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Lufthansa Travel Guide, Israel, Eilat

Israel
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Monday, 10.12.2018
18:00 UTC

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Good to know

City map Eilat

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    Good to know

    Eilat – a brief overview

    Eilat is a port city and beach resort in southern Israel. It occupies a stretch of the Red Sea coastline just 12 kilometers long. It is sunny pretty much all year round in Eilat, and the water temperature rarely falls below 20 degrees Celsius. The incredibly vibrant underwater world just beyond the shoreline makes Eilat a paradise for divers and snorkelers. Eilat is also a good base for exploring the rugged beauty of the Negev desert and of the rocky landscapes in the surrounding areas. One of the best-known tourist destinations is Timna Park, which is home to ‘Solomon’s Pillars.’

    This rock formation, which was formed by erosion, is a highlight of hiking tours through the spectacular desert landscape of this national park. Eilat is also famous for its nightlife. There are several clubs in the Lagoona area and on the Royal Beach Promenade, but the parties held on Dekel Beach are very popular as well.

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    Top Ten Sights in Eilat

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    Lufthansa Travel Guide, Israel, Eilat
    Eilat is a paradise for divers and snorkelers – the fantastic coral reefs are just beyond the shoreline

    Coral Beach Nature Reserve

    Coral Beach
    Eilat
    Israel
    Show on map

    Opening hours vary

    This nature reserve is located to the south of Eilat. Although it spans only 1200 meters of the coastline, it is a truly spectacular section. The shallow-water coral reef can be accessed by foot via wooden jetties. The clear water enables visitors to see tropical fish, while buoys mark routes for divers and snorkelers to take through the water. Diving and snorkeling gear can be rented at the park.

    Dolphin Reef

    Southern Beach, POB 104
    Eilat
    Israel
    Tel.: +972-8/630 01 11
    Show on map

    Opening hours:
    Sun – Thu: 9:00 am – 5:00 pm
    Fri, Sat, public holidays: 9:00 am – 4:30 pm

    With an area encompassing 12,000 square meters of water, this dolphinarium is one of the largest sea enclosures in the world. As well as watching the dolphins, visitors can also snorkel or dive with them. Contact between humans and dolphins only happens if it is initiated by the animals. The dolphins will only come out of curiosity – no bait or training methods are used to attract them.

    Underwater Observatory Marine Park

    Highway 90
    Eilat
    Israel
    Show on map

    Opening hours:
    Every day, 8:30 am – 4:00 pm

    Perfect for visitors who want to immerse themselves in the bustling underwater world without getting wet! The saltwater enclosure in this aquarium is home to turtles, sharks, seahorses, fish and all kinds of crustaceans. The underwater observatory, which is 4.5 meters below sea level, provides an unobstructed view of the colorful coral reef. The museum at the Marine Park informs visitors about the diversity of creatures in the Red Sea.

    Hay-Bar Nature Reserve

    Hay-Bar Yotvata Nature Reserve
    Highway 90 (between Kibbutzim Yotvata and Samar)
    Eilat
    Israel
    Tel.: +972-8/637 30 57
    Show on map

    Opening hours (may vary):
    Sat – Thu: 8:30 am – 5:00 pm
    Fri: 8:30 am – 4:00 pm
    Tours: Mornings only

    The visitor center at Yotvata, a date palm oasis, is located about 35 kilometers (21 miles) north of Eilat. The center is the meeting point for guided tours of the Hay-Bar reserve, which still provides a habitat for the kind of desert animals that lived here in biblical times, including wolves, foxes, antelopes and ostriches. It is also possible to visit the reserve without following a guided tour.

    Red Canyon

    Highway 12 (12 kilometers/7 miles north of Ein Netafim)
    Eilat
    Israel
    Show on map

    The route through the Red Canyon is one of the most beautiful hiking tours in southern Israel. The vibrant deep red of the sandstone contrasts dramatically with the radiant blue of the sky. The gorge is only half a meter wide at some points – there are handrails embedded into the rock to help visitors clamber through. The winding trail begins right next to the parking lot.

