What to Wear in Israel: 9 Essential Tips from a Local

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Israel is a very culturally-diverse country. Jews, Muslims, Christians and other religions share this small piece of land and they each have their sects and sub-cultures. From scantily-clad people at the beaches of Tel Aviv to Hasidic Jews in formal black clothes and fully covered Muslim women in hijabs – you’ll see it all during your visit to Israel. Which begs the question for travelers: What to wear in Israel? What dress code should you adopt to avoid offending others and stay out of trouble?

What to wear in Israel

I’ve lived in Israel all my life – that’s almost 45 years now, mind! – so I can recognize the local dress codes and know what to wear where. I’ve put together this list of essential tips that should help you understand what to wear in Israel and figure out what to pack for your journey.

Editing to add – 

More than 100 readers have asked more about what to wear in Israel in the comments section, so I decided to update this post with answers to the most common question: What to wear in Israel during each month of the year.

The complete list of what to wear in Israel month-by-month is available right after the nine tips. Have an awesome trip!

Tip #1 – Keep it casual

Generally speaking, dress codes are extremely relaxed in modern Israeli society. That said, it’s always a good rule for us travelers to avoid torn and dirty clothes. Casual does not mean looking like a bum. Just try to blend in with clean and tidy casual wear.

As a rule, jackets and ties are not required, unless you are a lawyer or judge in a courtroom. As a traveler, you are probably neither, so you can safely leave the tie and jacket back home.

What to wear in Israel: Casual dress is the norm in Israel, for both men and women
Casual dress is the norm in Israel, for both men and women

You’re likely to see young men in t-shirts and jeans even at gourmet restaurants, concerts or the local opera. A button-up shirt is more commonly worn for these occasions – especially with the older generation – but that’s as fancy and formal as it gets for most Israeli men.

For women, gowns are reserved for weddings. A nice dress or blouse are the norm for a fancy outing, but ladies, you can absolutely get away with a pair of jeans and any clean shirt as well.

Tip #2 – Dress for the summer heat

In Israel, sum mer begins around April and can last all the way through October.  If you’re wondering what to wear in Israel during a summer visit then the answer is: airy, short and comfortable.

Would you need any warm clothes at all during summertime? A light jacket or long-sleeve shirt is recommended for for evenings spent in the desert, Jerusalem or the Golan Heights. Also, you’ll find most place in Israel are fully air-conditioned which some people find too chilly. That extra layer could come handy if you’re one of those people.

What to wear in Israel in summertime
The Tel Aviv area is very hot and humid during July-August, so dress accordingly

Oh, and no need to bring an umbrella. Rain is extremely rare between the months of May and September

Tip #3 Hike in appropriate clothes

Hiking is best done during the cooler months but if you must hike in Israel during  summertime, wear lightweight long-sleeve clothes and try to cover as much as your skin as possible. Avoid hiking in the middle of the day  and opt for the cooler hours of early morning and late afternoon.

Use sunscreen to protect yourself from the sun even if you’re hiking in a sleeveless shirt and a pair of shorts. Don’t forget a hat and sunglasses!

Cover yourself against the sun when hiking in Israel
Cover yourself against the sun when hiking in Israel

Most trails are relatively short, so choose your hiking shoes accordingly. Many of the locals happily hike in a good pair of sandals or sneakers.

Tip #4 Be prepared for any kind of weather during winter

Snow in Jerusalem. It happens almost every winter so bring warm clothes!
Snow in Jerusalem. It happens almost every winter so bring warm clothes!

What to wear in Israel during the short winter period is actually a good question. The locals face that dilemma practically every morning.  Some days can definitely be warm enough for t-shirts, especially in the coastal areas or if you’re out hiking. However, we do get cold fronts, rain and the occasional local storm, so bring along a rainproof jacket and some warm clothes.

Jerusalem, the Upper Galilee and the Golan Heights tend to be colder than the coastal areas and can even get some snow during winter. Yes. I did say snow. I know some people think of Israel as some sort of scorching desert, but it really isn’t. It can actually get cold and even snow during winter time.

Speaking of the desert, remember that it can get very cold during the night out there during wintertime. Don’t let the sun fool you. You can hike in sandals and shorts during the day, but bring something warm to wear in the evenings and early mornings. Last, but not least, it can actually snow in the desert as well, so keep an eye on the weather forecast if your itinerary includes a desert hike.

The key for what to wear in Israel during winter time is the same as everywhere else in the world: Layers. Check the local weather forecast and dress accordingly, adding or taking off layers as may be necessary.

Tip #5 Pack a swimsuit!

There are so many options for swimming in Israel, every month of the year, you simply must bring a swimming suit. The Mediterranean sea starts warming up in June and stays warm enough to swim until late October. Even during winter time, it’s never as cold as the ocean.

You can also bathe in the Sea Of Galilee or the Jordan River, for a recreational experience with a spiritual twist. There are several lovely swimming holes in Israel. Some are fed by hot springs so you can enjoy a swim there during wintertime as well.

The Jordan River offers many spots for a quick dip in its cool refreshing water
The Jordan River offers many spots for a quick dip in the cool refreshing water

The Dead Sea is Bucket List item for your visit and the exprience won’t be complete without the obligatory float in the extra-salty water. Make sure you read my Complete Guide For Visiting The Dead Sea before you head out there.

Last, but not least, swimming and diving in the Red Sea is an amazing experience, so if you can work 2-3 days in Eilat into your itinerary, you’re definitely going to use that bathing suit.

Tip #6 Cover up when visiting religious sites

What to wear in Israel when visiting religious places
A pashmina or a wrap are useful for visiting religious places.

If you’re visiting any religious site, such as a mosque, synagogue, church or even the Wailing Wall, cover yourself. In most places, clothes that cover you up to your elbows and your knees should be ok. That means avoiding bermuda pants or short skirts.

Definitely avoid sleeveless shirts. Some places will be ok with t-shirts but others not so much not so much. To stay on the safe side, carry a long-sleeve shirt or even a pashmina with you. Wrap up if you’re asked to. This rule holds true for men and women and for places of worship of all local religions.

If you’re visiting while a ceremony is taking place, or the locals are praying, respect their festive customs and dress up a bit. A buttoned-up shirt, long pants and shoes for men, and a long-sleeve and long dress or skirt for women are usually enough. You may be asked to cover your head as well, so come prepared with your own hat or wrap.

Tip #7 Cover yourself properly when visiting Orthodox Jewish neighborhoods

There are several areas in Israel where extreme Orthodox Jewish communities reside. The most famous ones being in the Me’ah She’arim area in Jerusalem and the city of Bnei Brak, not far from Tel Aviv. Local secular Jews either stay away from these places or try to dress modestly when visiting them. They’re actually good for an interesting anthropological experience, especially if you read up on the culture or take a guided tour. Just make sure you dress modestly, wearing long sleeves and full-length pants or skirts.

Tip #8 Don’t wear a keffiyeh in Jewish areas

What to wear in Israel? Avoid wearing a keffiyeh to cover your head or face in Jewish areas
Don’t do this! Avoid wearing a keffiyeh to cover your head or face in Jewish areas

The keffiyeh is a traditional Arab head wrap for men. It usually has a red-and-white or black-and-white checkered pattern. You’ll see older people in Arab markets wearing them.

However, anyone wearing one in a Jewish/Israeli town or city is asking for trouble. I won’t go into the complexities of the issue, but the bottom line is, you could be perceived as a potential threat.

What’s going to happen if you do wear one as a scarf? Probably nothing, except for some frowning here and there, but someone could call the cops on you and they may ask to see your ID. In Israel, cops can do that at any time, even if you haven’t done anything illegal. If you use a keffiyeh to cover your head, that’s more likely to happen. Cover your face too, you’ll certainly attract the wrong kind of attention.

Assuming you’re in Israel to travel and not to become involved in local politics, it’s best to avoid wearing keffiyehs, just like you shouldn’t try wearing a yarmulke as a fashion statement when visiting Arab villages (less likely to happen, I know).

Tip #9 Keep political slogans off your clothes

It’s not just the Keffiyeh (although that one would be the most problematic in terms of personal safety).

This is an region of intense – and sometimes violent – conflict. To stay out of trouble, it’s best to avoid wearing your heart on your sleeve, or your political views anywhere on your clothes. Don’t  visit a Palestinian village with an overtly Zionist message on your t-shirt, and don’t visit a Jewish area with a pro-Palestinian slogan either. In fact, it’s best to avoid having text in either Hebrew or Arabic on your shirts. People may or may not be able to read it and it could look out of place in the wrong area.

Israel is generally very safe to travel in but it’s always best to avoid conflicts with the locals. It’s also just more polite, I think.

So, what to wear in Israel?

It’s not very complicated, really. Most of these guidelines hold true for travelers everywhere. Dress according to the weather, in clean, respectable clothes, don’t show too much skin in religious places and try not to stick out in a crowd. I hope the tips I provided you with here will help you do just that and keep you comfortable and safe too!

Bonus Guide:  What to wear when visiting Israel by the month

With so many questions regarding specific times of the year, I’ve decided to add this quick guide with specific recommendations for each month of the year.

Remember, Israel is small but its climate is diverse. The coastal areas are generally warmer and more humid.

During summer, you can count on it being hot just about anywhere but indoors it’s almost always air-conditioned. During winter, the Galilee and Jerusalem are usually about 10 degrees colder than the Coastal area (Tel Aviv-Haifa). The desert areas (the Judean Desert/Dead Sea and the Negev Desert/Be’er Sheva) will be nice and warm during the day but cold during the night.

