I booked two Israeli day tours through Mazada tours through the Internet. They advertised their prices in dollars. They overcharged me by more than $30 per tour. They said it was for conversion into Israeli currency. The math did not add up and I called back. Then they said they charge 5% for a credit card (nobody else does this). Again the math didn't add up. Now I am disputing the charges through my credit card and asking for a full refund. Since the dispute, nobody can get in contact with them regarding this issue.
Unique Suggestions: Use Viator.
Fun Alternatives: Use Viator
Pretty much everything you see on Allenby st. in the blocks that are close to the sea...stay away.
There are a few rare spots that for some reason chose to locate their "life" there and are still legit (and in time they will be mentioned so you could check 'em out too), but all in all... this is the "tourists ghetto" - whether these tourists are out of Israel or out of..."Tel Aviv country".
Once you reach Allenby and King George you're out of the ghetto.
Unique Suggestions: Get drunk.
Alcohol is pretty cheap there I guess.
Helps survive the trauma.
Fun Alternatives: Anywhere but there?
I want to warn fellow tourists for the Customs on the International Airport Ben Gurion. Of course its normal that the Security on the Airport searchs through your luggage and that they ask you all kind of questions, even weird questions. No problem in my opinion. Its all done for safety.
The problem I experienced yesterday (may 30, 2009) was that someone from the Airport Security (or Customs) asked me to sit down after I was being X-rayed, while he took my boarding pass and passport away from me. Once in the air I discovered that he had "stolen" or "removed" page 1 and 2 from my Passport, making it INVALID. Page 1 and 2 from my Passport contained stamps from both Dubai (Airport) and Abu Dhabi (Airport). I have been on those Airports last year (2008) when I was on my way to the Philippines.
I was lucky enough to fly back to my own country. But I have to purchase a new Passport, because my current Passport is now invalid. I had no knowledge that the Customs or Security at the Airport were taking out those pages.
They actually destroyed my Passport without informing me (I am a European jew).
Unique Suggestions: If you have stamps in your Passport from Arabian Countries such as the Emirates, and you have to go to Israel, its best to buy a new Passport in advance. It will spare you a lot of troubles with the customs on Ben Gurion Airport.
Fun Alternatives: Another solution might be to ask for a second Passport in your own country. In my country that is a possibility.
The reconstructed area of Jaffa is one huge tourist trap. It's a beautiful place to visit and explore all the little shops. The whole area is occupied by artists, selling their artifacts in their studios. But, do not try to go to one of the restaurants there. They are usually bad, overpriced and Kosher. Instead, go to one of the restaurants in other area of Jaffa. There you'll find much better and cheaper restaurants, selling mostly sea food and Arab dishes.
"Go to the top floor of the Shalom Tower, Tel Aviv's largest building, and you can see for miles over the entire city. It's amazing!" That's what I was told anyway.
And I'm sure it is, except that after I'd walked half way over town to get there I found out that the top floor is currently closed. The smiling security guard couldn't tell me why (not being awkward, he just didn't seem to know) but by the way he laughed as I asked him I'm sure he's getting used to turning away disappointed tourists! There are 30 floors, the top being an observation deck with panoramic views, but at the moment you can only get so far as the 29th - but these are all offices so there's no view.
On the lower floors are shops and cafes and an interesting art mural, but it's the view that you come here for, and at the moment it's not there!!
Don't think you will be able to get money at every bank. It isn't possible. But do go to bank Hapoalim! At this bank bancards and creditcards are accepted (bring your pasport too). The cashmachines of Bank Hapoalim will accept your bankcards / other cards for sure.