Fascinating facts you need to know
One of the most exciting aspects of life in Israel is the prevalence of kibbutzim. These agricultural communes were first established in the early 20th century to combine farming with other economic activities, and they continue to thrive today. Over 5% of Israel’s population lives in kibbutzim, where members work together to maintain the land and share in the profits of their collective endeavors.
Another fascinating aspect of life in Israel is the importance of kosher food. Kosher dietary laws are an integral part of Jewish tradition, and in Israel, even the glue used on postage stamps is prepared by these laws. From restaurants to grocery stores, kosher food is a staple in Israel, and visitors will surely enjoy the wide variety of delicious and authentic cuisine.
Education is also highly valued in Israel, with school starting at age five and free education available through college. Annual tuition fees range from $2,700 at state universities to $8,500 at private colleges, making higher education accessible to all. With an average salary of about $2,500, it’s no wonder that Israel boasts one of the highest literacy rates in the world.
But Israel is more than just kibbutzim, kosher food, and education. The country is home to diverse landscapes, from the Negev Desert’s stark beauty to the Galilee region’s lush forests. Visitors can explore ancient historical sites like the Western Wall in Jerusalem or experience the vibrant nightlife of Tel Aviv. And with a climate that ranges from the Mediterranean to the desert, there’s something for everyone in Israel.
If you’re a citizen of the Republic of Serbia, you don’t need a visa to visit Israel for up to 90 days. However, it’s always a good idea to check with your country’s Israeli embassy or consulate to confirm current entry requirements. For travelers from other countries, check visa requirements on relevant websites. The official language of Israel is Hebrew, but English is widely spoken throughout the country. Learning a few basic Hebrew phrases can be a great way to connect with locals and enhance your experience. You can start with “Shalom!” which means hello or peace.
The currency in Israel is the Shekel, with a current exchange rate of 1 Shekel equaling 0.25 EUR. You can exchange money at banks and exchange offices or withdraw cash from ATMs.
If you’re traveling to Israel, being aware of Shabbat is essential. Shabbat is the Jewish day of rest and is observed from sundown on Friday until evening on Saturday. During this time, Orthodox Jews refrain from activities such as cooking and driving. As a visitor, it’s essential to respect the observance of Shabbat and plan your activities accordingly. However, many businesses and tourist sites remain open, so you can enjoy visiting Israel.
Getting from/to the airport
Traveling to a new destination can be both exciting and overwhelming. One of the biggest concerns when traveling is figuring out how to get from the airport to your final destination. Fortunately, there are plenty of options for traveling to and from Ben Gurion Airport in Israel. This post will explore the various transportation options for travelers arriving in Israel and looking to travel to Tel Aviv or Jerusalem.
Starting with the airport, you can find transportation to the cities on the second floor near Gate 21 and Gate 23. Egged is the primary and largest carrier in Israel, offering buses that depart from the airport and take you to the station where you can find buses from this company. The ride takes about 10 minutes, and buses to all cities depart from this station. For those who prefer train travel, trains from Ben Gurion Airport to the towns are on Level L (the lowest floor). Tickets can be purchased from the machine on Level G, and trains only run on Shabbat (Friday evening until Saturday evening). It is important to note that you will have access to the Internet while riding the train.
Transportation to/from Tel Aviv
For those looking to travel from Ben Gurion Airport to Tel Aviv, there are two primary transportation options: train and taxi. Trains run from the airport to Tel Aviv daily, except on Shabbat, with departures every hour (two trains each),and stop at four stations in Tel Aviv. In the nighttime (from 11 pm to 6 am), there is one train every hour, which stops at only one station in Tel Aviv – Arlozorov. The ride takes about 20 minutes, and the ticket price is 16 Shekels (4 EUR). On the other hand, the cost of taxi transportation from the airport ranges from 120-200 Shekels, depending on the location in Tel Aviv.
Transportation to/from Jerusalem
Traveling from the airport to Jerusalem is also relatively easy, with several transportation options, including train, bus, taxi, or shared taxi (sherut). The train journey from the airport to the city takes about 20 minutes, with the train station in Jerusalem called Navon and located opposite the Central Bus Station. However, it is important to note that trains do not run during Shabbat (from Friday evening to Saturday evening). Bus number 485 runs from Ben Gurion Airport to the city, with departures every hour, except on Shabbat, and the ticket price is 16 Shekels (about 4 EUR). Alternatively, driving from the airport to Jerusalem costs about 280 Shekels (70 EUR). At the same time, Sherut is a minivan for up to 10 people that runs daily, even on Shabbat, and departs when it is full of passengers.
Getting around Jerusalem
Once in Jerusalem, the best way to get around is by using an electronic Rav-Kav card, which can be topped up with cash or a credit card and used on the bus and train throughout Israel, not just in Jerusalem. The bus price is 7 Shekels (1.7 EUR) one way, and if you need to transfer, you don’t need a new ticket – the canceled one will be valid for 90 minutes. The Jerusalem Tram requires a ticket before entering, and if you don’t have a Rav-Kav, you can buy individual tickets from a machine on every platform. Lastly, the Light Train is an excellent choice for transportation, passing close to the most prominent tourist attractions.
In conclusion, when traveling to Israel, plenty of transportation options are available to help you get from the airport to your final destination.
Whether you prefer a bus, train, taxi, or shared taxi, there is an option that will suit your needs. Additionally, with the electronic Rav-Kav card, getting around in Jerusalem is easy and affordable. It is important to note that transportation options may be limited during Shabbat, so it is best to plan and check schedules. With the convenience of multiple transportation options, travelers can focus on enjoying Israel’s sights and experiences.
Israel is a stunning country, attracting millions of tourists annually. However, before visiting, it is essential to know some useful information that can make your stay more comfortable and enjoyable.
