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Cost of visiting Israel

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Cost of visiting Israel

My friend and I are planning to visit Israel for about a week in late May. We'll try to hit the hot spots such as Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, Nazareth, Jordan Valley (Dead Sea, etc.), Eliat, and Western Galilee. Typically, how much will transportation cost going between each of the regions? I'm thinking about renting a room in Jerusalem and traveling out each day from there. What about daily food costs?

Basically, I'm trying to estimate how much money I will need for the trip, besides the plane ticket and room. I'm from the U.S. We have favorable USD/ILS exchange rate.

Edited: 09 April 2012, 12:06
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1. Re: Cost of visiting Israel

Welcome to the Israel Forums

First of all, Israel is not an inexpensive country. It is also not a good idea to go without hotel reservations. You just can't expect to come over and rent a room. It is also not a good idea to spend your whole time in Jerusalem. Although a small country you would be wasting a HUGE amount of time ( and money) going back and forth to Jerusalem.

You indicate you are planning on coming in late May. Be aware that May 27th is a holiday. So, like on the Sabbath ( Saturday) there will be no public transportation available. ( there are taxis and shared taxis, the later being only in some areas) What you want to see is also a lot for "about" a week. If you clarify how many days you plan on being in Israel than we can give you a better outline of where to spend your days.

Houston, Texas
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2. Re: Cost of visiting Israel

Thanks for the response.

I was planning on using airbnb to rent a room in Jerusalem. I suppose the alternative is renting a room in each region we visit. How hard/costly is that? Would I need to book a room in advance in every region? I assume we'll spend seven days in Israel. We haven't worked out the exact dates just yet.

Israel
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3. Re: Cost of visiting Israel

Yes you need to book rooms in advance especially if you are relying on public transportation. I suggest staying in youth hostels in each area or Christian guest houses where you may find a room for as little as $60 per night per person. Figure on an average of $15 per day per person for transportation on buses and at least four times that by taxi. Meals also alot an average of $10 per person per meal, with breakfast generally included with the price of the room.

Chana

Israel

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4. Re: Cost of visiting Israel

Clearly, the bus is preferable to the taxi. Is it possible to get to every destination by bus? Or at least possible to seldom use the taxi?

How do I find a Christian guest house in each area in advance?

Edited: 09 April 2012, 14:56
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5. Re: Cost of visiting Israel

Oh, also, what about maybe renting a room in Jerusalem for attractions on the south and east and then renting a room for the last half of the week in Tel-Aviv for everything on the coast and in Nazareth?

Edited: 09 April 2012, 14:58
Israel
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6. Re: Cost of visiting Israel

Look here for bus timetables:

http://tinyurl.com/c6uvrgg

If you can't find a direct bus, search using "include connections".

Note that the Galilee area is not well served by public transport.

Another note: in view of the Passover holiday, which ends this coming Friday, bus times for the next few days may not be what they are on "normal" days so don't be surprised when you see no buses listed to anywhere on Friday. Everything will be back to normal in that respect on Sunday April 15.

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7. Re: Cost of visiting Israel

I suggest dropping Eilat from your itinerary if you are only visiting for a week. It takes about 5 hrs by bus to drive down there, so if you spend one full day in Eilat you have used three days of your vacation. Note also that Eilat is mainly a beach resort, so unless you are interested in sea diving you can spend a day at the beach on the Mediterranean coast as an alternative.

Israel
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8. Re: Cost of visiting Israel

With only a week in Israel I would skip Eilat, it is a 4-5 hour bus ride to get there and will take up 1-2 days of your short time here.

You can visit the Dead Sea area from Jerusalem. Tel Aviv is good as a base for sites on the coast however, I would not use it as a base for the Galilee area as you will again spend too much time "commuting" back and forth.

Regarding costs, if you will be taking long bus rides back and forth from Jerusalem and or Tel Aviv, rather than staying in the north, you will be spending more than $15 a day for buses.

You can economize on your meals by stopping at grocery stores etc and picking up whatever you need for picnics along the way.

Keep in mind that in "normal" weeks there is no public transportation from Friday afternoon (around 4 pm) until Sat. nite after nightfall. - this applies to trains and buses but not taxis.

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9. Re: Cost of visiting Israel

Youth hostels are a good suggestion, and airbnb is also a good idea.

However you need to plan approximately what your itinerary is in advance - it's not easy to find places to stay at the last minute.

For 7 days, I would suggest starting with 2 days in Tel Aviv, then take a rental car for 2 days to drive up to the Galilee, then drive south to the Dead Sea and Masada for 1 day, and end up with 2 days in Jerusalem.

If you can add 2-3 days to your trip, then add 1 more day for the Med coast going north from Tel Aviv, and 1-2 more days in Jerusalem.

Israel
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10. Re: Cost of visiting Israel

Here are two lists of hostels in Israel:

www.hihostels.com/dba/country-IL.en.htm

http://www.hostels-israel.com/index.asp