How to get to Jerusalem from Tel Aviv?

I recently took the bus from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, although straight forward there are a few things I wish I had known before I set out. Here is a step by step guide on how to get the bus to Jerusalem from Tel Aviv.

Where do I catch the bus to Jerusalem?

The bus to Jerusalem leaves from Tel Aviv Central Bus Station. This is only a 5 minute walk from Tel Aviv Ha’Hagana main train station. Tel Aviv central bus station is a giant concrete building so it’s hard to miss. I recommend going through the main entrance if you have luggage as they will want to x-ray it. After you enter the bus terminal it will feel like a maze, head up the escalators to the 6th floor.

How to get to Jerusalem from Tel Aviv? Tel aviv central bus station floor 6
6th floor of the Tel Aviv Central Bus Terminal

Where do I buy a ticket?

The answer is you don’t as there are no paper tickets for buses and trains. You’ll need to purchase a Rav-Kav card and use this to tap when entering the bus. Already have a Rav Kav card? Then skip on a few parts.

How to get to Jerusalem from Tel Aviv? rav-kav card
The Rav-Kav card

Where to purchase a Rav-Kav card?

As I didn’t have the Rav-Kav card I was directed to a small office just around the corner on the 6th floor to purchase one. Inside they told me it would cost 5 shekels, (Around $2). They do not take card for payment and will not break down any notes either. Need an ATM? There’s one on the same floor (charge $5 to use) that will give you notes. As you don’t have coins yet you’ll have to go buy something from a coffee shop next to the ATM to get change. Now head back to the office where you can receive you Rav-Kav card. I recommend topping it up with only 50 shekels if you are going to Jerusalem and back.

Now I have my Rav-Kav where do I go?

Head up to the 7th floor by escalator, on your right you will see platform 1 and a doorway leading outside to where the bus will arrive. The buses to Jerusalem from Tel Aviv leave every 30 minutes.

How to get to Jerusalem from Tel Aviv? platform 1
Platform 1 on the 7th floor

How much is the bus to Jerusalem from Tel Aviv?

Boarding the bus you tap your card in front of the driver, I saw 16 shekels come up on the card which is only $6, which seems very cheap for Israel.

Can I take my luggage on the bus?

You can’t take large luggage on the bus to Jerusalem from Tel Aviv but you’ll be directed by the driver to have it stowed under the bus. The driver automatically opens the hatch from his seat and then once he sees that you’ve placed it inside he’ll automatically shut, so the luggage once you get on isn’t just sitting there for the taking.

Is the bus journey comfortable?

Sure is, and because of the number of buses going each day the bus was 75% empty when I went. Also because Jerusalem is only 55km from Tel Aviv the journey is quick.

Can you day trip to Jerusalem from Tel Aviv?

Because the journey is short you could easily do a day trip to Jerusalem.

How long is the journey from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem?

The journey takes only 45 minutes.

Where will the bus drop me off in Jerusalem?

The bus will arrive at Jerusalem central bus station from here there are trams that can take you into the center or you can just walk 20 minutes.

Hope this helped for those wondering how to get to Jerusalem from Tel Aviv.

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One response to “How to get to Jerusalem from Tel Aviv?”

  1. Reaseaorg avatar

    Never taken a bus in Israel before. Thanks for the insights 🙂

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