The cost of living in Israel cannot be called low or even average – according to this indicator, the country stands at about the same level as Austria and Norway … In many ways, prices are even higher here – this is not India or Thailand, where you can live well for $ 500 a month by renting an apartment. But Israel’s wages are appropriate: the minimum wage is $ 1,515, and the average income is close to $ 3,000. When you receive the minimum wage, keep in mind that you have to plan your budget well, and if you have children, it will be very difficult to live on it. Want to know what? will tell everything in detail.

Israel has one of the most advanced economies in the world and is the most developed country among its neighbors. Highly qualified specialists are trying to move here: for example, doctors here receive up to $ 10,000 a month, high income from programmers, financiers, teachers of the highest category, engineers. Therefore, even at local prices, many people live here quite comfortably.

Housing costs

– Purchase

Housing in Israel is constantly growing in price: over the past 10 years, real estate has risen by 100 – 300% depending on the city and district, although the average salary has increased by only 20%. For example, in some central parts of Tel Aviv, the standard offer is $ 23,000 – 25,000 per square meter. Of course, there are options and more available – you can see the offers  on

The cheapest two-bedroom apartment in Tel Aviv in the southern part of the city costs about $ 340,000. One-room apartment can be found for $ 180,000 – 200,000. In the vicinity of the capital, prices are about 20% lower. At the periphery, it is quite possible to buy a “three rubles” for $ 140,000. 

But in Israel – low mortgage rates: about 2–4% per annum for up to 30 years with a down payment of 40–50%.

– Rent

Along with the housing becomes more expensive and rent. The most expensive cities for life are Jerusalem and Tel Aviv. Depending on the area of ​​the city, monthly rates range from $ 700 to $ 1,200 and $ 1,000 to $ 1,500, respectively. It will be cheaper to rent an apartment in Netanya and Ashdod – about $ 650 – 750. The lowest rates are in Haifa, Nazareth, Beersheba: about $ 450 – 650 for a one-room apartment or a studio.

To search for rental housing, use the following options:

  • Yad2 is the largest site in Israel for finding housing, as well as any used items. To find a suitable option, you can only use it, but note that you can enter it only while you are in Israel. Because either use a proxy server, or ask friends, relatives who are already there, to help you.
  • WinWin and HomeLess are less developed compared to Yad2, but here you can also find some good offers.
  • Closed groups in the FB, for example, in Tel Aviv . There are similar communities in Ramat Gan and other cities of the country. Most of the proposals here are for sharing, that is, mainly rooms in a common apartment are rented. This option is very popular in Israel for young people, singles and couples without children.

Please note that local landlords are very curious. They are always interested in detail by potential renters, wanting the object to come up and you did not move out after six months due to poor transport accessibility, poor conditions for children or for some other reason. Also, the owners are interested in your solvency, so do not be surprised if you are asked to show a salary certificate for the last three months.

Keep in mind that you will have to pay not only rent, but also a number of other expenses :

  • Arnona – municipal tax, which can reach $ 50 – 100 per month (depending on the city, district, area of ​​the premises). The amount immediately check with the owner. New immigrants in the first year of their stay in Israel pay only 10% of this tax, if the area of ​​the apartment is no more than 100 sq.m.
  • Vaad-byte (house manager) – payment for the care of the common area of ​​the house (lawns, lighting, etc.). Makes from $ 15 to $ 60 per month depending on the size of the service area and infrastructure.

– Communal payments

For electricity, water, gas, you also have to pay yourself. Consider that in Israel there is no central heating – water is heated in boilers installed on the roof of the house. There are two types of boilers: solar and electric. If you plan to rent a house, try to find the first option – then it will be very rarely necessary to use electric heating, because the sun is almost in Israel all year round. If there is no solar boiler, get ready to give away $ 25- $ 30 more each month.

In general, the cost of “communal” consists of the following items:

  • Electricity – $ 50 – 70,
  • Water – $ 30 – 50,
  • Gas – $ 20 – 40.
  • Internet – $ 25 – 30.

If you rent a modest “odnushku”, then, adding on the municipal tax and payment 

The house manager will have to pay a minimum of $ 190 to $ 200 for utilities. Although, depending on the type of complex, the area of ​​housing, the city and your personal expenses, this figure can go as high as $ 350.

Food and clothing

– Supermarkets

Israelis love to eat – many locals even call it a national sport. Often, the people of Israel are bought “on a large scale” once a week in one of the large supermarkets: Mega, Co-op, Shuppersal, Rami Levy, etc. When entering the store, you can take the stroller just by dropping a 5 shekels coin into the hole in the handle — by putting the basket in place, you can remove the coin.

In Israel, all products are divided into two categories: basic (the maximum price is controlled by the state) and all the rest. A detailed list of the first published and constantly updated on the website of the Ministry of Economy and Industry.

