Israel

Quick Facts

Region: Middle East & North Africa

Population:
7,500,000

Area (sq. km):
20,770 square meters

Time:

UTC +2/DST +3

When To Travel

While Israel’s climate varies from region to region, the rule of thumb is that Israel is temperate and has two main seasons – cool and rainy between April-September and warm/hot and dry, which is roughly October-March.

Israel’s climate is not extreme, so you can actually travel at any time of the year. The start and end of summer is particularly nice, so October and November and March-May are perfect times to travel.

Useful Travel Facts

Airports:

Israel's main international airport is Tel Aviv's Ben-Gurion International Airport (code TLV) which is located in Lod. It is approximately 40km from Jerusalem and 12 km from central Tel Aviv, and serves both cities.

Telephone:

The international dialling code for Israel is +972. Telephone calls, especially international ones, can be expensive when made from a hotel. We suggest you check the price first. If you have a mobile phone it should be a relatively simple procedure to arrange 'global roaming' with your service provider, however charges are generally high so be sure to check this option thoroughly.

Electricity:

The voltage in Israel is 220 V. The electric outlets used are type H and type C. Type H is a uniquely Israeli three-pronged standard, but most modern type H outlets can also accept type C European two-pronged plugs. Most electronic devices in Israel use type C plugs.

Food:

Food in Israel is good, healthy and safe. It reflects its region and is dominated by Middle Eastern-type food – falafel, shawarma and the like are very popular.

Shopping:

You can pick up all sorts of religious trinkets that can make interesting gifts. T-shirts and the like are good souvenir options as well. Antiques may be confiscated from you if you don’t have a export certificate (licensed dealers should give you one).

Visa:


Americans, Australians, British, Canadians and New Zealanders are currently issued with a ‘tourist visa’ on arrival free of charge. All other nationalities should check with the Israeli Embassy or Consulate in their country for up-to-date visa information. It is important to be aware that many Arab and Islamic countries deny entry to any person that has evidence of a visit to Israel. Syria, Iran, Libya and several other countries are included in this list. If you are planning to visit any of these countries with the same passport you must request that your Israeli ‘tourist visa’ be stamped on a loose leaf ‘Form 17 L’ instead of in your passport. Likewise, if entering Israel through the land borders with Jordan please ask the Jordanian officials not to stamp an exit stamp in your passport. If you have evidence in your passport of visits to certain Islamic countries, Israeli border officials will scrutinize you regarding the purpose of your visit to Israel. They can sometimes appear difficult and the delay can be lengthy however patience and a friendly demeanor are advised.


Useful Words & Phrases

Arabic

1: Wahed
10: Ashera
1000 thanks: Elph Shuk (as in shook)
2: Etneen
3: Talata
4: Arbaa
5: Hamsa
6: Setta
7: Sabah
8: Tamaniah
9: Tes'ood
Can I take your photo?: Mumkin photo?
Goodbye: Ma Salama
Hello: Ahlan
How are you ?: Izziyek (Egypt colloquial)
How are you?: Izziyek
How Much: Bikam (Bi as in biscuit; kam as in camshaft)
How much is it?: Bshhal?
How much?: Bikam?
I want to change some money: Bgheet nserref shee floos
My name is ...: Smeetee ...
My name is_____: Ana_____
No: La
Please: Menfudlak (Min-fud-luck)
Thank You: Shukran
Thank you: Shukran (shook-run)
That's very expensive.: Ghalee bezzaf
Too much!: Kefayer! (pronounce as one syllable - K-fire)
Too much?: Ketir!
What is your name?: Asmeetek?
Yes: Aiwa

Further Reading

From Beirut to Jerulsalem – Thomas Friedman Lonely Planet’s ‘Israel & the Palestinian Territories’ Jerusalem: City of Mirrors – Amos Elon