If you are thinking of moving to Israel, there are some things you should take note of first. The cost of living in Israel is high, with Tel Aviv being the most expensive place for expat living in the Middle East.
Similar to all other countries, the cost of living in Israel depends on where you reside in and your lifestyle choices.
The official currency in Israel is the Israeli Shekel (ILS). Some exchange rates are:
- 1 USD = 3.24 ILS
- 1 GBP = 4.60 ILS
- 1 EUR = 3.96 ILS
Read on to find out more about the cost of living in Israel.
Housing in Israel varies on where you decide to reside in the location. If you are relocating to the Middle East, you can take a look at online portals when finding a house to live in.
As mentioned, Tel Aviv is one of the most expensive cities, thus accommodation in Tel Aviv will not come cheap. The average cost of a four-room apartment in Tel Aviv can cost an average of 7,000 ILS (1,974 USD) a month.
Residing in other cities such as Be’er Sheva and Eilat will allow you to reside in cheaper accommodation of an average of 3,500 ILS a month for a four-room apartment.
When renting in Israel, you should keep in mind that some landlords only rent to those who keep the Jewish Holy Day, Shabbat. This means maintaining a kosher kitchen, among other things.
As for utilities, you can be prepared to spend about 600 ILS on electricity for two people. Do note that for water, each household will be automatically charged for two people, even if you live alone.
Similarly, food costs depend on where you reside in Israel. Here are some average grocery prices around the country:
- Eggs — 13 ILS
- Bread — 7 ILS
- Domestic beer — 9 ILS
- Milk — 6 ILS
- 500g chicken — 20 ILS
The cost of food is relatively reasonable, especially if eating in. While fruits and vegetables are affordable, meats may be on the expensive side. Fortunately, you can visit markets for cheaper alternatives.
If you are residing in Israel on a budget, domestic products tend to be more affordable, as compared to shipped produce. Local products can be found in both supermarkets and markets.
Dining out in Israel is more expensive than dining in. a basic lunch can cost around 60 ILS (17 USD). The average price you may pay while dining out will also depend on which restaurant you choose.
As owning a car in Israel is expensive, even for locals, taking public transport tends to be a norm in the country. While the government offers benefits to expats who decide to purchase a car, there are stipulations regarding the amount of years the car can be owned for and the amount of people who drive it.
Public transport in Israel consists of trains and buses, with fares depending on distance and route travelled. An average cost of taking a bus from Jerusalem to Tel Aviv is 18 ILS (5 USD).
A one way ticket in Israel costs around 6 ISL. If you intend on taking public transport daily, you can also consider getting a monthly transportation ticket, which will cost an average of 220 ILS.
Although public healthcare is free, you can opt for additional or private insurance at an extra cost. Do note that you will also need to contribute a sum of your income to fund the healthcare system.
The cost of private insurance ranges depending on your coverage. On average, you will be able to purchase a private health insurance plan for 3,000 USD annually, for a family.
While the cost of living in Israel is relatively high, living in Israel on a budget is not impossible. This will also depend on the area you choose to reside in and your lifestyle.
Living in urban cities are known to be more expensive, rather than living in rural towns. Making lifestyle changes such as buying more local produce and taking public transport can help keep your finances in check.