Notes:

  • Maps Applications: Google Maps/Apple Maps work very poorly in the West Bank so I suggest these applications instead:
    • Maps.me: the best maps app for getting around Palestine, and it works without wifi/data (you just have to download the map of the West Bank at a time when you do have wifi/data). Includes tourist sites, hotels, restaurants, bars, etc. 
    • Political Map: for understanding when you are in Area A, B, or C, seeing detailed outlines of settlements, and markings of closures, checkpoints, etc., you can download a United Nations map that can track your location if you have data/wifi.
      • Avenza Maps: inside the app go to the store icon and then in the search bar search “West Bank Access Restrictions” and make sure to download the most recent (2017) version for free!
  • Bus/Service Schedules: there are no strict bus schedules in the West Bank.
    • Most of the services/buses run from quite early in the morning until sunset, so this can change depending on the season.
      • Summer: usually until 8pm, Winter: usually until 6/7. Aim to catch a service/bus during daylight to avoid problems. 
    • Ramadan/holidays are also unpredictable so aim to catch services during the main hours of the morning/afternoon.
  • Taxi Manipulation: sometimes taxi drivers will try to tell you there are no services or buses and try to convince you to take a private taxi–never do this. Always go to the bus or service station and check for yourself because most likely there are still some available. 

 

Locations & Prices

**NOTE: prices as of July 2019, but these can fluctuate, travel time is an average but often fluctuates due to unpredictable traffic**

**NOTE: for information about flights, visas, and getting from Ben Gurion to Jerusalem refer to Entry/Exit page**

From Jerusalem:

  • to Ramallah/Nablus: In order to get to Nablus you must transfer through Ramallah.
    • To Ramallah:
      • Option 1: take Bus 218 from the Palestinian Bus Station North which is on Nablus road (about 3 minute walk from Damascus Gate) and costs about 7 NIS, will drop you at Ramallah Central Bus Station (45 minutes). 
      • Option 2: take bus 274/275 from the Palestinian Bus Station North to Qalandia Checkpoint, walk through the checkpoint, and take a service to Ramallah from the other side (7 NIS total). Ask the driver to drop you off at the Central Bus Station in Ramallah (45 minutes).
    • To Nablus: first take Option 1 or 2 to Ramallah, then take a bus from the Central Bus Station or a service from the Central Service Station (2nd level of the parking garage) to Nablus. Bus take 1.5 hours and is 11 NIS, a service is 16 NIS and 1 hour. Total time from Jerusalem to Nablus (2.5-3 hours).
  • to Bethlehem: Take Bus 231, about 8 shekels, from the Palestinian Bus Station South–directly next to the Damascus Gate Light-Rail station. The last stop on this bus will drop you off on Hebron road, from where you can walk to the Nativity church in about 15 minutes, or the Banksy hotel in 10.
  • to Hebron:
    • Option 1: look for a group of men sitting along the roadside of the parking lot of the Palestinian Bus Station South. They will be yelling “Al Khalil” (Arabic for Hebron) and they use private cars/buses to drive directly to Hebron for 20-25 shekels. It costs 20-25 shekels but is the fastest option as it only takes 1 hour, tell the driver where in Hebron you want to go. 
    • Option 2: The private cars to Hebron do not run all day so another option is the 231 bus to Bethlehem (described above) and then a service from Bab Az-Kak to Hebron (services are located 2 traffic lights down from where 231 will drop you off)total cost is about 17 shekels and 2 hours.

