Vaccinations and health
We recommend that you review your basic protection against diphtheria, polio and tetanus well in advance of your trip to Israel. It is also recommended that you be vaccinated against Hepatitis A. Feel free to consult a doctor or local health center for advice at least one month before departure. Check if you have insurance that covers health care in Israel and also what it covers in that case. For example, home transport in the event of a more serious accident / illness can be extremely costly. Feel free to bring a small set of “first aid” with patches, headache tablets, etc. Be aware that the water you drink is either boiled or bottled. Skip the ice for drinks / drinks. Eat only fruit that you peel yourself. Avoid raw seafood and raw fish. Wash your hands often – especially before meals. The pharmacy sells over-the-counter medicines for “tourist stomach” that you can take with you.
Weather and clothing
Israel has long, hot and dry summers (April – October) and in general the winters are mild (November-March) Israel can be drier and colder especially in the highland areas like Jerusalem and Safed during the winter and here it can also be a bit chilly during late summer evenings, which means that it can be good to unpack a warm sweater. Protection from the strong sun such as a sun hat, sunscreen and sunglasses is also good to bring. Comfortable, foot-straight shoes are important as it can be a bit of a walk. When visiting holy and religious sites, you should be properly and neatly dressed and make sure that both arms and legs are covered.
Currency and exchange rate
You can bring an unlimited amount of currency into Israel in cash. Forex recommends exchanging 75% of your travel cash for the Israeli Sheqel (ILS) and the remainder for the US Dollar (USD) in cash. Traveler’s checks are not recommended, they can be difficult to redeem. Foreign currency can be exchanged at all banks as well as at most hotels. Standard credit cards such as American Express, Visa and Mastercard are widely accepted. You can also make cash withdrawals at most banks and from ATMs with Visa or Mastercard.
Transport and communications
Israel is a relatively small country and it is therefore easy to get from one place to another in a relatively short time. Public transport is convenient and you can travel almost anywhere at a reasonable price. Local and intercity taxi service is available to and from any point in the country. Prices within the cities are charged according to the taximeter. We recommend checking the price before jumping into the taxi. The mobile phone works in Israel, but check with your operator before departure as it can be expensive to use it abroad. Israel has about 800 places that provide wireless Internet and there are more and more all the time. To be able to make calls from the public telephones in Israel, you need a magnetic telephone card (“telecart” in Hebrew), which can be purchased at the post offices.
Food & beverage
Israel’s gastronomic offerings come from many different ethnic groups, which has resulted in an eclectic style and a fusion of exotic flavors and trends. Humus, falafel, goulash or couscous are just some of the many typical dishes available in Israel. There are Russian, French, Moroccan, Chinese and Indian restaurants. There are restaurants for all budgets and tastes. Judaism has religious rules regarding diet and food prepared in accordance with these rules is called kosher.
Shopping and gifts
In Israel there are lots of shopping centers and local markets where you can find spices, silver jewelry, oriental confectionery, beauty products from the Dead Sea, holy water and various religious cultural objects. In Eilat, jewelry made of the so-called Eilat stone is popular. Definitely take the opportunity to enjoy the country’s juicy sun-ripened fruits!
When traveling to Israel, be aware that the security situation can change very quickly. Swedes are urged to follow the news reporting and to observe increased caution at crowds, public transport and when visiting public buildings, holy places and other public places. Visitors are advised against all travel to Gaza. Watch out for traffic because the traffic culture is not quite the same as here at home.
General and mixed
Local time: One hour before Swedish time. Israel also has summer and winter time, but does not change at the same time as in Sweden, therefore the time difference can vary.
Electricity: 220 V AC. Most Israeli outlets have three holes, but still work with European contacts. There are several types of connectors. Adapter recommended
Languages: Israel has two official languages; Hebrew and Arabic. English is spoken by most Israelis because it is one of the compulsory subjects in school.
Tips: In Israel, the tips system is common. It is seen as a wage benefit that many are completely dependent on for their livelihood.