Travel between Jerusalem and Ramallah
To get to Ramallah most people travel from Jerusalem. Buses to Ramallah depart from Nablus Road opposite Damascus Gate, Old City as early as 6 AM. The bus depot on Nablus Rd is essentially just a car park full of buses and 10-12 seater vans. Just ask for the 'Ramallah Bus' or 'Qalandia Checkpoint' - there is always something departing every 10-15 mins. Large buses cost 3.50 NIS whereas smaller 10-12 seater vans cost 4.20 NIS. The bus takes you to Qalandia Checkpoint, which takes about 20mins. At the checkpoint everyone gets out and walks across. As of August/September 2005 the Israeli's do not check or question people leaving Jerusalem - you just walk through a gate. On the other side of the gate are service taxis waiting to take people on to Ramallah town centre (normally drops you off on Main St or Jaffa St) which costs 2.50 NIS and takes 15 mins. To get around Ramallah service taxis cost 1.50 NIS while private taxis cost 10 NIS. To get back to Jerusalem from Ramallah go to the bus deport on Jaffa Street (just look for all the bright yellow 10-12 seater vans) which operate until 9PM. They leave almost any where between 5-15 mins and take you back to Qalandia Checkpoint. Again prince is 2.50 NIS. You should check if curfew times are operating: if so, normally come into effect anytime after 5PM so you need to be at checkpoint by this time. This time at the checkpoint you queue up in two lines: one for men and one for woman. You first go through a metal detector and bags are searched. Then your passport is checked. Sometimes the Israelis ask you about where you have been and what who you met - but 'just been do'n some shopping' always works if you want to be vague (remember to buy something though!). All in all it takes anywhere from 20-30 mins to get through the checkpoint. Then go to service taxis or 10-12 seater bus are waiting to take you back to Damascus Gate, cost is 4.20 NIS. Happee Travels!
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Getting to Ramallah
Most people coming to Ramallah do so from Jerusalem. You can get Arab buses and service taxis to Ramallah from the station on Nablus Road near the Damascus Gate.
Because you're entering the West Bank, the buses can only take you as far as the border checkpoint at Qalandia. From here you walk through the checkpoint and on the other side get on a different bus/taxi which can take you to Ramallah. They drop you at various points very close to the Lion statues in the city centre. The whole journey takes less than an hour and costs about 7 shekels.
Getting back can take a while longer depending on how strict security is at Qalandia and how many people are trying to get through. Some times I've flashed my British passport and been whisked through in minutes... other times I've had to queue like everyone else and it's taken over an hour to get through the checkpoint.
Kalandya check point
To get to Ramallah, you'll have to go throught the check point of Kalandya. So the taxi will drop you there... you'll have to walk a while. If you are a foreigner, the israelian soldier will not make that much problems.... except if they decide that day nobody passes. So you don't have to wait behind the long queue of the palestinian people who unfortunately will get stuck a few hours only if they are lucky to find a soldier in a good mood... well...
And then, just catch a collective taxi for 2 shekels or a yellow private taxi for a few more shekels you won't have to wait...
Take care and ask well around you what is the time of the curfew.. in Febrary the check point closed at 18h... but everything is "flexible" in this situation.
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