TOURING ISRAEL - WHY THIS IS THE BEST PLACE TO VISIT?
You have long dreamed of touring Israel but keep putting it off because you do not know where to start, then this article is for you. In this article, I will talk about how to travel to Israel from the USA, UK, Australia, Russia, and the UAE and how to plan your own unforgettable trip to this amazing country in 2021.
After deciding to organize a trip to Israel on your own, you can create your own individual route or using an Israeli tour guide and visit those places that are the most interesting to you.
You can, of course, turn to the services of travel companies in Israel and ask for an Israeli tour package, but why overpay? you no longer need a visa to visit Israel if you intend to travel for a period of no more than 90 days, to visit relatives, friends, or acquaintances, to relax, or undergo treatment in a medical institution.
DOCUMENTS FOR A TRIP TO ISRAEL
The first thing to start with is to study the list of documents required to enter Israel.
The Embassy of the State of Israel in Moscow and Washington recommended that Russian and American citizens, when crossing the Israeli border, have the following package of documents with them:
1. Passport valid for at least six months from the date of entry.
2. Round-trip tickets with specific dates of entry and exit.
3. Medical insurance policy for the provision of services abroad.
4. Documentary confirmation of hotel booking, if the purpose of the trip is tourism.
5. Invitation from relatives, friends, or organizations when traveling to visit.
6. Original birth certificate when a minor child crosses the border.
If everything is in order with your passport, then you can proceed to the next stage of planning your tour in Israel.
TOURING ISRAEL - BUYING AIR TICKET
Israel currently has two airports that receive international flights.
The main air gate of Israel is considered to be the international airport. Ben Gurion. It is located 20 km from Tel Aviv and 50 km from Jerusalem.
The opening of the new Ramon International Airport, 20 km north of Eilat, took place on January 21, 2019. The airport bears the name Ramon in honor of Aviation Colonel Ilan Ramon, Israel's first astronaut who tragically died on February 1, 2003, in the Columbia spaceship crash.
Ramon International Airport currently serves both domestic and international flights. In the future, it will be able to serve as an alternative to Ben Gurion International Airport in emergencies.
The main carriers operating in these directions are the Israeli airline EL AL, as well as the Russian airlines Aeroflot and Ural Airlines, United Airlines, Delta, Brtish Airways, and many more.
Today Low-cost airlines often include Israel on their routes as well.
However, starting in November 2019, the Russian low-cost airline Pobeda, Easyjet, and Bluair will start operating regular flights from Moscow (Vnukovo airport) and Hitro Airport to Eilat (Ramon airport). Flights will be operated three times a week on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays. Ticket sales are open from August 2019.
The Moscow-Eilat route will become unique in its way because before that, none of the airlines had flown directly from Moscow to this Israeli resort. This means that very soon Eilat will become even closer and more accessible.
When buying a ticket to visit Israel, you should be guided by the following rules:
1. Choose a round-trip ticket on flights of one carrier.
2. Determine for yourself what is more precious for your time or money. Does it make sense to save a couple thousand on connecting flights, but lose a lot of time?
3. The less you are tied to specific dates of departure and arrival, the more chances to save on ticket prices.
4. If you are not tied to specific travel dates, then use the low season for touring Israel.
5. Ticket prices on Fridays, weekends, and holidays are usually higher than on other days of the week.
6. More often tickets are cheaper if they are bought 2.5 - 3 months before the trip or a few days before departure.
7. When buying a ticket, refuse unnecessary and unnecessary insurances that will be offered to you.
8. Be sure to read the carrier's baggage policy. Often, only hand luggage is included in the cost of an economy class ticket, and baggage is paid for separately.
Personally, I always have a big problem with point 8, I understand perfectly well that luggage is extra energy, time, and money. And how many videos I have reviewed on the topic “how to travel with one backpack”, but so far to no avail.
Want to know how to find a cheap ticket for touring Israel? Use a flight scanner or contact me for the best advice and most affordable deals for touring Israel all year long.
I recommend buying tickets for touring Israel on the service I use myself: www.aviasales.ru. This service allows you to compare ticket prices for the same flight in different booking systems - buy a cheap ticket.