Best time to visit Israel
Jerusalem experiences extreme weather conditions, and summers can be scorching, with temperatures soaring up to 40C in July and August. On the other hand, winters can be cold, and December to March is the coldest period, with occasional snowfall. October is considered the best month to visit Jerusalem because of the pleasant temperatures and lower accommodation prices.
What to pack for Israel
When packing for your trip to Jerusalem, bring comfortable shoes or trainers as you walk most of the day. If you visit religious sites during the summer, you must dress modestly in long skirts, dresses, and covered hands. Also, carry a thin sweater or jacket, even if you’re visiting during the summer, as temperatures can drop drastically after sunset. In winter, dress in layers.
Is Israel expensive?
While planning your trip to Jerusalem, it’s essential to remember that it’s an expensive city, and you should be prepared for higher prices for food, drinks, and accommodation. Shopping in Jerusalem is concentrated in the city center along Jaffa Street, such as Mamilla and Mahla, Mahane Yehuda Market, and many shops in the old city. Make sure to bargain at the markets to get the best deals.
Regarding accommodation, the prices for double rooms start from 50 EUR and can go up depending on the hotel’s location and amenities. It’s essential to book your accommodation in advance to get the best prices and ensure a comfortable stay.
Water in Israel
Water in Israel is safe to drink almost everywhere, so you don’t have to worry about buying bottled water. However, if you prefer bottled water, you can find it at a reasonable price of around 1 EUR.
Food in Israel
Regarding food, Israel is a real culinary melting pot, blending Middle Eastern and Mediterranean influences with Jewish and Arab traditions. Visitors to Jerusalem and Israel, in general, should take the opportunity to try some of the local cuisines. Here are some dishes that you must try during your stay:
Hummus is a classic Middle Eastern dish synonymous with Israeli cuisine. It is made from chickpeas, tahini, olive oil, lemon juice, and garlic. Hummus is served as an appetizer or a main course and is usually eaten with pita bread. You can find different variations of hummus throughout Israel, including hummus with mushrooms, tahini, and falafel.
Baba Ganoush is another popular appetizer from roasted eggplants, tahini, garlic, and lemon juice. It is usually served with pita bread or as a dip with fresh vegetables. Baba Ganoush is a healthy and delicious option for vegetarians and vegans.
Falafel is a must-try dish when you visit Israel. These small balls of fried chickpeas are typically served on pita bread with hummus, tahini, and fresh vegetables. You can also find falafel served as a snack or an appetizer. Falafel is a favorite street food in Israel and can be found at many street vendors and restaurants.
Eggplant is a versatile ingredient used in many Israeli dishes. One of the most popular eggplant dishes is baba ghanoush, also used in moussaka, stuffed eggplant, and roasted eggplant.
Shakshuka is a delicious breakfast dish that consists of poached eggs in a sauce made from tomatoes, peppers, and onions. It is usually served with pita bread, a perfect way to start your day in Israel.
Kubaneh is a traditional bread that is baked overnight and served during Shabbat. It is a buttery, flaky bread perfect for breakfast or brunch.
In terms of prices, dining out in Israel can be expensive, especially in tourist areas. However, street food and marketsoffer more affordable options. Street food vendors sell kebabs, falafel, and sandwiches for a fraction of the cost of a sit-down meal.
So, when visiting Israel, try the local cuisine. From hummus to falafel to shakshuka, there are many delicious and unique dishes to explore. And if you are on a budget, don’t be afraid to check out the street food and market options for some tasty and affordable meals.
What to drink in Israel
Israel is a country where you can enjoy various drinks, from refreshing juices to alcoholic beverages. Let’s dive into some of the most popular drinks you can try during your stay.
Wine is one of the most popular drinks in Israel, and the country is well-known for its excellent wine production. You can find many types of wine, from red to white and rosé, and various grape varieties are grown throughout the country. Some of the most popular wineries are in the Golan Heights and the Judean Hills. If you are a wine lover, don’t miss out on visiting one of the many wineries and tasting their excellent wines.
Beer is also a popular drink in Israel, and the most common type is the non-alcoholic dark beer called Bira shechora. However, you can also find many local and imported beers in bars and pubs nationwide. Israeli craft beer has become increasingly popular recently, with many microbreweries opening up.
If you want something stronger, try Tubi 60, a refreshing drink based on citrus containing 40% alcohol. Arak is another alcoholic drink that is very popular in Israel, and it is typically drunk with ice and water. Arak is made from anise and is known for its strong aniseed flavor.
If you prefer non-alcoholic drinks, you can try Botz, the Israeli version of Turkish coffee. It is a thick, strong coffee typically served in small cups. Sachlav is a dense milk drink similar to hot chocolate, naturally flavored with cinnamon, coconut, or hazelnut. It is a popular drink during the winter months.
If you want something refreshing, try pomegranate juice, Limonana, or lemonade with mint. Pomegranate juice is known for its many health benefits and is a popular drink in Israel. Limonana is perfect for hot summer days and is a refreshing drink found in many cafes and restaurants throughout the country.
Lastly, if you are a chocolate lover, you must try Shoko b’sakit. It is a chocolate milk drink in a plastic bag and is very popular among children and adults. It is a unique and fun way to enjoy chocolate milk and is a must-try during your visit to Israel.
Israel offers various drinks, and you will find something that suits your taste. During your stay, you can try everything from wine to beer and coffee to chocolate milk. So go ahead and explore the many flavors of Israel!
Overall, this is a country full of fascinating facts and unique experiences. From its kibbutzim and kosher food to its emphasis on education and diverse landscapes, Israel offers visitors a chance to explore a unique way of life. Whether you’re interested in history, culture, or simply soaking up the sun, Israel is a must-visit destination that will leave a lasting impression.
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