The following month-by-month breakdown assumes that you’ll be visiting Jerusalem and/or the Galilee so covers you for those as well.

  • January-February:
    The temperatures in Jerusalem and the Galilee are in the mid-forties (fahrenheit) so bring a warm jacket or coat. A scarf or warm hat may be necessary too, especially during night time or on a windy day. You could even encounter a day or two of snow in these elevations but nothing worse.
    For your days in Tel Aviv or other coastal locations, bring light clothes. You could get days that are warm enough for shorts, a tee and sandals, especially if you’re doing some hiking/walking. This is the rainy season too, so consider bringing an umbrella along.
  • March
    Still cold(ish) in the Galilee and Jerusalem. A jacket will be required on most days but you may want to wear short sleeves under that jacket. A few minutes of brisk walking and you could be warm enough for a tee-shirt. As with most places during this time of year, dressing in layers certainly makes sense!
  • April 
    Spring is here! While nights may still be cool in elevated regions, it probably won’t go under the 50°F mark. Days should are nice and warm even in Jerusalem and the Galilee (think mid-seventies warm). The coastal areas are several degrees warmer so again, pack something light and airy for your visit of Tel Aviv.
  • May-June
    This is practically summertime in Israel. Daytime temperatures are likely to hit the 80’s even in higher elevations. Mornings and evenings are cooler though, so do bring a jacket for those evenings out in Jerusalem or Tiberias.
  • July-August-September
    Summer. Definitely summer. Expect heat waves on most days and they are humid ones, especially in the coastal areas. The key here is lightweight and airy. Tel Aviv is as casual as no-sleeves, shorts and sandals, practically anywhere and any time of day or night. The dress code in more conservative areas (Jerusalem and Arab  towns and villages) so if you’re moving out of the greater Tel Aviv area, it might be better to go for a tee-shirt and pants that are somewhere in the knee-area (they can go above the knees, as long as you’re not entering a religious site).
    It’s a dry season, so don’t worry about the rain at all. The only “cold weather” item you may want to bring along is a light jacket for evening time in the elevated regions.
  • October
    It’s gradually cooling but not nearly fast enough. October is usually very warm, including occasional actual heat waves. In fact, don’t forget to pack your swimsuit if you’re traveling along the coast. The mediterranean is still warm – probably warmer than the air – and perfect for a quick refreshing dip in the sea.
    Rain is a possibility but probably nothing more than a light short drizzle. In Jerusalem and the Galilee, the temperatures can get down to the 70’s during the evening, so you may want something warmer if you’re planning on going out at night.
  • November
    For Tel Aviv, stick to light and airy still. Believe it or not, heat waves are not out of the question. There can be some rain now and then but most likely light showers that will clear up within a few hours. The elevated areas of Jerusalem and the Galilee are colder though. With daytime temperatures in the 50’s and 60’s so do bring something warm too.
  • December
    This is officially wintertime but unless you’re very sensitive cold temperatures, you will be able to get by with shorts and a teeshirt in Tel Aviv. At least on most days. The first storms may be here though, so if you want to watch the waves from the Tel Aviv promenade, you’ll need a waterproof jacket.
    Dress warmly for other areas in the country but a lightweight, short-sleeved layer is probably a good idea, especially if you’re going to be physically active.
    Monitor the weather forecast for those storms from December until early March. Don’t worry, these are not actual blizzards, although they may bring snow in higher elevations. You can still go outside but it could be windy and rainy for a day or two.

That’s it! I hope this helps. If you’re still not sure about something, feel free to ask me here by leaving a comment! I’ll answer the best I can and can even check things locally for you if that will help.

Don’t forget to check out my other posts about traveling in Israel. My favorites would be the one about 11 things to do in Tel Aviv, the guide for visiting the Dead Sea and the guide to my favorite world heritage site in Israel: Akko.

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156 Comments


  1. Hi Anne,
    This blog has been so helpful! May I ask a few questions? We are going to Israel in two weeks (August!) and am wondering whether my husband can wear shorts to the knee in Jerusalem. It will be so hot so pants might be uncomfortable. Also, can a woman wear a skirt that is right above the knee? In Jerusalem does it really get chilly at night in August? Thanks so much!

    Reply

    1. Hi Marcie,
      So glad the blog is helping!
      Yes, your husband can absolutely wear shorts to the knee in Jerusalem. They don’t even have to cover the knee. My husband wears dockers like these everywhere in Israel without an issue. There are only two places where he won’t be able to go with the knees showing. The first is the Dome of the Rock and the other one is a ultra-orthodox neighborhood called Me’ah She’arim. Most travelers don’t go to these places anyway, so this shouldn’t be a problem. Anywhere else in Jerusalem you can go with shorts that are more or less at knee height, even if the knees are showing. That goes for women as well, by the way.
      Jerusalem at night in August can get chilly but not too cold. It can also be hot though, if there’s a heat wave. Personally, I wouldn’t bother with taking a second layer or long sleeves for Jerusalem nights in August. I’d welcome a chilly evening in summer and it won’t get really cold. We’re talking mid-60’s in fahrenheit at the coldest point in the night. If you’re just going out in the evening, you’re more likely to experience temperatures in the 70s.
      Enjoy your trip! And let me know if you have any other questions – I love getting comments and do my best to reply as soon as I can.

      Reply

  2. Hello,

    I am travelling with family in mid November from California to tel aviv. we are staying at bat yam but we want to go to Jerusalem and other area. should we rent a car or ride the train to go there or buses. Any suggestion on how to get to these places? and for clothing wise, it is advisable to bring something for cold since it’s mid November or we will be okay with light jacket? also, for chargers, I saw in Israel they use an H plug or the plug we use here in US is common in there now too?

    Reply

    1. Hi Karen,
      Actually, I just posted a new article about car rental in Israel! Now, between Tel Aviv and Jerusalem, you actually have good public transportation so unless you’re going on Shabbat (Friday afternoon until Saturday evening), I would definitely consider that option. It depends on how comfortable you are with driving in a foreign country and how willing to fight through morning traffic in Tel Aviv-Bat-Yam area and in Jerusalem itself. It’s not much worse than LA traffic during rush hour. Either is not much fun.
      If you’re already renting a car for the stay, then yes, I would take the car going to Jerusalem. I’m not sure I would rent a car just for a day trip to Jerusalem though. Considering the added hassle of getting to the rental agency (not sure you have one nearby in Bat Yam), I think taking the bus might be overall a better option. I would also consider staying overnight in Jerusalem so that you have two days to explore the city.

      It could get chilly in Jerusalem that time of year, definitely in the evening. Usually a light jacket is enough for most people but if you’re sensitive to the cold you may need another layer of long sleeves underneath that.

      You definitely can’t use your US charger here “as is”. For some appliances – like hair dryers – you need a proper converter. This isn’t just about the shape of the plug, it’s about the current. Trust me, I’ve managed to kill the pump for our cat’s water fountain that I brought from the US ;). We use 220V here and in the US you use 110V so you need an actual converter that will adjust the current.

      That said, I think most phone chargers work ok with 220V, in which case all you would need is a simple adapter like this one. I would splurge and get something like this kit which gives you three American outlets and convers the current as well.
      I hope this helps – enjoy your trip!

      Reply

  3. Hi Anne!

    Thank you for taking time to answer all these questions. Please forgive me if this has been asked and answered already. For the religious sites, are baseball caps appropriate head covering for men and can women also wear hats (I have a trendy hat with a rim all the way around with a bow on it)? Or is it better for women to stick to scarves as their head covering?

    Reply

    1. Hi Cindy,
      There’s really no need to cover your head in almost any religious site, for either men or women. The exception may be for men entering a synagogue. If they’re not Jewish, they may still get away with no head cover but it would be more respectful to wear one. A baseball cap would be just fine for that.

      Reply

  4. Hi ,
    We are going on a 11 tour from 10/25 to 11/5 . From Tel Aviv to Jerusalem,to Jordan. How is the weather during that time and what to wear , including footwear?

    Reply

    1. Hi Luz,
      It’s a good time for visiting as it shouldn’t be too hot. It won’t be too cold either. You could come across some rain, here and there. I would say layers for that time of year, with a short-sleeve option underneath and a light jacket. For footwear, whatever is most comfortable for you. In Tel Aviv you can almost certainly use sandals that time of year (almost any time of the year, really).

      Reply

  5. Hi, I am planning to go to Jerusalem during mid may. I have read a lot about the dress code. I usually wear tops / t shirts that are full sleeves or 3/4th sleeves with jeans. I want to know if jeans are allowed as a modest outfit or do I need to buy few skirts ?

    Reply

    1. Hi Dennissa,

      No need to buy skirts. Jeans are perfectly ok anywhere in Jerusalem. Including visiting the holiest of places. I was actually there three days ago (about to blog about that) and I went to the three holiest places – The Wailing Wall (Jewish), The Church of The Holy Sepulchre and the Dome of the Rock (Muslim). For the first two places, as long as your shoulders are covered (no straps), you’re ok. For the Dome of the Rock they insisted on covered knees and elbows too. They didn’t mind pants at all. I was wearing jeans and a tee shirt and they asked me to wear a long sleeve shirts (they have a few there for visitors) and that was it.

