Israel is a country in Asia according to naturegnosis. Israel, a tiny country on the eastern Mediterranean, is a very special travel destination that has attracted visitors since the times of the prophets. The Holy Land is often part of a spiritual journey, but cultural and eco-tourism is also possible here, not forgetting the resort areas of the Mediterranean. Navigating Israel’s complicated history is both exhilarating and exhausting. There are ruined temples, ruined cities, abandoned fortresses and hundreds of biblical sites to explore. Although a sense of adventure is required when traveling to Israel, most attractions are safe and easily accessible. Israel is characterized above all by its incredibly diverse population. Jews from all over the world come to Israel to live here. About 20% of the residents are Muslims. Politics is omnipresent in Israel, with everyone having an opinion on how to move the country forward. Anyone with an open ear can take home interesting solutions from any political camp. In 2018 Israel celebrated 70 years of independence with big festivals and military parades.
Arriving by plane
Non-stop connections to Tel Aviv are operated by – Lufthansa (LH) from Frankfurt/M. and Munich; – Swiss (LX) from Zurich and Geneva; – Austrian (AA) and Laudamotion (OE) from Vienna. – El Al Israel Airlines (LY) among others from Frankfurt/M and from Zurich. Non-stop connections to Eilat are offered by – Lufthansa (LH) from Frankfurt/M. and Munich: – Wizzair (W6) from Vienna. Ryanair (FR) flies non-stop to Tel Aviv from Karlsruhe/Baden-Baden and Memmingen. easyJet (U2) offers, among other things, non-stop connections from Berlin and Geneva to Tel Aviv.
Frankfurt/M. – Tel Aviv: 4 hours; Munich – Tel Aviv: 3 hours 35 minutes; Vienna – Tel Aviv: 3 hours 20 minutes; Zurich – Tel Aviv: 3 hours 45 minutes
Arrival by car
The official border crossings with Jordan are Sheikh Hussein Bridge, Allenby Bridge and Arava; Border crossings with Egypt Kerem-Shalom, Nizanna, Netafim and Taba. Bus: Buses run daily between Amman (Jordan) and Tel Aviv, Haifa and Nazareth, and between Cairo (Egypt) and Tel Aviv. In general, entry into Israel by land is severely restricted. Entry into other Arab neighboring countries is not possible. Tolls: The No. 6 freeway, which runs from north to south, is subject to tolls. The fees are collected electronically and billed by the rental car company. Documents: The international driver’s license is recommended in conjunction with the national driver’s license.
Note on arrival by car
At the various border crossings, there can always be brief closures or a reduction in opening hours. It is therefore recommended to make inquiries about the opening on site as soon as possible.
Arrival by ship
The largest passenger ports in Israel, Haifa and Ashdod, are visited by numerous cruise ships coming from Europe. Eilat, Herzliya, Tel Aviv and Ashkelon are also available as ports of entry for foreign yachts.
Shipping companies such as Hapag Lloyd Cruises, Cunard, TUI Cruises, Royal Caribbean, AIDA, MSC, Costa and Norwegian Cruise Line have Haifa and Ashdod as cruise destinations in their program.
Due to the tense situation caused by serious attacks, extreme caution is advised in Jerusalem. Public transport, as well as public places with large numbers of visitors, including restaurants, should be avoided. When visiting the old town, general caution is advised – especially on Islamic and Jewish holidays. Local support is recommended.
Traveling by plane
A good domestic flight network connects Tel Aviv with Eilat and all major cities, operated by Arkia Israeli Airlines (IZ) and Israir (ISR).
Traveling by car/bus
The road network is excellent. Distances from Jerusalem: Tel Aviv 62 km, Eilat 312 km, Haifa 159 km, Tiberias 157 km, Dead Sea 104 km, Zefat 193 km and Netanya 93 km. Toll: Only the North-South Highway No. 6 is subject to tolls. The tolls are collected electronically and billed by the rental car company. Petrol stations: Smaller petrol stations are often closed on public holidays and from late Friday afternoon to Saturday evening. In most cases, you can pay with credit cards.
Right-hand traffic/left-hand traffic
Condition of the roads
Roads are generally in good condition.
The road network is divided into often multi-lane motorways, motorway-like roads and simple country roads.
International car rental companies have offices at the airport and in major cities. Drivers must be at least 21 years old (may vary by vehicle category) and have held a driver’s license for at least one year; the maximum age is 75 years. Drivers under the age of 25 often pay an additional young driver fee.
There are ordinary taxis and shared taxis (Sheruts). In sheruts one pays the fixed fare; Taxis are obliged to use taximeters.
Bicycles and scooters can be rented in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem, among others.
EGGED and DAN, the two major long-distance bus companies, offer connections to all parts of the country. With some exceptions, there are no bus services between Friday evening and Saturday evening and on religious holidays.
Traffic regulations: – Fire extinguishers, high-visibility vests, bandages and a warning triangle must be carried. – Red, reflective strips (5 x 40 cm) must be attached to the rear bumper of passenger cars. – Between November 1st and March 31st, the dipped headlights must be switched on outside built-up areas. – Children must be carried in child seats up to one year old and in a restraint system appropriate to their height from 1 to 7 years old. – Alcohol limit: 0.5 ‰. – Telephoning at the wheel is only permitted with a hands-free system. Speed limits: – in built-up areas: 50 km/h; – Country roads: 90 km/h (for trailers: 80 km/h) – Motorways: 90-110 km/h (depending on the signs, for trailers:
The ADAC foreign emergency call offers ADAC members and holders of ADAC foreign health and accident insurance comprehensive assistance in the event of vehicle breakdowns, traffic accidents, loss of documents and money, and medical emergencies. The emergency number is available around the clock; for vehicle damage: Tel. +49 (89) 22 22 22, for illnesses: +49 (89) 76 76 76. The ADAC partner club in Israel is the Automobile and Touring Club of Israel (MEMSI) in Tel Aviv, Tel. + 972 (3) 564 11 21.
The international driver’s license is recommended in combination with the national driver’s license. As of 2022, Israel no longer participates in the international motor insurance card system, but continues to cooperate with the Green Card Bureaux through the Information Centers Agreement.
Note on travel by road
Hitchhiking is allowed. However, Israeli drivers are obliged to give preference to soldiers.
Traveling in the city
Reliable scheduled buses run by the DAN and EGGED companies operate in the cities.
Locally on the way by train
The Israel State Railways network is mainly limited to the coastal strip of Israel. Most notably, the trains serve the greater Tel Aviv area. In addition, there are a number of regular connections from Tel Aviv on the following routes: – via Haifa and Akko to Nahariya; – via Bet Shemesh to Jerusalem; – via Ashodod to Ashkelon; – to Be’er Sheva. A rapid transit line (currently 120 km/h, later 160 km/h) connects Jerusalem with Ben Gurion Airport. By the end of 2019, the high-speed railway line is to be extended to Jerusalem. If you want to continue your journey to Tel Aviv, you still have to change trains at Ben Gurion Airport. Travel time from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem currently: 45 minutes.
Traveling by ship
The Kinneret Sailing Company offers cruises on the Sea of Galilee to all ports on the lake.