Israel Travel Guide for Filipinos with Philippines Passport

By Kach Umandap - Howe April 3rd, 2016 Posted in Asia, DIY Travel, VISA for Filipinos 99 Comments

“I’m finally fulfilling my Grandmother’s dream,” told myself after we arrived in Israel on  February 28, 2016. Unexpectedly, Israel is an expensive country (Tel Aviv is actually among the most expensive Cities to live in the world), so you really need to have money to spend time exploring the Holy Land. In this article, I’ll be talking about the following topics:

  1. Free Visa for Philippines Passport Holder and Entry Requirements
  2. The Israel Stamp Problem – Visa Issues if you are working as an OFW in the Middle East
  3. MONEY – How much pocket money should you take?
  4. How to get there from the Philippines, Middle East or Europe?
  5. Where to go?  Israel Highlights that you should not miss (Holy Land and Adventure Activities)
  6. DIY Travel vs. getting a Travel Agency in Israel
  7. Food Trip Recommendations
  8. SAFETY ISSUES – Is it safe for Filipinos to Travel to Israel?
  9. HOLY LAND TOURS 2016 for CATHOLICS/ CHRISTIANS

If you have other questions about travel to Israel, comment below and I would be happy to answer you! Watch my Israel trip video below!

Free Visa for Philippines Passport Holder to Israel

Having a Philippines passport should let us travel within Israel for up to 90 days Visa Free. However, there are a lot of Filipinos working in Israel (some of them illegally) which is the reason why they are quite strict when it comes to our nationality.

Related Article: Here are 20 other countries where you can go Visa-free

Travel to Israel for Filipinos - visiting the City of David

You have to prepare the following documents for the Israel Immigration:

  • Valid Passport for 6 months (Here’s how to get your Philippines passport)
  • Confirmed Return Flight Ticket or any onward ticket to your next destination
  • Travel Itinerary – I highly suggest you book with a travel agency (directly in Israel to get a cheaper deal, I highly recommend Puzzle Israel)
  • Confirmed Hotel Booking – you can book it online if you are not travelling with a Tour company. You can check our list here for the cheapest hostels/hotels to stay in Israel
  • Cash or Credit Card – you don’t need the printed bank statement but you need to be able to answer them how you can fund the trip. If you already booked your tour, just mention that you already paid the whole cost of the tour and the only money you need is for shopping. (As I told you, Israel is expensive!).
  • Travel Insurance – this is not required by the immigration officials but is necessary in general as always when travelling abroad. Here’s the International Insurance company that we recommend (we’re an affiliate partner of this company)

Travel to Israel for Filipinos - Philippines Passport Holder Traveler

The Israel Stamp Problem – Visa Issues if you are working as an OFW in the Middle East

One thing that is discouraging a lot of OFW (Overseas Filipino Worker) from visiting Israel despite the fact that flying there is really cheap and close is the worry of getting their passport stamped and being banned from entering any GCC countries or the Middle East. NO PROBLEM anymore because the Immigration office of Israel does not stamp your passport now. Instead they will just give you a BLUE card as your entry permit (your Israeli visa).

Travel to Israel for Filipinos - Blue card for Entry stamp
My Philippines Passport and Jonathan’s British passport with our Israel Blue Card (Entry Permit)

You still need to be aware that if you enter Israel via land over the borders of Jordan or Egypt they will stamp your passport so remember to request this to be separate from your passport if possible. Otherwise entry through the airport immediately gives you your visa stamp on a blue card which you must keep in order to leave the country without risk of delay or a fine.

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MONEY – How much pocket money should you take to Israel?

The Israeli currency is called Shekels and the conversion to dollars is currently roughly 1 shekel to 25 cents(USD). While on an organized tour many of the souvenir stops along the way are likely to display their prices in dollars which, of course, will work out more expensive than if you manage to sneak away to a less touristy stall showing prices in Shekels for the same product. Organized tours will usually cover all costs except for lunch, and it’s safe to budget around $20 for this per person per day, as well as $20  tips to cover the driver, tour guide, and hotel staff if not included in your tour package. As long as you have enough money on a debit/credit card to cover this, you will be able to withdraw cash in local currency throughout the trip at ATMs, but I always enter a country with a couple of hundred dollars in varying notes as a back-up.

