Transportation to Ben Gurion Airport

Transportation to Ben Gurion Airport

Getting to and from the Ben Gurion Airport (TLV) can sometimes seem like a daunting or expensive task, but it really doesn’t have to be. There are many options, including some very economical ones. Whether you need to get from TLV to Tel Aviv the city, from the Tel Aviv airport to Jerusalem, or are heading from Ben Gurion to Haifa or to Beer Sheva or anywhere else, let’s take a look at the Ben Gurion Airport transportation options for travelers.

Primary Transportation to/from the Tel Aviv Airport


Where can you go?: Anywhere in Israel and the West Bank, depending on the driver.
Average Cost: To Tel Aviv – ~200 shekels, To Jerusalem – ~400 shekels
How can you order a taxi?: Curbside, Mobile App, Taxi Company

If you’re looking for a taxi from the airport, one of the easiest things anyone can do is to simply walk outside and catch one of the many taxis typically lined up outside the arrival hall. There are two methods of fare calculation: either you can negotiate a flat rate or you can ask them to put on the meter. The meter is often, but not always, cheaper, but beware of the couple of ‘bad apple’ taxi drivers that will try to take you for a ‘scenic route’ – use an app like Waze and demand that they follow the route as you dictate.

Things to know: In each registered taxi, there should be two small plaques that rest between the front and back seats on the interior frame of the car. One has the name and ID number of the vehicle’s owner, and the other is that of the driver. Take down these numbers for your record, regardless of whether or not the driver is friendly and professional. Also, don’t forget to take the receipt at the end.

Do you tip taxi drivers in Israel? The answer is no. Don’t feel obligated whatsoever to provide a tip at all. If you still want to, no more than 10% is more than enough.

Taxi apps in Israel: There are three main taxi-ordering mobile apps in Israel, Gett (formerly Get Taxi), Yango, and Raxi. Gett is the predominant taxi app in the country, as it has the most drivers and users. You can use cash or a stored credit card to pay for rides on any of the apps. Yango is the only one that offers you a fixed-rate before you even order the taxi, regardless of where you want to go. For Yango and Raxi, the quality of cars and drivers are less-than-stellar a higher percentage of the time when compared to Gett. Regardless, having an app allows you a bit of piece of mind by knowing who your driver is and a record of the ride.

Are there ride-sharing apps? While Uber does technically exist in Israel, it is only used by registered taxi drivers. Lyft and other ride-sharing apps do not exist here.


Where can you go?: The Israel Rail system goes as far north as Nahariya, south to Ashkelon and Dimona, out to Jerusalem, Beit Shean, and all along the coast through Netanya and Tel Aviv, including the airport.
Average Cost: To Tel Aviv – 9 shekels, To Jerusalem – 18 shekels, To Haifa – 27 shekels, To Ashkelon – 24 shekels
How can you buy a train ticket?: At the train station’s service counter, ticket-vending machine at the station, mobile app (ie Moovit), or with a rechargeable transit pass (“Rav Kav”)

The train is a rather comfortable way to travel if you’re not carrying a significant amount of luggage. Take into consideration that commute hours (7:00-9:00 and 16:00-18:00) and the train can get extremely crowded.

Israel Rail Map:

Israel Rail Train Route Map

Shared Taxi Van (Minibus)

Where can you go?: Jerusalem or Haifa, and many towns on the way or in the surrounding areas
Average Cost: To Haifa – ~100 shekels, To Jerusalem – ~70 shekels
How do you take a shared taxi?: Curbside, in advance directly through the company

If you’re travelling with the maximum pieces of luggage allotted but are on a budget, a shared taxi/minibus (known as a ‘sherut’ – pronounced ‘shay-root’) could be the better option for you. The downfalls are that you’re often stuffed in a van with people you don’t know and may be subject to a longer ride if their stop(s) is/are before yours.

The sherut companies from the airport are Nesher for Jerusalem and Amal for Haifa. Frequent travelers will often tell tales of terrible customer service, but it’s a hit or miss.

Should you tip the sherut driver? Sure, you can, but it’s not customary.

Public Bus

Where can you go?: Tel Aviv, Haifa, Beer Sheva, Ashdod, Jerusalem, Ra’anana, Shoham,
Average Cost: ~10-30 shekels, depending on the destination
How do you know when there’s a bus?: Moovit

This is the ultimate budget-friendly method of travelling to and from Ben Gurion airport. Use the Moovit app or even Google Maps to double-check the times, but – in theory – there should be buses running day and night. To Jerusalem, you’d take bus #485, Haifa #905, Beer Sheva #469, Ashdod #330, Tel Aviv #445, Shoham #13, Ra’anana #444. The bus stops for each are outside the arrival hall.

Private Car Service

Where can you go?: Anywhere, depending on your driver.
Average Cost: To Tel Aviv – ~200 shekels, to Jerusalem – ~400 shekels
Where can you find a private car service?: Recommendations, Google Search

A private car service may be slightly more costly than a private taxi, but you will typically receive a VIP treatment. The price should absolutely be arranged in advance, and it’s typically best to find the service through recommendations (friends, coworkers, or even a Facebook group). Why’s it worth it? There’s always plenty of room for your luggage, you get great customer service, a smooth ride, and don’t have to share with anyone.