      Reply

  6. My daughter will be traveling to Israel in early May and I was wondering if I needed to purchase skirts and dresses for her that fall below her knees. Most of what she owns falls right above her knees but they are not mini skirts. Is that too short? Are pants acceptable for young women? Thank you so much for this awesome, informative blog!

    Reply

    1. Hi Beth,
      Pants are perfectly acceptable and so are skirts, including mini skirts even. No problem at all with dresses and skirts that go above the knee. The only exception would be if visiting holy sites where “too much leg” might attract unwanted attention from the people who manage them. So for places like the Wailing Wall or churches, maybe pants or a slightly longer skirt/dress would be better. It really depends on the overall “look” and in all probability she wouldn’t have a problem with skirts that go above the knee and are not mini skirts. Still, if you want to make sure, maybe one dress or skirt that goes further south would be a good idea.
      By the way, what we do is we carry a long wrap or pashmina for those places. If anyone says anything, you can use that to wrap around the skirt.

      Reply

  7. Hi Anne,
    Tq so much for taking the time to answer all our questions. God Bless you.
    After having read the above i have an idea but still need your advice. Am Travelling in December during Christmas. Am afraid of over-packing. I reckon a waterproof jacket with under layers are sufficient. Will also be climbing Mountain, what would be your suggestion. What about shoes Ann, is normal walking shoes sufficient, am afraid of the feet becoming cold. Along with me are some friends who are 70 years of age. Tks once again Ann.

    Reply

    1. Hi Mary,
      The weather here is a lot like the weather in California, along the coast. So yea, a waterproof jacket with a couple of layers underneath should be perfectly ok. In fact, don’t expect to be using all layers, unless it’s evening time in a place like Jerusalem or the Galilee. Tel Aviv is usually relatively warm. And you can get sunny warm days all over the country in December. It can be rainy with the occasional storm and if you’re very very lucky it may even snow (but not likely). And don’t worry, there’s plenty of stores here so if you miss any garment, you can just get one here.
      We were normal walking shoes. In fact, in Tel Aviv you could get away with sandals even in December, at least on most days. I think the important thing here is to have super comfortable shoes because you’ll be on your feet quite a lot. I wouldn’t worry about the temperature where it comes to footwear. It rarely gets that cold. Ask your guide about the mountain climb. If it’s a trail and not a paved road, maybe hiking boots would be better in case it gets muddy. Otherwise, I wouldn’t worry about it and just opt for the most comfortable shoe you have.
      Enjoy your trip!

      Reply

  8. Hi this blog has been so helpful but I was a little confused about the scarf on the head. Is it just the ‘keffiyeh’ (the black/white or red/white checked) you cannot wear?. I am going on a tour April 17th and at one point we will be at one of the religious sites. I planned on wearing a skirt, top with long sleeves or 3/4 sleeves on this day to be respectful. I also planned on wearing a scarf – wrapping it on just my head. My scarves are bright colorful flower patterns. Is this appropriate? Also I understand no political slogans but one of my caps says: “love, not hate”. I do not want to offend anyone. Thanks so much.

    Reply

    1. Hi Linda,
      Any pattern of scarf would be fine. I am sure the religious locations where tourists visit even see people come in using a keffiyeh as a scarf/head cover. It’s not that you can’t wear a keffiyeh in Israel, it’s just that it could attract the wrong kind of attention when you’re visiting a Jewish town. At the very least, people will see it as a pro-Palestinian political statement. I doubt anyone will mistake a tourist wearing a keffiyeh for a Palestinian. Young modern Palestinians don’t wear them anyway. Only older people and within Palestinian areas. Sorry if this is confusing – the point I’m trying to get across is that it’s legal and I doubt anyone would actually tell you something even if your scart would actually be a keffiyeh as long as you’re in a touristy area and clearly a visitor. I think most people would see it as an awkward political statement made by an outsider and nothing more.

      Moving past the keffiyeh, any pattern would be fine. You can go as colorful as you like with your scarf. You may or may not be asked to cover your head with it – it all depends on the exact location you’ll be visiting. I’ve never been asked to cover my head when visiting a Christian site but if you have a Jewish holy site on the itinerary, it might be best to carry one around.

      And “love, not hate” is absolutely appropriate. Not a problem whatsoever. I wish more people would follow that line too.

      I hope this helps – have a wonderful trip!

      Reply

      1. Thank you so much for clarifying this. I am so excited to be visiting your country. I am sure this whole experience will be wonderful beyond my expectations. Thanks again! Linda

        Reply

      2. Thank you I am sure this whole experience will be wonderful beyond my expectations. Linda

        Reply

    2. I will be traveling on April 18 and arriving in Tel Aviv on the 19th. Most of my time will be spent in Jerusalem, but I would like to get in a 10-mile run while in Tel Aviv. I understand that it will be quite warm. Any suggestions, pro or con, for a runner like me?

      Reply

      1. Hi Gene,
        Lots of people run in Tel Aviv throughout the year. I don’t run myself but I have several avid runners in the family and they sure don’t stop any time of the year 😉 Keep in mind that Tel Aviv can be both hot and humid. Head out early for your run. The sun is out at around 6am so that would be a good hour. Use sunscreen and a hat and stay hydrated. And check the weather forecast. April shouldn’t be too bad but there occasional heat waves so you may want to avoid them and choose a better day if one is coming in.
        If you can, try to run in Park Hayarkon. You’ll be surrounded by other runners and cyclists, the views will be lovely and you’ll get a long path (you can even get in some trail running in parts of the park). Have fun!

        Reply

  9. I’ve been there in April. It could get to 70s but is most colder and it rains.

    Reply

  10. I’m really enjoying this blog. We are traveling to Israel the second and third week of March. While I understand that layering is key what season of clothing are they wearing in Israel: Winter or Spring clothes? Are white jeans appropriate? And what about footwear? Boots or Sandals? Feeling a bit overwhelmed right now in mid-season.

    Thanks for your help.

    Reply

    1. Hi Andrea,
      March is definitely springtime here. Most places would be nice and warm, except for evenings in the higher elevations (Jerusalem and the Galilee) which will still be coolish at night.
      White is absolutely appropriate, not a problem. For footwear, I always advise comfort. I go out in my Merrells in town and nobody gives them a second look. Sandals are fine any time of the year too if you don’t mind the temperatures. Just make sure your feet are comfortable because you’ll be walking around a lot (that’s traveling for you!)
      Enjoy your trip!

      Reply

    2. I’m leaving for Israel on the 28th and going to Paris on the 9th. Wondering if the weather will be drastically different at both places . Clothes wise what would you suggest? Also would you recommend travelers checks or currency exchange when we get there ? Thanks so much! !

      Reply

      1. Hi Tamara,

        Israel is generally warmer than Paris. More so in the lower regions. It’s already warm and sunny here though with March it’s hard to tell, and you could potentially run into some rain and cool weather. However, far more likely to encounter an early heat wave. If it gets “cold” that would still not be very cold, just coolish. The weather is like that of San Diego or Los Angeles basically. Paris would be a few degrees cooler on average and with more potential for rain. The difference shouldn’t be too extreme though. I would bring lightweight short-sleeves for both, along with a light jacket for evening time or for visiting higher elevations.

        As for money in Israel, definitely not travelers checks. Most places wouldn’t accept them. You can use your Visa or Mastercard but make sure in advance that they are activated for international transactions and specifically for these locations. I know that with Wells Fargo you need to register your travel plans on their website and then that ensures your credit card will work abroad. I assume other US banks have similar plans. Once it’s working, you can actually use these cards in any local ATM in Israel to get shekels (our local currencies) whenever you need them.

        I hope this helps. Enjoy your trip!

        Reply

  11. Hello
    We are leaving for Israel in 2 weeks with a tour group. I was there 2 years ago but in Nov and we were wearing shorts and sandals every day . Feb is winter time in Israel and I am trying to pack light but checking the Israel weather it’s cold and raining.
    I have a waterproof jacket but I was wondering if I bring a more heavy jacket for the cold weather. I get cold easy and I was wondering about boots or what shoes to wear if it’s raining.

    Reply

    1. Hi Mariel,
      Assuming you’ll be visiting Jerusalem and the Galilee, I would pack warm clothes. If you get cold easy, sandals and shorts probably won’t cut it in these regions during February (though you could get by with them most days in Tel Aviv and along the coast). I’m not sure about a super heavy coat though. I think a waterproof jacket and 1-2 layers under that would be plenty. Rain is rarely very heavy and odds are that you’ll be going indoors if it’s raining hard. If you have very comfortable boots, you could use them, but otherwise I would go for comfort over resistance to the elements. Warm socks would be a good idea though, for the colder areas.
      I hope this helps! Enjoy your visit!

      Reply

  12. Hi Anne,
    My husband and I will be traveling to Israel with his Chabad Group in March. And then staying by ourselves to tour the Catholic sites. I’m Catholic. Is it safe for my husband to tour with me in Bethlehem and Nazareth? I know a few of the sites I want to visit are in the Arab side and don’t know how to proceed. Thanks for any help you can give me. So helpful to read your post!

    Reply

    1. Hi Silvia,

      Nazareth is perfectly safe as it’s within Israel itself. Bethlehem is in the Palestinian Authority territory in the West Bank. Israeli citizens aren’t allowed to visit in Palestinian cities in the West Bank so I’ve never been there myself and have no plans for going. To me as an Israeli it’s not only illegal but probably also not safe to go. American tourists go there all the time, so it’s probably safe for you to go and possibly for your husband as well, assuming he doesn’t dress in a way that singles him out as Jewish. So, no yarmulke or anything that says “I’m Jewish”, IMO.

