Travel to Israel
Flying to Israel
The national airline is El Al (www.elal.com), but other Israeli airlines include Arkia (www.arkia.com) and Israir (www.israirairlines.com). Major airlines link Tel Aviv’s International Airport to many major world cities. Aside from El Al, airlines operating direct flights from the UK to Israel include British Airways (www.ba.com) and easyJet (www.easyjet.com). Delta (www.delta.com) and United (www.united.com) fly direct from the USA.
El Al does not offer flights departing or arriving in Tel Aviv during Shabbat (Friday evening and Saturday).
To Tel Aviv: from London - 5 hours; New York - 10 hours 30 minutes.
Included in the price of an airline ticket.
Travelling to Israel by Rail
Israel does not have any international railway connections, and is not included within any rail pass schemes.
Driving to Israel
Despite having borders with Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, Egypt and the Palestinian Territories of Gaza and the West Bank, it is only possible to cross from Israel into Jordan, Egypt and the West Bank. Crossing overland into and out of Jordan and Egypt is fairly straightforward.
Egypt: Israel and Egypt have one border crossing linking Eilat with Taba, Egypt. Visitors entering the Sinai Peninsula don’t require a visa in advance but can purchase one at the border, which is open 24 hours a day except Yom Kippur and Eid el-Adha. You need to pay an exit fee. If you're visiting the Egyptian mainland, you must apply for a visa at the Egyptian consulates in Tel Aviv or Eilat.
Jordan: Jordan and Israel share three border crossings – Yitzhak Rabin/Arava Border Crossing near Eilat, Allenby Border Crossing/King Hussein Bridge near Jerusalem and Jordan River Crossing in the Galilee.
With the exception of the King Hussein/Allenby Border Crossing, you can buy visas at the border. Otherwise, to cross here you must apply for a visa in advance from the Jordanian consulate in Tel Aviv.
At the Yitzhak Rabin/Arava Border Crossing you can buy visas which are valid for two weeks. You need to pay an exit fee too. This is the same for the Jordan River Crossing.
Both Syria and Lebanon refuse entry to travellers who have evidence of a visit to Israel in their passport. Evidence can include an Israeli visa, Israeli border stamps or any visa purchased in Israel. It can also include Jordanian or Egyptian border stamps that indicate the traveller crossed to/from Israel. However, it is possible not to have your passport stamped on entry into and out of Israel and border authorities will stamp a separate 17L form upon request.
Getting to Israel by boat
Israel’s maritime passenger industry is rather limited. Private vessels arriving in Israel can use one of many marinas, the largest being Haifa and Ashdod. Others include Eilat, Ashkelon, Herzliya and Tel Aviv.
Due to a lack of traffic, ferry lines linking Israel with other Mediterranean countries have been suspended.