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Travelling and living in Israel

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Originally part of Geography question
Have you travelled or lived in Israel or are you planning to? Ask and answer questions on this thread, and discuss what you like and dislike about travelling and living in Israel.
7 years ago, July 5th 2012 No: 21 Msg: #158428  

I think this is disgusting,...


Indeed! I did hear the security is pretty heavy, but I didnt know about the email part. Thanks for letting me know. I have a special email address for situations like this, but have never yet been asked to log into it by police. Usually, it is just so I can avoid having key loggers and any other email intruders get hold of my banking details, TravelBlog moderator log in details etc. It doesnt have much political stuff in it, but I did unsubscribe from all that is there yesterday after your warning, just to make sure it all stops long before the security at Tel Aviv ask me to log into it. 😊

The bag searching does make me a little nervous, but only because one of my travel habits is to take all my oldest underwear and socks, and throw them out after wearing, to prevent having to wash them while travelling. It is a bit embarassing when airport security people have a bit too much time on their hands, and insist on pulling a lot of things out of my bag. One time, I was wearing unmatching socks with some holes in them, going to Dublin from Germany. The airport security lady spent much longer than one would expect scanning my feet, and asking if I would lift up my foot so she could scan under etc. Maybe it was just too weird for her, that I was wearing such nice clothes and then there are those street urchint socks under my high healed attractively fashionable boots.

My best advice is to be ready for it and keep calm.


I will, now that I have been warned. 😊
Up until now, I thought Indonesia was the worst security experience I have had so far, but looks like Israel might even top it.
Here is a blog I made about entering Indonesia.
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Are you able to give me any idea of how much money ill need per day?


From what I have read so far, I am guessing the costs are similiar to central Europe. For backpacking, in countries with these costs, I generally spend anything from 20 Euros to 150 Euros in a day, depending on what I want to do that day, how much money I have managed to save up for the trip... As well as the falafal suggestions above, supermarkets always have lots of stuff you can buy for making picnics. And, some accomodation has facilities where you can cook and make coffee.

...they have strict rules and curfews...


I remember reading something about those and almost forgot about them. Apparently though, Tel Aviv is up and going all night every night. Where and when do the curfews happen, in Israel?

I love hummus and falafals, so much so that I even make them at home sometimes. Thanks for the list Yoav! I will take it with me. 😊

Does anyone have a town or place at the Dead Sea to suggest, where there is a wide range of accomodation, or some budget or budgetish accomodation at least? Preferably someplace possible or easy even to get to from Jerusleum by bus.



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7 years ago, July 7th 2012 No: 22 Msg: #158503  
I'm probably going to be going to Jerusalem, Bethlehem, and Tel Aviv pretty soon while I'm in Jordan. Anyone know any sights that are must sees or some out of the way places i may want to go that aren't on the tourist map? Reply to this

7 years ago, July 7th 2012 No: 23 Msg: #158508  
What sort of sights interest you, Johnny - historical, religious, natural? Reply to this

7 years ago, July 9th 2012 No: 24 Msg: #158613  

In response to: Msg #158508

Hi Shane,

Mostly religious and historical for this trip Reply to this

7 years ago, July 9th 2012 No: 25 Msg: #158614  
N Posts: 33
If you're eating for one person, buying falafel on the street can often be cheaper than buying food in the supermarket.

Curfews inside Israel? what are you talking about?

Deadsea: Last time I was there was more than 10 years ago, the beach was full of 4 and 5 star resorts. For cheaper stuff you should try a place called Ein Gedi.

City of David would be a good place to visit, and take a guided tour.

Also, take a guided tour of the old central bus station area in Tel Aviv. There are tours in Hebrew, I don't know if there are tours in English (if there aren't any, there should be).
Keep in mind that this is a very dangerous area full of crime, drugs and prostitution. So don't go there alone, especially if you look like a tourist. This, I would say, is not on the tourist map and shows a different side of Israel.

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7 years ago, July 10th 2012 No: 26 Msg: #158633  
Regarding curfews - the only curfew I was referring to are ones inside some of the convents. They can close their doors before midnight (including one I stayed at in Nazareth), and if you are not inside the compound by then, you will need to find another place to sleep for the night. I never experienced any other type of curfews whilst travelling through the country. Reply to this

7 years ago, August 3rd 2012 No: 27 Msg: #159505  
Another question Yoav(or anyone who knows) if you have time, is it safe to drink the tap water in Israel? I dont want to waste my money on buying water, unless it is absolutely necessary.

