We take a look at 10 of the best ways to get to Jerusalem from Tel Aviv.
Being an international living in sunny Tel Aviv I have a lot of connections to foreign nationals who come to Israel on a regular basis. They all want to visit their friends and family but most importantly enjoy themselves with good food, drink, activity and a feast of sightseeing.
Everyone has their preferences but there is one thing that every visitor to Israel has in common, especially the first timers, they all want to stay in Tel Aviv and visit Jerusalem. The buzz of Tel Aviv with its beautiful beaches is too tempting to be more than 15 minutes away from it on a daily basis and the stories that come from Jerusalem are too mysterious and mystifying not to compel them to take a day trip. If not to be embraced by history and emotion, then to pick up a magnet or T-shirt that shows the entire world “I (Heart) Jerusalem”.
So, there we have it, the ultimate tourist dilemma, being magnetized by fun Tel Aviv while yearning for historical Jerusalem.
What Should do You About it?
Luckily Tel Aviv and Jerusalem are not worlds apart, due to the size of Israel they are conveniently close to each other, not so close that you can throw a stone there, but close enough that you can travel there (Jerusalem) and be back in one of Tel Aviv’s top beaches to watch the sunset on the same day with a cocktail in your hand, or if the sunset is not your thing, but the cocktails are, don’t miss Happy Hour in Tel Aviv.
You can have the best of both worlds, with one question remaining, how do you get there?
Well if you’re reading this, you’re most likely already in Israel or are making plans to get here, good for you, you won’t regret it. Either way, make sure you secured a great place to stay in Tev Aviv, nothing beats a good night’s sleep.
There are primary ways to get to Jerusalem to Tel Aviv, let’s go through them one by one and you choose what suits you best.
The Best Ways To Get To Jerusalem From Tel Aviv
“The shortest distance between two points is a straight line” – Archimedes. I couldn’t have said it better myself, geographically speaking everyone’s going to take the same or similar route to Jerusalem from Tel Aviv, or at least the route that the GPS on your phone shows you, via Google maps or perhaps the WAZE app., but we’re going to talk about your options to take that route and how you can turn getting their into one of the most memorable parts of your entire vacation, or even your entire life as we discuss everything from practical to adventurous methods.
Practical Methods to Get to Jerusalem from Tel Aviv
1. Public Bus
This is possibly the most practical and most cost efficient way of getting there.
There are two buses from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem:
Bus 405 runs from the Tel Aviv Central Bus Station to the Jerusalem Bus Station – It departs from platform 607 (sixth floor).
Bus 480 runs from Tel Aviv’s Arlozoroff Bus Terminal (also known as the Tel Aviv 2000 Terminal, in the forecourt of the Tel Aviv Central Train Station). It connects with the train if you’re traveling from the north of the country.
Both the 405 or 480 bus from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem cost NIS 18 for a one-way fare or NIS 30 for a return fare, and run every 10-20 minutes throughout the day – the route is an express meaning that it only stops once between Tel Aviv and Jerusalem, stopping at the Jerusalem suburb of Mevasseret Zion.
NOTE: Please be aware that buses don’t run on Shabbat (Sabbath) between Friday afternoon and Saturday evening (But we have a solution for you, read on)
The train can be conveniently timed and planned for by using the Google Maps app. on your smartphone. Either way, you’re going to want to make your way to the Tel Aviv train station on HaShalom. The journey takes on average 1 and half hours. However Tourist Israel says “The best way to get a Tel Aviv to Jerusalem train is from the Tel Aviv Savidor Mercaz train station”.
If you ask me, let Google Maps do the decision work for you, it is designed to find you the fastest route from wherever you are at any giving moment. Just make sure you click the correct options before entering a search.
Sometimes you want to get there fast and in comfort, you don’t want to breathe stale air conditioned bus air and you don’t want the noise of numerous murmurings and cackles from people you’re probably never meet again in your life.
A private taxi cab can be arranged for you, with the cost to or from Jerusalem around 250 ILS to your destination (300-350 ILS after 9:00 pm). A great app for an instant, effortless and reliable Taxi service is called Gett, I use it regularly and would highly recommend it. It’s free to download and this innovative technology has changed the face of the taxi service industry for the better.
