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FESTIVALS, HOLIDAYS AND OTHER ANNUAL EVENTS IN Tel Aviv-Yafo

There are a number of festivals, holidays and other events celebrated in Tel Aviv each year.
The main ones are listed below.

Last Friday in February: Tel Aviv Marathon (local event)

More than 30,000 runners from around the world take part in this high-profile marathon every year. Given the festive and dynamic spirit of its host city, the mental and physical toughness demonstrated by the competitors meets its match in the energy they bring to the after-race festivities, which inevitably include a picnic on a grand scale and a huge party.

March – Fourteenth day of Adar in the Jewish calendar: Purim (celebrated nationwide)

This festival celebrates the foiling of a plot to wipe out the Jews of ancient Persia, a story recounted in the Book of Esther. All of Tel Aviv takes on a carnival atmosphere, with well-planned massive street parties featuring top-notch DJs, but also smaller impromptu ones continuing for the entire week. Revellers dress up in all manner of costumes and it is considered a mitzvah (“good deed done from religious duty”) to get inebriated paying tribute to this historical triumph over adversity. But many fun events for families are also organized, including puppet shows and a large parade with marching bands, floats, costumed performers and dancers.

May – Fifth day of Iyar in the Jewish calendar: Yom Ha'atzmaut (Independence Day, national holiday)

Commemorates the formal establishment of the State of Israel, when members of the provisional government signed a Declaration of Independence in Tel Aviv. The original date in the Gregorian calendar was May 14, 1948. Although the main official ceremony takes place on Mount Herzl, Israel's national cemetery near Jerusalem, with speeches, dancers and fireworks, celebrations are organized across Israel, including military parades, air force flyovers, concerts and parties.

September – First and second days of Tishri in the Jewish calendar: Rosh Hashanah (Jewish New Year, national holiday)

This autumn festival constitutes the first two days of Yamim Noraim, the ten “Days of Awe” or High Holy Days, a period spent in profound reflection and prayer that concludes with Yom Kippur. The sound of the shofar, made from a ram's horn, calls the faithful to pray at the synagogue. It is also a time for families to gather around a festive dinner table for a meal including special foods to celebrate the occasion.

September/October – Tenth day of Tishri in the Jewish calendar: Yom Kippur (Day of Atonement, national holiday)

The holiest day in the Jewish year, this festival is a time for individual introspection and is generally observed with fasting and prayers seeking God's forgiveness. All of Israel comes to a virtual standstill and Tel Aviv's synagogues welcome many worshippers.

September/October – Fifteenth to the twenty-second day of Tishri in the Jewish calendar: Sukkot (Feast of Tabernacles, celebrated nationwide)

This seven-day harvest festival commemorates the Israelite experience of wandering in the desert for 40 years following the escape from slavery in Egypt. Temporary shelters called sukkah are built outside where meals are eaten for the entire period. Many Orthodox Jews even sleep in them.

December – Twenty-fifth day of Kislev to the second day of Tevet in the Jewish calendar: Hanukkah (Festival of Lights, celebrated nationwide)

This festival commemorates the rededication of the Second Temple in 165 B.C., when Jews successfully rose up against their Greek-Syrian oppressors in the Maccabean revolt. Lasting for eight days, it is celebrated with the lighting of candles (or the burning of oil) in a special eight-branched menorah, traditional foods, games and gifts. In Tel Aviv, all hotels, shops and government offices place menorahs in their windows.

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CLIMATE AND WEATHER IN Tel Aviv-Yafo

Tel Aviv enjoys a Mediterranean climate and has over 300 days of sunshine a year. The city can experience heat waves in the summer and experiences a long dry period from April to October. Winters are humid and very mild.