      I did find this travel advisory by the American Embassy. There are phone numbers there where you can call and ask specifically. I would do that, at the very least, and see what they suggest.

      Good luck and enjoy your trip!

      Reply

  13. This is such a wonderful article, thank you for writing it! I am a 23 year old female wanting to travel to Tel Aviv and the surrounding areas in June this year. I was just wanting some more information about what is appropriate to wear. Will “strappy” tops, skirts and jeans be appropriate? I have gathered that it is more modern in Tel Aviv and more traditional in Jerusalem, but I wouldn’t want to cause any offence/be left with a bag of unsuitable clothing!
    Or would you say its better to take mid length skirts and loose fitted clothes for the whole trip?
    Thank you again!x

    Reply

    1. Hi Ellie, I’m glad you enjoyed the post.
      Tel Aviv in June – anything goes. You can wear bright yellow super shorts and a bright pink sports bra with sequins and no one will look at you twice (or they may look and compliment you). It’s going to be hot and humid and everyone sticks to very light clothes. Outside of Tel Aviv, probably a tad more conservative but strappy tops and short skirts are still perfectly ok. No one would actually tell you anything if you dress as if you were in Tel Aviv but you’ll get more looks. It’s not so much a religious issue of modesty, just that central Tel Aviv is extremely liberal and a bit “crazy” compared to the suburbs. Think the village in NYC or Soho in London compared to more tame neighborhoods in Suburbia.
      Jerusalem is more conservative. You can still wear mini skirts and sleeveless shirts in most areas but you will attract unwanted male attention in Arab neighborhoods and you could get some very negative attention in ultra orthodox Jewish ones. So, your best best in Jerusalem is tee-shirts and mid length skirts or pants (capris should be ok). I hope this helps – enjoy your trip!

      Reply

  14. Awesome blog!! I have read through a lot of the questions and your answers are very helpful. I will be traveling in March with a church group and the only free time I will have will be in Jerusalem for a day. Any suggestions as to where to go to buy gifts for will be great. I have read that most people buy olive oil and spices to bring back with them, any other recommendations? thank you for this blog!!

    Reply

    1. Hi Ms. Di! Sounds like a fun trip! No shortage of souvenir shops in Jerusalem, especially in the Old City. I’ll ask around and see if there are any specific recommendations by Jerusalemite friends but I’m not sure there would come up with any. Frankly, with only one free day it might be best to focus on sightseeing and just get gifts as you go along. There so many trinkets that would make great souvenirs as they’re not available anywhere else in the world. They have these little cards with a olive leaf in them that are affordable. There are also sets of small bottles with earth, oil, water and air(!) from the Holy Land. Whatever you buy, if it’s a store in the Old City, you’re expected to haggle. You don’t have to (I wouldn’t myself, just because I hate haggling) but you absolutely could bring the price down by doing so. If you’re opting for an expensive item (they usually have beautiful bible books with fancy covers that can be costly), you may want to shop around, compare prices and the haggling will just happen naturally. As soon as you tell them you want to check in another store, they’ll probably lower the price quite significantly. Still check the other store too though 😉

      If you like, bring along a bunch of small empty bottles from your own country, then open them up here and get some air for free 😉 Or tap water! If you really want to get fancy, get water from the Jordan river if your tour takes you there.

      Reply

  15. Hi Anne,

    Thank you for this very helpful information. Our family is planning to go to Israel during the first week in June. What clothing items are appropriate for my 12 and 14 year old daughters to wear? We will be doing a lot of hiking, plus visiting Jerusalem and Galilee.

    Reply

    1. June is usually very warm and you could find yourself in an actual heatwave too. You can hike in any clothes you want to, including shorts and sandals. Whatever is comfortable for you in hot weather. If you plan on visiting a church, synagogue or mosque, it’s best to have pants that go under the knees, like a capri and sleeves that cover your elbows. You can just grab a shawl and wear it for the visit itself. You could get away with a teeshirt in most places, as long as the overall look is relatively conservative and “modest”. I hope this helps – enjoy your visit!

      Reply

  16. Hi Anne,
    Your blog is much appreciated and tips are so helpful. You are too kind. We are playing a two week trip to Israel some time between the second week of April and the first week in May. Will the weather be hot in April and first week in May? Will be going to Masada can I wear sandals or regular closed toed shoes? Any other tips for this time of year? Thanks so much!

    Reply

    1. Hi Kay, I’m glad the blog is helping!
      Just like in many other countries, the weather in April-May can be tricky. Odds are that you’ll be seeing nothing but sunshine and experiencing only warm weather. Evenings may still be chilly, especially in Jerusalem and the Upper Galilee. If you’re comfortable with sandals, by all means go for it. It should be ok during daytime. You may want to add socks in the evening, or switch to sneakers. Make sure you have clothes for hot weather as heat waves are not out of the question that time of year. Also, sunglasses and sun protection. Have a great trip!

      Reply

  17. One more quick question. I worked on Kibbutz Kinneret for three months back in the mid-seventies. Will I have any trouble getting on to the Kibbutz to tour my daughter around, and is a taxi the best way to get there from Tiberias? Thank you!

    Reply

    1. Hmmm interesting question. A kibbutz is owned by the members and as such is private property. That said, most of them have stores and such that are open to the public so unless there’s some security issue (like in a kibbutz near Gaza), there is usually a gate that’s open during the day. If it’s closed, there’s a phone number there that you can call and ask them to open the gate for you. What I would do is contact them in advance. According to their website, someone called Itay Sappir is in charge of tourism there and his email is kinntour@kinneret.org.il. You can also email the kibbutz here: kibbutzkinneret@gmail.com. Drop them an email explaining who you are and what you want to do there and if they say it’s ok, they should be able to give you a contact person you can call if the gate is closed. You can also ask them about the best way to get there. They’re right by the Yardenit site so there may be a good bus route going there from Tiberias. Otherwise a taxi should be fine. Good luck and enjoy the visit!

      Reply

      1. This is the most helpful website ever! Thank you so much.

        Reply

        1. So glad you like it, Kim! I know how stressful travel can be so I’m only too happy to help others alleviate some of that stress!

          Reply

  18. Hello – coming to Israel for a week on Friday. I’ve read all your blogs which have been VERY helpful. Just one last question. Looking at the weather, certainly back home I would be wearing shorts and sandals if it’s 70 degrees, which is a possibility in Tel Aviv. Should I bring a pair of shorts and also sandals, or will no one else be wearing them?

    Reply

    1. Hi Kim, this is a warm and sunny winter so far. I was just in the park with my kids and we were all wearing shorts, teeshirts and the boys were wearing crocs (no socks). Trust me, you will not stand out wearing short clothes in Tel Aviv this time of year. Most people do. Just keep in mind it tends to get chilly in the evenings and early mornings so if you have a long day, I would opt for long pants and take a jacket along.

      Reply

  19. I am visiting Israel January 11 to 22. Any recommendations for clothing and type of footwear would be deeply appreciated. Thanks!

    Reply

    1. Hi Shirley, we’re having an unusually dry and sunny winter so far (did anyone mention global warming?). We live in the coastal area and it’s still teeshirts and sandals for us here. If you’re going to visit Jerusalem, the Galilee or the Golan Heights, you should be prepared for colder weather. You could potentially even encounter snow at these elevations in January (though snow doesn’t stick for more than a couple of days).
      I would go for comfortable shoes, layers (including for hot weather) and a warm jacket or coat. Have a great visit!

      Reply

  20. Am elderly and visiting Israel with a tour group in March and wondering if it is ok for women to wear sandals everywhere?

    Reply

    1. Hi Jaene,
      Sure thing. Sandals would be fine anywhere, for any gender and any age 😀

      Reply

  21. Anne,
    In the states we wear leggings and yoga pants everywhere. Would they be appropriate in Israel? We will visit in a couple of weeks.
    Thanks!

    Reply

    1. Hi Kendra,

      Yes, I wear them often too. They’re available in Israel as well. If visiting religious sites, I would try to match them up with a large loose shirt or maybe a tunic. Matching them with a tight shirt might draw too much attention. Otherwise, they’re fine. Enjoy your visit!

      Reply

  22. Hi Annie…very useful information..I will be traveling to Raanana for a month from mid December till mid Jan so what kind of clothes and items should I pack considering the cold n wet climate?

    Reply

    1. Hi Abhishek,
      Most days aren’t very cold or wet. We have the same climate as Raannana and so far there was only one day where I couldn’t go outside in tee-shirt and sandals this year and had to grab a jacket. Evenings are cooler but not very cold. You may want to carry an umbrella with you and a jacket/coat. Other than that, just regular clothes – a mix of short sleeves and long – and shoes. Have a great trip!

      Reply

  23. Shalom!

    Ani Ners, i have a group travelling by Jan 2-10, is Bethlehem area cold during night time too?I’ve been to Israel twice and its really cold at night esp in Jerusalem area during Oct-Nov.
    But i heard, January is snowing? If it is so, how would the tour will be like?

    Reply

    1. Hi Ners,
      It can certainly snow in Bethlehem and Jerusalem in January. Doesn’t happen every year but it can happen. I’m not sure about the Palestinian Authority (Bethlehem isn’t in Israel per se) but in Israel heavy snow can cause road blockage.

