Fuelling your car at Paz and paying with creditcar
Whenever you rent a vehicle in Israel DO NOT go to Paz and try to pay with your creditcard or better: Do not go there at all! The only way you can pay with credit card is by the help of a guy of the gas station which means that you will have to pay the SERVICED tarrif instead of the normal one, which is much higher per liter! Also, a lot of mistakes are made with creditcards of they malfunction at their station so that you have more than one amount accounted on your creditcard! This happened to me where I signed only one receipt after I got the fuel.
Unique Suggestions: Pay with cash money, this will avoid the creditcard to be debited more than once.
Fun Alternatives: The alternative is Sonol or Delek Dragon! Sonol is really nice, you go inside, give them your card, they enable the pump for you, you can fuel your vehicle, you go back inside and you pay. Very convenient AND for the non-serviced tariff!Related to:
- Road Trip
- Budget Travel
Car return in Ben Gurion Airport
When you return the rented car you should fill it up. If the tank is not full you'll be charged extra money. Please mind there is no petrol station by the airport nor very near the airport. If you drive from Tel Aviv it is worth to fill it up there.
Another problem is paying by credit card. Some petrol stations do not exept foreign cards. Others do (for example "Yellow"), but they limit the purchase to max 200 NIS. I thought my tank was full but it was nearly full and "Budget" charged me extra $28 for fuel.
Unique Suggestions: Do not let your car going empty. If it is really empty, fill it up twice before returning.
Don't use credit cards in Jerusalem souk
We were advised, by a local Palestinian, that we should not use credit cards in the Jerusalem souk (market). He said that many people, on returning home, had found two or even three extra zeros on the end of their transactions totals.
In addition, always ask the price BEFORE you eat your food if you eat in the souk. We ended up paying US$100 for little more than some lamb pieces and several salads. If you make the same mistake we did, try asking for a receipt before parting with your money - this might encourage the vender to reduce their prices.
Unique Suggestions: If you would like to shop in the souk and don't have cash, locate an ATM before hand and draw the cash to pay for your transactions.Related to:
- Religious Travel
The unit of currency in Israel is the New Israeli shekel (NIS).
However, you cna bring an unlimited amount of cash or traveller´s cheques into the country.
Some shops accept foreign currency, although change will be in shekels.
Most credit cards are accepted and money can be changed in hotels as well.
Unique Suggestions: In my experience, was not really a problem.
The fist day I have changed some Euro into Shekels and later, I was able to take money (shekels) from cashier machines without no problem at all.
I have also pay by credit card in some shops as convenience.Related to:
- Business Travel
- Work Abroad
- Study Abroad
If you are thinking in travel to Israel the first thing to bear in mind is to have a valid passport. Also is important to check with the Israeli Embassy whether a visa is required.
The period of stay with a normal tourist visa is three months and transit visas are issued for five-day stopovers in Israel.
If you have some Arabic stamps in your passport, prepare to be questioned... They will check everything and everyone.
Unique Suggestions: Israel has a limited number of entry points.
By air: Ben-Gurion International Airport
Sea-ports: Haifa, Ashdod, Eilat and Tel Aviv.
- Allenby Bridge, tel (02) 994-2626: private cars are permitted but not taxis and hire cars and visitors who require visas for Israel must obtain these before crossing the border.
- Arava, tel (07) 336812: Private cars are permitted and also buses runing from the Jordania side to Petra. You may have to wait for two hours to cross the border.
- Jordan River, tel (06) 658-6442
- Rafiah, tel (07) 673-4274
-Taba, tel (07) 597-6115: Open 24 hours. Buses run from Eliat.
Exit fees are payable at the land border crossings, as are entry fees into Jordan and Egypt.
Also anyone entering Israel from the Gaza Strip is required to clear Isreal immigration at one of four checkpoints.
Fun Alternatives: BEAR IN MIND that most borders are closed on Yom Kippur and on certain Muslim holidays.Related to:
- Road Trip
- Business Travel
There are Israel Tourist Offices in many cities around the world, but you can also find them in Israel in the major towns as:
- Jerusalem: Jaffa Gate - tel (02) 628-0382
- Eilat: Arava Hoghway Corner - tel (07) 637-2111
- Haifa: 48 Ben Gurion Boulevard - tel (04) 851-2208
and at Ben Gurion International Airport - tel (03) 971-1145
Unique Suggestions: You can also check the information that the Tourist offices offer you and contrast with the local people in the cities you are visiting. This will bring you further information about the things that are going on at the moment you are visiting the country.
Fun Alternatives: You can also check: www.infotour.co.ilRelated to:
- Budget Travel
- Family Travel
- Arts and Culture
Skip the Muslim Quarter shuk
No lie, it's a rip off. Also, they harrass you to death. Go around to the Jewish Quarter, where the atmosphere is calm, peaceful and the shopkeepers do not bully you at all--plus you can sit and eat in peace, and walk to the kotel (western wall).
