Travel Guides
Travel Insurance
Tourist Offices
Health Matters
Goverment Information
Hotels
Photo Tours
Apply for Visa
Terms & Conditions
Cellphone Rentals
If you have a question, feel free to Contact Us and we will answer your question as soon as possible.
 

Isram Travel Guide to ISRAEL
Israel

Shalom! Bon Voyage! We wish you a wonderful journey and an enjoyable stay in the endlessly fascinating and beautiful land of Israel. Isram World will do everything possible to ensure that your tour will be an exciting and memorable experience, filled with the joy of discovery and remembered happily for many years to come.This page is designed to answer many of your questions and to provide you with valuable information to make your trip to Israel more enjoyable.  We hope you will find it useful. Thank you for choosing IsramWorld to Israel.

PASSPORTS
Tourists are required to hold passports valid for 6 months beyond the duration of your stay. Visitors are allowed to stay in the country for three months from date of arrival.

You Do Not Need A Visa

U.S. and Canadian citizens do not need a visa to visit Israel – just a valid passport (valid for at least 6 months beyond the duration of your stay). Visitors from most European countries, Mexico, Latin America, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and many others countries also do not need visas. To check the requirements for other nationalities contact the Israeli Consulate..

You Don’t Need Vaccinations No vaccinations or shots are required for U.S. or Canadian visitors to Israel. (If you’ve visited a country prior to coming to Israel where cholera, typhoid or yellow fever is endemic, you will need a vaccination certificate.)

  Back to Top

ISRAELI – JORDANIAN BORDER CROSSINGS
There are three crossing points used frequently for travel between Israel and Jordan—
The Arava crossing near Eilat, the Sheikh Hussein Crossing in the north, and the
Allenby Bridge (King Hussein) crossing near Jerusalem. American and Canadian citizens can secure visas for Jordan locally when crossing at Arava (Eilat) or Sheikh Hussein (North). However, at the Allenby Bridge (Jerusalem) a visa or permit must be pre-arranged prior to your departure from home otherwise you will be denied entry.
Visa fees and crossing fees are not included in the price of your tour program.

  Back to Top

BAGGAGE
Transatlantic flights allow 1 checked bag per person in economy seating and usually 2 checked bags in Business and First Class. However, as each airline carries their own policy of baggage allowance and weight restrictions, we strongly recommend that you check with your carrier. Domestic flight baggage restrictions may differ from the international flights.

Note: Due to space limitations in the motor coach, private cars and minibuses we ask that you kindly limit your luggage to 1 piece per person plus a carry-on.

  Back to Top

ARRIVAL TRANSFERS
Upon disembarkation from your international flight, be sure to affix your name tag (if provided with one) on your outer clothing so our airport staff may identify you. Also, please remember to affix the IsramWorld luggage tag to your suitcases. The Isram representative will meet in the baggage claim area once you have cleared passport control.

  Back to Top

CUSTOMS & CURRENCY
You may bring in almost anything you’ll need for personal use and your convenience. Limited items per adult are: .44 pints cologne or perfume; 2 liters wine; 1 liter liquor; 250 grams cigars or loose tobacco; 250 cigarettes; gifts up to $200.00 in value.

Upon return to the U.S., you may bring in up to $400.00 worth of items duty free. Please Note: Many Israeli-made items are not counted as part of your duty-free allowance as they are exempt from U.S. duty. Please be sure to NOT to check in your purchased items upon your return home as you may be asked to show them at the VAT counter if you are seeking the refund for VAT (see separate section on VAT below)..

Please Note: Many Israeli-made items are not counted as part of your duty-free allowance as they are exempt from U.S. duty.

The Israeli Shekel (NIS) is the country’s legal tender. The Shekel is divided into 100 agorot. The bills are in denominations of 10, 20, 50, 100 and 200 shekels. There are coins of 1,5, and 10 shekels and 5,10, and 50 agorot. You may bring an unlimited amount of foreign currency into Israel – cash, traveler's checks, letters of credit or State of Israel bonds. Upon departure you may take out up to NIS 1,000.

We recommend that you do not exchange a great amount of currency at a time as there are banks everywhere which you can easily access as you travel through Israel. Almost all restaurants do accept credit cards (mastercard/visa being more widely accepted). It is always advisable to change small amount of money for buying incidentals at the Kiosks, or for taxi rides as US Dollars are not accepted. There are also many ATM machines throughout Israel.

