The public transport in Israel used to be quite bad until recent years, the timetable wasn’t accurate and the frequency of buses was low. That’s why hitchhiking used to be very common around if you'll hear stories of people from the 80's.
Today it is in a decent condition with trains and buses which leave on time. In remote areas around small villages like in the Negev, Golan Heights, and the Galil it is still common to hitchhike.
The IDF soldiers who go on vacations use the public transport to go home and get back to base, yea it can create funny sights.
The best App to use while for real time tables for all companies is Moovit. This App plan rides taking in care all the parameters, shows you the bus stations around you, timetable and estimated time.
Main Bus Company is Israel is called egged. Most of the travel between cities is operated by them but not all.
This is their website.
A site which includes all public transport companies. Much more efficient and easy.
Dan buses - Usually operating around and inside Tel Aviv.
Metropolin buses - Usually operate in the south of Israel. also for lines from central cities to the south.
if you are going to Be'er sheva , Mitzpe Ramon or Sde Boker, you will probably use them.
Taxis in Israel
Taxi drivers in Israel drive like crazy, act like they own the road, really like to talk and they don't like to use the Taximeter. as a tourist, they will try to give you ridiculous prices (actually, also to locals) insist on the taximeter.
Gett (GetTaxi) App:
In general, to get the best prices and to avoid arguing with annoying taxi drivers I would recommend using It will let you get an honest price without needing to fight for it, it will be a trusty driver and he will come to you. All of my friends here are using this app. The times you are stopping taxi after taxi arguing with the driver are gone.
The main big train line is on the west of the country close to the coast. It is useful to get from Tel Aviv to the northern coastal cities like Haifa and Akko.
To the south, it will take you to Be'er Sheva. Not because the city is interesting, but because it's your starting point to the desert.
The website for timetables.
The public transport is not working on Shabbat. Taxis are working with a higher rate.
- Between the big cities like Jerusalem and Tel Aviv and Tel Aviv to Haifa. There are minibusses which operate on Shabbat. Those minibusses don’t have a schedule and they leave when the minibus is full so waiting time can vary a lot.
- it also works late at night when buses are not operating anymore.
- Those minibusses are called Sherut by the locals.
The public transport in Israel can be expensive if you go for long distance. Especially in the Judea desert (where It's also very rare and not often).
In areas with are remote and has bad public transport and it is very common and safe to hitchhike.
Share ride Facebook groups
There are many Facebook groups of people driving between cities who are willing to share the ride with people in exchange for gas money. It's much faster and cheaper than the bus most of the times. The groups are in Hebrew but I'm sure that if you will post there in English people will respond:
Eilat and the southern Kibbutzes.
Qiryat Shemona area.