On Israeli domestic flights, each passenger may bring 1 suitcase weighing up to 20 kgs and one small shoulder bag for on board. Airlines have a right to charge an overweight fee or to forward your luggage to your destination on a later flight for luggage over this limit.
The New Israeli Shekel (NIS) is the official currency of Israel. Payment for services can only be made in Shekels (i.e. taxis, public transportation, shopping, and restaurants).
Shekel (NIS) currency is divided into the following denominations:
- Banknotes: NIS 200 / NIS 100 / NIS 50 / NIS 20
- Coins: 10 Shekel (NIS), / 5 Shekel (NIS), / 2 Shekel (NIS), / 1 Shekel (NIS), / ½ Shekel (NIS), / 10 agorot
Small government regulated and licensed kiosks called “change places” offer the best rates for currency exchange. These small shops are located throughout the cities and at Ben Gurion Airport. It is possible to change money at the post office, banks and hotels, but the exchange rates will be less favorable. ATM machines are located all over the country and are easily accessible.
- Most restaurants, hotels, and shops accept international credit cards. (Visa, Mastercard, Amex)
Israeli currency is 220 volts (USA currency is 110 volts). Be sure to bring adaptors or ask the hotel reception if they have any available. Some hotels might ask for a deposit when lending out adaptors or transformers.
Israeli electric plug
We recommend drinking bottled mineral/water.
- December – February is the winter/rainy season. Temperatures range between 5-18° centigrade in Tel Aviv and along the coast towards Haifa (41 to 65 °Fahrenheit). It is colder by about 10 degrees in the Jerusalem area and Golan Heights. At night it can go down to 0-10° centigrade (32-40°Fahrenheit). In Eilat, the temperature is usually mild and pleasant. In desert areas, the temperature is usually warmer during the day and considerably colder at night.
- March – May are the Israeli spring months. Temperatures range between 16-24° centigrade (61-75°Fahrenheit). It is colder by about 5 degrees in the Jerusalem area and Golan Heights. Evenings in Jerusalem can be chilly. In Eilat, the temperatures are usually a bit warmer than the rest of the country. In the desert, it is usually warmer during the day and colder at night.
- June – September are the Israeli summer months. Temperatures range between 24-35° centigrade (75-95°Fahrenheit). In Jerusalem and the Golan Heights, the temperatures are about 3 degrees lower. The Tel Aviv area has high humidity. Even in the summer, evenings in Jerusalem can be chilly. A light sweater might be needed. In the Jordan Valley, Dead Sea and Eilat areas, temperatures are warmer than the rest of the country. In the desert, it is usually warmer during the day and colder at night.
- October – November are the Israeli autumn months. Temperatures in Tel Aviv range between 16 to 24° centigrade (61 to 75° Fahrenheit.) Jerusalem and the Golan Heights are approximately 3°centigrade colder (5.5° Fahrenheit), and Eilat is usually 3°centigrade warmer. Evenings in Jerusalem can be chilly. A jacket might be needed. In the Jordan Valley, Dead Sea and Eilat areas, temperatures are warmer than the rest of the country. In the desert, it is usually warmer during the day and colder at night.
- Dress: Generally, Israelis dress casually and comfortably. When visiting religious sites (i.e. Jerusalem, Nazareth) modest dress is required. Do not wear sleeveless shirts, tank tops or shorts above your knees. If in doubt, wear long pants. T-shirts, sandals, and sneakers are fine.
- Gratuities: As everywhere else in the world, tips are the accepted way of showing your appreciation for services that have been provided. Guides, drivers, waiters, hotel staff, and bellboys will all appreciate any gratuities that you give them. In restaurants, the expected tip is between 12-15% of the bill.
- Taxis: From Ben Gurion Airport, take only your prearranged transfer or a taxi from the airport’s official taxi station. Advise the taxi dispatcher if you prefer to pay the rate as per the meter or the flat rate. (They are usually about the same and accordingly we recommend the flat rate option.)
When hailing a city taxi, be sure to ask the driver to turn on the meter. All licensed taxi drivers use white cars with a green “taxi sign” and have their name and license number inside the car. When possible, ask your restaurant or hotel doorman to arrange the taxi for you.
- Buses / trains
All buses and trains stop operating an hour before sunset on Friday until sunset on Saturday night.
For domestic flights to and from Eilat, check-in time is 90 minutes prior to flight time.
For international flights, check-in is 3 hours prior to flight time.
Do I need a visa to travel to Israel?
All visitors to Israel must hold a passport that is valid for at least six months from the date they enter the country. People with no nationality must hold a valid laissez passer, as well as a visa back to the country where it was issued.
Citizens of the following countries will be issued tourist visas free of charge at every port or entrance terminal to Israel:
- Europe: Austria, Belgium, Cyprus, Denmark, Finland, Germany (Persons born after January 1, 1928), Gibraltar, Great Britain,
- Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Malta, Monaco, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, San Marino, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland.
- Asia & Oceania: Australia, Fiji Islands, Japan, Hong Kong, New Zealand, Philippines, South Korea
- Africa: Central African Republic, Losoto, Malawi, Mauritius, South Africa, Swaziland
- The Americas: Argentina, Barbados, Bolivia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Ecuador, Guatemala, Haiti, Jamaica, Mexico, Panama, Paraguay, St. Kitts, & Nevis, Surinam, Trinidad, Tobago, The Bahamas, The Dominican Republic, Uruguay, U.S.A.