Month Min. Average Temperature (°C/F°) Max. Average Temperature (°C/F°) Average Rains (MM) Best Time to Travel
January 10/50 17/63 127/5.0 Not the best period to go
February 10/50 18/64 90/3.5 Not the best period to go
March 11/52 19/66 60/2.4 Not the best period to go
April 14/57 23/73 18/0.7 Not the best period to go
May 17/63 25/77 2/0.1 Not the best period to go
June 21/70 27/81 0/0.0 Good period to go Good period to go
July 23/73 29/84 0/0.0 Good period to go Good period to go
August 24/75 30/86 0/0.0 Good period to go Good period to go
September 22/72 29/84 0/0.0 Good period to go Good period to go
October 15/59 27/81 26/1.0 Not the best period to go
November 11/52 23/73 79/3.1 Not the best period to go
December 11/52 19/66 126/5.0 Not the best period to go
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Tel Aviv Ben Gurion International Airport

Tel Aviv's Ben Gurion International Airport is located about 15 kilometres (9 miles) south-east of the city centre.

  • Four terminals:
    • Terminal 1
    • Terminal 2
    • Terminal 3 (Air France)
    • Terminal 4

Getting from the airport to Tel Aviv and back
  • By car
    • Accessible via Highway 1.
    • Several short- and long-term parking facilities are available:
      • Car Park 18 in Terminal 3 is intended for picking up arriving passengers (free for the first 15 minutes, then NIS 30 for the first hour and NIS 6 for each additional 15 minutes).
      • The other short-term parking facilities are the Vineyard Car Park in Terminal 3 (NIS 18 for the first hour, NIS 4 for each additional 15 minutes) and the Terminal 1 Car Park (NIS 16 for the first hour, NIS 3 for each additional 15 minutes, NIS 80 for 24 hours).
      • The Terminal 1 Car Park may also be used for long-term parking (NIS 40 per day after the first day at short-term rates).
      • Additional long-term parking is available at the Long-Term Car Park adjacent to Terminal 3 (NIS 80 per day) and at Car Park 15 farther from the terminals (NIS 40 per day in the uncovered lot, NIS 70 per day in the smaller roofed area, including free shuttle bus transfer to Terminal 3).
    • Several car rental companies have counters in the Eastern Gallery (arrivals hall) on the first floor.
  • By rail
    • Israel Railways connects the airport with central Tel Aviv every 30 minutes (no service from Friday afternoon at 2:30 p.m. to Saturday at 6:30 p.m., then every hour on Saturday evening). Trains depart from Ben Gurion Airport station, located on Level S of Terminal 3, with access from Level G near Gate 3 of the Greeters Hall. The trip takes about 20 minutes and the fare is NIS 16.00 one way and NIS 25.50 round trip.
  • By bus
    • Buses 475, 476 and 500 to central Tel Aviv leave from El Al Junction on Highway 40, approximately 5 kilometres (3 miles) from Ben Gurion Airport. To reach El Al Junction, take buses 5, 13 or 239 from Terminals 1 and 3. The total fare each way is about NIS 13.
  • By taxi
    • Licensed taxi services are provided under the supervision of the Israel Airport Authority. Arriving passengers are requested to order taxis only from the official dispatcher posts on Level G of Terminal 3 at Gate 03 or at Gate 03 of Terminal 1. The trip to central Tel Aviv takes about 20 minutes and costs around NIS 150.

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GETTING AROUND Tel Aviv-Yafo

A welcoming, energetic city attracting large numbers of international visitors annually, Tel Aviv offers every convenience to make getting around easy. Moreover, tourists can reach any point in the city for a reasonable price.

By bus

C'Buses are the main mode of transport in Tel Aviv. On most routes, fares can be paid directly to the driver in cash. The standard fare for a single trip by bus within Tel Aviv is NIS 6.90.

Useful tip: The Rav-Kav, an electronic fare card, may be purchased from any driver on the bus routes operated by Dan, for just NIS 5.00. You can then load it with any of the following offers:

  • Two single trips within 90 minutes for NIS 12.80
  • Travel values starting at NIS 30.00 (any number of transfers free of charge within 90 minutes of first use counts as a single ride)
  • An unlimited daily pass for NIS 15.20

By minibus

In addition to the main bus routes, privately run minibuses, also known as “service taxis”, run along several of the more popular routes. These may be flagged down at any point along the route and passengers can request to be dropped off at their convenience. The fare is about the same as that for regular buses and must be paid in cash. Minibuses also run on Saturday, when regular buses do not operate.

