Israel is a small country, and it is therefore easy to get from one place to another in a relatively short time. There is a great transport network which makes getting around in Israel easy – whether you are using public transport or travelling on your own and renting a car. The country has a modern road network, with a great train and bus service between major cities. Taxis and Sheruts in Israel are inexpensive compared to in many Western Countries.
Israel Railways operates convenient, inexpensive train service. Trains in Israel have been modernized and developed extensively over the past ten years or so, meaning that Israel Railways, the national train operator, offers a great option for getting around, particularly within the Coastal Plain. Trains in Israel are clean, generally modern, and air-conditioned, and are reliable and relatively frequent. The stations are also relatively new, and particularly useful routes for visitors to Israel include the train from Ben Gurion Airport from Tel Aviv, Haifa, and many intermediate cities, as well as the trains to Tel Aviv from its suburbs.
Buses are the most popular form of public transport in Israel for both local transport and intercity trips. The Egged bus company operates most of the intercity bus lines, as well as the local service in most of the large cities and towns. Local and intercity transport in the Gush Dan area (Tel Aviv and the surrounding suburbs) is provided by the Dan bus company. Bus service in Be’er Sheva and Nazareth is provided by private companies. The fare for all bus lines is reasonable, the busses are comfortable and usually air-conditioned, and there is regular, frequent service.
Tickets can be purchased at the ticket booths in the central bus station in each city or town, or from the driver. Most of the bus lines do not run on Shabbat or on Jewish holidays. Service ends on Friday afternoon and resumes Saturday evening.
Students are entitled to discounts on intercity bus lines. To receive a discount they must present an international student card when purchasing tickets.
Egged Customer Service and Information: *2800
Egged is a prime bus company in Israel and provides intercity public bus service throughout the country. Passengers can obtain information about the various bus lines on the Egged website or by phoning the computerized customer service and information center. Each central bus station has an information booth and electronic boards displaying the departure times and destinations.
Dan Customer Service and Information: 00 972 6 639 4444
The Dan Bus Company operates public bus service in the Gush Dan area (Tel Aviv and the surrounding suburbs) and in Yehuda and Shomron. Passengers can obtain information about the various bus lines on the Website or from the computerized customer service and information center.
The Metrodan company operates public bus service in the southern city of Be’er Sheba. Passengers can obtain information about the various bus lines on the Website or from the computerized customer service and information center.
Nazareth Transport & Tourism
NTT Website(is in Hebrew only)
Operates inter-city lines in the north, covering Nazareth, Haifa, Karmiel and villages in the Galilee, and international lines to Amman (Jordan) and Sinai (Egypt).
United Nazareth Buses
Active in public transportation in the Nazareth metropolitan area.
Nateev Express Website (is in Hebrew only)
Provides urban and inter-city lines in the northern area between Zefat and Nahariya and the central area between Hadera and Netanya. On January 2007 the company won a tender for routes between the cities of Tel Aviv and Netanya.
Israel Railways Customer Service and Information: 00 972 3 577-4000 or *5770
Israel Railways has expanded and improved the train service in recent years. Trains run more frequently to more destinations, there are more train stations in the major cities, and the trains are more comfortable.
Students and senior citizens can receive discounts by showing a student card or ID. Because of heavy traffic on many of the roads, travel by train is recommended whenever possible. Trains run from Tel Aviv to most of the large cities from Nahariya in the north to Dimona in the south, including Jerusalem and Ben Gurion airport. Train tickets can be purchased at the ticket booth or vending machine at the station. Seats can also be reserved in advance. There is refreshment service that includes hot and cold drinks, snacks, and sandwiches on most trains. Trains do not run on Shabbat or on Jewish holidays.
Haifa Carmelit Subway Service
Carmelit Haifa is considered the most efficient, speedy and convenient way to get around the city, both for tourists as well as regular citizens. Each one of the Carmelit Haifa six stations will lead you to one of the three major centers in Haifa. Down town, characterized as an active business center during the day, and currently more and more as an art and night entertainment center developing thanks to the big investment in the area called “The Port Campus”; Hadar neighborhood, which constitutes in recent years a young and vibrant residential area, also offering various commercial and business areas; and Central Carmel where most of the hotels in town as well as multiple places of entertainment are located.
Telephone: 00 972 4 837 6661
The Haifa Carmelit is the only subway system in Israel. It runs from ParisSquare in the lower city, and stops at five other stations including the Hadar business center, and ends at Gan Ha-Em in Merkaz Ha-Carmel.
It is also possible to travel by taxi, but this is more expensive, particularly for inter-city trips. You may prefer to use shared service taxis.