      Reply

      1. You keep saying Bethlehem is not in Israel. Politically you are correct, but the arabs living in Areas A and B in Judea and Samaria (which includes Bethlehem), are illegally occupying Israeli land. The fact that those areas are Jew free is even more egregious.

        Reply

        1. Hi Lauren,
          I do live here and have my opinions on the conflict but I really prefer not to have that discussion here in a travel blog. As a traveler I do my best to stay out of the politics of other countries. I know first hand how complicated issues can be and while it’s interesting to hear a local’s perspective I would never voice opinions, only ask questions.

          Reply

  24. Hi Anne – great tips! I am going with a group of friends plus my husband in December.. I want to cover my head as I am a married jewish woman when I am in Jerusalem. Question: will I look dumb as an American tourist with a Tichel? We are from LA and I NEVER wear one at home 😉

    Reply

    1. Hi Hilary,
      If you never wear one at home, I’m not sure why you’d want to do that while in Israel? Most women don’t. Only very religious ones do. I don’t think you’re going to look dumb, just very religious 😉

      Reply

  25. Thanks for the Info..we are traveling to israel next week for 2 weeks and we are wondering about certain kind of things like, what to wear in december? Will be easy to get our tours there in dec? Could i carry my pills with me without prescription?
    I will be very thankful with your help.

    Reply

    1. Hi Jennie,
      December can get cold here, especially in Jerusalem and the Upper Galilee so warm clothes are a good idea. It’s not as cold as some states in the US but more like Portland/Seattle cold. The coastal areas would be more like Los Angeles or San Francisco. No snow but you could get cold days.
      I don’t see why there would be no tours in December. It’s a great time to travel and see the country. If you had specific tours in mind, it’s probably a good idea to check with them but otherwise I’m sure you’ll be able to find great tours any time of year.
      As for the pills, I always carry a prescription with me, just in case. I have never heard of anyone having issues with that in the border here or in the US but you never know. It’s also good to have them in case you have a problem and need to renew them here. Narcotics especially could be an issue. Just a copy of your prescription in English should be enough and again, I doubt anyone will ever ask for that.

      Reply

  26. Pls advice, I have a relatives in Israel that I want to send a winter clothes from San Diego California, what is the. Easy way to send clothes, Thk u very much in advance God a replay, anything is helpful & God bless u all

    Reply

    1. Hi Eloisa, the easiest and cheapest way would be for them to find a friend who’s traveling from the US to Israel and have you send it to that friend while in the US. That way they can just bring the item in their suitcase. Shipping by mail is possible, of course but I would really check with them first. The reason being that the package could get held up in the customs and they may be asked to pay a few hundreds of shekels to release it. It all depends on the overall worth of the clothes. Shipping won’t be cheap either. It may actually be easier for them to buy whatever they need here in Israel. I hope this helps!

      Reply

  27. Hi Anne. I will be leaving for the Holy Land tomorrow, November 21. How is the weather? What clothings should I pack?

    Thank you. Gigi

    Reply

    1. The weather is lovely. Not hot and not cold today. For the coastal areas (Tel Aviv) a t-shirt, shorts and sandals work very well during the day, with a light jacket in the evening. In Jerusalem, pants and shoes, along with a sweatshirt would have you covered (literally 😉 ). The forecast is for a couple of rainy days when you arrive, so a light rain jacket or an umbrella maybe (if you plan on being outside a lot) but should be a lovely sunny weekend after that. Enjoy your visit!

      Reply

  28. Hi Anne,
    thank you so much for this…
    I am traveling to Israel in December (11-21) and I am wondering if winter sweaters will be too hot…What is the weather like around this time? Should I pack a lightweight jacket or something a little heavier. I am in Atlanta, GA
    Thanks

    Reply

    1. Hi Veronica. If you’re going to visit Jerusalem and/or the Galilee then winter sweaters are a good idea. It will likely be quite cold while you’re there, especially during the evenings and early mornings. It can even snow (not likely but possible). The weather in the mountain areas will be a lot like Atlanta in late November. In Tel Aviv and the coastal area, it should be like Atlanta in October. I hope this helps – enjoy your trip!

      Reply

  29. Hi there I’m off to Israel next week to do s full 10 day guided tour of all the sites and Petra. Is it acceptable to wear leggings or workout bottoms that come below the knee and to the ankle?

    Reply

    1. Hi Hollysoo,
      I’m not sure about Jordan (never visited there myself). In Israel you should have no problem with leggings that cover the knee as long as you’re wearing a shirt that’s long enough to cover the upper part. In most places, the shirt doesn’t matter. However in religious places, you need to maintain an overall “modest” look, so it’s really up to what type of leggings, the color and the overall “look”. Just to be on the safe side, I would avoid colorful leggings without covering the torso. Enjoy your trip!

      Reply

  30. I’m traveling to Israel Nov 17 – Nov. 27. Should I pack some comfortable sandals for walking or will it be too cool? Should I also bring a very lightweight Northface jacket or is this unnecessary?

    Reply

    1. Hi Kipp, It really depends on where you’ll be going exactly and your planned activities. It can certainly get cold in Jerusalem (which is in a higher elevation than the coast) and the Galilee especially late in the evenings. A jacket would be necessary for sure, and a lightweight Northface one sounds like a good choice to me. As for sandals, if you happen to be in Tel Aviv on a nice sunny day, you can definitely wear sandals. We currently wear sandals, shorts and teeshirts here in the coastal area and it’s already November. Think Los Angeles weather. Could be rainy and cool but can also be warm and sunny. I hope this helps!

      Reply

  31. Hi, is it okay to wear shirts that have bible verses on it? Or something with a sign of the cross? Thanks!

    Reply

    1. Hi John,
      Good question. Bible verses should be perfectly ok. The sign of the cross would be ok in most modern urban areas. I would avoid anything too blatant inside Jewish or Muslim religious sites though.

      Reply

  32. Hi, I was told to avoid wearing clothing that advertised you were from the US (business, college or prof sports names and logos, etc. on shirts, jackets, caps, etc.). Is that true?

    Reply

    1. Hi Steven,
      Not a problem at all in Israel. It may be true elsewhere in the Middle East – including the Palestinian territories – but definitely not here. The US is very popular here. We often wear shirts that we bought as souvenirs in the US, including shirts that proudly show the US flag. Never ever had we had any issue with that. I’ve even seen people put the US flag on their cars and homes around the 4th of July. Logos of US companies? All over the place. Keep in mind that leading US tech companies such as Google, Microsoft, Intel etc have huge research centers in Israel with many workers who wear th company logo all over the place. The only risk you carry with wearing a sports team logo is that most people here won’t recognize it 😉 Nothing else to worry about.

      Reply

  33. Hello Anne ❤️ I’ll visit Tel Aviv in 1 to 5 November, any advice of what should I get from the dead sea,except clay of course 😆 And witch places u recommend to visit? And Do I have to take the bathing clothes with me? thank u 😘

    Reply

    1. Hi Rajmonda,
      Yes, you should probably take a swimming suit. I wouldn’t take anything super expensive and make sure you wash it well after using it in the very salty water. Dead Sea clay could make a nice gift for someone back home, for sure. I can’t really think of anything else to get other than lots of pictures! You may want to read my guide on the topic too – Visiting the Dead Sea
      The place to add to your visit would be Jerusalem, as it’s on the way to the Dead Sea. However, you can’t do Jerusalem and the Dead Sea in one day. The Dead Sea is a full day, especially if you’re using public transport. Jerusalem is a minimum of a full day, probably two of those. You may want to look into a guided tour of Jerusalem, possibly a 2-3 day long one that incorporates the Dead sea.

      Reply

  34. HI Anne,
    I will be visiting Israel In November. How is the weather in November and what kind of clothing would you suggest for a 2 week trip?

    Reply

    1. HI Anne- I am a female. I fogot to mention that.

      Reply

    2. November should be nice and cool with a chance for rainy days. Depending on where you visit and the time of day/night you could experience anything from hot desert weather with the temperatures running up to the 90’s at noon, to cool rainy days with temperatures going down to the 40’s at night time. Definitely pack teeshirts and pants/skirt that you can be comfortable in, even in hot weather. Also bring long-sleeve options and a waterproof jacket or raincoat. If you find that you need more items, there’s lots of nice shops here where you can get just about anything.

      Reply

  35. Im going to Israel this coming Nov 20 to 25 may i know what clothes to bring during the period. May i know also what is the money use in Israel. Please give some informations. Thank you.
    Zella Maquiso

    Reply

    1. Hi Zella,
      The Israeli currency is called “shekel” or more specifically “new shekel”. You can check the current exchange rates but it should be almost 4 shekels to one dollar. Most stores won’t accept US dollars or any other currency other than the shekel. You can use an international credit card like Visa or MasterCard almost anywhere and you can usually use them to withdraw local currency from the ATM. Just check with your bank before you leave to make sure that your card is set up for international transactions. Have a great trip!

      Reply

  36. We’re visiyJeruselem last week in November through December 5, what will weather be like during this time? Can I wear maxi dresses during the day? I know nights will be cool so I’m prepared for that

    Reply

    1. Hi Alicia,
      It’s hard to predict the weather, of course. If you’ll be spending time in Jerusalem and Upper Galilee you’re likely to encounter cold weather during the day too. Not “Midwest Cold” but cold by local standards. It can definitely get down to the 40’s. Snow is actually a possibility though usually limited to 2-3 days a year at most. In the coastal area of Tel Aviv it’s almost always warmer and rarely goes below the 50’s though we can have the occasional cold front bringing temperatures lower.

