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Upon arrival and particularly on departure from Israel you may face some polite, if repetitive questioning by immigration officers . there is a good reasons for tight security in Israel and we advise you to cooperate even if the questioning appears overly intrusive. Electrical items, cameras and portable computers may be taken from departing passengers for security inspection and returned to them in their own countries. Damage may occur.
Tel Aviv (TLV) (Ben Gurion International) is 20km (12 miles) southeast of the city. To/from the airport: There is a bus service from the airport to Shohom, Midi'in and Be'er Sheva. The airport has a train station located on level five. There is also a taxi service (travel time - 20 minutes). A shared sherut (taxi service) is available, charging a fixed rate per passenger. The El Al airline bus goes to the airport terminal in Tel Aviv. Departure depends on El Al flights. The best way to travel to Jerusalem, which is 50km (31 miles) away, is by sherut. Facilities: Banks, restaurants, duty-free shops, general shops, tourist information and VIP lounge. Eilat Central Airport (ETH) is 20 minutes from the city. To/from the airport: Buses and taxis and limousines are available to the city (travel time - 15 minutes). Facilities: Duty free shop, light refreshments, a souvenir shop and car hire.
See "Public transportation" for all details. Two national bus systems, run by the DAN and EGGED cooperatives, provide extensive services. The service is fast and efficient as well as cheap. With a few exceptions, services are suspended on religious holidays, and between sunset on Friday and sunset on Saturday (Shabbat). Sherut: Unique to Israel, these limousines seat seven to 10 passengers and follow intercity and local bus routes. Prices are around 30 per cent higher than the bus. See also more details here in "Public transportation".
Available in major cities. See also "Rent a car" for useful links.
Cash points are available in Jerusalem, including the East, but there are less in the West Bank. Most banks in Israel are closed on Friday to Sunday, but in the West Bank they are usually just closed on Fridays. Foreign currency may be exchanged at any bank and certain automated teller machines (ATMs).
Spring: 60°F - 85°F (15°c - 29°c) ; Summer: 70°F - 90°F (21°c - 32°c); Autumn: 60°F - 80°F (15°c - 26°c); Winter: 45°F - 70°F (7°c - 21°c). Israel's climate is characterized by much sunshine, with a rainy season from November to April. Total annual precipitation ranges from 20-30 inches (50-70 cm.) Regional climatic conditions vary considerably: hot, humid summers and mild, wet winters on the coastal plain; dry, warm summers and moderately cold winters, with rain and occasional light snow, in the hill regions; hot, dry summers and pleasant winters in the Jordan Valley; and semi-arid conditions, with warm to hot days and cool nights, in the south.
Bring comfortable shoes, a sweater, clothes that you can layer and an all-weather coat. In the summer, bring sunscreen and a hat. Some religious sites do not allow shorts or sleeveless shirts. If you are traveling in the winter, do bring a winter jacket, rain gear and a sweater. An umbrella is also recommended in the winter. Modest clothes are required for most holy sites. For men - trousers and casual shirts. For women - below skirts and blouses (with sleeves). Hats are a good idea year round.
Most Israeli shops, restaurants and other providers of services accept major credit cards, such as Visa, Master Card, Diners' Club and American Express.
See Religions and Cultures.
The shekel (NIS) is the currency of Israel. Each shekel is divided into 100 agorot (singular: agora). Bank notes are in denominations of NIS 200, 100, 50 and 20 shekels, and coins denominations of 5 shekels, 10 shekels, 1 shekels and 10 agorot. However, you can pay with U.S. currency everywhere (except for items under $20). Payment in foreign currency exempts tourists from Value Added Tax (V.A.T.)
There are currently no departure taxes in Israel.
If traveling to the desert, go with others, take a supply of water and a mobile phone and let someone know your itinerary and expected time of return.
See Telephone Calls.
Traffic drives on the right. An excellent system of roads connects all towns. Distances by road from Jerusalem to other cities are as follows: Tel Aviv 62km (39 miles), Tiberias 157km (97 miles), Eilat 312km (194 miles), Netanya 93km (58 miles), Dead Sea 104km (65 miles), Zefat 192km (120 miles) and Haifa 159km (99 miles). Speed limits are in kilometers: 50 kph in the city, 80 on inter-city roads and 90 on super highways, unless otherwise indicated. Seat belts must be worn in front and in back at all times. Children under the age 12 are not allowed in the front seat unless they are infants in a safety seat. Full driving license and insurance are required. An International Driving Permit is recommended.