Trying to find the information about the curfews in the Lonely Planet has caused me to find more places I really want to see in Israel. I think, I will add Bethleham to my list. Christmas shops open all year, seems incredible. I didnt find anything about the curfews. I must have been remembering something of Shanes that I read at some stage. 😊 Reply to this

7 years ago, August 11th 2012 No: 28 Msg: #159763  
I'm in the process of publishing my blogs from Israel and Palestine. I stayed all 3 nights in Bethlehem Mell so if you have any questions I'll do my best to answer them 😊 Reply to this

7 years ago, August 12th 2012 No: 29 Msg: #159819  
Thanks Johnny! 😊 I'll be sure to ask you any questions that come up.

I am in the middle of reading your blog about Bethleham right now. Those security checks seem even more daunting than ever, now that I read the details about them in your blog. I don't travel with a laptop or phone. I wonder if that will make the security checks easier or more difficult. Maybe they will just wave me on after the bag search, or maybe they will insist that nobody travels without technology these days...

Oh, I have a question already for you Johnny or anyone who stayed in Bethleham. Is it easy to get internet access there? I mean, are there internet cafes, and internet at the hotels and hostels? When there is not internet somewhere I am going, I need to warn my boyfriend in advance so he doesn't worry that something happened to me when he gets no emails from me. Reply to this

7 years ago, August 12th 2012 No: 30 Msg: #159822  
No problem 😊

laptops shouldn't cause a problem at the checkpoint. they're only scanning for weapons and as long as you're not arab (especially Palestinian) than you shouldn't encounter any difficulties. The checkpoint is just a hassle as it is time consuming, especially for someone who looks arab.

I stayed at a friend's house who had wifi but it seemed there were quite a few restaurants/hotels that had internet, although i can't testify to the quality. I did not see any internet cafes while i was there though. I can ask my friend who lives there and get more info if you like 😊 Reply to this

7 years ago, August 13th 2012 No: 31 Msg: #159876  
Thanks again Johnny! 😊

Check out this gem of a hostel in Bethleham. I usually just choose the cheapest hostel, as long as it is in a central location. But, this hostel in Bethleham seems well worth the extra few Euros. Ex home of a Mayor of Bethleham no less. It is almost an a attraction in itself, and not just some place to sleep. And, the views from it, especially from the roof seem pretty amazing.

Bethleham Youth Hostel

I hope they are not too serious about the Youth part of their hostel name, because I am not all that young. I do refuse to grow up though, so maybe that counts for something. 😊
[Edited: 2012 Aug 13 09:49 - Mell:49612 ]
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7 years ago, August 13th 2012 No: 32 Msg: #159877  

In response to: Msg #159876

Wow yea that does look nice! I will warn you though, from Bethlehem it will probably take you at least 45 mins to get to Jerusalem if you take the bus. After going through the West Bank checkpoint take the #24 or #124 bus for 5.50 shekels and that will take you right to Damascus Gate and the Old City. Its the last stop on the 24/124 so you can't miss it. The bus back to Bethlehem leaves from the same place at Damascus Gate. You could always take a taxi and it may be a little faster but you're going to have to pay a lot more.

So if you don't mind the longer commute, its nice to support Bethlehem's local economy since most visitors are only half day tourists. Reply to this

7 years ago, November 13th 2012 No: 33 Msg: #163074  
I can now claim to know from experience what it is like to travel in Israel. I as there last month, and here is the blog about it. It is the longest blog I have written so far. It is such a small country with so much to see. I want to go back there, in the not too distant future to check out what I missed on this trip. Next trip is to the Andaman islands. Maybe Israel after that? Don't know yet. 😊

null blog 752209 Reply to this

6 years ago, January 2nd 2013 No: 34 Msg: #164846  
I've been reading in the English language Israeli newspapers about women being harassed by ultra-Orthodox men and boys. This includes an eight year old girl walking to school and women praying at the Western Wall. The harassment is anything from shouting to spitting to throwing rocks.

How prevalent is this?

I am a near-sighted, middle aged, Caucasian American female. Can I wear a short-sleeved shirt? How about shorts?

While I'm up for an adventure, I'd prefer not to be stoned! Reply to this

6 years ago, January 2nd 2013 No: 35 Msg: #164848  
N Posts: 33
Mell, I read your emails when they were published and I thoroughly enjoyed them.

Kuan Yin, you won't get stoned.

Here's the reported you're talking about:
http://972mag.com/watch-ultra-orthodox-spit-on-immodest-8-year-old-girl-in-bet-shemesh/31268/

It caused serious outrage in Israel and people didn't stop talking about it for days.

So when in some parts of Jersualem and generally in religious areas, dress modestly. In other areas, wear what you want.

I would also advise to watch this:
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