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jerusalem christmas eve

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north yorkshire
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jerusalem christmas eve

I will be on a cruise which is in Haifa on 24 Dec. Originally, it was also planned to visit Ashdod but this has been cancelled.

How practical will it be to visit Jerusalem from Haifa on Christmas Eve?

How much time would be spent travelling?

Israel
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1. Re: jerusalem christmas eve

How long will you be docked in Haifa? Just one day or more?

First off, you need to realize that Dec 24 and Dec 25 are normal, run of the mill work days in Israel. You can definitely travel from Haifa to Jerusalem. Depending on how you go, you need to allow at least 2 and a half hours each way.

What would you like to do or see in Jerusalem? Anything special, or just the sites that everyone visits? I'm quite certain that your cruise will offer a tour to Jerusalem from the ship.

Tel-Aviv
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2. Re: jerusalem christmas eve

There is no problem taking public transport from Haifa to Jerusalem:

- go to the "Haifa - Hashmona" train station right outside the Port entrance

- take a train to the "Tel-Aviv Center - Savidor" station" (about 1 hour)

- exit the station and walk to the adjacent Arlozorov bus terminal

- take the #480 bus to the Jerusalem Central Bus Station (leaves every 15-20 min and takes about an hour).

- take a taxi to your hotel.

Train schedules:

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

Bus schedules:

http://www.egged.co.il/Eng/

north yorkshire
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3. Re: jerusalem christmas eve

Just one day in Haifa. A visit to Ashdod has been cancelled because of "the security situation" - hence the visit to Jerusalem from Haifa.

I want to visit the main sites and wondered whether it will be crowded by tourists visiting for Christmas(possibly causing delays).

I don't want to use public transport or the expensive ship excursion with a large group.

Ottawa, Canada
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4. Re: jerusalem christmas eve

If you don't want to take the ship excursion or use public transit, then your options are to take a taxi. The rates are set between cities.

Given that you have only one day and want to see the sites, I would highly recommend you either 1) join a walking tour through either Sandemans or Zion Walking Tours or 2) hire a private guide for the day if you really want the opportunity to see as many sites as possible. A taxi driver is not a guide and Jerusalem is the kind of city you see on foot.

Is the ship in port until the 25th? If so, you could do Christmas Eve mass in Bethlehem. There are shuttles taking pilgrims in the evening from Jerusalem. You would need to spend the night in Jerusalem.

Tel-Aviv
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5. Re: jerusalem christmas eve

A taxi will cost about 700 NIS each way (about $175). The train + taxi will be about 50 NIS per person. They are quick, safe and reliable. We have recommended the same route in the past to others and they all reported that they had no problems.

Israel
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6. Re: jerusalem christmas eve

>>The train + taxi will be about 50 NIS per person.

I am not sure how you came up with this price, for Haifa to Jerusalem. Train from Haifa to Tel Aviv is NIS 30.50, bus from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem is NIS 18, and a taxi from the central bus station to the Old City will be about NIS 40. Total NIS 88 or thereabouts. But obviously much cheaper than taxi all the way.

Don't take a train all the way to Jerusalem, if that thought occurred to you. Trains to Jerusalem are infrequent and slow, and the Jerusalem station is out in the middle of nowhere.

Tel-Aviv
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7. Re: jerusalem christmas eve

Sorry, I meant the train and BUS will be about 50 NIS. Shuffaluff's figures are correct.

north yorkshire
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8. Re: jerusalem christmas eve

How long would the journey via Tel Aviv take ?

Tel-Aviv
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9. Re: jerusalem christmas eve

The train takes about an hour. The bus takes about an hour. Assume half an hour transfer time and half an hour for the taxi from the bus station to your hotel in Jerusalem. The total is about three hours.

A taxi from Haifa to your hotel in Jerusalem will take more than two hours.

Bus and train traveling times are listed on those web sites that I posted.

I will post detailed instructions on how to transfer from the train to the bus later today or tomorrow.

Cincinnati, Ohio
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10. Re: jerusalem christmas eve

Given your VERY limited time in Jerusalem, I would really recommend you consider hiring a driving guide. A good, driving guide will maximize what you can see in this limited time, work around what you want (instead of a group experience), and reduce the stress. And please know that I am one of the people who pushes back against the "hire a guide" answer to every question (often given by guides who stand to benefit financially from this advice). But there are times this makes sense, and your situation is one of them.

This may be particularly doable if you could partner with another couple or family and share the cost. That would cost about $600-700 USD for the day, plus the guide's overnight accommodations if needed, but if you hire a guide from Jerusalem, that may not be needed. You could stay overnight in Jerusalem if possible, which would also be nice. Christmas Eve/Day are largely ignored in Israel, but the Latin/Western churches in Jerusalem will be having services that night if you want to go. Or there is Bethlehem, but that's going to be a zoo in my opinion.

If that is too much, then the options that mgbb and Shuffaluff are giving you are very viable.

Enjoy!

Douglas Duckett