By rail

Tel Aviv expects to complete the construction of its first urban light-rail line in 2022.

By taxi

Many taxis ply Tel Aviv's streets at all hours. You will never have any difficulty finding one, wherever you are in the city. However, make sure the driver turns on the meter when setting off. The initial charge is NIS 12.30, to which is added about NIS 12.00 for each kilometre, under normal traffic conditions.

By bicycle

Tel Aviv has a public bike-sharing system, called Tel-O-Fun, with nearly 750 bicycles available at some 80 stations throughout the city. The daily access fee is NIS 17 (NIS 23 on Saturdays and public holidays) and the weekly access fee is NIS 70.
Rental rates depend on the total usage time:

  • Up to 30 minutes: Free of charge
  • Up to 60 minutes: NIS 6
  • Up to 90 minutes: NIS 12
  • Up to 150 minutes: NIS 32
  • Up to 210 minutes: NIS 72
  • Up to 270 minutes: NIS 152
  • Each additional hour, up to 24 hours: NIS 100

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Visitor information

Upon your arrival in Tel Aviv, you can get in touch with local tourism professionals for further information and to help organize your stay.

Tel Aviv Tourist Information Centers

Offer practical information and many useful recommendations (accommodation, restaurants, public transport, festivals, cultural events, etc.).

Further information available online for visitors to Israel

The official website maintained by Israel's Ministry of Tourism provides a wealth of information on Tel Aviv.

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Medical information

See your doctor before you travel.

Vaccinations

Booster doses of diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis and polio vaccines are recommended. Depending on the length of your stay and hygiene conditions, the following additional vaccinations are also recommended: typhoid, hepatitis A and B.

For more information, contact Air France's international vaccination centre:

Water

Tap water is safe to drink in Tel Aviv.

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Administrative formalities

Israel has entered into visa exemption agreements with a number of countries.

To find out if you will need a visa for travel to Israel, visit the website of the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs: http://mfa.gov.il/MFA/ConsularServices/Pages/Visas.aspx

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Essential phrases

Voici quelques phrases en hébreu qui pourront vous être utiles lors de votre séjour à Tel Aviv :

Bonjour : Shalom / Boker tov / Tzahara'im tovim

Bonsoir : Erev tov

Au revoir : shalom

Oui : ken

Non : lo

Non, merci : lo toda

Merci beaucoup : Toda raba

Je ne comprends pas : Ani lo mewin.

Pouvez-vous répéter : Ha'im tochal lachzor al ze.

S'il vous plaît : Bevakasha.

Quelle heure est-il ? : Ma hasha'a ?

Excusez-moi :Slicha.

Aéroport : Namal Te'oefah.

Gare : Tachanat rakevet

Taxi : Taxi

Hôtel : Malon

Hôpital : Beit cholim

Banque : Bank

Téléphone : Telephone

Je suis (…) : Ani (…).

Je recherche (…) : Ani mechapes (…).

Quel est le prix de (…) ? : Kama Ze (…) ?

Avez-vous (…) ? : Ha'im yesh lecha (…) ?

Où puis-je trouver (…) ? : Aefo efshar limtzo (…) ?

Où puis-je acheter (…) ? : Aefo efshar liknot (…) ?

Je voudrais (…) : Haiiti rotze (…).

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Good to know

intl. access code + 972
+ phone number without the 0 (calls to Tel Aviv)
0 : 00
of time difference with
Moscow
Start of daylight saving time: last Friday in March
End of daylight saving time: last Sunday in October

Banks

Usually open Sunday to Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and 4 p.m. to 6 p.m.
Government offices

Usually open Sunday to Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
230 V / 50 Hz

And what about tipping?
In Tel Aviv like elsewhere in Israel, there are no hard-and-fast rules for tipping. If a restaurant bill does not already include a service charge, it is appropriate to tip between 10 and 15 percent. Taxi drivers do not expect to receive a tip and hotel bellboys should be tipped a lump sum of between NIS 10 and NIS 20, not an amount per bag.