4. Service Taxi also is known as a Sherut (The Solution)
Israel has a cool feature called a Service Taxi, it’s like if a public bus and taxi had a baby, this is what the child would look like. “You can spot them as the yellow minivans resembling taxis on steroids” – Brian Schaefer, Haaretz Contributor.
In a nut shell you pay the price of a public bus and have the convenience of a taxi as long as you are willing to share the ride with others and go on a predetermined route, the advantage is, you can get on and off as you please and are not tied down to an official bus stop.
A major plus of Sheruts is that they run on Shabbat while the public bus does not.
When last checked the fare on the Jerusalem-Tel Aviv route is NIS 23 for a one-way journey (NIS 33 for Sabbath trips)
Tzemach David Street is the street that lies beside Tel Aviv’s Central Bus Station and is the pick-up spot for the sheruts. The sherut will display the destination Jerusalem on the dashboard.
Innovative Methods to Get to Jerusalem from Tel Aviv
5. Tour Guide
Some people want to turn every trip into a learning experience. If this is you than a bus tour guide is the way for you. You will have to spend some time researching which company appeals to you most but here are two we came across – Jerusalem Day Tour and Jerusalem Old & New – Day Tour from JLM & TLV,
6. Hire a Bus
When my family came over for my wedding, my wife used her amazing organizational skills and took it upon herself to organize a private bus from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. This was great as we were guaranteed a reliable form of transport and we knew we would all be together adding to the great experience that it already was.
You can hire a bus with smartrip Israel for up to 55 people for a quote contact them at firstname.lastname@example.org
Bonus: Smartrip Israel also provides luxury cars such as a range of Mercedes. If you want to go all out and hire a limonene for your trip to Jerusalem from Tel Aviv try Isralimo.
7. Hire a car
Maybe you feel comfortable enough to drive yourself around Tel Aviv and want to be in charge of every minute. If that sounds like you, then we recommend a car hire company. Hertz are possibly the most reputable car hire company there is and have a lot of options to suit your needs and budget. The only problem is that the Tel Aviv pick up is at Ben Gurion Airport, so for convenience purposes, you may want to go with another company such as Sixt Rent a Car where you can pick up the car at Hotel Hilton Tel Aviv.
Adventurous Methods to Get to Jerusalem from Tel Aviv
Certainly one of the more elaborate options, but it’s there if you want it with Israel Unlimited Boutique Tours. If you want to know the cost you need to contact them, but can you put a price on awesomeness? And if you could what would it be? Probably the cost of this helicopter ride!
Participants will take off from Tel Aviv Sde Dov’s airport, flying south along the Mediterranean coastline. Please note that this is not just a means to an end, customers will receive an entire birds eye tour along the way, viewing such sites Yad Vashem Holocaust Museum, Israel’s Knesset, the Supreme Court and the Israel Museum with the famous Shrine of the Book. After you will see the Old City of Jerusalem, you will go on to see the Western Wall, The Temple Mount, the Walls of the Old City, Mt. Scopus and the Garden of Gethsemane.
Some people don’t just want to relax when they come on holiday, for some people having fun means being active, really active, sweating buckets active. If this sounds like you, you may want to take 125 km bicycle trip from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem with the Keren Kayemeth Lelsrael Jewish National Fund. This trip is open to everyone of all abilities. Depending on what type of condition you are in and how often you want to stop the trip can take from 2 days to 4 days.
10. Car Pool
While we can’t in good will recommend this, as it is not an official mode of transportation, some people do participate in a car share initiative, whereby they would source an online group, like one on Facebook (many of them are English speaking based groups) and ask in the group if anyone is going to Tel Aviv on a day and time that suits you.
Often people like this option as it is economical and it is an opportunity to meet new people. If you are going to take this option it is entirely at your own risk, do so responsibly.
Whichever method you choose, just remember you can have it all, as long as you’re willing to put in a bit of planning, fortunately, we’ve taken the hard work out of your planning and all you have to do is choose.
So, with that said, how are you going to get to Jerusalem from Tel Aviv?
Article by Scott D. Renwick