Israel

Overview

From Andrew Harper

Most visitors arrive in Tel Aviv, a thriving, cosmopolitan Mediterranean city, founded just 100 years ago, with cafés and lively gallery districts. In contrast, Jerusalem’s Old City is a UNESCO World Heritage site; its nearly 220 historic monuments include the Western Wall and Temple, the Dome of the Rock, the Al-Aqsa Mosque and the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. Outside of the walled Old City, West Jerusalem is a modern and bustling place. Shopping and nightlife areto befound here, along with a multitude of museums, includingthe Yad Vashem memorial and Holocaust museum.

CLIMATE: The long summer (late April to early October) is dominated by hot, dry air from the Arabian Desert to the east. From October to April, low-pressure systems sweep in from the Mediterranean, producing cool and rainy weather.

TIME: Seven hours ahead of New York (EST).

CURRENCY: New shekel (ILS). Fluctuating rate valued at ILS4 = US$1.00 as of February 2014. Note: All of our suggested hotels quote rates in US$.

U.S. EMBASSY: Tel Aviv, Tel. 3-519-7475. Consulate: Jerusalem, Tel. 2-630-4000.

DIRECT DIAL CODES: To phone hotels in Israel, dial 011 (international access) + 972 (Israel code) + city code and local numbers in listings.

ENTRY REQUIREMENTS: Passport (valid for six months beyond end of stay). Visit travel.state.gov, and for travelers’ health information, cdc.gov.

GENERAL INFORMATION: Visit goisrael.com before your trip.

Hotels

All recommended hotels in Israel

Jerusalem, Israel
King David
King David

Ideally located 233-room landmark hotel, popular with diplomats and visiting dignitaries, in a parklike setting overlooking the ramparts of the Old City, a 10-minute walk from major historic sites and the modern city’s center.

The American Colony Hotel
The American Colony Hotel

Historic and elegant 96-room mansion-style hotel within a walled compound in East Jerusalem, long a favorite with the world’s press corps, celebrities and dignitaries.

Tel Aviv, Israel
Hotel Montefiore
Hotel Montefiore

Stylish boutique hotel in a restored two-story 1920s mansion, steps from Rothschild Boulevard in the center of the city.