SIM CARD FOR TOURING ISRAEL
The peculiarity of Drimsim is that it is not tied to any operator, so it has no home tariff, no monthly fee, and no roaming. Drums look like a regular SIM card: plastic and with a chip. It works on any mobile device: smartphone, tablet, router.
Consequently, as soon as the plane has landed at the airport, you can call your family and friends both in Russia, the USA, and Israel, as well as turn on the Internet without risking spending millions on communication.
On the official website Drimsim.com, you can see in advance how much a minute of conversation or 1 megabyte of the Internet will cost in any country.
While in Israel, the cost of calls and the Internet will be:
- 1 megabyte of the Internet - $ 0.01;
- outgoing calls to Russia/US - $ 0.26 / min;
- outgoing calls to mobile numbers in Israel - $ 0.11 / min;
- outgoing calls to landline numbers in Israel - $ 0.08 / min;
- outgoing SMS to Israel - $ 0.04 / pc.
In the free Drimsim app for iOS and Android, it is convenient to communicate with the support service, replenish the balance, and track expenses with an accuracy of a kilobyte and a second.
Benefits of Drimsim for users:
1. The SIM card is valid in almost all countries of the world. No need to activate roaming or a special tariff.
2. Prices for communication are almost the same as those of local operators. At the same time, the SIM card is already in your pocket, and you don't have to look for a SIM card sales point and try to figure out the tariffs.
3. Using the tariff calculator on the website, you can immediately calculate how much communication will cost in the country.
4. There is no limit on traffic and calls, there are no monthly fees and hidden charges.
5. The application shows the cost of calls and the Internet, it is easy to keep track of expenses with an accuracy of a kilobyte and a second.
6. The support service in the application answers questions within a few minutes.
7. After activating the SIM-card, the balance needs to be replenished with € 25, then only those amounts that are actually spent will be debited.
8. Drimsim does not have an “expiration date”: an activated SIM card can be stored for a year without use at any balance. To extend the service life for another year, one transaction is enough: a call, a message, an Internet session. If there is no activity during the year, the service of the SIM card does not stop but starting from the 366th day, 0.5 euros will be charged monthly - the commission for maintaining the number for the subscriber.
Delivery of a Drimsim SIM card in Moscow/New York and St. Petersburg takes 1-2 days, to the regions - within 7 days when sent by Post or from 2 days at points of issue, and from two weeks - worldwide.
Therefore, buying a SIM card should be taken care of in advance. You can order Drimsim on the official website Drimsim.com.
Me personally, when traveling around the world I book a data package of 1 gigabyte and I use Whatssup to connect, this is more than enough for touring Israel for a week or two without any limits.
PURCHASE OF INSURANCE POLICY FOR TOURING ISRAEL
One of the documents recommended by the Embassy of the State of Israel to have when crossing the border of Israel is a medical insurance policy for the provision of services abroad for the period of stay in the country. This policy is often referred to as travel insurance.
You should never, under any circumstances, neglect the design of this document. Such a policy, at a relatively low cost, will provide you with medical care during your stay abroad. It can be said without exaggeration that travel insurance is your reliable protection against large and unplanned expenses.
travel insurance for Israel
Indeed, in Israel, medical care, whether it is a doctor's consultation or an ambulance call, is very expensive. The cost of an insurance policy will cost dozens of times less than you have to spend on treatment in case of a common cold or, for example, acute toothache. Not to mention more serious illnesses.
1.What does travel insurance cover? The insurance covers the risks associated with the deterioration of the health of the insured person. At the same time, deterioration in health can be associated with both a common disease, the need for emergency (including surgical) intervention, and receiving medical care in case of injury or accident.
2.What determines the cost of an insurance policy? The cost of an insurance policy depends on the following components:
3.Coverage amounts - the cost of medical expenses that the insurance company will pay in case of a deterioration of health. Accordingly, the higher the coverage amount, the more expensive the insurance policy.
4.The age of the traveler. According to statistics, for children and pensioners, the probability of an insured event (deterioration in health) is higher than for representatives of other age groups, therefore, the policy for them will be more expensive.
5.Active recreation is associated with the risk of injury or even death, so this policy will cost more.
6.Exchange rates. The higher the dollar or euro exchange rate against the Shekel, the higher the cost of the policy. After all, the amount of coverage is set in dollars or euros.
