Information on Israel
Comparison of temperatures
Form of government:
Israel has been independent since 14th May 1948. A parliamentary democracy, no written constitution but individual basic laws. Parliament: Knesset, unicameral parliament with 120 seats. Parliamentary elections every four years based on proportional representation. President of the State of Israel: Reuven Rivlin Accession to office 24/07/2014. State president elected every seven years by parliament.
74.9% Jewish, 17.52% Muslims, 1.9% Christian, 1.63% Druze, 3.98% other
Hebrew, Arabic. Trade language: English
Three climate zones: Coastal areas – hot and humid summers, mild and rainy winters (e.g. Tel Aviv); mountainous regions – hot and dry summers, cold winters (e.g. Jerusalem); desert – very hot and dry summers, mild winters (e.g. Negev)
230 volt alternating current, 50 hertz. An adapter is necessary.
Daylight saving time is observed in Israel. The time difference to the UK throughout the year is UTC +2 hours.
Making telephone calls:
The dialling code for long-distance calls from the UK to Israel is 00972. Dial 0044 and drop the 0 from the local code when calling the UK from Israel.
Country and people:
In Israel, it is customary to give tips. Similarly to the USA, this forms part of their income for people working in the sector. Moreover, it symbolises recognition for the service provided. On group trips, we recommend around £1.70 to £2.70 per person per day for the tour leader, and around £1.30 per person per day for the bus driver. Of course, everyone may decide for themselves whether and how much of a tip they wish to give.
There are warnings in Tel Aviv and the surrounding area of very strong currents at times. Travellers should always stay near the beach and not swim out too far. It is recommended to only bathe in areas with lifeguards and to pay attention to the flags on the beaches and the lifeguard announcements and to obey them.
Entry requirements for British citizens:
You do not need a visa to enter Israel as a tourist. On entry, visitors are granted leave to enter for a period of up to 3 months. Visitors entering via Ben Gurion airport are given an entry card instead of an entry stamp in their passport. While this practice is in place at other ports of entry, there have been instances where passports have been stamped for entry purposes. You should keep your entry card with your passport until you leave. This is evidence of your legal entry into Israel and may be required, particularly at any crossing points into the Occupied Palestinian Territories. If you’re refused entry into Israel, your passport may be stamped with an entry stamp and two red lines drawn across it to indicate the refusal. Your passport should be valid for a minimum period of 6 months from the date of entry into Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories. It is for the Israeli authorities to determine the right of entry into Israel, if you have any particular concerns about visas or entry into Israel, you should contact the Israeli Embassy in London.
You should expect lengthy personal questioning and baggage searches by security officials on arrival and departure from Israel. Electrical items, including laptops, may be taken from departing passengers for security inspection and either stored in the aircraft baggage hold, or returned to you in the UK. Damage may occur.
If you arrive with valuable personal items (computers, camcorders etc.) you may be required to pay a deCitizens of other countries are advised to contact the Israeli Embassy in London for information on the applicable entry requirements: http://embassies.gov.il/london/Pages/default.aspx.
Whilst we endeavour to provide guidance where necessary, we can not be responsible for any problems encountered (whether at any point of entry or elsewhere) in the event that passport and visa requirements are not satisfied.
Your expert tour guides will be able to provide you with detailed information about the country, people, history, culture etc., and offer advice and assistance for organising your trip. They can also help with room allocation and look forward to welcoming you with initial information. Here you will find out all you need to know and useful information about the trip. We have put together a varied programme including numerous highlights, enabling you to experience the culture and diversity of landscape that Israel has to offer, and learn all about the country and its people.
Although your trip already includes a comprehensive package, you also have the option of choosing added extras. We recommend booking the following packages:
Gourmet package: The package includes comfortable half board, i.e. 6× delicious evening buffet with international specialities and 1× evening snack on the day of arrival: only £149 per person.
Cultural package: The package includes an all-day excursion to the ”Dead Sea & Masada (World Heritage)“ as well as the ”boat trip along the Sea of Galilee“: only £139 per person.
The unit of currency is the Israeli new shekel (ILS). 1 shekel = 100 agora. Exchange rate (January 2020): 1 GBP = 4.51 ILS; 1 ILS = 0.22 GBP.
