With all the Tel Aviv attractions to take in, it’s easy to forget that Jerusalem, Israel’s capital and home to many of the country’s most important religious sites, is just a 45-minute drive away. Here is a rundown of how to get there:
If you’ve rented a car, there are two main routes connecting Tel Aviv and Jerusalem—Highway 443 (which takes you past Ben Gurion Airport, Modi’in and over the green line before entering Jerusalem) and Highway 1—and once you’ve reached the highways, it is a pretty straightforward drive to Jerusalem. However, since the traffic flow in both cities can be confusing, it is always a good idea to either use a GPS or plan out your route in detail ahead of time. Before accounting for traffic, both routes take about 45-50 minutes, but during peak traffic hours (Sunday-Thursday; 7:00-10:00 am and 3:30-6:30 pm) it could take as long as an hour-and-a-half depending on where you are coming from in Tel Aviv.
Traveling by bus is fairly standard in Israel, and there are two bus routes between Tel Aviv and Jerusalem. For those staying in the city center, line 405 leaves from the Central Bus Station. Line 480 originates at the Alorzorov Terminal (right next to Savidor Central Train Station) and is the most convenient if you’re staying in the northern part of the city or in Ramat Gan. Both buses cost 19 NIS each way (with a 15% discount if you have a Rav Kav and purchase a round-trip ticket) and take about an hour to reach their destination, depending on traffic.
If you’re staying in Herzliya, bus 944 leaves from the Herzliya CBS twice a day (6:45 am and 5:45 pm). It costs 25 NIS each way and takes an hour and 20 minutes.
Intercity shared taxis (yellow vans) depart from the central bus station 24/7 and will take you to the center of Jerusalem (central bus station followed by Zion Square). Sheruts leave when they have ten passengers and cost 24 NIS during the day and 30 NIS overnight after buses have stopped running.
There is a direct train route from Tel Aviv-HaHagana rail station (near the Tel Aviv Central Bus Station) to the Jerusalem Malha station. Trains run on the hour from 6:00 am – 8:00 pm, take about an hour and 20 minutes and cost 25 NIS each way. However, after you reach Jerusalem Malha, you must take a cab (10 min./40-50 NIS) or bus (30-40 min./7 NIS) to reach the city center.
Ticket booth hours: Sun.–Thurs from 6:00 am to 10:00 pm and 3:15 pm to 7:45 pm, Friday from 8:45 am to 2:00 pm and closed on Saturday.
A taxi from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem can easily be arranged by either calling a cab company or even flagging one down in the street. The cost typically ranges from 250 NIS during the day to 350 NIS after 21:00