Getting to and from Ben Gurion Airport, Israel’s main international airport, is generally an easy task with many options available including the train, shuttles, taxis, sheruts (shared taxis), and car rental. Each has its own advantages and each is better suited to different types of traveler, different destinations/start points, and different numbers of people. This article will answer one of the questions we are asked most frequently: How can you get to and from Ben Gurion Airport?
Renting a car at Ben Gurion Airport
All of Israel’s major car rental companies have location at Ben Gurion Airport. They have reservation desks above the arrivals hall, and the cars are kept a short bus ride away. Likewise, if you are returning a car, follow signs to the drop off point and there will be a bus service to the main airport terminal. Cars are available for pickup and drop off at the airport 24/7, although car rental agencies in the rest of the country are usually closed from Friday afternoon and open Sunday morning.
Taking a Taxi or Private Transfer to or from Ben Gurion Airport
Taxis to Ben Gurion Airport can be ordered from any taxi service in the country, while from the airport, taxis can be found outside the Arrivals Hall where a dispatcher is on hand. Fares from the airport have legally fixed prices to every city and fall into two categories depending on the time of day. Drivers can also charge extra for luggage.
Private transfers are also available and are often cheaper than taxis and can be more convenient, with drivers waiting in arrivals, more options in terms of vehicle size, and no uncertainty about availability.
Ben Gurion Airport to Jerusalem Shuttle Bus
The shuttle bus from Ben Gurion Airport to Jerusalem (bus number 485) is available 24 hours a day, 6 days a week (not running on Shabbat) It departs hourly during this time, and runs to several central points in Jerusalem, including Jerusalem’s Central Bus Station. The journey time to Jerusalem is approximately 1 hour and the central drop-off in Jerusalem avoids the city’s heavy traffic. When exiting the bus, you can easily transfer to the Light Rail or a local bus, or grab a local taxi to anywhere in the city, which will still be significantly cheaper than a taxi from the airport to Jerusalem.
The tickets for the shuttle bus from Ben Gurion Airport to Jerusalem can be bought on the spot for 16 NIS in cash (approximately $4.50). Read on for more information about booking the shuttle bus to Jerusalem. Note that this service collects and drops from both Terminal 1 and Terminal 3.
Taking a Train to or from Ben Gurion Airport
Israel Railways trains in Israel run to and from the Ben Gurion Airport station right outside Terminal 3 and are an easy way to get to and from Tel Aviv and many other cities. However, be aware that the stations in Tel Aviv are on the edge of the city and a bus/taxi is required to get to almost all hotels. If you are flying in or out of Terminal 1, there si a free shuttle that runs between the terminals every 15 minutes to connect you with the train. Read more about which terminal you will use in Ben Gurion Airport.
The Airport has a frequent service with modern trains traveling directly from the airport to Modi’in, Tel Aviv (four stations), Binyamina, Atlit, Haifa (three stations), Krayot, Akko, and Nahariya. You can also change in Tel Aviv for train services from Ben Gurion Airport to places including Herzliya, Netanya, Caesarea, Yavne, Bat Yam, Rishon Lezion, Holon, Ashkelon, Bnei Brak, Petach Tikvah, Rosh Haayin, Ramla, Beit Shemesh, Ashdod, Rehovot, Kiryat Gat, Beer Sheva, and Dimona.
A new high-speed train from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem also now operates with one stop in the middle at the airport, making transport between the airport and Jerusalem Yitzhak Navon Station in central Jerusalem just over 20 minutes.
To see the train timetable, visit the Israel Railways website.
Taking a Sherut to or from Ben Gurion Airport
A sherut is a shared taxi, a very popular way of traveling in Israel and in particular to and from Ben Gurion Airport. From the airport, sheruts run to Jerusalem and Haifa 24/7. They can be found on Level G outside Arrivals, and are minibusses which take about 10 passengers either to the main bus station in the city or directly to the passengers’ destination door. You can ask the driver to drop you off at any point along the route. They will also pick you up from your front door for the return journey to the airport if you book in advance.
Amal operates sheruts between Haifa and Ben Gurion Airport. Sheruts to Haifa also go to the Krayot and the north of the country, including Haifa, Nesher, Tivon, Rekhasim, Yokne’am, Tirat Hacarmel, Akko, Mishmeret, Check Post, Kiryat Haim, Kiryat Motskin, Kiryat Yam, Kiryat Bialik and Kiryat Ata, Naharia, Lokhamei ha-Geta’ot, and Rosh Hanikra.
Nesher Tours operates sheruts between Jerusalem and Ben Gurion Airport. Sheruts to Jerusalem can take you to Jerusalem, as well as towns and villages en route and nearby including Givat Ze’v, Moshav Ora, Moshav Aminadav, Even Sapir, Kiryat Anavim, Beit Nekofa, Abu Ghosh, Zova, Sho’eva, Har Adar, Netef, Ma’ale Hahamisha, Kiryat Ye’arim, Neve Ilan, Shoresh, Beit Meir, Ramat Raziel, Kisalon, and Ma’ale Adumim..