FAQ

YOUR ANSWERS HERE

Do I need a visa in order to enter Israel as a tourist?

In general no.  However, all visitors must hold a passport that is valid for at least six months from the date they are departing Israel. People with no nationality must hold a valid ‘laissez passer’ as well as a visa back to the country that issued it.

Visitors are entitled to remain in Israel up to three months from the date of their arrival, in accordance with the conditions of the visa issued to them. Any individual intending to work in Israel must submit a request to the Ministry of the Interior for a special visa.

Important note for tourists continuing on from Israel to Arab countries (except Egypt and Jordan): It is recommended that you request that an Israeli stamp does not appear in your passport; rather on a separate piece of paper.  You must notify the clerk of your request before your documents are stamped.

As of July 3, 2008, an official decision has been made that will no longer require entry stamps on foreign passports. In such cases, you must fill out form 17L including your personal details, and that form shall be stamped by passport control upon entry/exit.

The form 17L will not be collected upon exit as it is necessary for the collection of tax refunds and proof of legal entry.

Is it safe to travel to Israel?

Israel is an extremely safe country to visit and tour around. In 2012, close to four million tourists came to Israel, an all-time record, and all of them went back home again safe and sound. We at Gordon Tours would never encourage tourists to come if we feel they would be in the slightest danger.

Are tourists allowed to enter areas outside of Israel i.e. Palestinian Territories?

Crossing from Jerusalem to Bethlehem is easy, quick and no prior authorization is required. Hundreds of tourists make the crossing in both directions every day. As always, it’s wise to check on the current political situation before entering the Palestinian Authority.

Please remember, however, to take your passport with you, as you’ll need to present it to re-enter Israeli-controlled territory.

 It’s recommended to double check your car rental insurance before your visit. If your visit in the Palestinian Authority isn’t covered you might prefer to hire a driver or visit with a tour group.

Do I need to receive any particular vaccinations before my trip to Israel?

No vaccinations are required for visitors to Israel.

Israel is a Western country with advanced-level health care.  IN fact. medicine in Israel that is the envy of much of the world and certainly on a par with what is on offer in both North America and Western Europe. Almost everyone in the health care field – from pharmacists and hospital staff to nurses and physicians – understand and speak good English.

As for all international travel, visitors to Israel should have travel insurance that covers them in case of illness or hospitalization. Pharmacies in Israel are to be found everywhere and are very well stocked with drug store items and all the over-the-counter medicines you may need.

Should you become ill during your trip, your hotel front desk can arrange for a doctor to visit you in your room, and prescribe medication if necessary. If you are staying with friends or family, they will be able to refer you to their local clinic. In case of serious illness or injury, the emergency rooms at Israel’s hospitals are western standard and you will receive the finest medical care.

Can you drink tap water in Israel?

Absolutely: tap water in Israel is safe and delicious. But, you will also find bottled mineral water everywhere. (It’s important to make sure you drink a lot, especially if you are walking, hiking or exercising during hot weather.)

How many airlines currently fly to Israel?

More than 80 airlines currently operate flights to Israel’s Ben Gurion International Airport (known simply as Tel Aviv or TLV). Five airlines operate as many as ten flights a day nonstop from North America to Tel Aviv (Air Canada, Delta, EL AL Israel Airlines, United, US Airways)

For more information, click here.

Will I need an adapter for my appliances in Israel?

The electric current in Israel is 220 volts, C, single phase, 50 Hertz, the same as in Europe.

Most Israeli sockets are three-pronged, but usually accept European two-pronged plugs. If your appliance does not work with 220 volts, you will need an adaptor.  This can be purchased easily and cheaply – in any local hardware store, or even SuperPharm.

Your hotels should have adapters available. Most hotel bathrooms have hair-dryers as well as low-wattage American-style sockets for electric shavers in which you can usually charge your cell-phone or tablet.

Is internet access easily accessible in Israel?

Most hotels in Israel offer wi-fi to their hotel guests (some charge). Many cafes and restaurants offer a complementary Wi-Fi service.

Since September 2013, Tel Aviv has been offering a citywide free wi-fi network, which provides 80 free Internet “hot spots” across the city.  You will find it on the beach promenade, in the main streets and even sometimes on local buses!

Will I’ll be able to use my cell phone in Israel?

If you have an international plan, your cell phone may work in Israel.   YOu will need to check with your local provider.

 

Otherwise, it is very easy to buy a pre-paid SIM card – at the airport, or in any town or city (at small stores or through cell-phone operators).  You can either ‘top-up’ or pay for a week/month etc.

Can I rent a cell phone in Israel?

Certainly. You can rent a cellphone at any time during your visit.

