Israel is the perfect place to be for a pilgrimage-meets-exploration sort of adventure. The country is synonymous with “The Holy Land” and is a must-visit for most Christians as it is the place where most Biblical events have transpired in history. On top of that, Israel is home to the Dead Sea, a haven for medicinal tourism due to the rich mineral compositions found in the mud and water.
It doesn’t even end there as you’ll be mesmerized by the breathtaking views and hidden destinations in the Judean desert, as well as the roads, traversing valleys and hills passing through charming cities like Acre and the incredible Underground Crusader City. Here’s your Israel Travel Guide to exploring this amazing country.
This country is definitely going to be an unforgettable experience for all travellers. Do check out AFC Holidays Israel Tours to get started planning your trip.
HEBREW (or Modern Hebrew) is the everyday language for most Israelis today. This in itself is deemed a miracle as it was only revived recently to become a spoken language once again, just a little over 150 years ago. Although the population is now mixed in with a few Yiddish, Arabic, English, and Russian speakers, overall, Hebrew has reclaimed its position as the primary language of communication in Israel, to be used in all forms of media– radio, television, newspapers, magazines, etc. It is also mainly used for street signs, and store names, names of places and establishments in Modern Israel.
Safely Traveling in Israel and Palestine
If you’re thinking to visit Israel with a pilgrimage itinerary in mind, then you might be wondering if it will be an easy trip as you will need to cover both Israeli and Palestinian Territories to fulfil your desired itinerary.
Don’t worry, it is completely possible and easy to make this trip. There are a lot of Palestinian and Israeli guides alike who may freely guide you through crossing borders. Most of the time, all you need to do is present your passport, depending of course on the officers’ prerogative, they made need you to come out of the vehicle or come into the vehicle, it greatly varies but it’s a self-explanatory process.
You should definitely visit both parts of the country while you’re here. It will give you more understanding of the Middle East and Mediterranean cultures that influence this nation. However, definitely don’t bombard the locals with a lot of political talks, keep things lighthearted.
What Weather to Expect when Packing.
Israel’s climate per year follows two distinct weather profiles. There are rainy winters from October to April and dry, hot summers from May to September.
Following common itineraries/ arrangements for Israel, we will sample the climate patterns of 3 popular cities, Tel Aviv, Jerusalem, Nazareth, and Bethlehem
In Tel Aviv, rainy winters can be as cold as 63°F or 17°C, while summers can be as hot as 86°F or 30°C. The best time to visit is around early June to mid-October if you’re into beach or pool activities.
You will definitely enjoy outdoor activities more from mid-April to Late June or Early October to Mid-November. The first week of June is the most popular time to visit.
Meanwhile, in Jerusalem, rainy winters can be as cold as 53°F or 11°C, while summers can be as hot as 85°F or 29°C. The best time to visit is around early June to mid-September if you’re into beach or pool activities.
You will definitely enjoy outdoor activities more from mid-May to late October. The second week of September is the most popular time to visit.
In Nazareth, rainy winters can be as cold as 59°F or 15°C, while summers can be as hot as 87°F or 30°C. The best time to visit is around early June to early October if you’re into beach or pool activities.
You will definitely enjoy outdoor activities more from early May to early July or early September to late October. The first week of June is the most popular time to visit.
Lastly, in Bethlehem, rainy winters can be as cold as 54°F or 12°C, while summers can be as hot as 87°F or 29°C. The best time to visit is around late June to mid-September if you’re into beach or pool activities.
You will definitely enjoy outdoor activities more from mid-May to early October. The second week of September is the most popular time to visit.
January is the rainiest and coldest month and the hottest months are July and August.
OFFICIALLY JEWISH (74.3% of the population) with churches of all denominations found throughout the country like Muslim, Christian, Druze, and others. With that in mind, travellers visiting Israel should practice respectful behaviours in and around places of worship.
ISRAELI SHEKEL (NIS or ILS)
The Israeli Shekel officially replaced the Israeli Lira on February 24, 1980. Following the desire to retrace the use of the Hebrew language throughout the country as Lira is a non-Hebrew name.
