A new rail line connecting Tel Aviv with Ben Gurion Airport (TLV) and Jerusalem makes traveling from the airport to Jerusalem easier than ever.
I had originally reserved a rental car for the entire week in Israel, but decided that Jerusalem was better explored by foot. While plenty of busses and taxis run between the airport and Jerusalem, we took the relatively-new “high speed” train.
From baggage claim in Terminal 3, we proceed outside (past the statue of David Ben-Gurion) and left to the rail station.
The one-way fare to Jerusalem is 23.50NIS from Tel Aviv and 17NIS from Ben Gurion Airport. Children five and under are free, brining that fare to just 34NIS (~$10) for my family of three. You can pay for your ticket with cash or a credit card. If using the self-service machine, choose Jerusalem Yitzhak Navon as your destination.
Scan your ticket and a turnstile will open, then proceed downstairs to the boarding platform. Be careful not to board the wrong train. Signs and announcements alternate between Hebrew and English. I almost got on the slow train! You’ll board from Platform 1 if you are heading to Jerusalem.
The high-speed train looks just like a European train, red in color with two levels of seating and restrooms in the front and back of each car. Power plugs are available at each seat.
The 20-minute journey through the Judean Hills is quite picturesque.
From Jerusalem Yitzhak Navo you can board a bus or tram to your final destination within Jerusalem (do note that you’ll need to buy a separate ticket for your connection). You’ll need to walk a bit and take an elevator up in order to exit.
My first rail journey in Israel was pleasant and smooth. While the drive isn’t bad, the train is easier and more comfortable.
And one more thing. As we left the station in Jerusalem, a soldier sat down and started playing the piano. The sound of of piano music gently filling the otherwise sterile station was a great reminder that music unites us all.