Visiting Israel for the first time can be quite a surprise, and to ease you into it, below are the top 5 tips for visiting Israel. Preparing for a trip to Israel is easy with the right preparation! For someone who has never been to the Middle-East, Israel can be a quite a culture shock. Despite the difference, Israel is a great country to explore; from history, cuisine, and specifically the wonderfully colorful and loud culture. The Israeli culture seeps into everything here, from communication, food, dress and street art making every trip here truly memorable.
Here are the top 5 tips regarding the vast cultural difference for visiting Israel to make your trip the experience of a lifetime!
1. – Tips for Visiting Israel: Israeli Attitude
Israeli people are very loud and outgoing, and you most definitely will overhear quite a lot of shouting. They will be very talkative to you and happy to try to help you out whenever they can. The other side of the coin is, they will let you know when they are displeased about anything. Israel doesn’t place a high value on professionalism and they prefer to be blunt and honest about everything. The tip is, do not take it too seriously, and it is not you, they probably are just hungry or need to smoke. (Cigarette smoking is highly common in Israel, to people of all walks and ages.)
2. – Police Presence
From the minute you land in Ben Gurion International Airport, you will see how secure Israel is. You may be questioned more than other countries during customs. This is just precautions to keep Israel and its tourists safe, and there is nothing to worry about. There will be IDF soldiers, and police with guns, horses just about everywhere; especially over any holidays that people in the country may be observing. You will also see many off duty soldiers, who will be in casual clothing, but big guns strapped to them especially on Thursday, Friday and Saturday. They are friendly and would be happy to take a picture with you, and if you feel unsafe at all, they will take your concerns seriously and ensure the situation is safe.
3. – Hold onto Your Bags
A very important tip when traveling to Israel is under no circumstances leave your bags unattended. This is because a bomb squad will come and shut off a huge radius to make sure there is nothing nefarious in your bags. It will cause a blockade in traffic, and there will be tape surrounding your items. You may see this happen, as it is a pretty common occurrence, and usually there is nothing to be afraid of, as it is just precautionary.
4. – “For you, Special Price”
When traveling throughout Israel, Israelis have a knack at spotting tourists from a mile away. When shopping in the outdoor markets, or other souvenir shops, Israeli merchants can be very convincing salespeople. They are flattering, engaging and funny, and will overcharge you. Don’t be afraid to bargain as it is expected, and ensure that the price for what you are interested in is reasonable.
5. – Tips for Visiting Israel; Plan for the Expense
Israel is not a cheap country to visit. If you are looking for a budget friendly vacation spot, Israel is not it. From food to accommodations, prepare to spend a little more than most countries. Calculate how many days you will be spending in Israel, and budget for food, accommodation, travel, transport and tourist attractions. This is so you will not be overspending more than your budget’s capabilities. You can tour Israel in a cost effective way, but that takes planning and research but can be just as fun, and equally memorable experience. Think of finding accommodation outside of main City Centers, and using public transportation as a means of transport.
Israel is a country like no other when it comes to creating the most wonderful experiences. From exploring historical sites, to eating the most delicious food, you are sure to encounter Israel in all its beauty. Learn more of how to prepare for your trip to Israel here.
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