Ben Gurion International Airport is the main international gateway to and from Israel. It is situated approximately 25km (16 miles) south-east of Tel Aviv.


Each bank has different hours of operation. However, most banks are open Sunday-Thursday between 8:30 AM – 12:30 PM. Bring your passport. Many banks have separate lines for foreign currency exchange. Don’t be shy to ask where to go.



The climate in Israel during the summer months (May – August) is generally sunny and hot (80-100 degrees Fahrenheit / 26-38 degrees Celsius). Regardless of season, the evenings will be significantly cooler than the days.


The official currency is New Shekel (ILS) An updated exchange rate is available at https://www.oanda.com/currency/converter/

Calling code
For income call +972



It’s hot in Israel. Drink plenty of fluids so that you don’t dehydrate. Alcohol is not recommended in high temperature zones in mid-day. Minimum drinking age for alcohol is 18.



Israel operates on 220 volts, 50 cycles. Most Israeli sockets are of the three-pronged variety (type H)   but some you’ll be able to squeeze European two-pronged plugs (type C) into as well. Most hotels provide hair dryers and virtually all hotel rooms have 110/220 electric shaver sockets. Electric shavers, traveling irons and other small appliances may require adapters and/or converters, which you should probably purchase prior to your departure (they’re not always easy to find in Israel for some reason).


Local emergency numbers are:

  • Police: Dial 100
  • Ambulance: Dial 101
  • Fire Brigade: Dial 102



Check with your tour guide or concierge for a list of good restaurants. Food is generally safe to eat. There are many international food franchises operate in Israel such as: Macdonald’s, Subway, Pizza Hut, Domino’s Pizza, Kentucky Fried Chicken, and more. But don’t be afraid to try the local fare.

Tap water is safe to drink anywhere in Israel.


Credit cards are widely accepted at most stores, restaurants and at many tourist sites, parks and museums.

Most currencies are changed into shekels at official money changers in Tel Aviv. So too, shekels can be obtained from ATM machines with your PIN number. The exchange rate has been fluctuating.


Ground Services

Ground services will be provided.  It will start with warm welcome at Ben Gurion and will continue throughout your stay


Health Insurance

Make sure that you have health insurance coverage.



Israel is 71 years old with population of 9 million, 75% Jews, 21% Muslims and 4% Christian. Israel is a melting pot of many kinds of different people, cultures, religions and ideas. For more information please visit  https://new.goisrael.com/



Jerusalem is totally unique – there is no other place like it. A city of tradition, religion, and history, but also, increasingly, of modern culture and heritage, it is a city with so much to offer that you could spend years here and still not see everything. https://www.itraveljerusalem.com/article/tourist-information/



Nonetheless, Hebrew is not the only language spoken in Israel. In fact, Arabic is also an official language, and there are a number of other semi-official languages. If you visit Israel, you will notice that virtually all official signs are in Hebrew, Arabic and English



The NIS – New Israeli Shekel (or simply shekel) is the official currency used in Israel. For exchange rate, please check at https://www.oanda.com/currency/converter/


Olympiad official language

Olympiad language: English


Personal safety

Israel has generally low crime rate and ranks well above average safety among OECD countries. Tel Aviv is considered safe for walking alone at night.


In order to travel to Israel, you will need to have a valid passport (if your passport is expiring in 6 months or under you will need to renew or extend before travelling to Israel). Passports are also required for all foreign currency bank transactions.

Packing & Clothing

For most of your stay you should pack summer clothes: short-sleeved shirts, shorts, sandals/flip flops, beach shoes and a bathing, if you’re planning to take advantage of Tel Aviv’s beautiful coastline.

You should also plan to bring to sunscreen, sun glasses, and other equipment you may need during the warm, sunny weather.

Additionally, one of our planned excursions will bring you to a mountaintop that is 1,797 meters (5’889 feet) high. For this and other outdoor excursions during IPHO we highly recommend you also bring:

  • Sensible walking shoes
  • A jacket or several items of clothes for colder weather


Shabbat (Saturday)

Starts at Friday sunset to the next sunset. During that time most shops and businesses will also be closed.

Sunset / Sunrise

Sunset  05:45, Sunrise 19:45



Tipping is not necessary for cab drivers . As to restaurants, check the bill to see if “service included” (it often is). If not, 10 – 15% is a good bet. It is accepted practice to tip hotel staff, your tour guide and tour bus driver.

Tel Aviv

Tel Aviv has one of the biggest party scenes of the world, with numerous night clubs, bars and cafes. Most inhabitants of big cities are able to communicate in basic English. All road signs are dubbed in English and Arabic. https://www.touristisrael.com/tel-aviv/


Public transportation is very developed in Tel Aviv. However, it almost completely shuts down during Saturday. Taxis and pay-per-use bicycles are always available.

Buses do not run on Saturday (Shabbat) – from half hour before sunset on Friday till one hour after sunset on Saturday.

Time Zone

UTC +2 (IST), for time zone converter https://www.timeanddate.com/


Taxis While traveling in the city, insist that the meter be turned on. The driver may want to close a “deal” with you — insist on the meter and make sure it is reset at the start of the trip. Between cities, you can close a deal with the driver, as you will be using the services of a “special”.


Rush hour in and out of Tel-Aviv and other major cities is from about 6:15 AM – 9:00 AM and from 4:15 PM – 7:30 PM. If you have a meeting to catch allow for plenty of time. Within Tel-Aviv itself, traffic can be hectic throughout the day

Tourist Information

The Ministry of Tourism has closed most of their “manned” information centers and has placed computer information terminals in their stead. Good luck! Click here for the Israel Tourist Office.



It is going to depend on where you’re from and what passport you hold. You should check out the Israeli guideline  at Israeli visa requirements.


There is 17% value added tax (VAT) on most goods and services in Israel. At retail stores and taxi is always already included in the price. Upon making a purchase of $100.00 or more at a gift store that has an agreement with the VAT authorities, you should fill out a form at the store and have it stamped there. You will be eligible, upon presenting the form and the item, for a refund at the airport prior to departure. Do not pack these gift items in your luggage. They should be kept in your hand luggage along with the special VAT formed that you receive from the merchant. Tourist services, such as hotel rooms and meals, purchased as export goods with foreign currency are exempt from VAT: https://taxes.gov.il/English/customs/PersonalImport/Pages/CustomsTuristGuide.aspx


Weight & Measurements

Metric system used exclusively. A kilometer is a bit over a 1/2 mile – (0.62 miles). A kilogram is equivalent to 2.2 pounds.


Although water in Israel is of good quality and suitable for drinking, you may not be used to the high mineral content. Bottled natural spring water is available everywhere – expensive at your hotel, more reasonable at the supermarkets.