Currency

New Israeli Shekel (NIS)

Daily Costs

Budget: Less than 300NIS

  • Dorm bed: 70–105NIS
  • Bus or light rail ticket: 5.90NIS
  • Latte: 12NIS
  • Pita sandwich: 13NIS
  • Temple Mount/Al Haram Ash Sharif, Western Wall, Yad Vashem, most churches: free

Midrange: 300–650NIS

  • Double room: 250–350NIS
  • Restaurant meal: 55–85NIS
  • Museum entry: 15–55NIS
  • Taxi ride across town: 25–50NIS
  • Half-day walking tour: 80NIS

Top end: More than 650NIS

  • Gourmet main course: 85–200NIS
  • Boutique hotel room: 700–1500NIS
  • Day tour around Jerusalem: 250NIS
  • Antiques and local art: 300NIS and beyond

Bargaining

Most of your bargaining experiences will happen in the Old City souqs, flea markets or in taxis. While taxi drivers are required by law to use a meter, they rarely miss the chance to fleece tourists for a few shekels; particular spots, such as at the base of the Mount of Olives, are especially notorious. As with bargaining across the world, it pays to keep your cool and – particularly with souvenirs – remember that as the buyer you ultimately have the advantage.

Money

ATMs are found across the city, including in the Old City. Credit cards are widely accepted.

Money Changers

The best deals for changing money are at the private, commission-free exchange offices in the downtown area (around Zion Sq and on Ben Hillel St), East Jerusalem (Salah Ad Din St) and in the Old City (Jaffa Gate). In Jewish areas many close early on Friday and remain closed all day Saturday.

Tipping

Tipping, while not expected in every circumstance, is increasingly common.

  • Restaurants A 10% to 15% tip is usually expected.
  • Bars Usually have tip jars on the bar; 10% to 15% of your bill is fair.
  • Guides It's always good to tip guides; the amount depends on cost of tour and number in the group.
  • Hotels 10NIS to 20NIS a night for housekeeping is a nice touch.
  • Taxis Won't expect tips, but you can round up the price of the fare.