Little is known of Benjamin. He appears to have been a rabbi from Tudela in Navarre, born son of Jonah around 1127. He returned to Castille in Navarre in 1173 and published an account of his travels in Hebrew. The work was translated into Latin and other languages and became one of the most important descriptive works of the twelfth century.
Benjamin began his journey from Saragossa, around the year 1160 and over the course of thirteen years visited over 300 cities in a wide range of places including Greece, Syria, Palestine, Mesopotamia and Persia. In his travel diary he desvcribes the conditions of the Jewish population of each of the areas he visits. In addition to his description of Jewish living conditions, Benjamin also reported on the politics, commerce, and geography of the different countries he visited.