It's hot in Israel. Drink plenty of fluids so that you don't dehydrate. Alcohol is not recommended in high temperature zones in mid-day. Minimum drinking age for alcohol is 18.
Penalties for smuggling and trafficking in illegal drugs are severe. Those caught in possession can expect a prison sentence and deportation.
The voltage used is 220 volts. Israeli sockets are usually 3-pronged, and foreign-made appliances generally require an adapter. *Note: The U.S. uses 120 volts and you can purchase a converter and transformer at most hardware stores for your 120V appliances.
You'll receive an AL-17 form upon entry. Save it until departure.
Remember the days of old, consider the years of ages past.... (Deuteronomy 32:7) The birthplace of the Jewish people is the Land of Israel (Eretz Israel). There, a significant part of the nations long history was enacted, of which the first thousand years are recorded in the Bible; there, its cultural, religious and national identity was formed; and there, its physical presence has been maintained through the centuries, even after the majority was forced into exile. During the many years of dispersion, the Jewish people never severed nor forgot its bond with the Land. With the establishment of the State of Israel in 1948, Jewish independence, lost two thousand years earlier, was renewed.
El Al Israel Airlines is Israel's national carrier. El Al carries more than 1.3 million passengers annually. The airline flies directly to more than 40 destinations around the world and to many additional destinations by means of partnership agreements with other airlines. It is active in the charter flight market by means of its subsidiary, Sun D'Or. EL AL completed the privatization process in January of 2005.
Arkia currently operates tens of domestic flights daily, to a wide range of destinations, including: Eilat, Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, Haifa, Ben Gurion Airport, Rosh Pina and Kiryat Shmoneh. It is possible to fly from Kiryat Shmoneh in the North to Eilat in the South in under two hours. Arkia also performs International Charter Flights, with daily flight operations to destinations in the Mediterranean Region as well as to Europe.
Bring sufficient with you for immediate use. Additional cash can be obtained from 'hole in the wall' dispensing machines (CDMs) using internationally accepted credit cards. Money transfer through Western Union to a local post office normally takes 3 to 4 hours during normal working hours - Israeli post offices and banks close from midday Friday to Sunday morning. Paper currency issued by banks of Scotland cannot be exchange in Israel.
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Make your purchases toward the end of the visit after you have compared prices. Do not forget to save the VAT form so that you can get your refund at the airport. For good bargains and different kinds of gift items, try off the beaten track workshops and outlets.
Israel's capital, Jerusalem is still an enchanting city, situated gloriously upon its mountainous throne merging daily life with spirituality. Eilat Tourist Guide Eilat and the Negev Region are the perfect resort destinations with modern hotels and pleasant weather all year round.
While it was once common to hitchhike, we do not recommend it.
Apr 13 - 19: * Pesach (Passover)
May 3 : Yom Ha'Atzmaut (Israel Independence Day)
Jun 2 : Shavu'ot (Pentecost)
Sep 7 -13 : Sukkot (Tabernacles)
Sep 23 - 24 : Rosh Hashana (New Year)
Oct 2 : Yom Kippur (Day of Atonement)
Oct 14 : Simhat Torah & Shemini Atzeret (Celebration of Renewal and Thanksgiving)
Dec 16 - 23: Chanukah (Feast of the Lights)
*Note: *Only the first and last days of Passover and Sukkot are officially recognized as national holidays, but there may be some disruption on intermediate dates; many shops and businesses may open but close early. Jewish festivals commence on the evenings before the dates given above. *The Jewish religious day is Saturday - Shabbat - and begins at nightfall on Friday until nightfall on Saturday. Most public services and shops close early on Friday as a result. Muslim and Christian holidays are also observed by the respective populations. Thus, depending on the district, the day of rest falls on Friday, Saturday or Sunday. Most of restaurants, pubs, night clubs, disco are opened during Shabbat.
Health care in Israel is not free and any form of medical treatment can be expensive. Check that you have full insurance cover for emergency treatment, hospitalization and medical evacuation to your country. If you cannot obtain cover for a specific illness, ensure that extra funds can be sent to you easily. Hospitals will insist on payment and may take legal action to delay departure until bills are met.
Travel insurance should cover unexpected expenses such as missed, cancelled or delayed flights, lost luggage and stolen cash or credit cards. Keep all boarding passes, ticket copies and receipts for expenses paid during your trip if it later becomes necessary to file a claim.
Keep most of it at home. Why schlep it and risk losing it on a vacation?
The theft of passports, credit cards and valuables from public beaches is commonplace.