    Timna Park

    Highway 90 (between Samar and Be’er Ora)
    Eilat
    Israel
    Tel.: +972-8/631 67 56
    Show on map

    Opening hours:
    Sat – Thu: 8:00 am – 4:00 pm
    Fri: 8:00 am – 3:00 pm

    Timna Park, which is about 25 kilometers (15 miles) north of Eilat, is a scenic park featuring spectacular rock formations and the remains of an ancient copper mine. The distinctive landmarks at the park are Solomon’s Pillars, a vibrant red 50-meter-high sandstone cliff face with an unusual shape, and the mushroom-shaped rocks, which stand at about six meters and were formed by erosion. Visitors can also see the remains of an Egyptian temple and of an ancient copper mine.

    International Birding Research Center (IBRCE)

    Highway 90 (near the Yitzhak Rabin Border Crossing)
    Eilat
    Israel
    Tel.: +972-50/767 12 90
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    Eilat is located along one of the most important routes for birds that migrate from Asia and Europe to Africa. Up to one billion birds rest in this area before or after crossing the Sahara. At the IBRCE, visitors can learn more about the lives of migratory birds. Guided tours of birdwatching sites begin at this ornithology center. Prior registration is requested.

    Mosh’s Beach

    Highway 90
    Eilat
    Israel
    Show on map

    Visitors wanting a relaxed day at the beach should avoid the North Beach. Mosh’s Beach, which is on the southern section of Eilat’s coastline, is less frequented by tourists. It is popular with local hipsters, and the trendy beach bar serves vegetarian food, fresh cocktails and smoothies.

    Eilat City Museum

    2 Derekh Yotam
    Eilat
    Israel
    Tel.: +972-08/634 07 54
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    Opening hours:
    Mon – Thu: 10:00 am – 8:00 pm
    Fri: 10:00 am – 2:00 pm
    Sat: 12:00 noon – 8:00 pm

    This small museum of history and archeology provides an overview of the development of the port city and the region. It informs visitors about the importance of the copper mines at Timna and about the flora and fauna in the Red Sea region.

    Petra, Jordan

    28 Wadi Mousa
    Jordan
    Show on map

    This former capital of the Nabataean Kingdom, which was carved into the red rock, is more than 2000 years old. It is located around 130 kilometers north of Eilat and is probably Jordan’s most famous UNESCO World Heritage Site. The site covers a huge area and includes more than 800 structures and sacrificial sites. It is best to follow a guided tour when visiting Petra. Numerous companies in Eilat offer package deals.

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    Good to know

    Country information

    Country overview

    The state of Israel was established as a parliamentary republic when the British Mandate for Palestine ended in 1948. To this day, the intention of the United Nations to divide Palestine into an Israeli and an Arab-Palestinian state is one of the reasons for the continuing conflicts in the Middle East. As a tourism destination, Israel enjoys great popularity, especially its historically significant locations and UNESCO World Heritage Sites, such as Bethlehem and Jerusalem and “party city” Tel Aviv. In Israel, distances are short – from Tel Aviv to Haifa in the north, it’s just under 100 kilometers, and inland to Jerusalem only around 70 kilometers. That’s why many tourists come to Israel for variety, since they can easily combine a bathing vacation and educational trip with nightlife and business.

    On its website (auswaertiges-amt.de) The German Federal Foreign Office provides constantly updated general and country-specific travel information, information about particular risks for travelers as well as travel warnings, in other words, urgent appeals issued by the Foreign Office to refrain wherever possible from traveling to a particular country or region of a country.

    Geography

    Israel is located on the east coast of the Mediterranean; the country borders Lebanon and Syria in the north, Jordan in the east and Egypt in the southwest. The Palestinian Autonomous Territories are largely located on the West Bank of the River Jordan and the Gaza Strip. The country extends southward through the Negev Desert to Eilat, the vacation resort on the Red Sea; the fertile Plain of Sharon is on the Mediterranean coast.

    The mountain region with its fertile valleys in the west and desert areas in the east runs parallel to the coast. Roughly half of the country is steppe or desert terrain.

