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Electical Appliances

The Israeli power supply is single phase 220 volts at 50 Hertz. Most power sockets in Israel have three pin holes, but many of them will work with double-pin European plugs. Visitors who want to use shavers, traveling irons and other small appliances may need both transformers and adaptor plugs.

Immigration & Customs:

International travelers come to Israel for a wide variety of reasons, including tourism, business, medical treatment and certain types of temporary work. The type of visa needed is defined by immigration law, and relates to the principal purpose of the traveler. Please, note, a visa does not guarantee entry into Israel.

Enclosed is link to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs website which details from which countries a prearranged visa is necessary.  Please note that tourists are in column of Nationals while service refers to Diplomats on official service.


Passport Control 

Upon arrival in Israel, visitors undergo a security check and are requested to present a passport that is valid for at least six months from the date of their departure.

Arrival by Air and Land Crossings – Incoming travelers continue to the passenger luggage area after their passports have been inspected. Carts are at their disposal. From there, they continue to customs control and to the airport exit.

Important note for tourists continuing from Israel on to Arab countries: It is recommended that you request that an Israeli stamp does not appear on your passport. You must notify the clerk of your request before your documents are stamped.

As of July 3, 2008, an official decision has been made that will no longer require entry stamps on foreign passports. In such cases, you must fill out form 17L including your personal details, and that form shall be stamped by passport control upon entry/exit. The form 17L will not be collected upon exit of airport as it is necessary for the collection of tax refunds and proof of legal entry.


There is a two-lane customs transit system, one green and the other red, at Ben Gurion Airport and the various Crossing Points.

Visitors who do not have goods to be declared may go through the green lane at the exit from the passenger arrival hall. Articles that do not need to be declared:

  • Personal clothing, shoes and cosmetics – in quantities that can usually be carried in the traveler’s  hand baggage.


Security Check upon departure

Passengers must arrive at the airport two and a half hours before departure time.

Passengers arriving at the airport must first undergo a security check before approaching the counter of the airline they are flying. Passengers and their luggage are inspected by airport personnel with modern security equipment.  They will then check in their luggage and receive a boarding pass and seat number.



Israel enjoys long, warm, dry summers (April-October) and generally mild winters (November-March) with somewhat drier, cooler weather in hilly regions, such as Jerusalem and Safed. Rainfall is relatively heavy in the north and center of the country, with much less in the northern Negev and almost negligible

Regional conditions vary considerably, with humid summers and mild winters on the coast; dry summers and moderately cold winters in the hill regions; hot dry summers and pleasant winters in the Jordan Valley; and year-round semi-desert conditions in the Negev.

Weather extremes range from occasional winter snowfall in the mountain regions to periodic oppressively hot dry winds that send temperatures soaring, particularly in spring and autumn.

For more specific information, contact the Israel Meteorological
Service: http://www.ims.gov.il/IMSENG/ALL_TAHAZIT/HOMEPAGE.HTM 

What to Bring

Israel is a modern, developed country, and you can purchase virtually anything you need during your stay, including clothing, cosmetics, and hygiene products.

If you are visiting Israel during the summer you will need lightweight clothing - short-sleeved and sleeveless shirts, shorts, sandals, beach shoes and a bathing suit.  It’s also a good idea to pack a sweater or jacket, since nights in the mountains and the desert can be cool. 

If you are visiting Israel in the winter, you will need warm clothing, a coat (preferably a raincoat as well), good shoes, an umbrella, gloves, a scarf and other warm clothing.  Weather in Israel is not cold as it is in Europe, but days can be rainy and cold. 

Sunscreen, a sun hat, and sunglasses are essential items throughout the year.

Israeli Currency

The State of Israel’s currency is the New Israel Shekel (NIS) or shekel for short (pluralized as shkalim in Hebrew or shekels in English). There are 100 agorot (agora in singular) in each shekel. Bank notes are in denominations of NIS 20, 50, 100, and 200; coins are in denominations of NIS10, NIS5, NIS1 and 50, 10 and 5 agorot.