What is the weather like in Israel? When is the best time to visit?

Israel is a year-round destination.

Israel enjoys long, warm, dry summers and generally mild winters with somewhat drier, cooler weather in hilly regions, such as Jerusalem and Safed. Temperatures can vary widely – in the Golan Heights in the winter it might be snowing, whilst seven hours south in Eilat it might be possible to sunbathe.

Light clothes are an excellent choice for much of the year, as well as sandals and a hat (it can get extremely hot in the summer, and particularly in the desert).  But all of these things can be purchased here, in local stores or markets.

What kind of clothing should I pack?

In summer, lightweight T-shirts, sleeveless shirts, shorts, and a bathing suit are recommended. Pack a sweater or a jacket for nights in the mountains or the desert,

In winter, bring long sleeved shirts, sweaters, a scarf, gloves, a warm coat, and a raincoat and an umbrella.

Certain religious sites require long pants for men and clothing that covers the shoulders and knees for women.

What is the currency in Israel?

The shekel; you’ll find it abbreviated as NIS (New Israeli Shekel). Exchange rates of the shekel to all foreign currencies, as well as other information can be found here.

What credit cards are accepted?

You can use your ATM card to obtain Shekels at ATM’s throughout Israel. You can also use American Express, MasterCard and Visa cards at most Israeli hotels, restaurants and stores.

What taxes can I expect to pay in Israel?

The Vat (Value Added Tax) in Israel is 17%. It’s already included in most prices in Israel. VAT is waived for tourists at hotels, tour companies and car rental agencies. As with Europe and other destinations, tourists can receive a refund of the VAT they paid on purchases when departing the country.  The amount for the goods purchased for each receipt, including VAT, must exceed 400 NIS. For more information, click here.

Is everything closed on Shabbat in Israel?

Shabbat (the Sabbath) is the Jewish holy day of the week, observed every Saturday. Shabbat starts at sunset on Friday and ends at sundown on Saturday evening.

  •  All public offices are closed on Shabbat, as are banks, most stores and businesses
  • Throughout Israel, however (and particularly in Tel Aviv) there are a growing number of cafes and restaurants open on Shabbat.
  • In most cities, public transportation (trains and buses) do not operate on Shabbat.
  • Many non-kosher restaurants are open on Shabbat.
  • We recommend that you check in advance, if you are planning on visiting a specific location.
  • Radio and TV broadcasts operate as usual.

Are all restaurants in Israel kosher?

No, not all restaurants in Israel are kosher. Cafes, coffee shops and restaurants  offering kosher food usually display a kashrut certificate granted to them by the local rabbinate. This is displayed in the their window for the most part – although you can always ask.

Most hotels serve kosher food, but there is no binding law. So if kashrut is important to you, you must ask at any place at which you intend to dine.

Do I need vise to enter Israel?

All visitors to Israel must hold a passport that is valid for at least six months from the date they are departing the country. People with no nationality must hold a valid laissez passer, as well as a visa back to the country that issued it.

Visitors are entitled to remain in Israel up to three months from the date of their arrival, in accordance with the conditions of the visa issued to them. Visitors intending to work in Israel must submit a request to the Ministry of the Interior for a special visa.

Important note for tourists continuing from Israel on to Arab countries (except Egypt and Jordan): It is recommended that you request that an Israeli stamp does not appear on your passport. You must notify the clerk of your request before your documents are stamped.

As of July 3, 2008, an official decision has been made that will no longer require entry stamps on foreign passports. In such cases, you must fill out form 17L including your personal details, and that form shall be stamped by passport control upon entry/exit.

The form 17L will not be collected upon exit as it is necessary for the collection of tax refunds and proof of legal entry.

Is it safe to travel to Israel?

Israel is an extremely safe country to visit and tour. In 2012, close to four million tourists came to Israel, an all-time record, and all of them went back home again safe and sound. We would not encourage tourists to come if we felt they would be in the slightest danger.

Are tourists allowed to enter areas outside of the Israeli responsibility (Palestinian areas)?

Crossing from Jerusalem to Bethlehem is direct, easy and no prior authorization is required. Hundreds of tourists make the crossing in both directions every day. As always, it’s wise to check on the political situation before entering the Palestinian Authority.

Please note to take your passport with you, you’ll need to present it to re-enter Israeli-controlled territory.

 It’s recommended to double check your car rental insurance before your visit. If your visit in the Palestinian Authority isn’t covered you might prefer to hire a driver or visit with a tour group.

Do I need to receive any special vaccination before my trip to Israel?

No vaccinations are required for visitors to Israel.