Private Car

Where can you go?: Wherever you’d like
Average Cost: Cost of gas and/or the cost of a rental vehicle

Well, this is up to you and your ride. Will you ask a family member, friend, or coworker? Are you renting a car through Sixt, Eldan, Avis, or someone else? A private car is very convenient, but can be rather expensive if you’re renting on a daily basis.


Self-Sanitation 101: Hand Washing

Learn, by demonstration, the best way to clean your hands after using the work restroom.

Welcome to the Self-Sanitation 101. In this course, you will learn how to properly care for yourself and others by way of hygiene.

This lesson demonstrates the best way to wash your hands after using the work restroom. That’s right, ladies and gentlemen (emphasis on the gentlemen), you are supposed to wash your hands after they go places we really don’t want to think about.

Step 1: Soap

You’ll want to pump out the soap. One time is usually enough, but go for two if you feel it necessary.

Step 2: Water

It’s time to lather up the soap. Make sure the soapy water reaches all over your hands and wrists. Rinse.

Step 3: Dry

Grab a paper towel piece for the drying segment. Only take what is necessary, and try to use recycled paper always.

Is it Possible Upside-Down? Reviewing Four Hot Cafes of Israel

Roladin – רולדין

Initial Thoughts: I was rather excited to see the brand-new Roladin cafe while searching for a place to grab a sandwich and/or salad for lunch. Not for any special reason, however, other than my desire to not only eat Kosher, but eat at places that have a certification from the Rabbis.

What I Bought: A small green salad that came with dressing. The dressing destroyed the simple salad that consisted of cherry tomatoes and iceberg lettuce. I also picked up a salmon sandwich, choosing it over the Bulgarian cheese sandwich only because that one contained mushrooms (icky). It is utterly fishy and lacking on any real taste besides the salmon. Maybe with the right seasonings it could have worked. To finish it off I bought a Kinley Soda Water.

Final Thoughts: Perhaps I should’ve bought a cake or some sort of pastries. This bakery should stick just to that and avoid anything else, besides coffee (which I didn’t try yet). The service was rather efficient, although nothing particularly spectacular. The atmosphere inside is nice, but the food was a major let-down.

Arcaffe – ארקפה

Initial Thoughts: I’ve always been rather intimidated when considering going into any Arcaffe. It gives off an “upper-class gal”s dress down spot,’ which really means it’s stuck up and you expect to see a gold-digger housewife (who does no housework) sitting with her girlfriends sipping bottles of Voss water and picking at a frisee salad. I didn’t allow myself to go in until I knew I was looking 100% and had my new, shiny credit card on me.

What I Bought: A mozzarella/pesto/basil/tomato sandwich (carbs!), which was rather good because they toasted it. I had to grab their small cup of chocolate mousse (more carbs!) that I saw sitting in the case with the sandwiches. It was alright, rather rich. I was going to buy mineral water, but I saw the free filtered water tank and decided to go with that, instead.

Final Thoughts: It is a nice place for a business lunch, blind date (I did meet one up there), and yes, even for some stuck-up gals to get together and drink iced tea. The set-up is a nonchalant sort of luxury, and you feel odd if you go in just to take something to go, so sit! Expect the servers to be stuck-up, though, and the only real help you’ll find is with the busboys (who are usually foreigners). The sandwiches and coffee are good, but I’d stay away from the sweets and their salads.

Aroma – ארומה

Initial Thoughts: Cool, a coffee shop. Thought of it as the main and one of the only Israeli coffee shops when I first came here. They’re spread out all over and seem to be acceptable for all income levels to be seen at.

What I Bought: I usually pick up the chicken salad (comes in 3 sizes) with 1000 Island lite dressing. It’s good, nothing amazing, but very edible and a good default choice if I’m not in a risky mood. In the winter, I loved the warm roast beef sandwich and tomato soup, but never get the bean soup (it really looks disgusting and is bland). The iced coffee my friend likes from here, but I find it lacking enough flavor and don’t like that it’s sitting in one of those little machines (I’m a former Starbucks type of gal).

Final Thoughts: The food is good, but not gourmet. I usually prefer to take away what I order, but sitting down is also doable. The servers/cashiers at most Aromas can be rude, so it’s important to be firm with them when ordering and ask to make sure they gave you all of your dressings and plastic ware. I don’t recommend buying coffee from here, however, just lunch.

Coffee Bean

Initial Thoughts: Awesome, American style coffee! (This is when I still thought American coffee was good…) Well, screw the hot coffee, I’m going for the Ice Blend because Starbucks made me an addict of Frappy-type drinks. Added benefit? They for sure have to speak English, since the owners are Americans from Los Angeles.