  Back to Top

FOREIGN CURRENCY EXCHANGE
Tourists, who have changed foreign currency (U.S. dollars) into Israeli currency (NIS), may re-exchange their money into dollars by presenting the receipt of the transaction up to a maximum of $500. This may be done at any bank in Israel or at Ben Gurion Airport upon departure. There is a surcharge for this transaction.

  Back to Top

VAT (VALUE ADDED TAX)
The V.A.T. (Value Added Tax) is 16% (Israel’s equivalent of U.S. Sales Tax) at printing time. This may fluctuate. Tourists in Israel are exempt from V.A.T. when paying in foreign currency for services provided in Israel.
All travelers are advised to charge all of your extras, including meals, to your room and when checking out pay in U.S. dollars, or credit card. Anything that is not charged to your room even if paid in dollars will be taxed 16%.
When purchasing items in approved shops, be sure to ask for a “V.A.T. Refund Form.” This will entitle you to a V.A.T. Refund at Ben Gurion International Airport upon departure at the Bank Leumi counter (upstairs in the Departure Lounge). The refund will be given in cash after presentation of your purchase invoice. You may also be requested to show the actual article that you purchased so may consider not packing/checking in your purchases.

Please Note: Passengers who are in possession of an Israeli Passport (including those with dual citizenship) may be subject to a 16% V.A.T. charge levied in Israel at the hotels or for car rentals. It must be paid, if requested, directly to the hotel. Please note that IsramWorld assumes no responsibility whatsoever for any charges to your account made by the hotel or car rental company for V.A.T.

  Back to Top

BANKING HOURS
Sunday, Tuesday & Thursday from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and from 4:00 to 5:30 p.m., Monday & Wednesday from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and eve of holidays from 8:30 a.m. to Noon. Branches in leading hotels usually offer additional hours.

  Back to Top

STATE OF ISRAEL BONDS
Tourists holding State of Israel Bonds in their name or legally assigned to them, may redeem them at any bank prior to their date of maturity for Israeli currency (NIS) up to the equivalent of $2,500 per month of stay for each member of the family..

  Back to Top

TIME
Israeli Standard Time is 2 hours ahead of Greenwich Mean Time, 1 hour ahead of mid-European Time; and 7 hours ahead of Eastern Standard Time, U.S.A.

  Back to Top

ELECTRICAL APPLIANCES
The electric current in Israel is 220 volts AC, single phase, 50 cycles. Sockets are usually three pronged and foreign-made appliances often require adapters for plugs. Israel’s voltage is 220 volts, like Europe. Most luxury hotels provide hair dryers, and virtually all hotel rooms have 110/220 electric shaver sockets. Our electricity outlets usually confirm to European adapters, but hotels and electrical stores can easily supply you with the right adapter if necessary.

  Back to Top

WEATHER & MEAN TEMPERATURES
The weather in Israel is often compared to the temperate climate in Florida, and southern California. There are sun-drenched summers and mild, balmy winters. However, as in most countries there can be sharp contrasts dependent upon the season. Year-round swimming is possible from April to October along the Mediterranean coast and the Sea of Galilee and throughout the year at the Dead Sea and the Red Sea.

The summer season (April to October) has fairly constant temperatures and is unspoiled by sudden showers. The winter season (November to March) is mild but quite cold in hilly areas (Jerusalem). Spells of rain are interspersed with brilliant sunshine.

Mean Temperatures

 
Jerusalem
Tel Aviv
Haifa
Tiberias
Eilat
Jan
43-53
49-65
45-63
48-65
49-70
Feb
43-57
47-65
47-64
48-67
51-73
Mar

47-60

51-68
47-70
51-72 
56-79
Apr
53-69
54-72
54-77
55-80
62-87
May

59-77

63-77
58-76
62-89
69-94
June
63-81
66-82
63-81
68-94
75-98
July
65-83
70-86
 68-86
73-98
77-103
Aug
65-85
72-86
70-86
74-99
79-104
Sep
64-82
68-88
67-85
70-95
74-97
Oct
60-77
59-83
59-81
65-89
68-91
Nov
54-66
54-76
55-73
58-78
60-82
Dec
46-56
47-66
48-64
53-68
51-74

  Back to Top

PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION

TaxisWhen using taxis, insist that the driver use the meter. Remember that the amount shown on the meter is in Israeli currency and prices do change according to time or day. Evening rates are higher.

