Frequently Asked Questions
Do you recommend that we carry on our suitcase rather than checking?
No, check your suitcase, unless you are able to pack like Rick Steves suggests.
Will all of our hotels have hair dryers?
Yes, hotels have hair dryers but they are quite ineffective so you might want to bring your own small hair dryer.
Will I need an adapter for my appliances in Israel?
The electric current in Israel is 220 volts, C, single phase, 50 Hertz, the same as in Europe.
Most Israeli sockets are three-pronged but most accept European two-pronged plugs. If your appliance does not work on 220 volts, you will need an adaptor.
Do I need to receive any special vaccination before my trip to Israel?
Not at all. Israel is an entirely western country with an advanced level of hygiene, health care, diagnosis and medicine that is the envy of much of the world and on a par with the best of North America and Western Europe.
Can you drink tap water in Israel?
Absolutely: tap water in Israel is safe and delicious. But, you will also find bottled mineral water everywhere. (It’s important to make sure you drink a lot, especially if you are walking, hiking or exercising during hot weather.)
Is it safe to travel to Israel?
Israel is an extremely safe country to visit and tour. In 2012, close to four million tourists came to Israel, an all-time record, and all of them went back home again safe and sound.
Are tourists allowed to enter areas outside of the Israeli responsibility (Palestinian areas)?
Crossing from Jerusalem to Bethlehem is direct, easy and no prior authorization is required. Hundreds of tourists make the crossing in both directions every day. As always, it’s wise to check on the political situation before entering the Palestinian Authority.
Please note to take your passport with you, you’ll need to present it to re-enter Israeli-controlled territory.
Do I need a visa to travel to Israel?
Americans, Canadians and citizens of most western countries need just a passport to come to Israel: no visa is required. Your passport must be valid for at least six months from the date you enter the country.
Can I choose not to have an Israel stamp in my passport in case I travel to some countries that don’t recognize Israel?
Sure. Israel no longer stamps tourists’ passports. Records are now kept electronically.
What are the distances between major cities?
Tel Aviv to Jerusalem 37 miles, 50 minutes
Tel Aviv to Tiberias/Galilee 81 miles, 100 minutes
Tel Aviv to Masada 63 miles, 90 minutes
Tel Aviv to Haifa 90 miles, 70 minutes
Jerusalem to Tiberias 109 miles, 120 minutes
Jerusalem to Masada 56 miles, 90 minutes
Will I have easy internet access?
Most hotels in Israel have free Wi-Fi available for hotel guests. Many cafes and restaurants offer a complementary Wi-Fi service.
Since September 2013, Tel Aviv offers a citywide free Wi-Fi network which provides 80 free Internet “hot spots” across the city.
Will I be able to use my cell phone in Israel?
If you have an international plan, your cell phone may work in Israel, please check with your local provider. It can be very expensive to use your cell phone without an international plan.
Can I rent a cellular phone in Israel?
Yes. You can rent a phone when you arrive at any time during your visit. Read about renting a cellular phone here.
What is the country code to dial to Israel?
What is the weather like in Israel, when is the best time to visit?
Israel is a year round destination.
Israel enjoys long, warm, dry summers and generally mild winters with somewhat drier, cooler weather in hilly regions, such as Jerusalem and Safed. Temperatures can vary widely so just pack for the "right" weather and you'll be fine.
What kind of clothing should I pack?
In Summer, lightweight T-shirts, sleeveless shirts (although at some religious sites you will be required to cover your shoulders.) Pack a sweater or a jacket for nights in the mountains or the desert.
What is the currency in Israel?
The Shekel; you’ll find it abbreviated as NIS (New Israeli Shekel). Exchange rates of the Shekel to all foreign currencies as well as other information can be found here.
What credit cards are accepted?
You can use your ATM card to obtain Shekels at ATM’s throughout Israel. You can also use American Express, MasterCard and Visa cards at most Israeli hotels, restaurants and stores. IT IS VERY IMPORTANT TO NOTIFY YOUR CREDIT CARD COMPANY THAT YOU WILL BE TRAVELING IN ISRAEL so that they will not suspect that someone has stolen your card, and decline your charges.
Is everything closed on the Sabbath (Shabbat) in Israel?
Shabbat (the Sabbath) is the Jewish holy day of the week observed every Saturday. Shabbat starts at sunset on Friday and ends at sundown on Saturday evening.
All public offices are closed on Shabbat, as are banks, most stores and businesses; throughout Israel there is a growing number of shops open on Shabbat.
In most cities, public transportation (trains and buses) do not operate on Shabbat.
Most non-kosher restaurants are open on Shabbat.