WHAT SHOULD YOU KNOW BEFORE GOING TO ISRAEL?
To be honest Israel was never really on my bucket list. At the beginning of 2017 we decided to go to Nepal and with this mindset we started planning our next visit to Asia. However, as soon as the summer ended, we realized we will not only have enough time (we would have needed at least two weeks) to go to Nepal, but also we weren’t properly prepared, let alone collected enough gear for such a venture. That’s why we decided to look for a different destination…and rather accidentally we found cheap tickets to Israel.
Late autumn is a good time for visiting Israel, actually, though there might be some rainy days. Our experience was twofold: we’ve managed to swim in three seas and get some nice, warm sunshine, as well as freeze our guts while sightseeing Jerusalem.
But let’s get back to business: for whom and why would I recommend Israel? Most of all, I would recommend it to people who like spending their time in an active way; are interested in arts, history and/or architecture; love nature: Israel offers coral reefs, mountains, deserts; and to those, who want to experience different culture but in small doses. Israel is a perfect start for further and more exotic explorations. Nevertheless, I wouldn’t recommend it as a summer holiday spot due to fact that Israel is an expensive country with dull and dirty beaches. In case you are looking for lying on the beach, lazy and all-inclusive resort, you should try adjacent Egypt.
Find out more about Israel HERE.
WHAT SHALL I TAKE?
If you are going to Israel for one-two weeks, I would highly recommend taking only hand luggage with you (all up-to-date information about hand luggage you will find on your airlines’ website). I packed all my stuff into Osprey Kyte 36 backpack. The detailed list of all the things I have taken is available HERE.
WHAT DOCUMENTS/VISAS DO I NEED?
Many people think that entering Israel blocks possibility for visiting many Muslim countries who are not in the best relationship with Israeli, such as Saudi-Arabia or Pakistan. It used to be like this, because once you got the visa in your passport, the only thing you could do to prevent stopping at the border, was to issue a new passport. Nowadays, visa is issued on a separate piece of paper and this is how we received it at the airport in Tel-Aviv. EU-citizens get the visa for free, no photos or filling other documents are required – only a valid for at least six months passport.
HOW MUCH MONEY SHALL I TAKE?
The Israel currency is Shekel (NIS):
1 USD = 3.45 NIS
1 EUR = 4.00 NIS
1 PLN = 1.01 NIS
I definitely recommend exchanging your money in Israel.
The amount you should take, depends really on your need and plans. To make planning your budget easier, I’ve listed prices for some products and services below, they are valid for November 2017**:
train ticket from Tel-Aviv airport to the city center (station 'Savidor') -> 13.50 NIS
taxi ride from Tel-Aviv airport to the city center -> ok. 140-150 NIS
one-way bus ticket in Tel-Aviv -> 6 NIS
one-way bus ticket in Eilat -> 4.90 NIS
street-food meal -> 30-40 NIS
one course meal in a restaurant -> od 40 NIS
beer in a restaurant -> 20 NIS
beer in a shop -> 7-10 NIS
1l bottle of water -> 5 NIS
big serving of hummus in a shop -> od 7 NIS
pita breads (4) in a shop -> od 8 NIS
fresh strawberries from the market (200g) -> 12 NIS
1l of petrol -> 5.60 NIS
car rental -> ok. 210 NIS / per day
Read more about accommodation prices HERE.
** if you are familiar with more updated prices or you know about different ones, please share your knowledge and leave a comment!