Resources

Israel Nature & Parks Authority (www.parks.org.il) Nature reserves and archaeological sites.

Israel Ministry of Tourism (www.goisrael.com) Background, events and a virtual tour.

ILH-Israel Hostels (www.hostels-israel.com) Independent hostels.

Lonely Planet (www.lonelyplanet.com/israel) Destination information, hotel bookings, traveller forum and more.

Top Tips

  • Take religious holidays (and the weekly Shabbat) into consideration when planning your trip: many sites (and shops, bars and restaurants) will be closed and room prices much higher.
  • Bear in mind that while walking is a great way to get around in Tel Aviv, Haifa, Nazareth and parts of Jerusalem, the hills can be gruelling, particularly in summer.
  • It can be difficult to avoid talking politics with Israelis, but avoid expressing viewpoints that are overtly critical of Israel, particularly with strangers.
  • Approach military checkpoints with caution, particularly close to borders with the West Bank and Lebanon. Remember that soldiers may not know you are a tourist.
  • Israelis are famously brusque, which can come across as rude. It always pays to keep smiling!

What to Take

  • If you plan on using sheruts and local buses, pack light as most do not have much space for luggage.
  • English-language books are expensive in Israel so it makes sense to bring enough reading material with you.

What to Wear

Outside of conservative areas and religious sites, Israel is a liberal country, and you can generally wear what you like. In summer, the country can be extremely hot so bring flip-flops, shorts and t-shirts. In winter – and even in spring and autumn – it can be surprisingly cold, so be sure to pack enough layers.

Pre-Departure Checklist

  • Make sure your passport is valid for at least six months past your departure date.
  • Make sure you have any visas for onward travel (eg to Jordan).
  • Bring your national driving licence if you want to hire a car.
  • Make sure your bank will allow you to withdraw cash in Israel.