Visiting a new place is exciting and Israel is a great place to visit and vacation. There are many religious and historical spots to see. Apart from the linkage, there are many natural wonders. Today we’ll provide important tips to know before visiting Israel.
With all this excitement comes uncertainty. When visiting a new country, some rules must be followed, written or unspoken, and a language barrier.
It is always good to be prepared beforehand. If you are looking for the best Israel travel tips, look no further. Here is everything you need to know about this historically rich country.
In this travel guide, you will visit the most hidden corners and discover places your typical tourist agency won’t show you.
Do’s & Don’ts when visiting Israel
- Do Use Local Greetings
You are not likely to offend anyone in Israel by trying to use the country’s traditional greeting. Just as Americans do not take offence to visitors from other countries saying “hello,” you are welcome to use the Israeli greeting “shalom” when you visit.
It will help you blend in with the locals. The literal translation of the traditional greeting is “peace” and is used for both hello and goodbye across Israel.
- Don’t Smoke on Saturday
Most people agree smoking isn’t good for your health. But those who smoke might not realize it is also considered ill mannered to smoke at certain times or places in Israel.
You will want to observe no-smoking signs wherever you are in Israel, but keep in mind that smoking is in direct violation of the “Shabbat,” a holy day observed on Saturdays in Israel. If you can refrain from smoking that day, that’s a plus.
Otherwise, you should at least avoid doing it around religious places or in the presence of Orthodox Jews who may find it offensive.
- Do dress properly
Dress codes are pretty simple and are common sense in Israel, but there are a few rules you might not be accustomed to. Make sure you pack conservative clothes for visiting any religious sites.
Although it may be warm during the summer, if you plan to visit places like the Western Wall or the spot where Jesus was crucified, it is recommended to wear t-shirts with sleeves that fall below the elbow and long skirts or pants.
Men should not wear shorts or go without shirts around these sites. When visiting Jewish shrines or memorials, it is also proper for men to cover their heads. Women should not wear anything that exposes bare legs or shoulders while visiting a holy site.
Often there will be a complimentary yarmulke, a small skullcap, available to visitors who need to cover their heads. If you forget to carry proper clothing, worry not, as religious women hand it out near the Western Wall.
Practical travel tips
- The best time to travel to Israel
Deciding when to go to Israel largely depends on what you are interested in doing while you are there. While there is no right or wrong time to go, there are a couple of things you need to consider when planning your trip: climate and Jewish Holidays.
Israel has two seasons: summer (April to late October) and winter (November to March). Summers are hot and humid but rain-free, and winter starts when it gets from cool to cold and begins raining. It generally doesn’t snow in Israel, except for the mountain areas in the Golan Heights.
Another vital tip to consider when you travel to Israel is the Jewish holidays. In Israel, there are two calendars: the Gregorian calendar and the Jewish calendar, but most religious holidays are based on the Jewish calendar.
Even though it’s interesting to be in Israel during some of these holidays, you’ll have to remember everything closes down during that time: public transportation, banks, stores, etc. Also, hotel prices will be much higher.
- What to pack
When travelling to Israel, you must be conscious of what you wear. While places like Tel Aviv, Jaffa, or Haifa are more open-minded and fashion-forward, in cities like Jerusalem, modest clothing is recommended. Don’t bring tank tops, shorts, or anything above the knees.
As a general rule, think convenience before fashion. Here are a few tips on what to pack:
– A scarf and a long-sleeve top.
– Light-weight clothing if you are travelling in summer.
– A light jacket and some sweaters for colder months.
– Comfortable shoes are a must in Israel, especially in Jerusalem.
– Hat, sunglasses, and sunscreen lotion.
– A small umbrella. Rain may come unexpectedly.
Always carry electrical adapters with you.
The most common thing to happen to tourists is to forget to bring their charger or an adapter to charge their electrical devices. The electrical outlets around Israel require a 3-round-pegged prong, so you’ll need a power adaptor.
Before you travel, make sure you have a checklist to confirm your chargers and adaptors so you don’t spend time looking for one in town and waste the time you could spend touring.
Feel ready to travel to Israel?
After all this advice, you are ready to visit Israel. If you want to book a trip, get in touch with ITAS tours, your best option for Israel tours and your trusted travel advisor.
Israel Travel Advisory Service offers a wide range of Jewish Israel Tours, from family tours to bar/bat mitzvah Israel tours.
With over 45 years of experience organizing Jewish heritage tours, we pride ourselves on ensuring that you’ll have a real Israeli vacation.
If you found our tips to know before visiting Israel helpful, let us know in the comments. If you want to experience one of these holidays for yourself, ITAS is the way to go. We have Israeli Jewish tour packages that meet every need.