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 to get to and from Ben Gurion Airport?
Ben gurion airport Tel Aviv Airport shuttle transfers
The shuttles from Ben Gurion Airport to Tel Aviv and back are one of the most convenient and cheapest ways to get from the airport to the city of your choice. Tel Aviv Airport Shuttles run from the airport to Tel Aviv from $19 per person each way (based on a car of 3 people). Shuttles are available 24/7 with no surge pricing timetable so travelers are able to choose a pickup time associated with their arrival time, meaning less wait time at the airport. All pickups include waiting time and flight monitoring in case of a delay.
The vehicles are all modern with well trained tourist-friendly drivers, and drop off at all hotels in the city center of Tel Aviv so you’ll transfer right to the city center. More information can be found here including online booking. Note that this service collects and drops from both Terminal 1 and Terminal 3.
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 with good connection to the Light Rail or a local taxi 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). More information about booking the shuttle bus to Jerusalem. Note that this service collects and drops from both Terminal 1 and Terminal 3.
Renting a car at Ben Gurion Airport
All of Israel’s major car rental companies are located on the airport site. They have reservation desks above the arrivals hall, and the cars are kept a 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.
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 should be collected from outside the Arrivals hall where a dispatcher is on hand. Fares from the airport are legally fixed and fall into two categories depending on the time of day. Drivers can also charge for luggage.
Private transfers are offered here and are often cheaper than taxis and can be more convenient, with drivers waiting in arrivals, greater option in terms of vehicle size, and no uncertainty about availability.
Taking a Train to or from Ben Gurion Airport
Israel Railways run all trains in Israel with the Ben Gurion Airport station in Terminal 3 (read more about which terminal you will use in Ben Gurion Airport) and trains are a strong connection to Tel Aviv from Ben Gurion Airport, 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.
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 has started operating in late 2018. The travel time between Ben Gurion Airport and Yitzhak Navon Station in central Jerusalem is just over 20 minutes.
Trains to Ben Gurion Airport are modern and clean and fares are very reasonable. If traveling to Tel Aviv, the train from Ben Gurion Airport to Tel Aviv usually appears to be the cheapest way to the city, however, from the station in Tel Aviv you invariably require a taxi or bus as the stations are on the edge of the city which can boost travel time and cost. The Tel Aviv airport shuttle (info above), drops directly at hotels.
Trains in Israel do not run during Shabbat, stopping on a Friday afternoon and not resuming until late on Saturday evening. Therefore, if you are traveling to a destination not served by Sherut, you have to take either an airport shuttle, taxi or rental car during Shabbat.
To see the train timetable see Israel Railways site.
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 hours a day, 7 days a week. 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 direct to the passengers’ destination door. 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, and 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..