Israelis are very straightfoward and informal people and the vast majority of entertainment venues don’t have a dress code. Leave your suits and ballgowns at home! Pack casual and comfortable clothes.
In case you need to buy clothes, there are many malls and shopping centers in every city, containing international fashion brands, such as H&M, Gap, American Apparel, Zara, etc. Local brands, such as Castro and Fox, are very popular amongst Israelis, as they combine good quality with affordability.
When visiting holy sites, however, it is important to dress modestly and respect local cultures. This means long sleeved shirts, hats and long trousers for men, and head scarves, shirts that go down to the elbow and long skirts for women.
Israeli summertime begins at May/June and ends in September/October. During these months, an obvious favorite pastime is to hang out at the beach. Make sure to pack the following items:
- Sunglasses and sunscreen
- Bathing suit
- Sandals or flip flops
- Hat (preferably wide-brimmed)
In case you ran out of sunscreen, don’t worry – almost every kiosk, grocery store and pharmacy sells it. In addition, bathing suits sold in Israel are relatively cheap and very stylish. (In fact, they make excellent gifts for your family and friends back home).
Whilst the Israeli winter in the north and center can be cold and wet, from the Dead Sea down to the Eilat can bring many sunny days. T-shirts and tank tops are always useful in the south of the country (although it can be chilly at night, so pack a sweater too).
Paying For Purchases
Although many businesses will gladly accept US Dollars, it is advised to convert your cash into Israeli Shekels. You can do this at the airport. although rates there are rarely competitive. Instead. it’s better use the “Change” shops in each city, or visit the post office or bank. Credit cards are accepted almost universally.
Prescription Drugs and Special Health Needs
Israel has an excellent health system and in case you need prescription drugs, every city i the country has its own ‘duty’ pharmacy open twenty four hours a day, seven days a week. In addition, there are many emergency clinics and excellent hospitals.
If you are taking prescription drugs, it is advisable to bring them with you although it is not difficult to find family doctors that speak English and may be able to write you a prescription.
Laptops, iPods and Other Gadgets
Compared to other countries around the world, the internet in Israel has a very high speed, and WiFi is found almost everywhere: at hotels, restaurants, bars, coffee shops, public transportation and even out in the streets. However, make sure you bring your own chargers and cables.
In addition to big supermarkets, there are lots of kiosks, and small grocery/convenience stores everywhere. Some, usually in Tel Aviv, are even open round the clock,e very day of the week. Aside from food and drink, may sell cigarettes, cosmetics, over-the-counter medications, and SIM cards for cellular phones. All products in Israel have English translations on their labels.
Although there is no ‘last call’ for alcohol in Israel and many bars are open until sunrise, selling alcohol in grocery stores between 23:00-06:00 is forbidden.