Top 10 things NOT to do in Israel
Israel is truly an amazing tour destination, like nowhere else on this planet. Sanctity, complexity, innovation, great food – Israel has it all! But it also has its restrictions and cultural codes. So, if you want to be sure you are not surprised, embarrassed, upset – or arrested, perhaps go over this list before arriving in the Holy Land.
Don’t Forget an Electric Converter
Like in most of the countries in Europe, Israel’s domestic electricity system is 220/230 volt, at 50 Hertz. That means if you are coming from the USA or Canada, DO NOT forget to buy an electric converter for your electronic devices. These converters are not so easy to find, and why waste time when you are here looking for it?.
Don’t try the Israeli Security
Upon arriving in Israel, at Ben-Gurion air-port, DO NOT try to be funny and make no silly jokes about a concealed weapon or bombs. The Israeli security has no sense of humor!
On the other hand, in the streets of Jerusalem the soldiers are more than happy to have a photo with you! 🙂
Watch your money
Crowded observation points and markets are the arenas of dishonest people. Be most careful in the Old City markets (The “Suq“), the Holy Sepulchre, and at the Mount of Olives viewpoint. DO NOT leave bags, phones, or cameras unattended, make sure your wallet is deep in your pocket. If you bought anything, when you pay make sure you get the right change, and that the 10 shekels coins are not fake!
Don’t leave your bag unattended
For public security reasons, NEVER leave bags unattended in public areas. Besides the possibility of theft, they could also be suspected as containing explosives, and will be eventually shot by police.
Can you Drive Your Rental Car in the West Bank?
Renting a car? Make sure you are NOT entering areas you do not wish to enter. It is impossible to enter the Gaza strip by mistake, but around parts of the West Bank you may not be safe driving a car with an Israeli license plate. You should also remember that most of the local car rental insurance does not include Area A of the West Bank.
Dress Modestly where needed
If you are going to holy sites, DO NOT dress immodestly. Whether entering a mosque, a church or a synagogue, shoulders and knees MUST be covered. And no cleavage please. Modest dress code is also required for visiting the Temple Mount, The Baha’i Gardens in Haifa, or walking through any of the Ultra-Orthodox Jewish neighborhoods.
If you are touring the Golan Heights, DO NOT go off paved roads and marked trails. There are many minefields still scattered around in the Golan. They are marked, but be on the safe side! Same for the short drive from to the Baptism site near Jericho (“Qasr El-Yahood“) from the petrol fence.
Caution in the Dead Sea
Planning to Swim at the Dead Sea? DO NOT go with cuts into the water. Just trust us on this one. nor try to dive, or have water fights.
And DO NOT go swimming in the Mediterranean sea during jellyfish season as well… again – just trust us on this one.
Don’t Count only on Falafel
DO NOT concentrate solely on Hummus and Falafel. Israeli street food has a lot more to offer! Shakshuka, Shawarma, Sabich, Bourekas, and Knafeh for desert are just some of the aditional (local) popular dishes. Not to mention, the growing variety of options for fine dining.