Where and how to get an insurance policy? The easiest way is to get an insurance policy online on the website of the insurance company. The advantage of this design option is that you can independently draw up a policy from the options presented, using a calculator, and then compare prices.
You can, of course, issue a policy and in the "traditional way" - pay a visit to the office of the insurance company, honestly sit in line and get your hands on the coveted piece of paper. But often with this method of registration, insurance companies impose on us additional types of insurance (insurance against the risk of destruction of luggage, insurance of civil liability, and others), which significantly, sometimes even several times, increase the cost of the policy.
In any case, if you are a supporter of the "traditional way" of registration, do not be lazy, take a look at the website of insurance companies and, using an online calculator, calculate the cost of the policy. And only after that, armed with the cherished knowledge, you can safely go to the office of the insurance company, if you do not mind the time for this.
Of the insurance companies on the website of which it is possible to obtain an advantageous policy online, I can recommend Memsi.
CHOICE OF ACCOMMODATION FOR THE PERFECT TOUR IN ISRAEL
If you have no relatives in Israel to stay with, I advise you to use the www.booking.com service to choose accommodation options.
There are a great variety of hotels in Israel, from five-star (Super Deluxe category) to a very simple bed and breakfast. And here it all depends on your taste and wallet. There are three main options for living: - booking a hotel or apartment, - rest in Zimmer, - daily rent of apartments or houses.
When choosing a placement option, be guided by the following guidelines:
1. Set the selection of accommodation options on the service according to the range of accommodation prices that are acceptable to you.
2. Pay attention to super offers. Often the discount on such offers for specific dates reaches 70%.
3. Remember that the cost of staying at a hotel on weekends is much higher than the cost of staying at the same hotel on weekdays. The days off in Israel are Friday and Saturday. Consequently, the highest prices for hotel accommodation in Israel will be from Thursday to Sunday, and the lowest from Sunday to Thursday.
4. If you want to save on food, then choose hotels (apartments) with your own kitchen. Then the groceries can be bought in the store and cooked by themselves, and the money saved is better spent on sightseeing.
5. Carefully study the reviews of visitors, they will help you understand all the pros and cons of this or that accommodation option.
6. Pay attention to the booking conditions. Choose from free cancellation options.
7. Pay attention to the date until which the reservation can be canceled free of charge, usually 2-3 days before arrival. It's actually very convenient, you can book a suitable accommodation option and then cancel your booking if you find an even better option.
When booking on this service, prepayment is not charged. Payment is made locally and usually in local currency. When booking, the service will ask you for your bank card details, but this is in case the booking conditions are violated.
If you prefer outdoor recreation and want, at least for a few days, to see from the window, not the boring city landscape, but the sea, forest, or mountains, then it makes sense to stay in a Zimmer.
I would like to tell you more about this accommodation option. So ... what are the Zimmers in Israel?
Zimmer is a guest house. The main advantage of the Zimmer is its location a little away from urban civilization - in the thicket of the forest, on the top of a mountain, on the banks of the river, or in a well-kept garden. At the same time, the Zimmers are often not far from the sights, of which there are a great many in Israel.
The Zimmer has everything you need for relaxation - comfortable furniture, a kitchenette, dishes, a refrigerator, a microwave oven, an air conditioner, a plasma TV, a hot shower or bath, and not even rarely a jacuzzi. As a rule, a Zimmer has its own veranda, equipped with sun loungers, a table with chairs, and always a barbecue. And there is often a swimming pool nearby.
The price depends on the season, location, and comfort level. On weekends and holidays, prices are higher than on other days of the week.
However, we must admit that rest in Israeli Zimmer presupposes the presence of a car since public transport stops are often a little to the side. Accommodation in Zimmer will be a good option for those who are going to get around Israel with a rented car. In this case, it is possible to ideally combine rest with excursions, given the small size of the country.
If you are going to have a rest in a large company or for a long time, then it makes sense to consider the option of daily rent of apartments or residential buildings. In this case, I recommend using the service www.Airbnb.com for comparison.
TOURING ISRAEL ON PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION
Great news for anyone planning to visit Israel. Finally, there is a Rav Kav for tourists - the ISRAEL Pass & Ride card.
The Israel Pass & Ride card is the perfect choice for easy travel in Israel and exploring Israel cheap, with up to a 20% discount. The map is a joint product of the Israel Nature and Parks Authority, the Ministry of Transport and Highway Safety, and the Ministry of Tourism.
