Frequently Asked Questions

Visa and travelling to and from Israel

Health

  • Israel is an entirely western country with an advanced level of hygiene, health care, diagnosis and medicine that is the envy of much of the world and on a par with the best of North America and Western Europe.

    No vaccinations are required to visit Israel (unless you have recently been in an area where there have been epidemics of yellow fever, cholera or ebola). You can also bring supplies of your standard prescription drugs with you. (If you need to bring syringes and vials of medicine – bring along a letter from your doctor attesting to your needs, just in case.) If you need to see a doctor in Israel, check with your hotel concierge. Travel insurance (including medical coverage) is always recommended for all foreign travel)

  • Absolutely, tap water in Israel is safe, but, you will also find bottled mineral water everywhere.
    (It’s important to make sure you drink a lot, especially if you are walking, hiking or exercising during hot weather.)

Communications

Religious Customs

  • Shabbat (the Sabbath) is the Jewish holy day of the week observed every Saturday. Shabbat starts at sunset on Friday and ends at sundown on Saturday evening.
    • All public offices are closed on Shabbat, as are banks, most stores and businesses; throughout Israel there is a growing number of shops open on Shabbat.
    • In most cities, public transportation (trains and buses) do not operate on Shabbat.
    • Most non-kosher restaurants are open on Shabbat.
    • It is recommended to check in advance if you are planning on visiting a specific location.
    • Radio and TV broadcasts operate as usual.

  • Not all of the restaurants in Israel are kosher. Places offering kosher food usually display a kashrut certificate granted to them by the local rabbinate. Most hotels serve kosher food, as well as some restaurants. But there is no binding law. So if kashrut is important to you, you must check it out at each separate place where you dine.

Transportation

  • Most visitors arrive at Ben Gurion International Airport (TLV) located 30-minutes from the heart of Tel Aviv, 45 minutes from Jerusalem. If you are arriving without prior land arrangements, there are cabs at the airport, bus services – and trains are available from the airport station (take the airport elevator to the lowest level) to Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, Netanya and Haifa.

  • Israel has a sophisticated system of highways, buses, trains and domestic flights. Follow these links to know more.

    Buses – The most popular form of transportation in Israel, you can buy tickets at any city’s central bus station or from the driver. Please note that most buses don’t operate in Israel on Saturdays (Shabbat)
    For schedules and fares of buses in Israel, please visit: Egged website.

    Train – The Israel Railways is an affordable easy way to travel between major cities in Israel. Please note that the trains don’t operate in Israel on Saturdays (Shabbat) For train schedules and fares, please visit the Israel Railways website.

    Private Taxi – a more expensive option, taxis can be flagged down or ordered by phone almost anywhere, and they’ll take you around town or between cities.

    Rent a car – International car rental chains have offices in Israel, and there are multiple Israel-based car rental companies. You can rent a car in all of Israel’s major cities and at Ben Gurion Airport in Tel Aviv. It’s recommended to reserve a car before you arrive.
    Driving in Israel is on the right-hand side of the road, and most signage is written in Hebrew, English and Arabic.
    Don’t use a hand-held phone while driving: it’s against the law.

  • Tel Aviv to Jerusalem 37 miles, 50 minutes
    Tel Aviv to Tiberias/Galilee 81 miles, 100 minutes
    Tel Aviv to Masada 63 miles, 90 minutes
    Tel Aviv to Haifa 90 miles, 70 minutes
    Jerusalem to Tiberias 109 miles, 120 minutes
    Jerusalem to Masada 56 miles, 90 minutes
  • Considerable efforts and resources have been invested in Israel to enable disabled persons to access any destination
    and to receive service equal to that received by the rest of the public.
    For downloading the accessible Israel booklet, click here

Safety

  • We wouldn’t urge you to come if it wasn’t. Every year between 3 and 4 million tourists vacation in Israel. In 2018, we welcomed 4.12 million tourists to Israel, seventy thousand eight hundred travelled from India, and all returned home again safe and sound.

  • Crossing from Jerusalem to Bethlehem is direct, easy and no prior authorization is required. Hundreds of tourists make the crossing in both directions every day. As always, it’s wise to check on the political situation before entering the Palestinian Authority.
    Please note to take your passport with you, you will need to present it to re-enter Israeli-controlled territory.
    If you will be driving, it is recommended to double check your car rental insurance. If your visit in the Palestinian Authority isn’t covered, you might prefer to hire a driver or visit with a tour group.

Getting There

  • More than 80 airlines operate flights to Israel’s Ben Gurion International Airport from all over the world (known simply as Tel Aviv or TLV).
    El Al has direct flights scheduled 3 to 4 times a week from Mumbai to Tel Aviv. (Mon, Wed, Thurs)
    Air India has direct flight scheduled 5 times a week from Delhi to Tel Aviv. (Sun, Mon, Tue, Thur, Sat)
    Turkish Airlines has daily flights from India to Tel Aviv, via Istanbul.

Electricity

  • The electric current in Israel is 220 volts, C, single phase, 50 Hertz, the same as in India. Most Israeli sockets are three-pronged but most also accept two-pronged plugs. Visitors who will use shavers, traveling irons and other small appliances may need transformers/ adaptor plugs. If your appliance does not work on 220 volts, you will need an adaptor.

Weather

  • Israel is a year round destination that enjoys long, warm, dry summers and generally mild winters with somewhat drier, cooler weather in hilly regions, such as Jerusalem and Safed. Temperatures can vary widely so just pack for the “right” weather and you’ll be fine.

  • In nights in the mountains or the desert. In winter, bring long sleeve shirts, sweaters and a scarf, gloves, a warm coat, and a raincoat and an umbrella.
    Some religious sites require long pants for men and modest dress for women (arms and legs covered, and, occasionally, no pants for women). Don’t forget your swimsuit and, for the Dead Sea, plastic shoes or aqausox. summer, lightweight T-shirts, sleeveless shirts, shorts, and a bathing suit are recommended. Pack a sweater or a jacket for

Planning a Trip ?

  • Israel is a thoroughly westernized country. You can make your own arrangements to travel independently and there are dozens of tour operators offering a multitude of options for trips to Israel. You can find comprehensive information at our website – www.holidayisrael.in

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