Money & Costs in Israel

When it comes to the country of Israel, many people first reflect its strong historical culture and religious beliefs, so what about the price level in this mysterious country? How much does it cost to travel to Israel?


What currency is used in Israel?

The current currency of Israel is the New Shekel (Shekel, the standard symbol NIS), and the secondary currency is Agra . 1 New Shekel = 100 Agra.


How to exchange dollars for shekels?

If you bring cash and want to exchange for shekels, you have 3 options:

  • 1. Bank
  • 2. Post Office
  • 3. Currency exchange point

There will be fewer people to choose between the bank and the post office. Therefore, regarding the exchange of foreign exchange on the ground, most people exchange it at the currency exchange point. Most people exchange US dollars for shekels in Israel, and they also go to currency exchange offices to exchange them.


Currency exchange

The Israeli New Shekel is divided into banknotes and coinage. Banknotes come in 1, 5, 10, 20, 50, 100, 200 NIS denominations. Minting coins are 5, 10, 50 new Agora coins and 1, 5 new shekel coins. Rounding up to 1 new shekel equals 100 new Agora. The ratio of old and new coins is 1:1000. All foreign currencies can be exchanged at airports, banks, post offices, most hotels or licensed foreign exchange agencies in major cities. Passport is required to cash traveler's cheques. The exchange rate varies from place to place, and the bank may charge a certain amount of handling fee.


In Israel, you can exchange US dollars for shekels, not at a bank, but at a currency exchange office. Currency exchange points are widely distributed on the main streets of downtown Tel Aviv and are operated by different companies. As long as you see something "currency exchange", "financial service", or "money transfer" from a distance, they basically provide currency exchange services. , when you get close, you will see an electronic bulletin board on the business window to update the cash buying and selling price of the day. If you don't want to go to the city and then rush to find a currency exchange point, it is recommended to change some at the airport first. After all, Israeli taxi drivers basically don't charge US dollars, only shekels. The location of the currency exchange point at Ben Gurion Airport: On the left side of the gate directly opposite the gate after exiting the customs passage (arrival hall).


In addition to cash, almost all merchants in Israel accept card payments, including tips. Israeli tip is generally not less than 10%, just tell the waiter when you swipe the card and add a few percent to the bill. Unfortunately, only credit cards with master and VISA logos can be used at POS machines, not UnionPay. Although UnionPay cards cannot be swiped at POS machines, cash can be withdrawn directly from local ATMs. Currently, bank leumi is the only withdrawal bank in Israel that cooperates with UnionPay, and it is also the second largest bank in Israel. Bank Leumi is the only withdrawal bank in Israel that cooperates with UnionPay, and it is also the second largest bank in Israel. It is usually the ATM with blue color.



There are two main types of ATMs in Israel

  • 1. ATM machines privately owned by stores
  • 2. Bank's ATM machine


Local tour guides say both are trustworthy and legal, maybe private ATMs will charge a little bit more. If you don't know where Bank Leumi is, you can also open Google Maps at your location and search for Bank Leumi and you will find it!



Tips for currency exchange in Israel

  • 1. If traveling to smaller towns, please bring enough cash. ATMs are not widely available outside major cities like Tel Aviv, Jerusalem, Nazareth and Haifa.
  • 2. If you are running out of cash, don't wait to withdraw money at the last minute, ATMs in Israel sometimes may not have ATMs available on Friday/Saturday. Since no one is going to put ATMs on the Sabbath (from sunset on Friday to sunset on Saturday), most people take their money on Friday, and once the ATM runs out of money, there may be no cash.
  • 3. If you go to Bethlehem and other Palestine areas, you can use US dollars or shekels. It seems that US dollars are more popular. Try to avoid using credit cards there. The local tour guide explained that there are security risks in some stores.


Credit card usage

Holders of domestic bank credit cards marked with VISA and MasterCard can swipe the card in some stores in Israel, and can use ATM to withdraw money.


Travel cost in Israel

Israel is a place where various religions and cultures meet and merge, and people have a high degree of belief in beliefs and customs. Prices in Israel are higher, and the level is the same as that of Western European countries. A cup of coffee is about 10 shekels, and a burger is 20-30 shekels. Israel is full of sunshine from April to October every year, which is the best travel season.


Israel's Consumption Level - Attractions

The magnificent Western Wall was originally the remnant façade of the Jewish Temple on the Temple Mount, also known as the "Wailing Wall", no entrance fee required. The Baja Gardens on Mount Carmel is a must in Haifa Missed attractions, tickets are free. Some of the more famous attractions in Old Jaffa include Gan HaPasga, which does not require admission.


Israel's Consumption Level - Food and Beverage

Tala Hummus and Falefel, a very typical Israeli dish, with fried vegetable balls falafel and hummus hummus sauce, it tastes good, the price is not high.



Israel's Consumption Level - Accommodation

There is a saying in the Jewish Talmud: "If the world is very beautiful, nine points are in Jerusalem". The old town, surrounded by city walls, is a must-see for pilgrimage, where three major religious shrines converge. The price of a three-star hotel is about $120, the price of a four-star hotel is about $130, and the price of a five-star hotel is about $200.


Israel's Consumption Level - Transportation

The railway line in Israel is very short. In order to experience it, I deliberately chose to take the train to Ben Gurion Airport with a ticket of 14 shekels. It takes 1 hour and 20 minutes to go to downtown Haifa, and each ticket is 38.5 shekels; if you go to Jerusalem, you need to transfer from Tel Aviv Hahagana Railway Station, which takes about 2 hours in total. How to get to the long-distance bus station: Take bus number 4 (fare 6 shekels) from the city center station (located on Ben Yehuda Street).


Israel Travel Tips Reference




$2-4 per day

Guided tour

$3-5 per day

Restaurant staff

10% of the meal fee


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