The State of Israel is a small country which has had an large impact on the world on many fronts. Israel’s proclaimed capital city, Jerusalem, is a holy city for three religions – Judaism, Christianity and Islam. Israel’s landscape is varied and includes a 170 miles coastline, flat coastal plains, mountains and hilly regions, deserts, lakes and rivers. The country’s highest point is 4,000 ft above sea level and its lowest is 1,200 below sea level. Israel’s history needs no introduction and makes it a fascinating country to live and explore.
If you are considering moving to Israel, the various costs listed below will help you make an informed decision on what costs are involved when moving and living in this part of the world.
Quick Israel Facts:
- Population: 8,963,490 (November 2022 estimate)
- Official Language:Hebrew is the official language of Israel spoken by almost all Israelis either as a native language or proficiently spoken as a second language. Arabic is considered the second official language.
- GDP Per Capita: US$35,766 (2022 estimate)
- Stamps: The glue on Israel’s stamps is kosher.
- Currency: New Israeli Shekel (ILS/ ₪. The value of 1ILS to USD = $0.28, Pound Sterling= £0.25, Euro= €0.21, CAD= $0.39, and AUD=$0.45.
1. Moving and Shipping Costs to Israel
2. Israel Housing Costs
Property prices in Israel are high and keep on rising. There’s a serious shortage of accommodation to rent and buy, especially in the cities. In urban areas most Israelis live in apartments as houses are few and far between. Most people choose to live close to Tel Aviv, the economic hub of Israel, which is why areas within easy commuting distance of Tel Aviv and it city itself can demand high prices for property.
Monthly Rental Prices in Israel
- 1 bedroom apartment in City Centre: ILS2,500 – ILS6,500
- 1 bedroom apartment outside the City Centre: ILS2,000 – ILS5,200
- 3-bedroom apartment in City Centre: ILS4,000 – ILS11,000
- 3-bedroom apartment outside the City Centre: ILS3,278.95 – ILS8,000
- Price per square metre (10.7 square feet) to buy in City Centre: ILS17,000 – ILS55,000
- Price per square metre (10.7 square feet) to buy outside City: ILS13,222 – ILS40,000
Israel Housing Cost Comparison
Below is how rents in Israel compare with other countries around the globe.
United Kingdom is 5.79% cheaper than Israel.
United States is 54.16% more expensive than Israel.
Australia is 8.95% more expensive than Israel.
Canada is 5.47% more expensive than Israel
Germany is 17.26% cheaper than Israel
France is 2.94% cheaper than Israel.
Italy is 35.16% cheaper than Israel.
Spain is 33.62% cheaper than Israel.
How to Save on Housing Costs
- Share an apartment, room or house. Sharing an apartment, room or house can be a good option for saving on accommodation costs. Have a look at the following sites to find your perfect room or flatmate – Roommates in Tel Aviv, iroommates, Rooms for Rent, Erasmusu, Coliving, and Roommala.
- Different areas – different prices. Anywhere that’s in easy reach of Tel Aviv is expensive. Haifa, Efrat, and Leshem are more affordable areas to live in, but job opportunities are fewer. Have a look at the following sites for in depth information on where to live in Israel: Life from a Bag, Expat Arrivals and Anglo List.
3. Israel Food, Grocery and Restaurant Costs
Food is expensive in Israel, both in restaurants and in the supermarkets. Food in Israel reflects the melting pot of cultures that has made Israel’s cuisine what it is today. You have influences from North Africa, the Middle East and the Mediterranean mixed with traditional Jewish dishes, making eating in Israel an absolute pleasure.
- Inexpensive Restaurant- ILS40.00 – ILS100.00
- Domestic beer: ILS17.83 – ILS35.00
- Coke/Pepsi: ILS7.00 – ILS12.00
- 1L of milk: ILS5.00 – ILS7.70
- Loaf of Bread: ILS4.50 – ILS15.00
- 12 Eggs: ILS10.80 – ILS16.80
- 1kg Chicken Fillets: ILS25.00 – ILS50.00
- 1kg Beef: ILS40.00 – ILS100.00
- 1kg Apples: ILS6.00 – ILS15.00
- 1kg White Rice: ILS6.00 – ILS12.90
Below is how food and restaurant prices compare with other major countries in the world.
- UK restaurants are 95% cheaper and groceries are 28.59%Cheaper than in Israel.
- United States restaurants are 17% cheaper and groceries are 12.46% more expensive in Israel
- Australian restaurants are 19% cheaper and groceries are 5.70% more expensive than in Israel.
- Canadian restaurants are 69% cheaper and groceries are 1.95% cheaper than in Israel.
- French restaurants are26.85% cheaper and groceries are 86% cheaper than in Israel.
- Italian restaurants are 42% cheaper and groceries are 20.97% cheaper than in Israel.
- Spanish restaurants are 54% cheaper and groceries are 40.64% cheaper than in Israel.