The cards are issued primarily for individual tourists visiting Israel on short-term visits. These tourists have grown significantly in recent years and need a convenient, yet cost-effective way to combine public transportation with access to a range of national parks and reserves, some of which are “must-see”.
The Israel Pass & Ride card allows you to visit 3 or 6 leading national parks and reserves (Masada, En Gedi, Caesarea, Qumran, and many others), as well as when loading an additional amount of money on the card, travel by public transport throughout Israel. enjoying the benefits of the Rav Kav card.
For visiting, within the Israel Pass & Ride card, 69 national parks and reserves are available. A complete list of which is presented on the website: https://www.parks.org.il
(Note: Jerusalem City of David National Park is not included in the list of parks available on the map.)
The cost of a card that allows you to visit 3 (three) national parks, including Rav Kav is - 83 NIS.
The cost of a card that allows you to visit 6 (six) national parks, including Rav Kav is 115 NIS.
The cost of the Israel Pass & Ride card is the same for all ages.
The Israel Pass & Ride card is valid for visiting national parks and reserves for 2 weeks from the date of the first visit. As part of the map, each park or reserve can be visited only once. Loading additional funds to the card to visit national parks and reserves is not provided.
In the future, the card can be used exclusively as a Rav Kav for traveling by public transport in Israel (bus, tram, train), with the ability to save up to 20% of the fare, provided that an additional amount of money is loaded onto the card.
The Israel Pass & Ride card can be purchased at the kiosk of the Ministry of Transport and Road Safety, located in the arrival hall on the 1st floor of Terminal 3 of the International Airport. Ben Gurion. And also in other tourist centers of the country, the full list of which can be found here.
It is planned that in the future, the card will include additional travel sites and discounts on various services such as accommodation and restaurants.
I WILL MAKE THE PERFECT TOUR TO ISRAEL FOR YOU
Israel is perhaps the only country in the world whose history is the heritage of all mankind. A rich history has turned Israel into a place where various civilizations, peoples, and religions cross. Churches, synagogues, and mosques in Jerusalem and other cities of the country annually attract thousands of pilgrims of various faiths.
The most famous Christian shrines: Via Dolorosa (Sorrowful path of Jesus Christ to Calvary), Church of the Holy Sepulcher in Jerusalem; Church of the Annunciation in Nazareth; Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem (Palestinian Authority).
Shrines of Judaism: Wailing Wall; the tomb of the Jewish foremother Rachel; the tomb of the patriarchs in the Mahpela cave in Hebron, the tombs of the great Jewish sages in Tiberias, etc.
Muslim shrines: the complex of buildings Haram al-Sharif on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem; the Dome of the Rock mosque - a symbol of Islam in the land of Israel; the tomb of the Arab patriarchs in Hebron; El Jazar Mosque in Akko.
But rest in Israel is not only a visit to holy places, resort Israel is also many-sided and diverse. What is the most popular sea in Israel? Despite its small size, Israel is washed by the waters of four seas: red, dead, Mediterranean, and Galilee.
RED SEA. Eilat is a prestigious resort in Israel, located on the shores of the Red Sea. Eilat's business card is the sea, sun, and mountains. The most beautiful coral reefs cover the coast in a wide strip. Eilat is an ideal destination for diving and other water sports.
The climate in Eilat is very mild and has a low air humidity of 20-30%. Rains in this area of Israel are rare, even for winter, and the sun shines almost 365 days a year.
THE DEAD SEA. The mineral composition of the Dead Sea salts and mud is considered unique and has a healing effect on the human body. Its coastline is the lowest landmass on Earth and is more than 400 m below sea level.
In this regard, the atmospheric pressure in this area is noticeably increased, and the oxygen content in the air is 15% higher than in any other part of the world. You can sunbathe at the Dead Sea as much as you like, you still won't burn out. And this is thanks to an additional 400-meter layer of air saturated with water vapor and minerals, which creates a protective filtering barrier against harmful ultraviolet rays.
The Dead Sea region has 330 sunny days a year.
MEDITERRANEAN SEA. The length of Israel's coastal strip along the Mediterranean Sea is 230 km. The entire Mediterranean coast of Israel can be divided into three regions: southern, central, and northern.
