Monthly archives "March 2014"

Haifa – Part I- Sites & Museums

Haifa – Part I: Sites & Museums

Israel - Haifa The Bahai Gardens

Israel – Haifa The Bahai Gardens

Haifa, Israel’s third largest cities has amazing views, sites and museums. Here are just some of them:

The Bahai Gardens

The Bahai Gardens are located in the heart of Haifa on the north side of the Carmel Mountain and consist of a staircase of 19 terraces all the way up to the top of the Louis Promenade at the Carmel Center. The golden-domed Shrine stands at the center of the staircase. Work on the gardens began in 1987 and the terraces were opened to the public in June 2001. The gardens are linked by a set of stairs bordering streams of running water flowing down the mountainside.

Railroad Museum

It is open only a few hours a day and closed on weekends. Touch and see the trains from the beginning of the 20th century, such as the historic giant locomotive and the VIP car. See documents and schedules, locomotives and cars from different periods, the equipment and signaling systems, a stamp collection on the subject of trains and more. For more information see:


The National Maritime Museum:

Learn about shipyards, naval battles, mythology and archeology. One of the permanent exhibitions is dedicated to pirates and is full of fascinating information on the development of the genre of this criminal activity… Additional information can be found on the National Maritime Museum website.


Haifa’s Science Museum: Madatech

A must for every child (and adult). The local science museum is located in a beautiful historic building, with many permanent exhibitions that invite children to touch, feel and play. Relatively new exhibits include “Green Energy” and “My Green House”. For more info, see


Steps of Haifa – One Thousand Steps Down from the Mountain to the Sea

The city of Haifa rises from the coast to the Carmel Mountain, with hills and valleys galore. The topography led city planners to place many staircases throughout the city, some with fantastic beauty and landscape views. In fact, you can make the journey from Carmel to the sea via these staircases. You can go down the stairs any time during the day (most of it is nicely shaded); however, many prefer to make this trek is around sunset.

The Haifa Tourism Association mapped these trails with signs posted throughout. (Should you get lost, it’s not a problem! Simply continue down towards the sea.) The most recommended route leads to the German Colony. Others take you to Wadi Nisnas, Paris Square or El Pasha. One can always find a small staircase tucked away next to a public park where one can rest awhile to enjoy the scenery or take the “Carmelit” to climb back to Hadar or to the Carmel. For more information, click on The Haifa Trails.

If you want to take the “lazy” route, you can stroll on the Louis Promenade, one of the loveliest places to walk and see in all of Haifa. Open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, it is conveniently located near many museums and hotels – and best of all, it’s free! Perfect for walks or jogs, the promenade has an incredible view, extending from Haifa to Rosh Hanikra. On a clear day, you can even see the snowy peaks of Israel’s tallest mountain, Mount Hermon. Watch the ships come into the port and if you’re lucky, you might be able to spot dolphins leaping off the bay.


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Passover Sale – Family Special

Pesach - Passover in Israel

Courtesy of

Passover SALE – Order 3 lines – SAVE 20%

Passover SALE: Take an additional 20% off daily rental fee on any combination of 3 lines or more. Local USA Virtual Number, just  $1/day!

No Deposits!   No Insurance!   No Hidden Fees!

No need to return the SIM!   You’re only charged for the days of the rental in Israel, even if you receive the SIMs or Devices several days in advance!
Multiple SIMs or Devices in one shipment are considered one shipment.


Limited Time Sales Offer

  • Sale available from April 1- April 30, 2014.
  • Order must be placed at least 7 days prior to start of rental.
  • Limited availability while supplies last.
  • NES Mobile reserves the right to cancel this special sale at any time.
  • See important information on Coupons, Sales & Discounts
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Israel VAT Refund for Tourists


Israel VAT Refund for tourists

Israel VAT Refund for tourists

VAT Refund for Tourists Visiting Israel

VAT (Value Added Tax) is the equivalent of a sales tax in many countries. On October 2015, Israeli VAT was reduced to 17%. VAT is added to all sales and services and is generally included in the price. In some cases tourists are exempt from VAT and in other cases, tourists to Israel need to apply for a VAT Refund.

Tourists are exempt from VAT payments for the following services:

  • Accommodations and lodging – in hotel, hostels, field schools, campgrounds and/or accompanying services.
  • Organized tours.
  • Car rentals (with or without a driver/guide).
  • Flights provided by local airlines.
  • Cruises.
  • Meals – provided by tour operators during organized tours or meals served in hotel restaurants (which are included in the price of the hotel).
  • Hospitalization.
  • Conventions with the participation of 50 tourists or more and accompanying services.
  • All goods and services that tourists purchase in Eilat are exempt from VAT. 

Please Note: Israel SIM cards and phone rentals, are NOT exempt from VAT for tourists. Most companies providing such services tend to hide that in the fine print, However, NES Mobile, known for its integrity and quality service, clearly displays that you must add VAT to SIM and phone rentals.

VAT goods refund:

Who is eligible for a VAT refund?

Any visitor to Israel with a tourist visa, and does not have an Israeli passport. Tourists who do not want to stamp their passports at the entrance to Israel for security reasons, must use the appendix entry permit to Israel issued by border control (“Form 17”) or sign a declaration form with the service provider.

Which products qualify for VAT refund?

Most goods bought for personal, non-commercial use qualify for a VAT refund. The arrangement does not apply to purchases of tobacco products, food and beverages. However, you can get a VAT refund at wineries and wine shops.

Personal, non-commercial purchases qualify for a VAT refund, for example:

1. Purchases of up to 10 identical items, when the price of the item does not exceed 4,000 ₪ – including VAT, shall be considered non-commercial.
2. For items whose prices are 4,000 ₪ or more, including VAT per item: The purchase of up to five items is considered non-commercial.
3. The restrictions listed above do not apply to clothing and footwear.
4. Items considered as souvenirs such as key chains, maps, postcards, etc.: Up to 50 identical items valued at a total of 6,500 ₪ including VAT can be purchased.
5. Minimum purchase amount for a VAT refund is 400 ₪ including VAT, purchased at one time in one business transaction.


Where can I buy VAT refundable products?

Only certain businesses have been authorized and approved for VAT (Tourist) Refunds. You are only eligible for a refund if you make your purchases at those businesses.

  • Businesses who provide VAT refund have a window sticker that looks like the image on the right.

    Stores offering Israel VAT Refund for tourists

    Look for this sign in Israeli stores offering VAT Refunds

  • At the time of purchase, please indicate to the shopkeeper that you wish to receive a VAT refund. The shop will then check your passport to verify that you qualify (according to the criteria stated above).
  • The business owner will charge the full amount of VAT and transfer the tax to the authorities. He will pack the purchased product in a bag with the store logo along with the original invoice. The bag must remain closed and sealed for the period of your stay in Israel.
  • Before departing Israel, you should go to the VAT Refund location at the airport with the sealed goods and invoice.
  • VAT refunds for purchases exceeding 400 ₪ are approved for payment by the foreman of the concessionaire at the airport.
  • VAT refunds for purchases exceeding 20,000 ₪ will be wired to your bank account after approval.

Please note that VAT refunds will be given only when displaying the goods purchased, together with the original invoices.

DISCLAIMER: The information provided here is intended for general information only. It is not intended as legal advice. You should not rely on any information gathered here as a substitute for consultation with relevant professionals. Updated information can be seen on the relevant Israeli government sites.

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