Welcome to the vibrant land of Israel, where ancient history intertwines with modern cosmopolitanism. As you embark on your journey through this culturally rich country, you may be wondering what to wear to navigate its diverse landscapes and sacred sites. Fear not, fellow travelers! In this style guide, we'll show you how to dress both stylishly and respectfully, ensuring you blend in seamlessly with the locals while exploring bustling markets, strolling along breathtaking coastlines, and wandering through ancient alleyways. From modest attire for religious sites to casual chic for urban adventures, get ready to pack your suitcase with the perfect outfits for your unforgettable Israeli escapade. So, slip on your sandals and don your sunhat as we dive into the fashion-forward world of what to wear in Israel!
Top style tips for Israel
- 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.
- Opt for sturdy walking shoes or sandals as you explore Israel's historic sites and navigate bustling markets. Comfort is key!
- Even in restaurants, the dress code 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.
- The Ultimate Packing List for Israel: Don't miss out on essential items and helpful tips to ensure a comfortable and stylish adventure to Israel. Checkout our Complete Packing List for Israel.
Tips for first-time visitors
Every country has its own way of doing things, and Israel is no exception. This guide goes through the 12 most common mistakes by first-time tourists and how to avoid them.
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.
- A loose cotton shirt is very useful too – cool and comfortable to wear they look great over swimwear and stylish with jeans.
- Carry lightweight cardigans, scarves, or shawls to layer over your outfits during cooler evenings or when entering air-conditioned places.
- Pack a couple of versatile dresses that can transition easily from daytime explorations to dinner in the evening. Maxi dresses are great options.
- Include a few pairs of shorts and skirts that are knee-length or slightly below for a stylish and comfortable look during the day.
- Bring a swimsuit or bikini suitable for the beach. Choose modest styles and save revealing designs for private resorts or beach towns.
- Shield yourself from the Middle Eastern sun with a wide-brimmed hat, sunglasses, and sunscreen. Stay stylish while staying safe.
- Embrace Israel's fashion trends by incorporating colorful accessories or unique pieces from local markets into your outfits.
- Above all, be yourself and dress in a way that makes you feel comfortable and confident. Add your personal touch to every ensemble.
By following these fashion style tips, you'll be prepared to explore Israel with grace, respect, and a touch of stylish flair.
Clothing Tips for Men
- Opt for a smart-casual look that strikes a balance between comfort and style. Pair lightweight trousers or chinos with collared shirts or polo shirts for a polished yet relaxed appearance.
- For versatile and stylish beach, casual and swim wear, we recommend the Madda Fella range.
- Choose lightweight and breathable fabrics like cotton or linen for your clothing. These materials will keep you cool in Israel's warm climate, especially during the summer months.
- Invest in comfortable and sturdy walking shoes or sandals for exploring Israel's diverse landscapes. Ensure your footwear is suitable for both city strolls and outdoor adventures.
- Pack a lightweight jacket or sweater for cooler evenings or visits to higher-altitude areas like Jerusalem. Layering allows you to adapt to different temperatures throughout the day.
Shoes to pack for Israel
When it comes to shoes for women traveling to Israel, it's important to prioritize comfort, versatility, and durability. Here are some shoe options to consider for your trip:
- Walking Shoes: Pack a pair of comfortable walking shoes or sneakers with good support. These will be your go-to footwear for exploring cities, hiking, or walking long distances. – we love Hotter shoes, for total comfort along with style.
- Sandals: Bring a pair of sturdy and comfortable sandals that can withstand a lot of walking. Opt for styles with adjustable straps and cushioned soles for added comfort. Sandals are perfect for warmer weather and beach visits.
- Ballet Flats: Ballet flats are a versatile and stylish option for women. They are comfortable for city exploration and can be dressed up or down for various occasions.
- Hiking Boots or Trail Shoes: If you plan on hiking or trekking in Israel's stunning natural landscapes, consider bringing a pair of hiking boots or trail shoes. Look for durable, waterproof options with excellent traction.
- Flip Flops: It's always a good idea to pack a pair of flip flops for the beach, pool, or for lounging around in your accommodation. 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.
- Dressy Shoes: Depending on your itinerary, you might want to bring a pair of dressier shoes for evening outings or nicer restaurants. Consider a stylish pair of wedges, low heels, or comfortable dress flats.
Israel Travel essentials
Make sure you're fully prepared for your trip to Israel by having all the essential items that will ensure your comfort, safety, and enjoyment. To assist you in your preparations, we've compiled a comprehensive list of 14 must-have items that you won't want to leave behind. From practical necessities such as a travel adapter and a reusable water bottle, to convenient extras like a Travel eSIM for your phone and a neck pillow, we've got you covered with the Israel Travel Essentials Checklist. Be equipped for an unforgettable journey with these essential items!
What to Pack for All Seasons
Israel experiences two distinct seasons: a cool and rainy winter from October to April, and a dry and hot summer from May to September. These seasonal variations contribute to the unique weather patterns found throughout Israel. For both of these seasons, pack lightweight and breathable clothing such as cotton tops, shorts, and skirts. Layering essentials like cardigans, scarves, and lightweight jackets are useful for cooler evenings. Don't forget to pack sunscreen, a hat, comfortable walking shoes, and swimwear, as Israel's warm climate and stunning beaches are enjoyable year-round.
What to wear during Summer in Israel (May to September)
Get ready to beat the summer heat in Israel with these style tips! Opt for lightweight and breathable fabrics such as cotton and linen to stay cool and comfortable. Choose loose-fitting tops, flowy dresses, and shorts to allow for better airflow. Don't forget to protect yourself from the sun with a wide-brimmed hat, sunglasses, and sunscreen. Comfortable sandals or open-toe shoes are perfect for exploring the vibrant streets and beaches. Embrace vibrant colors and patterns to match the energetic summer atmosphere in Israel. Stay stylish and enjoy the sunny adventures this season brings!
