Traveling tips for Israel – what you should know before a trip to Israel

Are you planning a trip to Israel and wondering what to expect? With its rich history, diverse culture, and stunning landscapes, Israel is a fascinating destination that attracts visitors from around the world. From the vibrant city of Tel Aviv to the ancient ruins of Jerusalem, there’s no shortage of exciting experiences to be had. But before you embark on your journey, it’s essential to know what to expect and how to prepare.

As a traveler, you’ll want to be aware of the entry requirements, local customs, and cultural norms that will help you navigate this unique country. From obtaining the right visa to understanding the local cuisine, there are many details to consider. Additionally, Israel’s complex history and political landscape require a thoughtful and respectful approach. By doing your research and being mindful of your surroundings, you’ll be able to make the most of your trip and create lasting memories.

In this article, we’ll provide you with the essential tips and information you need to know before traveling to Israel. From practical advice on packing and transportation to insights into the local culture and customs, we’ll cover it all. Whether you’re a seasoned traveler or embarking on your first trip abroad, this guide will help you navigate the ins and outs of traveling in Israel and make the most of your experience. So let’s get started!

What do I need to know before going to Israel?

Here are some important things to know before going to Israel:

Entering and Exiting Israel:

  • Have a Passport Valid for At Least Six Months: Your passport must be valid for the entirety of your stay. It’s highly recommended to have a passport that’s valid for six months or more.
  • Keep Track of Your Entry Card: US passport holders are allowed to stay in Israel for 90 days with a free tourist visa. The entry card shows information such as the date you arrived, a small photo of yourself and the date when your 90 days in Israel are up.

About Israel and Israelis:

  • Israel is located in western Asia in the Middle East. It’s bathed by the Mediterranean Sea (to the east) and the Red Sea in the Gulf of Aqaba (a very short strip to the south).
  • Israel has a population of about 9 million people. An inhabitant of Israel is an Israeli, but not all Israelis are Jews! In fact, only about 75% of the population is Jew, while about 20% are Arabs, and the remaining are from other ethnicities.
  • The official language of Israel is Hebrew, but Arabic is also spoken (by the Arabs mostly) and is a recognized language.

Traveling in Israel:

  • Israel has beautiful beaches, fantastic snorkeling places, cool hikes, a long, complex, and significant history, and a unique mix of cultures.
  • Whether you’re going to be experiencing breathtaking views on the lush green mountains of the Golan Heights or the sandy cliffs of the Negev Desert, visiting religious landmarks and sacred sites, or soaking up the sun on the Mediterranean coast, it’s important to keep in mind local laws, safety guidelines and social etiquette rules

How do I prepare for a tour of Israel?

Here are some steps to help you prepare for your tour of Israel:

1. Determine the Best Time to Go :

  • The best time to visit Israel is in April/May and October/November.
  • Israel’s climate varies greatly from season to season, as well as region to region.

2. Check Entry Requirements:

  • Obtain a passport if you don’t have one already, or renew yours as soon as possible if it is due to expire within six months of the date you are scheduled to arrive in Israel.
  • While citizens of most countries can enter Israel without a visa for up to 3 months (tourism purposes only), you should still check if there may be any visa requirements.

3. Decide Your Mode of Travel:

  • Decide if you want to explore on your own or with a tour guide.
  • A tour guide or tour group can help you with all of that, and there are hundreds of agencies to choose from.

4. Plan Your Itinerary:

  • Have a basic outline of where you want to go and what you want to see/do.
  • Jot down a few of the major “can’t miss” cities and attractions, like Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, Galilee, the Negev desert, and the Dead Sea.

5. Pack Appropriately:

  • Always carry electrical adapters with you.
  • Pack and wear modest clothing.
  • Be prepared to be strictly interviewed at the airport.
  • Keep the paper visa/slip you receive at the airport safely.

6. Prepare for the Shabbat Hours:

  • Familiarize yourself with the observance of Shabbat (the Jewish Sabbath) and its impact on transportation, businesses, and activities.
  • Plan ahead for any adjustments to your schedule during Shabbat, which typically begins at sunset on Friday and ends at nightfall on Saturday.

7. Use the Plenty of Monit Sheruts Available:

  • Take advantage of the Monit Sherut (shared taxis) service, which offers a convenient and affordable mode of transportation between cities and towns in Israel.
  • Research routes, schedules, and fares in advance to streamline your travel logistics and maximize your time exploring.

8. Pray for Your Journey:

  • Ask God to make you sensitive to what He will teach you and to help you retain it.
  • Pray for your guide, driver, and Bible teacher.
  • Pray for your group to be free of injury, to have no lost luggage, and to have a spirit of unity.

What is the requirements to travel to Israel?

Here are the requirements to travel to Israel:

1. Passport Validity:

  • A valid passport is required upon arrival in Israel.
  • Your passport must be valid for at least 6 months from the date you enter the country.
  • The return ticket of the passenger should not exceed the expiration date of their passport at the time of entry.

2. Visa Requirements:

  • You do not need a visa to enter Israel as a tourist.
  • On entry, visitors are given permission to stay for up to 3 months.
  • If you work in Israel without the proper permissions, you can be detained and deported.

3. COVID-19 Rules:

There are no COVID-19 testing or vaccination requirements for travellers entering Israel.

4. Entry Card:

  • Visitors entering via Tel Aviv Ben Gurion Airport get an entry card instead of an entry stamp in their passport.
  • Keep your entry card with your passport until you leave. This is evidence that you entered Israel legally

How much cash should I bring to Israel?

