Before every trip I always read something about where to change money if the country doesn’t have my currency, and this time something went wrong. Maybe I’m a little stunned? 🙂 Maybe a little?
First thing: do you know what’s the actual currency in Israel?
Israel’s official currency is the Shekel. It’s formally called the New Shekel, that replaced the ‘old’ Shekel in 1985. In the country you’ll find the short for Shekel, as ILS or NIS.
Consider that if you arrive in the country and you haven’t changed any Shekel you might be able to pay in foreign currencies (like euro or dollars) in popular tourist spots.
However, I must say it … It’s a catch because the exchange rate obviously won’t be convenient for you. Also in a shop or restaurant, if you’re gonna pay in euro, you’ll get your change in Shekels. Best to stick to shekels if you can and now let me tell you what I did.
The better way to change your money in Shekel is at the changes points.
When you pass the security control at the airport you’ll find immediately in front of you a change point. Don’t change there your money like I did, they applied a commission!
I had to buy tickets for the bus and I thought to change 50 euro just to have some pocket change…. I should’ve been back 210 ILS but the commission wasn’t free and the change rate was very bad for me. Check my receipt here on the left.
My advice is to change your money outside the airport in one of the exchange, I saw a lot of them all around the cities in Israel, they change your money with no commission!
Remember that during the Shabbat (from every Friday 2pm to every Saturday 6pm) the exchange are closed! So it’s highly probable that on Saturday are closed all day, they don’t open at 6pm. Don’t worry if you are without money and you still need some cash, you can use the cash machines at the banks, which are accessible 24 hours, 7 days a week, but they generally charge a high transaction fee and obviously give a low exchange rate. So it’s not so convenient.
If you are familiar to use a credit card don’t worry! There is a solution also for this!
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