Tips before you go to Tel Aviv

Visa

Like I said, I did some research before I went, so I knew that we did not get a stamp in our passport but only a paper as a visa. This is because we flew to the main airport of Tel Aviv Ben Gurion. So be aware that they don’t stamp your passport that will help your future travel to other areas in the Middle East. At the airport leaving and arriving we were interrogated by an official, so take your time both times it took a lot of time to get even our boarding passes. These passes you can’t get via the machine, all goes via the counter. So before you leave please check if your country has restrictions to travel to Israel, it would be a big disappointment if you cannot enter the country!!!

Costs

The Ben Gurion airport is by taxi half an hour away from the main city without traffic. The cost will depend on the timing and via where you book the ride. We paid 250 to 150 Israeli Shekel (ILS). One ILS is worth (8 June 2018) 3.57 USD.Be prepared, Israel is not cheap, to put it mildly. Maybe I am used to the Bali prices, but that is not definitely that. A juice in one of the stands in the markets will cost you already 40 ILS, and that’s not that all, we could not bargain!! The local people were complaining too that life is very expensive they name especially the taxes, food, parking, water and electricity. So then you understand where it’s all coming from. Save some cash before you go and enjoy! In all the restaurants and even markets they accepted Credit Cards so no need to get cash all the time, although the cash looks very beautiful.

Information

I like to prepare my travel always. Not in too much detail because the most memorial things happen by coincidence, so leave some space for that.  Normally I buy the Lonely Planet of the destination, so in this instance the Lonely Planet of Israel & the Palestinian Territories. Not that we needed the whole book, but it was good to pick the right parts. Besides that, I surf for blogs like this and look for up to date information on Tel Aviv via internet. So I hope that is why you found me!! By gathering all the information I get more excited about my travels and looking even more forward to my journey.

Sabbath

The Jewish Sabbath is a weekly day of rest, observed from sundown on Friday until the appearance of three stars in the sky on Saturday night. During this period the public transport is shut down, no markets and the shops are closed. Not all of them and we were worried that we could not have dinner anywhere but that was absolutely not the case. The buses are not running, so if you are planning to travel by bus to Jerusalem, don’t go on Sabbath. Perhaps if you arrange your own transport it will not be problem at all. During our visit, we had another holiday called The Jewish festival of Shavuot or Feast of Weeks. It is a major holiday, both religiously and agriculturally. The people wore white clothing that Sunday. So three days of Sabbath for us, we did not know this in advance.

Tip: If you don’t have that much time it is indeed wise to check the holidays in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem in advance and plan around the Sabbath.

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