It is safe to say that not a lot of travelers will look to Israel when thinking about their next travel destination. This could be so for a couple of reasons. There is the perception that it is a challenging state to traverse and tourists will be focused on the fun instead of having to figure out how to move from one point to another. If you can look beyond the challenges, Israel is an interesting country to visit and you’re likely to have a good time provided you’re open-minded. Here are some of the things that everyone should know before visiting Israel.
There are no standard Visa requirements for tourists that are visiting Israel. The application will depend on the country that you’re coming from. If you’re coming from a Western country, you’ll most probably need only your passport. The chances of being denied a visa are pretty slim. You just need to be aware that the passport should be valid for at least six months.
It is always encouraged to ask questions in case something is not clear. If you’re not sure about the silan or any other thing, the locals will be more than happy to answer the questions that you could be having. It is not always good to assume as that is where the problem will usually start.
Israel is a Small Country
Despite its prominence in world affairs, Israel is fairly a small country and you’re likely to notice when you land. The journey from Jerusalem to Tel Aviv should not take you more than an hour and you’re likely to transverse the whole country in six hours. You can see a lot even if you only have two days to spare. You just need to make sure that you’re organizing your trip in advance so that you know where you need to be during the duration that you’ll be in the country.
One of the things that you need to know before visiting is that Saturday is a day of resting. The Israelis are very keen when it comes to keeping the Sabbath. Most businesses will start closing Friday in the afternoon and will only open late Saturday. Even public transport becomes a problem and you should organize private transportation if you intend to move around. You don’t want to arrive in Israel on a Saturday as you can think it is a ghost town.
There are Soldiers Everywhere
You’ve probably seen the picture of a woman with the baby on her hand and an assault rifle on her back. There are soldiers everywhere you go and it might take some time getting used to it. Military service is compulsory for both men and women. Israel takes matters to do with security seriously and that is why there are soldiers everywhere you go. It is kind of reassuring that your security is guaranteed whenever you’re in the country.
It Can Also Be Conservative
As much as society is secular in most urban centers, there are conservatives too. If you go to Jerusalem’s old city, you’re likely to see a lot of men and women dressed conservatively. As a tourist, you’d not want to wear something that could be too revealing so as not to offend the locals. It is common sense and it has nothing to do with the forwardness or freedom of expression.
Learn a Few Words in Hebrew
It is important that you’re learning a few words in Hebrew so that you’re blending in with the locals. Shalom is a common greeting that you’re probably aware of. You don’t have to learn everything but just the basic words.
Israelis Are Proud Citizens
The history of Israel as a nation is a complex one. They’ve had to endure insurmountable challenges. When you visit the country, you get to learn about history and geopolitics which has taken the global center stage for a couple of decades. You get to hear everything from the locals and what they think about the whole situation. This broadens your perspective and understanding of the whole situation.
It is important that you’re researching about a place before you decide to visit. You don’t want to be insensitive just because you’re not aware of the local culture. There is no excuse for ignorance in the 21ST century. When you educate yourself on a place, you know what to expect which will make the whole trip worthwhile.