Banks 8.30am–12.30pm, occasionally 4pm–6.30pm Monday to Thursday. Many branches open on Sunday, some also open Friday morning.

Bars and clubs 12 pm–midnight.

Post offices 8am–12.30pm, occasionally 3.30pm–6pm Sunday to Thursday, 8am–noon Friday. Earlier closing times during holidays and in July and August.

Restaurants 8am–10pm, closed Shabbat. During Ramadan, almost all restaurants in Muslim areas, except in hotels, are closed during daylight hours.

Shopping malls 10am–9.30pm Sunday to Thursday, until 2pm or 3pm on Friday.

Shops 9am–6pm Sunday to Thursday, until 2pm or 3pm on Friday.


The Jewish Sabbath, known in Hebrew as Shabbat, begins 18 minutes (36 minutes in Jerusalem) before sundown on Friday and lasts until an hour after sundown on Saturday (technically, until three stars can be seen in the heavens, according to Jewish law). In mostly Orthodox neighbourhoods (eg much of Jerusalem), the arrival of Shabbat is marked with a siren.

Halacha (Jewish law) prohibits the conduct of business on Shabbat, but in many Jewish-majority areas of Israel, including West Jerusalem and Tel Aviv, ‘status quo’ agreements allow restaurants, places of entertainment (theatres, cinemas, discos, bars), museums and small groceries – but not retail shops or full-size supermarkets – to stay open on Shabbat.

On land owned by kibbutzim (eg Kibbutz Shefayim) and in parts of Tel Aviv (eg in the Namal/Port area), boutiques and shops sell things on Shabbat, using non-Jewish staff to avoid fines from the Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs, which – to avoid employing Jews on the Sabbath – sends out only non-Jewish (usually Druze) inspectors!

In general, public transport does not run from mid-afternoon on Friday (the exact time depends on when sundown is) until sometime on Saturday afternoon or evening. Exceptions: certain bus lines in the religiously mixed city of Haifa that have been running seven days week since the time of the British Mandate; some long-distance intercity buses, eg to Eilat; and bus lines that serve mainly non-Jewish towns. However, many intercity service taxi lines do run on the Sabbath, as do regular taxis.

In predominantly Muslim areas (East Jerusalem, Akko’s Old City, parts of Jaffa, the West Bank and Gaza) many businesses are closed on Friday but remain open on Saturday. In mainly Christian areas (eg Haifa's Wadi Nisnas, Nazareth, Bethlehem and the Armenian and Christian quarters of Jerusalem’s Old City), businesses are usually closed on Sunday.

National parks, nature reserves and most museums are open seven days a week but close an hour or two earlier on Friday afternoon. Christian religious sites may be closed on Sunday morning, while mosques are often closed to visitors on Friday.