In the southern region, there are such resort cities as Ashdod and Ashkelon.
The most famous resorts in the central part are Tel Aviv, Herzliya, and Netanya.
In the northern part, there are resort towns - Haifa, Akko, and Nahariya.
SEA OF GALILEE (Lake Kinneret). Lake Kinneret is the lowest lake on the planet, it is located 213 m below sea level. It is referred to as the Sea of Galilee in the New Testament. Here Jesus preached, here he walked on water, here Peter and Andrew fished, who later became Apostles. And the tilapia fish found in the lake is called "St. Peter's fish".
The Jordan River flows through the Kinneret. In the south of the lake, where the Jordan flows out, there is the Yardenit tourist center, where all conditions are created for pilgrims to plunge into the waters of the biblical river.
In Tiberias, on the shores of Lake Kinneret, there are the Khamei Tiberias thermal baths. 17 mineral springs with a temperature of up to 63 degrees flow from a depth of 2000 meters and are famous for their unique mineral composition.
TOUR IN ISRAEL - WHAT IS THE BEST TIME?
You can rest in Israel all year round. But to properly plan your vacation by the seasons (Touristic seasons), use the tables below for average air and water temperatures.
ISRAEL'S CURRENCY AND CURRENCY EXCHANGE
What is the currency in Israel? The official currency of Israel is the new Israeli shekel (international designation - ILS).
In circulation, there are paper bills in the amount of 20, 50, 100, and 200 shekels, as well as coins in denominations of 1/2, 1, 2, 5, and 10 shekels.
One shekel is equal to 100 agorot. However, one-hundredth of a shekel - 1 agora exists purely in theory. The smallest coin is 10 agorot.
Foreign currency can be exchanged at banks, hotels, post offices, the airport, but the most favorable rate at which you can exchange currencies in Israel is at licensed exchange offices.
The bank will take a commission for currency exchange, while in licensed exchange offices it is usually absent.
It is strongly not recommended to exchange currency at the airport. Ben Gurion, where the commission reaches up to 10% of the amount exchanged. While at the airport, it is better to withdraw money through ATMs.
Foreign currency is accepted without restrictions in exchange offices. As for the exchange rate, it depends on the momentary situation in the international currency markets.
What is better to take with your dollars or euros? Take what you have, there is not much difference, but not rubles, it is absolutely not profitable to exchange them for shekels.
In some hotels or inns, payment can be accepted in foreign currency (preference is given to the US dollar), but change will be given in shekels, and the rate will be determined at the discretion of the administration.
In all other places in Israel, it is customary to pay with shekels or credit cards. International credit cards are accepted for payment in Israel almost everywhere from large shopping centers to small private cafes and shops.
ATMs are widespread, and international credit cards and traveler's checks can be cashed at foreign exchange departments of banks.
TOURING ISRAEL - DISTANCE BETWEEN CITIES OF ISRAEL
Israel is a fairly small state. It occupies a narrow strip of land on the southeastern Mediterranean coast, 470 km long and 135 km wide. To make it easier for you to navigate on a national scale, I will give a table of distances between major cities.
At the next stage of planning an independent trip, you should determine in what way you are going to travel around the country:
1.Public transport (bus, railway)
4.Private car with a driver
Next, I will try to tell in as much detail as possible about the main nuances of this or that method of movement.
PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION IN ISRAEL FOR TOURING IN ISRAEL
The bus is the most common type of both intracity and intercity transport in Israel.
From the central bus station in Tel Aviv, intercity buses go to all major cities in the country. The Egged bus company provides communication on most intercity lines, as well as on intracity routes in most major cities of the country.
The cost of the ticket depends on the travel time and the distance between cities. The fare for the route Tel Aviv - Jerusalem (travel time 1 hour) - 17-21 ILS, Tel Aviv - Haifa (travel time 1 hour) - 25 ILS, Tel Aviv - Eilat (travel time 5 hours) - 82 ILS. Tickets can be purchased both at the ticket office of the bus station and directly from the driver.
City buses start running from six in the morning until midnight. The entrance is only through the front door. The cost of a single trip on intracity routes is about $ 1.2.
