Visas and Passports to Israel
If you are a Canadian or US citizen, you do not need a visa to travel to Israel, but a passport valid for at least six months is required. Please note that if you have an Israeli passport, you must use your Israeli passport to enter and exit the country.Also, when entering Israel, you will receive an AL-17 form. Save this form until your departure.
Israel is two hours ahead of Greenwich Mean Time, seven hours ahead of Eastern Standard Time and 10 hours ahead of Pacific Standard Time. At 7pm in Israel, it is Midday in New York. It should also be noted that Israel has its own dates for switching to daylight saving time, and during the autumn the difference between Israel and GMT may only be one hour.
Currency and Exchange Rates
The Israeli currency is the New Israeli Shekel (NIS). Each shekel is divided into 100 Agorot. The banknotes are in denominations of 20, 50, 100 and 200 Shekels. Coins are in denominations of 1, 2, 5, and 10 Shekels, and 10 and 50 Agorot. ATMs are widely available in cities and towns and are the best way to access funds conveniently. Traveler’s checks are NOT widely accepted in Israel, but you can exchange the traveler’s checks (and cash) commission-free at post offices. Foreign currency may be exchanged at any banks and at many hotels. Most banks’ operating hours are: Sunday through Thursday from 08:30am – 12:00pm and from 4:00pm – 6:00pm.
Shops are open daily from Sunday to early Friday afternoon, and certain shops may re-open late on Saturdays, after dark, for a few hours. Most shops and many cafes and restaurants are closed Friday afternoon through Saturday. Tel Aviv is always the exception when it comes to the weekend, and most cafés and restaurants are open for business all day, including Saturday.
Restaurants & Cafes
Israel has experienced a real culinary boom over recent years, with a host of international restaurants opening in the cities – most notably in Tel Aviv. Some of the restaurants are Kosher, meaning they adhere to Jewish food laws regarding the way meat is handled by butchers, they keep certain foods off the menu (such as pork or shellfish) and both dairy and meat products are never available in the same establishment. These restaurants will be closed from Friday afternoon until after sunset on Saturday. The majority of meals on offer at dairy restaurants will be suitable for vegetarian diners, although most meat restaurants will also have a fair selection of vegetarian dishes available. Having said this many of the trendier restaurants in the big cities, especially Tel Aviv, are non kosher, with a variety of options available.
Exchange Rates: http://www.bankisrael.gov.il/eng.shearim/index.php
Currency Converter Calculator: http://coinmill.com/ILS_calculator.html
Electronic Appliances in Israel
The electric current in Israel is 220 volts AC, single phase, with a frequency of 50 Hertz. Electrical items such as blow dryers, electric shavers, computers and other appliances may require adaptors or converters. We recommend purchasing the necessary adaptors/converters prior to your departure.
The two types of plugs are shown below:
Emergency Phone Numbers
Police: Dial 100
Ambulance: Dial 101
Fire Department: Dial 102
Israel’s Egged Bus Company offers frequent buses between cities and within cities. For schedules and information, visit their website at: http://www.egged.co.il/Eng/
Israel also has a Railroad system that links major cities. For more information on routes and fares, visit their website at: http://www.israrail.org.il/english/index.html
Taxis run in all cities and are always available, even on Shabbat. To reserve a group taxi (sherut) by phone, call 02-623 1231 or 02-625 7227 / 3233 / 5332
Weather Forecasts and Average Temperatures
Read below for the average temperatures, in Fahrenheit, for the following cities in Israel:
For daily weather forecasts, click here: http://www.israelweather.co.il/english/week.asp
Measurement and Weight: Israel uses the metric system exclusively. A kilogram equals 2.2 pounds and a kilometer is 0.62 miles.