TIPS TRAVELING TO ISRAEL
Valuable tips for Israel Travelers
DO I NEED A VISA TO TRAVEL TO ISRAEL?
Americans, Canadians and citizens of most Western countries simply require a passport to come to Israel: no visa is required. Your passport must be valid for at least six months from the date you enter the country. For more information, contact us.
IS IT SAFE TO TRAVEL TO ISRAEL?
Israel is an extremely safe country to visit and tour. In 2019, more then 4.5 million tourists came to Israel, an all-time record, and all of them went back home again safe and sound. We would not encourage tourists to come if we felt they would be in the slightest danger.
ARE TOURISTS ALLOWED TO ENTER AREAS OUTSIDE OF THE ISRAELI RESPONSIBILITY (PALESTINIAN AREAS)?
Crossing from Jerusalem to Bethlehem is direct, easy and no prior authorization is required. Hundreds of tourists make the crossing in both directions every day. As always, it’s wise to check on the political situation before entering the Palestinian Authority. Please note to take your passport with you, you’ll need to present it to re-enter Israeli-controlled territory. It’s recommended to double check your car rental insurance before your visit. If your visit in the Palestinian Authority isn’t covered you might prefer to hire a driver or visit with a tour group. For more information about visiting areas outside the Israeli responsibility please contact the IDF Public Relations office.
DO I NEED TO RECEIVE ANY SPECIAL VACCINATION BEFORE MY TRIP TO ISRAEL?
Not at all. Israel is an entirely western country with an advanced level of hygiene, health care, diagnosis and medicine that is the envy of much of the world and on a par with the best of North America and Western Europe.
CAN YOU DRINK TAP WATER IN ISRAEL?
Absolutely: tap water in Israel is safe and delicious. But, you will also find bottled mineral water everywhere. (It’s important to make sure you drink a lot, especially if you are walking, hiking or exercising during hot weather.)
CAN I COMBINE VISITS TO JORDAN WITH MY VISIT TO ISRAEL?
Absolutely, many visitors to Israel take a day tour to Petra in Jordan. You can fly between Tel Aviv and Amman, or travel overland through a number of border crossings. (You should check with the Jordan tourist offices if you need to obtain a visa before you leave home.)
WHAT ARE THE TRANSPORTATION OPTIONS FROM THE AIRPORT?
Most visitors arrive at Ben Gurion International Airport (TLV) 20-minutes from the heart of Tel Aviv, 35 minutes from Jerusalem. If you’re arriving without prior land arrangements, there are cabs at the airport, bus services – and trains are available from the airport station (take the airport elevator to the lowest level) to Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, Netanya and Haifa.
WHAT ARE THE DISTANCES BETWEEN MAJOR CITIES?
Tel Aviv to Jerusalem 37 miles, 50 minutes
Tel Aviv to Tiberias/Galilee 81 miles, 100 minutes
Tel Aviv to Masada 63 miles, 90 minutes
Tel Aviv to Haifa 90 miles, 70 minutes
Jerusalem to Tiberias 109 miles, 120 minutes
Jerusalem to Masada 56 miles, 90 minutes
WILL I NEED AN ADAPTER FOR MY APPLIANCES IN ISRAEL?
The electric current in Israel is 220 volts, C, single phase, 50 Hertz, the same as in Europe. Most Israeli sockets are three-pronged but most accept European two-pronged plugs. If your appliance does not work on 220 volts, you will need an adaptor. Your hotels should have adapters available. Most hotel bathrooms have hair-dryers as well as low-wattage American-style sockets for electric shavers in which you can usually charge your cell-phone or tablet.
WILL I BE ABLE TO USE MY CELL PHONE IN ISRAEL?
If you have an international plan, your cell phone may work in Israel, please check with your local provider. You as well able to purchase pre-paid SIM cards directly from us!
WHAT IS THE WEATHER LIKE IN ISRAEL, WHEN IS THE BEST TIME TO VISIT?
Israel is a year round destination.Israel enjoys long, warm, dry summers and generally mild winters with somewhat drier, cooler weather in hilly regions, such as Jerusalem and Safed. Temperatures can vary widely so just pack for the ``right`` weather and you'll be fine. For more specific information, click here
WHAT IS THE CURRENCY IN ISRAEL AND WHAT CREDIT CARDS ARE ACCEPTED?
The Shekel; you’ll find it abbreviated as NIS (New Israeli Shekel). You can use your ATM card to obtain Shekels at ATM’s throughout Israel. You can also use American Express, MasterCard and Visa cards at most Israeli hotels, restaurants and stores.
WHAT TAXES CAN I EXPECT TO PAY IN ISRAEL?
The Vat (Value Added Tax) in Israel is 17%. It’s already included in most prices in Israel. VAT is waived for tourists at hotels, tour companies and car rental agencies. Like in Europe and elsewhere, tourists can receive a refund of the VAT they paid on purchases when departing the country, the refund program and the purchase amount in one tax invoice including V.A.T. must exceed ILS. 400.
IS EVERYTHING CLOSED ON SHABBAT IN ISRAEL?
Shabbat (the Sabbath) is the Jewish holy day of the week observed every Saturday. Shabbat starts at sunset on Friday and ends at sundown on Saturday evening. All public offices are closed on Shabbat, as are banks, most stores and businesses; throughout Israel there is a growing number of shops open on Shabbat. In most cities, public transportation (trains and buses) do not operate on Shabbat. Most non-kosher restaurants are open on Shabbat. It is recommended to check in advance if you are planning on visiting a specific location. Radio and TV broadcasts operate as usual.