    General knowledge

    Key facts

    Population: 8.6 million (December 2016)
    Capital city (not internationally recognized): Jerusalem

    Language

    The official languages of the country are Hebrew and Arabic. The commercial language in large areas of the country is English.

    Currency

    1 Israeli new shekel = 100 agorots. Currency code: NIS, ILS (ISO code). Banknotes to the value of 200, 100, 50 and 20 NIS are in circulation, coins to the value of 10, 5, 2, 1 and ½ NIS and 10 agorots.

    Electricity

    220 V, 50 Hz., three-pin plugs. If necessary, adapters can be bought locally in hotels and electrical stores.

    Public holidays

    The public holidays for the period January 2018 through December 2019 are listed below.

    Please note

    a) Not all public holidays apply in all parts of Israel, and in some regions, there may be additional public holidays. Depending on religion, Israelis celebrate Jewish, Muslim and Christian holidays. There is also no national weekly day of rest; it may be a Friday, Saturday or Sunday.

    b) Jewish holidays begin on the evening (at sunset) before the given dates. Only the first and the last day of Pessach and Sukkot are official public holidays. In the holiday weeks, disruptions to normal daily activities may, however, occur, since many stores and businesses close earlier than usual. During Chanukka, the light festival, stores remain open. The Jewish day of rest is the Sabbath, which extends from Friday evening to Saturday evening (sunset). That is why public agencies and stores usually close earlier.

    2018

    Pesach (Passover): March 31 and April 6, 2018
    Yom Ha’atzmaut (Independence Day): April 19, 2018
    Schawuot (Pentecost): May 20, 2018
    Rosh Hashana (Jewish New Year’s): September 10 and 11, 2018
    Yom Kippur (Day of Atonement): September 19, 2018
    Sukkot (Feast of Tabernacles): September 24, 2018
    Simchat Torah: October 1, 2018

    2019

    Pesach (Passover): April 20 and 26, 2019
    Yom Ha’atzmaut (Independence Day): May 9, 2019
    Schawuot (Pentecost): June 9, 2019
    Rosh Hashana (Jewish New Year’s): September 30 and October 1, 2019
    Yom Kippur (Day of Atonement): October 9, 2019
    Sukkot (Feast of Tabernacles): October  14, 2019
    Simchat Torah: October 21, 2019

    All information subject to change.

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    Restaurants in Eilat

    ListMap

    A variety of culinary experiences for a range of different budgets are on offer in Eilat, including falafel stands, steakhouses and gourmet cuisine. Many of the city’s restaurants offer international dishes,

    so don’t be surprised if you find Japanese miso soup on the same menu as Spanish crema Catalana – even in the premium restaurants.

    Last Refuge / HaMiflat Haaharon

    Highway 90
    Eilat
    Israel
    Show on map

    Category: Luxurious

    This popular gourmet restaurant near the Underwater Observatory has been one of the top choices for seafood and specialty fish dishes for many years. The decor features slightly bizarre nautical equipment, and the food is accompanied by a fantastic view over the Red Sea.

    Eddie’s Hideaway

    8 Eilot, on the corner of Haagmonim Street
    Eilat
    Israel
    Show on map

    Category: Luxurious

    This exquisite restaurant is something of an institution in Eilat. Eddie Hetz, who was born in the United States, has been passionately cooking up original dishes for his guests since 1979. The comprehensive menu offers fish and meat dishes that are inspired by French, Italian and Asian cuisine.

    Olla

    7 Tarshish Street
    Eilat
    Israel
    Show on map

    Category: Moderate

    The winning features of this pleasant restaurant by Ofira Park are its inviting atmosphere and the large selection of kosher meat dishes. There is also a comprehensive range of vegan choices.

    Mika

    Shvil HaYam 3
    Eilat
    Israel
    Show on map

    Category: Budget

    This self-service restaurant on the Royal Beach Promenade is one of the city’s most popular sushi restaurants. All of the sushi dishes are freshly prepared on-site.

    Lalo’s

    7 Hahorev Street
    Eilat
    Israel
    Show on map

    Category: Budget

    This small, down-to-earth restaurant offers good value for the price. It serves authentic Moroccan home cooking – although it is only open Sunday to Thursday, from midday to 5 pm. The couscous is particularly delicious! All dishes are also available to take away.

