Israel has a great network of transportation, making getting around in Israel very easy. This is true whether you are using public transport or traveling on your own and renting a car. The country has a modern road network, with train and bus service between major cities. Taxis and Sheruts in Israel are inexpensive compared to costs in many Western Countries. Beyond Israel’s public transport network, there is a great availability when it comes to private transport in Israel.
This ranges from private shared options such as airport shuttles from Ben Gurion Airport or group tours which can offer a great value way to visit regions such as Masada, the Dead Sea, Petra, or in order to transfer from one city to another (such as Tel Aviv to Jerusalem). Israel also has a great range of private transport options beyond regular taxis. They range from airport transfers to group and private tours. These often create a better value alternative to using Israel’s public transport.
Private Transport in Israel
While taxis make sense inside the city, private transfers in Israel are the ideal way to get from city to city. A full range of vehicle types are available, from sedan cars through to full-sized buses – so whatever the group size there is an available option. They are also a convenient way for families or groups to get from the airport to their hotel and are often cheaper than a taxi, without the hassle of needing to haggle with a driver. Check here for all of our private transportation services across Israel.
Buses in Israel are provided throughout the country by Egged, the world’s second-largest bus company. They run over 1,000 routes across the country connecting not only cities but also rural settlements. Inter-city services in the north are also run by Nazareth Transport & Tourism including the cities of Haifa, Nazareth, and Karmiel. Services between Safed and Nahariya, Hadera and Netanya, and Tel Aviv and Netanya are operated by Nateev Express. Please note that most bus services do not operate on the Sabbath.
Shared Transport in Israel
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 makes 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. We have put together a specific guide to sheruts.
Israel also has more and more airport shuttles, offering service from airports to your own address in the city center, which is a cheaper alternative to taking a taxi and generally more convenient than taking a bus or train. These services are offered by flo Shuttle and available with guaranteed departure and pre-booking.
Trains in Israel
Trains in Israel are very useful and reasonably priced service which is comfortable especially for connecting to the airport, to Haifa, Tel Aviv, and intermediate cities. Some trains run 24 hours although stations aren’t always in city centers, so do be aware of this.
For more information, see our dedicated article about trains in Israel.
Taxis in Israel
Cheap by European standards, taxis in Israel are widely available and generally modern safe cars, with helpful drivers. Sometimes, when there are a few passengers for example, they might work out cheaper, and for getting around cities, they are possibly the easiest way – you dont waste time working out buses and get to your destination fairly fast.
Internal flights operate from Eilat to Tel Aviv and Haifa, and are operated by two airlines, Arkia and Israir, although El Al will soon also fly on the Tel Aviv to Eilat route.
For more, see the article on flying to from Tel Aviv to Eilat.
Car Rental in Israel
Car rental in Israel is an easy way of getting around the country if you are touring – you go where you want, when you want, for a fixed fee – simple as that. The roads in Israel are pretty good and driving in Israel is generally not a bad option.
More information: car rental in Israel.
How to Get Around in Israel on Saturday?
Saturday, Shabbat, or the Sabbath is the one day of the week when travel in Israel is harder. Public transport is very limited and with exceptions, impossible. Tel Aviv recently launched public buses on Friday night and Saturday for the first time. But, in the rest of Israel, transportation options are reduced to taxi, sherut (shared taxi) or car hire (which should be collected on Friday and returned on Sunday). Trains do not operate at all between sun-down on Friday and sun-down on Saturday.