Facts of Israel
Below you can get practical information when traveling to Israel – for example about visas, vaccinations, travel insurance. Visit shoefrantics.com for contrasts in Israel.
- Language: Ivrit and Arabic
- Capital: Jerusalem
- Population: 8, 2 mill.
- Religion: Mosaic and Islam
- Currency: Shekel
- Surface: 20,770 km2
Swedish time + 1 hour. Israel also has summer and winter time, but does not change at the same time as in Sweden, therefore the time difference can vary.
Transport in Israel
buses in Israel are of a high standard and have air conditioning.
A main course with accessories costs around 120 SEK. When it comes to pocket money, we know from experience that you need about 300 SEK per day. If you want to include extra drinks in that amount, you should expect an additional 60 SEK per day.
On our travels, you come into contact with everyday life in Israel, including conditions that may not appeal to you, or that you are not used to. Take for example the system of tips. In many countries, tips are a more organized phenomenon than we Swedes are used to, and you are expected to leave some tips to local guides, and drivers during the trip, because the salary in the service industry is usually based on that. We enter an amount in our travel program so that you can count on this when you make up your travel budget at home. The price of the trip does not include the cost of tips as you decide how much you want to give during the trip. The tip system is part of the culture you visit and something you should therefore respect. We want to emphasize that everyone decides for themselves how much they want to give in tips.
In practice, it is possible to arrange for the tour guide to collect money for the entire trip before departure and ensure that the right people get what they need. An envelope will then be sent around the bus so that those who want can leave tips.
Currency and credit cards
The currency in Israel is the Israeli Shekel (ILS).
You can use international credit cards at major hotels, in most stores, at all major restaurants and in department stores. There are plenty of opportunities to withdraw cash at ATMs.
In both Israel and Jordan you can exchange all cash currencies, but like many other places in the Middle East, it is advantageous to bring USD or EUR when you want to exchange. You can also pay with both USD and EUR, however, it is most convenient with smaller denominations.
In Israel you have 220 volts, and the sockets are usually identical to Swedish. To be on the safe side, you can bring an adapter set.
Telephone and internet
The international country code for Israel is + 972. It is expensive to call home, so feel free to contact your mobile operator regarding coverage and prices for calls from Israel. Most hotels have internet service for a fee.
Drinking water and hygiene
Hotels and larger restaurants are of a modern / western standard. Out in the city and in the country, you can count on going to so-called pedal toilets, and that there is a lack of toilet paper. The standard of public toilets or in the countryside can thus be relatively primitive. Bring your own toilet paper, wet wipes and perhaps hand sanitizer (available at Swedish pharmacies, for example), so you will not be as dependent on access to water.
You should not drink tap water, but instead buy bottled water.
Customs and traditions
Israel is generally a modern and international society, and there are no specific rules or guidelines for dress or behavior.
When visiting sacred places, such as The Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem, we recommend that your clothes cover your knees and shoulders.
Keep in mind that there are often security checks at the entrance to all large public buildings, department stores or larger stations. In addition, the police are visible in the street scene and sometimes the traffic stops for a vehicle to be checked. You do not have to be nervous about similar safety checks, they are performed to ensure that everyone can travel safely and securely, and not because there is danger on the move.
Smoking is prohibited during all flights and transport.
In Jerusalem it is allowed to go outdoors, e.g. in cafes and restaurants, but indoor public smoking is prohibited.
On some of our trips in Israel we visit the Dead Sea. Due to the high salt content, we recommend that you bring beach sandals, as the dried salt can hurt a little if you step on something and walk barefoot.