promenade
Most of Tiberias’ sights are along the boardwalk (of sorts) that runs along the lakefront. Parts are tacky, faded and/or for rent, and the area can feel forlorn in winter. But the views of the Sea of Galilee and the Golan never get old.
Tombs of Jewish Sages
Many of Tiberias' Jewish visitors are drawn to the city at least partly by the desire to pray – and ask for divine intercession – at grave markers believed to belong to some of Judaism's most eminent sages. If you were assembling an all-star team of the most influential Jewish thinkers of all time, these four rabbis would certainly be on it.
Tomb of Rabbi Meir Ba'al HaNess A complex of religious buildings has grown around the reputed burial place of Rabbi Meir Ba'al HaNess, a 2nd-century sage often cited in the Mishnah (ba'al ha-ness means 'master of miracles'). The tomb itself, with separate, curtained entrances for men and women, is inside a domed Sephardi synagogue, situated just down the slope from its Ashkenazi counterpart, topped with a taller dome. The complex is 2.5km south of the city centre, 150m up an asphalt road from Hamat Tveriya National Park.
Behind the Sephardi section, market stalls sell holy amulets, including specially blessed olive oil and arak (50NIS). Nearby, personal blessings are available in exchange for a charitable donation.
Rabbi Meir's hilula (a celebration held by Hasidim on the anniversary of a sage's death) is just three days before that of Shimon Bar Yochai, who's buried at Mt Meron, so some pious Jews travel to the Galilee to take in both hugely popular events.
Tomb of the Rambam Rabbi Moshe Ben Maimon (1135–1204) – better known by his acronym, the Rambam – was a Cordova-born polymath famous for his rationalist approach to religion and life (he was fond of quoting Aristotle). The site where he is believed to be buried was refurbished, and had a shade roof added, in 2017.
The Rambam's most famous works are the Mishneh Torah, the first systematic codification of Jewish law; Guide to the Perplexed, a work of theology, written in Judeo-Arabic, that is still hugely influential today; and various books on medicine (he served as the personal physician of the sultan of Egypt, where he spent the last decades of his life).
Tomb of Rabbi Yohanan ben Zakkai Rabbi Yohanan ben Zakkai, Judaism's most eminent 1st-century sage, played a central role in replacing animal sacrifices – the raison d'être of the Temple in Jerusalem, destroyed in 70 CE – with prayer. His grave site is a just few metres down the hill from the grave of Cordova-born sage the Rambam.
Tomb of Rabbi Akiva Rabbi Akiva, a leading Mishnaic sage (and teacher of Rabbi Meir Ba'al HaNess), played a major role in establishing rabbinic (ie post–Second Temple) Judaism. He was tortured to death by the Romans because of his support for the Bar Kochba Revolt – indeed, his enthusiasm for resistance to the Romans was such that he declared Bar Kochba to be the Messiah. What is believed to be his dome-topped tomb, offering breathtaking views, is on the hillside about 3km (by road) west of the town centre.