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    Hotels in Eilat

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    Eilat is not a very large city, and it occupies only around 12 kilometers (7 miles) of coastline. Nevertheless, with beds for over 12,000 guests, it is very well-equipped to welcome visitors. After all, Eilat has a reputation as the Red Sea’s party capital.

    The more exclusive hotels are mostly found on the North Beach, and the more basic accommodation is located near the Red Canyon Shopping Center. Visitors who want to spend most of their time diving or snorkeling are advised to find accommodation to the south of the city center, near the coral reef.

    Queen of Sheba Eilat

    8 Antib Road
    Eilat
    Israel
    Show on map

    Category: Luxurious

    This well-known luxury hotel has 14 floors. The theme of its interior design is the biblical account of the Queen of Sheba’s visit to King Solomon. The decor in the rooms is elegant and luxurious, although they are not quite as opulent as the reception rooms and the spa.

    Dan Eilat Hotel

    North Beach
    Eilat
    Israel
    Show on map

    Category: Luxurious

    This luxurious holiday complex at the North Beach offers all of the amenities of a resort. It has pools and leisure activities for adults and children, as well as a choice of restaurants. It is also in a great location on the North Beach.

    Soleil Boutique Hotel

    12 Tarshish Street
    Eilat
    Israel
    Show on map

    Category: Moderate

    This respectable mid-range hotel is located at the edge of Ofira Park, between Rimonim Beach and the Lagoona area. Its 73 rooms are bright, spacious and welcoming. Guests have access to the hotel’s pool and spa.

    Orchid Reef Hotel

    P. O. Box 651
    Eilat
    Israel
    Show on map

    Category: Moderate

    This beach hotel is located slightly south of Eilat, in the Coral Beach Nature Reserve. It offers a range of additional services, including an outdoor pool, bicycle hire, and a refrigerator in every room. The hotel is within easy walking distance of several diving schools.

    Rich Eilat Suites

    1 Sderot HaTmarim
    Eilat
    Israel
    Show on map

    Category: Budget

    This popular city center hotel is located near the Musical Fountain in Gan Binyamin Park. The furnishings are functional and attractive.

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    Nightlife in Eilat

    ListMap

    Eilat is known for being a party destination. Before 11 pm, however, there is very little activity in and outside the clubs. The Royal Beach Promenade is the best place to start the evening. It offers numerous pubs and bars.

    Another popular hotspot is the tourist center in downtown Eilat, where there are numerous clubs and discos that are open all night long.

    Three Monkeys Pub

    Derech Pa'amei HaShalom 23
    Royal Beach Promenade
    Eilat
    Israel
    Show on map

    At this trendy and well-frequented bar, visitors are greeted by a statue of the famous three wise monkeys, who hear no evil, see no evil and speak no evil. Despite the bar’s location on the Royal Beach Promenade, beachwear and flip-flops would be considered as being far too casual.

    Crazy Elephant

    8 HaMasger Street
    Eilat
    Israel
    Show on map

    This stylish club is one of the largest discos in southern Israel. Its ultra-modern sound and lighting systems are a hit with DJs and visitors from all over the world. It is open Thursday to Saturday until 5 am.

    Soof Brewery / The Brewery Eilat

    2 HaOrgim Street
    Eilat
    Israel
    Show on map

    The Soof Brewery gives its guests an insight into Israel’s craft beer scene. Six varieties of beer are brewed here, including a wheat beer that contains basil and coriander. Visitors can watch the brewing process through a large pane of glass from the main bar area. Tapas is served to accompany the beer.

    What’s Up Observatory

    Near Be’er Ora
    Eilat
    Israel
    Show on map

    Nightlife with a twist! The darkness of the desert – slightly outside the city – makes this the perfect place for stargazing. Tour guide Ethan Schwartz has a highly engaging way of teaching visitors about astronomy.

    Wow! Vegas Show

    Isrotel Theater im Isrotel Royal Beach Eilat
    North Beach
    Eilat
    Israel
    Show on map

    This Las Vegas-style show features acrobatics, music and ornate costumes and set designs – a glamor-filled evening is guaranteed. Tickets and further information are available from: wow@isrotel.co.il.

