General Info about Tel Aviv, Israel

The Israeli currency is the New Israeli Shekel (NIS) that is divided into 100 Agorot. The approximate rate is 3.5NIS to $1. Most banks are open from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Sundays through Thursdays; also from 4 to 6 p.m. Sundays, Tuesdays and Thursdays; and from 8:30 a.m. to noon on Fridays and the eves of major Jewish holidays.

To direct dial home from Israel, dial 001 followed by the country code, the local area code and the local number. The international dialing code for Israel is 972 (from outside Israel) To direct-dial Israel from overseas, omit the "0" in the local Israeli area code. Public telephones are either operated with tokens or magnetic cards, which are available at post offices, hotel gift shops and lobbies, automatic vending machines and private vendors.

Americans and Canadian citizens only need a valid passport to visit Israel. They don't need visas. Other nationals should contact the Israeli consulate in their area for more information. A tourist entering Israel is allowed to stay up to three months. To extend your stay after three months, contact the Ministry of Interior Affairs.

Health Regulations
There are no vaccinations or immunizations requirements for Israel

The electric current in Israel is 220 Volts AC, single phase, 50 Hertz. Most Israeli sockets are three-pronged, but many of them can accommodate other varieties.

Tipping It is customary to tip hotel personnel, guides and drivers. Service charges are often included in tour packages. A 15 percent tip is the average in restaurants. While tipping is not mandatory in taxis-locals usually don't- visitors are free to do so.

The sunny and warm weather lasts most of the year. During the summer, the weather forecasts vary only between hot and hotter; humid and more humid -- no rain. The rainy season may start in October and lasts until March or April. Winter is really only from December until mid-February and is still quite mild.

Public Holidays
It is worth noting what the public holidays are before you travel to a country as the majority of businesses, banks and shops usually shut for the day. In Israel they take place during Passover, on April 17th and 26th, May 17th and 28th, July 18th and 29th, September 7th, 8th, 18th, 19th and 27th, between the second and the ninth of October, and between December 10th and 17th. It is a good idea to check the particular area too as certain towns and cities also shut down during special events.

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