The train is a good option if you are travelling in the middle of the country or to parts of the north.
The train stations in Jerusalem are located in out of the way spots. You have to take a bus from there to anywhere - either in Malha, or at the Jerusalem Zoo.
There is a new station being built, but it is not ready yet.
On many of the trains during the day you have to change trains.
Anyway, if you like you can check the hour and day that you are travelling to see if the train would be convenient for you, on the URL below.
There is a train from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.
You can find 2 lines - From Tel aviv to Malha mall in Jerusalem or from Tel aviv to the bibical zoo.
A ticket will cost you 20 nis for one direction and 35 for both directions.
The time of the ride is 1:15-1:30 hours.
There are no direct buses between Amman and Jerusalem. From Amman you take a service taxi or a bus from Abdali station. As I arrived to Abdali station by taxi (400 files) a bus was just leaving. The bus took an hour to the border at King Hussein Bridge and I paid 2 JD. I saw someone pay less but they said I was going to another gate (but it was not far away). It seems like all foreign people, or none arabs, leave from another gate (and also arrives to another gate at the Israeli side). After getting a stamp in the passport I was shown to sit down outside to wait for a bus together with many others. After an hour a bus came and for 3 JD it took us all way over the bridge to the building of the Israeli passport control.
For some people it was fast at the passport control and they got the stamp after a few questions. But I, and some others, who had a Syrian visa and stamp from Lebanon had to answer many questiona and then wait. After 1,5 hours I finally got the stamp in my passport (you can get it on a paper if you ask) and could continue.
It was sabbath (Saturday) and therefore no buses were running, but there are service taxis (sheruts). The service taxi to Jerusalem was 30 shekels and it took about one hour.
Okay ..so thats sort of News here, As from April 7th 2005 (and after 7 years) there will be again trains from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem (through Bet Shemesh).
Thats actually great and make life easier cause the way to jerusalem is often taking longer due to the traffic jams.
Ticket should cost 19 shekels (aprx 4.5$)
The best way to explore Jerusalem is on foot.
But I had an opportunity to go around the Old City by bus with the excursion. So I've taken several videos.
You can watch my 5 min 36 sec HD Video Jerusalem out of a bus window part 1 ,
3 min 19 sec HD Video Jerusalem Out of a bus window part 2 ,
4 min 30 sec HD Video Jerusalem out of a bus window part 3 out of my Youtube channel.
Getting to Bethlehem from Jerusalem on your own is not as hard as it sounds. You will first have to take a bus--less than $1--which leaves from the station just east of the Damascus Gate. This bus will take you to the controversial wall which the Israelis have built to separate themselves from Palestine. You will have to flash your passport and then after taking a few steps you will officially be in Palestinian territory. Taxis will be waiting and they will all be eager to drive a tourist to the Church of Nativity. If you negotiate hard, the number of taxi drivers will work to your advantage.
Be sure to tell them where you want to go and how long you want the driver to wait there. You will likely pay between $10 and $15 for a driver to take you the Church of Nativity, wait for you there and then take you back. The driver will more than likely take you to one of his friend's shops where they sell olive wood crosses and other gifts. If you do want to shop, then this is no problem.
On your way back to the wall, make sure you have the exact amount you agreed to pay the driver. I thought my driver would try to pull a fast one, asking for more money, and that is exactly what happened. If you don't have the exact amount and there is a disagreement over price, you will be hard pressed to get change from your driver.
The wait to get through the wall will take longer going into Israel then leaving it as the workers there scrutinize every document from the Palestinians. (Palestinians have to have their hand digitally scanned and all their documents must be in order.) Try to avoid travelling to Bethlehem during heavy traffic times when people are coming and going to work.
Once through, wait for the bus to take you back to Jerusalem. The whole trip will not take more than four hours and cost about $20 for two people.
If walking is too tiring, then locals can provide the ubiquitous ‘ship of the desert’ - the camel. Also fascinating to watch is the tourist interaction with the locals. Local Arab boys beat the animals, as a matter of course. Visiting tourists are infuriated and escoriate the boys whom have no idea what the fuss is all about. After all, that kind of treatment is deeper inlaid than most tourists wish to acknowledge or observe.
