Tourist Tip #14 / Pay Phones

Payphones may seem outdated, but they're a great way to make phone calls in Israel.

Stay connected and save some cash by using a public phone to make domestic calls in Israel.

During your holiday, you may want to find information about hotels, restaurants or renting a car. Or maybe you’re here visiting family or friends and just want to stay in touch. When you’re out and about, it can be tempting to use your cell phone, but tariffs for international users are notoriously high. One way around this is to use a phone card to make cheap domestic calls.

These pre-paid cards – called “telecards” in Israel – are sold at the post office and at some newsstands and stationary stories. The pay phones that take the magnetic cards do not accept coins and are easily recognizable by their bright orange casing.

Telecards are available in three denominations: NIS 20, NIS 50 and NIS 120. The cost of making calls depends on the time of day, the length of the call and the distance to the place you’re calling.

To make a call, put your telecard in the slot of an appropriate pay phone, wait until you hear the dial tone and follow the posted instructions. Once your call connects, the phone's display screen will show you how many units you have left.

If you want to make a collect call within Israel you can dial 142. For domestic directory information call 144, free of charge. Overseas operator and overseas directory information are available at 188.