There is plenty to choose from, and bargaining is common in certain shops and especially in the bazaars. Visitors paying for leather goods in foreign exchange at certain government registered stores will be exempt from VAT. A 25% discount on leather goods is also available if you have the goods delivered to the airport or port of departure. Souvenirs include jewellery, precious stones, ceramics, embroidery, glassware, wine, religious souvenirs and clothing. Shop opening times: i. A. Sun-Fri 08.00-19.00 (some shops close 13.00-16.00). However, the Jewish and Arab shops have different opening hours and business methods. Jewish shops close at sunset on Friday Sabbath (closed all day Saturday), Arabic shops are closed on Fridays. Shops in hotels are often open until midnight.
- Searchforpublicschools: Offers schooling information of Israel in each level – compulsory, technical and higher education programs.
Nightclubs and discos are common; Pop, jazz, folklore and rock clubs can be found in most towns and resorts. Especially in Tel Aviv, visitors can expect a variety of different events. In winter, the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra plays at Binynei Haooma Hall in Jerusalem; the International Israel Music and Arts Festival is a major attraction in the summer. Cinemas are very popular, and many have three screenings a day (all Hebrew films have English or French subtitles). Tickets for films or performances can be bought in advance at agencies and in some hotels. Many cities have art galleries. Artist colonies are located in En Hod on Mount Carmel near Haifa, in Safed and in Jaffa. Every major city has at least one museum. The Dead Sea Scrolls are housed in the Israel Museum in Jerusalem; the Museum of the Diaspora in Tel Aviv is world famous and well worth seeing.
Israeli restaurants offer a combination of western, oriental and regional dishes. There are also specialty restaurants (Chinese, Indian, vegetarian, etc.) in the big cities. Some restaurants are quite expensive, but the price does not necessarily reflect the standard. There are numerous snack bars, the z. B. Falaffel (fried chickpea balls with salad in pitta bread), kebabs, shish kebabs and the like. Menus in restaurants, bars and cafes geared towards vacationers are written in Hebrew and English. The Israeli cuisine is essentially a mixture of oriental and western culinary arts. Hungarian goulash, Russian borscht, Wiener schnitzel or German roast are available, as are humus (chickpea puree), tahini (sesame paste), and Turkish coffee. There are also traditional Jewish dishes such as gefilte fish, chopped liver and chicken soup. Bagels are ring-shaped buns; the many different cakes, biscuits and tarts are also irresistible. There is also a wide range of fruit and vegetables. Freshly roasted nuts and seeds are offered on every street corner. Kosher Food: The Hebrew word kosher denotes dishes prepared in accordance with Jewish religious laws. This includes e.g. B. that milk and dairy products are not served with meat dishes and animals must be slaughtered in a certain way. Pork, crab and clams are not kosher, nevertheless they can be found on some menus. Beverages: Israeli wines range from light whites to dry reds and sweet rosés. There is a good selection of local brandies and liqueurs. Liqueurs include Hard Nut (Elias Winery), Sabra (chocolate and orange) and Arak (aniseed). Israeli beers are Maccabee and Gold Star. A large selection of liqueurs are available, for example, from the monastery in Latrun between Jerusalem and Tel Aviv. Liqueurs include Hard Nut (Elias Winery), Sabra (chocolate and orange) and Arak (aniseed). Israeli beers are Maccabee and Gold Star. A large selection of liqueurs are available, for example, from the monastery in Latrun between Jerusalem and Tel Aviv. Liqueurs include Hard Nut (Elias Winery), Sabra (chocolate and orange) and Arak (aniseed). Israeli beers are Maccabee and Gold Star. A large selection of liqueurs are available, for example, from the monastery in Latrun between Jerusalem and Tel Aviv.
Over 300 hotels are registered with the Ministry of Tourism. In high season (July – August) and during religious holidays, bookings should be made as early as possible. Around 300 hotels are members of the hotel association: Israel Hotel Association, 29 Ha’mered Street, PO Box 50066, IL-Tel Aviv. Tel: (03) 517 01 31. (Web: www.israelhotels.org.il). A list of hotels with Travel for the Disabled facilities is available from the Tourist Office (see Addresses).
There are campsites in all regions. Amenities typically include restrooms, showers, electricity, restaurants/cafeterias, shops, telephones, post offices, first aid facilities, shaded picnic areas and fire pits, and day and night security. Access by bus, car or caravan. Most tents, camping huts and the necessary equipment can be rented. All offer swimming opportunities, either at the campsite or in the surrounding area.
Other accommodation options
Youth hostels can consist of dormitories, family bungalows, cabins or modern sleeping cabins and are found throughout the country. Information is available from the IYHA Youth Hostel Association, International Convention Center, 1 Sazar Street, PO Box 6001, IL-Jerusalem 91060. Tel: (02) 655 84 00. (Internet: www.youth-hostels.org.il) In the Mediterranean resort villages and on the Red Sea there are often two-bed cottages or small air-conditioned bungalows available for accommodation. Most facilities are open from April to October.
80% Jews; 15% Muslim, Christian and other minorities.
Social Rules of Conduct
Manners: Shalom literally means “peace” and means both “hello/good day” and “goodbye”. The manners are rarely particularly formal, general forms of politeness should be observed during private visits. Israelis are generally open-minded and enjoy talking about their country, religion and politics. Clothing is casual; however, religious sites (whether Jewish, Christian or Islamic) should not be entered wearing shorts or skirts and bare shoulders. In synagogues, all men wear a hat. More formal attire is expected of business people. Fine restaurants, nightclubs and the hotel restaurants sometimes expect smarter attire for dinner. Smoking: Smoking is prohibited in closed public spaces such as restaurants, cafes, bars, as well as in train and bus stations. However, the smoking ban is not observed everywhere. Tipping: 10-15% service charge is common in restaurants, hotels and cafes. Taxi drivers do not expect tips.
Best travel time
Very different depending on the region. Winters can be cool and rainy in the north and in Jerusalem, while Eilat in the south has bathing weather all year round. In summer it can get very hot, especially in the south. Spring to early summer and autumn are very pleasant travel times in every region.
Average values in the coldest/warmest month
Mediterranean: 17.5°C February/March, 29°C August;
Sea of Galilee: 15°C January, 29.5°C August/September;
Dead Sea: 19°C February, 31°C September;
Red Sea: 20°C February, 27°C August/September.
Area (sq km)
20,770 sq km (8,019 sq mi)
8,883,800 (Source: homosociety)
Population density (per square km)
406 per sq km
Population statistics year
Main emergency number