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Passport / Visa

Passport / Visa

To visit Israel you need a passport valid for at least six months from the date of entry. If you hold an Israeli passport, you will be required to present it upon arrival. Many countries have a Visa Waiver Program with Israel, which allows their citizens to visit Israel without a pre-arranged visa. Citizens of Australia, Canada, the EU, and the USA do not need a visa for touristic stays up to 90 days. Citizens of other countries can check if they need a visa at www.mfa.gov.il/MFA/ConsularServices/Documents/VisaRequirements-Tourists.pdf Because of diplomatic issues, you might not be able to travel to some Arab or predominantly Muslim countries if your passport shows an Israeli visa or stamp. To solve this problem, your visa will be stamped on a separate entry card when you arrive in Israel. Remember to bring your passport with you on trips to Palestinian territories: it will probably be required at checkpoints and border crossings.
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Best Time to Visit

Best Time to Visit

Jerusalem is pleasant to visit at any time of year. For affordable prices, relatively limited visitor numbers, and a warm, enjoyable weather, choose March-May and October-November. Summer is peak season, and hosts the busy, interesting Jerusalem Season of Culture festival; temperatures are high (around 25 to 35 °C, possibly more), and the city is packed with people. Winters are cool, much more than in nearby Tel Aviv, and can have unpredictable weather. The city gets particularly crowded and expensive during Jewish holidays (High Holy Days, Passover, and Sukkot) and the Christian Easter.
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Health and Safety

Health and Safety

Medical care in Jerusalem is very good, but very expensive: find yourself a good medical insurance for your trip. Although Jerusalem isn't usually a dangerous city, it's better to avoid the Old City at night. With Palestinian-Israeli issues coming to a boil, areas around places of worship in the Old City can become contentious, especially at noon on Friday. It is important to note that trips to the Gaza Strip, the West Bank, and Syrian and Lebanese borders must be carefully considered and require extra precautions. Make sure you get all the information you need and up-to-date travel and safety advice issued by your government prior to travel.
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Tel Aviv-Ben Gurion Airport

Tel Aviv-Ben Gurion Airport

The Ben Gurion Airport is located near Tel Aviv, 52km northwest of Jerusalem. It takes about an hour by taxi to get to the city. The easiest way to reach Jerusalem from the airport is probably by taxi. Taxi ranks at the airport are found at ground level at the Gate 3 exit, and on the second level at the Gate 21 exit. To help you hail a taxi, a taxi dispatcher service is available at two locations: Terminal 3, Level G, Gate 42 exit; or Terminal 1, near Gate 3. Alternatively, you can take the cheaper bus 485, run by the Afikim company. It goes from the airport to Jerusalem's Central Bus Station. It works Sun-Thu 24 hours a day, Fri 12pm-2pm and Sat from 7pm. Afikim: +972 052 999 6686 www.afikim-t.co.il Nesher Taxi Service runs a mini-bus service from the airport to Jerusalem. It operates 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. It works like a shared taxi: the route changes according to passengers' destinations, so be aware that the trip can take some time – you may have to be patient. Call them 48 hours in advance to book your seat. Nesher Taxi Service: +972 072 264 6059 www.neshertours.co.il/en Reaching Jerusalem by train is a bit complicated. You need to take a train from the Ben Gurion Airport station (located on Level S at the airport) to the Tel Aviv Hahagana station, and here change to a train to the Jerusalem station. You will then have to catch a bus to reach the city centre. Israel Railways: www.rail.co.il/en
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Public Transport

Public Transport

Public transport in Jerusalem consists of a bus service and a light rail, and it's run by the Egged company. Search for the most convenient routes on their website. Be aware that it is not possible to buy tickets directly on board. In order to use the transport system, you need to load a smart card called "Rav Kav": it is available at bus stations, kiosks, Cofix branches, and more. To re-load it, you can also go to automatic machines and light rail stations. The bus service runs mostly around the Central Bus Station and the Downtown Triangle (between Ben Yehuda Street, King George Street and Jaffa Road). The light rail line goes from Mount Herzl to Pisgat Zeev, South-West to North-East; it has stops near Jaffa Street and the Mahane Yehuda Market. The Mount Herzl final stop is close to the Yad Vashem memorial.
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Taxi

Taxi

The best way to get around Jerusalem is probably by taxi: there's plenty of them on the street and they're not expensive by Western standards. You can hail them on the street, call their phone number, or ask your hotel reception. There is a small additional fare if you call by phone, and the tariff is higher at night (9pm-5:30am), on Friday afternoons and Saturdays, and on holiday eves. Make sure the taxi driver turns on the meter when you get in. For trips outside of town, you might want to negotiate a fare with the driver instead of using the meter. Bar-Ilan Taxis: +972 2 586 6666 eyal.benovadia@gmail.com Hapisga Taxis: 2 Ha-Pisga Street, Jerusalem +972 2 642 2222
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