Tel Aviv is abuzz with the new metro system that’s been in the works for over a decade. Joining the ranks of other big cities, like London and New York City the Tel Aviv Metro – or Tel Aviv Light Rail – finally debuted earlier this summer. However, unlike these major cities, Tel Aviv’s small size causes far more traffic jams across its compact streets. As a result, the upgraded transportation routes will serve every major neighborhood in Israel’s city center. Use this article as your guide to understand and navigate the new Tel Aviv subway for smoother, faster, and better travel.
What is the Tel Aviv Metro?
So is the Tel Aviv Metro a light rail or a subway system? For a small city like Tel Aviv, it’s luckily both, servicing both underground and overground stations. The long-anticipated subway stretches across the city center in the cities of Petah Tikva, Tel Aviv, Bat Yam, and Ramat Gan.
Similar to the Jerusalem Light Rail, the Tel Aviv Light Rail was set up to accommodate growing crowds and provide a more environmentally friendly transit option for its residents. The Transportation Mass Transit System (NTA) began construction back in 2011-2012. Though it’s taken over a decade to complete, Tel Avivans are thrilled and relieved it’s finally here, making history on Friday, August 18, 2023.
Map of the Red Line: Everything You Need to Know
Wondering how to get around with the Red Line? Check out this Tel Aviv light rail map of all the stations, both underground and overground, on the new train line.
For now, the DanKal Red Line – dubbed as the ‘Backbone of the Tel Aviv Metro’ – is the first functioning route in the city. Beginning in Bat Yam, the route will make stops throughout the Tel Aviv neighborhoods of Jaffa and the Old North, ending in Petah Tikva. The closest Rakevet (intercity railway) stations to the Red Line in Tel Aviv are Savidor-Mercaz and HaShalom.
Designed to enhance mobility, the Red Line aims to remedy Tel Aviv’s street congestion. Accommodating a high influx of passengers – around 230,000 – especially during high season, the route’s trajectory will pass through business districts, residential neighborhoods, and tourist sites.
Stay tuned for developments regarding the Green Line – connecting Holon and Rishon LeZion in the south – and the Purple Line – traveling between Ramat Gan and Givatayim, ending in the heart of Tel Aviv. These lines are expected to be ready for public use soon.
How to Ride the Tel Aviv Light Rail
Navigating the metro can be confusing, especially for first-time visitors. In order to effectively utilize the Tel Aviv Light Rail, learning how to ride the metro is your best chance at getting around the bustling city. Luckily, the Rav Kav card can be used for all Israeli buses, the Rakevet (intercity train), and now, the Tel Aviv Metro. The cost is 5.50 NIS per ride.
How to Get to the Beach
If you’re wondering how to get to the beach using the Tel Aviv Light Rail, don’t get too overwhelmed. You can start from any station along the Red Line and depart at Salame, which is closest to Jaffa Beach, and from there, discover the rest of Tel Aviv’s vibrant promenade.
How to Get to Jaffa on the Tel Aviv Light Rail
You can easily access Jaffa and the Flea Market by getting off at one of the following Red Line stations: Elifelet, Salame, Bloomfield Statium, and Ehrlich. From there it’s just a few minute walk to the Jaffa flea market or historic Jaffa.
For the best experience of exploring Tel Aviv by foot and train, take this walking tour of Tel Aviv. The tour begins from the famous Setai Hotel entrance, just a 5 minute walk from the Salame light rail station, making it a convenient option for tourists. See the interactive map below for how to get from Salame station to Jaffa’s waterfront.
Explore Tel Aviv with Us!
With a focus on efficiency, the Tel Aviv Metro aims to provide a reliable and rapid transit option for both residents and tourists. However, if you’re looking for something more personalized, come join one of our Tel Aviv tours like this Carmel Market food tour or our walking tour of the city, to truly engage with the bustling atmosphere.
We also offer private transfers all over Israel if you’re looking for more customized transit.