If you have not pre-arranged a transfer to your hotel, please be aware that there is an Airport Bus Service at Ben Gurion Airport, which operates hourly to all of the major hotels in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem. The Information Desk will give you complete details as to the cost of the service. The buses also operate in reverse, picking up passengers at the hotels for return to Ben Gurion Airport. All hotels have a complete time schedule.

Driving YourselfAll international car rental companies are represented in Israel, and there are a variety of Israeli companies, too. A passport, major credit card and U.S. or Canadian driver’s license is needed to rent a car in Israel. The highway system is advanced and up to U.S./European standards. Most signs are in English in addition to Hebrew. In Israel, we drive on the right, just like in the U.S.A.

  Back to Top

PUBLIC TELEPHONES
Since there is a service charge on international calls from hotels, even with Calling Cards, we suggest that whenever possible you use public pay phones. You may buy phone cards at the front desk or newsstand at your hotel. Instructions on how to use the pay phone is clearly illustrated and explained in English on the telephone. The most economical alternative for USA calls is to use AT&T USADirect® Service. Or you may wish to rent a cellular phone from IsramWorld’s provider (see separate information concerning IsraelPhones).

Keeping In Touch?To call Israel from North America, dial 011-972 and then the number in Israel (omitting the initial zero).

Calling Home From Israel?It’s easy: AT&T, MCI and Sprint all have toll-free access numbers in Israel. Ask the hotel operator how to dial directly from your room. From a public phone check the instruction card (which will tell you to dial 012, 013 or 014 for overseas) then continue with 1 for the United States, the area code and phone number. If you are dialing from an office or a cell phone, dial 00 and then the number including the 1 before the area code.

Calling CardsPublic phones in Israel operate with calling cards purchased from your hotel, post office, kiosks and newsstands throughout the country.

Cell PhonesIt’s easy to rent a cell-phone for Israel. Please see Isram’s website www.isram.com. Go to “Plan Your Trip” and there you will find cell phone rentals. We provide you with the best deal in town including Free rental and Free Insurance up to two weeks in Israel. If your own U.S. cell-phone is a Tri-Band model, it will most likely work in Israel. Check with your service provider.

InternetTravelers can get on the internet in their hotel’s Business Center, or, with your own laptop, from the comfort of your hotel room (there is normally a charge for internet access). And you’ll find Internet Cafes and public Internet outlets all over Israel.

Postal ServicesYou can buy stamps at your hotel, at kiosks and at post offices. The Post Office also sells calling cards and will help you with money transfers.

  Back to Top

VALUABLES
We recommend that you use safe in your hotel room (or in the hotel) for your valuables and passports, etc. It is advisable to make a photocopy of your passport and carry it with you.

  Back to Top

SIGHTSEEING AND TOUR GUIDES
There is so much to see in Israel and we want to show you the maximum during the short time you will be here. Therefore, we ask that you follow the guide’s instructions and be punctual at all times...this makes our job easier and your trip even better.

  Back to Top

SEAT ROTATION ON MOTORCOACH
Seats on the bus are rotated on a daily basis in order to enable everyone to have the opportunity to sit in the front.

  Back to Top

SMOKING
Smoking is not allowed on any of our touring vehicles. However, rest stops are made with frequency for people who wish to smoke.

  Back to Top

ENGLISH NEWSPAPERS & BROADCASTS
The Jerusalem Post is published daily and on weekends and is the major English newspaper in Israel. News broadcasts in English on the radio are aired in the evening. Most of the major hotels feature CNN and BBC on a daily basis along with other cable news channels.

  Back to Top

PHOTOGRAPHY
Israel’s stunning landscapes and picturesque inhabitants make it truly a “photographer’s paradise.” Please be aware, however, that there are certain religious communities whose members resent having their picture taken. These include certain Orthodox Jewish sects and observant Moslems. Your discretion will save embarrassment.

Be sure to protect your camera against the sun and heat. Don’t take pictures between 12 noon and 3:30 p.m. when the light is too harsh, particularly in the summertime. In the Negev, don’t take color shots early in the morning or late in the afternoon as the result will be a reddish overtone.