Several companies provide special transportation services from Ben Gurion Airport to various places throughout Israel. Passengers who have reserved this service should present their vouchers at the companies' counters, located on the first floor in the Greeters' Hall. You can order VIP's assistance at the Ben Gurion airport. Our service includes transportation services using vans & Limousines, in accordance to your request. English-speaking drivers equipped with an access permit, issued by the Israeli Airport Authority, to enable to provide transfer service to incoming & outgoing. The service includes full transfer from the hotel/home to the airport and vice versa.
Ambulance/ Medical: 101
Fire: 102br /> Police: 100
Maps are available in English and other languages at good bookstores ; at the local Society for Protection of Nature (SPNI) book stores in major cities and at the Government Department of Surveys. Scale 1:50,000 is recommended for hiking, 1:100,000 for country driving and 1:250,000 for highway driving.
Israeli hotel rates are based on the standard bed and breakfast plan. Half board indicates that the price includes one other meal daily. Full board means that your program includes breakfast, lunch and dinner.
Bring a copy of your prescriptions along with you. It is also a good idea to bring an extra pair of prescription eyeglasses with you.
You can get news from the two English language dailies: The Jerusalem Post and HaAretz. The former has inserts from the NY Times and the latter has an insert of The International Herald Tribune.
Leave a copy of your passport and your itinerary with a contact in your country. Every visitor to Israel must hold a valid passport for at least six months; stateless persons require a valid travel document with a return visa to the country of issue. Visitors may remain in Israel for up to three months from the date of arrival, subject to the terms of the visa issued. Visitors who intend to work in Israel must apply to the Ministry of the Interior for a special visa (B/1)
Public phones are plentiful and usually do work. Most of them operate today with a plastic credit card size phone card, available at post offices and your hotel newsstand. Cards of 20, 500 and 100 units are available (time per unit depends on distance of call and time of day). You may access AT&T, MCI and Sprint for overseas calls from pay phones by dialing a 177 (toll-free) number. Check for your service's number before you leave. Overseas operator and overseas directory information is available by dialing 188. Domestic directory information is available by dialing 144 (free from public phone). For collect calls within Israel, dial 142
Known as WC, and available in most tourist locations. Be prepared with tissues in your pocket at all times. Also, be aware that some public toilets are staffed by attendants who ask for a "user's fee".
Egged, the leading public transport operator in Israel, is one of the largest public transport companies in the world, and provides 60% of public transport services in Israel throughout the whole country.
Dan is the largest public transportation company in the Greater Tel Aviv region. Dan's fleet of the most modern buses carries 17 million passengers each month on 5 million kilometers of journeys.
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Israel Railways Passenger railways: provide an appropriate solution to the transportation distress in Israel, to road congestion and accidents, and to the need for preserving the environment.
The service is available Sunday - Thursday between 6 am - 11 pm.
Fridays between 6 am - 3 pm.
Saturday evening from departure of the first train - 24 pm.
Israel is a country in which a number of religions and cultures mix. People feel strongly about their beliefs and customs. It is important for the visitor to be aware of this at all times. For example, it is not wise to go into Jewish ultra-orthodox areas of Jerusalem on Shabbat (Saturday). It is also important to be sensitive about taking pictures of people in Muslim areas and the military or police anywhere. All travelers who are new to the area should get a good guidebook, which covers these, and other local sensitivities.
Budget Israel ,SIXT ,Eldan, AVIS.
Carry identification at all times. Foreigners are required to show some form of identify if requested by the local authorities. When traveling within Israel it is permissible to carry photocopies of the date and entry stamp pages of passports to avoid losing the original .Passports may be required when crossing between Israel and Occupied Territories and when entering Jerusalem. Passports and immigration slips must be produced when crossing into or out of the Gaza Trip.
See Wind Surfing.
The Mediterranean Sea is a very comfortable sea - you can enjoy the beach , swim , sail , surf , dive and more. A lot of places to be and things to do - Haifa , Tel Aviv , Caesarea , Herzliya , Netanya and more.
Lifeguard working hours Sunday - Saturday,
November - March: 07.00 - 14.00
April - May: 07.00 - 17.00
June: 07.00 - 18.00
July - August: 07.00 - 19.00
September - October: 07.00 - 17.00
You and your bags may often be checked by security guards at public buildings such as shopping malls. Be cooperative -- it is for your safety too. Do not leave your bag unattended - anywhere.
Unique to Israel, these limousines seat seven to 10 passengers and follow intercity and local bus routes. Prices are around 30 per cent higher than the bus. See also more details here in "Public transportation".
