Daily Life in Israel

Living in Europe | Day care, schooling & family related issues | Israel

 

Israel is a small country; due to this fact it has an extensive public transportation system. Most of Israel can be traversed in a lazy afternoon and the country offers multiple means of public transportation. Be it, bus, taxi, train, or sherut you can always get to your destination easily.

 

Driving and Public Transport

Driving in Israel requires a valid driver's license and compulsory insurance.

  • Your regular driver's license, or international driver's license, must be replaced by an Israeli license one year after your first date of entry into the country.

    For information on driver's licenses in Israel, please check the driver's guide at this Website.

  • Driving without a valid driver's license invalidates both compulsory and comprehensive insurance. Check with your insurance company if your home car insurance conforms to Israeli standards.

  • Seat belts must be worn at all times by both front and back seat passengers.
  • Headlights must be turned on in daylight when driving on intercity roads between November 1 - April 1.
  • Children under 12 years old are not allowed in the front seat (unless they are infants in a safety seat).

 

Transportation Resources

Israel's main international airport  Ben Gurion International Airport is located approximately halfway between Jerusalem and Tel Aviv, and serves both cities. Flights arrival information by phone: 03-9723344.

Israel's second international airport (used mostly by charter carriers) Ramon Airport is located in the Timna Valley near Eilat.

 

Note: Security measures above and beyond what you might encounter in most countries are taken for flights both to and from Israel. These measures are undertaken for your and other passengers' safety and security. Arriving at the terminal at least three hours before your flight is well advised, as Israeli security procedures can be time-consuming.

Israel has its own national carrier, EL AL which possesses direct international connections with many European and North American cities. A large number of international carriers also fly regularly into Israel - these include British Airways, Air France, Lufthansa, Iberia, American Airlines, Thai Airlines and Air Sinai (a subsidiary of Egyptair).

There are buses to and from Ben-Gurion airport to Tel-Aviv, Jerusalem, Haifa. Another recommended way is by train . Train service is available from Tel-Aviv to Nahariya via Haifa, every 20 minutes. Unfortunately, train service to Jerusalem from Ben-Gurion Airport is expected to be launched no earlier than 2008.

Taxi service is available at the airport, though not particularly cheap. A better option is a shared taxi, (Sherut) - these are available outside the airport terminal.

The seaports of Haifa and Ashdod are easily accessible by public transportation as they are located in major cities.

Boat arrival in the following Marinas: Herzliya (north of Tel-Aviv), Ashkelon (South of Ashdod).

There are land routes to both Egypt and Jordan from Israel. There are no land routes to either Syria or Lebanon owing to the continuing state of hostilities with these countries. These border crossings have security measures similar to the airports. Israeli rental cars are not generally permitted across the borders for insurance purposes.

In getting around Israel, pay attention primarily to the Sabbath: from Friday sundown to Saturday sundown, there is very little public transportation available in Israel (there are taxis and  limited bus and Sherut services.)

Buses are the most common form of public transportation in Israel. An extensive bus system is in place in Israel, bus routes can be accessed through the Moovit phone application. Additionally, bus.co.il serves as a great internet resource.

 

Rav Kav/City Pass

For those coming to visit Israel and plan to depend upon public transportation, there is a pass called a Rav Kav (City Pass )which allows transportation within cities and between cities with all bus companies, as well as aboard the Jerusalem Light Rail and train. A Rav Kav and can be attained by tourists and locals alike and is available at the Central Bus Station of any city.

You will fill out a form with pertinent information and provide identification, (such as a passport). Your photo will be taken and the card delivered to you within minutes. Using this card, you can get on any bus in any city and purchase a multiple ride card which affords you up to a 20% discount on the regular fare. All prices are in shekels and must be paid in cash, but the savings can be significant if you are traveling a lot by bus — within cities or between them.

Faster than the bus companies are the minivans, known as monit sherut or "service taxi", that follow the bus routes but can be hailed from anywhere. Sherut fares usually cost the same or slightly less than the bus, but during Sabbath, when normal buses do not operate, sherut fares will increase.

The train currently runs along Israel's Mediterranean coast, being particularly useful for connections between Haifa, Tel Aviv and the airport, and from Jerusalem to the airport. Central Phone Number: 077​-​232​​​​4000.

Taxis are very common in Israel. It is advised to ask the driver to use the meter. It is advisable to use the GettTaxi application in order to get safe and reliable taxis.

