Everything You Need to Know Before Coming To Israel

So you finally made the decision to fly, told all of your friends, bought new luggage, and you’re so excited you can barely sleep at night. Does all this mean you’re ready for your Israel trip? Almost! You will be just as soon as you finish reading the following list.


When to Come


Weather-wise, there’s almost no wrong time to visit Israel. While the most comfortable months are between late March to mid May, really any month makes for a good trip. Some will just be warmer than others and though they’re not prohibitively hot, try your best to avoid July and August.


In terms of holidays, it's important to know that Rosh Hashannah and Yom Kippur (known as the Jewish “High Holidays”) will shut the country down for two and three days in early and mid September, respectively. During this time restaurants, shops, and supermarkets will all be closed. Unsurprisingly, in true capitalist fashion, everything is more expensive during this time. Hanukkah, on the other hand, serves as a wonderful time to visit as everything is open and the entire country is aglow with warm and joyous light.


Shabbat


Shabbat is the Jewish day of rest that occurs every week from Friday evening to Saturday night. Your awareness of this day highly depends on where in Israel you find yourself, since all the restaurants and supermarkets in secular Tel Aviv remain open while may places in the more religious Jerusalem will be closed. Public transportation won’t run in either city so expect to use taxis on Saturdays, though you can always walk through the Old City of Jerusalem where everything except the Jewish Quarter will be open.


Shabbat is also a great time for a scenic drive - both up the north coast to the Galilee or Golan and down south to the Negev - with a rented car or a tour guide (who drives).



Safety


All in all, Israel is a safe country with a very low crime rate. That being said, there is an old political conflict that sometimes impacts residents of the Middle East. It’s very important to remember, however, that tourists are not targets and are not part of the conflict. In the unlikely event of unrest, Israeli police are well-trained in de-escalation and keeping the public safe, so you’re definitely in good hands.


For the most up-to-date information on the political climate it's always best to consu