Travel Info

CLIMATE

Israel is a country typical of brilliant sunshine, whose amount of sunlight and level of UV radiation are among the highest in the world. Israel is located in an area unique in its bi-seasonal nature: hot, dry summers and cold, rainy winters.

The dry season goes from the beginning of May to the end of October, with the hottest months being July and August. From September to November and April until June, the weather is comfortable; almost no rain falls and visitors can both swim in the sea and travel comfortably in the desert. When visiting Israel in the summer, visitors should come equipped with light clothing and a bathing suit; in winter, bring heavier clothing and an umbrella. Israel enjoys long, warm, dry summers (April-October) and generally mild winters (November-March) with somewhat drier, cooler weather in hilly regions, such as Jerusalem and Safed. Rainfall is relatively heavy in the north and center of the country, with much less in the northern Negev and almost negligible amounts in the southern areas.


CITY TAXI SERVICES

A number of taxi companies operate in Jerusalem throughout the day and night. Taxis, Monit in Hebrew, can be ordered by phone or flagged down on the street. Ask the driver to turn on the meter, as it usually turns out to be cheaper than a predetermined fare.

Company Phone

Givat Shaul 02-651-2111
Bar Ilan 02-586 6666
Ramat Alon 02-500-0003
Ramat Eshkol 02-581-4111


BANKS

Banks will cash foreign currency and traveler’s checks for a small charge. (Ask for the foreign currency desk). As a rule, banks run on staggered schedules, open only in the morning on certain days of the week, but opening up again later in the afternoon on other days.

There are money-changing shops all over the city center. (Change Point is the name of one chain of shops.) You may also change money at Shop Change, across from Holy Bagel in the main square of the Jewish Quarter.

Major City Banks

Bank Discount 11 Ben Yehuda 02-675-4444
Bank HaPoalim 33 King George 02-620-7676
American/Israel Bank 48 Jaffa Rd. 02-623-2271
First International Bank 10 Hillel St. 02-675-6888
Bank Mizrachi 12 BenYehuda 02-620-8922


SHOPPING

Stores close early on Friday, usually in the early afternoon, and are closed all day Saturday. Food and entertainment outlets reopen Saturday night after Shabbat is over. Sunday is a normal business day, and all stores and banks are open. Certain foreign currency transactions cannot be carried out on Sundays, because banks abroad are closed. Foreign embassies are closed on Sundays as well.


POST OFFICES

The post office in the Old City is located on Plogat Hakotel Str eet and is open during the following hours:

Sunday 8:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
8:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
Monday 8:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
3:30 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.
Tuesday 8:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.
Wednesday 8:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
3:30 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.
Thursday 8:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
3:30 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.
Friday 8:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

SUGGESTED PACKING LIST

Dress in Israel is generally informal – we suggest that you bring comfortable, easily laundered clothing, such as shorts, t-shirts and skirts etc. Since we will be visiting several holy sites in Israel, we suggest you pack some appropriate modest clothing for those days. (For men – a few pairs of long pants, several long-sleeved shirts and a Kippa; for women- a few long skirts and shirts with sleeves.).

Comfortable walking shoes are a must- especially on Shabbat. A light jacket, sweater, or pashmina, may be needed even in the summer, as Jerusalem may get cool at night. Expensive jewelry, electronics and other valuables should be kept to a minimum or better yet, left at home. If you do decide to bring any of these items, please pack them, your passport and a sufficient supply of any prescription medications you are taking, in your carry-on luggage. Once in Israel, we suggest placing your valuables in the hotel safe and carrying your passport, camera and cash/credit cards with you at all times.

  • Hat with brim (for trips, baseball cap is recommended)
  • Shoes for walking through water
  • Comfortable walking shoes (high heels are unnecessary)
  • Comfortable clothes for hiking
  • Backpack for overnight trips
  • Toiletries (wrap any shampoo or the like in plastic bags to avoid spillage, should the container burst from weight or pressure)
  • Basic medication e.g.. sunscreen, pills for headaches and diarrhea, mosquito repellent, anti-bite cream
  • Camera
  • Approximately $200 – $300 spending money for laundry, food on free days, gifts, taxis, etc. Also needed to use as tips for drivers and guides
  • Umbrella
  • Swimsuit, water shoes and large towel
  • MEN – a few pairs of long pants, several long-sleeved shirts and a Kippa for Shabbat
  • WOMEN – a few long skirts and shirts with sleeves

DOCUMENTS
To be carried with you (in carry-on or purse)

  • Passport/Visa – make sure your passport is valid for at least 6 months after the return date home.
  • Tickets
  • Credit Card/Debit card
  • Cash

There is no need to bring your driver’s license, as your passport will serve as photo ID. Additionally, do not bring personal or travelers checks. Credit cards are much easier to deal with and are accepted in many more places.


MEDICAL TOILETRIES
  • Prescription medications
  • Band-Aids
  • Pain-relievers
  • Alka Seltzer/Pepto Bismol
  • Motion sickness medication
  • Cold capsules
  • First-aid cream/ointment (Triple antibiotic, Hydrocortisone, Antifungal cream)
  • Extra pair eyeglasses/contact lenses and all assorted liquids and cases
  • Sleeping pills

Note: All medications should be kept in a carry-on bag. Do not check through with other luggage.


NON-MEDICAL TOILETRIES
  • Tissues
  • Sunscreen
  • Deodorant
  • Sanitary Supplies
  • Comb & Brush
  • Shampoo/Conditioner
  • Pre-moistened towelettes
  • Make-up/Facial Cleanser/ Moisturizer
  • Talcum Powder
  • Toothbrush/Toothpaste/Dental floss
  • Cotton swabs

MISCELLANEOUS
  • Sewing kit
  • Zipper-Lock Baggies of small and large size
  • Small scissors (only in checked baggage, NEVER in carry-on)
  • Safety pins (place also in checked bag)
  • Pen/Pencil
  • 220 Electrical converter
  • Camera/Batteries
  • Folding bag or Nylon duffel bag (for overnight stay or to use for additional gifts and purchases)

WISH I’D BROUGHT
  • Small inflatable pillow
  • Foldable tote bag that can be used as extra luggage to bring home souvenirs
  • Lightweight safari hat with neck protection “Sunday afternoons” brand is great
  • Cool wrap bandana (soak it briefly and the gel keeps moist & cold – around neck)
  • Parachute pants that zip to become shorts – great for Masada & camel ride
  • Israel has hard water, so if you need it, bring moisturizing hair products to leave in
  • The hair dryers in the hotels are weak, so if you need a good one, bring your own
  • Ziploc bags
  • Tide & shout packets
  • Kitchen size garbage bags for dirty clothes
  • If you tend to be cold, bring Polar fleece for Sfat & and plane & over air-conditioned rooms
  • Teva Sandals for kayaking, dead sea, and Masada hike
  • If noise and light bother you, bring eye mask & earplugs for plane, bus, and Sarah’s Tent
  • Travel alarm clock
  • Dried fruit / peanut butter pretzels/ trail mix in small packets for snacks
  • Notes from your family and friends for Kotel
  • Composition size journal for class notes
  • Pens