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 such as Budget, Hertz and Sixt 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.
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.
Long-distance bus tickets are available from Egged's website or at bus stations. Most services, like the popular Tel Aviv-Jerusalem route, don't need to be booked in advance. However, services to Eilat may get booked up during the summer months.
You can buy intra-city bus tickets at bus stations, from the driver or from the vending machine on board.
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 Haifa, Netanya and Herzliya to Tel Aviv in central Israel. From Tel Aviv, it is possible to continue to Ben Gurion airport, or change to Jerusalem. The train lines also continue south from Tel Aviv to Ashkelon and Beer Sheva. Night lines run from Nahariya to Ben Gurion airport, as well as from Tel Aviv to Beer Sheva.
You can buy tickets from station kiosks or ticket machines with options including one-way tickets, Flexible 7 Rav-Kav (unlimited travel between two destinations for seven days), Flexible 30 Rav-Kav and integrated tickets for bus and train travel.
Boat tours operated by Kinneret Sailing Company (tel: +972 4 665 9800) run across the Sea of Galilee from Tiberias to Kibbutz Ein Gev. Advanced booking is required.
A tourist ferry operated by Acre Queen Cruises runs daily between Haifa and Acre.