Among the main inhabited centers of the Middle East, Tel Aviv is undoubtedly one of the most modern and westernized, for some time a very popular destination for tourism from Europe. A metropolis with a lively soul hosting more than 400.000 people, this is in fact an ideal destination for lovers of shopping, but also surfing and nightlife. In addition, it lends itself as a great starting point for anyone wishing to travel to Israel (the city is a few kilometers away from Jerusalem) or Jordan.
Here are some tips on how to get around in Tel Aviv, this metropolis as fascinating as it is chaotic, suggesting the most convenient means of transport and those that should be avoided.
- Useful Tips
- How to get from the airport to the center of Tel Aviv
- How to get around on foot
- How to get around by bicycle
- Con i mezzi pubblici
- By car
- User questions and comments
Transport in Tel Aviv is pretty good, with the exception of what occurs on Shabbat, the religious holiday of Saturday. As early as Friday evening, most train / bus journeys are canceled. For payments, for a mere matter of convenience, we recommend purchasing the Rav-Kav rechargeable card. It is located in the stations and in the Rav-Kav desks (also present at the airport).
During the holidays, opt for the collective taxi (monit sherut) thanks to which you can move freely, saving a lot compared to a single taxi. I monit sherut, warmly recommended from Friday evening to late Saturday afternoon, are easily identifiable thanks to the sign positioned on the roof of the vehicle.
Getting around by bike or on foot is a winning solution only when visiting individual neighborhoods, such as the waterfront! In this case, for a first approach to the city, we advise you to opt for a guided tour of architecture, food and street art or a guided bike tour with a local guide, ideal for settling in the first day in what, at a first impact, it may seem like a chaotic city!
- Recommended solutions and means: bus, on foot or by bike on the waterfront, taxi on Shabbat
- Solutions and means not recommended: car, train (only for getting out of town)
- City cards and season tickets recommended: Rav-Kav (payback card -)
How to get from the airport to the center of Tel Aviv
The civilian airport, Tel Aviv-Ben-Gurion, is the largest and busiest in the whole country. Located to the south-east of the metropolis, from which it is just 20 km away and to which it is well connected, it is managed by the Israeli Airport Authority and regulates traffic of over 23 million passengers every year. Headquarters of the Israeli flag carrier El Al, but also of Israir Airlines and Arkia Israel Airlines, is considered among the safest airports in the world, thanks to an efficient security system including multiple security forces (both police and IDF, or Israeli army).
Thanks to its strategic position and the presence of two terminals (Terminal 1 dedicated to domestic flights and Terminal 3 for international flights), is the departure / arrival point of many connecting routes with Europe and America: the main ones are New York, London, Paris, Rome and Amsterdam, whose flights are operated by Alitalia, Turkish Airlines, Lufthansa and United Airlines.
- Distance from the center: 20 km / travel time: 20 min
- By train: Israel Railways lines with directions to the airport / ticket cost: 13,50 NIS (€ 3,50)
- By taxi: average cost 150,00 NIS (€ 38,50) / travel time: 20 min
- By bus: average cost 12,50 NIS (€ 3,20) / Egged line
How to get around on foot
With an area of 52 sq km, this it is a city difficult to visit on foot in its entirety. In fact, with the exception of the seafront, very popular with swimmers, sportsmen and walkers, few other areas of the metropolis (including the area around Habima Square, the one near the Sarona Market and the old port of Jaffa) are easily reachable by those who prefer to move with their own legs rather than by public transport. However, to compensate for the long distances, the city did it is equipped with an intelligent bike and electric scooter rental system: comfortable and practical means to whiz around the city freely and with reduced environmental impact!
For a first approach to the city, we recommend that you opt for a tour of architecture, food and street art, where you can discover the first side of Tel Aviv with a local guide, and then deepen your knowledge of the city independently in the following days! If you are a lover of street art, you can't miss the graffiti tour, a fun approach to getting to know the destination.
How to get around by bicycle
Tel-Aviv is full of electric bikes on the streets and sidewalks. This is a great way to get around the city. There are many bike shops almost everywhere where you can rent one.
There is public service Tel-O-Fun, which allows you to take a bicycle at any station and return it to another. It is very convenient as it also works at night and on weekends, and it is possible to pay with an international credit card (see the official website). the international company Mobike, which works with a smartphone application and without stations (see the official website).