- German restaurants are 17% cheaper and groceries are 22.74% cheaper than in Israel.
Bonus Tips for Cheaper Food, Restaurants and Groceries
- Know your supermarkets: There’s a wide variety of supermarkets, local grocery stores, organic food store and street markets in Israel. The most popular supermarkets are Victory, Shufersal, Mega and Yesh. You’ll find mini-markets on every street in every town.
- Find Cheap Eats: Ask Israelis that you’ve met or people who’ve been in Israel for a while, for tips on where to go for good, affordable meals. Have a look at the following for inspiration – Culture Trip, Best Cheap Eats, Tel Aviv Cheap Eats, Street Foods, Wanderlog, and Top 5 Cheap Eats.
4. Israel’s Alcohol Costs
Israelis enjoy drinking alcohol in social situations with family and friends. Like everything else in Israel, all alcoholic drinks are expensive. Arak is Israel’s national liqueur and Goldstar beer is the favourite locally brewed beer. Arak used to be looked down upon by the youth, associating it with old men sitting under trees in the square but today, it’s the go-to drink among the youth in Israel.
- Pint (0.5L) domestic beer at a restaurant/pub: ILS17.83 – ILS35.00
- Bottle of imported beer at a restaurant/pub: ILS20.00 – ILS35.00
- Pint (0.5L) domestic beer at a supermarket: ILS6.00 – ILS12.00
- Bottle of imported beer at a supermarket: ILS6.00 – ILS15.00
- Mid-range bottle of wine at a supermarket: ILS30.00 – ILS60.00
How to drink for less in Israel
- Search online for specials at your favourite bars, clubs and restaurants. Keep an eye open in local newspapers and on flyers for advertised specials.
- Happy hours are popular in Israel. Restaurants and bars usually start their happy hours late afternoon or early evening. Have a look at the following websites to find cheaper places to drink – Masa Israel, TLV Nights, Best Budget Alcohol, Bars of Jerusalem, and Drink and Dance.
5. Israel Transportation Fares
Bus and train are the main forms of public transport in Israel. For travelling on city buses you’ll need a RavKav travel card as buses don’t accept cash payments. It’s important to remember that there’s no public transport running during Shabbat each week (Friday afternoon through to Saturday evening).
Here are some example ticket costs.
- One-way ticket (Local transport – ILS5.00 – ILS6.90
- Monthly Pass, (Regular Price) – ILS150.00 – ILS286.00
- Taxi start (normal tariff) –ILS11.00 – ILS–30.00
- Taxi 1km (normal tariff) –ILS 2.50 – ILS8.40
How to save money on public transport
- Buy a RavKav to minimise the costs of public transport in Israel.
- Intercity Bus Services in Israel are the quickest and cheapest.
- Download online apps like “Gett Taxi” to know what you’re paying upfront when taking a taxi.
- Travelling by train for long distances is comfortable and affordable.
6. Cost of Internet in Israel
Israel’s internet service is excellent and will shortly be offering high speed internet to 70% of the population due to the roll out of fibre optic cables. Many of the major tourist spots and shopping malls have free wi-fi for visitors.
7. Cost of Clothing, Personal Items, Gym and Leisure
Israel’s climate varies according on the region. The north coastal area of the country enjoys a Mediterranean climate with hot, long, dry summers and cool, rainy winters. The interior has a temperature climate and the south experiences a desert climate. January is the coldest month in Israel with temperatures varying from 0C to 15C. Snow is common in the mountains and sometimes falls in Jerusalem. July and August are the hottest months with temperatures ranging from 22C to 40C. Israel has an average of 585mm of rain per annum and January is the wettest month.
Below are some clothing prices, along with other useful prices.
- Pair of Jeans: ILS150.00 – ILS500.00
- Summer Dress: ILS100.00 – ILS300.00
- Running Shoes (Trainers): ILS260.00 – ILS550.00
- Business Shoes: ILS300.00 – ILS700.00
- Gym membership per month ILS100.00 – ILS350.00
- Movie (cinema) ticket: ILS40.00 – ILS50.00
- Shampoo: ILS50.00
- Short visit to the doctor (15 mins): ILS400
- Toilet paper: ILS6
8. Cost of Owning a Car and Driving a Car in Israel
The roads in Israel are well maintained and make driving easy. Israeli drivers may get a little impatient at times, but they generally follow the rules of the road. Foreigners can drive on their home country’s driving for up to a year after which they will need an Israeli licence. You must also have an Israeli licence before you can buy a car. Buying a car in Israel as a non-Israeli citizen is a complex process. Have a look at the following sites for detailed information on buying a car and driving it in Israel – Just Landed, Chaim v Chessed and NBN.
Below are some other sample costs of owning and operating a car in Israel:
- Volkswagen Golf:ILS 130,000.00 – ILS150,000.00
- 1 litre (¼ gallon) of gas (petrol):ILS20 – ILS7.92
- Other fees (if any):The average monthly cost of running a small car in Israel is between ILS2,400 and ILS2,700.