The timetable for buses in Israel in English/Russian can be clarified with the English/Russian-speaking operators at the Egged Bus Company Passenger Service Center, tel. * 2800 (from abroad, dial + 972-3-694-8888). Website: www.egged.co.il
Local and intercity connections in the Tel Aviv suburbs, Judea and Samaria are provided by the Dan bus company. Help desk phone: + 972-6-639-4444. Website: www.dan.co.il
The discount is provided if you purchase a ticket for two trips (it can be valid for one trip for two people) if you have a Rav-Kav plastic card. Students have a discount when purchasing long-distance tickets upon the presentation of an international student card.
Information about the services provided by all bus companies in the country is collected on the website: www.otobusim.com.
The railroad is the second most popular form of public transport in Israel. The main convenience of this type of transport is that it works almost around the clock and one of its stations is located directly at the airport. Ben Gurion (terminal number 3).
The trains are fast and comfortable. Both single-deck and double-deck carriages are equipped with climate controlled air conditioning, fluorescent lighting, electrical outlets, toilets and washbasins, armchairs, and tables.
Israel's railways are 750 km long and connect passenger stations located almost throughout the country except for Eilat.
The main railway line connects the stations Nahariya - Akko - Haifa - Netanya - Hadera - Tel Aviv - Beer Sheva - Dimona with branches to Ashdod, Ashkelon, and Jerusalem.
There is also a Tel Aviv suburban system linking the city with several suburbs (Petah Tikva, Rishon Letzion, Ra'anana, Lod, Ramle, Rehovot) and Ben Gurion Airport.
Trains do not run on Saturdays and religious holidays, and Friday nights or before a holiday.
How do Israel railways work, where can you see the timetable in Russian or English? The state company "Israel Railways" has a very convenient website: www.rail.co.il and, which is especially nice with information in Russian and English. Here you can view timetables, fares, and other passenger information.
Everything is very simple and very convenient to choose the departure station, destination station, date, time. The next step is to specify the fare. But you can't buy a ticket on the website.
Tickets are purchased at the ticket offices of railway stations or ticket machines. Unfortunately, the information in Russian is not provided in ticket machines.
A discount is provided when buying a round-trip ticket. Pensioners and students have a discount upon presentation of ID and international student card. Children under five follow free of charge.
Please be aware that public transport is closed on Shabbat and other Jewish holidays.
It is also worth knowing that, as a rule, on Sunday morning and Thursday evening, trains are overcrowded, because conscripts are lowered home for the weekend. If possible, it is worth choosing other hours for the trip.
The only mode of transport that operates on Shabbat and other Jewish holidays is the taxi and private transportation services.
HOW TO SAVE ON PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION IN ISRAEL WHILE TOURING ISRAEL
Since December 1, 2014, Israeli railways have switched to plastic cards, which can be obtained free of charge at any station and then "charged" for any number of trips, both at the box office and at ticket machines. Paper tickets are still on sale, but discounts on the purchase of tickets in both directions (10-15%) do not apply to them, as there are no paper tickets for several trips, which also gives a discount of up to 20%.
Since January 1, 2016, Egged has introduced a new system of public transport fares. According to this system, the country was divided into 4 large regions: Haifa, Tel Aviv, Jerusalem, and Beer Sheva.
The new system offers passengers to choose a one-day pass (Hofshi Yomi), weekly (Hofshi Shvui) or monthly (Hofshi Hodshi), which simultaneously operates on all types of transport (bus, train, tram, Metrobus) and allows an unlimited number of trips within the selected region. This system operates in the presence of a plastic transportation card.
The Rav Kav card can be personal, semi-anonymous, or anonymous.
The personal transportation card contains personal data of the owner and information on the number of benefits that are due to him by law (student, pensioner, etc.). The card is personal and cannot be transferred to another person. A personal plastic card is insured, in case of loss or theft, its balance is transferred to a new card.
The Semi-anonymous version - contains personal data of the owner and information on the number of benefits that are entitled to him by law. The card is personal and cannot be transferred to another person. The semi-anonymous version card is not insured against loss or theft, in case of loss, its balance "burns out".
Anonymous Rav-Kav - does not contain the owner's personal data and information about the benefits he is entitled to. The card is not insured against loss or theft.
The easiest and most affordable way to buy this card is to buy an anonymous card from any city transport driver for only 5 shekels.
