What to Wear in Israel

Damascus Gate, Jerusalem, March

Damascus Gate, Jerusalem, March

The Wailing Wall, Jerusalem, in March

The Wailing Wall, Jerusalem, in March

Bathing in the Dead Sea, in June

Bathing in the Dead Sea, in June

Western Wall, Jerusalem, in September

Western Wall, Jerusalem, in September

Festival in Jerusalem, November

Festival in Jerusalem, November

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to help you pack with confidence and stay safe, secure and comfortable.

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General Style Tips

  • Dress is casual in Israel. Even Israeli prime ministers frequently wear short-sleeved shirts without ties.
  • Summers are hot and humid. Lightweight layers in natural fabrics such as cotton, linen, bamboo and silk will work best in the heat and will protect you from the sun.
  • Jeans are always popular and will serve as a versatile base to your wardrobe.
  • Even in restaurants dress is casual.
  • Tattoos are more common that you might expect and on the beaches of Tel Aviv you will see many. If you feel a particular tattoo would be culturally offensive then as a precaution we would suggest that you cover it up, but otherwise the most you might raise is an eyebrow or two.

What Shoes To Pack

  • Pack some comfy footwear for daytime exploring - we love Hotter shoes, for total comfort along with style.
  • Try the Lindsay Phillips Switch Flops range of footwear too - using interchangeable shoe and flip-flop bases with snap-on decorations, you can change your look from day to evening in an instant whilst still packing light.

Clothing Tips for Women

  • Dress conservatively if visiting areas like Jerusalem and the Dead Sea, but in the larger cities such as Tel Aviv and Haifa women are less modest in their dress - and they are not afraid to show off their bodies with camisoles etc.
  • But, although it gets very hot in the summer, very few Israeli women wear shorts.
  • A skirt or loose-fitting pants are good in the heat and will protect you from the sun.
  • When visiting religious sites do dress modestly; you will need to cover your shoulders and bare legs - so avoid short skirts/shorts, and carry a pashmina or sarong to pop round you if necessary.
  • Be aware that this is also true of religious Jewish neighbourhoods, where women (especially) are expected to wear sleeves below the elbow and skirts below the knees.
  • A pashmina is a versatile piece that will cover you for modesty, dress up any outfit, or keep off the sun.

Clothing Tips for Men

  • For versatile and stylish beach, casual and swim wear, we recommend the Madda Fella range.
  • For great versatile travel jackets with multiple pockets including RFID security options, we love the SCOTTeVEST range.

Pack for the Weather

  • Summers in Tel Aviv are hot hot hot. Wear plenty of good sunscreen (we love the Riemann P20 range for 10 hour protection), sunglasses and a sunhat.
  • December, January and February are cooler and you'll need warmer clothes.
  • Clever layering is the key to dressing for changeable weather.
  • We love the Weather+ app - it gives an accurate 6 day forecast for day and night, which when you're planning from home is really helpful. You can keep all the places you've been to too - a nice way to remember your trip :) Download for iPad/iPhone or Android

Regions of Israel

  • The cobbled streets and lanes of the old city of Jerusalem cry out for you to wear comfortable walking shoes. And if you have the time, take in the view of the old city from the rooftop terrace above the David Street tourist market.
  • What to Wear in Tel Aviv

Other Things To Pack

  • Be sure to pack plenty of sunscreen (we love the Riemann P20 range for 10 hour protection) before you leave home as it is not that easy to buy there.
  • And take good insect/mosquito repellent too - Israel has over 30 different species of mosquitoes!
  • Tap water is safe to drink, but if you tend to buy bottled water consider carrying a Go! Filtered Water Bottle instead - fill up from any source and get clean, safe drinking water without wasting plastic bottles.
  • A lightweight day sack or shoulder bag will come in handy to carry your sightseeing essentials.
  • Look after your mobile phone with a phone bunjee - it protects against loss, theft and damage.
  • To use electrical gadgets you may need a travel adapter plug, and also a step down voltage converter if your devices are not designed for the local voltage (230V).
  • If you're aiming to travel with just carry-on baggage, try the CabinMax soft-sided rucksack - it's light, roomy and has plenty of pockets to keep your stuff organized. You can use packing cubes to compress the volume too.
  • Avoid paying unexpected baggage fees - use an accurate luggage scale to ensure you keep within the weight allowance. Don't forget to leave room for souvenirs on the way home! Look out for various religious items, Armenian pottery or Roman glass jewelry.
  • Keep your passport with you at all times as you are required by Israeli law to carry ID - a passport bunjee will help to keep it safe.

Last updated 16 December 2016.

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Pack Light

  • Less luggage to carry
  • Save time packing and unpacking
  • Save money on baggage fees

Pack Right

  • Respect local cultures
  • Feel comfortable and confident
  • Suitable outfits for all occasions

A Message From Helen



I want you to have an amazing vacation. That's why I started WhatToWearOnVacation.com,
to help you pack with confidence and stay safe, secure and comfortable.