Israel Currency: Everything You Need To Know


Israel is a country located in the Middle East, and it has its own currency, the Israeli Shekel. The currency is abbreviated as ILS and is used by locals and tourists alike. In this article, we will be discussing everything you need to know about the Israel currency, its history, value, and how to exchange it.

The History of the Israeli Shekel

The Israeli Shekel was introduced in 1985, replacing the old Israeli Lira. The currency was named after the ancient biblical currency, the Shekel. The first series of banknotes featured portraits of famous Israeli figures such as Rachel the Poetess and Moshe Sharett, the first Foreign Minister of Israel. In 2014, a new series of banknotes was introduced, featuring important Israeli scientists, poets, and writers.

The Value of the Israeli Shekel

The value of the Israeli Shekel fluctuates depending on the global economic situation. As of 2023, 1 US dollar is equivalent to 3.5 Israeli Shekels. The exchange rate between the Shekel and other currencies such as the Euro and the British Pound also varies. It is always advisable to check the exchange rates before exchanging currencies.

How to Exchange Currency in Israel

There are many options for exchanging currency in Israel. Banks, exchange offices, and ATMs are widely available throughout the country. Banks generally offer the best exchange rates but may charge a commission for the service. Exchange offices offer competitive rates but may have hidden fees. ATMs are convenient and accessible but may charge a fee for international transactions. It is important to check with your bank or credit card company to find out if they charge any fees for international transactions.

Tips for Handling Israeli Currency

When handling Israeli currency, it is important to know the denominations and their values. The Shekel is available in coins and banknotes. Coins come in 10 agorot, 50 agorot, and 1, 2, 5, and 10 Shekel denominations. Banknotes come in 20, 50, 100, and 200 Shekel denominations. It is advisable to carry small denominations when traveling, as many small stores and markets may not accept large bills.

It is also important to handle the currency with care, as many stores and vendors may not accept damaged or torn banknotes. It is advisable to exchange damaged bills at a bank or exchange office before using them.

Using Credit Cards in Israel

Credit cards are widely accepted in Israel, especially in larger cities like Tel Aviv and Jerusalem. Visa and Mastercard are the most commonly accepted cards, but American Express and Discover may also be accepted in some establishments. It is always advisable to notify your bank or credit card company before traveling to Israel to avoid any issues with international transactions.


The Israeli Shekel is the currency of Israel and is widely used by locals and tourists. It is important to know the value of the Shekel, how to exchange it, and handle it with care. Credit cards are also widely accepted in Israel, but it is always advisable to notify your bank or credit card company before traveling. With this information, you can confidently handle Israeli currency during your travels to this beautiful country.