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John_Baptist Nov 16th, 2006 02:41 PM

Transportation from Tel Aviv Airport to Jerusalem
Hi folks,

I'm going to Jerusalem next January and this will be my first time there. I'd like to know what's the best way (cost and time) to get from the airport (at Tel Aviv) to Jerusalem. I've heard about a train or a direct bus, is this correct? Where do I take them, is there a terminal in the airport?

After arriving at Jerusalem I'll have to go to Mount Sion, any clues?


P.S: I'm not planning to rent a car and I'll be alone (no one to share costs).

mileagemaven Nov 16th, 2006 05:09 PM

The easiest and cheapest way is to take a sherut, a shared taxi. They're always waiting outside the airport. It's pot-luck on how long until they fill up (with another 6 passengers) but I doubt whether it'll take more than 15-30 minutes. There is no train, private taxis are too expensive, and I would imagine the bus schedule is too "iffy," as well as too slow for that particular route. You might ask the driver if he'll be able to take you to Mt. Zion after he drops everyone off at the downtown stand, or plan on getting a taxi from there (or a bus, if you're not arriving late at night).

unaS Nov 17th, 2006 04:20 AM

The sherut group taxi goes door to door. You get on at the airport and are dropped at your destination. It costs US$10 or NIS45.

I agree with the above poster re the cost of private taxis. It will cost US$45-50 just to the center of Jerusalem. Another US$10-15 to Har Zion (Mount Zion).

The Jerusalem sherut is called "Nesher".

Turn right as you leave the Arrivals hall and just keep saying "Nesher - Yeru-sha-lai-im". People will guide you to them. You will see large vans that carry 10 people, with the name Nesher on the side. They are white and yellow.

If it is late at night, or there are not many flights arriving they will sometimes leave with only 8 passengers. On very early morning arrivals (3 or 4 am) sometimes the passengers will agree among themselves to make up the cost to the equivalent of 8 passengers in order to get home!

Train service is excellent to Tel Aviv only :( None to Jerusalem yet.

The bus is not worth while. Only employees that live locally and/or the poorest of backpackers use it. It takes a very round about route and over 2 hours just to get to the Central Bus Station in Jerusalem.

The only drawback to the sherut is that you never know if you will be the first or the last dropped off - it is the driver's choice. He decides his route according to the destinations of the passengers and the quickest way to drive. It can be as fast as 35-40 minutes, or it can take as much as 90 minutes - but you will be dropped off at the door of your destination.

Welcome and have fun!

John_Baptist Nov 17th, 2006 06:16 AM

Hey, thank you so much!!! I really didn't imagine to get replies so promptly! Well, it seems a sherut is "the" option...

How about the weather in january? Too cold?



unaS Nov 17th, 2006 06:46 AM

Depends on where you are from and where you will be. Not likely to be less than 10C during the day even in Jerusalem. Nights can be a good deal chillier. Might well go down to 0C.

Tel Aviv and the shore area are warmer of course, around 15-16C but can easily go up to 20C on a sunny day.

There should be rain - hopefully - but it rarely lasts more than a few hours and is no worse than you are used to year round if from Europe, Americas.

It can - but rarely does - snow in Jerusalem in Jan/Feb.

P_M Dec 3rd, 2006 03:38 PM

Good info about the sheruts. How would I get a sherut from Jerusalem back to Tel Aviv? My flight home leaves at 1:20am, so what time should I leave for the airport?

sandi Dec 4th, 2006 04:14 AM

P_M -

If you take a Sherut on arrival to Israel, get the drivers card. If you're not leaving from where you arrived (ie, arrive to TLV, depart from JER), then inquire at your hotel who can arrange for a sherut for your flight. From my experience, be prepared to depart JER up to minimum 4/hrs prior your departure (because of other pick-ups if you're not the last; time needed to check-in and security procedures).

unaS Dec 4th, 2006 11:02 AM

To get the Nesher sherut from anywhere in the Jerusalem area to the airport you call them 24 hours in advance: 6253233 (add the area code 02 in front if you are calling from outside of Jerusalem).

Tell them what time your flight is and they will tell you what time they will pick you up. If you feel it is necessary to add on some time, then tell them an earlier hour for your flight.

I like to have time in the Duty Free shops so I always tell them 1 hour before the real flight time. :))

There is an online review site here:

unaS Dec 4th, 2006 11:04 AM

Apologies :(

I didn't realize that the URL was so long.

unaS Dec 4th, 2006 11:23 AM

P.S. If you are leaving on Sunday, call on Friday before Shabbat! The <u>office</u> doesn't work from Friday afternoon - Sunday morning.

FainaAgain Dec 4th, 2006 12:25 PM

P_M, it doesn't hurt to ask Gate1 if they provide transportation to/from hotel.

I was shocked to learn, even though I bought my own air tickets, Trafalgar picked me up for free.

They didn't take me back to the airport as I stayed after the tour. If I'd do the tour only, they'd take me to the airport for free. I stayed for 3 days after the tour in TA.

P_M Dec 4th, 2006 03:42 PM

Thank you all for the good info, especially about calling on Friday. I am leaving at 1:20am on a Sunday morning, so I will make a point of calling on Friday.

Faina, thanks but I did ask that question. I am using FF tix so I didn't air buy from Gate 1, hence transportation is not free. They do provide transportation for a mere $100 each way. :-O No thanks Gate 1, we Fodorites know how to do better for ourselves. :-D

P_M Dec 4th, 2006 03:48 PM

After taking another look at unaS' note, maybe I'll call Thursday. Thanks.

John_Baptist Dec 4th, 2006 10:30 PM

Now I'm a little bit concerned! I'm leaving Jerusalem on a Saturday afternoon. Are the sheruts working on Saturdays???

unaS Dec 5th, 2006 04:45 AM

Hi Again,

Call Friday mid-morning. If you call on Thursday they will just tell you to call back tomorrow! /:)

If there are flights out on Saturday, yes there are sherut on Saturday. I do hope that you are not staying in a religous Jewish area? There is no traffic permitted in them.

If your flight is at 0120 Sunday morning, why do you want to leave Jerusalem Saturday afternoon? You can leave - at the very earliest - 8.00 pm, well after the Shabbat is out. You have to be at the airport 3 hours in advance of your check-in time. An 0120 flight means being there at 10.20 Saturday night. So even if you want an hour extra at the airport, like I do, you still don't have to be there before 8 pm in the evening...

Is that clear? Does it make sense? I hope that I have explained it in an understandable manner X(

P_M Dec 5th, 2006 08:04 AM

Very clear unaS, thanks a mil. :-)

John_Baptist Dec 5th, 2006 01:53 PM

Thank unaS, very clear now! I'm staying at Mount Sion, near Sion Gate.

unaS Dec 6th, 2006 04:25 AM

Hi John,

You mean the Mount Zion Hotel on Hebron Street?

No problems. They will also reserve the sherut for you. Just ask and don't let them bamboozle you into a private taxi :)

John_Baptist Dec 6th, 2006 06:09 AM

Hi unaS,

No, I mean Mount Sion Benedictine Abbey, at Dormitio Church (I'm a catholic monk)!!!

Thanks for all you help!


unaS Dec 6th, 2006 07:17 AM

Oh well, I couldn't know that in advance ;)

I don't know exactly where the Abbey is located. Some streets inside of the Old City are too narrow for cars. I'm sure that someone there will be able to tell you where to ask the sherut to pick you up.

If possible, contact them in advance and ask if the sherut will be able to drive up to the door, or alternatively where you should ask to be dropped off on arrival.

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