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ISRAEL: Travel Tips

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-Israelis are usually very informal but in keeping with the European style of hospitality.

-Visitors should observe normal courtesies when visiting someone’s home and should not be afraid to ask questions about the country as most Israelis are happy to talk about their homeland, religion and politics.

-Often the expression shalom (‘peace’) is used for hello and goodbye.

-Dress is casual, but in Christian, Jewish and Muslim holy places, modest attire is worn. For places such as the Wailing Wall, male visitors are given a smart cardboard yarmulke (scull cap) to respect the religious importance of the site.

-Businesspeople are expected to dress smartly, while plush restaurants, nightclubs and hotel dining rooms may require guests to dress for dinner. Formal evening wear is usually specified on invitations.

-It is considered a violation of the Shabbat (Saturday) to smoke in certain restaurants and many hotels. There is usually a sign to remind the visitor, and to disregard this warning would be regarded as discourteous to Orthodox Jews.

-Tipping: less evident than in many other countries. A 15 per cent service charge is added to restaurant, cafe and hotel bills by law.

-Do get an Israel cell phone rental so you can stay in touch and coveniently get important information during your stay.

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