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Inter city travelling

Nottingham, United...
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Inter city travelling

Hello,

I was wondering if any of you could provide any hints and tips regarding travel within Israel. There are 5 of us going over for a friend's wedding at the end of May. We've never been to Israel so will be staying a little longer to see some sights. We are all students (thus looking to keep things fairly cheap) and will not be renting a car. It'd be great to know what the best modes of transport are between the following:

Arrive @ Tel Aviv

Night 1 - Jerusalem (Evening arrival)

Night 2 - Jerusalem (Wedding)

Night 3 - Ein Gedi (Egged Bus seems to be the only option for this)

Night 4- Jerusalem

Night 5- Jerusalem (Shabbat)

Night 6- Jerusalem

Night 7- Haifa

Night 8- Haifa - (N.b. Particularly interested in how to get to Sea of Galilee)

Night 9- Tel Aviv

We have travel guides and such but if any non obvious must dos leap out at you then that would be wonderful also :).

Thanks in advance,

Laura & 4 very excited people.

Jerusalem, Israel
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1. Re: Inter city travelling

Arrive in Tel Aviv - you mean the airport (Ben Gurion int'l). While the airport is marked as "Tel Aviv" as destination in flight tickets, it is actually between Jerusalem and Tel Aviv.

* Ben Gurion int'l airport - Jerusalem: take the sherut (shared taxi) service, which will take you to your address in Jerusalem. After you enter the arrival hall, take exit 02 where the Jerusalem service departs.

* Jerusalem - Ein Gedi: depends on what exactly are you thinking to do. If you're staying only around Ein Gedi, then a bus can be suitable (however plan your schedule according to the bus schedule, which is not that frequent to Ein Gedi). If you plan to visit several sites along the Dead Sea - a rental car would be a better option.

* Jerusalem - Haifa: take the express bus #960 (or #940) from Jerusalem central bus station to one of Haifa's central bus stations.

* Haifa - Sea of Galilee: The best option for a trip around the Sea of Galilee area is through rental car. There is a good bus service between Haifa and Tiberias (#430) but that leaves you just in Tiberias (which is situated on the shores of the Sea of Galilee), so moving further will be best with a rental car. (rental can be taken in Haifa or Tiberias).

* Haifa - Tel Aviv: Take the excellent train service between the cities.

Egged bus schedule: http://www.egged.co.il/Eng/

Israel Railways schedule: http://www.rail.co.il/EN/Pages/Homepage.aspx

Cincinnati, Ohio
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2. Re: Inter city travelling

Amos's answer is very comprehensive -- as always -- and I agree that unfortunately the only practical way to see the area around Lake Kinneret (the Sea of Galilee) is to rent a car. It is also difficult to tour the sites around the Dead Sea without a car, though you may be able to go with a small group tour out of Jerusalem. But with five of you paying for a group tour, the rental car may be more affordable.

Good luck and enjoy!

Douglas Duckett

Ottawa, Canada
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for Jerusalem, Galilee, Tel Aviv
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3. Re: Inter city travelling

Regarding Ein Gedi. If you are going to Ein Gedi for the nature reserve and hiking then don't stay overnight- just return to Jerusalem. The public bus drops you off and picks you up right at the entrance to the parking lot of the National Park. You can go early in the morning, spend the day (there is a public beach within walking distance if you want to float in the Dead Sea as well) and return back to Jerusalem. There is absolutely nothing to do or see once the sun goes down in this region.

Regarding Haifa. Is there a special reason you want to go to Haifa? If there is, then that is fine but if not, instead of going to Haifa, take a bus to the Sea of Galilee region and stay in Tiberias. From there you can see the Christian sites which are all clustered around that area either by bus (not that practical), taxi, day tour, or even by renting a bicycle. While it is not ideal not to have a car in this area you can still spend a night or two to see the sites nearby.

For a group of 5 students, I would also suggest that you add a night to your stay in Tel Aviv. This is an exciting vibrant city, especially for young people. Public transit in Tel Aviv is easy and there is activity 24 hours a day unlike sleepy Tiberias.

Northeast us
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4. Re: Inter city travelling

The problem with renting a car may not just be with the cost, but the age of the travelers (OP notes "We are all students " ) In the U.S, for example many places don't rent to under 25s and if they do, there's a huge premium added. I never rented a car in Israel at that age so I don't know if something similar operates there.

You can split the price of a car 5 ways, but the typical economy rental car in Israel is tiny and 5 people would be uncomfortable and you'd have to upgrade a couple levels. And single day rentals are proportionately more expensive than multiple day rentals. Still, if the logistics work out, it will still be the best option for getting around some of areas that interest you.

Nottingham, United...
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5. Re: Inter city travelling

Thanks Amos for the very detailed and useful information regarding public transport. It is very good to know that most things are achievable by bus.

I agree that a car would be the best option. Sadly a few of us don't drive and some of us will be leaving on different days so it seems easier (and more economical) to use public transport. Tiberias sounds good, but maybe we could visit Akko as a day trip from Haifa instead - I'll do some research.

As for Ein Gedi, we'd really like to visit Masada (which I believe is a 15 min bus ride away) so decided to do it over 2 days to make the most of it (we are able to leave our luggage in the Jerusalem hostel).

Thanks again for all of your help and suggestions :)

Laura

NYC/Israel
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6. Re: Inter city travelling

Akko can definitely be visited as a day trip. You can go by train. You really really really do not need two days to go to Masada and Ein Gedi. There just isn't that much there and your time in Israel is so limited. Why not look at the Abraham's hostel transportation to Masada, Ein Gedi and Dead Sea. It may fit your needs.

abraham-hostel-jerusalem.com/ABOUT/Article/t… or http://tinyurl.com/brdxvlo

Do you know what you are doing while in Jerusalem. If you share what you are interested in and which religion's sites you want to focus on we will be happy to help you.

england
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7. Re: Inter city travelling

There is free wifi on egged buses and in the bus stations. You will need 1 shekel for the toilets in jerusalems bus station. Street food is tasty and cheaper than restaurants. Tap water is safe to drink, but also the Aroma cafe will top up yr water bottle for free.

Nottingham, United...
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8. Re: Inter city travelling

We allowed for public transport times and getting up a little bit later than one would normally given that we are going there the day after the wedding. We are all geographers so the nature reserve should keep us entertained (plus I love Roman stuff...)! We thought about 2 nights there so I'm now glad that we plumped for one!

As for Jerusalem, we don't have a precise itinerary but going on what my friend and the travel guide said:

Holocaust Museum

Israel Museum

Tower of David

Church of Holy Sepulchre

Western Wall

Mount of Olives

Machane Yehuda

We can probably squeeze a little more in (particularly if we only choose to do one of the museums) so suggestions would be very welcome! We aren't particularly interested in any one religion, so I think we are after a healthy mix of the various religions, history & culture (though on reflection these are intermingled things)!

Many thanks,

Laura

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9. Re: Inter city travelling

in a very short reply... i think between tel-aviv and jerusalem the bus is the best option. from tel-aviv to haifa you can take the train. enjoy.

Jerusalem, Israel
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10. Re: Inter city travelling

I live in Israel and use public transportation - I would suggest you check out renting a car for your dead sea trip. The bus is around 40 shekel over person, one way. I think you would do better renting a farm it's more convenient, especially for the trip back . for getting around IN Jerusalem you can certainly walk, use the bus or train.