See the Holy Land without worrying about your finances with these quick tips and easy solutions on how to best spend money in Israel.
Spending in Israel is similar to spending at home and card payments are widely accepted. We recommend bringing a debit card for easy tap payments and withdrawals as well as making sure you have some cash on you – especially if you're heading outside of a major city.
Compare travel money options for Israel
In Israel, debit and credit cards are widely accepted and ATMs are readily available in tourist areas, but you will need cash for purchases at smaller shops, restaurants and markets. A good idea is to bring your debit card for regular purchases and to withdraw cash as needed while having a credit card as your backup.
Should I bring a pre-paid travel card, credit card or debit card to Israel?
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What's the Israeli currency?
The local currency used in Israel is the shekel, which is broken down into 100 agora. Shekel bills come in denominations of 20, 50, 100 or 200. Coins come in denominations of 10 or 50 agorot or 1, 2, 5 or 10 shekels.
Over the last few years, the exchange rate has hovered between 2.6 and 3.2 shekels to 1 Australian dollar.
Travel money tips for Israel
- Watch out for shops that advertise "commission-free" shopping. These shops may have a worse exchange rate than one you can find elsewhere.
- Bring cash if travelling to smaller towns. ATMs aren't as widely available outside major cities such as Tel Aviv, Jerusalem, Nazareth and Haifa.
- Don't leave it until the last minute to get shekels if you're running low. ATMs in Israel sometimes go down for international connections.
- You may not have ATM access on Friday/Saturday. ATMs aren't stocked on Shabbat (from sunset on Friday until sunset on Saturday), so most people take money out on Friday, which could leave you without cash if the ATM runs out of money.
- Avoid using traveller's cheques. They're pricey to cash, and that's if you can even find somewhere to cash them.
- Exchange or withdraw your money when you get to Israel. You'll most likely find a better rate than you will in Australia. ATMs are available at the airport, so you won't be stranded without cash.