Israel Travel Tips
There's a lot to learn before traveling to a new country! Got questions? We'll tell you everything you need to know before you go.
Cell Phone Usage in Israel
The best way (and the easiest) to call and text is by using the app “WhatsApp”. Download it to your mobile phone while in your home country and get used to using it. There is no charge when you use WhatsApp when connected to wifi at hotels, restaurants, coffee shops, etc. Just tell your friends to add the app to their mobile phones, too, and you will be able to communicate with them.
While most of our clients find that using wifi is sufficient, there are two additional options for using your phone when you are out-and-about and thus not connected to wifi. You may purchase an Israeli SIM card to use in your existing phone, or check with your cellular provider (AT&T, Verizon, etc.) to purchase an international plan. Some phone carriers also offer international roaming plans, however rates can get expensive very fast. Don't worry, we'll make sure you're covered!
International Mobile Codes and Long Distance Calls to/from Israel: US +1 | Israel +972 Use the international code before the area code and number. For example: to call the US from Israel dial — +1 (international code) XXX (area code) and XXX-XXXX (number). To call Israel from the US, dial — +972 (Int'l code) area code and number. [While in Israel and you need to call someone’s mobile phone in Israel, you add a 0 in front of the area code; no need for the international code]
Credit Cards and forms of payment in Israel
Israeli New Shekels (ILS) is the national currency of Israel, however many places accept $US dollars as well. Most ATMs, restaurants and shops accept VISA, Mastercard and to a lesser degree, American Express. Discover is not accepted in Israel. ATMs will charge a usage fee, and it is advised to check with your bank to inquire about international transactions.
Weather & Climate in Israel
Israel's diverse geography makes for a range of climactic conditions. Generally characterized by a mediterranean climate of hot, dry summers and a cool rainy season in the winter, Israel also experiences more temperate conditions further inland and hot, dry desert conditions to the south. Temperatures in the coastal cities of Tel Aviv, Haifa, Ashquelon and Netanyah tend to range between 70F-90F during the summer, and between 40F and 60F in the winter. The rainy season is typically November to March.
In the interior, cities like Jerusalem and Nazareth tend to be 10 or so degrees cooler than their coastal counterparts. Traveling southward into the Negev Desert and Eliat at the country's southern tip, temperatures can get mighty hot into the summertime, so early morning and late afternoons are the best time to enjoy this beautiful, ancient landscape.