Israel is a small country, which makes getting around fast and convenient. Taxis are common in Israel for urban and interurban travel and can be flagged in the street or booked via phone or designated international apps such as GetTexi.
The main forms of public transportation are busses and the national train service both offering a convenient, reasonably priced means of travel to nearly every destination in the country.
Train Information Services: www.rail.co.il / Telephone: 08-6831222 or *5770
Busses Information Services: www.bus.co.il / Telephone: 1-900-72-1111
Tickets can be purchased at the ticket booths in the central bus station in each city or town, or from the driver. Most of the bus lines do not run on Shabbat or on Jewish holidays. Service ends on Friday afternoon and resumes Saturday evening.
Students are entitled to discounts on intercity bus lines. To receive a discount they must present an international student card when purchasing tickets.
Smart ride apps
As of December, 2020, public bus services can be paid for using smartphone apps. The official app is The Station and is available on Google Play for Android and on the App Store for IOS. There are also several private mobility apps on which payment can be made.
The Station provides users with best options across bus, train, and more, using real-time data, taking into account schedules and the latest changes.
In order to use the app, set up an account and submit your fare type, if eligible.
On the bus, scan the QR sticker to validate your trip and share with the inspector if asked.
For tourists or debit card holders, the app calculates the best price for your journeys at the end of each day.
For Israeli credit card holders, best price is calculated and debited on a monthly basis.
The apps are currently only available for travel on buses, but should soon be available on Israel Railways and the Jerusalem light rail.
Israel is a small country, and for this reason, it is only worthwhile to consider flying between Eilat and Tel Aviv. Several companies operate flights from Eilat to Ben Gurion Airport, or Sde Dov in north Tel Aviv. Airfares are reasonable, but are higher than bus fares.
There are also private companies that operate special flights from anywhere in the country upon request.
Renting a Car
Most international car rental companies and local companies have offices in the large cities and at Ben Gurion Airport. It is recommended to reserve a car in advance from abroad.
To rent a car in Israel the driver must be over 24 years of age, and must hold a valid international driver’s license and an international credit card.
Israel has an extensive road system and clear signage in most places (in Hebrew, English, and Arabic).
Driving in Israel
The minimum driving age in Israel is 17 and the driving side of the road is the right. Speed limits are 30 to 50km/h in cities, 80-90 on freeways, 130 on highways and Route no.6. Safety belts are obligatory, and if you’re enjoying a night on the town, keep in mind there is a zero tolerance policy for drinking and driving so find a designated driver and enjoy safely.
Highway 6 operates as an electronic toll road with no barriers at entrances or exits and no traffic lights which allows for uninterrupted trips. Advanced computerized information systems installed along the highway include electronic tollgates, identify vehicles, categorize types of fees (subscription or unregistered) and calculate the number of highway sections each vehicle travels. Every trip is automatically tabulated and invoiced. Drivers enjoy a rich, convenient, and safe traveling experience with a speed limit of 130 kilometers per hour.
Tourists renting a car will be charged via their credit card. Please inquire with the rental company the conditions and tariffs.
Most Rent a Car companies do not offer insurance for the areas in the West Bank under the control of the Palestinian Authority. Tourists wishing to drive with rented cars into the areas of the Palestinian Authority are recommended to secure appropriate insurance.