Shabbat or the Sabbath (day of rest) is the holiest day of the week in Israel. It begins at sun-down on Friday, evening and ends at sun-down on Saturday, evening. In most cities throughout the country many things shut down for Shabbat (buses, restaurants, stores, sites, etc…). It is very peaceful and calm, yet can also be difficult for tourists on their own who might want to get out and do things. There are still certain sites and places that are open however.
For a list of Israel’s holidays and dates please see https://www.timeanddate.com/holidays/israel/
Most of the sites and places in Israel, are very westernized and clean, including the restrooms. You may still want to carry a small pack of tissue or wipes along with you.
The food is usually one of the top things that tourists enjoy about Israel. You will want to be sure to try the hummus, falafels, and shawarmas, and the fresh pita of course.
Hebrew is the main language of Israel, however English and Arabic are also widely spoken. Most places throughout the country, including the airport and major roads, all have signs written in all 3 languages. It is very easy to communicate with people in English as the majority speak it in Israel, even if as a second language.
Although, many people are happy to speak to you in English, in the country, it can really bring a smile to their faces when they hear foreigners trying to speak their language. Provided below are some helpful phrases in both Hebrew and Arabic should you want to give it a try!