Israel Fast Facts
Israel is located in the Middle East and borders Lebanon, Syria, Jordan and Egypt. In contrast to the neighboring countries, Israel is considered a very safe travel destination. A diverse cuisine, exciting culture, varied landscapes and friendly people usually surprise first-time travelers in a very positive way. Israel is a very exciting and worthwhile travel destination. See andyeducation for education in Israel.
|Size||Heartland 22,380 km², occupied areas 6,831 km²|
|Official Language||Ivrit (Hebrew)|
|Currency||New (Israeli) shekel|
|Telephone Area Code||+972|
Fast facts to know
- A passport valid for six months after the trip is required for entry.
- Security checks at the airport are very extensive, plan enough time.
- Israel is considered a safe travel destination, but you should avoid proximity to the Gaza Strip and the West Bank.
- Israel is the largest importer of cut flowers to Europe.
- The Dead Sea is 420 meters below sea level and due to the high salt content it swims itself.
- Jerusalem’s status as the capital is internationally disputed.
- The city of Be’er Sheva is considered a chess stronghold. Measured against the number of inhabitants, most chess grandmasters in the world live here.
- Albert Einstein is one of the co-founders of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.
- Israel is an immigrant society.
- In Israel there are more than 150 nature reserves and 65 national parks.
- In an international comparison, Israel’s start-up scene is far ahead, only in Silicon Valley there are more start-ups in relation to the number of inhabitants.
- The most important biblical places of the Christian faith can be found in Israel.
Exciting cities in Israel
- Tel Aviv
history of Israel
- As early as 18,000 B.C. there were permanent settlers in what is now Israel.
- 11-12 Century first archaeologically proven traces of an early or proto-Israelite settlement in the region of Palestine.
- 1,000 BC According to biblical tradition, Jerusalem is conquered by the Jebusites and chosen as their capital.
- 165 BC The rebellion of the Maccabees brings Israel another 100 years of national independence.
- 63 BC the period of Roman supremacy begins.
- From 636 under Arab rule. Since that time, Palestine has been predominantly inhabited by Arabs.
- 1099 to 1291 Crusaders rule what they call the “Latin Kingdom of Jerusalem”.
- Mamluk rule from 1291 to 1517.
- 1517 to 1918 Ottoman rule.
- From 1800 beginning of the Zionist movement.
- 1882 First mass immigration (Alija) of Jews to Palestine.
- 1901 Establishment of the Jewish National Fund to promote Jewish settlements in Palestine for the first time.
- 1905 failed Russian Revolution triggers second Aliyah.
- World War I – important chapter in the founding of Israel: Britain is the first European state to recognize the Zionist goal of a Jewish state in Palestine.
- In 1933, when the NSDAP came to power, the nationwide persecution of Jews began in Germany.
- Incredibly cruel and extensive genocide of the Jews during World War II.
- 1947 Israeli-Arab Civil War (Palestine War).
- 1948 Foundation of the State of Israel with the following War of Independence.
- In 1950 Israel declared Jerusalem its capital (Jerusalem is still not recognized as the capital of Israel by the United Nations and the majority of member states).
- 1956 Suez Crisis.
- 1967 Six Day War.
- 1973 Yom Kippur War.
- 1977 Beginning of the peace process.
- 1982 Lebanon War.
- 1987 First Intifada.
- 2000 Second Intifada.
- Israel is still at the center of the Middle East conflict.
Climate & travel weather in Israel
- Transition from the Mediterranean climate to the desert climate.
- North: Mediterranean (hot, dry summers, mild, wet winters).
- More rain inland.
- The further south, the less precipitation.
- South: extremely high temperatures in summer, high humidity on the coast.
- Winter uncomfortably cool, with heavy rain on the coast and frost in the highlands.
- Recommended travel time:
- March, April, May, September, October.
- Beach holiday: June-August.
Ideas for trips in Israel
- Masada Fortress, Judean Desert
- Yad Vashem Memorial
- Western Wall
- Temple Mount
- Church of the Holy Sepulchre
- Bahai Gardens
- Cruise on the Sea of Galilee
- Swimming in the Dead Sea
- Underwater Observatory Marine Park
Food & Drink in Israel
- Cuisine is an eclectic mix of immigrant cuisines from more than 80 countries.
- There is no independent Israeli cuisine.
- Holiday dishes are sumptuous and very delicious.
- Breakfast is usually lavish. Fresh fruit, eggs, many types of cheese, olives, vegetable salads, humus, yoghurt, but also fish and rolls with jam are part of it.
- For larger meals, mezze (varied and varied starters and appetizers) and bread are served.
- Israelis select the dishes one after the other in order to be able to properly enjoy the individual taste of each delicacy.
- Important types of bread contain only wheat, barley, millet and rye.
- Typical breads: Mallawah (crispy fried, delicious calorie bombs), Lahuh (light pancakes) and Jahnoon (strudel-like batter with a high fat content).
- Israeli dinners are usually light.
- Fish is very popular, fish dishes are an integral part of every feast.
- Fish is often grilled on charcoal and seasoned with garlic, lemon juice and paprika.
- Israel’s fruits and vegetables are legendary, very popular: kiwis, mangoes, persimmons, loquats, passion fruit, cheromoya, papayas, dates, figs, pomegranates, strawberries.
- Milk is an important part of many dishes.
- No pork – not offered anywhere for religious reasons.
- Typical spices: cumin, coriander, mint, garlic, onion, turmeric, black pepper, cardamom, chillies.
- There are delicious desserts.
- Turkish mocha or tea flavored with fresh mint complete the meal.
- Freshly squeezed citrus or carrot juice is also often used as a drink.
- There are excellent local wines.
- Typical dishes:
- Felafel (hummus balls fried in floating fat, with salad in a bread bag).
- Gefilte Fisch (Fish farce with many ingredients that is stuffed into a fish skin or formed into a fish shape)
- Kebab (seasoned ground beef or mutton in the form of balls).
- Mazzenknejdl (dumplings made of bread, milk and salt, breaded or unbreaded).
- Mashi (stuffed eggplant).
- Shakshuka (dish made from eggs with fresh tomatoes and spices).
- Sharwarma (Roasted Mutton or Chicken, Salad, Pittah Bread).
- Shulent (Eastern European bean stew with potatoes, fatty meat).
- Knisches (dumplings filled with onions, potatoes, seasoned meat).
- Humus (creamy mashed chickpeas, seasoned with lemon juice, garlic, cumin, tahini).
- Konafa (pastries with honey syrup, almonds, nuts, pistachios).
- Krupnik (soup stew made from pearl barley, beans, vegetables, meat).
- Shishlik (roasted lamb or beef on a skewer).
- Seniya (lamb or beef in tahini sauce).
- Tabbouleh (salad made from crushed wheat, with parsley, mint and lemon juice).
- Blintzes (sweet pancakes filled with cottage cheese).
- Hamentashen (triangular cookies filled with jam, syrup or icing).
- Caves and chalk cliffs of Rosh Hanikra
- Red Canyon in Timna Park
- Negev desert
- Sorek Cave
- Bell Caves in Maresha National Park
- Banias Waterfall, Hermon River
- The Red Sea, Eilat
- Arava Depression
- Avshalom Cave
- Golan Heights