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Driving in israel

We are going to Israel in June. We are doing a tour for 10 days, but the last day we have all day before we need to be at the airport so wanted to do something. We thought about renting a car for the day but wanted to know how easy it is to drive in Tel Aviv, how safe? Would you recommend other transportation, we will be in Jerusalem and need to get to Tel Aviv anyway and priced out a transfer which was about $140 so any suggestions would be welcome. This is our first time in Israel.

Posted by
15060 posts

The only nightmare driving in Israel is in Jerusalem and in Tel Aviv. . . slow-moving city traffic, complicated system of one-way streets and bus-only lanes, expensive parking. The only advantage to renting a car is that you'd have your luggage with you in the trunk. Otherwise, where would you put it while you're seeing Tel Aviv?

Do you really need to get to Tel Aviv? The airport is between Tel Aviv and Jerusalem, about 20 km from Tel Aviv and 40 km from J'lem, so unless you want to visit Tel Aviv, leave your bags in storage at your hotel and spend a relaxing day seeing more of J'lem. Book a Nesher shared taxi for the ride to the airport 24 hours in advance (your hotel can do it for you). You should to be at the airport 3 hours before your flight (there are many night flights, so expect the airport to be crowded). When you book with Nesher, you tell them what time your flight is and they tell you when they'll pick you up. They know how much time to allow for traffic.

Posted by
14 posts

Thank you so much this is really helpful. I will take your advise.

Posted by
1 posts

We just got back from a fabulous trip to Israel and Jordan. You are going to have a great time. We were not on a tour so we had to make our own way to and from Tel Aviv airport. We took the bus from central bus station in tel aviv after a very expensive taxi ride from airport to TA. I would not recommend this way. When we had to return to the airport we just hired a taxi as there were 4 of us. It was fast and actually cheaper. The Nasher option is good if you are on your own as they charge by person I think. We figured the cab was less expensive and more direct for the 4 of us. They are building a high speed railway that will take passengers from the airport to Jerusalem in about 30 minutes but it is a long way from being finished.

As for driving in TelAviv or Jerusalem, I don't think you will want to do it. It is like nothing we experience even in the busiest city in north america😬. It is crazy. If you have a day, I would suggest trying to book a day in Palestine with Kamal, the guide Rick Steves recommends. We did this and it honestly is the highlight of our trip. If interested I can tell you more.
And, be sure you have comfortable shoes as you are going to walk and walk and walk. It will be a trip you won't forget. Have fun

Posted by
188 posts


I was in Israel and the West Bank two summers ago for 10 days and had a wonderful visit. I hope you have a great time. I certainly did and plan to visit Israel again in the future.

I only took the Egged Bus between cities and city buses within Jerusalem and Tel Aviv. I enjoyed great mobility. Having said that, the traffic in Tel Aviv was heavy during the day, but compared to most comparable American and European cities, it was not overwhelming. In the evening, the traffic was relatively decent in Tel Aviv. One thing that really struck me was how light the traffic was on the road closest to the famed Tel Aviv beaches. In the U.S., the road closest to picturesque beaches is usually packed with cars close to 12 to 16 hours a day. In Tel Aviv, the road was heavy with traffic during the day, but not overwhelming as would be the case in the U.S.

Again, enjoy your trip. Shalom.