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Ben Gurion International Airport

Ben Gurion International Airport is 52km northwest of Jerusalem, just off Rte 1 to Tel Aviv. Airport security is very tight, so if you're flying internationally, check in at least three hours before your flight when flying both to and from Israel.

The airport has good free wi-fi service and plenty of eating options. It is closed for two days on Yom Kippur, which usually falls on mid- to late September.

Taxi

Nesher Service Taxis operates 24-hour minibuses to Jerusalem from Ben Gurion airport (64NIS per passenger), departing from the rank in front of the international arrivals hall. The minibuses leave when full, so you might have to wait. Tell the driver which part of Jerusalem you're going to and then the driver will decide in what order passengers are dropped off; depending on where your fellow riders are going, it can take a while.

To get to Ben Gurion from Jerusalem, call Nesher a day in advance to schedule your shared taxi pick-up. Service can be gruff, but airport sheruts are reliable and good value.

A private taxi costs 240NIS on weekdays and up to 320NIS on weekends.

GetTaxi, a ride hailing app, works for airport pickups.

Bus

Bus 485 (16NIS) goes every hour between Ben Gurion and several stops west of downtown Jerusalem, including the Central Bus Station. It's very comfortable and has outlets for charging (though many don't work) and wi-fi on board. The Jerusalem City Pass includes round-trip travel on this bus. You can't book in advance.

To & From Jordan via Allenby Crossing (King Hussein Bridge)

It's possible to travel overland from Jordan to Jerusalem via the Allenby Bridge crossing point (known as King Hussein Bridge in Jordan) only 30km to the east of the city. Jordanian visas are not available on arrival and must be obtained in advance at a Jordanian embassy or by purchasing the Jordan Pass (www.jordanpass.jo) online. Departure taxes are charged, passport and visa checks are rigorous, and security checks (especially on the Israeli side) can add hours to the journey time.

If that doesn't deter you, the crossing point is open 8am to midnight Sunday to Thursday, and to noon on Friday and Saturday, but closes on Jewish and Muslim holidays. Travellers sometimes report afternoon crossing-point closures, so we strongly recommend crossing in the morning. Check the Israeli government's land border (www.iaa.gov.il/en-US/borders/alenbi) website for up-to-date information. Arrive at least a couple of hours before your intended crossing time.

From East Jerusalem's Damascus Gate you can take an Al Nijmeh sherut (shared taxi) for 40NIS (accepts the US dollar equivalent; no haggling involved) to Allenby Bridge. A bus takes travellers to the Jordanian side (JD7 per person, JD1.50 per luggage item)

Shuttle-bus services such as Amman 2 Jerusalem can ease some of the organisational pain, though the same time-consuming security and immigration checks still apply.

Bus

Buses to major cities and towns in Israel leave from the Central Bus Station. Book your ticket to Eilat in advance (reservations page only in Hebrew), as these services are often full.

Be’er Sheva

Bus number

446, 470

Cost (NIS)

27

Duration (hr)

Frequency

2 hourly

Eilat

Bus number

444

Cost (NIS)

70

Duration (hr)

5

Frequency

4 daily

Ein Gedi

Bus number

486, 487

Cost (NIS)

37.50

Duration (hr)

Frequency

hourly

Haifa

Bus number

940, 947

Cost (NIS)

37.50

Duration (hr)

2½-3

Frequency

every 15min

Masada

Bus number

444, 486

Cost (NIS)

38

Duration (hr)

Frequency

almost hourly

Tel Aviv (Central Rail Station)

Bus number

480

Cost (NIS)

16

Duration (hr)

1

Frequency

every 20min

Tel Aviv (Central Bus Station)

Bus number

405

Cost (NIS)

16

Duration (hr)

1

Frequency

every 20min

Tiberias

Bus number

961, 962

Cost (NIS)

37.50

Duration (hr)

Frequency

almost hourly

If you are headed into northern areas of the West Bank such as Ramallah (bus 219, 7.9NIS), Bethlehem (bus 231, 6.5NIS) or Jericho (bus 263 to Azariya and then taxi, 16NIS for both), use the Arab bus station on Derekh Shchem (Nablus) Rd, the street directly in front of Damascus Gate.

Check the latest information with the East Jerusalem Transport Association (02-627-2881). The general rule is that blue-and-white buses go to southern West Bank destinations and green-and-white buses go to northern West Bank destinations.

For Hebron, take Israeli bus 381 or 383 from the central bus station or a sherut (shared taxi) opposite Damascus Gate.

Car & Motorcycle

Most Jerusalem-based rental car agencies forbid you to take their cars into the Palestinian Territories (Rte 1 to the Dead Sea and Rte 90 north to the Sea of Galilee or south to Eilat are not a problem). Two exceptions are East Jerusalem–based Dallah Rent a Car, which has an office at the American Colony Hotel; and Green Peace, which will deliver the car to you wherever you are in Jerusalem.

Most of the major international and national agencies have offices on King David St.

Sherut

Sheruts (shared taxis) depart more frequently than buses and often cost only a few shekels more; on Shabbat they’re the only public transport to destinations in Israel. Sheruts for Tel Aviv depart from the corner of Ha'Rav Kook St and Jaffa Rd, near Zion Sq; in Tel Aviv, they stop just outside the Central Bus Station.

Taxi

Taxi prices to destinations around Israel are set by the government and include the following: Dead Sea hotels and Masada (499NIS), Ben Gurion International Airport (268NIS), Tel Aviv (319NIS), Nazareth (700NIS), Haifa (723NIS) and Eilat (1600NIS). Fares for travel on Shabbat are slightly higher.

Israeli law prohibits Jewish Israelis taxi drivers from entering the West Bank. Head to East Jerusalem to find a Palestinian driver (Palestinian drivers from the West Bank aren't allowed to enter Jerusalem or anywhere in Israel). Sample fares: it's around 50NIS to Bethlehem and 150NIS to Ramallah.

Train

Jerusalem’s train station is located in the southwest of the city, near the Jerusalem Mall. Hourly trains reach Tel Aviv’s Savidor HaHagana and HaShalom stations (20NIS, 1½ hours). Services depart between 6.17am and 9.17pm Sunday to Thursday; the last train on Friday leaves at 2.46pm, and one Saturday train operates at 9.45pm. Trains from Haifa and the coast change in Tel Aviv.

The train station is reached on bus 18 from King George St or bus 6 from the Central Bus Station; allow 45 minutes. Call customer service on *5770 (note the asterisk) for more details.

A much anticipated, controversial and much behind schedule high-speed rail line between Jerusalem and Tel Aviv was finally supposed to start service in late 2018.