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What a Trip to Israel Costs in 2023 | Average Prices

What a Trip to Israel Costs in 2023 | Average Prices

The Holy Land has been a destination of fascination since ancient times. Today, its many landmarks and deep cultural associations with some of the world’s biggest religions make it equally fascinating.

People come to Israel for tours of Jerusalem’s most sacred destinations, to see its sprawling deserts and stunning ruins, or to taste the world’s best hummus … at least if you believe the locals.

Before you get too excited about the itinerary, though, it pays to make sure you can afford the trip. (Yes, pun intended.) Naturally, the cost will vary considerably depending on who and how many people are traveling.

For instance, a backpacking college student can expect to pay much less than an elderly couple who need comfortable accommodations – or woe betide their backs.

That said, we’ve offered an average below.

Once you have a basic idea of the costs, you can decide whether or not the trip will work for you. If you have a strict budget, there are still ways to make it work, as long as you put in some diligent planning upfront.

In addition to discussing ways to save money, we’ll take a look at what to do and what to watch out for, so you can have the safest trip as well as the most affordable.

Ready to learn more about your Israel trip? Here’s your guide!

Average Trip to Israel Cost in 2023

Average Israel Trip Cost Table

An average one-week trip to Israel for two people in 2023 will cost up to $6,000.

  • Average Accommodation Cost: $275 per night
  • Average Flight Cost: $1,000
  • Food, Drink & Activities: $125 per person, per day
  • Transportation: $300
  • Total Cost: $5,975

Again, keep in mind that the costs for your trip will vary considerably depending on your individual needs and preferences. If you’re only going to visit a few cities and plan to walk most places, then you won’t need to pay as much for transportation, for example.

However, if you want to see lots of different ruins and visit more remote parts of the country – such as Ein Gedi or Caesarea – you’ll need to plan for a car rental or public transportation fare.

Some good news: the dollar is quite strong compared to the shekel, Israel’s national currency.

The exchange rate varies, of course, but it’s about four shekels to a dollar in 2023, which gives you a lot of wiggle room on costs. As you look through the sections below, consider in which areas you want to spend and which you could save.

Israel Trip Cost: Average by Item

Average trip to Israel cost photo showing some of the most popular beach activities, as seen from above between the rocks in Eilat, a famous beach resort

Sergei25/Shutterstock

Let’s not lie … Covid-19 did nothing for the cost of travel. Today’s travel costs are off-the-charts high, giving many people the choice between not traveling at all or spending a truly shocking amount on the experience. The good news is, if you know where to save, you can make your Israel trip a lot more affordable.

Accommodation Costs

As with anywhere else in the world, you can spend as much as you want on lodging. Literally, if you have the money, there’s a fancy establishment that is happy to take it.

Since most of us aren’t renting large villas with reflecting pools, though, let’s stick to the more basic options. Luckily, Israel has many of those. Typically hotel prices range from $150 to $400 a night for an average of around $275 a night.

If you stay in a pod hotel – where you get just a bed in a tiny room and share all other facilities – you can go as low as $50 per person for a room that fits one. Hostel prices are even lower, around $20 to $30 a night.

One of the best ways to save money is to get a package where you wrap your flight and hotel costs together. A week in Israel with flights and hotels can cost as little as $2,200 per person.

These costs will go up during peak season, travel times, and with more convenient flights. If you’re looking for a more rarified experience, Israel is busy constructing beautiful vacation destinations across the land.

Flight Costs

The rough cost of a flight from New York to Tel Aviv is about $1,000 per person, round trip. From Los Angeles or Chicago is about the same, though from less major hubs or small cities, you can expect to pay hundreds of dollars more per person.

Summer is the peak tourist season in Israel, so you should also plan to spend more on tickets from June through September. If you travel during a major Jewish holiday, such as Passover or Rosh Hashanah, you will also encounter higher costs.

The best way to save on flights is to be willing to travel longer. Any time you axe a stopover or transfer, you’ll spend more money for the privilege of a straight shot.

If you have back trouble, young children, or are just plain exhausted by travel, consider staying a night or two in one of the most common layover cities.

Rather than catching your connecting flight right away, check with the airline or a booking company to find out where you can stay awhile. New York, Reykjavik, and Amsterdam are all common layover destinations for Tel Aviv.

On a final note, weekdays are usually cheaper to fly internationally than weekends. Folks who work 9-to-5 jobs often try to schedule a week or two away for weekends to maximize time off and recovery, but it might be worth sacrificing the perfect timing to save money.

Food, Drink & Activity Costs

As Rick Steves points out, Israel’s “sights, ranging from Biblical ruins to Crusader fortresses to WWII memorials to cosmopolitan cities, are breathtaking. Israel is also easy to tour — its excellent bus system puts any city within reach.

Happily, Israel isn’t that spendy when it comes to food and entertainment. If you’re not overly committed to admission-charging sites, such as museums and shows, then you’ll save even more money.

The fine weather and beautiful public spaces make it easy to spend lots of quality time in the Holy Land without ponying up.