Israel is an entirely western country with an advanced level of health care, diagnosis and medicine that is the envy of much of the world and on a par with the best of North America and Western Europe. Almost everyone in the health care field – from pharmacists to physicians to nurses – understands and speaks good English.

As for all international travel, visitors to Israel should have travel insurance that covers them in case of illness or hospitalization. Pharmacies in Israel are to be found everywhere and are very well stocked with drug store items and all the over-the-counter medicines you may need.

Should you become ill during your trip, your hotel front desk can arrange for a doctor to visit you in your room, and prescribe medication if necessary. If you are staying with friends or family, they will be able to refer you to their local clinic. In case of serious illness or injury, the emergency rooms at Israel’s hospitals are western standard and you will receive the finest medical care.

Can you drink tap water in Israel?

Absolutely: tap water in Israel is safe and delicious. But, you will also find bottled mineral water everywhere. (It’s important to make sure you drink a lot, especially if you are walking, hiking or exercising during hot weather.)

Which airlines fly to Israel?

More than 80 airlines operate flights to Israel’s Ben Gurion International Airport (known simply as Tel Aviv or TLV). Five airlines operate as many as ten flights a day nonstop from North America to Tel Aviv (Air Canada, Delta, EL AL Israel Airlines, United, US Airways)

For more information, click here.

Will I need an adapter for my appliances in Israel?

The electric current in Israel is 220 volts, C, single phase, 50 Hertz, the same as in Europe.

Most Israeli sockets are three-pronged but most accept European two-pronged plugs. If your appliance does not work on 220 volts, you will need an adaptor.

Your hotels should have adapters available. Most hotel bathrooms have hair-dryers as well as low-wattage American-style sockets for electric shavers in which you can usually charge your cell-phone or tablet.

Will I have easy internet access?

Most hotels in Israel have Wi-Fi available for hotel guests at customary prices. Many cafes and restaurants offer a complementary Wi-Fi service.

Since September 2013, Tel Aviv offers a citywide free Wi-Fi network which provides 80 free Internet “hot spots” across the city.

Will I’ll be able to use my cell phone in Israel?

If you have an international plan, your cell phone may work in Israel, please check with your local provider.

Can I rent a cellular phone in Israel?

Certainly. You can rent a phone when you arrive at any time during your visit.

What is the weather like in Israel, when is the best time to visit?

Israel is a year round destination.

Israel enjoys long, warm, dry summers and generally mild winters with somewhat drier, cooler weather in hilly regions, such as Jerusalem and Safed. Temperatures can vary widely so just pack for the “right” weather and you’ll be fine.

What kind of clothing should I pack?

In Summer, lightweight T-shirts, sleeveless shirts, shorts, and a bathing suit are recommended. Pack a sweater or a jacket for nights in the mountains or the desert,

In Winter, bring long sleeve shirts, sweaters and a scarf, gloves, a warm coat, and a raincoat and an umbrella. Some religious sites require long pants for men and clothing that covers the shoulders and knees for women.

What is the currency in Israel?

The Shekel; you’ll find it abbreviated as NIS (New Israeli Shekel). Exchange rates of the Shekel to all foreign currencies as well as other information can be found here.

What credit cards are accepted?

You can use your ATM card to obtain Shekels at ATM’s throughout Israel. You can also use American Express, MasterCard and Visa cards at most Israeli hotels, restaurants and stores.

What taxes can I expect to pay in Israel?

The Vat (Value Added Tax) in Israel is 17%. It’s already included in most prices in Israel. VAT is waived for tourists at hotels, tour companies and car rental agencies. Like in Europe and elsewhere, tourists can receive a refund of the VAT they paid on purchases when departing the country, the refund program and the purchase amount in one tax invoice including V.A.T. must exceed ILS. 400. For more information, click here.

Is everything closed on Shabbat in Israel?

Shabbat (the Sabbath) is the Jewish holy day of the week observed every Saturday. Shabbat starts at sunset on Friday and ends at sundown on Saturday evening.

  •  All public offices are closed on Shabbat, as are banks, most stores and businesses; throughout Israel there is a growing number of shops open on Shabbat.
  • In most cities, public transportation (trains and buses) do not operate on Shabbat.
  • Most non-kosher restaurants are open on Shabbat.
  • It is recommended to check in advance if you are planning on visiting a specific location.
  • Radio and TV broadcasts operate as usual.

Are all the restaurants in Israel kosher?

Not all of the restaurants in Israel are kosher. Places offering kosher food usually display a kashrut certificate granted to them by the local rabbinate. Most hotels serve kosher food, as well as some restaurants. But there is no binding law. So if kashrut is important to you, you must check it out at each separate place where you dine.

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