Bus or Taxi, Jerusalem
At the mention of the word "taxi" people's blood pressure goes up. "Watch out for those taxi drivers. They're all a bunch of crooks. They'll run you all over town and charge you an arm and a leg." That's the general attitude - and not only in Israel. Without going so far as to say that Jerusalem taxi drivers are saints, if you adhere to a few guidelines, traveling by taxi doesn't have to be a painful ordeal.
First of all, the Hebrew word for taxi is "moneet" - a word derived from that all-important feature of taxi cabs known as the "moneh" - the meter. By law, the driver has to put the meter on when you get in. Don't expect it to read "0."
As of this writing, the starting fare is NIS 12.30. There are two rates, one for daylight hours, and the other - 25% higher - for nighttime, Saturdays and holidays. Calling a taxi, as opposed to flagging one down in the street, adds another NIS 3.30.
Many drivers will immediately offer you a "special price" for the trip instead of turning on the meter. Unless you've gone that route before and know more or less how much it should cost, I would opt for the meter - BUT -and this is very important if you want to enjoy the trip - be pleasant about it. Ask for the meter to be put on nicely - not as if you're sure the guy is ripping you off. Taxi drivers are human beings, and this is also true of Israeli taxi drivers.
They are certainly nothing like the courteous cabbies you find in England. They won't open the door for you, or carry your luggage or double as a tour guide, but they are capable of being friendly. The main thing to remember is that they are very sensitive to being ordered around or spoken to like servants. And if you get on their good side, you stand a better chance of getting to where you want to go without "being taken for a ride."
Special advice for women traveling alone: Never sit next to the cab driver. This is the Middle East, ladies. It's always safer to sit in the back.
Returning to Ben Gurion from Jerusalem, I used the regular Egged bus service from the Central Bus Station on the north-western end of the Jaffa Road. I arrived at the bus station on a bus from Masada and we had to go inside and take the escalator up one floor to Departures at Level 3. Here the noticeboards display all destinations and departure gates clearly and finding your bus is relatively uncomplicated. There is a securtiy baggage check before you enter Departures but it's quick and non-intrusive. The bus station has plenty of shops and cafes to keep you busy if you have time to spare here.
The bus for Ben Gurion is the 947 to Haifa ( Via Ben Gurion) which departed from gate 20. You do have to change to a No. 5 bus, close to the airport but the same ticket does for both journeys. I was a little apprehensive about missing this stop but the driver and two fellow passengers reminded me in plenty of time.
Cost one-way is NIS 21 = approx EUR4.50
Like in London Jerusalem has a red bus that will show you some of the main attractions of the city.
This is an Egged bus and the number of the bus is 99.
There are more than 20 stations and you can get down and return wheneever you want.
A ticket will cost you 45 nis.
some of the stations are :
Mahne Yehuda market , the Davidka square , Jaffa gate , Safra square , Herzl mountain , Yad va shem and more.
You can hear explanations in english , hebrew , arabic , russian , french , german and more.
The tour starts in the central station.
As from today there's a new service in Jerusalem, a Real tourist bus (like in London) which calls "Jerusline", a double decker Bus which has no roof on its second floor and which is going to make it easier for those who can't or don't feel like exploring the city by foot.
The bus, Number 99, will be passing through 27 touristy / historical locations and the passengers will be able to get off the bus in each of those stations.
During the ride you will be able to listen to an explenations with an earphone in one of 8 languages.
The bus will have 5 tours a day from 9:00 - 17:00 and a ticket will cost 45shekels (aprx 10USD) for an adult and 36shekels for a kid.
To get to Jerusalem from Cairo, take the 10:15 p.m. bus offered by the East Delta Company. You will arrive at the Taba bus station around 6 a.m. You will have to walk about 400 meters to the border. It will take between 45 minutes and an hour to get through customs. Once on the Israeli side, you will have to take a taxi to Eilat. It will cost 35 shekels, which is about $9. From Eilat, there are four direct buses to Jerusalem. The first one leaves at 7 a.m. and takes about four hours to get to Jerusalem. It passes through the Negev desert, then travels along the Dead Sea. It stops at a few of the Dead Sea resorts and Masada.
Other departure times are 10 a.m., 2:15 p.m. and 5 p.m. Buses in the reverse direction leave at the same time.
Best easy way to get to Jerusalem is by bus, there is service from any large city in Israel.
Also possible to take taxi service from Tel-Aviv
central bus station or Ben-Gurion airport.
I must say that the old train line to Jerusalem was going on a beautiful route, but currently there is no train and a new route is under plan. I am not so sure about the schedule and when it will be completed
A friend of mine who lives in Jerusalem gave me the phone number of this Radio Taxi service. It is very reliable (no overcharging), run by Jewish people and has exclusively Jewish drivers, and they usually speak English.