Tourists may exchange their money for ILS at the airport, reputable banks, post offices, select hotels or licensed exchange agencies throughout the country. Banks may charge commissions for exchanges and rates vary from one to another. Some may require passports to make an exchange.
Certain tourism sites in Jerusalem take payments in USD instead of ILR so it might be more convenient to keep some in handy during your trip, though this is just a recommendation and not a strict obligation.
Should you bargain?
Keep Haggling, bargaining, or any kind of negotiation polite and reasonable. If you have a good idea of how much something is worth you are free to negotiate for it.
3 Categories to observe when Haggling
Try to determine if the seller is the one that decides the selling price of a product or service. This may apply to taxi rides, private shops, and markets, especially tourist souvenirs. You can haggle around half of the price to start until you reach a rate that is fair for yourself and the locals.
In private shops where all the prices seem fixed and labelled, you can ask for a small discount but definitely keep negotiations to a minimum.
Large establishments like supermarkets, food chains, brand fashion boutiques, public transportations, malls, or major restaurants. In this instance, you have no room for negotiations because the representative doesn’t have control over the price.
Should you leave a tip?
Tipping is frequently practised in Israel. 10% of the billed amount is acceptable, 12% is the standard for waiters, and if you’ve received exceptional service, it can be 15% of the billed total.
How much a day Travelling in Israel?
Expect to spend a minimum of USD 101 or ILR 347 per day or more depending on interest and choice of activity.
Power Plugs and Socket Travel Guide in Israel
Getting Around in Israel
Tel Aviv and Jerusalem Travel Guide to Public Transports
Major tourist cities like Tel Aviv and Jerusalem have well-established public transportation systems like buses and taxis. Travelling between these two cities is also mostly easy through a sherut (a shared van) or buses that run every 10-15 minutes. Parking is a known nightmare in Israel so renting a car is more inconvenient.
If you’re looking to visit the Dead Sea. It is best to go with something pre-arranged by your chosen travel agency because going there by bus would be a difficult experience that may even hamper the enjoyment of your trip.
Is there ride-hailing or Sharing apps in Israel?
Tel Aviv has a lot of well-established ride-sharing apps for you to choose from. The best way to get around Tel Aviv if you’d like to go by private car is by using ride-hailing apps. Your options include Uber, Gett, and Yango, which are available for iOS and Android systems.
Israel Travel Guide – The Checklist
Travel Guide for Internet Everywhere in Israel?
If you’re looking to buy yourself a SIM Card, you can easily find it at Tel Aviv – Ben Gurion Airport. You will also find numerous local Mobile phone shops or Official Stores selling sim cards throughout the city. Official providers in the country include Partner, Cellcom, 019, Golan Telecom, HOT Mobile, Pelephone, 012 Mobile, and Rami Levy.
You will need your passport upon purchase. Your name and passport number will be mentioned when you register it. Sim card prices may range from 20 ILS (16 USD) to 129 ILS (39 USD) depending on the amount of data you will need and how long you will need the number to be active.
Israel Travel Guide to Bringing Medications
Firstly, prepare preferred over-the-counter medicines. Importantly, Keep them in original containers with labels for easy identification. Firstly, try to only bring in small quantities or as necessary.
A simple first aid can include i.e. Diarrhea medicines, antacids, antihistamines, motion sickness, cough drops, and decongestants. As well as pain and fever relief, mild laxatives, bandages, and small antiseptic solutions accordingly. Lastly, don’t forget your masks and preferred sanitiser.
Moreover, Bring a doctor’s prescription for other prescriptions that you may have as needed. Similarly, check for the allowed amount of quantity depending on your stay.
Now that you’ve read this Israel Travel Guide.
Finally, you are officially ready to travel to Israel. Don’t forget tha-t you’re always free to contact your AFC Representative if you have any more concerns before your departure! Lastly, We wish you safe and happy travels!
You may also be interested in our recent post: United Kingdom Travel Guide: Before You Go.