Tourist tip # 39 / Parking
Do you like parking tickets? No? Here are tips on parking rules.
So you rented a car and now you would like to avoid a parking ticket.
The hassle of paying a fine – or even having your car towed away – can put a damper on your vacation. It therefore pays to get familiar with the rules of parking in Israel.
Having found a parking place, which can be quite the miracle in the city centers, take a quick look at the color-coding on the sidewalk curb to make sure you aren't sinning.
Red and white markings mean No Parking. Or standing. Period.
Red and yellow designates a bus stop, or place otherwise reserved for public transport.
You're gambling with fate and run the risk of having your car towed if you park in these areas, or in a designated handicapped zone, or an area which displays a tow zone sign.
Blue and white sidewalk markings mean parking is subject to a fee, or is only available for permit-carrying local residents. Signs on the pavement clearly state any restrictions that apply to non-residents, but as they are in Hebrew you may need to ask a passerby to translate.
Parking fees can sometimes be paid at roadside machines, but in other cases you have to buy a parking card - kartis chanaya - from a kiosk.
In Tel Aviv you can no longer buy parking tickets from kiosks, and have to pay for parking through an electronic “pay to park” system. The Tel Aviv municipality has more information regarding this on their website, but in many cases it may be easier to simply shell out some shekels and opt for a parking lot instead.
If you find yourself parked by a curb with no markings at all, you may have found the holy grail of parking – free parking. These spots are rare, so to make sure you don’t have any nasty surprises and aren't parked in some designated spot, check all nearby signs before you savor your sweet victory.