  Back to Top

FOOD & WINE

Israeli food takes the best of Oriental and Western cuisine and adds its own flavor. Hungarian goulash, Russian borscht, Viennese schnitzel, American hot dogs, hamburgers and pizza are to be found side by side with Oriental falafel, humus, tahini, shishlik, kebab and Turkish coffee, as well as traditional Jewish dishes such as gefilte fish, chopped liver and chicken soup (like Mama makes)!

The wines of Israel compare well with those of Europe and range from light white to dry red to sweet rosé. There is also a good choice of local brandies and liqueurs. If you’re used to your “name brand” liquor, we suggest you bring it from the Duty Free Shop before you arrive in Israel – imported liquor is very expensive in Israel.

You will thoroughly enjoy the fruits and vegetables in Israel, as they are extraordinarily tasty, fresh , delicious and safe to eat.

Kosher Food: The Hebrew word “kosher” means food conforming to Jewish dietary laws. Certain animals and fish are prohibited and milk, cream or cheese may not be served together with meat. Most hotels have kosher food and many restaurants conform to the dietary laws. However, it is quite easy to find non-Kosher restaurants all over Israel.

Water: Tap water is officially drinkable throughout Israel, but bottled mineral water is widely available for those who prefer to be cautious. In hot weather remember to drink much more liquid than usual to combat the effects of dehydration.

Israeli Breakfast: The famous Israeli Buffet Breakfast is included in your tour unless otherwise specified. You have free choice at the buffet and may eat as much as you want, but there may be a charge for some special items ordered from the waiter. Breakfast at some hotels may be ordered to your room, but please note that there is a small charge for room service. Please check with your hotel for clarification.

Lunches: When touring, stops are usually made at self-service restaurants for lunch, where you may choose from a large selection of dishes. We attempt to stop at clean places where you will be able to get fast service and have proper washroom facilities. Please bear in mind, however, that in some areas of the country these places are limited and not always up to standard. Restaurants do not permit the eating of food brought in from outside.

Dinners: Our guides will recommend different restaurants in each city (for those days that dinner may not be included in your program.) There is a wide variation of restaurants specializing in international cuisine in Israel. You may, of course, always choose to eat at your own hotel.

Half-Board (Passengers with Meal Plans): No credit is given for meals that are missed, nor can they be eaten on another day and transferred. If arrangements are made in advance with the reception desk at the hotel, lunch may be substituted for dinner the same day.

At some hotels, “Half-Board” dinners are limited to certain dining rooms and there may be a supplement for meals eaten at different outlets. Please check with the reception desk at the hotel to be sure that you are eating in the proper dining room.

  Back to Top

MEDICAL INFORMATION

While touring, please remember not to pack your medication in your luggage, since your luggage is not readily available during the day. We recommend that you keep your medication and valuables in your carry-on piece. Please be aware that every hotel does have a House Doctor on call, if necessary.

  Back to Top

SHOPPING

Several hundred shops are approved for tourists by the Israel Tourism Administration. These shops display a sign stating “Listed by the Ministry” and the Ministry’s emblem (two scouts carrying a bunch of grapes on a pole between them). Among the best buys in Israel are carpets, ceramics, copperware, religious articles, jewelry, silverware, diamonds, paintings, and sculptures.

Stores are generally open from 9:30 A.M. to 7:00 P.M. Sunday to Thursday.
The Jewish Sabbath is from sunset on Friday to sunset on Saturday where most stores and businesses are closed. On Friday and eve of holidays, stores close at Noon. Department stores and malls are open all day and some evenings. If you like to bargain, comb the colorful local markets and bazaars (Jerusalem, Acre, Jaffa) for handmade arts and crafts.

Remember to ask for the “V.A.T. Refund Form” as discussed in the V.A.T. section.

.

  Back to Top

DEPARTURE TRANSFER

For passengers who are entitled to a departure transfers, our office in Israel will advise you as to the time of your pick up for departure to the airport. Please settle your hotel bill and be ready at the reception desk at the time indicated.

Advance El Al Check-In

Passengers returning to the U.S. on El Al Israel Airlines may check-in their luggage on the day before departure at the El Al Terminal in Tel Aviv or Jerusalem. (check-in can be done on Saturdays after sundown).

