Israel Area: 8,020 square miles (20,770 square Kilometers)
Population: Around 8 milion
Capital City: Jerusalem
Other major cities: Tel Aviv and Haifa
Languages: is Modern Hebrew and the formal languages are Hebrew and Arabic.
English is the main language for foreign communication, spoken and understood by most, and you will easy find many spoken by the Israeli population: Russian, French, Spanish.
Religions: Judaism, Islam and Christianity.
Israel's currency is the New Israel Shekel (NIS). Notes are 20, 50, 100, and 200 NIS
coins are NIS10, NIS5, NIS2 NIS1 and 50 and 10 agorot.
100 agorot (agora in singular) = 1 shekel.
Main banks in the state of Israel have branches all over the coutry, Bank Hapoalim, Bank Leumi, Israel Discount Bank, United Mizrahi Bank, Mercantile Bank. Banks open every week day.
All known credit cards are accepted – Vis, American Express, Eurocard, Diner’s Club, and Travelers cheques.
There are Automated Teller Machines outside most banks, and all over Israel
International credit cards can withdraw local or foreign currency, should be accepted credit cards.
This can be obtained in hotels, banks, post offices, foreign exchange depots and some shops. You may need your passport for exchange. The rates vary from place to place, and banks charge a commission.
Check to see if service is included in the bill, if not 10-15% is advised in cash.
17% is added on goods and services, most tourist services are excluded, hotel services are exempted.
A VAT refund form can be filled if purchase is over $100.
With around merely 40 rainy days a year on average, Israel is known for its sunny disposition, yet keep in mind this is a 4 season country. Clear skies and mild temperatures most of the time. The Israeli Meteorological Service:
Summers are long, lasting from April to October and the height of heat and humidity is usually around July-August.
Fall and winter last from November to March.
International telephone cards work in most places and have toll free access numbers. Public telephones and cellular phones can be rented.
Israel power supply is single phase 220 volts at 50 Hertz. Most power sockets in Israel have three pinholes, but many of them will work with double-pin European plugs. You will need to bring both transformers and adaptor plugs.