Clothing Tips for Summer
- Lightweight Fabrics: Opt for breathable and lightweight fabrics such as cotton, linen, or rayon to keep cool in the summer heat. These materials allow air to flow and help wick away moisture from the body.
- Flowy Dresses and Skirts: Embrace the summer vibes with flowy dresses and skirts. They not only keep you cool but also offer freedom of movement. Choose vibrant colors and playful prints to add a touch of flair to your outfits.
- Shorts and Lightweight Pants: Pack a couple of pairs of shorts and lightweight pants like linen trousers or cropped pants. They are versatile and can be dressed up or down depending on the occasion.
- Sleeveless or Short-Sleeved Tops: Opt for sleeveless or short-sleeved tops to combat the heat. Choose breathable fabrics and loose-fitting styles to allow for better air circulation.
- Swimsuits and Cover-ups: With beautiful beaches along the coastline, be sure to pack stylish swimsuits and cover-ups. Go for designs that make you feel confident and comfortable, whether it's a bikini, a one-piece, or a trendy swimsuit with a cover-up.
- Sun Protection Accessories: Protect yourself from the sun by accessorizing with a wide-brimmed hat, sunglasses, and sunscreen. These essential items not only provide protection but also add a stylish touch to your summer outfits.
- Packing List for Summer: For more packing tips for the Summer in Israel, checkout our complete Israel Packing List for Summer.
What to wear during the rainy Winter season in Israel (October to April)
As the cool, rainy winter descends upon Israel, it's time to embrace cozy yet stylish outfits to keep you warm and fashionable. Layering is key during this season, so opt for a combination of long-sleeved shirts, sweaters, and cardigans. Pair them with jeans or trousers for a chic and comfortable look. Don't forget to bring a versatile coat or jacket to stay cozy during cooler temperatures, especially in Jerusalem and the northern regions. Complete your ensemble with a trendy scarf and a stylish pair of boots to tackle the rain-soaked streets with confidence. Embrace the winter vibes and showcase your fashion prowess as you explore the wondrous landscapes of Israel.
Clothing Tips for Winter
- Layer Up: Embrace the art of layering by combining long-sleeved shirts, sweaters, and cardigans. This allows you to adjust your outfit to the fluctuating temperatures throughout the day.
- Cozy Outerwear: Invest in a versatile coat or jacket to keep you warm during cooler temperatures. Opt for options that are both stylish and practical, such as a classic wool coat or a trendy puffer jacket.
- Warm Accessories: Add a touch of style and warmth to your outfits with accessories like scarves, gloves, and hats. They not only keep you cozy but also elevate your winter look.
- Stylish Boots: Opt for comfortable and waterproof boots to navigate through rain-soaked streets and keep your feet warm. Ankle boots or knee-high boots are excellent choices for both style and functionality..
- Sweater Dresses and Tights: Embrace the versatility of sweater dresses paired with opaque tights. They offer a chic and cozy ensemble that can be dressed up or down for various occasions.
- Packing List for Winter: For more packing tips for Winter in Israel, checkout our complete Israel Packing List for Winter.
What NOT to wear
- Revealing or Provocative Clothing: In more conservative areas and religious sites, it is respectful to avoid wearing clothing that is overly revealing, such as low-cut tops, short skirts, or shorts.
- Offensive or Inappropriate Symbols: Avoid wearing clothing with offensive slogans, symbols, or political statements that could be considered disrespectful or provocative.
- Heavy Winter Attire: Israel experiences mild winters, so wearing heavy winter attire such as thick coats or heavy wool sweaters may cause discomfort in the relatively warmer climate.
- Excessive Jewelry: While it's fine to wear jewelry, it's best to avoid excessive or flashy pieces that may draw unnecessary attention or make you a target for theft.
- High Heels on Uneven Terrain: Israel has a diverse landscape with many historic sites featuring uneven terrain. It's recommended to avoid wearing high heels or uncomfortable footwear that may hinder your mobility or cause discomfort.
- Cultural Appropriation: Respect the cultural sensitivities of the country by avoiding the appropriation of traditional attire or religious symbols unless you are specifically participating in a cultural event or celebration where it is appropriate.
It's important to note that while Israel is generally accepting of diverse clothing styles, being mindful of local customs and dressing modestly in certain areas will contribute to a more respectful and comfortable experience during your visit.
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
- Travel Insurance: It's always a good idea to have travel insurance that covers medical emergencies, trip cancellations, and lost belongings. Check with your insurance provider to ensure you have adequate coverage for your trip.
- Travel Adapter: Israel uses Type H power outlets, so it's essential to pack a travel adapter to charge your electronic devices and keep them powered throughout your trip.
- Data Plan: A travel eSIM card for your smartphone to stay connected.
- Sunscreen: Protect your skin from the intense Middle Eastern sun by packing a high SPF sunscreen. Choose a broad-spectrum formula to shield yourself from both UVA and UVB rays.
- Hat and Sunglasses: Pack a wide-brimmed hat and a pair of sunglasses to shield your face and eyes from the strong sunlight. These accessories will provide additional protection and keep you comfortable under the Israeli sun.
- Reusable Water Bottle: Staying hydrated is crucial, especially in the warm climate of Israel. Bring a reusable water bottle with a built-in filter to ensure you have access to clean drinking water wherever you go.
- Portable Charger: Keep your devices powered on the go with a portable charger or power bank. This way, you can recharge your phone or camera while exploring, ensuring you never miss capturing those memorable moments.
Remember to pack according to your specific needs and the activities you plan to engage in while in Israel.