Israel is a small country with lots to see. As a western country, it boasts a wide variety of means of transportation, which quite conveniently cover it from North to South. Whatever means of travel you choose, you are guaranteed an experience like no other!
From the very moment of your landing in Ben Gurion Airport, you can choose from various means of travel to take you from the airport to anywhere you need in Israel. One of the cheapest and most convenient ways of getting from the airport to pretty much anywhere in the country, is the train. Operated by Israel Railways, the train crosses much of the Israel, from North to South – from Naharia and Acre in the North, to Be’er Sheba in the South. For the most part, trains are very comfortable and allow convenient solutions for luggage. The Exception to the rule are rush hours, on Sunday mornings, Thursday evenings and on Saturday evenings after Shabbat.
For the Israel Railways website – click here.
Busses are the second common type of travel, and are a convenient solution for shorter trips like getting around in cities. There are to main public bus operators in Israel – Egged and Dan. Egged is spread over most of the country and offer routs between cities. Dan operates for the most part in the central part of Israel, such as Tel Aviv and the surrounding area. In tourist areas, such as Tel Aviv, Jerusalem and Eilat, special busses are available for guided trips around the major sights. Central Bus stations are often located directly near train stations, providing convenient transition from one to the other.
During some hours of the day and night, busses can be overcrowded, or too far in between. For these occasions the land if fairly connected by means of shuttle cabs, which in some areas operate 24/7. These also tend to be cheaper and faster than busses, but also less reliable in regards to times of departure and pricing. There is no need to look for these especially. Where they are available, they usually travel in similar routes to those of busses and stop in response to a hand wave. Be advised, however, to enquire with locals regarding pricing, as not all drivers are as reliable as the rest.
Probably one of the most comfortable and simple ways of travel is by taxi. However, in Israel, as in most parts of the world, this convenience comes with a price. Stopping a cab by the road is probably the easiest solution, but with no one to supervise or the company of a local, prices of rides may rise significantly. Taxi drivers in Israel are not always the most honest. To be sure, one cannot generalize, and there are plenty of honest and kind drivers, but as we sometimes say humorously, taxi drivers are a people all of their own. A good solution to this, especially if you intend on staying in Israel for more than a couple of days, is to download smartphone apps, such as Gettaxi, or Ubber. Cabs ordered with these apps usually come very swiftly, and since every move is recorded, there is little or no risk of exaggerated fees.
Useful tip: on the receipt all of the driver’s details are specified, along with the distence, date, amount, duration and so on. If something goes wrong, it’s possible to file a complaint against the driver with the ministry of transportation, which takes such complaints very seriously.
It may have taken Israel longer than other countries, but the bike craze is finally upon us! In many major areas, or tourist attractions, bikes for hire may be available, as well as motored bicycles. This choice is an excellent one, when you want to spend the day in Tel Aviv, for example, and get easily and quickly around, from the hotel to the sea. Be adviceed, however, that Israeli drivers are not very known for their carefulness or for their courteousness. Whether you’re riding a bike, crossing the road or driving, always be alert.
The same as anywhere in the world, when you rent a car, you hold the wheel. Renting a car is always a nice option, although, spending much of the time on the road will not necessarily help you make the most of your visit to the holy land. On the other hand, traditionally public transportation in Israel stops during Shabbat, from Friday afternoon to Saturday evening. Renting a car is a relatively easy way to get around this obstacle.
Good things to remember are:
One of the most beautiful areas to visit in Israel is Eilat and its surrounding area. And if you want to get quickly and comfortably from the North of the land to the South, a domestic flight is one of the best ways to go, too. They are not even very expensive, and are highly recommended if you only have a limited time in Israel and you wish to make the most of it, without spending too much time on the road.
Whichever means of transportation you choose,
You any question? feel free to contact me.