Shopping hours: From Sunday to Thursday from 9:30 am to 7 pm. Sabbath is from sunset on Friday to sunset on Saturday. Most stores and businesses are closed on Saturday, Israel's Sabbath. Most hotels and many restaurants throughout the country keep kosher (observe Jewish dietary rules) which means no mixing of meat and milk products in food preparation and not serving port of shellfish. Non-kosher restaurants are open on Friday night and Saturday.
Private-taxi (called “special”) and shared-taxi services (called “sherut”) are available. There are lots of legal taxi in Tel Aviv and they are not expensive. Trips out of Ben Gurion Airport are charged an additional NIS 5.00, and passengers pay approximately NIS 3.00 for each suitcase. Passengers who request use of Road 6 (a toll road) will pay an extra NIS 11.00. All urban taxis are equipped with meters and are required by law to operate them. Unless you know the accepted rates, do not be tempted to set a price beforehand. There are three distinct fare schedules as indicated on the meter: (0) Telephone surcharge to passenger pick-up point; (1) Regular fare and (2) Fare + 25% surcharge for night service (21:00 to 05:30) and from 4pm on Fridays and holiday eves. Inter-urban fares are according to an official price list which the driver is obliged to present on request. Passengers are advised to request a printed receipt after paying the fare. Complaints regarding taxi services may be addressed to the offices of the Controller of Road Transport: Tel Aviv and Central Region: 8 Hamelacha St. Jerusalem and the South: 5 Bank Israel st. Haifa and the North: 10 Keren Hayesod st. For example, the price for a cab from Tel Aviv Hotels to Ben Gurion Airport is: Day : 89 shekels per car Night: 111 shekels per car From 4pm on Fridays , Saturday and all holidays : 111 shekels per car
Direct dialing from your hotel room overseas is not cheap. Phone credit cards accepted. For calls within Israel, you'll do better making calls with a TeleCard plastic card from a pay phone. You may access AT&T, MCI and Sprint for overseas calls from pay phones by dialing a 177 (toll-free) number -- check for your service's number before you leave. Overseas operator and overseas directory information is available by dialing 188. Domestic directory information is available by dialing 144. For collect calls within Israel, dial 142.
Tipping is not necessary for cab drivers or barbers. As to restaurants, check the bill to see if "service included" (it often is). If not, 10 - 15% is a good bet. It is accepted practice to tip hotel staff, your tour guide and tour bus driver.
Make sure that your guide and his/her vehicle are licensed for tourism. It is customary to tip if you had a good time with a private licensed tour guide.
See "Flights to Israel"
Bus companies DAN and EGGED provide good local services in the main towns. Taxis are available. See " Public Transportation".
Israel hotel prices are valid for tourists holding foreign (non-Israeli) passports, with a B1, B2, or B3 visitor's permit, and are exempt from V.A.T. (Value Added Tax). All other guests, including Israeli's holding dual-nationality, will be charged V.A.T. Locally.
Citizens of the following countries will be issued visitors' visas (or transit visas (see below) free of charge at port of entry in Israel: Europe: Austria, Belgium, Cyprus, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Gibraltar, Great Britain, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Malta, Monaco, the 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. Read more in Our Useful Links.
Although water in Israel is of good quality and suitable for drinking, you may not be used to the high mineral content. Bottled natural spring water is available everywhere - expensive at your hotel, more reasonable at the supermarkets.
Good winds and a beautiful sea are always a good thing if you want to enjoy sail boarding / wind surfing. In Tel Aviv - almost on every beach you will see but there is a school near Hilton Hotel beach, opposite our Melody Hotel and in walking distance from our Tal or Basel Hotels.
Whenever you go to a foreign country, it is a good idea to familiarize yourself with the local language and customs. Most people in Israel speak English, but, with the influx of Jews from the former Soviet Union, you're almost as likely to run into someone who speaks just Russian as Hebrew.
Even if you aren't fluent in the language, natives usually appreciate it when visitors make an effort to speak in their native tongue. Below are a few common Hebrew phrases that will help you get by in Israel. If you don't learn anything else, memorize "Please," "Thank you" and "Hello"
Hello or bye-bye=sha-LOM
good morning=BO-ker TOV
good evening=erev TOV
see you later=le-HIT-rah-OTT
I don't speak Hebrew=ah-NEE lo medah-BEHR ee-VREET
How are you?=ma shlom-CHA? (masc.)= ma shlo-MECH ? (fem.)
to the right=ye-MI-na
to the left=smO-la
How much does it cost?=kama zeh o-LEH?
Where's the bathroom?=Ay-fo ha sher-u-TEEM ?
lunch=a-ru-chat tzo-ho-RA -yim
salt=ME - lakh