A security check and boarding pass is done "on the spot" allowing you to arrive at Ben Gurion Airport 1 hour prior to departure time. At that time you proceed immediately to Passport Control and to the departure area, avoiding all check-in lines

We highly recommend this service to passengers traveling on their own.

Airline Tickets

Our office in Israel automatically reconfirms your departure flight from Israel (for those airlines that require reconfirmation) if you are traveling on a bus or private car tour. You will receive a written note with the details as well as the information regarding your transfers, if applicable, to the airport. Please be advised that if you are traveling from Israel to Europe, the baggage is weighed and limited to 44 pounds per person, Economy Class.

  Back to Top

TIPPING

Tipping in Israel is very similar to tipping in the U.S. Use your own judgment, based on your personal satisfaction with the services as to how much to tip. Following is a suggestion guideline:

Restaurant & Hotel Dining Rooms: Average tip is approximately 15%. (Tips are not expected in hotels at breakfast.)

Included Dinners on Tour: Your guide will advise you if gratuities for your included meals are covered or not in your touring program. If not, we suggest a tip $3.00 per person.

Bellboys: Tips are covered by Isram for services on and off the motor coach for groups. This does not include the service to and from your room where individual tipping is recommended.

Chambermaids: Tips are not covered. We recommend approximately $1.00 per person per day.

Taxicabs: Although Israelis do not always tip taxi drivers if you are pleased with the service we recommend tipping 10% of the fare.

Tour Guides & Drivers: It is customary to show your appreciation to the guide and driver of your tour. Please note the following suggestions:

Bus Tour: The average tip (per person, per day) should approximate $3.00 to the driver and as from $7 for the guide.

Private Car Tours: The recommended average tip (per person, per day) should begin at $10 for the driver/guide.

Please note that all the above tipping is only a recommendation and as such, entirely at your discretion.

  Back to Top

HEBREW EXPRESSIONS

Boker Tov……………………………………………………… good morning
Erev Tov……………………………………………………….. good evening
Lyla tov………………………………………………………… good night
Shalom………………………………………………………….hello, goodbye; peace
Toda Raba…………………………………………………….. thank you
B’va-ka-sha……………………………………………………. please, you’re welcome
Ken……………………………………………………………….yes
Lo…………………………………………………………………no
Ha-yom…………………………………………………………. today
Ma-char………………………………………………………… tomorrow
Et-mohl…………………………………………………………..yesterday
La-ma?…………………………………………………………..why?
Ma-tai?………………………………………………………….. when?
Ka’mah?………………………………………………………….how much? how many?
Yo-tair’ me-die!…………………………………………………. too much
A-nee m’dah-ber’et-evreet’ (fem.)……………………………..I speak Hebrew
A-nee m’dah-ber’evreet’ (masc.)………………………………I speak Hebrew
Ha-tich-ha……………………………………………………….  a pretty girl
Ha-tich…………………………………………………………….a handsome man
Sab’-ra…………………………………………………a prickly pear; someone born in Israel
Sh’mi………………………………………………………………my name is
Hanut……………………………………………………………...store; shop
Kesef………………………………………………………………money
Bank……………………………………………………………….bank 
Bool………………………………………………………………..stamp
Ma Zeh?…………………………………………………………..what is it?
Mi Zeh?……………………………………………………………who is it?
Ma Shlomcha? (masc.)………………………………………….how are you?
Ma Shlomech? (fem.)……………………………………………how are you?
A-nee rotza (fem.)………………………………………………..I want
Ehfoh uchal liknot?……………………………………………….where can I buy?
Ma ha mechir?…………………………………………………… what is the price?
Ehfoh ha telefon?…………………………………………………where is the telephone?
Yofi!…………………………………………………………………wonderful

  Back to Top

A FINAL REQUEST

Please take a few minutes at the end of the tour to complete the Evaluation Report that will be in your arrival kits or will be distributed by the Guide. This will help us to maintain our excellent levels of quality and service for all IsramWorld passengers.

  Back to Top

ISRAMWORLD OFFICE IN ISRAEL

Isram Representative in Israel:
Isram-Israel
Tel Aviv
40 Aliyat Hanoar Street
Tel (03) 694-7777

  Back to Top