Travel to Israel for Filipinos - Tel Aviv
The beautiful Tel Aviv, Israel

If you decide to book everything with a travel agency then you can expect to pay between $2500 to $5000 for a 10 day trip, if you manage to find something cheaper than that you will most probably be one of those tourists wearing the same t-shirt as the rest of your big group of 60 to 100 people taking the same trip. I personally don’t like it but it’s up to you. You don’t want to wait 25 minutes just to get your turn taking a selfie in Jerusalem.

Israel for Filipinos - walking around the old city in Jerusalem

If you decide to do a DIY trip, you need to budget at least $70 to $100/ day to cover your accommodation, transportation, tours and meals unless you have relatives/ friends there where you can stay for Free, just walking everywhere or using the public transportation. You can do it cheaper but it’s up to you!

IDEAL POCKET MONEY – Bring at least $100/day, especially when asked by the Israeli Immigration. You don’t necessary have to spend it all but at least have it available!

Related Article: Here’s my 50 Tips on How you Filipinos can travel the world with less money

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How to get to Israel?

There’s no direct flight from the Philippines to Israel yet but I have a few flight suggestions for you to reach Israel without the hassle of transiting and being required another visa. (You can contact me to help you find cheap flights, message me here)

Flight routes suggestions where you won’t be needing to apply for Transit visa, usually a flight would cost around Php 40,000 above ($1000 and up). Please also note that you can’t fly from any GCC countries because of political reasons (UAE, Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar etc)

Travel to Israel for Filipinos - Landed at the airport welcome to Israel

If you’re coming from the Philippines:

  • Manila – Thailand – Israel
  • Manila – Hongkong – Israel
  • Manila – Turkey (no need for a transit visa if you will not leave the airport) – Israel
  • Manila – Jordan (you will need a visa) – Israel

If you’re coming from the Middle East:

  • Fly to Istanbul then Israel
  • Fly to Jordan (you will need a visa) then you can travel by land or short flight

If you’re coming from Europe

There are a lot of direct and cheap flights which are usually less than $200 for roundtrip tickets. So maybe, you could also go to Israel after your Europe trip.

If you’re coming from USA:

There’s a direct flight from New York and also a 15-hour direct flight with Turkish Airlines via Istanbul from Los Angeles, California.

(If you have any other flight route tips, feel free to comment below)

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Where to go?  Israel Highlights that you should not miss

Aside from the Dead Sea and the Masada tours there are other cool things to do in Israel for Filipino travelers. (You can also check my 15-day Itinerary in Israel)

Israel for Filipinos - visited the Dead Sea
The beautiful scenery of the Dead Sea

If you’re Catholic then you should go to (in alphabetical order):

  • Bethany- here you’ll find the home of Martha and Mary and of course the Tomb of Lazarus
  • Bethany Beyond the Jordan– The site where Jesus was known to be baptised
  • Bethlehem– one of the most visited sites of Catholic interest where you can visit the Church of the Nativity and of St. Catherine, The Milk Grotto and Shepherd’s Field
  • Cana– where the Wedding Feast at Cana was held
  • Capernaum– Many of Jesus’s miracles were performed here, a site also home to John the Baptist
  • Ein Kerem– Here you will find both the Church of St. John the Baptist and the Visitation
  • Emmaus– is where Jesus revealed  Himself after the Resurrection
  • Jericho– home to Mount of Temptation  
  • Jerusalem–  undoubtedly one of the most popular religious sites in which Catholics flock to visit the Churches of the Holy Sepulchre and the Sisters of Zion, the Way of the Cross and the Upper Room

Travel to Israel for Filipinos- Jeep tour in Israel

If you like Adventure Activities:

