I recently (during July) went on a bus tour to Northern Israel and during the trip we've made a few stops for snacks and a toilet break. When I went to visit the the bathroom, I've noticed that while the toilets were relatively clean, they all lacked a toilet seat. This was the case both on gas stations and near tourist sites.

What is the reasoning behind this? Are they afraid of people stealing the toilet seats or something?

  • Related: travel.stackexchange.com/questions/61371/…
    – JonathanReez
    Commented Aug 8, 2017 at 4:38
  • In some countries, users crouch over toilets or pits, and don't sit directly on them. I'm speculating if that's the case here, but that's my instinct. Commented Aug 8, 2017 at 17:27
  • @JimMacKenzie no, that's not the case. Commented Jul 26, 2018 at 13:08
  • Toilets are primitive in Israel tourist areas. Filthy. Often no. Toilet paper or seats. To add insult you must pay one or two Euros to use the toilet. You also have Tip the toilet manager. Do you business at your hotel and hold it for the rest of the day. Commented Apr 18, 2019 at 18:57

4 Answers 4


It's just bad maintenance.

Any toilet installed in Israel will certainly have a seat. But the seat may, sooner or later, break. A well-managed site will have the seat replaced. If management neglects it, or is on an awfully tight budget, or it breaks every other day, then it won't be.

Crouching over the toilet is not common in Israel. But perhaps people occasionally do it to avoid contact with the seat, and break it in the process.

A little off-topic - I recommend McDonald's, who tend to keep toilets in good order. Of course, if you go in then you should buy something (they have good ice cream).

  • 1
    Makes me wonder hoe you manage to break a toilet seat? Even with heavy usage by 100s of poeple a day its a fairly non complicated construction Commented Feb 15, 2020 at 11:23
  • @MattDouhan: Personal anecdotage, but lateral shear, generally from someone staying seating while turning to one side, such as to grab something, can mess with the hinges, or the bolts holding it in. I haven't actually had one completely break, but I've seen a few bolts come free (probably loose in the first place). Then, there was one terrifying time when I found out no one had bolted the commode to the floor... Commented Dec 19, 2023 at 13:21

I had a similar issue when hiking in Northern Israel in March. I camped at several sites where the restrooms didn't have seats, paper towels weren't stocked, etc.

I heard the reason for my experience was due to it being the off-season for camping.

  • 4
    I can understand there being no toilet paper because it's not restocked out of season, but it's hard to believe that "it's out of season" could be the reason for having no toilet seats. Also, the question doesn't precisely say what time of year it's talking about but "recently" for a question asked in August suggests the summer, to me, so not off-season. So, overall, I'm not sure this really answers the question. Commented Aug 11, 2017 at 14:24
  • I was taking a trip in July which is certainly during peak tourist season.
    – JonathanReez
    Commented Aug 11, 2017 at 16:01
  • I'd rather have a piece of toilet paper and no seat. Priorities. Commented Apr 18, 2019 at 20:22

As far as I can tell, from my own knowledge and experience in Israel, the answer is more simple than most think: vandalism.

Israel got lots of teenagers who are damaging public property on purpose, wherever and whenever they can. The reasoning for them doing it is beyond the scope of this question and site, so I won't go there.

Toilet seats are also one of their victims, they just break them on purpose. Of course that proper management will replace the seats, but in places where such teenagers visit often, it becomes an expense they just can't afford, and since they can't install security cameras or place guards in the toilets, it can't really be stopped, so their only option is to leave the toilets without seats to break.


Actually, not many public bathrooms in Israel lack a toilet seat. Certainly not in the cities. I've hardly ever encountered that; although, to be frank, I don't really go traveling by car in the North.

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