We recommend exchanging money in Israel. This can be done in hotels, post offices, bureaux de changes and banks. Banks are generally open: Sun. – Fri. 8.30 am – 12 pm and Sun., Tue. and Thu. 4 pm – 6 pm.
Cash can be withdrawn from most ATMs using credit cards or EC cards. The latter is only possible when the ATM displays a Maestro or Cirrus logo. Fees may be charged. Most larger shops, hotels and restaurants accept credit cards. They may also charge fees. EC cards are rarely accepted as a payment method.
The transfer of money into or out of Israel (cash, cashier’s cheques, traveller’s cheques) equivalent to 80,000 LIS or higher must be reported. The required „Customs Form 84“ can be requested by phone at +972 2 658 7777. Please contact the embassy of your destination country for customs information on importing goods. Only they can provide you with legally-binding information. Legally binding information can only be provided there. The customs regulations for the UK can be viewed on the British Customs (www.ukba.homeoffice.gov.uk) website or queried by phone.
Safety information specific to Israel:
There have not been any warnings to date that foreign visitors are the targets of violence. You should, however, be very cautious in Jerusalem and the West Bank. Travellers should avoid groups and get a local guide if visiting the Old City of Jerusalem or other exposed locations. It is best to avoid visiting the Old City of Jerusalem in the dark.
The West Bank has been occupied by the armed forces since 1967 and is divided into different administrative divisions. There are numerous checkpoints and roadblocks, especially between Israel and Jerusalem on one side and the West Bank on the other, but also in the West Bank itself.
Crossings from the West Bank to Israel can also be closed without advance notice. It is then impossible to cross the border towards Israel despite the intervention of the embassy in Tel Aviv or the representative office in Gaza City. Spontaneous protest rallies may suddenly occur, especially at the checkpoints and in the West Bank. You then need to be very cautious.
When staying in Israel, the embassy in Tel Aviv is your foreign representation as is the representative office in Gaza City when staying in the Occupied Palestinian Territory. Your representation is in the administrative district where you will be spending most of your time. The security situation can change very quickly. It is recommended to keep up-to-date on the latest developments before and during the trip to Israel.
Special criminal law provisions:
Homosexual activities by men are punishable in the Occupied Palestinian Territory. So far, however, there is no known case where foreigners have been prosecuted because of homosexual activities. Social discrimination, however carries more weight than prosecution. Homosexuality in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip is still a social and religious taboo.
Vaccinations: Vaccination against poliomyelitis (polio) is highly recommended. Prior to travelling, the Foreign Office recommends examining whether routine immunisations are up to date in accordance with the recommendations of the National Travel Health Network and Centre (see
www.travelhealthpro.org.uk) and supplementing them where necessary. This includes vaccinations against tetanus, diphtheria, pertussis (whooping cough), possibly against mumps, measles, rubella, pneumococci and influenza. Hepatitis A is recommended as a travel vaccination and hepatitis B and rabies for long-term stays or special exposure.
Diarrhoeal diseases: Most diarrhoeal diseases can be avoided by appropriate food and drinking water hygiene. Here are a few basic rules: Only drink water from a safe source, e.g. bottled water, never water from a tap. In emergencies use filtered, disinfected or boiled water. Also use safe drinking water when cleaning your teeth at any time. With regard to food, cook it or peel it yourself. Be careful to keep flies off your food and drink. Wash your hands with soap as often as possible, always after visiting the toilet and always before preparing food and before eating. Regularly disinfect your hands and use disposable hand towels.
Infectious diseases: Some infectious diseases transmitted by mosquitoes or ticks do occur but are quite rare (e.g. leishmaniasis, West Nile fever, phlebotomus fever). Observe insect protection (e.g. repellents, mosquito net, long-sleeved clothing).
The level of care in Israel is good to very good, emergency care is carried out only by the wellestablished state health system. The level of care in the Occupied Palestinian Territory is considerably limited. Ambulances are not allowed to cross the border to Israel. Travel medical insurance with emergency return home coverage is recommended. If you have a pre-existing condition, you should get some advice from a clinic or doctor specialised in tropical and travel medicine. The customer must establish for himself that his physical and mental state is compatible with the selected journey. He is obliged to obtain information about the degrees of physical mobility and mental autonomy required for this journey.
All information is subject to change/Last updated: June 2020