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International Travel::

Getting There by Air
The privatized national airline is El Al
Israel Airlines (LY) (website:

Departure Tax

Main Airports
Tel Aviv (TLV) (Ben Gurion International) is 20km (12 miles) southeast of the city. To/from the airport: There are bus services from the airport to Tel Aviv, Jerusalem, Be’er Sheva and other smaller towns. The airport has a train station located on level five with services into Tel Aviv. There is also a taxi service (journey time - 20 minutes). A shared sherut (taxi service) is available, charging a fixed rate per passenger. The El Al airline bus goes to the airport terminal in Tel Aviv. Departure depends on El Al flights. The best way to travel to Jerusalem, which is 50km (31 miles) away, is by sherut. Facilities: Banks, restaurants, duty-free shops, general shops, tourist information, car hire desks and VIP lounge.

Eilat Central Airport (ETH) is 20 minutes from the city. To/from the airport: Buses and taxis and limousines are available to the city (journey time - 15 minutes). Facilities: Duty-free shop, light refreshments, a souvenir shop and car hire.

Getting There by Water
Main ports: Ashdod and
Haifa. Foreign craft sailing to Israel may use these ports of entry as well as Eilat and the marinas of Ashkelon, Herzliya and Tel Aviv.

There are regular sailings of car/passenger ferries from Greece (Piraeus) and Cyprus to Haifa.

Many cruise ships also dock at Israel for excursions to Jerusalem and Tel Aviv.
Getting There by Road
Road access to Israel is limited. There are only two crossing points from Egypt: at Rafiah (a narrow strip of Israeli-controlled land between Gaza and Egypt, closed at night) and the much busier border crossing at Taba (close to the southern resort of Eilat, open 24 hours).

Four bus companies maintain services between Cairo and Tel Aviv and Jerusalem via Rafiah. EGGED bus 362 leaves Tel Aviv for the Rafiah terminal daily (tel: (03) 914 2000; website: A regular bus service also passes through Taba, to Santa Katerina (Sinai) and Cairo.

To the east, there are many crossing points to and from the Palestinian-controlled West Bank, which it is also possible to enter from Jordan via the Allenby Bridge near Jericho, about 40km (25 miles) from Jerusalem. The Allenby Bridge border is closed at night. EGGED buses and taxi services are also available to the bridge from Jerusalem.

It is also possible to travel in and out of Jordan without entering the West Bank. The Arava Checkpoint crossing to and from Jordan is situated 4km (3 miles) north of Eilat; closed at night. The Jordan River Crossing (Sheikh Hussein Bridge) to and from Jordan is near Beit She’an, in the north of Israel; closed at night. Transfer of bus or taxi passengers between the Israeli and Jordanian checkpoints are carried out by shuttle service. Transfers on foot are not permitted. 

There is no road access between Israel and the Syrian Arab Republic or Lebanon. 

Note that Jordanian visas cannot be obtained at the border - they must be arranged in advance, which can usually be done by tour operators. Officially, mobile telephones are not allowed on buses crossing any border.

israel travel tips:



Social Conventions

Israelis are usually very informal but with the European style of hospitality. Israelis are typically blunt and direct in speech, which should not be misinterpreted as rudeness. Visitors should observe normal courtesies when visiting someone’s home and should not be afraid to ask questions about the country as most Israelis are happy to talk about their homeland, religion and politics. The expression shalom (‘peace’) is used for hello and goodbye. Dress is casual, but in the holy places of all religions modest attire is worn. For places such as the Western Wall, male visitors are given a smart cardboard yarmulke (skull cap) to respect the religious importance of the site. Businesspeople are expected to dress smartly, or at least in smart casual style, although ties are often not worn, while the most expensive of restaurants and nightclubs may expect a similar standard. If formal evening wear is required this will be specified on invitations. It is considered a violation of Shabbat (Sabbath, on Saturday) to smoke on that day. There is usually a sign to remind the visitor of this, and to disregard the warning would be regarded as discourteous.

