The Big Budget Guide To Israel

Photo of Kapilkumar Ingle
25 April 2017

Israel can sometimes be pricey for tourists, but with some clever tips, we can ensure your trip doesn’t break your bank; you’ll just need to do some planning ahead. Discover and feel the beauty of this country within your budget with these tried-and-tested tips. These guidelines are based on the extensive experience of backpackers, tourists, international students and locals.

Rishon LeZion West Aerial View | © Amos Meron

Best time of year to visit

Natural Feature
Map View
Morning Traffic - Tel Aviv
Morning Traffic - Tel Aviv | © David King /Flickr
The best season to visit depends on your own schedule, and since thousands of tourists visit throughout the year there is never an off-season! However, the best days to come to Israel are between Sunday and Thursday. Just try to avoid arriving on Friday and Saturday because from Friday afternoon to Saturday evening most places are closed due to Sabbath. There is almost no public transportation, most malls and supermarkets are closed, and things tend to be slightly more expensive. As for which airport to fly into, Ben Gurion Airport is the largest and best situated. Try to exchange money before you arrive, to ensure you have few shekels with you. If not, you can convert your money to shekels at the airport.

Transportation tips

There are three main modes of transportation in Israel: public buses, railways and private taxis, but the most convenient and cheapest is the train. After that, traveling by bus is preferable, and following buses, taxis, which tend to be far more expensive. You can haggle for a reasonable price before getting in the taxi, but it will always be the most expensive way of getting around town.

Walking way Tel Aviv | © Kapilkumar Ingle

Walking tips

If you enjoy walking tours, you’re in luck. Israel is a great place for those who enjoy walking and exploring a new place by foot. There are many walking tours available in all parts of the country, but particularly in the city of Tel Aviv-Yafo. If you want to go solo though, keep a map of the city handy. Another great option is to bicycle around the city. Tel-o-Fun, Tel Aviv’s bicycle sharing system is located conveniently all over the city for reasonable rates. Another option is to hire a bicycle for the day, which you can also do at Tel-O-Fun, or at bike hire shops located around the city.

Tel Aviv | © Gellerj

Accommodation tips

There are a variety of hotels and motels to stay at in Israel. There are, of course, the more expensive 5-star hotels that will provide the full luxurious experience. However, a much more attractive and unique option is to stay at the many boutique hotels available in Israel and especially in Tel Aviv. They tend to offer more attractive rates while providing a personalized experience. Another great option is to use Airbnb, an app that offers private apartment rentals, and an increasingly popular way to travel.

Falafel! | © Young Shanahan

Food tips

When traveling, it’s always preferable to experience a culture’s native cuisine, and there are countless places to devour Israel’s wonderful delicacies. Meat dishes can be more expensive, while Vegan and Vegetarian restaurants are the trend, especially in Tel Aviv. You can even take a Vegan tour with TLVEG, which provides a one-of-a-kind vegan tasting tour of Tel Aviv. Another budget-friendly option is to sample the numerous street food joints situated on nearly every corner of every city in Israel.

Tel Aviv Beach | © Kapilkumar Ingle/Flickr

Tips to Relax

There are many options for those looking for a relaxing but wallet-friendly vacation in Israel. One of those are the many free beaches available. Israel has a very long seashore running alongside the Mediterranean Sea. Bring some packed food, a towel, some water, and you can relax the entire day.

Traditional market | © Kapilkumar Ingle

Shopping tips

There are lots of shopping options available, including shopping malls, supermarkets and traditional markets. The best way to save money is to shop at traditional markets or shuks, as they are known in Israel. You can purchase a variety of different items such as clothing, dry fruits, cheese, nuts, pickles, etc. at cheap prices.

By Kapilkumar N. Ingle

Kapilkumar Ingle is researcher-cum-writer and blogger in the field of environmental sciences and journalism. He loves to travel in nature, feel the various cultures and share those memories with others. He is interested in photography, and documentary-making for environmental awareness. In addition, he likes to learn and cook vegetarian dishes from around the world.

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