For more information about visitor’s visa application forms, please visit the Ministry of Tourism website at: http://www.goisrael.com/Tourism_Eng/Tourist%20Information/Planning%20your%20trip/Pages/Visa.aspx
Is it safe to travel to Israel?
Israel is an extremely safe country to visit and to tour. In 2008, three million tourists came to Israel, an all-time record. All three million went back home safe and sound. We would not encourage tourists to come if we felt that they would be in the slightest danger.
Are tourists allowed to enter areas outside of Israeli responsibility (The Palestinian areas)?
Passage to the two major tourist cities of Bethlehem and Jericho, which are under the Palestinian Authority, is direct without prior clearance or requiring authorization.
Concerning the rest of the Palestinian areas, it is recommended to forward requests to the IDF Public Relations Office, Fax: +972-2-530-5724 ahead of time. All requests should include: name, passport nationality and number, destination, point of entrance into Palestinian Area Crossing if known; if crossing is by car – name and details of the driver as well as the car registration number. Please note that replies will only be sent to an Israeli telephone/fax number.
Do I need to receive any special vaccinations before my trip to Israel?
Israel is a modern, developed country with high levels of health and hygiene equal to those of Western countries. Visitors entering Israel are not required to undergo vaccinations prior to their arrival.
Are all the restaurants in Israel kosher?
Places offering kosher food usually display a kashrut certificate granted by the local rabbinate. Most hotels serve kosher food as well as many restaurants. However, there are no binding laws. If kashrut is important to you, please check each separate place where you dine.
Is everything closed on Shabbat in Israel?
Shabbat, or Saturday, is the Jewish holy day of the week. Shabbat starts on Friday afternoon/evening and ends on Saturday evening. All public offices in Israel are closed on Shabbat as are most private businesses such as stores. In most cities, public transportation (trains and buses) does not operate. In less religious cities, like Tel Aviv, a lot of the restaurants and cafes are open. However, throughout the country many restaurants are closed. It is recommended to check in advance if you are planning to visit a specific location. Radio and TV broadcasts operate as usual.
Can I rent a cellular phone in Israel?
Yes. Cellular phone rentals are available upon your arrival in Israel. Read about renting a cellular phone here: http://www.israelphones.com/
How do I dial to my country from Israel?
When dialing overseas, dial the three-digit code of your cellular phone carrier company (012, 013, or 014) followed by the country code, area code, and telephone number.
Jordan Travel Tips Information
Please note the following information:
- On Israeli domestic flights, each passenger can bring one suitcase weighing up to 20 kgs and one small shoulder bag to bring on board. For luggage over this limit, the airlines have a right to charge an overweight fee or to forward your luggage to your destination on a later flight.
- It is prohibited to bring food or beverages across the border between Israel and Jordan.
- Sometimes the border crossing takes time. Your patience is appreciated.
- Phone calls (both domestic and international) from hotels are very expensive. When making an international phone call from your hotel, even if there is no answer, you will be charged for 3 full minutes after the 3rd ring.
- As part of the traditions of the Middle East,, expect to be approached by people (often children) attempting to sell souvenirs, coins, carpets, and all kinds of objects. Whether or not you make a purchase from them is certainly your decision. Be aware that often the items that the merchant claims to be “ancient” or “Roman” are not. On site, your guide will not be able to tell you that the items for sale are not antiquities. Therefore, we are advising you of this in advance. If, during the course of your tour, locals approach you asking for any special tips or payments, simply refer them to your guide or driver. Guides and drivers are there for you not only to provide you with information but also as a “bridge between cultures.”
- Gratuities to your guide and driver have not been included in your package. Don’t forget that this is the best way to express your appreciation for the services which they have provided during your stay.
- The drive towards Petra is a steady incline. During the hot summer months, Jordanian drivers have been instructed to “resort to natural air conditioning” (opening the windows) for approximately 15 minutes of the drive in order to avoid overheating the engine.
- U.S. Dollars and Jordanian Dinars are the accepted currencies. You will have the opportunity to exchange money at banks on either side of the border. Just as in Israel, we do not accept Jordanian Dinars and they do not accept Israeli Shekels. You can easily exchange Dinars back to Shekels at the border upon your return to Israel. We always suggest using local currencies.
- As per the guidelines established by the Jordan Tourism Board, your Petra tour guide will take you through the siq (chasm), past the treasury (el khazneh) to the Roman Style Theater. After this guided part of your visit, you will have time to explore the caves and hidden tombs of Petra on your own. Touring to the Royal Tombs and climbing up to the Monastery is not included in your program and your guide will not escort you to these sights. After your visit to Petra, your guide and/or driver will meet you at adesignated time and location for your departure.
- On this tour, you will see why Petra was recently named one of the new Seven Wonders of the World. We bring to your attention that a visit to Petra is quite strenuous. There is a great deal of walking involved in the visit. Accordingly, feel free to go at your own pace and to rest if necessary.
- Please keep in mind that when you are traveling to Jordan during the holy month of Ramadan, all tourist sites and restaurants are open for business as usual. As Jordan is a mainly Islamic country, it is important for guests to respect the “ways and traditions of the land.” During Ramadan, observant Muslims fast from dawn until dusk (and then have huge, delicious meals at night). Alcoholic beverages will not be available. During the day, please refrain from drinking, eating or smoking in public. Again, as you are a tourist, it is perfectly acceptable for you to have meals as usual in the restaurants or hotels.