  • Rappelling/Abseiling: Israel’s landscape and geology provides ample opportunity for this sport through a variety of situations like caves, canyons, tunnels and can be combined with other adrenaline inducing activities. Most popular spots are: Gesher B’not Yaacov close to the Jordan River, Keshet Cave at Israel’s highest point and Nakik Hashakar, a deep canyon of volcanic stone within a national park.
Travel to Israel for Filipinos - Rappelling in Israel
Jonathan and I went rappelling in Makhtesh Ramon with Puzzle Israel
  • Hiking: with multiple climates and ecosystems hikers have huge choice in Israel, through deserts, mountains, waterfalls, rivers and canyons and these hikes are best combined with some of the other adventure sports found along the way. Israel is one of the countries with the most marked hiking trails, reaching 6000 miles in total, as well as 67 national parks and 190 nature reserves. Some recommended hikes are The Hexagon Pools, Nachal Darja, and Mount Arbel.
  • Zip-lines: Many zip-lines are to be found along the routes of the above-mentioned hikes, recommended are Gesher B’not Yaacov over the River Jordan, Agam HaNistar and Shilal Cliff in Ben Shemen Forest.
  • Caving/Spelunking: With a rich and spectacular collection of caves throughout which you can explore deep tunnels and narrow crevices leading to many stalactites and stalagmites most famously at Ma’Arat Nikavot, Fox’s Chimney and Abirim Stalactite Cave.
  • Rock Climbing: All levels of climber can scale the routes Israel has to offer all over the country, most famously Keshet Cave, Yonim Cliff, Gitta Cliff (the biggest for climbers) and the Upper Galilee Canyon.
  • Skydiving: Those brave enough to jump from a plane at 11,000ft can make this once in a lifetime leap over the Mediterranean Sea and the Western Galilee. From here you’ll see Haifa Bay, Acco Coast, Achzeiv and Lebanon beaches and in winter, snow capped Mount Herman.
  • ATVing, Jeep tours: If you’ve exerted yourself enough, take to 4 wheels to explore desert, mountains and forest paths. You can visit the Lebanese Border at the IDF army base, the Naftali Mountains or Central Israel’s Judean desert.

Travel to Israel for Filipinos - Jeep Tour

  • Rafting/Kayaking: This can be done on two different routes, the first shorter and at a gentler pace along the Jordan and Hatabani Rivers, the second longer option adds small waterfalls to the route for extra adrenaline rush.
  • Water sports: Many activities can be enjoyed in the Kinneret Sea including speed-boating, banana-boating, tubing, water-skiing and wake-boarding as well as pedal-boats, inflatable kayaks and jet skis for hire.
  • Horseback riding: This can be done combined with other activities along the way to take in the views of the Kinneret Panorama and the Sea of Galilee.
Israel Trip for Filipinos - Horseback Riding near the lake where Jesus walked
Horseback Riding in Sea of Galilee with Puzzle Israel
  • Paintball: This fun activity for private groups can be found in North Israel’s forests, the woods above Shilat Cliffs or even in a mock battlefield setting.

If you like Food Trip:

Travel to Israel for Filipinos - eating street food in Tel Aviv

Tel Aviv dining:

  • Nalagaat – the first restaurant of its kind in the world, guests are served in complete darkness by blind waiters in order to sharpen the senses of smell and taste while also creating a connection and interaction between the seeing and hearing community with the deaf/blind community.
  • Blue Sky – a romantic rooftop location with views over Tel Aviv, it serves only vegetarian and fish dishes on its menu by renowned chef Meir Aden. There is also an indoor restaurant.
  • Meat and Eat – the staples of this simple, high quality concept are meat and Taboon oven baked bread. Meat and Eat can be found in the airport and is much appreciated for its simplicity and skilfully prepared meat dishes.

Travel to Israel for Filipinos - yummy bread

Jerusalem dining:

  • Eucalyptus – one of the most memorable dining experiences you will have, it’s menu is a modern interpretation of biblical cuisine with each dish linking to a bible scene. The ancient stone building does justice to the grandeur of the experience.
  • Lara – this new bistro has a really home-like ambiance and offers an international menu prepared by chef Lior Hafzadi, who has previously worked in Michelin star restaurants
  • Ima – this local restaurant is loved by all from tourists to market workers for its traditional old Jerusalem stone building and the classic dishes sold.
  • Kedma – just outside of the Old City is a new open-air mall and promenade called The Gap and here you will find this Kosher deli offering views across the Jaffa Gate and City of David
  • Hamiznon – meaning ‘cafeteria’ this restaurant. Location within the First Station compound  is the station’s first Kosher restaurant and offers wonderful dairy dishes.
  • Tavshilim – housed in a Neo-classical building built in 1906 the restaurant has been in business since the 40’sty very original recipes and great prices.
Travel to Israel for Filipinos - Yummy breakfast
Yummy Israeli breakfast!

Rosa Pina dining:

  • Meatbalim – since May 2006 this Upper Galilee restaurant has been serving many unique combinations of meat and fish with various tasty dips.

Tibia at Vered Hagali:

This non-Kosher restaurant has homemade sausage and cured meats served in a stunning location looking over the distant Galilee hills.

