Israel's vacation capital is full of entertainment spots and eateries, so there's always something to spend your money on. But Eilat is also VAT-free, meaning that most items cost less here than anywhere else in Israel. Still, for the frugal, it's possible to enjoy a vacation in the city and visit a great many sites and attractions without having to spend as much as a single shekel.

The Musical Fountain
Eilat's audiovisual spectacle is located at the tourist center near the large iMax pyramid. The jets coming out of the ground dance in time to the music being played and change colors and sounds to audience applause. The fountain is turned on during weeknights after sunset. Sometimes, the spectacle is accompanied by free street performances.

Art Tours
The beloved holiday and fun town also has a cultural and artistic side worth discovering. The art tour begins at the Eilat Art Gallery, which shows dozens of works, including paintings, photographs, and sculptures, by more than 70 artists from Eilat and its environs. Entrance is free. Afterwards, the tour goes to the Philip Murray House to tour the home exhibition of Nevo Afek, the internationally renowned Eilat-based artist. The young artist, who has high-functioning autism as well as a visual impairment, is considered an artist of international caliber. In addition, visitors are welcome to pay a free visit to the home museum of the veteran local artist Amir Elkayam and have him lead them on an art tour through the city while hearing his explanations.

The Eilat Birding Center
The city is an important resting place on the migratory routes of millions of birds flying overhead every year. The Eilat Birding Center, a wonderful green park that's fun to walk around in, features a freshwater pond, a saltwater pond, and vegetation grown to serve as food for the migrating birds. The park, where it's possible to watch many different species of birds, has walking trails and observation and photography spots. Entrance is free.

Figure Skating
A figure skating performance in the middle of the desert? At the Ice Mall, you'll find the ice skating rink that is one of the city's most famous attractions. Hundreds of visitors to the Ice Mall skate for pleasure during the day, while at 7 PM on most nights there is a figure skating performance open to the public at the mall.

The Evrona Reserve and Salt Pools
The Aravat Evrona Nature Reserve, which covers some 40 square kilometers from the southern Arava Valley to Eilat, is Israel's savannah. At the reserve, there are stands of acacia trees and packs of hyenas, unique desert vegetation, antiquities, doum palms, and above all the breathtaking landscapes of the Edom and Eilat Mountains. Just before the entrance to the city, you'll find the Salt Pools, home to thousands of pink flamingos that come to dine at the pools. There are several observation posts and excellent picnic spots overlooking the pools and the birds.

The Red Canyon
The Red Canyon, located about 20 km from the city, is a deeply-striated, beautiful canyon with sandstone walls of deep red interspersed with layers of clay-based rock in exquisite shades of turquoise. The trail is 300-m long of colorful walls that wend and wind the entire length and rise to a height of 30 m. It is suitable to the whole family, including children, and features some unique desert vegetation.

The Coral Reef
Eilat is home to the northernmost shallow-water coral reef in the world. The coral reef off the city's shore is a nature reserve that offers a rare glimpse into the rich, colorful underwater world of corals, fish, and other aquatic creatures of the Red Sea. Anyone can come to one of the southern beaches of the city with a facemask or goggles and a snorkel, dive just under the water, and look for the multi-hued creatures living just beneath the surface of the sea.

The Eilat Bazaar
The northern promenade is one of the city's busiest spots. No tourist to Eilat misses a saunter down the lovely strip, bordered on one side by the Red Sea beaches and on the other by the deluxe hotels, brand-name shops, and food carts. In the past, the promenade was home to temporary vendors selling handmade goods. Today, they occupy the center of the promenade at a spot known as the Eilat Bazaar, an open market near the Eilat Bridge that features 60 stalls of inexpensive locally-made items, including clothing, jewelry, toys, accessories, and more.

The Beaches
Eilat is sun-drenched year-round, offering a gorgeous 12-km long shoreline stretched between Jordan and Egypt. It encompasses dozens of clean, well-maintained, free beaches with amenities for the bathers' convenience. Whatever beach you choose, you can always enjoy the caressing Eilat sun and the pleasant sea breeze, and dip in the cool waters of the Red Sea.