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Israel – Cost of Living

Israel is a small country located in the Middle East. It is known for its historic sites, beautiful beaches, and vibrant culture. Israel is also a popular destination for tourists, digital nomads, and expats due to its high quality of life. In this article, we will explore the cost of living in Israel, including currency, comparisons to the UK and USA, breakdown of costs, and common forms of payment.

Local Currency in Israel

The local currency in Israel is the Israeli Shekel (ILS). One Shekel is divided into 100 agorot, but due to inflation, agorot are no longer in circulation. There are coins in denominations of 10 agorot, ₪ shekel, 1 shekel, 2 shekels, 5 shekels, and 10 shekels, and banknotes in denominations of 20, 50, 100, and 200 shekels.

Cost of Living in Israel Compared to the UK and USA

The cost of living in Israel is generally higher than that of the UK and the USA. According to Numbeo, a website that compares cost of living in different countries, the cost of living index in Israel is 76.04, while the UK is 69.08, and the USA is 76.86. This means that on average, it is more expensive to live in Israel than in the UK or USA.

Breakdown of Costs in Israel

The cost of living in Israel can vary depending on the location and size of the household. Here is a breakdown of some of the typical costs for singles, couples, and families of four in Israel:

Housing

Housing costs in Israel can be expensive, especially in major cities like Tel Aviv and Jerusalem. In Tel Aviv, the average monthly rent for a one-bedroom apartment in the city center is around 5,000-7,000 ILS, while a three-bedroom apartment can cost around 10,000-15,000 ILS. Outside of major cities, the cost of housing can be lower but still relatively high compared to other countries.


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Food

Israeli cuisine is known for being fresh and flavorful. Eating out in Israel can be relatively expensive, with a meal at a local restaurant costing around 50-80 ILS per person. Grocery shopping can also be expensive, with a loaf of bread costing around 5-10 ILS and a liter of milk costing around 6-8 ILS.

Utilities

The cost of utilities in Israel varies depending on the size of the household and the location. On average, electricity, water, and gas bills for a family of four can add up to around 1,000-1,500 ILS per month. Internet and mobile phone plans are also relatively expensive, with a typical plan costing around 100-200 ILS per month.

Leisure

Israel offers a variety of leisure activities, from visiting historic sites to exploring national parks and attending cultural events. Many activities in Israel can be relatively expensive, such as visiting a tourist attraction or taking a tour. Paid activities such as visiting a spa or attending a concert can cost between 100-500 ILS per person.

Transport

Public transportation in Israel can be relatively affordable, with a one-way ticket on a bus or train costing around 6-8 ILS. Taxis and ride-sharing services are also relatively affordable, with a typical 10-kilometer ride costing around 50-100 ILS. Owning a car in Israel can be expensive due to high taxes and gasoline prices.

Clothing

The cost of clothing in Israel varies depending on the brand and quality. Affordable clothing options can be found at local stores, with t-shirts costing around 50-100 ILS and jeans costing around 100-300 ILS. High-end designer clothing can be more expensive, with a designer dress costing around 1,000-5,000 ILS or more.

Household Goods

Household goods such as furniture, appliances, and electronics can be relatively expensive in Israel, especially if purchased new. New items can also be quite expensive, with a new refrigerator costing around 2,000-4,000 ILS and a new television costing around 1,500-5,000 ILS.

Common Forms of Payment in Israel

In Israel, debit and credit cards are the most common forms of payment. Contactless payments are widely used, and many retailers also accept mobile payments such as Apple Pay and Google Pay. ATMs are widely available throughout the country, and credit and debit cards are accepted at most major retailers and restaurants. Cash is still used for smaller transactions, but many businesses prefer card payments due to the ease and security of electronic transactions.

In conclusion, Israel offers a high quality of life but comes with a relatively high cost of living compared to other countries. Housing, food, and transportation can be relatively expensive, but there are also affordable options available. Debit and credit cards are the most common forms of payment, and electronic transactions are widely accepted. Israel is a great place to live for those looking for a rich history, stunning scenery, and a vibrant culture.


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