Afraid that not knowing Hebrew will stop you from communicating properly in Israel? Not sure if you can manage to get around easily and safely while on your vacation? Well then, this guide is for you! We’ve compiled everything you need to know about getting around Tel Aviv to ensure you have an unforgettable and stress-free stay with Time & Place.
Communicating in Israel is as easy as ever thanks to a diverse population with many English speakers. Easy to use websites in many languages, including English, means that you will always have access to get the information you need to help you navigate around the city like a local. Thanks to certain apps, you can even move around with a swipe of a finger on your smart phone! Also, getting around from place to place in Tel Aviv is a snap thanks to many of the sophisticated modes of travel. Not only is getting around Tel Aviv easy, it is also safe. Because safety is a major priority for Tel Aviv officials, you can rest assured that you are in safe hands while travelling alongside thousands of residents that use public transportation daily.
Trains: From the moment you land in the Ben Gurion International Airport in Tel Aviv, you are attached to an intricate public transportation system. From the arrivals hall in the international terminal 3, you can follow the signs to Level S for the train departures reaching Tel Aviv. With trains departing every 30 minutes throughout the day, there is not much waiting time. The cost per segment is 16 Shekels (about $4 USD), and approximately 20 minutes later, you arrive at one of the four stops servicing Tel Aviv. The most central loaction is the Tel Aviv Savidor Merkaz station, with a hub of buses and taxis just outside the door all lined up to take you to your final destination.
Note: the bus terminal outside Tel Aviv Savidor Merkaz train station is called the Arlozorov Terminal, so some people refer to this train station as the Arlozorov station.
What about your bags? Comfort? These state of the art trains are equipped with luggage holding bays on board as well as electricity outlets and complimentary wifi to soothe your journey. Most local travellers prefer to take the train to the airport as well, while checking that last email and avoiding traffic and parking costs along the way. This particular line services over 100,000 passengers each month. For more details of times, destinations, and prices in English, Russian, Arabic, or Hebrew check out the Israel Railways homepage.
Buses: Once inside Tel Aviv, getting around by bus is easy and inexpensive.
Tickets are as follows:
Regular Ticket: 5 to 10 Shekels ($1-3 USD), depending on the length of the journey
Ticket booklet: 10, 15, or 20 rides for reduced prices
Daily Pass: for unlimited daily rides at varying prices depending on locations
Tickets are available for purchase online, at the Arlozorov Bus Station and the Central Bus Station, as well as on the bus itself, purchased directly from the driver. The Dan bus company operates most of the routes within Tel Aviv, and the Egged bus company operates the most lines throughout Israel. For planning on your own, check the websites of the Dan and Egged bus companies (available in English, Russian, and Hebrew).
Taxis: Located throughout the city as well as in all bus and train stations, you will find taxis ready to take you from door to door. Most rides within the city range in prices from 20-60 Shekels ($5-$20 USD). You can hail a cab on the street, or call in advance. Before entering the taxi, verify the approximate fare for your journey. It is best to insist on using the meter inside of the taxi instead of negotiating set prices, unless you are aware of the typical cost of the ride. Keep in mind, there can be additional charges for pre-ordering by telephone, large suitcases and riding on Saturdays and Holidays or after a certain time of night.
Bikes: One of the trendiest modes of travel within the city is the green bike. Located throughout the entire city in over 150 locations, you are sure to find a Tel-O-Fun bike station. This is the perfect choice for getting a scenic view of the city.
Insider tip: Rent a green bike and ride along the entire beach promenade! Too tired to bike back? No problem, just return it at a station and take a bus or taxi back to home base.
Here’s how it works:
- Choose your preferred language from the simple touch screen machine.
- Swipe your valid credit card and choose the Daily or Weekly subscription option.
- You will be prompted to create a personal code, and out pops a slip with a bar code.
- Choose a bike and keep your slip for returning the bike and retrieving others!
Check out this simple video to see how to rent, return, and lock your bike.
For all details, go to the Tel-O-Fun website (also available in Hebrew, Russian, English, French, and Arabic)
Useful Apps: For those of you looking for the easiest way to get around, try the free app called Moovit, available on iOS, Android, and Windows phones. This app instantly uses your location to find the best way to get you from point A to point B. All you need is an address, business name, or street to get you going. Take advantage of specific selection tools to narrow your search for certain times, modes of transit, and other preferences. Pressing on the menu button allows you to even view the line maps of all the different train and bus operators in Tel Aviv, just in case you want to wander to different areas without a specific address. Moovit can find you the nearest train, bus, or even Tel-O-Fun green bike station!
For fast taxi service in real time, try the Israeli based start-up app called GetTaxi. This app works by connecting the customer and taxi driver through GPS. Customers can order a taxi using their smart phone or through the company’s website. Available on iOS, Android and Blackberry phones from the iTunes or Google Play Store.
BikeMe is a very useful app that tells you where the Tel-O-Fun green bike stations are located. It also shows you how many available bikes each station has for rent in real time or conversely, how many docks are available to return bikes. Added bonus: use it like a route finder to show you the best route for biking to destinations. It’s as easy as riding a bike! This app is in English, including street names (the official Tel-o-fun app is only in Hebrew at the moment).
Don’t have a smart phone or didn’t purchase internet usage while abroad? At all of the Tel Aviv train and bus stations, you can find an information desk waiting to help you find your way. Also, don’t be shy to ask for help from someone on the street or in a business nearby. Tel Aviv is full of tourists and helping them is a pleasure and sometimes daily occurrence for residents and business owners.
Our Time & Place Concierge is also always available to give suggestions or answer any questions for navigating this exciting city. Contact our well traveled team to book your luxury apartment rental for your next stay in Tel Aviv.