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Israel very expensive

Manchester, Vermont
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Israel very expensive

OK we are currently on tour in Israel,and wait for it ? It is safe probably safer than in Manchester UK ,daft I know it's all relative,and most of all despite the obvious it is a wonderful country .But (you knew it was coming) it is very very expensive compared to UK and we think its expensive there.

I accept that we are in the middle of a desert and the infrastructure but all that taken into account it is still very expensive.We bought very very basic items from a local store and we estimated it cost maybe 50% more than in UK.

Still for what we spend i won't make that much difference to our pocket.Is the cost of living in Israel recognised as being high in comparison to Europe?

On a totally different note we are having a wonderful trip and Israel is a must see on European travellers plans.

Haifa, Israel
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for Jerusalem
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1. Re: Israel very expensive

I'm glad you are having a great time!

Regarding cost, there are perhaps a few factors in this. First, the shekel is currently very strong against the GBP which makes things seem more expensive for you. Second, yes, the cost of basic staples is high here (which is why tens of thousands of people took to the streets in mass protests a couple of summers ago - bear in mind that salaries here are lower than those in the UK, too) - and there are not the kinds of supermarket special offers that you'll find in the UK. Third, though, shopping habits are a bit different, and it may be that you were buying products that are relatively expensive here, or shopping in a more expensive store. Generally, small convenience stores are significantly more expensive than supermarkets, and large out-of-town supermarkets are cheaper than the smaller ones in town centres, even if the brand of the supermarket is the same. Having been in the UK recently, I think that the overall cost of grocery shopping is similar, but very different items turn out to be expensive/less expensive in each country.

Edited: 01 July 2013, 19:28
Ottawa, Canada
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for Jerusalem, Galilee, Tel Aviv
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2. Re: Israel very expensive

Being a frequent visitor to the UK, (was just there 2 weeks ago), I think the UK is outrageously expensive to visit. Now that I have kids living in the Uk, I see how they shop and economize. No matter which way you look at it, being a tourist is completely a different perspective from being a resident. On some longer stays to Israel where I rented an apartment, or stayed at a friends apartment, the first thing you notice is that your shopping habits change completely. You are buying food for a week, not a day, you tend to eat out a lot less, etc. Israel is expensive in many ways but less expensive in others. Generally the cost of meat is extremely high but the cost of seasonal fruits and vegetables can be a fraction of what I pay at home. Public transit is very inexpensive to what I am used to. Entertainment is less expensive, especially concerts, plays, etc. I would say that Israel is an expensive country to visit. I would also say the UK is an expensive country to visit. Don't let that get in the way of having a great time. This is actually a really good posting, far too many people thing of Israel as a 'budget' trip kind of place which it really isn't.

Netanya, Israel
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3. Re: Israel very expensive

I am very pleased you have a good time here!

I have to agree: Israel is very very expensive country. If I compair prices of Netanyas cheappest supermarket- they are double to Tesco s prices. My wife keeps complaining about it, and I keep telling her: "Imagine you are shopping in Harrods Food Hall". Well, there is a good side to it, whenever we are in Waitrose, we feel fine!

Israel is very far from being perfect, but we love it. Hope you will love it too!

Yuri

Northeast us
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4. Re: Israel very expensive

"We bought very very basic items from a local store and we estimated it cost maybe 50% more than in UK".

What items? In comparison to big cities in the US, I find some items much cheaper, and some (imported electronics and cosmetics) much more expensive. And the store you buy from matters greatly just like it might at home

Like others have mentioned, if you buy local and like the locals (seasonal food, locally made products, importson certain categoires) is it much less expensive, But when you try to recreate what you'd buy at home, well that's going to be specialized "imports" that are almost always more expensive.

Also agreeing with others that Israel is a first-world economy and costs in total should be about what they would be for trip to Europe or the US. It's good to know that upfront and not be unpleasantly surprised!

Israel
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for Israel
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5. Re: Israel very expensive

Great to hear you are having such a great time. In general Israel has a high cost of living but with lower average salaries than the Western world. Together with a strong economy where other countries are struggling, and a strong currency, plus very high taxes - prices tend to be higher. However, like anything good - one will pay a bit more than other places.

Chana

Israel

Gippsland, Australia
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for Jerusalem
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6. Re: Israel very expensive

Thanks for your information, I am glad you are having a good time. Please let us know any other differences you find - it is always useful for others who are planning to go. :).

Manchester, Vermont
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7. Re: Israel very expensive

Please don't take my post as a negative,we are thourghly enjoying our trip and I,m sure it will continue.I agree the UK is similar for us as residents,I shudder to think what some tourists discover when they arrive in say London especially.

The same applies in the UK 'corner shops' as we used to call them ,are much more expensive than the huge controlling supermarkets such as Tesco,Asda etc .But we have paid for it in the long run,the UK high street has all but disappeared ,in fact they have changed our way of life.Our kids will never know the corner butcher ,the green grocer,and now the pubs!UK rant over.

Dining out and a few beers or wine is very expensive,we haven't filled the car up yet? The items I was referring too was the basic,bread,cereal,soft drinks,a little fruit etc.

There are some people here though that really need to lighten up ,I class myself as a friendly guy and always willing to have a chat and a laugh,but there is a particular proportion of locals who are so unfriendly ,distant ( I accept there is a reason ,but come on) it is ,well ,just plain rude.Maybe they are walking so quickly they have not got the time to stop and help someone in need of directions.

But cheers everyone ,all great replies,this is what travelling is all about,and I repeat we are loving our visit,it is far beyond what I imagined it to be,in every way,travel broadens the mind.

Anyway I have come up with a 'cunning plan' when we go for a beer I will have one and Mistress Wilky will have water!! Simples.

Israel
Destination Expert
for Israel
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8. Re: Israel very expensive

Make sure Mrs Wilky asks for tap water - which incidentally is perfectly safe to drink - otherwise you'll find yourselves paying for bottled water.

Bread: the very basic loaves are price-controlled by the government and are cheap. They are also much better bread than the cheap English extruded polystyrene "bread". Good and healthy stuff. Of course if you want something fancier it will cost more.

Gippsland, Australia
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for Jerusalem
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9. Re: Israel very expensive

I know that those in Israel may disagree with this, but we were advised NOT to drink the tap water. The reason was not that it was unsafe to drink, but that it contained different minerals etc from the ones a visitor to the country is used to. Even though it is 'safe' the different minerals can cause stomache upsets in some people. That advice came from a man who had led over 40 tours to Israel. I can understand that because from childhood a change of tap water always caused minor problems for me for the first two or three days in a new place.

Israel
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for Israel
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10. Re: Israel very expensive

John, once you pay for a beer or other alcoholic beverage (recent increase of 50-100% on tax) or petrol, you will really feel how expensive Israel is. As mentioned standard fresh bread (no preservatives) is government controlled and cheap and fruit/vegetables are much less expensive than in Europe. The prices posted in the shops/markets are per kilo and not per piece.

Heather, just to note that the bottled water you are purchasing in Israel is the exact same water you would be drinking from the tap if you are touring the north of the country, specifically the Golan Heights and the Hula Valley, the area of Zichron Yaacov as well as the Dead Sea who all receive their tap water directly from the springs that fill up the bottles you pay so much for in the supermarket. Of course the rest of the country consists of various sources which as you say, may have elements the foreign stomach is not used to. Although in my travels I have yet to find any of my clients suffering my drinking tap water (many Australians included), but there is always the one.

Chana

Israel