Air Travel to Israel
Most of the international airlines operate flights to Israel. El Al, operates many direct flights from the United States, Europe, the Far East, and Africa.
Other Israeli airlines such as Arkia and Israir operate flights from central locations in Europe. Please note that these airlines do not operate during Shabbat. There are no direct flights to Israel from distant locations such as Australia, or from countries that have no diplomatic relations with Israel. It is therefore a good idea to reserve a connecting flight from these places, or to arrive in Europe and then purchase a ticket to Israel.
Most international flights land at Ben Gurion Airport, which is located near the town of Lod - approximately a half hour’s drive from Tel Aviv and 50 minutes from Jerusalem (outside rush hours). Ben Gurion airport has recently opened a new, modern terminal with a large variety of duty-free shops, restaurants and coffeehouses. Some flights from Europe also land at Sde Dov in north Tel Aviv or at Ovda Airport near Eilat.
From Ben Gurion Airport
Israel has a convenient and reasonably priced public transportation system. Options for getting to and from Ben Gurion Airport include: Egged bus (the national bus company); private car/van services; railway; taxi; rented car and limousine. For details regarding transportation depots and general airport information, please use the following contact details:
Israel Airport Authority
Telephone: +972 3-975-5555
Website: http://www.iaa.gov.il/Rashat/en-US/Rashot Opens new window
Taxi’s from Ben Gurion Airport
The taxi companies based at Ben Gurion Airport are under the supervision of the Israel Airports Authority. We recommend that you only use these licensed taxis, operated by on-site dispatchers, rather than those, which do not belong to these companies. The taxi stands and dispatcher’s booth are located at Terminal 3 on the ground level (G) of the multi-level road. Private-taxi (called “special”) and shared-taxi services (called “sherut”) are available.
Taxi drivers are required by law to use the meter on all trips. Unless you know the accepted rates, do not be tempted to set a price beforehand. For long trips, the driver must charge passengers according to the Ministry of Transport price list posted in all taxis.
A 25% surcharge for night trips is in effect from 9:01pm until 5:29am (from 4pm on Fridays and holiday eves). Trips out of Ben Gurion Airport are charged an additional NIS 5.00, and passengers pay approximately NIS 3.00 for each suitcase. Passengers who request use of Road 6 (a toll road) will pay an extra NIS 11.00.
Passengers are advised to request a receipt at the end of the journey.
Transportation within Israel
Israel is a small country, and it is therefore easy to get from one place to another in a relatively short time. Public transportation is convenient, and you can get to almost any destination for a reasonable price.
Israel Railways operates convenient, inexpensive train service. It is also possible to travel by taxi, but this is more expensive, particularly for inter-city trips. It’s therefore preferable to use shared service taxis.
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.
The fare for all bus lines is reasonable, the buses 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.
Egged 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.