Changing Money

Unlimited sums of local and foreign money may be brought into Israel as cash, travelers’ checks, credit cards or State of Israel bonds. Foreign currency of all kinds may be exchanged at the airport, banks, post offices, most hotels or licensed exchange agencies in large cities. A passport is required when exchanging travelers’ checks. The rates vary from place to place, and banks charge a commission. It is recommended, though not obligatory, to carry a small amount of US dollars, since certain tourist sites, especially in the Old City of Jerusalem, take payment in dollars.

For more information: http://www.bankisrael.gov.il/firsteng.htm

Cash Withdrawal 

Holders of international credit cards can withdraw local or foreign currency at banks which accept their credit cards. There are Automated Teller Machines outside most banks.

Tips and Bargaining 

In Israel it is customary to tip primarily in restaurants. When the bill does not include service, a 12% tip should be added to the payment. In hotels, one tips the bellhop or any other service provider. Taxi drivers are generally not tipped.

Bargaining is acceptable in Israel, but not everywhere. In the open-air markets, do not hesitate to bargain as it is part of the experience and doing so can lower the price. Storekeepers are legally required to display prices and for the most part are not open to bargaining. This is also true of restaurants and public transportation. Passengers are advised to ask cab drivers to turn on the meter, thus avoiding unnecessary haggling.


Various banks have branches in the large cities and in smaller communities. Most banks are open from 8:30 am until 12 noon Sunday to Thursday, and 4–6pm on Sunday, Tuesday and Thursday. On Fridays and Jewish holiday eves, banks are open from 8:30 am until 12 noon. All banks are closed on Saturdays.


Exchanging Shekalim for Foreign Currency 

Shekels can be converted back to foreign currency at Ben Gurion Airport banks, up to US $500 or its equivalent in other currencies. Any remaining shekels over this amount that were acquired during a single visit to Israel (up to a maximum of US $5,000) can be reconverted with bank receipts proving the original conversion of the foreign currency.


Traveling to neighboring countries

You can travel between Israel, Jordan and Egypt. You should check with the relevant embassies if you need a visa to these countries.

Water in Israel

You can drink tap water. But, you will also find mineral water everywhere. It is important to make sure you drink a lot, especially when out walking and on hot days.


For schedules and fares of buses in Israel, please visit: http://www.egged.co.il/eng/

For train schedules and fares, please visit: http://www.rail.co.il/EN/Pages/Homepage.aspx

For information about all domestic and international flights, please visit: http://www.iaa.gov.il/Rashat/en-US/Rashot

Driving license

If you wish to drive a car in Israel, you must hold a valid international driver’s license.



 Almost every hotel room has cable TV with access to the international cable news channels. Israel TV has a daily news broadcast in English. The English-language Jerusalem Post and Haaretz newspapers are published daily except Saturday. The International Herald Tribune is printed six days a week in Tel Aviv and includes the English language version of Haaretz.


Telephone service in Israel is world-class. The country-code for Israel is 972. Israeli area codes commence with a zero (e.g. 02-123-4567), so if you calling Israel from overseas, drop the zero (i.e. +972-2-123-4567).

Cell phones

If your U.S. cell-phone and/or handheld wireless device is programmed for international service, it will work automatically in Israel. Alternatively, cell-phones can be rented as soon as you arrive in Israel.


Almost every hotel has internet access – in-room and/or wi-fi and/or at its Business Center, some at cost. Internet cafes are to be found too. Laptops are always dual-voltage so all you’ll need is a European-style two-pin converter plug that will work in Israel.


Post offices are everywhere, and are the ideal place to buy stamps, mail letters or packages. Most hotels’ front desks or concierges have stamps too. Israel Post Office Website: http://www.israelpost.co.il/hpcontent.nsf/EntryHomePage?ReadForm&L=EN




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