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AtlasToursHolyland

Holyland Tourist Information

LocationBusiness Hours      Entry Requirements
Currency & Exchange FacilitiesClimateHolidays
Emergency Phone NumbersTipping 

See Useful Arabic Words & Phrases
 
General Information

The Holyland is probably the only place in the world where geography and history are so closely cross-linked. Every inch of the land has a story to tell, every hill the scene of a battle, and every stone a monument or tomb.

Area 28,630 km2
Population  8,255,058 (1998)
Capital Jerusalem
Capital population 379,000 (Est. 1997)

It has always been and is still making history, providing lessons for future generations to learn.


PresidentMahmoud Abbas (Palestine) - Ezer Weizman (Israel)
Principal CitiesJerusalem, Tel Aviv - Jaffa, Haifa, Ramallah, Akko, Nazareth, Gaza, Eilat, and Tiberias
 
Location

Southwestern Asia, bordering eastern coast of the Mediterranean sea, bounded on the north by Lebanon, on north east by Syria (Jolan heights), on the east by Jordan, on the west by the Mediterranean sea, and on the south west by Egypt. See map in Map & Sites page.


Official languageHebrew & ArabicSecond languageEnglish
ReligionsJewish 68% - Muslims 26% - Christians 6%MeasuresMetric
TimeGMT +02:00 - US EST +7Electricity110/220 Volts, 50 AC
CurrencySheckel, US Dollar, and JD (see below)Int'l Dialing Code00972
 
Business Hours

Everyday from 8:00 to 17:00 except Fridays from 8:30 to 13:00 - Saturdays Off.

Predominantly Muslim areas like East Jerusalem, Gaza Strip and the West Bank towns remain open on Saturday but are closed all day Friday. Christian owned businesses concentrated in Jerusalem Old City close on Sunday. Standard shopping hours are Monday to Thursday 8:00 - 13:00 and 16:00 - 19:00 or later.

Keep in mind that on February (Shabbat), all Israeli shops, offices and places of entertainment close down. Shabbat starts at sundown on Friday and ends at sundown Saturday.

 
Entry Requirements

Easterns need to get a VISA to enter the Holy Land, others need a valid passport only.

Note: If you want to visit Syria, Lebanon, and/or Iraq, no Israeli stamp or any crossing point with Israel stamp should be on your passport this includes Araba border, Sheikh Hussein border, Rafah border, and Taba border.

 
Currency & Exchange Facilities

The main currency in the Holy Land is the New Israeli Shekel (NIS) which equals $0.25 US Dollars. One NIS is 100 Agorot.

Coin denominations are: 10, 50 agorot and 1, 5, 10 NIS.
Paper denominations are: 20, 50, 100, 200 NIS.
US Dollar can be used in East and West Jerusalem.
Jordan Dinar is used in East Jerusalem (1 JD = 6 SH).

There are no restrictions on the amount of foreign currency one can take in or out of the country, nor is one compelled to change any set amount on arrival. Visitors are advised to take dollars, but any other major European currency can also be freely changed at banks and with currency exchange offices.

Major credit cards such as Master Card, Visa, Diners Club and AMEX are accepted. Nearly every establishment takes credit cards. Many bank foyers are equipped with cash dispensing ATMs accepting all of the major international credit cards. Traveller Cheques are also accepted and visitors will have no trouble getting them cashed.

Bearers of Eurocheques can even exchange them at branches of the post office or go to one of the non-commission currency exchange bureaus.

 
Climate

April through October are rainless, June to August are hot summer months, November to March are winter months, with cool to cold tempratures and rain.

The climate is clear anytime of the year. In winter, Jericho is a favorite resort and even Jerusalem sun can be warm during the day. Winter can be cold, rainy with the possibility of snow in some areas. Spring is definitely the best time to visit, the weather is temperate enough making it enjoyable to travel around.

Average temperature in Centigrade
 JanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec
Jerusalem111416212527293028261914
Tel Aviv181920222528303031292519
Haifa171821252528303030272318
Jericho222326313537404040332823
Dead Sea202225323437393936322722
 
Holidays
New Year1st JanuaryLabor Day1st May

Islamic holidays based on Hijri/Lunar calendar
Eid Al-Fiter3 days marking end of Ramadan (fasting month)
Eid Al-Adha3 days at the end of Hajj
Islamic New Year1st of Moharram
Prophet Mohammad (pbuh) Birthday12th Rabe'a El-Awwal
Al-Isra' Wal Mi'raj27th Rajab

Christian holidays
Orthodox Christmas7th Jan
Armenian Christmas19th Jan
Good Friday1 Day
Easter Sunday1 Day
Orthodox & Armenian Good Friday1 Day
Orthodox & Armenian Easter Sunday1 Day
Western Christmas25th Dec

Jewish holidays
Pesach1st to 8th Apr
Yum Kipur20th Sep
Succoi25th Sep to 3rd Oct
 
Emergency Phone Numbers  (PA = Palestinian Authority)
Emergency (PA)02 741 323Police (PA)02 748 222
Ambulance (PA)02 741 161/2/3Fire (PA)02 741 123
Police100Ambulance101
Fire102Phone Inquiries144
 
Tipping

Tipping policy in the Holyland is usually minimized as follows:

$2 US Dollars per person daily for driver
$3 US Dollars per person daily for IDE
$1 US Dollar to be divided between hotel and restaurant

Of course this is not a strict rule as everybody goes with it depending on his/her own satisfaction.

 
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