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For an away day like no other in European football, you can head to the southern Israeli desert to face Hapoel Be’er Sheva. Make the most of the trip with this guide to Beersheba and what it offers.
Opened in September 2015, Turner Stadium is one of two in the country with all-round roof and seating. Situated to the north of the city, it has the feel of older, traditional English stadiums, with a compact, intimate design and a capacity of a little over 16,000.
Away fans take up seating in the north stand which means you’re behind the goal and directly opposite Hapoel’s ‘Ultrasouth’ – the team’s core fanatic supporters.
Nafis – Modern Israeli food in generous portions, served swiftly by friendly attentive staff at an affordable price. Ticking pretty much every box you could ask for, this restaurant has its menu on tablets meaning you can scroll through quickly and easily. You may have to queue for a short while, but it’s definitely worth the wait assuming you stick to local dishes rather than burgers or pizza. Be warned, if you order a sharing platter it will be delicious, but it will be massive!
Derekh Hebron 62, Be’er Sheva, Israel, tel. 03-9595550
Munchilla – Being in the desert means water is obviously recommended but this is an away day, after all. The best pubs are near the university, including Munchilla. Although the decor is at best questionable, the atmosphere is fantastic and very welcoming to tourists. Big screens show all the major sporting events, so if you want to catch an earlier kickoff or misplace your ticket somewhere along the way, this place has you covered. The food isn’t fantastic, very much typical bar fare, but if you’re staying the night then Munchilla is an excellent postgame night spot.
Tel Be’er Sheva – An archaeological site of the biblical town of Beersheba, these ruins of the ancient town have been preserved and have become the Tel Be’er Sheva National Park. The site was recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2007, and today, people visit the park to explore the ruins and experience ancient history firsthand. The highlight that draws the most visitors is Abraham’s Well. While this was not a well used by Abraham, it is reminiscent of the one Abraham dug in Genesis 21. Near Be’er Sheva is the Hatzerim Air Force Base, which houses the Israeli Air Force Museum. This museum is not to be missed by anyone interested in aircraft or military history.
Dror BaMidbar Jeep Tour – You’re in the desert anyway, so for those who want to make the most of the terrain this jeep tour ensures an incredible way to explore dunes, canyons and ancient cities – you can even go for a mid-tour swim in the the year-round spring of Ein Akev. If swimming isn’t your thing, there’s also sandboarding to be done, along with climbing and surfing, with sweet tea to keep you going all the while. The tour is just over two hours and the guides/drivers are informative and energetic, so if you have the time make sure you make the most of desert life.
Ashalim, Beersheba 8551200, Israel. Phone 053-7892251 or 054-3046054
Etsel St. 6, Beersheba, Israel