Israel Travel Facts

The Basics

Country: Israel

Where is it?: Israel is in the Middle East, bordering the Mediterranean Sea, between Egypt and Lebanon.

Why do people go here?: Israel’s sites, like Jersusalem are some of the most scared places in the world, for Christians, Jews and Muslims.

What are the main entry points?: Most people fly into Tel Aviv. You can only cross overland from Jordan and Egypt. Don’t travel into Syria or Lebanon after going to Israel. They will not allow you to travel in their country, if you have an Israeli stamp.

Currency used: New Shekel

Country Code for Phones: 972

Area codes for Major Cities: Tel Aviv 3, Jerusalem 2

Religion: Jewish 80.1%, Muslim 14.6% (mostly Sunni Muslim), Christian 2.1%, other 3.2%

Population: 7.4 million

Ethnic Breakdown: Jewish 80.1% (Europe/America-born 32.1%, Israel-born 20.8%, Africa-born 14.6%, Asia-born 12.6%), non-Jewish 19.9% (mostly Arab)

Government: Republic under Parliamentary Democracy

Languages: Hebrew (official), Arabic used officially for Arab minority, English

Travel Information

Major Cities: Tel Aviv, Jerusalem

Attractions: Jerusalem, Galilee, Tel Aviv, Bethlehem

Accommodation: Israel Hostels

Tips for Visiting

Off-the-Beaten-Path: Ein Gedi, Dead Sea

Health Issues: No major health issues.

When to go: Israel’s weather shouldn’t stop you visiting. It’s nice most of the year and there is bound to always be sunshine somewhere.

Common Phrases: (Hebrew)Yes: Ken
No: Lo, Thank You: Todah, Hello: Shalom, How are you: Ma Ha’inyanim?
How much: Kama ze oleh?, Please: Be Vakasha, I don’t understand: Ani lo meveen (If you are male) Ani lo meveena (If you are female)(Arabic) Yes: Away/Na’am, No: La, Thank You: Shukran, Hello: Ahlan, How are you: Izzayak? How much: Bi Kaam?, If God is willing, than it will happen: Inshaallah, Please: Min Fadilak, I don’t understand: Ana laa Afham

Specific Events/Holidays: With a mixture of Muslims, Jews and Christians, there are a wide variety of festivals and events. For Jews, it’s Shabbat, Yom Kippur in October and the Feast of Passover in April. For Muslims, it’s Ramadan and Eid al-Fitr.

Getting Around: Buses can get you anywhere around Israel rather quick. They are affordable and fairly comfortable.

Cheapest airport to fly into: The cheapest airports to fly into Israel are the Ben Gurion Airport and Eilat Central Airport.

Need more information?: Check out the Israel travel guide for more on what to see, where to stay, and how to get there.

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