Tourist Tip #17 / Wireless Internet

Log in, sign on, and surf away – all for free, thanks to the myriad Wi-Fi hotspots around the country.

The hectic nature of modern life means that you’re increasingly required to stay connected, even when you’re on vacation. While abroad, you may want to stay in touch with friends and family, check in with the office or keep abreast of the latest news.

Though many hotels and guesthouses offer customers free internet, some also charge a premium for the service. In certain cases, you could be charged a daily rate to surf the Web, or a rate per computer instead of per room. As you can imagine, these charges can stack up pretty quickly.

To save some shekels, get out of your hotel and log on for free at some of the many no-cost hotspots around the country.

Israel is notoriously tech-savvy – Israelis were some of the earliest adopters of the cell phone, and the country is famous for its burgeoning high-tech industry. It’s no surprise then that nearly every coffee shop offers high speed wireless Internet, or Wi-Fi, to its customers. An easy way to get Internet access for free is to pop in for a coffee and connect to their network. You should be able to stay as long as you like, provided you order something to eat or drink. Wi-Fi networks in coffee shops are usually password-protected, but your waiter will be able to provide you with the access code.

If you’re in Jerusalem, you can already connect to the city’s free Wi-Fi network in a variety of public places. These include the German Colony neighborhood, Safra Square near City Hall, and within a 500-meter radius from the Nahalat Shiva shopping mall in the city center.

Visitors in Haifa can surf free of charge at the Grand Canyon shopping mall and Dado Promenade.

Tel Aviv has recently approved a plan for a city-wide initiative offering free Wi-Fi throughout the city. The service is set to cover parks, beaches and main streets, and will launch next year.