Israel Visitors Guide

Click here for more tourist information 

Click here for maps of Israel.

 

The State of Israel is located at the south East corner

of the MediterraISRAEL MAPnean Sea.

Area: 21,640 sq kms

Capital: Jerusalem

Population: 8.2 million

Business visitors

Israel is a modern country with a vibrant, diverse business community. Israel is a thoroughly westernized country and excels in every variety of business and industry. Most Israelis in the business arena speak fluent English, and business services are sophisticated, accessible and completely comfortable for the business traveler.
Innovative export industries are the engine of the Israeli economy and even very small Israeli firms operate on a global scale. Many large exhibitions are held in Israel featuring locally and internationally developed technologies in communications, computing, defense, medicine, farming and more. With so many foreign business visitors, the tourism industry is adept at meeting international needs.

For tourism purposes, see a great article on the city of Tel Aviv here.

VISA

All visitors to Israel must hold a passport that is valid for at least six months from the date they enter the country. Australian citizens will be issued with a three month tourist visa (free of charge) on arrival at the airport.
 Click here for more information.

SAFETY

Israel is a safe country to visit and to tour. In 2008, three million tourists came to Israel, an all-time record, and all three million went home again safe and sound.
Australian Embassy -Tel +972 3 6935000. Discount Bank Tower Level 28, 23 Yehuda Halevi St. Tel Aviv 65136.

HEALTH

Israel is a modern, developed country with levels of health and hygiene equal to those of Western countries. Visitors entering Israel are not required to undergo vaccinations prior to their arrival. You can drink tap water, and you will also find bottled water everywhere.
Click here for more information.

ELECTRICITY

220 volts AC, 50 hertz. Plugs are 2 or 3 pronged cylindrical, European style. Take with you one European adapter and an Australian 4 point multi-plug. This way you only need to place one plug in the wall socket, attached to your multi-plug which will then take up to 4 Australian plugs (for charging mobiles, shavers, computers etc).

WEATHER

Israel enjoys long, warm, dry summers (April-October) and generally mild winters (November-March) with somewhat drier, cooler weather in hilly regions, such as Jerusalem and Safed. Rainfall is relatively heavy in the north and center of the country, with much less in the northern Negev and almost negligible amounts in the southern areas.

Regional conditions vary considerably, with humid summers and mild winters on the coast; dry summers and moderately cold winters in the hill regions; hot dry summers and pleasant winters in the Jordan Valley; and year-round semi-desert conditions in the Negev.

Weather extremes range from occasional winter snowfall in the mountain regions to periodic oppressively hot dry winds that send temperatures soaring, particularly in spring and autumn.
For a table of average annual temperatures, click here.

GETTING THERE

 There are no direct flights to Israel from Australia. Most of the international airlines operate flights to Israel. El Al operates direct flights from the Bangkok or Hong Kong.

Most international flights land at Ben Gurion Airport, which is located near the town of Lod – approximately a half hour’s drive from Tel Aviv

COMMUNICATIONS 

Mobile – Israel’s national and international telecommunications systems are among the most advanced in the world. You are able to use your Australian mobile phones in Israel; however, we would recommend getting a local phone for more affordable call rates. Check with your Australian mobile provider that you will have access in Israel, charges etc.

Internet access – the hotels provide wireless / wired connection. You can also use your Blackberry and iPhone or hire a USB card at a local rate.

CURRENCY

The Israeli monetary unit is the New Israeli Shekel (NIS) which is divided into 100 Agorot. Currently, the exchange rate between the Israeli Shekel and the Australian Dollar is AUD$1 = 3.4 NIS.

US Dollars are also accepted at times in Israel. Currently, the exchange rate between the Israeli Shekel and the US Dollar is USD$1 = 3.7 NIS.

All major credit cards are accepted at most places, and ATM’s are widely available. You can withdrawal cash with Visa and AMEX logo cards at most ATMs (be aware of fees).  If you wish to take some cash, take US dollars as these are easily exchangeable in Israel.
Please see the updated rate on: www.xe.com

TIME DIFFERENCE

Israel is 9 hrs behind Australia in summer (January), and 7 hours behind in winter with daylight savings (July).

LANGUAGE

The official languages are Hebrew, Arabic and English. English is widely spoken (and is the language of business), and most people are fluent.

DRESS

Some religious and holy sites require modest body covering

DRIVING

Right hand of the road. Road signs are in Hebrew, Arabic and English. Taxis are readily available in cities.

TIPS

It is generally acceptable to leave 10% tip at restaurants, (unless tip is included on the bill).