Israel is a culturally-diverse country, with people of all religions and backgrounds sharing this piece of land. With so many different cultures and sects in one place, visitors will see people wearing a wide range of clothing. Travelers often wonder what they should wear while traveling through Israel to not only stay comfortable but to also avoid offending others.
As a whole, the Israeli society has adopted a pretty casual dress code. Casual should not be mistaken for unkempt. It’s still important to be clean and tidy with your attire.
Even when dining in upscale restaurants or attending the local opera, men are typically seen wearing jeans and a button-down shirt. Women may wear a nice dress or a blouse for these occasions, but a nice pair of jeans and a clean shirt is equally acceptable.
If you’re traveling in summer, which starts around April and ends around October, you’ll want to pack light, airy and short clothing. As for footwear, a pair of Blundstone boots or Birkenstock sandals will suffice. But if you plan to go hiking, you’ll need a good pair of sneakers or hiking shoes. Flat, comfortable shoes are ideal, as you’ll be doing a lot of walking.
You may also want to pack a light jacket or long-sleeve shirt for chilly nights.
Summers are hot in Israel, so opt for breathable fabrics, like linen and cotton. But If you plan to visit memorial or religious sites, be sure to pack a scarf or cardigan to cover your shoulders.
It’s best to avoid hiking in the hot summer months, but if it’s part of your itinerary, make sure that you’re well covered. You may want to avoid hiking in the afternoon, when temperatures are at their highest.
A hat, sunglasses and sunscreen are absolute musts when traveling in Israel during summer.
If you’re visiting the Dead Sea or Eilat, pack your swimsuit.
In the cooler months, temperatures can range from 59-77F/15-25C during the day. The wet season starts in November and lasts until April. The weather can be a bit unpredictable during the winter. It snows in Jerusalem at least once a year, and the desert is quite cold in the evening. Pack a cardigan and a jacket in case temperatures drop. You may need a rain coat if you’re traveling during the rainy season.
Comfortable, closed footwear is best for winter, especially waterproof or water-resistant pairs.
Golan Heights, Jerusalem and the Upper Galilee tend to be colder than coastal areas in the winter. Evenings can be particularly cold. It’s best to wear layers when traveling to Israel in the cooler months, and do check the weather forecast before heading out.
If visiting Orthodox Jewish communities, you should dress modestly. Women and men both should wear long sleeves and full-length skirts or pants.
Don’t overcomplicate things when traveling to Israel. Pack light, airy and short clothing if visiting in the summer, and pack pants and long sleeves for the winter. Things are pretty casual in Israel as far as attire goes, so there’s no reason to go overboard.