OK, here it is… a collection of our top Israel Travel Tips based on years of experience both traveling to Israel as a tourist and now living here. These are the “local Israel travel secrets” not found in the guide books.
The “dos” and “don’ts” of travel within this country after your arrival. For more on preparing for your trip (pre-arrival) and navigating your way through the airport and customs, please see my top Travel to Israel FAQs.
As always, if there is additional information that you require, please don’t hesitate to contact me directly via the form at the bottom of the page.
Top 10 Israel Travel Tips and “Secrets”
- Do remember to drink plenty of water, especially during the hot season (June through November). At least 2 liters (1/2 gallon pp. per day).
- Do wear comfortable shoes and clothing (light layers); also a hat that will provide sun protection. Remember, in Israel, comfortable is “in”.
- Do download and use Waze for the best navigational guide available. It will guide you in English or Hebrew or whatever language your require and give you real time updates on traffic, accidents, speed cameras, and other road hazards and get you to your destination.
- Do check out my Hebrew Survival Guide for the basic essential terms used by the locals. Also, I recommend downloading Google translate for your mobile phone as an additional tool, however, most Israelis in the major cities speak very good English.
- Do make sure women in your group are wearing long sleeves and pants when visiting religious sites.
- Do remain patient (Savlanut) as sometimes things move slower than you are accustomed to but in the end it gets done.
- Do sample the food everywhere you visit. There is so much more offered than the traditional Israeli street food “felafel”! The Israeli food is really amazing and the Mediterranean diet is considered to be one of the healthiest in the world.
- Do indulge in Israeli made wines. They are really world class!
- Do agree on a fixed price for your destination before you enter a taxi. Drivers have a habit of adjusting the price for foreigners.
- Do find the cheapest flights to Israel here
- Do check out my top recommendations for hand-picked Guided Day and weekly tours. (see below)
- Don’t forget sunscreen. Israel is a sunny place with a very high average daily U.V. rating. I recommend you bring your own as it tends to be much more expensive here.
- Don’t buy any non-Israeli made specialty products as they are likely to actually cost more than buying them in your home country and many times are cheap imitations.
- Don’t go anywhere without your cell phone. It is relatively inexpensive and you can even call overseas. See Cell phone rental in Israel
- Don’t plan to return from the Northern Israel on a Saturday evening unless you are prepared to sit in traffic for a few hours. Also traveling to Jerusalem on Sunday morning is probably not recommended for the same reason.
- Don’t be afraid to haggle in the Shuks (open air markets). It is an expected part of the culture and if you don’t, you will likely overpay.
- Don’t wander around the Golan Heights without a guide. This is a very tenuous area especially now. There are areas near the Syrian border that you need to stay away from plus there are still live minefields, believe it or not, from past wars. Remember the Golan Heights was a battlefield for a long time.
- Don’t enter the sea in late June-July without first checking for jellyfish washed up on the beach. They are not deadly but can provide a pretty painful sting.
- Don’t practice your newly discovered Hebrew or Arabic curse words or hand gestures on the locals. Remember the culture here is different and you may really offend someone without intending to.
- Don’t wear your best bathing suit into the Dead Sea or Mineral Springs. It is possible that it may retain the smell of sulfur no matter how many times you wash it.
- Don’t ask local Israeli’s for directions. If they dont know, they just guess. Use your Waze app. You will be glad you did!
Israel Has it All – Israel Travel Tips
- Most incredible day trips north to south and points in-between.
- Some of the most scenic and beautiful hiking trips in the country.
- Best Beaches you will find anywhere.
- Best places to stay
- Best deals on Israel car rental.
- The most cost effective and efficient way to use Israil or other public transportation.
Because Israel is such a small place, you can reach many amazing destinations within a short drive. I continually find it fascinating that in a half day’s travel by car, you can pass from mountains to coastal plains, and into barren desert.