Local and intercity taxi service is available to and from any point in the country. Fares within the cities are charged according to the meter.
The fares for intercity taxi service are standard fares that are set by the Ministry of Transportation. It is recommended to verify what the fare will be before boarding the taxi.Taxis can be ordered by telephone from a local taxi station, or stopped by waving your hand at one on the street.Night rates are 25% more than the normal fare.These rates also apply for Sabbath and holidays.
Drivers must operate the meter for trips within the city. Do not let the driver convince you to agree on a price ahead of time if you are not familiar with the rates!
Service Taxis (Sherut) or Shared Taxis
Sheruts are Israel’s shared taxis and operate across the country both on local and inter-city routes. Generally these are the same price as, or slightly cheaper than buses, and stop anywhere along their routes. Inter-city routes operate on Sabbath, which make them a great way of getting around. They are especially useful for inter-city travel, as they are not only quicker than buses, but also drop you at your destination, very useful if you are going from the airport to Jerusalem of Haifa.
Service taxis (Sherut) travel on permanent local and intercity routes coinciding with the bus routes. The fare for these taxis is set according to distance. In most cases, it is equal to or slightly cheaper than the equivalent bus fare.
Service taxis stop at permanent stops, but will also make request stops along the way. Some central taxis lines also operate on the Sabbath.
Departure times are not prescheduled: the taxi leaves the station when it is full. For this reason it is wise to take into account that you might have to wait some time before the taxi fills up and departs.
From Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, Haifa, Netanya, Petakh Tikva, Rekhovot, Lod, Ramle, Hadera, Afula, Eilat, Nazareth, and all stops on the way – Taxis leave from the new central bus station.
From Jerusalem to Tel Aviv, Rekhovot, Haifa, Eilat, and all the stops on the way – Taxis leave from the central bus station.
From Haifa to Tel Aviv and Jerusalem – Taxis leave from He-Khalutz Street near Ha-Nevi’im Street in the Hadar district.
From Eilat to Tel Aviv and Jerusalem- Taxis leave from the central bus station.
From Be’er Sheva to Tel Aviv, Jerusalem, Haifa, and all stops on the way, leaving from the central bus station.
From Netanya to Tel Aviv – Leaving from the central bus station.
Local Service Taxis
In Tel Aviv – Service taxis operate on the main Dan bus routes. The fare is slightly lower than that of the busses. Passengers can get on or off anywhere along the route, and not only at designated bus stops. These taxis also run on the Sabbath on routes 4, 5, and 16, and other routes.
Jerusalem – There are no local service taxis in Jerusalem.
Eilat – There are no local service taxis in Eilat.
Haifa – Service taxis run on the main Egged bus routes in the city. Some lines also operate on the Sabbath.
Tiberias – There are no local service taxis in Tiberias.
Be’er Sheva – Service taxis run on the main Metrodan bus routes.
Several companies provide domestic flights between Eilat and Ben Gurion Airport, Sde Dov Airport in north Tel Aviv, or Haifa, but these flights are more expensive. Flights from Tel Aviv to Eilat are by far the quickest and easiest way to get from the center of Israel to the resort on the Red Sea. There are three options for flying to Eilat – domestic airlines Arkia and Israir, and international airline EL AL. The majority of Arkia and Israir flights depart from Tel Aviv’s domestic airport, Sde Dov, although some do depart from Ben Gurion. All of EL AL’s flight to Eilat leave from Tel Aviv.
Israel Airport Authority
Telephone: 00 972 3 975 5555
Telephone: 00 972 3 690 2222,
Telephone: 00 972 3 971 6111 (Israel)
From Tel Aviv (Ben Gurion Airport) to Eilat
From Eilat to Tel Aviv (Ben Gurion Airport)
Telephone: 00 972 3 795 5777
From Tel Aviv (Ben Gurion Airport) to Eilat
From Eilat to Tel Aviv (Ben Gurion Airport)
Renting a Car
Most international car rental companies and local companies have offices in the large cities and at Ben Gurion Airport. It is recommended to reserve a car in advance from abroad.
To rent a car in Israel the driver must be over 24 years of age, and must hold a valid international driver’s license and an international credit card.
Driving in Israel is on the right-hand side of the road. Israel has an extensive road system and clear signage in most places (in Hebrew, English, and Arabic). It is a little more difficult to find your way in the large cities, but streets and roads are marked, and you can use a map, GPS or ask for directions.
Most Rent a Car companies do not offer insurance for the areas in the West Bank under the control of the Palestinian Authority. Tourists wishing to drive with rented cars into the areas of the Palestinian Authority are recommended to secure appropriate insurance.
No, camels are out.