      I hope this helps! Have a lovely and safe trip!

      Reply

  37. Jackets ,water proof or water resistant?

    Reply

    1. Hi Dolores,
      I don’t think I even know what the difference is between waterproof and water resistant. I have never heard that distinction made in Israel – which I guess tells you something about the weather here 😀 If you come anytime between October and May it could rain but usually you just don’t go out in the rain for too long. If you can, you just wait for the rain to stop or turn into a drizzle. Our winter gear isn’t fancy, especially not in the coastal area where I live. We’re more concerned with how to keep cool during the long summer 😉
      If you plan on hiking outdoors in the rain, I guess waterproof? Otherwise, I can’t see why you would be outside in heavy rain for more than a minute or two, so I would go with water resistant. But again, like most Israelis, I’m not an expert on the difference between the two terms. Sorry!

      Reply

  38. these tips are so helpful! I am actually arriving in Jerusalem on Wednesday so I am asking a bit late, but what about childrens attire? My two girls live in shorts and tshirts (ages 4 and 7) and I was planning on bringing a dress or two if we are going out. Howeve we are planning on visiting the Wailing Wall and Yaad Veshem. What’s the expectation of kids in religious sites?

    Reply

    1. Hi Situ, I asked some of my friends who frequent the Wailing Wall more often than I do. Tshirts are perfectly ok for kids. Long pants are preferable to shorts. If they show up in shorts you may be asked to tie a scarf or a shawl around the shorts to make them a bit more “modest”. Capris would be fine btw, the problem would just be with shorts for girls (I’m told shorts would be ok for young boys – annoying but that’s the custom there 🙁 ). No need for a dress or skirt unless they just feel like wearing them.
      My Jerusalemite friends all mentioned that it’s getting cool there too and shorts may not be enough anyway, especially in the early morning and late afternoon/evening. Don’t forget a warm jacket too.

      Have an awesome trip!

      Reply

  39. Coming to Israel in 3-05-18 to 3-14-18 What kind of head scarf should I buy? Do we need shots ?I was told by our travel agency no shots are required .Thank you

    Reply

    1. Hi Joyce, you don’t actually have to buy any special head scarf. In 99% of the places you won’t be asked to cover your head. If and when you are, you can use just about anything that you carry with you.
      As for vaccinations, as far as I can tell as long as you’re up to date on your shots in the US, you’re fine here too. No special exotic diseases in Israel. We do have some whooping cough going around in some areasץ Also, it’s a very contagious disease so just flying in airplanes puts you at some risk. The CDC recommends vaccinating against whooping cough every ten years anyway, so if you haven’t done that in the past decade, I would definitely consider getting a booster shot. It also contains tetanus so you’ll be up to date on that as well – always a good idea.

      Reply

  40. Our tour guide in Papua New Guinea perhaps 15 years ago was a young Israeli who subsequently returned to Israel.
    Do you have a suggestion how we might locate him on our trip to Israel next week?
    thanks

    Reply

    1. Hmmm good question. There are 8.5 million people living here, so finding one person can be challenging. Do you know his full name? If so, I would try and locate him through Facebook.

      Reply

  41. Hello!
    Thank you for your answers to lots of questions!
    We are coming in the beginning of November. When out in the sun for long periods of time I have to cover my face. What type of hat would not make me stand out like a sore thumb? I have a straw hat, but was thinking that might be too much.
    Thank you!

    Reply

    1. There should be no problem with a straw hat. Many women use them to protect their face from the sun. As a tourist, you could get away with anything, really, even a huge sombrero 😀 A regular sized straw hat wouldn’t attract any attention. Unless it’s very pretty and then someone might ask you where you got it so she can buy one too 😉

      Reply

  42. Are skinny jeans that are ankle length acceptable?

    Reply

    1. Absolutely, Ayssa! I wear them all the time, myself.

      Reply

  43. Hi!
    My husband and I are planning on visiting Israel for a week or so in February. Will we be okay in jeans and T-shirts, or will we need to bring coats, just to be safe? Also, I hate wearing pants and I wear a lot of skirts or dresses with leggings. Will I stick out too much?

    Thanks!!

    Reply

    1. Hi Jenna and sorry about the late reply. We’ve only just returned from a long trip ourselves yesterday. February can get cold, especially in places like Jerusalem or the the Upper Galilee. It can also still rain pretty much everywhere.
      You could probably get away with a t-shirts in Tel Aviv or other coastal cities, at least if the sun is out during the day. I would definitely bring layers though, including a warm coat if you’re traveling to Jerusalem and/or the Galilee. Even in Tel Aviv, you might need warm clothes if you catch a few chilly days or a rainstorm. Skirts and dresses with leggings are perfectly ok. Many women wear them so you would not stick out. Happy travels!

      Reply

  44. Great blog, thank for all of the useful packing tips. I am coming mid-late Oct. Looking forward to it!

    Reply

    1. Thank you for your comment, Liz! I’m glad you enjoy the blog!

      Reply

  45. My Husband and I just got back from Israel on September 18th and we had a wonderful time. The local people were very helpful and courteous. It gets busy on the streets throughout the day, but never felt uneasy. There is a presence of law enforcement, but not overbearing at all, must were young soldiers just doing their job to protect. We look forward to another vacation to the Holy Land in the near future.

    Reply

    1. Thank you for sharing your impressions here, Debra! I’m so happy to hear that you and your husband had a good time here! We just returned from the US and had visited Berlin and Paris earlier this year. Sadly, there are armed forces pretty much everywhere these days 🙁 I actually think they were more prominent in Europe, compared to what we have in Israel.

      Reply

  46. Thank you so much! I’ve been so concerned about the tats, especially the Star of David. I don’t want to offend anyone. I don’t suppose it would offend many Jews, I guess, unless they’re orthodox. You set my mind at ease. 🙂

    Reply

  47. Hi Anne,
    Thank you for all of the great information! I do have one question though, and it seems as if you could answer it. My husband and I are visiting Israel from October 22 through November 6th of this year. I’m a middle-aged woman who has tattoo sleeves and also tats on my legs. My real question is that I have a large blue Star of David tattooed on my left lower arm. Will that be a problem? I’m hoping it won’t be too hot when we go, so I can bring long-sleeve tops.

    Is there anywhere we should stay away from altogether? My husband is also tatted. Should we make sure to be fully covered when visiting the Wailing Wall?

    Thank you so much for any info you can give me.

    Reply

    1. Good questions, Elyse. More and more Israelis are getting tattoos, including full sleeves. This is a relatively new thing here, so you’ll mostly see tattoos on people in their twenties, maybe thirties. The Jewish religion forbids tattoos so only secular Jews will get them. A religious Jewish person won’t – even if he or she isn’t orthodox. The Muslim society is quite conservative and I don’t think you’ll see any tattooed Muslims in Israel.

      Having said all that, I don’t think anyone would mind a tourist with tattoos. I don’t think you need to cover these up more than you would cover skin with no tattoos. The exception would be “sexy” tattoos. As for the Star of David, I would cover that when visiting Muslim holy places. I don’t think it would be a problem in any Jewish site though.

      Reply

  48. Hello!
    Thanks so much for all your wonderful advise. I’ve been reading all sorts of info
    for my trip to Israel, November 20-30th.
    The only question that still remains unanswered is … What about boots? You know, the comfy-trendy, mid-calf to knee style. No heels, just great leather, walking/riding boots?
    Almost every Fall outfit I have “requires” great boots! LOL!
    So, will they be suitable for Israel? Too hot still? What do you think?

    Reply

    1. Hi Cindy,
      Those boots sound pretty awesome! You absolutely can wear them in Israel that time of year. You can get anything from warm to cold weather but we should be past any heat waves by late November. Enjoy your trip!

      Reply

      1. AWESOME!!!
        Thanks for taking time to reply.
        Didn’t want to pack a lot of stuff I can’t wear.

        Btw…I love your blog!

        Reply

  49. Hi – thanks for your post. Should I cover my hair when visiting religious sights in Israel? I was going to bring a scarf with me at all times in case I needed to cover my shoulders/arms etc.

    Reply

    1. Hi Clare. Head covers may be required in Jewish synagogues and holy sites. Most tourists don’t go to these places but if you end up visiting one, a scarf would be be good enough to get you through. I have never been asked to cover my head in a church or Christian holy site. You will probably be asked to cover your shoulders though, possibly down to the elbows.

      Reply

  50. Thank you for the great information. We will be in Israel the first two weeks of October. I am curious if jeans and jean jackets with “holes or semi holes” are ok to wear. They are so popular in US but not sure if appropriate there.

    Reply

    1. Hi Nancy, No problem whatsoever with holes in clothes (shirts with holes in them are trendy in Israel too these days). The exception could be in religious sites and even that depends on just how “provocative” the overall look is. Anywhere else, feel free to dress as you wish, no problem.

      Reply

  51. Thank you, Anne, for your patience with all of us as we plan our trips to Israel. I’m so excited! I think you stated that slacks or jeans are appropriate for religious sites and I understand that head coverings are often required. Are hats of any kind a choice…nothing crazy. Baseball style cap? Fedora? And is it okay to use a chiffon type of shawl to cover head/shoulders? Or is that too sheer to be appropriate? Thanks again!