What I Bought: I’ve had nearly every flavor of the Ice Blend they have to offer here in Israel. Most are pretty good, what you like will depend solely upon your preferences, but you usually can’t go wrong if you like fresh blended drinks. The food isn’t so bad, though I don’t prefer their salads, since there’s always those terrible dried tomatoes. Mini sandwiches are a perfect choice with a drink. Get desserts (overpriced) only if you’re going to split them with someone else, they are extremely rich (this is from the owner of the ultimate sweet tooth).

Final Thoughts: If you go here, you will be tossed into one of two categories: American, or a wannabe American. Neither are good in my opinion, but I don’t really care because I get my favorite drinks (most iced drinks in Israel taste terrible and are sitting in those rotating machines for the entire day, sometimes for days at a time, even). The sandwiches are a good bet, and the service is usually up to basic American standards.


Crazy Dancing Jews Block Traffic

With the Joy of Life as their goal, a subgroup of the Breslov Chassidic Orthodox
movement drives around cities in their happy van. Of course, while they attempt
to bring happiness to all that they come across, they also piss off a lot of Israeli
drivers on the road.

Stopping in the middle of the street, blasting a trance remix of the chant “Na,
Nach, Nachem, Nachman M’Uman” to the tune of “Numa Numa.” They drag
anyone they can off the sidewalk or out of their car to dance with them in a
circular folk dance fashion … blocking traffic during some of the busiest and
most inconvenient time. You’ll also see countless cars, buildings, signs, and
more plastered with a few signature bumper stickers – whether by choice of the
owners or not.

To read more about this group, check out this link. More importantly, check out
these videos and pics below of them in action!

Green Sea Turtle Beached in Tel Aviv

A walk on a Tel Aviv beach turns out to be more than expected as we run into a member of the endangered Green Sea Turtle family. This is the story of a turtle in Tel Aviv that the Holy Falafel staff took park in rescuing.

It was a picturesque night, walking along the main promenade in Tel Aviv. The Mediterranean Sea beneath the full September moon glistened. I was with my friend Joey here at about midnight, because neither of us could sleep, and we both needed a breather from a seemingly never-ending to-do-list.

Joey suggested a move from the cement to the sand, for a little variation, on the return leg of our stroll. While walking past many posh on-the-beach bars with beautiful colored lights and hip lounge music, I noticed something on the water line. I originally thought it was a trash bag or some other junk (even though Tel Aviv beaches are generally clean). Joey assumed that it could be a fallen satellite or who knows what.

A few steps closer, and we saw it was a sea turtle! This is an exciting moment, because Green Sea Turtles are a very rare sight in Israel, especially in such a populated area. There are only a few thousand in the Mediterranean Sea, and their main breeding grounds for the region are in Croatia, not here. They are an endangered species throughout the world, and even more sparse in the Mediterranean area.

Unfortunately, this exciting visit by our lovely friend was for a not so lovely reason. Further evaluation brought to our attention that she was missing an entire front flipper, and part of the remaining bone was still sticking out. There was fishing line wrapped all around it, and the line also went to her mouth, which led us to believe she might have a hook stuck.

Immediately, we called the 106 service number for the Israel Nature & National Parks Protection Authority. A dispatcher took the basic information, my phone number, and within minutes a man named Yaniv called me back. Once he found out all he needed to know about our Green Sea Turtle, he rushed to her rescue, commanding us to stay and hang out with her until he arrived.

turtle on the beach in tel aviv beach

Joseph LeMaire, Yonah, and an onlooker
Photo Credit: Yaniv Levy, Israel Nature and Parks Authority

During that hour, we were trying every way possible to not allow her to go back into the water. If she did, she would surely die, if she ever made it fully out. She constantly tried to turn herself around towards the sea, as minimal amounts of water lapped against her barnacle covered shell. We found a muscular Israeli guy to pick her up out of the water and bring her to the dry area of the sand.

We talked to her, people walking by stopped to visit and inquire about this odd scene on the nighttime beach, and we even gave her a name.

turtle beached in israel

Joseph LeMaire and Yonah
Photo Credit: Yaniv Levy, Israel Nature and Parks Authority

Introducing, Yonah, the Green Sea Turtle. She is an Eighties baby, about 25 years old now. We decided on the name Yonah (English translation: Jonah), being that we were only a few minutes walk/swim from the Old Jaffa Port area, where the original Jonah, from the Bible, began his seaborne journey, and in the end, was saved.

turtle in tel aviv

Yonah, trying to escape the city
Photo Credit: Yaniv Levy, Israel Nature and Parks Authority

Finally, Yaniv arrived to carry Yonah off to what will be her new home until she is taken care of and fully rehabilitated. Another random Israeli, named Boaz, assisted Yaniv and Joey in transporting her to the truck. She’s a quite strong young lady, with a strong spirit to match. She exhibited this to us openly, which we’re happy to see, because we know she will not only survive, but also succeed, when she is released into her natural habitat.

If you would like more information about Israel’s Nature & National Parks Protection Authority and various specific projects relating to sea turtles, you can find it at The Israeli Sea Turtle Rescue Center.