Getting Here and Around
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Getting Here and Around
Bus Travel: Egged buses are modern, air-conditioned, and reasonably priced. Service is dependable on main routes but infrequent to outlying rural districts. Egged buses do not run sunset Friday to sunset Saturday.
From the Beer Sheva Central Bus Station, buses depart four times a day for Arad, Ein Bokek, and other southern points. For Ein Bokek, there's also a daily 8:30 am bus from Tel Aviv's Central Bus Station (a three-hour ride) and several buses, departing on the hour, from Jerusalem (a two-hour journey). Buses can be crowded, especially on Friday and Sunday.
Car Travel: Driving is preferable to relying on public transportation here, as some sights are on secondary roads where bus service is scarce. Highway conditions are good, and most destinations are signposted in both Hebrew and English. The steep road between Arad and Ein Bokek has one hairpin turn after another. Unless otherwise posted, stick to the intercity speed of 90 kph (56 mph). Budget extra time for leaving Jerusalem during rush hours. Gas stations are plentiful; some are open 24 hours but play it safe and keep the tank at least half full. If you plan to drive to areas controlled by the Palestinian Authority, there are two additional things to check in advance: whether your rental company allows its cars into the West Bank, and whether there is any political unrest that makes the roads unsafe.
Sherut Travel: Sheruts, or shared taxis seating up to 10 passengers, run set routes (usually along major bus routes) and charge a nominally more expensive fare. Arab sheruts to Bethlehem and Jericho are available from East Jerusalem's Damascus Gate, though an Arab taxi may be delayed at military checkpoints.
Train Travel: Israel Railways has regular—but slow—train service between Jerusalem and Tel Aviv, hourly from 6 am to 8 pm, from the southern neighborhood of Malcha; there are occasional departures from the Jerusalem Biblical Zoo. The beautiful 40-minute ride through forested hills to the Judean lowlands is spectacular for the scenery alone.
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