Internal Travel:

Getting Around By Air

A comprehensive service linking Tel Aviv with Eilat and other cities is run by Arkia/Israel Inland Airways (IZ) (website: and by Israir (6H) (website: Flights operate daily except Shabbat (Friday evening and Saturday).

Getting Around by Water

Ferries operated by Kinneret Sailing Company (tel: (04) 665 8008) run across Lake Kinneret (Sea of Galilee) from Tiberias on the west side to Ein Gev kibbutz on the eastern shore. There is no other navigable water in Israel.

Getting Around by Rail

Israel Railways (tel: (03) 577 4000; website: operates six lines, with regular services down the coast from Nahariya to Ben Gurion Airport, stopping at Akko (Acre), three stations in Haifa, Binyamina, four stations in Tel Aviv, and five other smaller locations en route. A second line runs from Binyamina and Caesaria to Ashkelon, via Netanya, Herzliya, Tel Aviv and Ashdod. The other lines run from Tel Aviv to Kfar Saba; to Beersheva; to Rishon le Zion; and between Tel Aviv and Jerusalem, which follows a particularly scenic route. Reserved seats may be ordered in advance. There is no railway service on Shabbat and public holidays.

Getting Around by Road

Traffic drives on the right. An excellent system of roads connects all towns. However, driving is aggressive and there are frequent accidents. Hitchhiking is very common, and is considered normal among young people. However, it requires fine judgments about drivers that may be difficult for tourists to make, and is not recommended. Bus: Israelis make considerable use of buses, with frequent and comprehensive services linking even the smallest communities. The EGGED cooperative (tel: (03) 914 2000; website: provides these extensive services, which are fast and efficient as well as cheap. With a few exceptions, services are suspended on religious holidays and Shabbat (between sunset on Friday and sunset on Saturday). Sherut: Unique to Israel, these limousines seat seven to 10 passengers and follow the intercity and local bus routes. Prices are around 30% higher than the bus. Taxi: Services are either run by companies or by individuals. There are both shared taxis and ordinary taxis. Taxi drivers are required by law to operate a meter, and are generally happy to do so. Car hire: Available at airports and ports and all major towns. Hire fees are not cheap. Regulations: Speed limits are 50kph (31mph) in urban areas, 80kph (50mph) in non-urban, 90kph (56mph) on divided highway, and 110kph (68mph) on a designated ‘high-speed road’ unless signs indicate a different limit. A roadsign showing a house means you are entering an urban area. The internationally recognized ‘motorway’ sign indicates a high-speed road. Speed cameras and radar traps operate and fines for speeding are high. It is compulsory for drivers and passengers to wear seatbelts. Documentation: Full driving license and insurance are required.

Getting Around Towns and Cities
The EGGED bus company provides very frequent, inexpensive local services in all the main towns except the Tel Aviv area, where the DAN company (tel: 03-6394444; website: runs the city’s transportation system. Taxis are available; they are metered and drivers mostly speak some English. A tip is not expected, and many people do not tip, while others do - 10% is not unusual.



The following goods may be imported into Israel without incurring customs duty (alcohol and tobacco can only be imported by persons aged 17 years and over):
250 cigarettes or 250g of tobacco products; 1l of spirits and 2l of wine; 250ml of eau de cologne or perfume; personal belongings and gifts up to the value of US$200 .

Note: There are a number of exceptions to the value limit on personal belongings, so that provided they are for personal use and re-exported, personal computers, musical instruments, cameras (including video), binoculars, person stereos etc may be brought undeclared through the ‘Green Channel’. However, if any of these items are new, they must be declared and a refundable deposit paid (credit card guarantee may be used).

Requires approval: Approval by customs is required to take the following items into Israel: flowers, plants and seeds, prescription drugs, all animals, mobile phones including built-in computer modem.

Prohibited Imports
All games of chance, cordless telephones with a range of 900 Mhz or more, fresh meat, most kinds of fruit, and dogs and cats aged under three months.

Dead Sea