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First time!

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The Hague, The...
posts: 12
reviews: 19
First time!

we will arrive at 3.30am in Ben Gurion airport (flight from Switzerland), do you know how long will it take to go trough security?

is it a ''usual'' request not to get the Israeli visa on the passport?

thanks

Israel
Destination Expert
for Israel
posts: 10,281
reviews: 32
1. Re: First time!

You will usually be done with immigration, luggage and customs in about an hour.

I don't know how "usual" a request it is, but there is a provision for this - you need to make your request before you give your passport to the officer. There is however, no obligation to fulfill your request.

We have seen recent reports of a new system where no passports are stamped and everyone gets a separate form - I don't believe we have enough data yet to tell you if this is the norm or simply some test cases.

Jerusalem, Israel
posts: 676
reviews: 14
2. Re: First time!

At that time of the morning it should not take you very long.It appears that there is now a new system where you receive a visa on a separate piece of paper on arrival after your passport is scanned.

The Hague, The...
posts: 12
reviews: 19
3. Re: First time!

thank you both for your replies!

As we arrive so early in the morning, we will not take any hotel room for that night :(

We will spend the first few days in Galilea, therefore I was thinking in taking the train directly to Haifa. Is it safe to take the train at around 5/6 in the morning? the train station is located on the lowest floor of the the airport (perfect location!).

I read that trains are a good solution (fast and reasonable price) to travel on the cost for example to Haifa and Akko, on the other hand it does not seem so practical to take train to get to Caesarea or Nazareth, any idea?

Edited: 3:33 am, February 19, 2013
Israel
Destination Expert
for Israel
posts: 10,281
reviews: 32
4. Re: First time!

The train is perfectly safe at that hour - you will find that you are far from the only people on it.

There is no train to Nazareth - your only option is a bus.

For information regarding bus travel anywhere in the country (for all companies) you can utilize www.bus.co.il.

You can get to Caesarea by train, while not the most convenient - take the train to the Binyamina station and from there you will need a taxi. Train info can be found at: www.rail.co.il

Jerusalem, Israel
Destination Expert
for Israel
posts: 1,472
reviews: 1
5. Re: First time!

As Orit said, you can get to Caesarea from the Binyamina train station. Later, you can go back and take the train to Haifa.

You can get easily from Haifa to Nazareth - take bus #331 from Hamifratz Central Bus Station.

The Hague, The...
posts: 12
reviews: 19
6. Re: First time!

great! than no hotel room for the first night and directly into the train!

how will be the best option to get back from Nazareth to Jerusalem?

By bus I guess.... and probably should go via Tel Aviv, is that correct?

Israel
Destination Expert
for Israel
posts: 6,695
7. Re: First time!

The easiest way to go from Nazareth to Jerusalem by bus is to change in Afula. You probably haven't heard of Afula, but it's a major transport hub for the north. There are frequent buses from Nazareth to Afula and from Afula to Jerusalem.

The Tel Aviv bus station is a place that should be avoided if at all possible - it's a labyrinth that can take forever to find your way around (and out of). Be glad you don't need to go there!

Oh, and further to Oreet's post about getting to Caesarea by train, yes, it's the Binyamina station you want, not the one called Caesarea-Pardess Hanna. That station is nowhere near the national park, few trains stop there and you would be unlikely to find a taxi at that station. Binyamina is a busy station with lots of trains.

Edited: 6:35 am, February 20, 2013
Jerusalem, Israel
Destination Expert
for Israel
posts: 1,472
reviews: 1
8. Re: First time!

@Ciagia, on which day of the week do you land? just to make sure, because trains (or buses) do not operate during Shabbath - from friday sunset to saturday sunset.

Shuffaluff is right - you're going from Nazareth through Afula to Jerusalem. Tel Aviv is out of the way.

There is one direct daily bus from Nazareth to Jerusalem (#955), goes through Nazareth city center around 09:00 in the morning. If you can't get it, just take the #356 or #823 buses to Afula Central Bus Station. From Afula C.B.S, buses departs frequently to Jerusalem - go to platform 2.

The Hague, The...
posts: 12
reviews: 19
9. Re: First time!

Landing on Friday very early in the morning, it should be ok (no Shabbath).

for Shabbath we will probably go to Nazareth, is that a good idea?

thank you very much for all the info on how to get to Jerusalem. still a few things to plan but may be we will leave from Haifa (and not Nazareth) to Jerusalem. what then will your suggestion/idea for transportation be? still going by bus via Afula?

Israel
Destination Expert
for Israel
posts: 10,281
reviews: 32
10. Re: First time!

If you are going to Jerusalem from Haifa you have 2 options.

You can take the express bus from Haifa to Jerusalem.

If the timing doesn't work then take the train to Tel Aviv, Savidor Merkaz station. There is a bus terminal there, take the 480 express bus to Jerusalem.