Tel Aviv is a fairly large city, so seeing the sights can involve various ways of getting around. These are 7 easy ways to get around Tel Aviv…’
If we can, walking is our preferred way to get around. Due to the size of Tel Aviv (and the limited time we had there), we weren’t able to see everything we wanted on foot.
There’s no debating that your legs are the best ways to experience parts of the White City and wandering down Rothschild. There’s also no other way to wind your way through Carmel Market. Outwith these, you might have to figure something else out.
You cannot buy tickets or exchange cash on buses in Tel Aviv, Haifa or Jerusalem. You must purchase a Ravkav Card at a main station and load it with funds. There’s a 30 NIS minimum when you load the card initially. Cards are 5 NIS to buy.
Once you have a card, you can load it up at kiosks across the cities, or at Super Pharmacy outlets. If you speak Hebrew, you can also load online via the Rav app. For English speakers, use the Hop-On app to load via your credit card and just swipe on the bus or train. In order to swipe, you MUST have data or it won’t transact and you’ll end up annoying the passengers waiting behind you. If you’re travelling with Wi-Fi only connection, this won’t be any use to you.
There are buses everywhere. They can be completely confusing to decipher, though. We found the Moovit app to be a half-decent gauge of what bus was due and which stop it might swing past.
There are many maps at stops across the city, but we found that the buses scheduled to stop there didn’t always appear. It’s also pretty difficult to work out where to get off if you happen to catch a bus that’s going in your general direction.
This is mostly because the writing at stops is often only in Hebrew. Moovit lists many stops in Hebrew, also. But it also lets you know how many are between you and your stop, so you can just count your way there. Fingers and toes may be needed, depending on how far you’re going.
There are city bikes at points across the city and you never need to go far to find a stash. They’re cheap to hire and you pick ’em up from your start point and drop it off at another location wherever you’re done.
Bike is a convenient way to get around Tel Aviv and the city has special lanes reserved solely for cyclists. If you wander into one on legs, you’ll soon hear about it!
This looks like the most fun way to get around Tel Aviv, but it’s not an easy choice if you have luggage. The scooters work in the same way as the bikes, where you can pick up and drop off at hundreds of points throughout the city. You can use the scooters in the designated bike lanes, so you don’t have to shoot in and out of hoards of slow shoppers, or tourists stopping to take photos.
The scooters are so quiet, so don’t be surprised if you scare the bejesus out of someone as you approach them from behind.
This isn’t something I’d do personally after watching traffic merge in and out of multiple lanes on the way from Ben Gurion airport. The roads are crowded and there’s a fair amount of honking goes on.
Unless you’re an experienced driver with excellent sat-nav and a boat loaf of confidence, I’d give it a miss. However, for those from the US and other right-sided drivers, you’ve got this in your favour. For us, from a leftie nation, it’s a wee bit more challenging.
Tel Aviv taxis are white and everywhere. You can barely move a few feet in any direction without having one pass you, or seeing them parked up at the side of the road. Taxis are reasonably priced and a quick and efficient way to get where you’re going. Israelis mostly speak at least a bit of English, if not a great deal. However, flashing a map or web page at a driver has never let me down, regardless of where I’ve been travelling. It’s the universal language of pointing. And it works.
Have you visited the city? What ways did you get around Tel Aviv?