On the balance of your card, in addition to various types of travel cards (daily, weekly, monthly), you can repeatedly load a reusable transit card of a certain region and an electronic wallet (Erech Tsavur).
Using a reusable transit card, a passenger can change to other buses within a certain geographic area within 90 minutes from the moment the initial trip is debited from the Rav Kav card (when entering the first bus). The Transit Reusable Card is valid in the Greater Tel Aviv, Haifa, and Jerusalem areas (for buses only).
An e-wallet is a payment scheme that involves loading a certain amount onto a Rav Kav card, which can be used to travel by public transport. As part of the e-wallet travel plan, the Rav Kav card can be charged in one of the following amounts: 30/50/100/150/200 shekels. With each loading, the card is loaded with an amount exceeding the paid amount, depending on the passenger's eligibility for various discounts. This payment scheme is convenient to use if you need to purchase a one-way ticket within one transport zone or make a trip from one transport zone to another.
You can replenish your Rav Kav card in cash from the driver (in all cities except Jerusalem) or at the box office of the Egged transport company (in cash or by credit card).
TOURING ISRAEL WITH A TAXI OR PRIVATE DRIVER
There are two types of public transport in Israel called taxis.
Minibusses (Monit Sherut) are small mini-buses with a capacity for 10-12 people. They operate on both intracity and intercity routes. The fare is slightly lower than on buses. Minibusses stop at fixed stops, as well as on-demand. They do not have a clear timetable, the departure is made as soon as there are enough passengers. But, minibusses, unlike buses, run on Shabbat, as well as on most holidays.
Ordinary taxi ("Monit"). All intracity taxis are equipped with meters, which must be included at the time of passenger boarding. The fare is determined at the rate of 9.1 shekels per landing, plus 5 shekels for each kilometer of travel. On average, a trip around the city costs 20 shekels.
Taxis can be ordered by phone or stopped on the street with a wave of your hand. For ordering a taxi by phone, there is an additional charge of 3.5 NIS.
Baggage that is not carry-on will cost NIS 2.9 per item.
The night rate is 25% higher than usual. It operates from 21.00 to 5.30 every day, as well as on Shabbat and religious holidays.
Prices for intercity travel are fixed and set by the Ministry of Transport. The driver must have a price list.
The best way to travel around the country for independent travel is to rent a car. In this case, you will be able to see much more, given the small size of the country. You can choose places to stay that are a little off the beaten track of tourist routes, but no less interesting, and there are a great many such places in Israel.
Israel is justly proud of its high-quality and smooth roads with good interchange. The total length of motor roads is 9.5 thousand kilometers, of which 5 thousand kilometers meet western requirements. All roads are numbered and almost all have signed in English.
You can rent a car in Israel for touring Israel at the offices of specialized companies that are located in all major cities of the country, as well as directly at the airport. Ben Gurion. There is a practice of renting in one city with a return in another. Moreover, the rental period for a car can often not be less than 3 days. When renting a car directly at the airport. Ben Gurion is charged an additional fee of about $ 25.
Consider hiring a tour guide in Israel, many tour guides in Israel have their own licensed private car for driving and guiding tourists, perhaps this is a great option to explore Israel and at the same time enjoying driver services in Israel.
RENT A CAR FOR TOURING ISRAEL
Basic requirements for a driver when renting a car in Israel:
- age from 21 to 75 years;
- availability of a valid international driving license;
- availability of an international credit card.
All major world car rental companies are represented in Israel: Avis, Hertz, Eldan, Sixt, Budget, Otto, and many others.
To compare the rental prices in Israel offered by various companies, I recommend using the service of a rental broker: Economybookings - an international car booking service
Car rental prices include unlimited mileage, anti-theft protection (TR), and basic insurance (CDW).
However, theft protection and basic insurance are not valid outside the Green Line in the Palestinian Territories (enclaves). These include the Arab cities of the West Bank: Jenin, Nablus, Ramallah, Tulkarem, Bethlehem, and Hebron. A detailed map showing these areas can be obtained from the rental company. In order not to get lost, use GPS. The Israeli GPS has such an option - do not directly through the roads that are beyond the "green line".
For example, if the theft of a car occurs in Israel, then all costs will be covered by the insurance, but if it is documented that this happened in the Palestinian Territory, then the entire liability will be assigned to the renter. In this case, the rental company will charge the tenant for the full amount of the franchise - up to $ 2500, depending on the insurance.
