Getting Around Israel
There is no departure tax on domestic flights.
Side of the roadRight
Israel has an excellent road network, although congestion is a problem in urban areas. Navigating is easy with road signs in Hebrew, Arabic and English.
Toll road (route 6); highways; single-lane carriageways known as ‘routes’. Routes have either two- or three-digit numbers denoting whether they are main routes or smaller roads.
Most major car hire companies are represented in Israel as well as several local companies, notably Eldan (www.eldan.co.il). To rent a car, drivers must be at least 21 and hold an international driving licence and credit card.
Taxis are metered, and can be booked by phone or hailed from the street. Taxis operate during Shabbat, but are more expensive. Another type of taxi is the ‘sherut’ (shared taxis). These minibuses follow the routes of the bus lines but can be hailed from anywhere.
There are many places, both in rural areas and cities, where you can rent bicycles. There are plenty of cycle paths including the National Bicycle Trail that traverses the country.
Buses are the top mode of transport in Israel and offer reliable, comfortable services. The main long-distance bus company is Egged (www.egged.co.il), and there are regional companies serving urban areas such as Dan (www.dan.co.il) in Tel Aviv. However, services to rural areas are sparse.
You can buy intra-city bus tickets at bus stations or from the driver. Long-distance bus tickets are available from Egged’s website or at bus stations. While most don’t need to be booked in advance, services to Eilat get booked up during the summer months.
The speed limit is 90-120kph (60-75mph) on motorways, 80kph (50mph) on intercity roads and 50kph (31mph) within towns. It is illegal to drive without a seatbelt and hands-free kits must be used for talking on mobile phones.
In case of breakdown contact your car rental service.
Full driving licence and insurance are required.
The Egged bus company (www.egged.co.il) provides frequent local services in all the main towns except the Tel Aviv area, where Dan (tel: +972 3 639 4444; www.dan.co.il) runs the city's transportation system. Taxis are widely available.
Israel Railways (www.rail.co.il) has several lines running from Nahariya in the north, along the Mediterranean coast past Acre, Haifa, Netanya and Herzliya to Tel Aviv. From there it is possible to continue to the airport, or change to Jerusalem. From Tel Aviv lines continue south to Ashkelon and Beersheba. You can buy tickets from station kiosks or ticket machines.
Boat tours operated by Kinneret Sailing Company (tel: +972 4 665 9800) run across the Sea of Galilee from Tiberias to Kibbutz Ein Gev.
A tourist ferry operated by Acre Queen Cruises runs daily between Haifa and Acre.