From November – April, you can expect cooler weather and some rain (50-77F / 10-25c). Higher elevations (including Jerusalem) can be chilly and windy.
From May – October, it will be hot and dry (77-105F / 25-40c).
From Nov – Apr, make sure you bring some warmer clothes, a jacket, and an umbrella. From May – Oct, bring a hat and sun screen! If you plan to swim, bring appropriate clothing. A good pair of walking shoes, sandals, or boots are a must!
There are some places that require modest clothing – knees and shoulders covered. These places include the Western Wall, Capernaum and Gethsemane. The Temple Mount has a very strict dress code (elbows and ankles covered).
Security flying to and from Israel is always high. This should give you great comfort, as they are the best in the world at what they do! Relax, smile, answer their questions, and be sure to thank them for keeping you safe!
The currency is the New Israeli Shekel (NIS). The U.S. dollar and major credit cards (American Express, Visa and MasterCard/Eurocard) are widely accepted throughout Israel. You will have opportunity to change dollars into shekels at the airport upon arrival. ATM Machines and money changers are plentiful. Check http://www.xe.com for up-to-date currency exchange rates.
Israel operates on 220 volts, similar to Europe. European plugs will fit in an Israeli outlet. Make sure your appliances (laptops, hair dryers, etc) are dual voltage and you have 220-volt adapters. You also may want to make sure you pick up an adapter for your phone charger. Many hotels have a 110-volt outlet in the bathroom. Most hotels have hair dryers.
Hebrew and Arabic are the official languages in Israel. English can be found on most major street signs and shops, and is commonly spoken. You will also find plenty of Russian.
Israel is +7 hours ahead of Eastern Standard Time, +8 hours ahead of Central Standard Time, and +10 hours ahead of Pacific Standard Time.
Israel is +1 hour ahead of Central European Standard Time.
Passports & Visas
U.S. citizens and most European/EU citizens are not required to apply for a visa in advance of their travel to Israel. Please be sure that your passport is valid for at least 6 months past the date of your departure from Israel. You will be given a tourist visa on a small blue slip of paper; do not lose this slip!