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things to know:


The Hebrew word kosher means conforming to Jewish religious laws. Milk, cream or cheese may not be served in the same meal as meat. Pork and shellfish are not kosher, and rarely seen, although imitation seafood is common and may be indistinguishable from the real thing.


There are nightclubs and discos in most cities. Israel’s club scene, particularly Tel Aviv and Jerusalem, draws DJs and club fans from the USA and Europe. Tel Aviv has a wealth of entertainment and there are rock, jazz, folk and pop music clubs in all the main cities and resorts. Israeli folklore and dance shows can be seen everywhere, especially in the kibbutzim.

Particularly prominent in Israeli life are classical music, ballet, opera and theater, which are mainly based in Tel Aviv. The city has 18 out of Israel’s 35 performing arts centers, including the mainstream Habima Theater and the contemporary Suzanne Dellal Center. The New Israel Opera (website: performs at the Tel Aviv Performing Arts center. The Israeli Philharmonic Orchestra (website: can be heard at the Mann Auditorium in Tel Aviv, the Haifa Auditorium, and the ICC Center in Jerusalem.

Cinema is extremely popular in Israel and many cinemas screen three daily shows of international and local films (all Hebrew films are subtitled in English and French). Tickets and even the films themselves can be purchased from ticket agencies and sometimes from hotels.


israel - food and dining:



Israeli eating has distinctive characteristics, especially the fondness for fresh, finely chopped salads, eaten at every meal including breakfast. In general the cuisine is a fusion of East and West, plus many dishes and flavors brought by Jewish immigrants from all over the world. Most restaurants are moderately priced. Table service is the norm, except at the  many low-cost snack bars. Restaurants, bars and cafes catering for tourists usually have menus in both Hebrew and English.


National drinks:

• Soft drinks - Israelis are among the world’s largest consumers.
• Fresh fruit juices - very popular and widely available, made from all kinds of fruit.
• The wines of Israel range from light white to dry red and sweet rosé. The best come from the Golan and Carmel regions.
Gold Star and Maccabe, Israeli beers.
Sabra (chocolate and orange liqueur). A center for liqueurs is the monastery at Latrun on the road between Jerusalem and Tel Aviv.

Legal drinking age: 18.


A 15% service charge is added to restaurant, cafe and hotel bills by law. There is no need to add any further tip.

National specialties:

Falafel (deep fried balls of mashed chickpeas) in pitta, with hummus (ground chickpeas), tahina (sesame seed sauce) and salads.
• Salads, which include savoury vegetable dishes served cold, such as aubergines.
Shishlik (charcoal grilled meat on a skewer).
Shwarma (slices of grilled meat served in a pitta bread with salad).
Bean stews, with ful beans.
• Ashkenazi classics like cholent (Shabbat meat stew) and gefilte fish, a white fish dish.