A meal in Israel can run around $10 per person, but is cheaper for street food and more expensive for the fine dining that you’ll find in cities like Tel Aviv, Acre, and Haifa.

Note that tours are a bit more expensive.

Plan on doling out between $50 and $100 per person to get shown around Jerusalem or ferried from Masada to Ein Gedi to the Dead Sea. If you want plenty of spending money to tour ruins, eat out, and see a flick, plan for about $125 per day, per person.

Transportation Costs

In Israel, transportation costs are quite reasonable. It costs about $70 to go from Haifa to Jerusalem by car, for example, which is even more reasonable if there are multiple people in your party.

A train ticket from Tel Aviv to Caesarea will cost you about $8 and a bus ticket even less, around $4.

From Tel Aviv to Ein Gedi, you’ll pay between $6 and $12 for a roughly 3-hour trip. In-town transportation costs are reasonable as well, with taxis charging about $2.50 per mile (translated from shekels per kilometer) and $20 an hour to wait.

You can get around in town on only a few dollars a day if you take public transportation or walk most of the time.

Totaling these costs and taking into account the fact that you’ll want to make longer trips to the more far-flung parts of the country, you should plan on paying about $300 for the week. This will accommodate public transportation and several private car rentals to get you to the furthest reaches.

Things to Consider

Ruins of old Nazareth with mud walls and a ladder, pictured for a guide to the average trip to Israel cost

Artem Markin/Shutterstock

Now that we’ve discussed basics, here are a few more things to keep in mind:

  • You’ll want some cash when you first step off the plane, so exchange your dollars for shekels before you depart or when you arrive. Most places in Israel don’t take dollars, and those that do will give you a terrible exchange rate.
  • People drive on the right side of the road, so it’s not an alarming place to rent a car. This is often a good idea if you’ve got a whole family and want to visit faraway places such as Nazareth or even drive into Jordan to see ruins.
  • Israel is located on the Mediterranean. While beautiful, this means that swimming spots are subject to strong tides and rapid changes in weather, so always pay attention to rules and conditions.
  • The deserts are hot, reaching highs in the 90s and 100s Fahrenheit in the summertime. While it’s a lovely place to tour and hike, make sure you always have enough water. Hike with a buddy and, ideally, keep a method of communication on you at all times.

Frequently Asked Questions

For a guide to the average cost of a trip to Israel, a photo of the old Mahane Yehuda market

Jerusalem, Israel-01.09.2019: Street market at Mahane Yehuda, famous market/Finn Stock/Shutterstock

Is Israel expensive?

Israel is in the Middle East, so it’s technically part of Asia, but its proximity to Europe means it is more expensive than many places in Asia – though less so than the Continent. That makes it affordable to travel if you’re careful.

If you’re not careful, however, the cost of traveling in Israel can stack up. Watch for hidden travel fees or resort fees. Always check how parking or fare is calculated before committing to it, as you’re bound to pay once you’ve received the service.

Also keep in mind that some times of the year are more expensive than others, as mentioned above. Since Israel is beautiful for much of the year – except the dead of winter, which is quite rainy – try non-peak travel times to save.

Is it safe in Israel?

Israel is relatively safe if you steer clear of the West Bank and Gaza, where ongoing unrest is always dangerous to civilians and tourists. You can watch the State Department’s travel advisory page for specific recommendations, and you may decide to postpone your trip depending on what you find.

Note that Israel is populated with a number of Arab towns and has a large Palestinian population. It’s completely safe to frequent their towns, villages, and establishments unless you’ve been specifically warned otherwise by the US or Israeli government or a travel guide.

Is it easy to get around?

Yes, it’s quite easy to get around, and affordable as well. Since Israel is a small country, you can see most of its amazing features in just a few hours’ drive.

When is the best time to visit Israel?

Israel is beautiful in the spring and fall, when it has mild weather, sunny skies, and nice breezes. Summer is the most common travel time and is perfect for beach lovers, but it’s hotter and busier then. You can save money visiting outside of peak times and avoiding major holidays.

Are there passport considerations?

According to the Department of State, airlines may decline your travel to Israel if your passport has less than 6 months left on it. Always make sure to update your passport once you fall beneath a year remaining to avoid this happening. Tourist visas are not required for stays of 90 days or fewer.

The airports in Israel may not automatically stamp your passport upon entry. If you want to make sure you get that stamp, you can ask at immigration, make a land crossing (such as to Jordan), or go to the tourism office to get it.

So, What Is the Average Cost for an Israel Trip?

🛎️ Average Accommodation Cost$275 per night
✈️ Average Flight Cost$1,000 per person
🍽️ Food, Drink & Activities$125 per person, per day
🚕 Transportation$300
💲 Total Cost$5,975

The average cost of a one-week trip to Israel is around $6,000 for two people. As with most countries, what you want to do and where you want to stay will have a big impact on how much you end up spending in the country.

In that time, you can expect to see many amazing sights, eat wonderful food, and travel inside the country for reasonable prices. No matter if you’re a budget traveler or a sky’s-the-limit honeymooner, this country is well worth a visit!