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Information that is Good to Know when Traveling to Israel

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Israel is a world class destination offering unique archaeological, cultural and religious attractions like no other place on earth and where else can you “walk where Jesus walked.” Those looking to explore and adventure on their Israel tour will find it. The destination provides amazing scenery, desert adventures, scuba diving in Eilat at the Red Sea with magnificent coral reefs, camel rides and horseback riding along desert trails or in the forest of the Galilee.

Israel’s main cities are; the modern city of Tel Aviv that never sleeps, the Golden City chosen by God Jerusalem, the major port and industrial city of Haifa and Beer Sheva located in the south. Transportation and getting around Israel is very good with many options on offer. Besides the train services to most cities in Israel there is a wide system of buses, however keep in mind there is no public transportation from start of sundown on Friday to Saturday sunset. During this down time there are minivans that follow major bus routes and can be hailed anywhere along the routs. Of course Israel has taxis which run 24/7. Make sure to have the driver use the meter unless you agree on a fixed price prior to your destination.

Food in Israel is delicious and diverse with high standards in quality and safety. Israel supplies it’s population with their own fruit, vegetables, and dairy products. There are many restaurants with all types of foods, from Hummus to Falafel, and Sushi to Italian. You’ll easily find a good restaurant that is opened from morning to evening and an Israeli breakfast is a must, eggs, bread, and salads are the norm. Israel also has over 200 wineries producing white, red and sparkling wines.

Israel offers great shopping with both large trendy shopping malls as well as colorful markets and bazaars. Many Israeli stores are opened from Sunday to Thursday from 9:00 am to 7:00 in the evening, and closed on midday Friday and open again until Sunday morning.

The weather in Israel has long warm and dry summers from April to October and mild winters from November to March. Hebrew is the official language in Israel however English is widely used as a second language, and more recently Russian is now becoming also more common.

The currency in Israel is the Shekel (NIS) known as “shekels.” Banking in open from 8:30 am to 12:30 pm with some branches opened until 2 pm. Banks are closed on Saturdays and Jewish Holidays, however automatic tellers are readily available and accept major international credit cards for cash withdrawal's. In Israel most businesses, restaurants, and hotels accept major international credit cards. Israeli taxes apply to goods and services paid.

Israeli’s standard time is 7 hours ahead of USA Eastern Standard Time. When dialing by phone to Israel the country code is +972 plus area code (drop the 0 from area code), then the number. The electrical power in Israel is 220 volt, AC 50 cycles, however nearly all major hotels provide a built-in 110 volt electrical adapter.

Because of the Israeli composition of its population, the cuisine in Israel is just as varied and restaurants may be found serving delicacies from all places of the world. Kosher cuisine, the traditional Jewish dietary law is offered in most hotels and many restaurants. Eating out in Israel is not necessarily needs to be expensive to be fine dining, and cheap food may not need to be McDonalds or Burger King. In fact popular food and eating in many Middle Eastern cities is done at “street foods” such as Hummus bards. Hummus is a Middle Eastern paste made of pureed chick-peas mixed with garlic, lemon, spices and t’hina (sesame paste). Served with a dab of Olive oil and eaten with pita bread. Hummus is so popular that there is an entire food-culture around it. Other popular foods includes Falafel – the most common and affordable street-food served in a pita bred with salad, and pickles. Shawarma made with turkey meat and served with bred, and sabich meaning “morning” in Arabic, a traditional food from Iraqi immigrants – the essence of this food is eggplants with salad, pickles and pita bread.

Tipping is standard in Israel. Many restaurants may add the service charge to the bill, but if not a 10% service tip is the norm. On Holy Land Tours it’s expected of you to tip your drivers and tour guides. After all they work hard to make your journey a truly experience you’ll never forget, and tips are the majority of their salary.

How Israelis dressed is by in large extremely informal – casual for daytime, informal for evenings. When in Israel bring lightweight clothing, head covering, comfortable walking shoes and something to swim with. Modest attire is required for visiting religious sites. In Jerusalem and other Hillside areas a light jacket is needed specially for the evenings and winter months.

To read about Israel passport requirements see our article.

Distances – Israel is a small country. The three major populated areas are Jerusalem, Tel Aviv and Haifa.

From
Jerusalem
Tel Aviv
Haifa
Tiberias
To
Miles
Miles
Miles
Miles
Jerusalem
--
39
99
97
Tel Aviv
39
--
59
82
Haifa
99
56
--
43
Tiberias
97
82
43
--
Beersheva
52
70
130
147
Akko
112
73
14
35
Arad
65
98
158
144
Ashkelon
45
39
99
122
Banias
141
125
78
43
Dead Sea
79
117
154
135
Eilat
194
220
280
250
Jericho
24
63
92
73
Mitzpe Ramon
104
122
182
198
Nazareth
97
63
22
18
Netanya
58
18
41
64
Rehovot
33
15
75
98
Rosh Hanikra
125
85
26
47
Safed
120
104
45
22
Zichron Yaacov
75
43
24
48


Holy Land Tours

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