Navigating Jerusalem

There is no such thing as downhill in Jerusalem. The entire city is uphill- it seems that way, anyway. While it is not overly large, the steep climbs on slippery stones quickly create glutes of steel. So, it’s best to get savvy with some public transportation.

[Pro tip: Public transportation closes down on shabbat. The light rail and buses won’t be running, so walking and taxis may be the only options.]

1.) Gett– For foreigners familiar with Uber and Lyft, this is the most simple option, especially if people need picked up off the beaten path. Gett is also the best way to ensure the fare can be paid with a card through the app, rather than relying on cash.

2.) Taxis– Taxis are plentiful in Jerusalem, but a little pricey. Most drivers only take cash, so consider this before hailing one if you only have a card.

3.) Buses– While buses are the cheapest option, they are the most unpredictable form of transportation in Jerusalem. The signage isn’t always correct, the bus may never come, and it can be quite crowded. For about 5 shekels one-way, it’s worth experimenting with the bus line, but don’t rely on it.

railmap_en

Jerusalem Light rail station map / jet.gov.il

4.) Light Rail– The light rail is a dream. It is quick, cheap, and goes through some of the highlights of Jerusalem. At one end, Mount Herzl is the drop-off point for the Yad Vashem Holocaust Museum. From there, the train travels through some better shopping areas of Jaffa-Center before stopping near Damascus Gate at the Old City. The rail then continues on to the train station that departs for Tel Aviv.

5.) Train– Getting to Tel Aviv from Jerusalem by train is the best option. For a little less than $7 USD one-way, the train runs on time, every 30 minutes. It is smooth, comfortable, and has charging ports at every seat. One of the stop locations is inside Ben-Gurion Airport for easy airport transfer. (It does not run during shabbat, so plan accordingly!)

6.) Hitchhiking– In general, Jerusalem is a safe enough city that hitchhiking is still fairly popular. Many times if someone sees a foreigner walking on the road, they will pull over and offer a ride. Do this at your discretion and offer them a few shekels at the end of the ride (5 is usually good for a quick trip). We actually had a great hitchhiking trip with an Italian nun.

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