    Reply

    1. Hi Debbie, any kind of hat would be fine for a man visiting a Jewish religious site. Even a paper cap (they give them away in some places for visitors who came without a yarmulke). They’re not required elsewhere for men though. For women, I think a shawl or a pashmeena will be better because it’s a question of how much of your hair is showing. If you have short hair, a hat would be just fine. A cap with lots of loose hair showing underneath may be a bit of a problem in some places. Chiffon should be ok as long as you’re dressed “modestly” underneath it. I wouldn’t count on a see-through chiffon shawl over a shirt with no sleeves though. It may be ok in some places but no others, so I would avoid that and keep the chiffon shawl for covering the head.

      Reply

  52. I will be in Israel middle part of sept. Is there a chart that showes what should be worn In each locations like list Holy Lands and what area – Sightseeing, I need to know the places that is definitely dress in what type of clothing? I thank you for all the helpful information you have given others

    Reply

    1. Hi Sharon, I’m not aware of any such chart, sorry. I don’t think one exists, frankly, but if you do find one let me know and I’ll be happy to link to it here. Generally speaking, covering yourself up to (and including) your knees and elbows should get you into any religious site. These places realize tourists are not local believers and don’t require the same dress codes from visitors – only general modesty. In some places, you’ll be asked to cover your head/hair as well. That’s about it. Keep in mind that if you go with anything that’s borderline, it’s going to be up to whoever is looking after the place during your visit to decide if you’re dressed modestly enough, so it’s best to err on the side of caution and avoid anything that draws too much attention.
      Have an awesome visit to Israel and I hope this helped a little!

      Reply

  53. I’ll be traveling to Israel on September 2nd 2017. Can I wear capris pants at churches? Also, wear t-shirts? Long pants? How about at the Wailing wall?
    Thanks,
    Laura

    Reply

    1. Hi Laura, the general guideline for these places is to dress “modestly”. I would definitely wear capris at local churches and the Wailing Wall. As long as it covers your knees properly, you should be ok. Don’t go with anything that’s too “borderline”. Anything that keeps your knees covered even when you’re sitting on a bench is fine. Also, avoid anything too tight. Tight pants – even long ones – could be a problem.

      A large teeshirt would probably be ok. A tight one showing cleavage, maybe not so much so. What I usually do is carry a pashmeena or a large long-sleeved shirt just in case I run into a strict person there who might object to my dress code. Only once was I asked to cover up but that was when I came with a sleeveless shirt (I didn’t know we would be visiting a church). I hope that helps.

      Reply

  54. Thank you so much for your input regarding what to wear. My church group is coming the first 2 weeks of November. We will be doing much walking. What type of shoe do you recommend? We will be visiting Holy Sites in Jerusalem as well as Masada and other areas that are “desert like”. Also, layering???

    Reply

    1. Hi Sharon, I would definitely choose the most comfortable footwear you can. For some people that would be a pair of sandals, for others that would be sneakers or hiking boots. For my youngest son, it’s crocs! November shouldn’t be too hot for any footwear but not too cold for sandals during the day (in the evening you may need something warmer in Jerusalem). I wouldn’t worry about footwear in the contest of holy sites. I have never heard of anyone who couldn’t enter with sandals or clogs etc. I would stay away from flip-flops maybe – anything above that should be ok.

      Layering is always a good idea. A lightweight rain jacket is a good idea that time of year. I would get the kind that you can just squish into your bag and takes up very little space. A short-sleeve top and one layer of long-sleeved top should be more than enough most days. Again, night time in Jerusalem could be a bit colder (in the 50’s) so something more substantial for that is a good idea.

      Have an awesome trip and enjoy your visit to Israel!

      Reply

  55. Dear Ms. Moss,
    Excellent blog! I know posting takes time. It is appreciated.
    We’ll be going to Israel in September and have started the packing process. After reading the comments, I’ll unpack the white dress shirt and tie.
    We will be with a small tour group for several days. The schedule will be ambitious. Are white Nike-type sneakers acceptable for most restaurants and occasions?
    Thank you.

    Reply

    1. Hi Ben, I’m glad you found the post and comments helpful! White sneakers (or any other neutral colored sneakers that are in decent condition) should be perfectly ok everywhere.
      Have an awesome visit in Israel!

      Reply

  56. Thank you for the info. So many Americans want to be respectful of the culture. I am traveling in early Nov. and figured Israel is similar to So. Ca. Weather wise, little to no rain in Nov? Is that correct? So next question is, are there any bright colors or animal prints worn or is this not a problem? I don’t want to stick out like a sore thumb😎
    We are so excited for our trip and can’t wait to see Holy Land

    Reply

    1. Hi Kimlee, no problem at all with bright colors of any prints. It’s entirely a matter of personal taste. Some areas, like Jerusalem, are more traditional in nature while in Tel Aviv truly everything goes. Either way, as a tourist you should have no issue anywhere with prints or colors.

      Reply

  57. I’ve visited Israel twice in the summer and loved it. It’s one of the most popular times to visit. Yes, Tel aviv and eilat are very hot but both have beautiful beaches. The desert areas (eg bedouin areas) get cool at night. I can’t compare to Egypt, I’d just say it’s an amazing place so don’t let the weather deter you, whenever you go

    Reply

    1. Eilat and Tel Aviv are both hot during summer – I’m glad you enjoyed them despite the hot weather!

      Reply

  58. Thank you so much for all your answers!
    I will be traveling in November 2017 and I was wondering what to pack and ran across your blog and now I know! Whew!

    Reply

    1. I’m glad I could help, Naomi! Have an awesome trip – November is a lovely time for visiting Israel!

      Reply

  59. Hello Anne,
    Thank you for your advice so far. Really appreciated. One other question regarding a mid to late September visit- what colors- should I bring summer colors e.g. whites and khaki or should I also bring black and brown slacks? Sorry to bother you but find myself obsessing over what to pack.

    Reply

  60. Hi Anne,

    This blog and thread have been quite helpful thank you!
    I am coming to study in Jerusalem from October until June 2018. I’m unsure about the ratio of warm to cooler clothes that I should pack (with my limited space of 30kg). How would you advise me to pack for these 8 months?
    Do recommend a winter coat?

    Thank you!
    Grace

    Reply

    1. Hi Grace,
      Winter in Jerusalem can be cold – at least by Israeli standards ;). Think about somewhere like Atlanta, GA. Most winter days are in the low 50’s but you can get days in the 40’s and even a few days of snow (not every year though). Night time temperatures can easily hit the 30’s range and even lower 30’s with some nights being definitely frosty. Depending on where you come from in the US, that may seem cold or warm to you. It’s not too bad but you would need a winter coat, yes. The rest depends on your level of comfort but you may prefer to have a warm hat, gloves, a scarf etc.
      The one thing I can tell you is not to worry about it too much. You can always buy locally and you’ll have plenty of time to do so. Then when it’s time to fly back home, you can package some of your stuff and mail it back to your home address.
      Have an awesome year in Jerusalem!

      Reply

  61. Hello
    Thank you for your information. Our church group is going to Israel Sept 18th for 10 days. A lot of visits to churches. I see you don’t recommend shorts but would I be out of place wearing a skort? Are jeans acceptable? Should I bring a dress (regular length or long) in case we go out to dinner?
    We will do a lot of walking .. any type of shoes you would recommend?

    Reply

    1. Hi Maureen, a skirt that goes below the knee is perfectly acceptable. Same goes for pants, including jeans.
      Dinners are quite informal so unless there’s a special event (awards or something like that) you should be ok with just about anything in any restaurant. Definitely bring comfortable footwear to walk in – whatever you’re comfortable with and are used to. Sandals are just fine in September, if that works for you. My son loves his crocs and I prefer sneakers – it really is a matter of personal preference, so whatever works for you!

      Reply

  62. Hi Anne first I want to thank you for your all of your great advice..
    I’m going on a tour in Israel the last 2 weeks of October traveling thru different areas of israel, Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, Haifa I know cooler near the ocean. Will the temperature be in the mid 70’s during the day and evenings in the 60s?? I heard Israels weather is similar to L.A. Only sweaters needed? I don’t want to bring to much
    should a scarf be worn for your head & also too cover skin in religious sectors? I want to be able to visit without worrying…Sorry if I repeated myself with the others
    Thank you so much!!!

    Reply

    1. Hi Beverly! October is usually nice and warm but you can get the occasional cooler days and it can get down to the 50’s during the night in places like Jerusalem. You can also have hot days going up to the 80’s. I guess that is a lot like LA in a way. Sweaters or a light jacket should be enough, just don’t forget short-sleeved lightweight shirts too because chances are you’d need those more than sweaters.
      I would opt for a shawl or pashmina for visiting churches and other religious places. A scarf may not be enough because you need something that will easily cover your shoulders and upper arms. Your knees need to be covered too so shorts or miniskirts are not a good option for these days (but perfectly acceptable anywhere else).
      I hope this helps and enjoy your visit!

      Reply

  63. Hi Anne,

    What a lovely blog and how helpful you are! I am going to be in Jerusalem October 8 – 16 for a Bat Mitzvah have a few questions. I am planning on linen pants and skirts in general, as I understand the weather will be warm, with sweaters for evening. Am I thinking correctly? Although I know about covering shoulders, knees, etc., no one mentions whether open-toed shoes or dressy sandals are frowned upon for religious occasions or locations. Are you expected to wear pantyhose, or are uncovered legs okay? Any other thoughts for October?