If you are afraid of the idea of moving independently in a city you do not know, we recommend that you take part in a half-day bike tour with a local guide, who will take you to discover the city in total safety!
- 24 hours on 24
- Ticket / single ride cost: from 8,00 NIS (€ 2,00) per day
Con i mezzi pubblici
The connections for every corner of the city are managed by a efficient public transport system which is divided between trains and buses, which guarantee internal / external connections for the whole week with some small variation of frequency / times during Shabbat (or the Feast of Rest, which coincides with the day of Saturday, as well as with the Israeli weekend).
Buses are the most comfortable way to travel from one point to another within the urban fabric, trains are more suitable for medium / long distance connections (for example, the fastest and most comfortable way to reach Jerusalem is by train: it takes just 45 minutes from the Ben Gurion airport station to the center of the destination). As for prices, however, buses are much cheaper compared to the railway line.
Buses are the main means of transport used to get around Tel Aviv, as well as the cheapest option. The largest bus company for domestic travel is EGGED which allows connections to / from every corner of the city, from early morning to late evening.
Payments can be made both on board (paying in cash) and via a prepaid card, the Rav Kav, which can be purchased and recharged at all Tel Aviv stalls. (For more information about the positioning of bus stops in the urban fabric, we recommend downloading the free Moovit App which will allow you to easily identify the various stops.)
- Downloadable map: bus-map
- 5:30AM - 24:00PM
- Ticket / single ride cost: 5,90 NIS (€ 1,50)
- Cost of ticket booklet / season ticket: weekly NIS 62,00 (€ 16,00)
The rail service is operated by Israel Railways and turns out a lot efficient in terms of punctuality and services, although it is not the best option for those who want to get around the city. The train stations present, in fact, are four (that of Savidor, that of HaHagana, that of HaShalom and that of University), but they are all located at the eastern end of the metropolis. I am instead the best way to reach the surroundings.
- Downloadable map: train-map
- Ticket / single ride cost: 5,80 NIS (€ 1,50)
Taxis are always available at all hours,great option when you are out late, as public transport stops running around 23: 00/24: 00.
The service is good, but make sure that the taximeter is active at the start of the journey; it is not uncommon for taxi drivers to increase fares for tourists. Taxis can be hailed on the street, contacted by phone or, very conveniently, the Gett application, a kind of Uber, which allows you to take a taxi via smartphone (see official website).
- 24 hours on 24
- Ticket / single ride cost: average ride 38,00 NIS (€ 10,00) / journey from airport to city center 150,00 NIS (€ 38,50)
It is possible to rent a car in Tel Aviv. There are many car rental companies: Sixt, Budget, Eldan, Europcar, Avis, Thrifty and others. There are desks at the airport but also in via Ayarkon (the first street parallel to the sea).
However, this option it is not recommended, both for the chaotic traffic and for the difficulties in finding parking. For day trips to Jerusalem and Haifa, the use of a car is always not recommended, better take advantage of the comfortable and safe organized tours organized tours with transport included.
Some areas of the city, such as the center and the promenade are closed to car traffic for most of the day. It follows that the same also applies to car parks; among other things, many of which are reserved for residents only.
Stops and parking
There are two main parking signs in Tel Aviv: restricted parking signs, indicating that parking is only available to residents with a parking permit at certain times; and regular parking signs, which indicate that parking is available to the general public, for a fee Sunday to Thursday 9: 00-19-00, Fridays and holidays 9: 00-13: 00.
In different streets of Tel Aviv-Yafo, parking is prohibited 24 hours a day, 24 days a week to residents outside the city, while it is only allowed to residents if they have a parking sticker corresponding to the specific parking zone. To easily understand if it is possible to park or not, the sidewalks of Tel Aviv-Yafo are painted in various colors:
- Grey (no color): Parking is allowed according to the restrictions listed on the parking signs located at the beginning of the road
- Red and white stripes: No Parking
- Red and gray stripes: depends on the information provided on the parking signs located at the beginning of the street
- Blue and white stripes: parking is allowed from 9:00 to 17:00 with the limitations indicated on the signs at the beginning of the road