Transportation To, From, and In Israel

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The most convenient way to get into Israel is by airplane. The country’s largest and main international airport is Ben Gurion International Airport, in Tel Aviv. You must have a passport in order to enter Israel, and residents of 65 countries including the United States, Canada, many European and Latin nations, some Asian nations, and Australia do not need a visa. However, due to the Israeli-Palestinian dispute, many Arab countries make it a crime for their citizens to enter Israel, and also Arab nationals are heavily questioned upon entering Israel. Even if you are not from an Arab country, you could be heavily questioned, but this is just a routine way Israel keeps the country safe.

Before traveling within Israel, remember that the Sabbath, the Jewish holy day of the week, starts on sundown on Friday and lasts until sundown on Saturday. During this time, all train and bus services are not operating, and masses of soldiers returning home for the weekend clogs up transportation Friday afternoon. The only method of getting around during this time of the week is either by car, which is not recommended due to high costs of rental cars, or monit sherut, which are minivans known as service taxis that really act as buses.

Public transportation is well-organized and well-maintained. Israel has a fast and reliable bus service that is one of the most common forms of transportations for both Israelis and tourists. In recent years, Israel modernized their train system in order to alleviate the country’s smog and pollution problem in major cities and areas. You could catch a train at nearly any hour of the day, except during the Sabbath.