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    Calendar of events

    Chanukah (Festival of Lights)

    December 3-10, 2018

    Location: All across the city

    On each evening of this festival, one more candle is lit on the hanukkiah – a candelabrum with nine branches. Traditional dishes such as potato pancakes (latkes) and doughnuts (sufganiyot) are served. Traditional games are also played, such as spinning the dreidel (a spinning top).

    Red Sea Classical Music Festival

    February 2019
    Website

    Location: Dan Hotel Eilat

    This festival has been held every spring since 2011. Orchestras and soloists from Israel and all over the world are invited to the three-day event, where they perform classical compositions from several different centuries.

    Winter Jazz Festival

    February 2019
    Website

    Location: Eilat Harbor

    Owing to the huge success of the Red Sea Jazz Festival, which is held in August, the winter edition of the jazz festival was launched in 2011. Like the summer festival, the winter version features performances by jazz musicians from all over the world.

    Eilat Birds Festival

    March 17-24, 2019

    Location: Isrotel Agamim Hotel

    Every spring, millions of migratory birds fly over Israel on their way back to Europe. To mark this impressive natural spectacle, Israel’s ornithologists organize the Birds Festival, which includes lectures from experts and trips to observe the birds.

    Red Sea Jazz Festival

    August 2019
    Website

    Location: Eilat Harbor

    Every year in August, the harbor area becomes a huge outdoor stage for three days. The Jam Sessions, which start at 11 pm on Dekel Beach, draw especially large crowds.

    All information subject to change. Please check the dates on the relevant event organizer’s website.

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    Phone calls & Internet

    Telephone/Mobile Telephone

    Dialing code: +972

    Telephones

    The dialing code in Israel is 00972. Public telephones are now rare, but there are still some card-operated pay phones. Telephone cards are available from hotels, post offices, convenience stores and newspaper stands. There are city-specific area codes within Israel, such as 02 for Jerusalem, 03 for Tel Aviv, 04 for Haifa and 08 for Eilat.

    Mobile Telephone

    When making calls with their own mobile phones, travelers sometimes face high roaming charges. Israeli SIM cards can be purchased at convenience stores in cities and at airports. They can be used immediately. Mobile network operators include Orange (orange.co.il) and Israelphones (israelphones.com). For travelers who wish to make regular or long calls abroad, it is a good idea to purchase a calling card from a provider such as Golan (golantelecom.co.il).

    Internet

    In the cities, free Wi-Fi Internet access is available nearly everywhere. In particular, it is provided in cafes, hotels and at locations frequented by tourists. As a precaution, one should not enter passwords, credit card details or banking credentials when using public, unencrypted networks. It is advisable to use a VPN app or security software to check Wi-Fi hotspots.

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    Shopping in Eilat

    Eilat is located within a free-trade zone, which means that no value-added tax is paid on most goods. Nevertheless, the prices are generally rather high, so the chances of finding an absolute bargain are fairly slim.

    Everyday goods and souvenirs can be purchased almost everywhere in Eilat. Along the beaches there are rows of small stores. One example is the Eilat Bazaar (on HaToren Street at the North Beach promenade), where there are countless stalls selling jewelry, swimwear and all kinds of odds and ends.

    The city center has lots of small shops, such as those on HaTmarim Avenue. There are also numerous larger shopping centers, including Mall HaYam (mallhayam.co.il) on HaPalmakh Street between South Beach and North Beach, and the Ice Mall at the Ice Park (Kampen Street, icemalleilat.co.il), which is a shopping and leisure complex featuring a large ice rink.

