Israel Travel Guide: Travel tips for foreigners & backpackers, Jerusalem tourist information, Israel food average prices, eating on a budget, accommodation in Jerusalem. Find discount hotels, cheap accommodation, vacation deals, holiday packages.
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Israel Travel Guide

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Full country name: Republic of Israel
Area: 22,072 sq km
Population: 7,35 million
Capital City: Jerusalem
Language: Hebrew (official), Arabic used officially for Arab minority, English most commonly used foreign language
Religion: Jewish 76.4%, Muslim 16%, Arab Christians 1.7%, other Christian 0.4%, Druze 1.6%, unspecified 3.9%
Government: Parliamentary democracy
Time Zone: UTC+2
Dialling Code: 972
Electricity: 230V 50 Hz (Jerusalem 220V 50 Hz)
Weights & measures: Metric. However, parcels of land are measured in dunam which represents an area of 1,000 square meters (nearly 1/4 of an acre). Weights are measured in kilograms and grams.

Money & Costs:
Currency: new Israeli shekel (ILS)
Average yearly salary: USD28,400

Budget: USD10-15
Mid-range: USD15-30
High: USD40
Budget: USD20-60
Mid-range: USD60-200
High: USD250

Geography: The state of Israel is located in the Middle East, on the eastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea. The country borders Egypt, Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, and Gaza. Israel has a variety of geographical features. The country's terrain is divided into four general areas: the Negev desert, the mountain ranges of the Galilee Carmel and toward the Golan, the Israeli Coastal Plain, and the Jordan Rift Valley.

Climate: Israel has a subtropical climate, since it is located between the temperate and the tropical zone. Temperatures vary widely, especially in the winter period. The mountainous regions are cold, windy and sometimes even snowy, whereas the coastal regions are rainy, but only cool instead of cold during winter. The average winter temperature ranges from 5 C to 18 C (41 F - 65 F). The summers in the same coastal regions are long and hot with temperature ranging from 24 C to 35 C (75 F - 95 F).

Recommended clothing: It is very important to wear modest clothing when visiting religious places, and even though it is very hot during summer, you should still wear pants, jeans or long skirts. Scarves are recommended to cover you head when needed. Wear thin loose pants or a wide cotton skirt when going hiking or walking in the desert; it will be your protection from the hot sun. A good fleece jacket or a woolen coat is recommended for winter season. Lightweight cotton clothes, a hat, sunglasses and sun-block lotion are advised for summer season.

Social conventions: Israelis are typically quite blunt and direct when conversing, but that should not be misinterpreted as rudeness. Most Israelis are happy to talk about their country, politics and religion, so you should not be afraid to ask questions. The expression shalom is used for hello and goodbye.

Health: Israel has an excellent quality medical facilities, but the treatment can be expensive. Therefore, medical insurance is recommended. Health centers are marked by the Red Star of David on a white background. Rabies is present. If you are bitten, seek medical advice immediately.

Food & Drink: Jewish are restricted to eating only certain type of food prepared in a certain way, it is called the kosher food. This is the food which is fit to eat according to the Jewish laws. Though pork and shellfish are not considered kosher, they are still available in Israel. Israel does not have a universally recognized national dish, but many consider it to be the falafel (deep fried balls of seasoned, ground chickpeas). Other popular Israeli dishes include: blintzes (Jewish pancakes) and cholent (beef stew). Tap water is safe to drink throughout Israel, but bottled water is also widely available. Milk is pasteurized and dairy products are safe for consumption. All the local food is considered safe to eat, but take extra caution when buying food from street vendors.

Public Holidays:
Varies between Mar 26 & Apr 25 Pesach (Passover)
Varies between Apr 15 & May 15 Yom Ha'Atzmaut (Israel Independence Day)
Varies between May 15 & June 14 Shavuot (Pentecost)
Varies between Sept 5 & Oct 5 Rosh Hashana (New Year)

Disclaimer: The above information is for reference purposes only. The content of this page is not intended to substitute for advice given by the user's own government travel departments or a licensed travel health advisor. The viewer/user of this web page should always contact the user's own government representatives in that area for the most up-to-date information at that time, before making a final decision to travel to that country or destination.

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