Transportation in Israel: Everything You Need to Know About Getting Around

Getting around Israel has never been easier. If you’re a first-time tourist in Israel or a returning visitor, Israel’s range of transportation options will surprise you. Whether you opt for public transportation, prefer to rent a car, or intend on reserving a private transfer, you won’t find trouble exploring the country’s diverse regions. Not only are inter-city buses available, but the Israel Railway has been hailed as the most efficient form of transportation in Israel. Getting in and around major cities, like Tel Aviv and Jerusalem, has become easier as well, with Light Rails, scooters, and ride-sharing cabs available. Read on to find out all the ways you can get around Israel safely and smoothly.

Public Transportation in Israel

light rail jerusalem getting around israel public transportation

Israel’s public transportation is easily accessible and not too complicated to navigate. This makes the Holy Land a great destination for both families and solo travelers to explore. A Rav Kav is your ticket to getting around Israel’s public transit system. It’s a reusable card that you can purchase for 5 NIS and manually add money to at any railway kiosk or via your phone, so long as it’s equipped with a card reader. Standard city rides cost 5.50 NIS and inter-city rides will cost more depending on the distance.

The Rav Kav works for all buses, the Israel Railway, Light Rail lines, and even cable cars. Download navigational apps like HopOn – Rav Kav’s official app – or Moovit, for bus and train schedules, QR payment options, and real-time updates.

Please remember that there is little to no public transportation on Shabbat in Israel – from sundown on Friday til sunset on Saturday. Don’t worry though, there’s still plenty to do on Shabbat in Tel Aviv or Jerusalem. Find your perfect weekend activity in both the White City and the City of Gold.

Book Your Saturday in Tel Aviv Tour

Buses in Israel

Buses in Israel are the most common way of getting around. Even car owners in busy cities like Tel Aviv will opt for riding local buses instead of driving through congested traffic during rush hour. Buses in Israel primarily operate with the Egged bus company – easy to spot by their green color – among others like Nativ, Superbus, NT&T, and more.

The Israel Railway

The Israel Railway is one of the most efficient modes of public transportation in Israel – if not the most. There are about 70 railway stations across Israel. These trains run on a tight schedule and uphold high standards. Again, downloading HopOn or Moovit will ensure you a smooth riding experience as you’ll get real-time updates and schedules.

Light Rail – Tel Aviv & Jerusalem

tel aviv metro

Both the Tel Aviv Light Rail – sometimes referred to as the Tel Aviv Subway – and the Jerusalem Light Rail have been set up to minimize heavy traffic. The Light Rail in Tel Aviv is relatively new, goes underground, and is still expanding to include more neighborhoods. Jerusalem’s Light Rail remains overground and has been up and running since 2011. Both Light Rails run every few minutes and have stations dotted across nearly every main street in these two cities.

Airport Transfers & Shuttles in Israel

When it comes to airport travel, private transfers are the best way to go. After a long flight, the last thing you want to think of is navigating the public transportation system with heavy luggage and swarms of people. Luckily, we provide airport transfers to both Tel Aviv and Jerusalem. For a more comfortable and luxurious transport experience, book a VIP transfer, sit back, relax, and enjoy the ride.

Cabs & Taxis in Israel

While Uber doesn’t exist in Israel, there are plenty of other ride-sharing options, like Gett, Sheruts, and Yango, which function on the same idea of ordering a ride from point A to point B.

Self-Guided: Scooters, Bike & Car Rentals in Israel

tel aviv by bike

Tel Aviv joined the scooter hype back in 2018 following other bustling cities like Los Angeles. The goal was to alleviate congested roads and offer a fresh way for its residents to stay active. Today you can find many scooter companies including Lime, Bird, and Wind across the city. Additionally, you can rent bikes with MetroFun, Tel Aviv’s bike subscription service. Car rentals are also available for those wanting a more independent traveling experience. You can rent cars at Ben Gurion Airport and in most major cities.

Air Travel in Israel

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Israel is home to three airports: Ben Gurion Airport in Tel Aviv, Ramon Airport in Eilat, and Haifa Airport in Haifa. While it’s pricy, many Israelis and tourists prefer to fly from Ben Gurion Airport to Eilat’s Ramon Airport in order to avoid the 6-8 hour drive. In recent news, Air Haifa, North Israel’s only airline, will be operating flights to Eilat come 2024. Stay up-to-date on all international Israel flights here.

If you do find yourself in Haifa, take advantage of the two separate cable cars that run across the city. The first is known as the Rachbalit and runs from Mifratz Bus Station to the Technion and further up to the University of Haifa – mostly used by students, but open to everyone. The second option is the more scenic Haifa Cable Car, climbing from Bat Galim Beach up to Stella Maris Monastery, providing a view that is sure to take your breath away.

Waterway Travel in Israel

While it’s rare to travel via waterway in Israel, from one coastal city to another, it’s not entirely unheard of. The water taxi between Haifa and Akko, for example, is a hidden gem that’s only known to locals or port workers. Speaking of hidden gems, these northern cities are great places to explore while in the region. If you’re departing from Tel Aviv, this Caesarea, Haifa and Akko Tour is the perfect opportunity to experience the subtle beauty and glittering Mediterranean waters of North Israel.

Book a Tour with Tourist Israel – Transportation Included

The best way to see Israel is with a guided tour, as we provide excursions all across the country. From the Galilee region to the Negev – we’ve got you covered. Not only is transportation already included, but your Israel itinerary and all logistical factors will be taken care of. You can browse our multi-day tour packages or day tours to find your next adventure.

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