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    Good to know

    Best time to visit

    Today: Monday, 10.12.2018 18:00 UTC

    sunny

    temperature


    16°C


    wind direction

    north

    wind speed

    0.625 mph

    humidity

    54%

    7 days forecast

    Tuesday

    11.12.2018

    21°C / 12°C

    Wednesday

    12.12.2018

    20°C / 12°C

    Thursday

    13.12.2018

    20°C / 13°C

    Friday

    14.12.2018

    20°C / 14°C

    Saturday

    15.12.2018

    25°C / 16°C

    Sunday

    16.12.2018

    25°C / 17°C

    Monday

    17.12.2018

    23°C / 19°C

    Best time to visit Israel

    The climate varies significantly from region to region. In the north and in Jerusalem, the winter can be cool and rainy. By contrast, Eilat in the south has good weather for beach holidays all year round. In the summer, it is particularly hot in the south and in the area around the Dead Sea. Spring and fall are very pleasant times to visit any of the regions.

    JanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec

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    JanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec

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    JanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec

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    JanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec

    46 %

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    37 %

    32 %

    28 %

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    35 %

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    JanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec

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    absolute maxabsolute minØ absolute minØ absolute minrelative humidityØ precipitationdays with deposit > 1mmsunshine duration
    Jan32 °C1 °C20 °C9 °C46 %5.0 mm17.5 h
    Feb32 °C0 °C22 °C10 °C42 %5.0 mm18.0 h
    Mar38 °C3 °C26 °C13 °C37 %4.0 mm18.5 h
    Apr41 °C9 °C31 °C17 °C32 %3.0 mm19.4 h
    May45 °C13 °C35 °C21 °C28 %0.1 mm010.5 h
    Jun47 °C17 °C38 °C23 °C24 %0.0 mm012.1 h
    Jul47 °C20 °C39 °C25 °C27 %0.1 mm012.4 h
    Aug47 °C19 °C39 °C25 °C29 %0.0 mm011.8 h
    Sep44 °C18 °C36 °C23 °C35 %0.1 mm010.6 h
    Oct43 °C13 °C32 °C20 °C37 %3.0 mm09.5 h
    Nov38 °C5 °C27 °C15 °C40 %4.0 mm18.6 h
    Dec33 °C3 °C21 °C10 °C46 %6.0 mm17.0 h
    year47 °C0 °C31 °C18 °C35 %31.0 mm69.7 h

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    Visa & Immigration

    IATA Travel Centre

    The IATA Travel Centre delivers accurate passport, visa and health requirement information at a glance. It is a trusted, centralized source for the latest international travel requirements. The IATA Travel Centre is the most accurate source available because it is based on a comprehensive database used by virtually every airline, and information is gathered from official sources worldwide, such as immigration and police authorities.

    IATA Travel CentreIATA Travel Centre

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    Travel etiquette

    Shalom, which literally means ‘peace,’ is used as both ‘hello’ and ‘goodbye.’ Although manners are rarely particularly formal, normal courtesies should always be observed. Israelis tend to be open, and they like to talk about their country, religion and politics. Dress is casual, but at holy sites, visitors should not wear shorts or short skirts, and shoulders should be covered.

    In synagogues, all men wear a head covering. Businesspeople are expected to dress more smartly. More formal attire may be required for evening meals at high-end restaurants, hotel restaurants and at night clubs. On the Shabbat (Sabbath – Friday evening to Saturday evening), special rules apply in restaurants, hotels and stores. There are generally signs to inform visitors about anything that is prohibited.

    At restaurants, the bill does not usually include a service charge. In such cases, the tip given should be around 10 to 15 percent of the total bill. If the service charge is included in the bill, it will be itemized separately.

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    Gesundheit

    Food & Drink

    Mains water is normally safe, but may cause mild abdominal upsets. Water sources outside main cities and towns may be contaminated and sterilisation is advisable. Bottled water is the best bet and is available everywhere. Milk may be unpasteurised, so boil before drinking. Meat and fish should be freshly cooked and served hot. Vegetables are typically served cooked. If eating fruit, try to stick to fruit that can be peeled before eating.

    Other Risks

    Vaccinations against tuberculosis and hepatitis B are sometimes recommended. Malaria is not present in Israel but travellers may want to take some form of mosquito repellent to avoid bites, especially if sleeping outside. Visitors should wear sunscreen and drink plenty of water to avoid heatstroke and sunburn. Rabies is present. If you are bitten, seek medical advice without delay.

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