It is very important not to hail a taxi from the street, both because they might cheat you and also because you don't know what they might do to you. I heard a story about a Japanese friend of a friend who was almost abducted by a taxi driver he hailed from the street to go to the Mount of Olives.
It is best to go somewhere where they have a phone, call this radio taxi and wait. I think they charge you 1 Euro extra for calling them up.
I wish I had a picture of this man. He was an angel who helped us find parking and, well, just calmed me down! Paige and I had just finished the arduous task of navigating into the Old City via St. Stephen's Gate. Well, the Insight Guide stretches it when they say there is parking. It accommodates 6 cars - max. So, on this one way street that was being used as a two way street we had to get into the gate, turn around and get back down the road hoping no one hit or scratched the rental. I was ready to go home by the time we reached the end of that tiny access road. As I looked to turn onto the main perimeter road, I hear this man say, "And how are you today, sister?" That was Adam. He had us follow him so he could show us where to park and he even drove us back to the gate. It was a pleasure to talk to him. We ran into him two other times as we were walking around the Old City and he recognized us. I believe he is part of the Christ Church Ministries in Jerusalem and is based at the Christ Church Guesthouse right inside the Jaffa Gate. So, if you are looking for a kind and honest person to drive you around the city in a very clean taxi, stop into the Guesthouse and ask for Adam. I hope you find him. (He didn't preach to us, otherwise I would not recommend him!)
A bus is the cheapest way to get from Jerusalem to Ben Gurion International Airport. The cost of a one-way ticket to the airport is NIS 23 ($5-6), which includes a free transfer ticket ("kartis hemshekh") for the shuttle that takes you from the junction to the airport itself.
There are two airport buses: #950 (express, only in the morning) and #947. You can buy a ticket at the window in the bus station (upstairs, on the same level as the bus platforms) or on the bus (no need for exact change). Bulky luggage should be placed in the compartment under the bus as there are no overhead storage racks above the seats.
A bus leaves every 20 minutes or so from Platform 18 on the upper floor of the Jerusalem Central Bus Station, and the connecting shuttle (#5) arrives about 5 minutes after you get off the first bus. No walking involved but you do stand outside, which could be a problem in the rain.
Travel time using the express bus is about 45 minutes. The shuttle ride from the El Al junction is about 10 minutes. There are 2 stops inside Airport City before you get to the terminal itself.
This option may be inexpensive but it involves getting to the bus station, going through security, dragging luggage up the escalator, and then getting it on and off two buses. Is it worth it? I'm not sure. I think getting picked up at your address by a Nesher airport taxi for NIS 64 shekel is a better deal. But if you are a bus person, go for it.
There is a bus (number 124) that leaves Jerusalem from the Arab bus station near Damascus Gate. The bus itself is small and can hold about 20 people. It cost 4 NIS and runs to the Bethlehem Checkpoint and back. You must travel through the checkpoint to reach Bethlehem. Make sure to bring a passport as your form of identification. From the checkpoint, you can either walk (as I did) or take a taxi to the centre of Bethlehem. The walk took me about 30 minutes from the wall to Manger Square (2-3km).
If arriving into Jerusalem by bus and staying in the Old City, you might want to consider taking a taxi. It will cost 35 shekels in good weather and/or non-rush hour times. If it is rush hour or it is raining, it will likely cost you 50 shekels.
By the time I was due to leave Israel, I had gotten to and away from Jerusalam in a variety of ways, Bus, Taxi, Sherut, Hitching.
But the first time I went to Jerusalem was the most memorable. We got a shared taxi from Tiberias, which we shared with an older very flamboyant & colourful lady, who claimed she was a famous opera singer in Israel. No idea if she really was, but it made for an interesting taxi ride!
from ben-gourion airport,cheap and comfortable buses all day long
egged buses travel to every place in the country;
now there is a train line from ben gourion to jerusalem
arab buses,or collective taxis travel to every place in the west bank;
on jaffa road,collective taxis to tel-aviv and airport
From Tel Aviv bus station there are egged buses running every hour to Jerusalems Jaffa street bus station. Jaffa street is very long, but I love the walk. You will pass the local police station, the Mahane Yehuda Market, Ben Yehuda shopping area and some of the main hostel accomodation. Also the main travellers bars and Zion Square. When you reach the end of Jaffa Road you will suddenly find the walls of the Old City looming before you.
If you don't fancy the walk you can catch a taxi, or sherut ( shared taxi) from outside the bus station
The only way to see the old city is on foot. If you catch a taxi you can be dropped just inside Jaffa Gate ( return to catch a taxi out of the Old City.
For the rest of Jerusalem, take taxis or Sheruts. Buses are available to travel to the outskirts of the city.
They aren't underground. The people travel with the bus, they have hours establish and they are very punctual. The monit sheirut are cabs that they share with another people. they are cheaper tahn the comun cabs but more expensive than the buses. Before you take a cab argue with the cauffeur the price because they haven´'t clock.