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Ben Gurion-Tel Aviv help, and general advice about travel?

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Denbigh, United...
posts: 3
Ben Gurion-Tel Aviv help, and general advice about travel?

New to this forum, and advice needed!

My boyfriend and I are going to Israel in a couple of weeks (21st of April) to do Kibbutz work for about two months. We should be arrriving at Ben Gurion at about 1930 on the Sunday, and intend to stay in hostels for the days before we're sent to a kibbutz.

My questions!

-Is taking a train from Ben Gurion into Tel Aviv on a Sunday evening an easy thing if you're unfamiliar with the airport/train station? Or would a taxi be better? Neither of us drive.

-My main worry is communicating, as I know only very little Hebrew and a small amount of Arabic, and I've yet to find out how widely spoken English is over there. (Boyfriend knows more Hebrew, though).

- I've gathered that Tel Aviv is a relatively safe city compared to many others, but if anyone has any tips from personal experience, that I won't find in a book (ie about money and cashpoints/belongings and stuff) I'd be very grateful.

Sorry if that's a bit long; thanks for reading. :)

Israel
Destination Expert
for Israel
posts: 9,427
reviews: 31
1. Re: Ben Gurion-Tel Aviv help, and general advice about travel?

It's perfectly safe and easy to take the train from the airport to Tel Aviv - no need to spend money on a taxi

You will have no problem communicating - most Israelis speak at least some English, more than you would imagine speak well and fluently.

Not only is Tel Aviv safe, all the major (and minor) cities are probably much safer than most cities back home.

Do not change money till you get here - you can change some money at that currency exchange at the airport and then use currency exchanges where you are - or use an ATM to withdraw cash.

And most importantly - you will have an amazing time. Welcome!!

Tel Aviv, Israel
Destination Expert
for Israel
posts: 2,997
reviews: 18
2. Re: Ben Gurion-Tel Aviv help, and general advice about travel?

Train travel from the airport to central Tel Aviv is very, very easy. Nothing for you to worry about.

You have misconception about language issues. Nearly everyone in Israel (and certainly the young people) speaks some English. You'll have zero problem.

Enjoy!

Tel-Aviv
Destination Expert
for Tel Aviv
posts: 6,098
reviews: 9
3. Re: Ben Gurion-Tel Aviv help, and general advice about travel?

- The train station is just outside the door of the arrivals hall. There is no problem taking it and you can check the schedules here:

http://www.rail.co.il/EN/Pages/HomePage.aspx

Tell us where you are staying and we can tell you how to get there from the train station.

- Everybody speaks English.

- your question isn't clear. You can withdraw NIS from an ATM or you can exchange cash without commission at any currency change store (or the Post Office).

Jerusalem
Destination Expert
for Israel
posts: 5,811
4. Re: Ben Gurion-Tel Aviv help, and general advice about travel?

All the railway station name boards, maps, timetables etc. are in English as well as in Hebrew, so you won't have any language problems. As all the others have said, you don't need to have any worries about language difficulties. Virtually everybody in Israel speaks reasonably good English, especially if they are under the age of about 30. That's true just about everywhere in the world these days, with the Internet and cable television!

Which kibbutz are you going to? Looking forward to giving you directions to get there by public transport ;-)

Denbigh, United...
posts: 3
5. Re: Ben Gurion-Tel Aviv help, and general advice about travel?

Sorry about the last question- not even sure what I was asking, ahah. Was meaning to ask which are the best ways to exchange and carry money while there.

Kibbutz-wise, we don't know yet- we're having to go to the volunteers program centre on Frishman St, and then being told where we're going as we can't book in advance..

Denbigh, United...
posts: 3
6. Re: Ben Gurion-Tel Aviv help, and general advice about travel?

Also, thanks for the tips so far!

NYC/Israel
Destination Expert
for Israel
posts: 24,124
reviews: 17
7. Re: Ben Gurion-Tel Aviv help, and general advice about travel?

I think the question is where are you spending Sunday night. You refer to hostels--you need to reserve in advance and we'll help you get there from the train station.

england
posts: 908
reviews: 1
8. Re: Ben Gurion-Tel Aviv help, and general advice about travel?

I'm envious! I kibbutz voluntered 1978-1979, then from 1982-1986 and absolutely loved it.

I've had a few holidays since and going back again soon.

Nearly everone spoke excellent english.

Hope you have a great time

Jerusalem, Israel
Destination Expert
for Israel
posts: 1,298
reviews: 1
9. Re: Ben Gurion-Tel Aviv help, and general advice about travel?

To get to Frishman street, take the train to Tel Aviv central "Savidor" train station, and from there take bus #10 from the bus terminal (the one on the right when exiting the train station).

Ottawa, Canada
Destination Expert
for Jerusalem, Galilee, Tel Aviv
posts: 4,466
reviews: 81
10. Re: Ben Gurion-Tel Aviv help, and general advice about travel?

I am going to disagree with the Israelis on the board. As an English speaker struggling to learn Hebrew, I always notice when there are no English speakers around. While it is true that English is widely spoken, it is not true that virtually everyone speaks English. In all the main tourist areas, you will find English but it is quite possible that on the kibbutz, you will find that many people don't speak English, or not much at all. Anyone working with the volunteers will, of course, be speaking English and possibly other languages as well, but those who live on the kibbutz and if you are traveling around in the area which is off the tourist path, you may find that there are quite a few who don't. I stand by this. One of the reasons I went to an Ulpan in the Galilee is because the language heard all around was Hebrew and I was forced to use it when out of class. Having said all that, you will manage just fine in English and you may pick up some Hebrew (or French, or Russian or Korean) along the way. When working on a kibbutz a couple of years ago, my son learned Hebrew really quickly as he had a good grounding but also got a good workout on his French when he left the kibbutz. The other volunteers were Korean, some speaking better English than others. I stay with friends on a kibbutz every summer and always meet people who live there who don't speak more that a few words of English including the friends of my friends children who are all in their 20's.