Helpful Tips

  • Driving in Israel is on the right side of the road.
  • Distances and speed limits are marked in kilometers.
  • Speed limit:
    • 50 Km/h (31 Miles) in urban areas
    • 90 Km/h (56 Miles) on inter-city roads, unless otherwise stated
  • Road signs are normally featured in Hebrew, English and Arabic.
  • When renting a car, drivers must be over 21 years old, and hold a valid driver's license. (For most nationalities there is no need for an International Drivers License).
  • Crossing the border to Sinai or Jordan in a rented car is not allowed.
  • Before renting a car, check if your credit card company covers insurance, as some rental companies' rates include insurance.

 

You should plan to spend from €450- €700 per month for food, independent travel, and other expenses, not including housing and bills. Of course, this is an estimate and it varies from person to person.

 

Here you can find examples of prices in Israel:

 

Groceries

Milk- 5.7 NIS (1 Liter)
White Bread- 7.2 NIS (750 g)
Whole wheat bread - 15 NIS (750 g)
Cream cheese 5%- 5.5 NIS (250 ml)
Cream cheese 30%- 13.5 NIS (220 ml)
Chicken thighs- 25 NIS (1 kilo)
Rice- 8.4 NIS (1 kilo)
Eggs- 12.5 NIS (a dozen)
Wine- 35–45 NIS (750 ml)
Beer- 10 NIS (500 ml)

Bills

Mobile phone, internet, gas, water, electricity and municipal taxes – up to 800 NIS per month in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv and up to 400 NIS per month in other cities (some of the items may be included in your rent)

 

Housing

Rental

Rental prices in Israel vary considerably.  We have based our price on the average price of a 3 room apartment in areas that are in demand by students: 

  • Expect to pay over 3,000 NIS/month in Be’er Sheva or Rehovot
  • Expect to pay between 3,250 to 5,150 NIS/month in Haifa
  • Between 4,700 and 5,800 NIS/month in Jerusalem is average
  • Between 5,500 NIS and 7,000 NIS/month is Tel Aviv is average

Entertainment & Leisure

A movie ticket- around 40 NIS
A theatre ticket- 100-200 NIS
Music Show- 100-200 NIS
Dinner in a restaurant- 100-150 NIS per person for a full meal
A cup of coffee in a café- 15-20 NIS
A glass of beer in a pub- 30 NIS

 

  You can also visit this website and see other useful tips.

 

 

All you need to know about Postal Services in Israel - domestic/International Mail Forwarding, Postal Bank, Business Services, etc.

 

  • The international access code for Israel is +972.
  • The outgoing code is 00 (not from public phones) followed by the relevant country code (e.g. 0044 for the United Kingdom).

Drop the leading 0 (zero) when calling from abroad:

  • Jerusalem area 02
  • Tel Aviv-Yafo 03
  • North 04
  • South 08
  • Sharon 09

  • Two major companies provide internet infrastructure in Israel: Bezeq provides an ADSL internet infrastructure, and Hot provides a cable internet infrastructure. 
  • In addition to providing the infrastructure, Bezeq and Hot provide internet service. However, you can also get your internet service from an alternative provider like 012 Smile and 013 Netvision.
  • Most public places have free Wi-Fi and you can use it (universities, cafes, etc.).

  • A few years ago, Israel had only three mobile phone companies (“Pelephone”, “Cellcom” and “Orange”) and the prices were very high. In 2010, the Minister of Communications enforced a consumer’s revolution, and the prices spiraled down, with a tense competition that still rages on to this day. The customer service, unfortunately, is still mediocre...
  • The prices and sales change almost every day. In general, you’ll pay between 40-60 shekels (monthly) for the “unlimited” plans. Depending on the company, these plans sometimes include unlimited international calls (but mostly to the landline number, and not mobile numbers).

 

More info on Mobile Phone Carriers in Israel

More tips you can find here.

 

Israel Yellow Pages-Business Directory

Emergency phone numbers:

  • Police - 100
  • First Aid ("Magen David Adom") - 101
  • Fire department - 102

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Maybe one of the first questions you asked yourself...

 

You have to know:

The safety of civilians in Israel is highest priority.

The Israeli government's strict security measures are implemented to guard public places. All public institutions in Israel employ a network of security personnel covering all campus entrances and patrolling throughout the campus and dormitory complex 24 hours a day. Students and researchers should always be prepared to show student cards or other picture ID and submit bags for search. Be prepared that your bag may be searched also before entering a shopping mall, that it will pass through a metal detector at train stations and that you will see armed guards outside of coffee shops and restaurants. This is part of normal life in Israel and reassures you that the government takes security very seriously.

It is recommended that international guests would register with their embassies here in Israel and take note of their travel advice.

The research institutions maintain close contact with government security agencies, and international students are regularly updated regarding security matters. Specific security information will be given at the student orientation.

We will be happy to answer any questions that you may have regarding your security in Israel at every EURAXESS service centre in Israel.