Getting To and From Ben Gurion Airport – the Options!

Filed in Trip-planning by on 03/01/2013 2 Comments
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Ben Gurion Airport

You’re packed and ready to leave for Israel, but now you are wondering how you will find your way out of the airport. Depending on when your flight lands at Ben Gurion International Airport also called the Natbag there are several options which assume, of course, that family or friends are not meeting you. These options are:

English: Luggage carousel at Ben-Gurion Intern...

Luggage Carousel at Ben-Gurion International Airport (Photo: David Shankbone, CC BY 3.0)

  • Disabled options
  • Sheirut taxis
  • private taxis
  • public buses
  • trains

Disabled

Disabled persons in wheel chairs can avail themselves of the service offered by Yad Sarah. Both transportation to and from Ben Gurion Airport to most major cities in Israel can be arranged for a modest fee. Two weeks’ notice is required. For further information phone: the TOURISM DESK at 972-2-644-4664 or fax: 972-2-644-4817 or email: tourism@yadsarah.org.il

Sheirut Taxis to and from Ben Gurion Airport

If your flight lands after 11:30 pm and before 5:30 am then you can only leave the airport by a private taxi or a Sheirut taxi. Public transportation between cities (buses and trains) does not run:

  •  between 11:30 pm and 6:00 am or on the Sabbath (Friday evening until Saturday night – the times vary according to what time the sun sets);
  • or on many Jewish holidays.

Sheirut taxis take up to 10 passengers and their luggage for a reasonable rate. Here are those that are accredited according to the Israel Airports Authority:

English: Sherut

Sheirut Taxis

 1. An excellent 24 hour taxi service to and from Ben Gurion Airport to Jerusalem is Nesher Tours. You do not need to make a reservation in advance. As you leave the main building with your luggage you will see the big Nesher sign in five different languages. These large taxis can comfortably hold up to 10 people and will take you and your luggage directly to your hotel or address in Jerusalem once they fill up their quota of 10 passengers.

 The advantage is a cheaper price than a private taxi, but it can take longer depending on what area of Jerusalem you are going to. You might be first on the route, or you might be the last. Nesher recommends booking at least 12-24 hours in advance by telephone: 1-599-500-205 or 02-625-7227 to arrange your return to Ben Gurion Airport.

 2. Amal Taxis operate 24 hours to and from the airport to Haifa, the Krayot and the north.Phone Tel: (04) 866-2324.

 3. Hadar Lod has a service to and from the airport to all parts of the country during the hours the airport operates. Phone: (03) 971-1103.

 Complaints about any of the above should be phoned to (03) 975-2383 or faxed to (03) 975-2388.

Private Taxis

If you are in a big hurry to get to your hotel, don’t have time to spare and do not want to wait until a Sheirut taxi fills up, then your best bet is a private taxi. But, you should be careful to only take one from a properly licensed taxi company.

Israeli white taxis traveling the noontime str...

Israeli White Taxis Traveling the Noontime Streets of Jerusalem (Photo: Yoninah, CC BY-SA 3.0)

A licensed taxi will have this information on the wall inside with the name of the company and the driver’s name. You should also ask for a receipt. Not only is the receipt for your own records but without a receipt you cannot file a complaint against the driver. The driver is required to operate the meter. By law you must not smoke in a taxi (if the driver smokes you can file a complaint against him). Seat belts are required by law.

The Israel Airports Authority website has information on how to file a complaint, contact the lost and found and a useful list of regulations from the Israel Ministry of Transport regarding taxis such as:

  •  extra charge of 25% for night rates from 9:01 pm until 5:59 am and for the Sabbath, Jewish holidays, festivals and Israel Independence Day;
  • extra charge for more than one piece of baggage;
  • extra charge if there are more than 2 passengers; and
  • extra fee if passenger requests r riding on the trans Israel Highway Road 6, the toll road.

Public Transportation to and from Ben Gurion Airport

If you are traveling light, without a lot of luggage, and if you arrive after 6 am and before 11:30 pm, you might opt to try public transportation to your destination. But, the bus or the train will only take you to the Central Bus Station or train station in whatever city you are headed. You will need another bus or taxi from there to your destination.

Ben Gurion International Airport

Ben Gurion International Airport (Photo: Ori, All Rights Reserved)

If you leave on the last bus or train before 11:30 pm you will not arrive in Tel Aviv or Jerusalem in time to catch a bus to your final destination. You will then need to arrange a private taxi.

Since bus and train schedules are continually updated the best place to phone to inquire is the National Information Center for Public Transportation *8787. The bonus here is this one number can give you information about both buses and trains and save you phoning each one separately. You will hear a short recording in Hebrew, English and Russian followed by some brief recorded messages in Hebrew telling you what your waiting status is and then there may be some music. Simply wait on the line until someone answers which is usually pretty prompt. If they can’t help you they will refer you elsewhere and will give you the phone number.

Buses

You will need to take a bus from the airport terminal to Summit El Al. Only from Summit El Al are there buses to Jerusalem and Tel Aviv. Buses that travel between cities have a storage compartment underneath the bus for your luggage and for baby carriages and strollers. For exact information phone call *8787.

Train

The train station at the airport is in Terminal 3. See the map of Terminal 3 to get best picture of where to go. The train only goes to Tel Aviv. From Tel Aviv you can take another train heading north or south. To get exact information about schedules which change often phone *8787 or Israel Railways: *5770.

The trains are a comfortable way to travel and usually have more room for your luggage unless they are particularly overcrowded, for example, on national holidays such as Israel Independence Day, Yom Hatzmaut. You can wheel babies right on in their strollers and bathrooms are available.

The train station of Tel Aviv-Yaffo, Israel. T...

Train Station of Tel Aviv-Yaffo (Photo: Jacob Rask, CC BY 2.0)

It is very important when you ride public transportation in Israel that you keep the receipt or ticket. Sometimes an inspector boards a bus or street car and will ask to see your ticket. As far as the train goes, the ticket that lets you electronically through the gate to your train must be saved as this very same ticket is how you will electronically exit from the train station.

DID YOU KNOW?

A dog must be leashed and muzzled for riding on a bus or train and you will also have to pay for the pet including a cat in a carrier. There are exceptions for dogs for the blind, however.

Not all private taxis will take you with a dog – it is basically up to the driver. Some drivers can charge more if you have a pet – be sure to clarify ahead of time.

Welcome to Israel – stay tuned for more informative articles on how to navigate your way through this beautiful country!

Comments (2)

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  1. Jens Frigstad says:

    Shalom! We are 8 people coming from Norway to Ben Gurion Airport in the night between saturday and sunday 22/9 at 02.30 (with KLM), and we need a big taxi / van to Ashdod north. We have luggage. Can we book a Nesher Taxi in advance? What is the best to do? Jens Frigstad, Norway.

    • blogmanager says:

      Hi Jen,
      We sent you a reply through your email. See our main site BH Home that links to all our services for additional help and information in planning your trip. Best, RJ

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