👥 Population: 9.3 million
🌍 Region: Middle East
🗣 Languages: Hebrew
🚙 Drive on the: Right
💵 Currency: New Shekel, ILS, ₪
☎️ Calling Code: +972
Israel is a small, diverse country in western Asia featuring beaches, desert, mountain ranges, and modern urban areas. Its population hails from over 100 countries making it rich in cultural diversity. Israel is a young country and is often called "startup nation" due to how it is run.
👩💻 Israel has the highest concentration of tech startups outside of the US.
💧 Israel recycles 90% of its waste water, making it a world leader in water recycling.
🕶 Israeli banknotes have Braille markings on them.
Blue: Visa free access for 90 days
Grey: Visa required
Brown: Confirmation from Israeli Foreign Ministry required
Depending on your country of origin you may stay in Ireland visa free for up to 90 days.
If you require a visit visa, they are valid for up to 90 days. It is called a "B2 Visitor's visa".
Israel has a visa specifically designed to attract startups called the "Innovation Visas Program for Foreign Entrepreneurs". We've covered the details of it in our resource for Startup visas around the world, which you can access here.
Every Jew regardless of citizenship has the right to a permanent visa in Israel.
There is no limit to the amount of cash you take into Israel but you do have to declare anything over ₪90,000. Make sure to find out whether you need to tell your bank of your travels as many, as a security feature, will freeze your account.
You can withdraw cash at any ATM in Israel by using your local bank card. Bear in mind that these often have high fees and your bank may also charge you.
Consider opening an e-money/digital money account such as Wise or Revolut as you can save a considerable amount in withdrawal, conversion and transfer fees.
You can pay with your credit or debit card in most establishments. VISA or MasterCard are accepted everywhere that accepts card payments. Even though American Express and Diners Club are accepted widely, they will most likely not be accepted by small businesses such as restaurants, corner shops etc.
There are 3 main mobile network providers:
Getting a SIM card in Israel can be tricky to navigate. There are a lot of options. Pelephone is the easiest SIM card to get for visitors. You can get one from official Pelephone stores. Take your passport with you as identification to get your SIM.
As of July 2021, 39GB of data will cost you ₪79 per month.