Welcome to Israel! Now that you’re here, in the innovation nation, there are a few apps you may want to help ensure an easier way to get around and make the most of your visit.
NoCamels is offering this definitive list of must-have apps for visitors to Israel.
Waze is not only one of this country’s best-known tech successes it is also “the” go-to app for drivers wanting to navigate Israel. Everyone from private drivers to taxi drivers to bus drivers and motorcyclists uses the GPS navigation software app, owned by Google. If you don’t already have Waze on your phone, now’s the time to download it.
The Google Maps app is pretty handy as well. It can be used for driving but is even better for walking, biking, and public transportation directions.
And if you’re planning on using public transport in Israel, make sure to download the free navigation app Moovit. This app tells you the fastest, most convenient and most efficient routes in real time.
Paying for parking
Parking can be a nightmare. And when you park your car in Israel, you could go searching for a parking meter. Or, download the Cellopark app and in a click of a button select the city you’re in and press go.
Taxis and shared rides
Taxi apps have definitely added a shot of improved service to this wedge of the transportation market. When you use an app — Gett, Yango or Raxi — to hail a cab, there’s no need to worry about the rate. The apps automatically use the meter price within cities or offer a fixed price for out of town adventures. Customers also rate drivers so you can usually be sure of no haggling surprises at the end of your ride.
In Tel Aviv, there’s a half-bus/half-cab type of ride known as Bubble Dan (the Israeli version of the shared ride service Via, founded by Israeli entrepreneurs in New York).
The shared-ride app lets you book a seat in a 10-passenger van and it will come pick you up at the nearest bus stop to you. The service picks up and drops passengers off at bus stops but creates an optimized route depending on its passengers. The service is about $4, double a regular bus but much cheaper than a cab.
It’s easy to know the official Bank of Israel exchange rate with the bank’s official app. The application provides up-to-date exchange rates the Israeli shekel with the world’s major currencies.
Change kiosks are still accessible but this app’s information is far more reliable. Android
Say that in Hebrew
There are many translation and dictionary apps to choose from in the Play and App stores. In Israel, many use Morfix as a popular and accurate Hebrew English and English Hebrew app service.
In 2017, Morfix hit the headlines after Israeli cybersecurity researchers discovered a crypto-mining script running through the site. As soon as Morfix was notified, of course, the company removed it. Today, “check Morfix” is still very much a part of the conversation. iOS Android
Want to know what locals like to do in Jerusalem or Tel Aviv? This Tel Aviv-based app creator offers first-hand recommendations to what’s cool in each city. Vetted locals offer their favorite cafes, fashion stores, museums, and places to go. These locals are your “cool cousins” in the city and they will help steer you away from tourist traps. iOS | Android
At some point in your stay here, you’re going to want to do laundry. There are coin-operated laundromats all over the country. But if watching your clothes go round-and-round isn’t a top priority of things to do in Israel, then the Kvisi app may be just what you’re looking for.
At the moment, Kvisi caters to the Tel Aviv, Givatayim and Ramat Gan areas, but the app-makers are expanding their services all the time. Click on the app to order washing, dry cleaning or even ironing services and someone will come to pick up and deliver your clean clothes back to your door.iOS Android
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Navigating where to go outdoors is super easy with Waze or Google Maps but if you want to know where to go indoors – shopping malls, museums, Tel Aviv University, Sarona market – Navin Systems, the Israeli navigation app developer, is for you.
Actually, Navin also helps you get around outdoors – they’ve got a walking route in Tel Aviv that will navigate you to the city’s best selfie spots. Android
Tel Aviv Beaches
Tel Aviv boasts a gorgeous coastline and every beach is free to access. While finding the beach is a no-brainer, choosing the beach for you is a matter of personal taste. In July 2019, all 13 of Tel Aviv’s beaches were awarded with the important Blue Flag eco-label, which means they all meet stringent environmental and safety conditions.
Apps for Food
Tired of saying “ani lo medaber/et ivrit?” No need to say you don’t speak Hebrew anymore when you want to book a table for a meal out. Israeli startup Order.Chat uses chatbots to help you book tables at eateries across the country. The service also helps you out if your restaurant of choice is full by finding you a similar place with the fare of your choice. Facebook app
Or, if you’d rather order in to your Airbnb, try Wolt, the popular Finnish food delivery app that is available in over 50 cities. At the moment, Tel Aviv is the only Israeli city on Wolt’s radar. iOS Android
Dine with the locals
Get a taste of Israeli hospitality via the EatWith app, which connects tourists with local foodie experiences. In April, NoCamels wrote all about the social dining initiatives offered around Israel. EatWith, which started in Tel Aviv but has since taken over the world, is the only service with an app. Visitors must book in advance to take part. iOS Android
Bikes and Scooters on demand
Want to see the city but tired of walking? Rent an e-scooter or bicycle! In Tel Aviv, electric scooters are everywhere. There are four companies running the scooter options. Or, opt for a bicycle. In Tel Aviv, the most popular bikes are the green city Tel-o-Fun two-wheelers. You can use the HopOn app or TeloBike app to rent these bikes.
To avoid getting a ticket, stay on a bike path or the road. It is illegal to ride on sidewalks (even if you see others doing it). Helmets do not come with the rentals.
If trying to figure out Israeli shekels isn’t your thing, download the Colu app and pay via this digital wallet. Colu uses blockchain technology and awards users with credits towards their next purchases.
Audio Tours of Jerusalem
The Jerusalem Development Authority is behind this application that helps independent travelers experience Jerusalem. Pick a destination in the city whether the Jerusalem Park of the City Center, and walk and listen as you go.
The tours are available in Hebrew, English, French and Russian. Android
Viva Sarah Press is a journalist and speaker. She writes and talks about the creativity and innovation taking place in Israel and beyond. www.vivaspress.com