From Ramallah:

  • To Nablus, Hebron, Bethlehem, Jericho: from the Central Bus Station (marked as Jerusalem Bus Station on Maps.Me) walk 100 meters to a parking garage where on the 2nd level you will find the Central Service Station (marked as Ramallah Bus and Taxi Center Station on Maps.me).
    • To Nablus (16 NIS, 1 hour). To Hebron (28 NIS, 2.5 hours). To Bethlehem (21 NIS, 1 hour). To Jericho (18 NIS, 1 hour)
  • To Jerusalem:
    • Option 1: Take a service to Qalandia Checkpoint (station is around the corner from the central service/taxi station and is marked “mwqf syarat qlndya walram”), 2.5 NIS (45 minutes, and they usually run until app. 10 pm). Walk through the checkpoint. On the other side, walk across the street from the checkpoint to the parking lot where there are many buses. Take bus 274 or 275 into Jerusalem (app. 5 NIS, 30 minutes, and they run until 11 pm).
    • Option 2: Take Bus 218 from the Central Bus Station (marked Jerusalem Bus Station on Maps.me), app 7 NIS, takes about 1.5 hours. When the bus arrives at Qalandia checkpoint all the Palestinians will have to get off the bus to walk through the checkpoint but you as a foreigner can stay on the bus, a soldier will get on, check your passport, and then allow you to drive through the checkpoint on the bus–Bus 218 stops running around sunset. 

From Bethlehem:

  • to Hebron: Go to “Bab az kak” on Hebron Road, after the 2nd traffic light, there will be a big line of Services that head to Hebron: 9.5 shekels (45 minutes). 
  • to Jerusalem
    • Option 1: Bus 231: costs about 7 NIS, picks up from the Jerusalem Bus Station marked on Maps.Me on Hebron Road, and takes you directly to the Damascus Gate bus station in Jerusalem (1 hour).
    • Option 2: Checkpoint 300: Don’t do this in the early morning or on Fridays because of crowds, but generally faster than option 1 if you walk or take a taxi to Checkpoint 300 (hajaz talat meyay) and walk through the checkpoint. On the other side use Google Maps to look up Israeli buses, and your options are bus 234, 231, or 232 depending on your end goal. Costs 5 NIS and total time depends on the lines at the checkpoint. If you do not want the hassle of a checkpoint use option 1. 
  • To Ramallah: go to the Bethlehem Central Bus Station (marked on Maps.me) which is close to the Nativity Church and on the basement floor of the Bethlehem City Mall: they have services that cost 15-20 NIS (1.5 hour)
  • To Nablus or Jericho: unless you have enough people to fill a service you usually can’t find a direct service to Nablus or Jericho. Go to the Central Bus Station and check if there are any running, if not, take a service to Ramallah or a bus to Jerusalem and then transfer. 

From Hebron:

  • to Ramallah, Bethlehem, Jericho (or Nablus): Go to the Central Bus Station which is inside the Mujama Al Takasy (a small mall) about 300 meters from Checkpoint 56, on Wadi Al Tuffah Street, (marked as Abd Alhye Shaheen Station on Maps.Me).
    • 28 NIS to Ramallah (2-2.5 hours), 9.5 NIS to Bethlehem (45 minutes), 30 NIS to Jericho (1.5 hours). To go to Nablus, go first to Ramallah and then catch a service/bus to Nablus (between 40-45 NIS, and 3.5-4 hours total).
  • to Jerusalem : Go to Dowar (roundabout) Ibn Rushd: there is a “taxi stand” for Jerusalem across from the park: 25 NIS directly to Damascus Gate–will drive you directly through the Israeli border checkpoint (1 hour). These are not yellow taxis but are private cars because they must have Israeli license plates–completely safe.  

From Nablus:

  • To Ramallah, Bethlehem, Hebron, Jericho: you catch all services to these locations from the Central Bus Station which is located about a 5 minute walk from the city center (on Maps.Me it is located at Sharaa Adel and labeled Majmaa Basat Al Taneeb).
    •  To Ramallah (11 NIS and 1.5 hours by bus, 16 NIS and 1 hour by service), ?? to Bethlehem, to Hebron (45 NIS and 3 hours, you can only find this if you have a large enough group, otherwise take a service to Bethlehem or Ramallah and transfer to Hebron), ?? to Jericho. 
  •  To Jerusalem: you must take the bus or service to Ramallah and then transfer to Jerusalem following the instructions above on going from Ramallah to Jerusalem.