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Jordan / Israel Trip in March 2020 (Border Crossings, Private Tours, etc)

We are starting to plan a March trip to Israel and Jordan. Splitting time between Amman and either Tel Aviv or Jerusalem. Couple preliminary questions:
1) Does Rick Steves have a tour book? I saw the videos on Amazon (he has one on Israel and one on Palestine), but I don't see any guidebooks.
2) Has anyone crossed the border lately? We are trying to decide whether to fly into Amman or Tel Aviv (or in one/out the other). Border crossing information seems pretty straightforward, but I've seen posts on TA about how complicated and problematic it can be. We are not renting cars by the way, so rely on public transportation and/or private guides.

3) In Israel, does a person need to or is there an advantage to moving hotels from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem? How long to drive between the two cities?

4) Last question for now: I've been to the Dead Sea resorts on the Jordanian side and they are truly an experience not to miss. Is there something similar on the Israel side?

Thanks in advance for your kind help.

Posted by
2705 posts

You can do a search of this forum as there were a couple of questions about Jordan Israel in the past few months. It seems you already know about TripAdvisor, which is where I typically recommend posting for current details and local feedback, but it seems you aren't finding quite what you want. I think a search from here may help with your border crossing question. I think the easiest was from Aqaba to Eliat.
Rick limits his guide books to 'Europe'. His website sells the Lonely Planet Israel guide.

Posted by
1705 posts

I'm doing an Allenby Bridge crossing from Israel to Jordan in November. Make a note to PM me at the end of November and I'll tell you how it went.

Posted by
4134 posts

As I remember, the drive from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem was a little over an hour. If you want to tour Jerusalem, find a hotel there.

Posted by
11153 posts

Rick does not have a book for Israel or Jordan.

The TripAdvisor Israel Forum is the busiest online Israel forum, so it's a great place to find answers to specific questions.

It's an hour by bus between Tel Aviv and Jerusalem, and the buses run every 10-15 minutes and are really cheap (about 5 USD). So a day trip from one to the other is easy. That said, unless you just want a single day trip, I'd definitely base in Jerusalem for Jerusalem sights and Tel Aviv for Tel Aviv sights. Getting to and from the bus stations plus taking the bus itself would make you a commuter if you do it more than once, and that's not particularly fun. Plus, both cities have a unique atmosphere at night, and you'd want to be there to experience that.

Note, however, that while the airport code is TLV, it's actually between the two cities. You can go between the airport and either city easily, so there's no need to change hotels just to catch a flight.

Posted by
13933 posts
  1. If you are planning to stay in Amman and then stay Tel Aviv and/or Jerusalem, flying from Amman to TLV is probably the most straightforward option. Royal Jordanian has 2-3 flights a day. A land crossing is probably going to take a long time and require a combination of at least 2 buses and probably a taxi or two. There are three land border crossings, and visa procedures, hours of operation and fees vary. I don't think it matters much which country you visit first. It might make a difference in your overall itinerary.

  2. Add to what Harold wrote, if you go in rush hour it can take another half hour or so between the 2 cities. In addition to buses, there are shared taxis that are about the same price and there's a new train line that's convenient - but there have been some problems. Hopefully it will be running smoothly by March. Also note that public transportation on Shabbat is extremely limited.

  3. You can day trip to the Dead Sea from Jerusalem by bus. The Israeli side is much more developed and has some major tourist sights - Masada, Ein Gedi Nature Preserve, and Qumran excavations (where the Dead Sea scrolls were found) - as well as the sea/spa experience. The resorts are probably more expensive that in Jordan. Driving time from J-m to Qumran at the northern end of the Dead Sea is about an hour. Add about another hour to Masada and Ein Bokek where the resorts are.