Acre dining:

  • Uri Buri – this understated Ottoman building close to Acre’s beach offers more than 100 fine Israeli wines to accompany their fish and seafood dishes.

Travel to Israel for Filipinos - Food in Israel

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DIY Travel vs Travel Agency in Israel

Jonathan and I love to DIY travel as much as we can but we feel differently about doing this in Israel. It is a pretty small country but it’s expensive so you’re way better off getting your tours organized. Elsewhere on our travels we have always found our own cheaper, more personal way of doing things, seeing the country at our own pace and meeting locals by using public transport and couch surfing and I’m sure we’ll continue to travel like that in the future.

Travel to Israel for Filipinos - Cycling in Negev Desert
Specialized Dinner set up with Puzzle Israel in Negev Desert

Israel is probably the first country we’ve been to together where we have felt that an organised trip through an agency offers an advantage in every area, and although not an expansive country travelling between the many important religious sites on the must-see list of visiting Catholics takes quite some coordination. Combine this with the cost of travelling or even just living costs makes it extremely expensive to travel as and when you please. Traveling with Puzzle Israel or another travel agency like what we did guarantees you will make it to each destination without complication or risk of extra hidden or factored costs.

Travel to Israel for Filipinos Negev Desert Tour
Off the beaten destinations we visited with Puzzle Israel

If you decide to do DIY travel, you can check all the cheapest backpackers hostels/ budget hotels in Israel here.

How to choose the correct Travel Agency for Israel?

I traveled around Israel for almost two weeks with PUZZLE ISRAEL, unlike the other tour companies with 60 other people and wearing the same t-shirts, Puzzle Israel is mostly customized according to the group or their set schedule.

Travel to Israel for Filipinos - Cycling in Negev Desert
Fellow travel bloggers enjoying the Negev Desert with Puzzle Israel

There are different tours you should consider when visiting the Holy Land – do you want history? Adventure and hiking? or just follow the path of Jesus Christ?

I personally recommend Puzzle Israel, and they are now organizing some Christian tours after I mentioned to them that Israel is one of the top dream destinations for Catholic Filipinos.

Brown TLV Hotel Israel

You can check out all of their scheduled tours here. You can also mention Kach/ Jonathan of Two Monkeys Travel to get a discount or please contact me at kach.twomonkeystravel@gmail.com so I can help you and your family find a great deal for this dream trip!

SM Monkey Section DividersSAFETY ISSUES – Is it safe to Travel to Israel?

Travel to Israel for Filipinos syrian border with 4x4 jeep tour
Golan Heights

We traveled to the Gaza Strip and even to Golan Heights, the Syrian border. I felt safe, and we left the country safely!

I always believe that everything happens for a reason, I don’t know what will happen today or tomorrow but as always believe in your gut and buy that TRAVEL INSURANCE. Not just to protect you but for your family if the worst case would happen.

How about visiting the West Bank for Filipinos?

Israel for Filipinos - Visiting the West Bank

Jericho and Bethlehem are both located in the West Bank of the State of Palestine, as Filipinos, we can easily enter there without any problems.

You can either add it to your Israel Tour, DIY by renting a car in Tel Aviv or just take the public transportation. What I highly suggest is that you go on a packaged tour or pre-arrange this side trip before you arrive in Israel.

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HOLY LAND TOURS 2016 for CATHOLICS/ CHRISTIANS

I’m currently arranging a specialized tour with Puzzle Israel for Christians/ Catholics to explore the Holy Land and Biblical & New Testament sites with a twist this June, September, and December. (Sample Itinerary here)

Kibbutz in Israel

On this tour, you will visit the most important and sacred sites for Catholics yet; this will not just be another “Hop-on / hop-off the bus” type of tour. Puzzle Israel is dedicated to offering its travelers an “off-the-beaten-path” experience that gives everyone the opportunity to truly get to know the REAL ISRAEL in addition to all the “must sees.”

Visiting a Holy Pilgrimage Site in Israel - Filipino Traveler

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Some Tours That You Can Do in Israel

1. Masada and the Dead Sea Day Trip from Jerusalem.  You can book it, here.

2. 7-Night Israel Highlights and Biblical Tour: Jerusalem, Bethlehem, Nazareth, Galilee and Optional Dead Sea Day Trip. You can book it, here.