    Reply

    1. Hi Jesse, I’m so glad you’re enjoying the blog! Great question about footwear and pantyhose. This would really depend on how religious the families are. In the last wedding I attended both families were religious but neither were ultra-orthodox (hassidic/Haredi) so they had no problem with sandals or even bare shoulders. Family members dressed a bit more conservatively but there was no religious dress code expected of the guests at all. I think that if you were invited to a religious wedding, the invitation would have mentioned dressing modestly. Just in case that was mentioned only in Hebrew, I would contact the hosts and ask them. If modest attire is requested then yes, covering legs (pantyhose) and feet would be the way to go.
      As for the weather, definitely bring something warm too. Evenings in Jerusalem can get cold-ish even in summertime and if the wedding is outside in October you may need something warm too.

      Reply

  64. Hello, I’m traveling to Israel on December 27th for 15 days with a church group. What types of clothes should I pack?

    Reply

    1. Hi Mady, December is winter in Israel so be prepared for cold weather. Fortunately, it’s not as cold as in the US East Coast or Midwest but in places such as Jerusalem it’s going to chilly especially during the night. It can also rain anywhere in Israel, so I would opt for a waterproof coat/jacket and 1-2 layers under that. If you’re sensitive to the cold you may want to add gloves and a hat but most people don’t wear them here even during winter. Keep in mind that you are also likely to get a few nice sunny days during those 15 days. I often find myself wearing t-shirts outside even in December so I would pack at least a couple of short-sleeve shirts. Enjoy your trip!

      Reply

  65. Are capris (below the knee) generally acceptable or will I stick out as an American? Also, since it is going to be be warm, will I stick out if I wear a white skirt or pants?

    Reply

    1. Hi Connie. Sure, capris are absolutely fine. Even shorter is fine, not a problem at all. Anything below the knee is also fine for visiting churches and mosques. I wouldn’t go with anything above the knee when visiting holy places, but elsewhere it’s 100% ok. White is fine too. I think you will stick out a little wearing white because it’s not considered a practical color here (difficult to keep clean). It’s not that hot that we feel the need to wear white but it’s also not a problem if you want to wear white. People are very casual here so whatever colors you want to wear, you’ll be ok.

      Reply

  66. Traveling to Galilee institute next week what is the weather like and how should I dress

    Reply

    1. Hi Ambrose, the weather is really nice this time of year so I think you have a good chance at having nice warm – but not too hot – days out in the Galilee. Opt for short sleeves and hot weather clothes but bring a light jacket as well for evening time in high places or just an air-conditioned restaurant. Don’t forget to carry something to cover your arms with if you visit a religious site. Have fun and enjoy your trip!

      Reply

  67. I’m coming to Israel may 24th -June 2nd with a church group. I’m packing summer dresses, shorts, light tops, jeans. And of course sandals and sneakers. I know we will be doing a lot of walking so I’m worried that I will be to hot and uncomfortable all day. What are some tips you would give to make my trip easy and worry free? Thank you!

    Reply

    1. Hi Deanna, I wouldn’t worry too much about the weather. In late June it’ll be hot in most places you’ll visit but hopefully not too hot. There is the possibility of a heatwave but generally speaking June is not as hot as July and August. Summer dresses, shorts and light tops (short sleeves) should be nice and as cool as you can get while walking outside. Make sure you wear a hat and sunglasses, protect your skin with sunscreen and drink lots of cool water. Keep in mind that most places are air conditioned so you may actually want to throw an extra layer on you when in a restaurant or museum.

      Also, I am guessing you’ll be visiting many churches, so on those days I would avoid shorts. Dresses that cover the knee and jeans should be fine. Carry a shawl or pashmina with you to cover your shoulders when entering a church or mosque.

      Other than that, I wouldn’t worry too much. The weather is going to be what it’s going to be. You can always pick up an extra teeshirt (they make good souvenirs) if needs be, so I think you’re all set with the clothes you described. Have an awesome trip in Israel!

      Reply

  68. Thanx for the answer. I live in canada so Im used to cold weather hihi. I have one pair of light trekking pants, one of coton and skinny jeans. Then i was thinking one hoodie vest and a sweater then ill bring t shirt s and a long sleeve light. I also bring one light shirt and a pair of leggins. For the jacket I am going forth and back between a rain coat or a jacket a bit more warm that you put in a little pocket. Shoes wise I have nike, converse open ones, and flats. In tel aviv will it get really hot or jeans tshirts and flats will be ok ? No need for a dress or shorts ?
    Thank you so much

    Reply

    1. Temperatures are likely to be around 22 celsius in Tel Aviv which is kinda perfect for jeans and a tee, and then a light jacket in the evening. Though coming from Canada, you may not even need the light jacket.
      Your plan sounds good to me and should cover you for the evenings and the cooler places (Jerusalem and the Upper Galilee). I don’t think shorts are needed in March. In fact, many women – myself included – avoid shorts throughout the year and that’s never an issue. I think a light jacket for the rain would be more than enough as you’ll have layers that you can use if it gets really cold (and that’s a very unlikely scenario anyway). You’ll end up wearing mostly tee-shirts, IMO but again, I wouldn’t worry about not bringing enough because that’s an item you can easily buy here. I like buying tees when we travel because they make really nice souvenirs.
      For the shoes, whatever you’re comfortable walking in, really. Nothing would be too hot for March and you won’t need boots.

      Reply

  69. Thanks for the post. I was wondering what do u recommand for march. I am coming march 11 to 27th. Going to tel aviv, mitzpe ramon, jerusalem, dead sea and Nazareth-gallile sea-haifa.
    I am struggling to pack ahah dont really have summer clothes…will jeans be too warm ?
    Thanks

    Reply

    1. March can be tricky, and not only in Israel. It’s the first official month of spring and is mostly warm though you can get a rainy/cold spell for a few days. The good news is that it’s highly unlikely (almost impossible) for the weather to get extremely cold. Above freezing is almost guaranteed pretty much everywhere any time of day or night. It’s also unlikely to get too hot. We start getting the odd heatwave around April. Overall, it’s a great month for traveling but you have to be prepared for some rain (not too often).
      Definitely pack short sleeved shirts. You’ll be wearing them most of the time, carrying a light jacket or long sleeve top for cooler environments. These could be Jerusalem in the morning or evening, or just getting inside an air conditioned museum. Jeans should absolutely work, unless you’re hiking in the desert areas. It depends on the jeans too, some are lighter than others, and on your own comfort level with heat/cold. Personally, I would be ok wearing jeans pretty much anywhere you mentioned during March.
      So, to recap, you should have great weather and it’s going to be warm (though not too hot). Definitely light material and short sleeves for your first layer. Then one or two light long-sleeved options as well, preferably layers you can add and take off as may be necessary. If you’re sensitive to the cold, maybe one item that can keep you warmer if you go out on a cool Jerusalem evening. Nothing too bulky though. And don’t fret, if you end up here and really need a teeshirt, you can grab one pretty much anywhere. Or any item of clothing, for that matter. I don’t like wasting/spending time on shopping when I travel but it’s good to know that you’re covered in case you forget to bring something along. Enjoy your trip!

      Reply

      1. Thank you for providing this wonderful information. What clothing items would you suggest to bring when traveling to Israel in November. A group of ladies and i will be traveling to Israel from November 10th thru November 19th.

        Thank you

        Reply

        1. Hi Rita,
          So far we’re having a nice warm October. I was in Tel Aviv yesterday and everyone seemed to be wearing shorts and sandals! November could go either way and there’s also the question of where you’ll be visiting. Jerusalem and the Galilee are generally cooler than the coastal areas and it’s possible to have rainy days too, so you should bring a jacket and some warm clothes but make sure you also have something light and airy for visiting Tel Aviv or the southern parts of the country.

          Reply

  70. I am doing a semester abroad program in Israel and I am worried about packing to much. My mom thinks that I should bring a little lease then I would prefer because I’ll be able to shop at the street markets and pick up more clothes there. What do you think?

    Reply

    1. I can relate. I tend to pack too much for our trips too. Here’s the thing, everything is available in Israel, from swimming suits to ski gear, however clothes are usually a bit more expensive than they are in the US. You can shop cheaper at street markets but the quality varies and you’re not likely to have decent changing rooms. Most people avoid them and prefer to pay a little more at the mall shops.

      Either way, if you pack too little, you won’t have any problem getting everything you need while in Israel. I don’t think I would plan on doing a lot of shopping here as a goal but I would try to avoid overpacking too, knowing that worst-case scenario, you can buy whatever you need in Israel.
      You didn’t mention when you’re coming or where to, so I just thought I’d mention that unless you’re coming to Jerusalem during winter time, you probably don’t need any serious winter gear. In the coastal area, a rain jacket is enough for winter and anything warmer will hardly get used.
      I hope you have an awesome time here! Do let me know if you have any other questions about staying in Israel.

      Reply

  71. Thank you for the good information. I will be traveling to Israel from March 6-15 with a Church group from New Jersey. I am really excited about the trip and I am trying to make wise decisions on what to wear as well as the best carry on–hand bag, etc. The little things that will make for a smooth trip.
    Thank you again for your help.

    Reply

    1. Thank you for your comment! I hope you have a wonderful trip in Israel. March is near perfect here, in terms of weather and how green everything looks. If you have any questions, just leave me more comments here and I’ll do my best to help.

      Reply

    2. Hi…Did you enjoy your trip to Israel? Im going in July with a church group

      Reply

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