Prepare for a most amazing experience!
Capital City: Jerusalem
Government: Parliamentary Democracy
Hebrew. Arabic is the official language in Druze, Christian and Muslim communities and is used nationwide. English and Russian are widely spoken in all parts of the country, as well as communities where Spanish and/or Ladino are common. Ethiopian Jews speak their native Amarit as well as Hebrew.
Population: 7.6 Million
Currency: New Israeli Shekel (NIS), 1 Shekel = 100 Agurot (singular: agura). Bank notes are in denominations of NIS 200, 100, 50 and 20 shekels and coins of 10 shekels, 5 shekels, 2 shekels, 1 shekel, 50 agurot (cents) and 10 agurot (cents).
Popular Cities: Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, Netanya, Haifa & Eilat.
International Calling Code: +972
International Airport Code:
- TLV (Ben Gurion International Airport)
- VDA (Ovda International Airport)
Crossing Borders by land:
You can travel between Israel, Jordan and Egypt but should check with the relevant embassies if you need a visa to these countries.
Visitors entering Israel are not required to undergo any vaccinations prior to their arrival.
Israel Railways has extensive stops throughout the country. By bus, Egged is the leading public transport operator, accounting for over 60% of all public transport services through out the country. Dan is the largest public transportation company in the area of greater Tel Aviv. Public transport service stops at sundown Fridays and resumes at sundown Saturdays A shared 10-seater van service called “Sherut” is available on an inter-city and local bus routes and charges fares about 30% higher than a bus.
To rent a car in Israel the driver must be over 21 years of age, and must have a valid international drivers license and an international credit card.
Driving is on the right; passing is on the left. Driving in Israel can be a challenge; speed limits are in kilometers: 50 kph in the city, 80 kph on inter-city roads and 90 kph on highways, unless otherwise specified. Seat belts must be worn in front and in back seats at all times. Children under the age of 12 are not allowed in the front seat unless they are infants in a safety seat.
It’s hot in Israel. Drink plenty of fluids to avoid dehydration. Alcohol is not recommended in high temperature zones in mid-day. Minimum alcohol drinking age is 18.
220 volt AC, single phase, 50 Hertz. US and other international visitors are advised to bring adaptors for their electronics, which are generally 110/60.
It is possible to change currency in all major banks and post offices as well as licensed exchange points all over the country. Some do not charge commissions.
ATM and Retail outlets:
Most ATM’s and retail outlets accept all major credit cards such as Master Card, Visa, Diners, and American Express.
All public offices, schools and universities in Israel are closed on Shabbat (Friday afternoon – Saturday), as are most private businesses. In most cities, public transportation (trains and buses) does not operate, and most, but not all, restaurants are closed. Radio and TV broadcasts operate as usual.
It is customary to tip waiters adding 10% to 15% to the bill.
It is recommended that you indicate to your driver to operate his meter before going anywhere. It is customary to tip drivers with 5% but not mandatory.
Security guards at public buildings such as shopping malls may often check your bags. Be cooperative – it is for your safety too. Never leave your bag unattended!
- Police, dial 100
- Ambulance, dial 101
- Fire Department, dial 102
On average, January is the coldest month of the year with average temperatures ranging from 6 °C (43 °F) to 15 °C (59 °F), while July and August are the hottest months with temperatures ranging from 22 °C (72 °F) to 33 °C (91 °F) on average across the country.
Summers are relatively humid along the Mediterranean coast but dry in the central highlands, the Rift Valley, and the Negev Desert. In Eilat, the desert city, summer daytime-temperatures are often the highest in the state, reaching highs of 44 °C (111 °F) to 46 °C (115 °F).
More than 70% of the average rainfall in Israel falls between November and March. From June through September rainfall is extremely unusual. Rainfall is unevenly distributed, significantly lower in the south of the country. In the extreme south, rainfall averages nearly 30 millimeters (1 in) annually; in the north, average annual rainfall exceeds 900 millimeters (35 in).
Most religious sites, whether Jewish or Christian, require a modest dress code for both men and women: Covered shoulders / No shorts. During the regular tour and travel, comfortable apparel is acceptable, but we recommend carrying the appropriate accessories in order to enter the sites.
To stay on top of the latest news and developments in Israel, we recommend:
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