Money and budget Israel, Palestine
Money, banks, exchange
The currency as well in Israel 2019, 1 € was worth about 4 shekalim (Shk).
- No problem to change your currencies. It is best to go to currency exchange office (change office) which practice very reasonable rates, substantially identical to each other.
Change is also possible in most post offices and some banks, but the rates are not necessarily better. Avoid changing in hotels, the rates are not attractive.
- Note however that, despite the commission taken by your bank for each withdrawal, the exchange rate remains more attractive when withdrawing money from ATMs.
There are distributors everywhere. For the Visa card, you don't have to worry about the logo appearing on the distributor before inserting your card. However, the Eurocard MasterCard is not accepted in all banks or in all ATMs.
Please note: some ATMs allow you to withdraw shekalim, of course, but also dollars and euros.
- payment cards are accepted in all hotels (except certain guesthouses and B & B's), most restaurants, as well as in stores (be careful, however, about the amount of commission which can be significant).
Even though Palestine had one currency under the British Mandate, the Palestinian pound being the equivalent of one pound sterling, the currency currently in use is the same as in Israel: the shekel.
However, in practice, Palestinians juggle 3 currencies because, depending on their job, they can be paid in Jordanian dinars, US dollars or shekalim. As a rule, daily life is paid in shekalim, rent in dollars and university fees in Jordanian dinars ...
We find distributors in all major cities. But beware, they do not all issue shekalim. In Jordanian banks, they withdraw ... Jordanian dinars. Currency that is then converted either at the bank counter or in a bureau de change. To obtain shekalim (which nevertheless avoids several exchange costs), opt for the Bank of Palestine, the Arab Bank or HSBC: we then have the choice between shekalim, Jordanian dinars and American dollars.
In general, it is possible to pay in Jordanian dinars or in US dollars. The exchange is established according to the daily rate, but the change is always given in shekalim.
- The exchange rate 2019.
- Payment cards are accepted in large hotels and somewhat fancy restaurants.
Budget in Israel
In IsraëAviv, cafes and restaurants are often even more expensive than in Paris.
The ranges indicated correspond to the price of a double room, breakfast generally included. An exception for the “Very inexpensive” category: this is usually the rate for a single bed in a dormitory.
Tourists are exempt from the 17% tax on overnight stays, be sure to check the note.
- Cheap Average prices: from 250 to Chic: from 400 to 600 Shk or around 115 to 170 $ (around 100 to 150 €).
For Tel Aviv and Jerusalem, the ranges must be revised upwards.
The forks that we indicate correspond to a dish, which we are satisfied most of the time. To save the budget (not the fat on the hips!), Kebab and falafel stands abound.
Warning, prices displayed in restaurants generally do not include service. This is specified on the bill and sometimes the waiter reminds you when he gives it to you. Allow 12% more.
- Cheap Average prices: from 40 to Chic: from 80 to 120 Shk (20 to 30 €).
Forks for Tel-Aviv and Je Cheap Average prices: from 50 to Chic: from 100 to 150 Shk (25 to 37,50 €).
Budget in Palestine
Life is relatively expensive (especially in Ramallah), many products being imported. However, it is a little less so than in Israel. But, if you travel by bus and are satisfied with falafels and mezze in the small restaurants, you limit the damage.
Many sites are free or inexpensive.
The ranges mentioned are equivalent to the price of a double room, breakfast generally included, or a bed in a dormitory (not always cheap, moreover).
- Cheap Moderate price Average prices: from 60 to Chic: from 100 to 150 $ (around 90 to 135 €).
The prices correspond to a dish, often sufficiently large to constitute a meal.
It is customary but not compulsory to leave a 10% tip.
- Cheap Average prices: from 30 to Chic: more than 60 Shk (15 €).
Tipping in Israel
In bars and restaurants, service is not included in the bill. Sometimes, we will add the mention service not included. It takes 12% of the total (10% is a minimum). You can even go up to 15% if you are very satisfied. Conversely, if you don't leave enough, we'll be sure to point it out to you!
Most of the waiters and waitresses are students, and the tip is often their only salary, the fixed amount being ridiculously low.
Sometimes the restaurateur will add the service to the bill and if it's written in Hebrew, you might not notice it. So check the bill, so as not to pay twice for the service!
A small tip in hotels will always be appreciated.
Tip in Palestine
In bars and restaurants, service is not included in the bill. It is therefore customary (but not compulsory) to leave about 10% tip. Likewise, a small tip in hotels is always appreciated.
For those traveling with an agency, it is advisable to give at the end of the trip between $ 5 and $ 10 per person per day to the chauffeur.