3. Jerusalem Three Religions Holy City Walking Tour. You can book it, here.
4. Little Town of Bethlehem Half Day Trip from Jerusalem. You can book it, here.

Israel Travel Guide for Filipinos with Philippines Passport

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99 thoughts on “Israel Travel Guide for Filipinos with Philippines Passport

  1. Hi ma’am. I am currently working in Dubai. I wanna know how can I travel to Israel which route is the fastest?. And is there any posibility that the immigration from Israel wont allow me to go back to dubai?
    Since they are not in good terms. Someone told me that if i visit Israel i cant go back to dubai anymore its that true? I wanna make sure. Thanks in advance for your reply

  2. hello. i am a filipino working in qatar and plannig to visit israel. is it 100% sure that there will be no problem going to and from israel? thank you so much and more power to twomonkeystravel.

  3. Hi, just to double check. I am working in Dubai and I will be traveling to israel via Turkey. I am on a DIY tour with my girlfriend whose working in Israel. We are planning to fly together from Israel to the Philippines. Will there be any issue for me to fly back home directly from israel?

    Thanks in advance for any advise.

  4. Good afternoon..im planning to travel in Israel and this is my first time to travel out of the country. What should i need. ?

  5. What agency here in Philippines offer cheap tours to Holy Land. Please help.Im willing to travel this year with my husband.

  6. Hello Kach,

    A small advise from you regarding my plan to visit Israel this coming June 2019. Since I’m working at Kurdistan-Iraq, I will fly from Erbil to Istanbul, Tel Aviv then Manila. Do I need a package tour and hotel bookings prior to enter Israel? My plan is to DIY experience and I have the flights ticket available from Erbil-Istanbul-Tel Aviv and Manila. I have also pocket or show money to bring as well. Appreciate if you could advise which hotel is best for backpackers.

  7. Hello po. Kailangan po bang my certificate po ng caregiving bago makapunta jan sa Israel kahit graduate po ng 4 year course? Magkano po ang magagastos kung sakali pong mag apply po sa Israel? Salamat po sa makakasagot

  8. hi…this is very helpful for me…just wondering because I am here in qatar working and I have plan to go in israel but i am a filipina..do I need to get a visa still if I will go to israel from qatar?thank you

  9. hi kach 🙂 i found this blogg helpful coz we are planning to go on a vacation this coming hajj .planned route is from ksa to jordan then jordan to jerusalem. DIY lng kmi sa jordan but is it possible also n mag diy nlng din kmi sa israel kht for 2 days lng ?. coz we are on a budget .. hndi ba magging problem if wala kmi tour agency sa israel ?. or is it enough n meron kming hotel bookings lng?. thanks in advance miss kach

    1. hello po, natuloy po ba kayo?Nagpplan din po ako this coming september gusto ko din diy lahat? i have the same situation. I will be coming from tabuk,KSA then land border to Jordan tapos land border ulit to Israel. How was your border crossing to Israel po?

  10. I just want to travel and see Israel on my way home to the Philippines. However, my passport will expire on October 2018. Can I still be a tourist for 10 days? I am travelling with my husband and I am going back to the Philippines to renew my passport. I work in an international organization, so no worry of having the interest for looking for job or anything.

  11. Hi, Kach…presently, we are working at Qatar with a residence permit…we are planning to go to Jerusalem this last week of May 2018 through Jordan by land crossing the Allenby Border…we already applied for a Jordanian visa…how about Israel? Do we need to get an Israeli visa? Would you know the procedure in getting an Israeli Visa? Somebody here in Qatar told us that we need an Israeli visa and we can contact a travel agency in Jordan to fix our visa…we really do not know if this is true…Thank you so much.

    1. hi arnel dogma… natuloy b kau ng trip sa israel from jordan ?… any reccomendation po ? nag DIY lng b kau from jordan to israel or u have travel agency sa israel? thanks

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Written by Kach Umandap - Howe

Co-Founder of Two Monkeys Travel Group. Since 2013, Kach has visited all the 7 continents (including Antarctica) and 120 countries using her Philippines Passport. In 2016, she got married then a year later bought a sailboat and is now on sailing adventures with her two cats - Captain Ahab & Little Zissou in the Caribbean. She writes about her experiences traveling as a Filipina traveler with a PHL Passport. Also tips on backpacking trips, luxury hotel experiences, product reviews, sailing & adventure travel.

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