Tel Aviv, the heart and center of Israel is a great place to be based to explore the rest of this small country. Close to Ben Gurion international airport; and with loads of access to public transportation. If you aren’t sure which major city to base yourself in, Tel Aviv is a great option as it is in the center of Israel. So should you like to go north or south, you will find that to be in Tel Aviv provides you access to all parts of Israel with not a large traveling distance to cover. Day trips in Tel Aviv by train has never been easier thanks to Israel’s immense rail road.
Train Stations in Tel Aviv:
There are four main train stations in Tel Aviv where you can catch trains to just about anywhere. Easily accessible by walking, taxi or buses, you are guaranteed to have a train station near your hotel or Airbnb making day trips from Tel Aviv by train that much easier. Modern, clean and efficient, trains are the most popular mode of transportation as they drastically cut out traffic time which is notorious in Israel. At peak travel times, you will find the train to be a lot fuller than normal and you may have difficulty finding a seat. Unlike other train companies, you cannot reserve a seat here on the Israel Rail. But if you were to travel an hour before or after peak times, you will find the train to be a lot quieter and roomier for you and your family. From 8-9 am, the trains will be busy with people coming in and out of the city for work, as well as 6-7 pm. (Also as a side note, should you be traveling by car, these hours are best to be avoided as there are major traffic jams leaving and entering Tel Aviv.) With cross country trains running pretty regularly, check out Israel Rail’s website just to ensure trains are running as normal.
If you are planning day trips from Tel Aviv by train, ensure it won't be on Friday or Saturday, as all modes of public transportation stop in Israel by Friday afternoon and does not commence till Saturday evening. This includes buses, light rails and trains. Should you find yourself in Israel over the weekend, your best bet for inter-city travel would be by taxi, but on a positive note, you are guaranteed to not be incurred with the usual traffic.
There are four major train stations in Tel Aviv, Tel Aviv Hagana, Tel Aviv Hashalom, Savidor Center, and Tel Aviv University. All these train stations have self-automated machines (with an option for English) to buy train tickets. You can find trains that will take you to Ben Gurion, Jerusalem, Herziliya, Netanya, Haifa and everywhere in between. If you are planning on going on a day trip from Tel Aviv, check to see if you can take a train as it is the easiest and most affordable mode of transport. The trains to Ben Gurion and Jerusalem have just started running 24/6 so if you have a late night flight to catch, you can take a 20 minute train ride from Tel Aviv to the airport. If you have a day to spend in Tel Aviv, check out how to make the most of it here.
Where to Go by Train
Since the trains are such a pleasure to ride, it's a great way to see Israel’s countryside whilst speeding by, so even if there is no destination in mind, grab a train and see where it takes you. Day trips from Tel Aviv by train are a great way to explore so here are some places to visit by train.
The famed city of Jerusalem is a must see on everyone’s itinerary, so what better way to visit Jerusalem than by a 45 minute train ride? The train ends in Jerusalem Central Station, and from there you can catch a light rail that will take you directly to the Old City of Jerusalem, to see the Western Wall, Temple Mount and Mt of Olives. After a long day of exploration, instead of sitting in two hour traffic jams, take a train that comes every 30 minutes back to Tel Aviv to unwind from a great day of touring.
Haifa is a port city that can be found north of Tel Aviv, usually a two hour drive without traffic, with the train it has become highly accessible for the tourism industry. Especially if you're doing your trip independently. There are a few train stations in Haifa, and you can catch the city light rail to see the famed and beautiful Baha’i Gardens overlooking the beautiful coastline. Don't forget to check out the German Colony there to see culture and life in Haifa. You can purchase day tickets before your travels and that would cover the cost of your train ride, as well as buses, light rails and return trip, which is more cost effective than buying individual tickets.
Ako / Acre
The oldest city in Israel, Acre is on everyone's bucket list to get a deep dive into the history of Israel. This multicultural melting pot is a port city, and hangs over the Mediterranean Ocean. St John’s Church is a must see, known for its beautiful architecture with a deep history. Another great place to visit is Templars Tunnel as well as to walk along the Fortifications - the wall surrounding the ancient city to see the beautiful views and get a unique glimpse at this beautiful city. As a day trip from Tel Aviv by train, Acre is extremely accessible, and trains from Tel Aviv will take you directly to the train station in Acre.
There are endless cities to discover from Tel Aviv by train. If you find yourself free for the day, jump on a train and see where it takes you for a unique view on Israel’s countryside and lesser known cities. Happy traveling!