Before venturing to Israel, you should know that this is a first-world economy and costs in total will probably be about what they would be for a trip to Europe or the US. It’s recommendable to know that upfront and not be unpleasantly surprised when you arrive.
Generally, as everywhere, it really depends a lot on your lifestyle and what your priorities are – and therefore what you can save. The most expensive living item in Israel is the rent, everything else is pretty reasonable.
Spending around $2000/month is realistic as a fairly minimal budget.
Be very smart about your money and you can save up a huge amount. For instance, when eating out, never order a bottled water. Tap water is safe and drinkable; everyone drinks it. No need to waste money on bottled water as a matter of course. You should also know that lunch/dinner prices are pretty much the same, so if you want to save up, just avoid the top upscale restaurants.
Purchasing in a grocery store or a market is the best way to enjoy a variety of food and healthy groceries. Fresh veggies and fruit are always available at a low price, and you can also find cold cuts, a variety of cheeses and even ready made food like roasted chicken that costs much less than in a restaurant.
Generally speaking, though it is expensive, it is very easy to get around using public transport, without knowing a word of Hebrew. However, keep in mind that public transport is designed to serve the needs of local residents, not tourists, so you won’t find a frequent bus service to wherever you want to go.
Utilities are rather expensive in Israel, amounting up to almost 200$ a month for basic ones like electricity, water, cooling, heating and garbage services. Internet, however, compared to this and especially compared to other countries, is relatively cheap, costing around 25$ a month.
SPORTS & LEISURE
Indulging in sports and leisure in Israel is far from cheap. It is on par with UK standards, so if you want to go to a fitness club in this country, the average is around 60$, while renting a tennis court costs 16$ an hour. Leisure is no cheaper either, with cinema tickets costing around 10$ each.
CLOTHING & SHOES
Brand-name clothes usually have the same prices as in the rest of Europe which are generally higher than in the US. For example, Levi’s cost about $70-80. As for locally made clothes, the problem for tourists anywhere is finding the good, cheap locations where the locals shop so you have to buy at mass chain stores for prices of around 50$.
RENT PER MONTH
Rent is extremely high in Israel, almost as high as in Ireland (which is infamous for enormously expensive rent). Average price of rent, for an apartment outside of city center rented by one or two people is around 700$, and for one inside the city center around 900$.
Cost of Living Averages Table for Israel
|Average Restaurant Prices|
|Meal (Inexpensive Restaurant)||$14.69|
|Domestic Beer (0.5 Liter)||$7.48|
|Water (0.33 Liter)||$1.84||Average Market Prices|
|Milk (1 Liter)||$1.51|
|Loaf Bread (500g)||$1.81|
|Eggs (12)||$2.19||Average Transport Prices|
|One Way Ticket||$1.58|
|Gasoline||$1.68||Average Utilities Prices|
|Basic (Water, Electricity, Garbage, Heating, Cooling)||$186.01|
|1 min. of Prepaid Mobile Tariff Local||$0.07|
|Internet (Unlimited Data, Cable/ADSL)||$24.48||Average Leisure Prices|
|Fitness Club, Monthly Fee for 1 Adult||$64.96|
|Tennis Court Rent (1 Hour)||$16.30|
|Cinema, 1 Seat, International Release||$10.69||Average Clothing Prices|
|1 Pair of Jeans (Levis 501 Or Comparable)||$83.25|
|1 Summer Dress in a Chain Store (Zara, etc...)||$52.88|
|1 Pair of Adidas Walking Shoes (Mid-Range)||$111.02||Average Rent Prices|
|Apartment (1 bedroom) in City Center||$916.01|
|Apartment (1 bedroom) Outside of Center||$728.55|
|Apartment (3 bedrooms) in City Center||$1543.03|
How Does the Average Person Spend Their Money in Israel?
In Israel, like in most countries, the biggest chunk of the paycheck gets spent on food, in markets or grocery stores.
The next huge expense is rent, since, as mentioned it is ridiculously expensive in this country.
Restaurants take up the next spot on the list, since food can get pretty pricey, and this goes for transportation too.
As usual, the smallest amount of money is spent on clothes and accessories, while sports and leisure take up as much as 6% of all expenses.
Israel: Average Salary, Minimum Wage & Mortgages
Those that get a minimum wage of about 1500$ might have some hard time making ends meet or covering all expenses, especially if they’re renting an apartment in such an expensive country.
However, average monthly net salary is pretty high, and though their expenses are high too, an average citizen of Israel can live comfortably and have no problem earning for a living.
Of course, those renting an apartment will always have a harder time paying off their bills and rent, but generally speaking, Israel has a high living standard.
Cost of Living by City in Israel
*Click the name of the city for more information.
|City||Cost of Living Index|