Israel has a fascinating contrast between the ancient and sacred sites clustered in Jerusalem’s Old City – the Temple Mount, Dome of the Rock shrine, Al-Aqsa Mosque, Church of the Holy Sepulchre, and the Wailing Wall – and the crisp, white architecture, beaches and wild nightlife of Tel Aviv. In the north, on the Mediterranean coastline and extending up the north slope of Mount Carmel lies Haifa, renowned for the immaculately landscaped Bahá’í Gardens with the gold-domed Shrine of the Báb proudly stood in their centre, and the shops, galleries and restaurants of the German Colony at their foot. Although Tel Aviv is renowned for its beaches on the Mediterranean coast, Israel is also popular for its sunny beaches and hotel resorts, SCUBA diving and water sports available on the Red Sea and the unique Dead Sea, famous for its buoyancy and medicinal qualities.
KEY FACTS BEFORE YOU GO:
- Capital: Jerusalem is the proclaimed capital of Israel, although most other nations do not recognise this. Tel Aviv is its economic and technological centre,
- Currency: New Shekel
- Time Difference: Israel observes Israel Standard Time, which is 3 hours AHEAD of GMT. It also observes Daylight Saving Time from the Friday before the last Sunday of March until the last Sunday of October. During Israeli Summer Time, Israel is two hours AHEAD of GMT.
- Flight time: Four hours and 45 minutes to Jerusalem or 4 hours and 50 minutes to Tel Aviv, both direct.
- Official language: Hebrew (Arabic is also a recognised language)
- Entry requirements: Visas are not required, and upon entry you'll be granted leave to enter for a period of up to 3 months. If entering via Ben Gurion airport, you'll be given an entry card rather than an entry stamp in passport - you should keep your entry card with your passport until you leave, as it is evidence of your legal entry into Israel and may be required, particularly at any crossing points into the Occupied Palestinian Territories. Your passport is required to have a minimum of 6 months' validity from the date of entry into Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories. For further information on Israeli entry requirements, please check theForeign Office website.
- Vaccinations and Health: For up-to-date information, please check this website (as recommended by the Foreign Office): https://travelhealthpro.org.uk/country/110/israel#Vaccine_recommendations
General information on travel vaccinations can be found on the NHS website: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/travel-vaccinations/
To find out more, and for the most up-to-date advice: https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/israel
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