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Travel Guide: Israel Getting Around

22nd Jul 2015 12:00am | By Editor

Public transport in Israel is extensive and easy to use.

Getting There

Fly

Israel's main international airport is Ben Gurion situated about 15 kms south east of Tel Aviv. A large number of international airlines fly here.There's a direct train from the airport to Tel Aviv, Haifa and Nahariya. It's also possible to get buses, taxis and shared taxis, known as sheruts, to many parts of the country.

Land

You can cross into Israel from Jordan (three border crossings: one near Eilat, one near Jericho and Jerusalem and one near the Sea of Galilee) and from Egypt (near Eilat).
The border terminals are under the supervision of the Israel Airports Authority.

Sea

Several shipping lines offer scheduled sailings from Europe to Haifa Port. You can also travel to Israel by sea with a Mediterranean cruise that stops in Israel, or with a private yacht, which requires a reservation in advance.

 

Getting Around

Bus

Fast, cheap and reliable, Israel's extensive bus system is managed by a public corporation called Egged - considered to be the second-largest bus network in the world. A tragic history of suicide bombings on buses has evolved into a strong security awareness on buses, which now means bus travel is one of the safest ways to get around the country. Buses, like all public transport, do not run on the Jewish Sabbath, which goes from sundown on Friday to sundown on Saturday.

Sherut Taxi

Sherut taxis are basically private minivans, which ply the same routes as buses or wait until they have a full load before heading off between cities. They are often faster and can be more convenient than public transport as they continue to run on the Sabbath.

Train

Israel's train system has progressed in leaps and bounds in recent years. It currently runs along the Mediterranean coast and connects Tel Aviv, Haifa, Beer-Sheva and Ben-Gurion Airport and Jerusalem. A bit more expensive than getting the bus, but often faster.

Taxi

The rule of thumb with taxis is to always insist the driver turns on the metre when you get in the car. Various surcharges also apply.