Basic insurance (CDW) provides for the personal participation of the driver in the amount not exceeding $ 1000 It is this amount that is blocked on the driver's card and returned if the car is delivered safe and sound. The return period is about a month. Be sure to consider this point if you decide to rent a car, so as not to be left without money in a foreign country.
What is personal participation? If the car is damaged through the fault of the driver, then he pays all costs, but not more than $ 1000. If not through his fault, then nothing pays. But at the same time, the culprit must be identified and everything must be documented. If the culprit is not identified, then the responsibility lies with the tenant.
Therefore, when receiving a car for rent, it makes sense to consider the option of obtaining additional insurance with unlimited coverage for any insured event.
All fines received by the rental company will then be charged to the renter's credit card.
And you also need to know that in Israel there is a toll road number 6, stretching across the country from north to south. There are practically no traffic jams on it, and for a small amount of about $ 10, you can drive tens of kilometers, while saving a lot of time. Cameras installed on it automatically read car numbers, and the owner's bill comes a little late.
Upon receipt of such an invoice to the rental company, it will charge the entire amount from the client plus an additional amount for processing documents of the order of $ 20-30. Therefore, if you decide to use this route, then it is better to purchase a ticket at the ticket office when entering it, and not to enter where automatic reading devices are installed.
Upon receipt of the car, it should be thoroughly inspected with a representative of the rental company, recording all existing damage in the act. At the same time, it is advisable to take several pictures of the already existing damage, to subsequently protect yourself.
And also remember that you take the car for touring in Israel with a full tank, therefore, with a full tank, you must return it. Otherwise, the cost of the missing fuel will be deducted additionally.
It is recommended to book a car in advance while abroad. In this case, the rental price will definitely not include VAT (17%), which is additionally paid by Israeli citizens.
ROAD RULES IN ISRAEL
Traffic in Israel is right-hand. Pedestrians take priority. It should be borne in mind that traffic rules in Israel have their own characteristics.
For example, while touring in Israel and driving, you should hold the steering wheel with both hands; while driving, in no case should you talk on the phone, except through a “hands-free” headset; the stop sign looks different from the rest of the world - like a white palm on a red background; traffic lights look different than ours and you need to get used to them; when driving outside the city, you must turn on the headlights; and on a clear day, the use of fog lights is prohibited.
The driver and passengers must be wearing a seat belt, children under 15 cannot ride in the front seat, and children under 4 must sit in a car seat.
The speed of movement should not exceed 50 km per hour in a built-up area, 90 km outside a built-up area, 110 km on highways.
FINE AND PARKING IN ISRAEL CITIES
The amount of fines and Israel for violation of traffic rules is pretty decent:
- passing a red light at a traffic light - 1000 ILS;
- not wearing a seat belt - 250 ILS;
- talking on the phone while driving - 500 ILS;
- driving on a clear day with fog lights - 250 ILS;
- exceeding the speed by 1-20 km / h over the permissible - 250 ILS;
- speeding by 20-30 km / h more than the permissible - 750 ILS;
- exceeding the speed by more than 40 km / h over the permissible - revocation
But the bulk of fines in Israel are not for traffic violations, but parking violations or parking in the wrong place.
Each parked car must have a parking receipt under the glass. Be careful not to park your car at the side of the road painted in red-white or red-yellow colors, as well as in places for the disabled, so as not to look for your vehicle in the parking lot. It is much safer to leave your car in a paid parking lot.
The fine for parking in the wrong place or without payment ranges from 100 to 200 ILS.
FUEL & REFUELING
Gasoline is quite expensive, about 6 ILS. Interestingly, there is a limit of 195 ILS when paying by credit card at gas stations. There are no restrictions when paying in cash.
The cost of gasoline in Israel is closely related to world oil prices and the ratio of the dollar to the shekel. The result is about 6 ILS per liter, which is roughly $ 1.5.
Gas stations in Israel are interesting - you need to drive the number of the car into the machine. For the first time, it is best to seek help from a gas station worker to get it right.
Well, here are, perhaps, all the main points that I would like to talk about. Hope this article was helpful to you.
I hope you received a lot of information about touring Israel, for more info and tours in Israel contact me.