Ways to save money driving in Israel
- Car sharing or carpooling is the best way to save money. Try CAR2GO, Car Sharing, and Go To Global.
- Taxis can sometimes be a cheaper option, especially if parking fees are high. Uberis a cheap taxi alternative.
Need your car/vehicle moved to Israel? Then read our guide to Car Transport & Vehicle Shipping
9. Taxes in Israel
Israeli residents are taxed on their worldwide income and non-residents are taxed on their Israeli income only. The tax rate starts at 10% and finishes at 50% and the rate you pay is determined by your gross income. See NBN for detailed information.
Tax on property and land purchases is between 8% and 10% of the value of the property. The VAT in Israel is 17% with lower rates levied on essential goods and services. For more details, refer to Tax Summaries.
10. Flight Costs from Israel
If you do make the move to Israel, here’s approximately how much it will cost to fly to other major world cities based on the lowest, one-way fares from Skyscanner as of 2022:
- London: ILS669
- Paris: ILS713
- New York: ILS2,631
- Los Angeles: ILS3,285
- Toronto: ILS3,580
- Dubai: ILS551
- Sydney: ILS5,374
- Melbourne: ILS5,834
- Cape Town: ILS2,271
- Hong Kong: ILS2,278
Other Israel Relocation Tips
The above costs and prices should give you a good idea of the cost of living in Israel. However, perhaps the following extra tips will make your move go smoothly.
11. Relocating to Israel Alone
Moving is stressful at the best of times but moving to a foreign country on your own can be exceptionally stressful. Israel its people and expat community will help you ease into your new life. Below are a few tips about settling in Israel.
- Meetups:Join Meetup to meet people who enjoy the same activities as you. You can start a new group if your particular hobby or activity isn’t catered for.
- Attend local events: There’s always a lot going on in Israel, from religious events to social and cultural events. Have a look at the following sites for inspiration – Best Israel Festivals, Festivals in Israel, Secret Tel Aviv, Israel Festivals, and Jewish Holidays.
12. Moving to Israel with a Family
Moving to a new country with a family is definitely challenging. Israel is a fascinating country with a long, complex history which will enthral older children and help them to understand the country and its people.
- New parents (or parents-to-be):Have a look at the following sites for groups to join for advice, courses and friendship for new parents: Expat Women and Moms in Jerusalem, Tel Aviv Parents Support Group, Moms in Prayer, and New Moms Support Group.
- Live in a family-friendly area: The best cities to live in for expat families are Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, Haifa, Ashdod and Be’er Sheva.
- Find things to do with the kids:Israel has lots for children to do. Have a look at the following websites for inspiration – Israel21, Israel with Kids, Superland & iJump, No Back Home, and LonelyPlanet.
13. Moving to Israel for Work
Moving to a new city for work is one of the most common reasons people choose to move. While it is possible to move without a job, it makes sense to ensure there are jobs in your field before you make the move.
Israel has been described as the ‘Start-up Nation of the world. Many innovations come from here and experienced IT and tech people are extremely welcome. Medicine, law, finance, marketing and education are other sectors where expats are welcome.
Below are some essential things to consider when moving to Israel for work:
- Salary:The costs we outlined above should give you a rough idea of how much more you’ll want to earn to make the move worthwhile. Salaries are high, especially in the tech sector. Have a look at Payscale and Glassdoor to give you an idea of what sort of salary you can expect when working in Israel.
- How to find work: If you want to have a job lined up before you move to Miami, but aren’t sure where to begin, the following sites are good places to start: com, Jobacle, Glassdoor and LinkedIn. You may also want to Google recruiters in your industry, as they can often help land you some initial interviews as well.
14. Moving to Israel from Australia
There are around 10,000 Australians living in Israel. If you want to join Australian expats in Israel, then consider the following.
- Size comparison:Australia is 353 times bigger than Israel, with a population of 25,739,000 compared to 9,364,000 in Israel.
- Join expat groups:Meetup, InterNations, and Facebook offer ways of meeting up with other Australians in Israel.
15. Moving to Israel from Canada
Around 35,000 Canadians live in Israel. If you are moving from Canada to Israel and are interested in meeting fellow Canadians, consider the following.
- Size:Canada is 455 times bigger than Israel and has a population of 38,246,000 compared with Israel’s 9,364,000.
- Expat groups:Connect with fellow Canadians in Israel through Meetup and InterNations.
16. Moving to Israel from the United Kingdom
A fairly large group of Brits live in Israel. If you are thinking of moving from the UK to Israel, consider the following.
- Size: The UK is 11 times bigger than Israel and has a population of 67,327,000 compared to Israel’s 9,364,000.
- Expat groups:Meet people from the UK in Israel through Meetup and InterNations.
Hopefully, the tips and costs above are helpful. If want to get started pricing out how much it will cost you to move to Israel you can start by comparing moving quotes here.