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Informing Wedding Guests Traveling to Israel

Today we’re bringing you all the information you need to make your wedding website a useful resource for guests travelling to Israel. You are welcome (and encouraged!) to copy/paste the following material onto your wedding website.

Informing Wedding Guests Traveling to Israel

Flight Information

Ben Gurion International Airport (TLV) is Israel’s main airport, located approximately 40 km from Jerusalem and 12 km from Tel Aviv.

Israel has three main international airlines: El Al, Arkia and Israir. Around 50 international airlines fly to Ben Gurion Airport, including Delta, Continental, US Airways, British Airways, Air France, Lufthansa, Alitalia, Iberia and Air Canada.

Flights to and from Israel will generally entail greater security measures than in most countries. Bag inspection, both by machine and hand, is routine. You should also expect to be interviewed about your time in Israel. This is standard procedure and should not cause alarm. We recommend international wedding guests arrive at least three hours before their scheduled flight.

Transportation

There is a direct train from Ben Gurion Airport to Tel Aviv (3:53-23:23, every half an hour during day, every hour during night). To get to Jerusalem, take bus 947 (7:00-21:00, every 20 minutes).

Buses are the most common form of transportation in Israel. The extensive national bus line Egged primarily runs between cities and in Jerusalem, while Dan operates mostly in Tel Aviv.

Another option is a “monit sherut”, shared minivans which generally follow major bus routes and can be hailed from anywhere, not just the official bus stop. They are often available 24-hours a day including Shabbat.

Israel Railways operates intercity trains between Nahariya, Haifa, Tel Aviv, Ben Gurion Airport and Beer Sheva, and suburban lines from Tel Aviv to Binyamina, Ashkelon, Kfar Sava, Rishon LeZion, Modiin and Bet Shemesh.

All public transportation is closed on Shabbat.

Security

While areas bordering the Gaza Strip are extremely dangerous, the rest of the country is considered very safe. Israel has one of the lowest crime rates in the world, although women are still advised against walking alone late at night.

It is common to see armed guards at public doorways for shopping malls, stores, restaurants, etc. They will generally glance in your bag to make sure you aren’t carrying a weapon before waving you through.

Do not leave any bags or belongings unattended, as it will be treated as a suspicious object and most likely detonated by a bomb squad.

Do not be alarmed to see soldiers everywhere; Israel has conscription for both men and women.

Local Time

The time in Israel is GMT +2 hours or EST +7.

To view the local time in Israel, click here.

Weather

Summers in Israel are extremely hot and days of rain are rare. The coastal regions including Tel Aviv experience humidity during this time of year, while Jerusalem and the highland areas are more comfortable. The summer in southern Israel is hot and dry.

In the spring and fall, the temperatures throughout Israel are more mild, with occasional rain in the coastal regions and northern end of the country.

Winter brings heavy rain along the coast and frost in the highlands, while Jerusalem can witness the occasional snow flurry.

To view the current weather conditions and forecast in Jerusalem, click here.  To view the current weather conditions and forecast in Tel Aviv, click here.

Money and Spending

Major credit cards (American Express, Visa, MasterCard, etc.) are widely accepted in Israel. Visitors should expect to pay standard Western prices for most goods and services in Israel.

Travellers cheques may be changed at most banks; however, many will tack on a high commission. Hatunot recommends international wedding guests travelling to Israel use a no-commission licensed exchange agency or post office. Exchange agencies are also the best bet for money changing.

Most banks in Israel are open from 8:30 AM–12:00 PM Sunday to Thursday and 4:00 PM–6:00 PM on Sunday, Tuesday and Thursday. All banks are closed on Shabbat.

The Israeli currency is the New Israeli Shekel.

To access an international currency converter, click here.

Tipping

It is customary to tip between 10–12% at Israeli restaurants if service is not included. It is not necessary to tip taxi drivers.

Electricity

The voltage in Israel is 220 V, and the frequency is 50 Hz. The electric outlets used are Type H and Type C. You will be able to purchase plug adapters in Israel.

Additional Resources

GoIsrael.com – Official website of Israel Ministry of Tourism

iGoogledisrael.com

 

By Rachel Cravit

  1. Erin Tannenbaum
    8.6.2013

    Can you recommend a company that will take guests from the hotel to the venue?