You can go from Amman or Madaba, it's about the same time, distance and cost.
Taxi: Madaba - King Hussein Bridge (50 mins - 15JD)
Taxi: King Hussein Bridge - Border Crossing (5 mins - 1-2JD)
Jordan Crossing: approximately 1 hour
Bus: Jordan border - Israel Border 2.50JD
Israel Crossing: approximately 2 hours on a good day
Sherut: Israeli border - Jerusalem 28JD Shared Taxi (30mins - 4 hours)
For a much more detailed breakdown of the journey, check my travelogue (linked).
can be a nightmare driving in the city so be careful - not really due to the way they drive, more just not knowing your way and one way streets etc.
the arab side of the city is a bit tougher to drive.
there is a rough looking car park a 10min walk from the hostel that is free which they can direct you to and its safe as we left the car there 48hours.
From the west:
Highway 1: Latrun-Shaar Hagai-Shoresh-Motza-Ginot Sacharov-Jerusalem
Highway 386: Shimshon Junction-Nachshon Junction-Bet Shemesh-Ein Kerem
Highway 1: Castel-Beit Zait-Har Nof
From the north:
Highway 443: Nebi Samuel-Givat Ze'ev-Ramot
Highway 443: Begin Expressway
Highway 60: Ramallah-Eljeeb-Atarot-Neve Ya'akov
Highway: Bet El-Ofra-Chizme-Checkpoint-Adam-Pisgat Ze'ev
From the East:
A' Zayim - French Hill Junction
Highway 8: Ma'ale Adumim-Mount Scopus tunnels
From the South:
Highway 60: Gush Etzion -Tunnel Road-Gilo
Highway 2: Bethlehem-Gilo
Use of an Israeli road map is highly recommended. One can be obtained free of charge from any office of tourism or can be purchased at most local bookstores
Circular route around the city aboard an opened-top, double-decker bus.
Explanations during the route in 8 languages in addition to Hebrew:
Arabic, English, French, Spanish, Italian, German, Spanish and Russian
through personal earphones,
introducing travelers to over 85 important sites throughout the city.
During the tour, visitors may step off at any of the 25 stops,
walk around and wait for the next bus to pick them up to continue the tour.
Tickets: 2-hour pass NIS 45, children – NIS 36;
Daily pass: NIS 65, children- 56 NIS
When you arrive at one of the airports (Ben Gurion near Tel Aviv or Ovdah in Eilat) of Israel the best way to go to Jerusalem is by bus or renting a car.
The best way to get around in Jerusalem is by foot, by bus or by taxi. Of course it's also possible to rent a car or a bike. Renting a car is very easy when you want to visit some places in the environment of Jerusalem.
Don't try and drive this, it could take you hours at the border.
Get transport to the Jordan side of the bridge, got through Jordanian border control, take the shuttle bus through no mans land to the Israel border control, go through that and get a bus into Jerusalem.
If you drive you could well have to fully unpack the car, let them search it fully, and then repack it (after everything has been scanned of course) and then go through immigration your self. Not worth the hassle.
Newly introduced and many years in the planning and delivery (security seen as a nightmare), the tram is a welcome method of transport, linking as it does Ha'Avir in East Jerusalem with Mount Herzl.
23 stops means you can travel along the entire length of Jaffa Rd (now a pedestrian walkway in the centre of the city) from Central Station to the Mahane Yehuda Market, City Hall, Damascus Gate and on to East Jerusalem.
Cost is NIS6.60 per ticket - 90 minute journey - which can be used on the buses as well as the tram/light rail. The trams run every 10-15 minutes - they do not run over the sabbath.
If you are not on a package tour or a Christian Pilgrimage tour of Jerusalem and would like to explore areas of the city on a budget besides taking the public bus, then the Jerusalem Light Railway is your best bet. The Light Railway just opened in june 2011 and runs 13.9 kilometers (8.6 mi) long with 23 stations in between, running from Mount Herzl on one end to Hail-Ha Vir at the other end. It has a stop at the Damascus Gate in the Old City where you can drop off to start your own walking tour of the old city. The Light Railways is open from 6:00 am to 12:00 pm everyday and a single trip will cost 6.60 NIS (about 2 US dollars). It has clean and air-conditioned railcars.
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