Average food prices in Israeli supermarkets:

  • Milk (1 liter) – $ 1.5 – 1.8.
  • Sour cream (200gr) – $ 0.7.
  • Butter (100 gr) – $ 0,7.
  • 10 eggs (size L) – $ 3.5.
  • Bread – from $ 1.5 to $ 8.5 per loaf.
  • Cottage cheese (1 kg) – $ 7.7.
  • Sugar (1 kg) – $ 1.7.
  • White cheese (250 grams, sliced) – $ 7.
  • Cheese (1 kg) – from $ 12.
  • Chicken fillet (1 kg) – $ 9 – 10.
  • Pork (1 kg) – $ 10 – 12.
  • Beef (1 kg) – $ 14 – 20.
  • Sausage (1 kg) – from $ 15.
  • Chilled salmon (1 kg) – $ 25.
  • Frozen fish (1 kg) – $ 11 – 25.
  • Buckwheat (1 kg) – $ 4.
  • Rice (1 kg) – $ 2.2.
  • Pasta (1 kg) – $ 1.7.
  • Water (1.5 liters) – $ 1.1.
  • A bottle of wine – from $ 8.
  • Beer (0.5 liter) – $ 2.4 – 3.7.
  • Apples (1 kg) – $ 2.4.
  • Bananas (1 kg) – $ 2.1.
  • Mandarins (1 kg) – $ 0.8.
  • Peaches (1 kg) – $ 2.6.
  • Persimmon (1 kg) – $ 2.4.
  • Tomatoes (1 kg) – $ 1.5.
  • Potatoes (1 kg) – $ 1.1.
  • Onions (1 kg) – $ 0.9.
  • Carrots (1 kg) – $ 0.7.

In many cases, buying products on the market is much cheaper. For example, the same cheese, which in a store costs $ 7 per 250 grams, can be bought on the market for $ 4.2, having received a pound. This also applies to fish: on the market of the same salmon you can buy for $ 17 per kilo. True, cleaning and cutting will have to do on their own. And be prepared for the fact that for a good price will have to bargain: the Israelis will not miss “their”.

The average check for food for a couple without children is $ 400 – 500 per month.

– Street food and fast food

A quick and relatively inexpensive meal can be in institutions such as McDonalds. Lunch from a hamburger, chips and Coke here will cost $ 12, children’s lunch – $ 7. On the streets there are a lot of points with local food, where you can get delicious shawarma for $ 6 – 9 or a fragrant hot dog for $ 3 – 5.5, depending on the filling and size. Approximately the same cost falafel.

The cheapest food is in the Arab quarters (but they do not sell alcohol here). Relatively low prices – in Eilat, since there are no taxes – the resort is located on the territory of the free economic zone.

– Restaurants and cafes

Prices in this case will vary depending on the class of the institution. For example, if you look at a gourmet-type restaurant (top class), then for one hot meal with a side dish prepare to pay $ 30-45. A full-fledged lunch, including first, second, wine and coffee with dessert, will cost $ 70- $ 100 .

In restaurants of the middle class prices are more adequate. A full dinner for one person will cost $ 35 – $ 50. For a business lunch, you will pay $ 14 – 20. A bottle of beer in such establishments costs $ 7 – 10.

There is also a category of small cafes, where prices are 15-20% lower than in ordinary restaurants.

– Clothing

Constant prices in Israel’s shopping centers are far from the lowest. The situation is saved by seasonal sales and discounts that occur throughout the year. The largest shopping centers of the country:

  • Jerusalem: “Hadar”, “Lev Talpiot”, “Malkha Mall”.
  • Tel Aviv: shops on Dizengoff Street, as well as on Kikar Ha-Medina Square.
  • Haifa: Cinemall.
  • Eilat: Mall Ha Yam.

For clothes and shoes it is best to go to Eilat: as we have said, there are no taxes, and the final price tag for the same things is very different from the major cities of the country:

  • T-shirts: from $ 5,
  • breeches, sports pants: from $ 7,
  • tales: $ 10 – 15,
  • jeans: $ 25 – 40.

In the whole country:

  • jeans: $ 25 – 140,
  • Dresses: $ 25 – $ 100.
  • shirts: $ 15 – 40.
  • jackets, jackets: $ 140 – 360.

Transport and communication

In some parts of Israel, you can only walk on foot. This includes the center of Tel Aviv and the Old City in Jerusalem. In all other cases will have to resort to the services of transport.

– Public transport. The most popular option is buses. In Israel, there are two large companies: Egged (flights between cities and within cities) and Dan (transportation in Tel Aviv and the surrounding area). The fare varies depending on the city and area. For example, a ticket for a trip inside Tel Aviv or Jerusalem starts at $ 1.5. Similarly, the price of a ticket varies. For example, the cheapest travel ticket for a month in Tel Aviv and a number of suburbs will cost $ 60, for a week – $ 18. Students are provided with good discounts: a similar ticket for a semester for them will cost $ 165.5, and for a year – $ 361.

For longer distances, it is advantageous and fast to travel by train, which has air conditioning. The railway connects all major cities on the coast. Routes and timetables can be found here .

Another type of public transport is a fixed-route taxi, which, unlike buses, goes to Sabbath. The cost is slightly higher than on the bus. Inside the city – from $ 1.7 – 2, to Netanya from the capital – $ 4 – 5.6 (the higher price is on the Sabbath), to Haifa – $ 15.