The amount of cash you should bring to Israel can depend on a variety of factors, including your personal spending habits, the length of your stay, and the activities you plan to do. However, here are some general guidelines:

  1. Cash Limit: There are no limits to how much cash you can bring into Israel, but if it’s 80,000 New Israeli Shekels (ILS) or more, or the equivalent in a foreign currency, it must be reported whether you are entering or leaving.
  2. Cash for Expenses: It’s suggested to bring around $300 in cash to Israel. This can be used for small expenses, tips, and in places that don’t accept cards.
  3. ATMs and Cards: ATMs are widely available in Israel, and you can withdraw cash as needed. Inform your bank and credit card company of the dates you will be in Israel to ensure your transactions are not blocked.
  4. Emergency Cash: It’s common travel advice to bring an “emergency stash” of cash whenever you’re abroad. The amount can depend on your comfort level.

What can’t you bring into Israel?

There are several items that you are not allowed to bring into Israel without a specific license or permit. Here are some of them:

  1. Offensive or indecent goods: Any goods that are considered offensive or indecent are prohibited.
  2. Counterfeit currency and documents: It’s illegal to bring counterfeit currency and documents into the country.
  3. Lottery and gambling materials: Tickets and advertising materials for lotteries and gambling without permits are not allowed.
  4. Forged or counterfeit invoice forms, preference documents, or certificates of origin: These are strictly prohibited.
  5. Used sacks that were used for packing plant material: These are not allowed due to potential biosecurity risks.
  6. Knives: Knives intended for use in a profession, trade, business or for household purposes are allowed. However, other types of knives are prohibited.
  7. Certain types of equipment: This includes laser speedometer disruptors, pen-like or gun-like shooting devices, tear gas containers in the shape of a shooting device, and used equipment for beekeepers.
  8. Prohibited games, explosives, and flammable materials: These are not allowed for safety reasons.
  9. Live creatures such as poisonous snakes: These are prohibited due to potential biosecurity and safety risks.
  10. Utensils used in the preparation or use of dangerous drugs: These are strictly prohibited.
  11. Goods used to incite violence, terrorism, or racism: Any goods that could be used to incite violence, terrorism, or racism are not allowed.
  12. Goods aligned with, or showing sympathy towards, terrorist groups: These are strictly prohibited

What foods Cannot be brought into Israel?

Israel has certain restrictions on the types of food that can be brought into the country. Here are some of the prohibited items:

  • Meat products: Most countries, including Israel, prohibit entry with any meat products.
  • Dairy products: Any dairy products are also not allowed.
  • Certain fruits: Banana and pineapples are completely restricted, though other fruits and vegetables are allowed unless they have originated in Africa.
  • Food cooked by a non-Jew: It is rabbinically forbidden to eat food cooked by a non-Jew if it is a type of food that is not eaten raw and is served at royal tables (e.g., meat, fish, eggs), or bread baked by a non-Jew, or his milk or cheese (because of the possibility that the milk comes from a forbidden animal or the cheese was made with prohibited rennet).

How expensive is visiting Israel?

Expenses for visiting Israel might differ based on your choices and manner of travel. Here are some average costs based on the expenses of other visitors:

  • Daily expenses: You should plan to spend around $119 (₪450) per day on your vacation in Israel. This includes an average of $33 (₪125) on meals and $8.12 (₪31) on local transportation.
  • Accommodation: The average price paid for one person for accommodation in Israel is $69 (₪260).
  • One week trip: A one week trip to Israel usually costs around $835 (₪3,149) for one person and $1,670 (₪6,297) for two people.
  • Two week trip: A two week trip to Israel on average costs around $1,670 (₪6,297) for one person and $3,341 (₪12,595) for two people.
  • One month trip: A one month trip to Israel on average costs around $3,579 (₪13,495) for one person and $7,158 (₪26,989) for two people

What is the best time to tour Israel?

The best time to visit Israel is during the spring (March to May) and autumn (September to November) when the temperatures are pleasant, ranging from around 68–82°F (20–27°C). These periods offer more clear days and ideal conditions for engaging in outdoor activities.

However, if you’re interested in experiencing Israel’s cultural events and festivals, such as Passover, Sukkot, or Independence Day, the best times are usually from April to May and September to October.

Should I carry my passport with me in Israel?

It is recommended to carry your passport with you at all times while in Israel. Some travelers suggest carrying a photocopy of the passport and leaving the actual passport in a secure place.

What questions are asked at the Israel visa interview?

Here are some commonly asked questions during an Israel visa interview:

  1. Can you briefly introduce yourself?
  2. Why do you want to visit Israel?
  3. Have you been to Israel before? If so, when and for what purpose?
  4. Do you have friends or family in Israel?
  5. What is your travel itinerary? Which cities do you plan to visit?
  6. How will you finance your trip to Israel?
  7. How long do you intend to stay in Israel?
  8. Can you provide evidence of your return ticket?
  9. What ensures your return to your home country after your visit?
  10. Are you aware of the current political or social situation in Israel?
  11. Do you have travel insurance for your trip to Israel?

How long can I stay in Israel on a tourist visa?

As a tourist visiting Israel, you are typically granted a stay of up to 90 days.


I appreciate you reading! Save this page to your bookmarks for more resources and travel advice if you’re thinking about visiting Israel. Do you still have questions? We’ll try our best to assist you if you leave a comment below. Share this post with other visitors and friends who may be interested in visiting this amazing nation.

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