The local currency in Israel is the New Israeli Shekel, known as shekels. Bills are colorful and come in 20, 50, 100 and 200 shekel denominations. Coins come in 10 agarot (100 agarot = 1 shekel), 1/2 shekel, 1, 2, 5 and 10 shekel denominations.
There are convenient Change centers at Ben Gurion Airport and in most commercial areas. We do not suggest changing money at banks (there is usually a large surcharge) or at hotel reception desks, because they offer less than favorable exchange rates.
You can also use your credit or debit card at most ATM cash machines throughout Israel. Make sure your credit card provider knows that you will be abroad and that you have a valid PIN code to withdraw cash from an ATM.
Israel’s climate ranges from temperate to tropical, with plenty of sunshine. Two distinct seasons predominate: a hot dry season which lasts for 7 months from April to October, and a cooler winter period from December to March. Rainfall can be relatively heavy in the north and center of the country, with much less in the south.
Electrical current in Israel runs on 220V. For personal appliances from the USA, such as a hairdryer or curling iron, you will need a convertor. For small electronics such as phone chargers, laptops or iPod chargers, a plug adaptor is all you need.
Time Difference in Israel
Israel Standard Time is one hour ahead of European Standard Time and seven hours ahead of USA Eastern Standard Time.
If you plan to use your personal cellphone while you are in Israel, make sure to confirm with your carrier to make sure that you have international service. Also check the rates – we suggest buying special travel services from your carrier so that your bill won’t be astronomical upon your return. You can also rent a local cellphone or SIM cards in Israel.
- Israel is a relatively casual country. We suggest packing comfortable, season-appropriate clothing.
- Layered clothing is the secret to success when visiting Israel at most times of year. Even in the summer, you may need a light jacket, as the evenings can be cool in Jerusalem.
- From November to March, we suggest bringing an umbrella and water-proof jacket as rain could be in your forecast.
- When visiting holy sites, it is customary for both men and women to dress modestly and make certain that your shoulders and knees are covered.
- Bring your medications and copies of any prescriptions. Most pharmacists speak English and are happy to help.
- The sun can be strong in the Middle East all year round. We suggest bringing a hat, sunglasses and good sunscreen!
- Good walking shoes are a must for walking on stony paths and exploring ancient ruins.
- A bathing suit is recommended year round.
- It’s a good idea to bring a small bag for day trips.
- Forgot your toothbrush? No worries!
Israel is a modern, developed country, and you can purchase virtually anything you need during your stay, including clothing, cosmetics, and hygiene products.
Tipping is customary in Israel and should be commensurate with the standard of service received. It is expected to provide tips to guides, drivers, hotel staff, etc. Suggested guidelines are provided as part of the planning of your tour.
Hebrew Words & Phrases
|Good morning||Bo-ker tov|
|Good evening||Erev tov|
|See you soon||L’hit-ra-ot|
|Thank you very much||To-dah ra-bah|
|You are welcome||B’va-ka-sha|
|How are you (m)?||Mah shlom-cha?|
|How are you (f)?||Mah shlo-mech?|
|What’s up?||Ma nish-ma?|