– Taxi. A convenient way to travel short distances, as well as on special holidays, when urban transport does not go (for example, on the Sabbath). The average cost of a trip by taxi in Tel Aviv is $ 7 – 10. When boarding, be sure to ask to turn on the meter, as local taxi drivers will not miss the occasion of “slightly” inflating the price for non-local.

– Bicycles. In large cities, for example, in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem, many move in this way. Bicycles are municipal, and parking is “scattered” all over the city: you can take it on one and return it on the other. To rent such transport, you need a credit card – on the monitor next to the parking lot are indicated tariffs. For example, renting a bike for a day costs $ 4.8 – 6.5, for a week – $ 20.

– Rent a Car. Rent a car costs about $ 30 – 40 per day, depending on the selected company. But note that in Israel – expensive gasoline ($ 1.7 per liter on average) and most parking lots – paid ($ 8 – 15 per day). Penalties for incorrect or unpaid parking are high: from $ 30 to $ 140, and you will have to pay about $ 300 for towing a car to a parking fee.

Your car is expensive. In addition to gasoline, the annual auto insurance (such as OSAGO) will “pull” $ 400-450. The maintenance of the car is also expensive. Often, Israelis rent a car from the company where they work. But this option is good only for those who earn good money: monthly payments are $ 700-1,000 with fully included maintenance and gasoline costs.

– Mobile connection. Most public places (even individual buses) are equipped with free Wi-Fi access points. If you want to be constantly in touch, you can connect to one of the local operators: Cellcom, Partner, Pelephone, as well as several smaller ones. The average cost per minute is $ 0.15, at night – 15–20% cheaper.

Internet access is offered by packages. For example, with Cellcom for $ 20 you get 1GB of Internet for a month + unlimited calls within the network. If you only need internet, for $ 28 you can get a 5GB package. Partner rates are more polished: for the same $ 20 you can get 3Gb Internet, 750 minutes of calls and 750 SMS. And for $ 28 you get 10GB of internet.

But note that you can fully connect to a local operator only if you already live in the country (they may ask you for an extract from the bank). If you are a tourist, the prices will be much higher.

Sports, medicine, entertainment and other expenses

The medicine. Living in Israel is better not to get sick. The level of medicine here is very high – not lower than the cost of services of local doctors. Insurance is compulsory and depending on the chosen company, set of services and other parameters, it will “pull” from several tens to several hundred dollars a month.

– Sick money. Insurance companies are called sickness funds, there are four of them in the country: Maccabi (the largest), Meuhedet, Clalit, Leumit. You can choose which one to apply to: each has its own system of attracting customers. For example, in Leumite, a student does not pay insurance payments for the first 6 months. In Maccabi, by choosing Shelley’s fare (approximately $ 25), you will receive a bonus package (very “tasty” discounts on dental visits, laser hair removal, buying glasses, etc.).

– Payments. Monthly: working people pay out of wages (on average – $ 10-40), pensioners and disabled people – from benefits. The insured person pays only 15% of the cost of prescribed medications – the rest is covered by the company. Consider that in a pharmacy without a prescription you can buy only medicines for headaches and colds.

When visiting a family doctor, the patient does not pay tax, if he visits a specialist, once a quarter he pays $ 4. The ambulance call is paid (over $ 100), the intensive care brigades are even more expensive (about $ 200).

– Work system. All information about you is contained in the database, so that you do not have binding to a specific doctor and city. Prescribed medications are also contained in the database, so bringing a paper prescription to the pharmacy is not necessary at all: it’s enough to give a plastic card to the health insurance scheme and the pharmacist will see everything. If you need to update a prescription, but you don’t have time to go to a doctor, you can write to a specialist through your personal account and get a prescription online.

– Additional insurance. Depending on the package of services chosen, it includes various additional assistance that is not included in the basic policy: complex surgical interventions, psychological counseling, psychiatric reception, etc. Cost – from $ 7-10 per month. Also in the supplementary insurance include drugs that are not included in the main – the patient pays a maximum of 50% of their cost.

There is also a health tax ($ 25-100 per month), but it is often paid by the employer. The payment falls on your shoulders only if you are a private entrepreneur. Children, housewives and repatriates are exempt from tax for the first six months of their life in the country.

Entertainment. If in your free time you want to play sports, get ready to give about $ 40 – 120 for a monthly subscription to the gym, depending on the city and the level of the complex.

If you want to get to know the country better and visit various historical sites, then everything is not so scary. Some of the places you look for free (for example, Bahai gardens in Haifa, Old Jerusalem, the baptism site of Jesus, etc.), and for the other part you will have to pay a modest fee. For example, the entrance to the grottoes of Rosh HaNikr will cost $ 12, in Caesarea – $ 10, the same – in the Tower of David.

So, in order to live comfortably in Israel, a family of two people will require an average of $ 2,500 – 2,600 per month. This includes food (mainly in the supermarket, but with a periodic visit to a cafe), rental housing in a residential area of ​​Tel Aviv, public transport, mobile communications, medical insurance and entertainment. If you plan to move alone, it is more profitable to search for housing in a small city – then you can meet the $ 1,300 – 1,400.

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