Unique Suggestions: Do not be bullied. Do not get pickpocketed by the hordes of children. The shopkeepers will ploy you until you give in--walk away without explaining because no explanation will be good enough. This is business.
Fun Alternatives: Take the 38 bus from anywhere along King George street and arrive at the Jewish Quarter.
Don't let Arabian people (no...
Don't get lost in the evening in dark alleys of old Jerusalem. It is dangerous.
Don't buy too expensive mineral water, learn some Hebrew and Arabian numbers -locals pay less!-
Don't visit Tiberias at the the Lake of Galilea when there is a festival (in august). It is very touristic and too expensive at that time! Visit another time and book your stay in a guesthouse or hostel. The hotels are very expensive! I had to pay up 150 dollars for a one night stay, because at festival time you could only get rooms at expensive hotels, all guesthouses and hostels were full.
The Dead Sea
The Dead Sea (which is actually a lake, not a sea) lies at the lowest point of the 4,000-mile (6,000-km) Great Rift Valley that runs from southern Turkey to East Africa. At 1,348 ft (411 m) below sea level, it is also the lowest point on earth. The water is so mineral-laden that it is around 26 percent solid, heavy with magnesium, bromine and iodine. The therapeutic qualities of the water and its mud have been touted since ancient times, and spas and sanatoriums are dotted along the western shore. However, the Dead Sea is endangered; its water level has gone down 40ft (12 m) since the beginning of the 20th century because its main source, the Jordan River, has been over-exploited for irrigation purposes. So now we have millions of people coming from all over to the Dead Sea to get healed or just to do what you see me doing...floating and reading an Israeli newpaper. Just so I could get a picture taken so I could show people back home that you can float.
Unique Suggestions: If it is a must to come and relax at the Dead Sea without the crowd, I think in September to November is a nice and slow time to beat the crowd.
Coke Floats and so does VERE'
I was there the 3rd week of September, I noticed that it's not so crowded. Met friendly locals that just loved to talk and and wanted to get to know you...
Unique Suggestions: Bring your own chairs, snacks, and drinks, enjoy a free stress day out or overnight only because I saw tents at the picnic area.
Fun Alternatives: Masada is not too far may be 20...30 minutes.
Shopping at Tel-Aviv's Central Station
In case you'll decide go shop in some of the stores in Tel-Aviv's Central Station ( especially the ones on the 6th and the 4th floor ) , you would probably come across a unique and somehow unpleasant fact :
In plenty of those stores the salesmen do not show up the prices for their goods . In case you'll show some interest in those goods , the seller would give you a cheesy grin and would tell something like : "Don't worry , just try it , and I'll sell you this for an excellent price !" .
Trust me , I can tell you from experience : the so-called "excellent" price is definately going to be excellently ... high ! As soon as you'll hear the number of shekels you'll have to give away , all your good mood would fade away , and this so-necessary thing you just wanted to buy would look like the most useless thing in the world !
I can remember that time when I wanted to buy a pair of sandals in one of those stores at the Central Station . The sandals have obviously been made of cheap , low-quality fake leather , and I haven't imagined they would cost more than 70 shekels . And guess what - the salesman had the nerve to ask ... 300 shekels ! So here ...
Unique Suggestions: In case you still strongly desire to buy the thing , try to bargain :-) Some of those salesmen are eager to sell their goods , so they can give up on a few dozens of shekels :-)
Fun Alternatives: Simply avoid shopping in this kind of stores . If the salesman does not give you the necessary information immideately - feel free to turn your back and go to other store , where you would get more decent service :-)
Taxis are a good way to get around locally especially if a few of you are sharing the fare (this way it can work out cheaper than using public transportation), but make sure always that the driver puts on his meter, it is the law and always comes out cheaper than any price he will quote you. However, travelling between cities by taxi is very expensive, so use the sherut services which are organised shuttle services between cities with fixed prices. This is quite often a mini-bus which holds up to 10 passengers. Or use the train or bus services. No-one tips a taxi driver in Israel.
Mobile Phones (Cellulars)
Ok, this was our nightmare there.
We both had roaming from our respective countries, so we though there was not going to be any problem.
At the begining was fine, as we were only phoning to a mobile phone of the same company as the one we were on roaming there (orange). But once we tried to phone another telephone from another company, they did not recognise the number, so we had to change continuosly of company anytime we had to phone someone .... a nightmare lol...
Apropo and Kapulski
The restaurants Apropo and Kapulski. Their food is average, but their prices are very expensive and the service in most is slow and not friendly.
Fun Alternatives: Try instead "Aroma" or "Naphis", good service and good taste.
Caearea by the Sea.
Caesarea is such an old city and by this beautiful blue sea, people naturally just want to come and enjoy.
Unique Suggestions: Just go with the flow, remember this is the Holy Land and every Tom, Dick, and Harry will be here with you or not.
Fun Alternatives: When I was there, yes there was plenty of people, but you can alway venture off and be by your self to take in all the beauty. But then you'll be missing out on some of the theatric that some of the tour guides do for their visitor.
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