Home » Buying a Bus Ticket in Israel

Buying a Bus Ticket in Israel

by backpackisrael
Published: Updated: 13 minutes read
Credit: Grauesel CC BY-SA 3.0 from Wikimedia Commons

One of the most budget-friendly ways to travel in Israel is to take the bus. On most buses, you can simply pay when boarding the bus. But if you’re traveling to or from Eilat, you’ll need to pre-order your ticket. Here is how to buy a bus ticket in Israel.

Head pic credit: Grauesel CC BY-SA 3.0 from Wikimedia Commons

Before you read on, just make sure you know that there’s no public transportation during Shabbat and some holidays in Israel. Want to learn more? Read – There’s No Public Transportation on Shabbat 

How to pay for a bus ticket in Israel?

Since 2018, you cannot buy bus tickets directly from the bus driver. You will need to get a Rav-Kav and load it with enough money for the ride. Since 2021, it is also possible to pay using a payment app like Hop-On (Rav-Pass) or Moovit. I have used Hop-On, and I am very happy with it.

How to buy a ticket to Eilat?

So, for most buses in Israel, you don’t have to buy a bus ticket in advance. There is an exception, and it’s the Egged bus driving to and from Eilat. That bus has reserved seats, so if you don’t purchase a ticket before getting on the bus (you can do so starting from 14 days prior to your travel date), you might arrive and find out that there’s no empty seat for you. Then, the driver might let you stand the whole way to your destination or refuse to let you board the bus. In that case, you will have to wait for the next bus.

To purchase your ticket beforehand, you have three options:

1- Go to the bus station at least a day (and up to a week) before your ride and order a ticket from the ticket booth. You can also come on the same day and try your luck. There might be an empty seat, but might not.

2- Dial +972-3-6948888 and reserve your seat through customer service.

3- Reserve your place online, through the Hebrew ordering system.

When you reserve your tickets, you will receive the tickets to your email or phone.

Buses driving to/from Eilat

So which buses are those with reserved seats? Here’s a list:

To/ from Jerusalem (spelled ירושלים in Hebrew) – line 444 (stopping at Masada and the Dead Sea), 445.

To/ from Tel Aviv (spelled תל אביב in Hebrew) – line 394 (stopping at Be’er Sheva), line 390, and line 393 (stopping at Be’er Sheva).

To/ from Be’er Sheba (spelled באר שבע in Hebrew) – line 394 (final stop Tel Aviv if coming from Eilat), line 392, and line 397.

To/ from Haifa (spelled חיפה in Hebrew) – line 991.

Booking a bus ticket through the online reservation system

Here’s a video guide to buying a ticket to/ from Eilat, and below you can also find the explanation written down (if you prefer the written word). 

1 – Enter the Egged website

2- Click “Tickets” on the navigation menu.

The front page of Egged

3- Click “Tickets to Eilat”.

Click on Tickets to Eilat

4- Dial customer service at +972-3-6948888 or purchase your ticket online by clicking “Book now (Hebrew)”.

Click on "Book Online"

5- A new window will pop up, directing you to the reservations system of Egged in Hebrew. 

Click on “הזמנת כרטיסים”, which means “Order tickets.” On this screen you can also choose “Change order” or “cancel existing order.”

Click on "New Order"

6 – The “Ticket type, departure, and destination” screen will appear. You can see the meaning of everything on this screen in the image below.

First, choose if you would like a one-way ticket or a two-way ticket (with a return ticket). Then, choose your departure point and destination. When you click on the “Choose city/ town” line, a list of destinations will appear. 

Here are some popular cities/towns you might want to choose:

אילת = Eilat

מצדה = Masada

ירושלים = Jerusalem

נמל תעופה רמון = Ramon Airport

ע. בוקק = Ein Bokek (the Dead Sea Hotels area)

תל אביב = Tel Aviv

After you choose your departure point and destination, another line will open up below each of them, and you will need to pick the exact departure point and destination point.  I can’t go over all the exact points with you, but in general, if you want to get from a central station to a central station, you should look for a point that starts with “ת. מרכזית” which means “Central Station.” 

Then, click “המשך” (“Continue”) to move to the next screen.

"Ticket type" screen on Egged site

7 – The next screen is the “Passengers” screen. You need to pick the type and number of passengers. The default type of passenger is “regular passenger” (נוסע רגיל). If you want to add another type of passenger, you need to click on the green “Add passenger type,” but if you’re coming from abroad, “regular passenger” should usually be fine.

After you’ve chosen the number of passengers, click on “Continue” to move to the next screen.

"Passenger type" screen

8 – The next screen is the “Time and Line” screen. Here, you need to choose the date of departure and the time of departure.

When you click on “Choose a date” (בחירת תאריך), a calendar will open, and you can choose a date. 

Once you choose a date, the option to choose a departure time will open. Click on “Pick departure time” (בחירת שעת עליה), and you will see a list of lines and departure times, which you can choose from based on your departure date. In yellow, you see the departure time and in grey, you see the expected time of arrival to the destination. 

Click on “continue” to move to the next screen.

"Time and line" screen

9 – The next screen will show you a summary of your order, including the departure date and time, the bus line, the number of passengers, and the departure point and destination. You will also see the price (on the left-hand side of the green bar).

If all the details are correct, you can fill in your details: first name, last name, mobile number, and email address. You can fill in your name in English. When filling in the mobile number, you can only put in numbers. 

Then, you need to choose your payment method. It’s possible to pay by credit card, Rav Kav (the Israeli public transport card), or one of the public transportation payment apps (Moovit or Rav-Pass). If you plan to use public transportation throughout your trip in Israel, I recommend choosing the payment app option. Then, you will pay with one of the apps once you board the bus.  Read more about using public transport in Israel.

At the end, click on “Order” (בצע הזמנה).

Payment screen in Egged website

10 – After completing the order, you will get a verification code to your phone (there is also an option to get it to your email). After verifying, you will receive the bus tickets in your email. It will include the reservation number and a green button that says “לכרטיס הנסיעה שיש להציג לנהג,” which means “The tickets you need to show the driver.” Click on this button, and you will see the tickets that you need to show the driver when you board the bus. If you won’t have an internet connection while in Israel, it’s best to take a screenshot of the tickets before you go.

Still having trouble with buying your ticket? I’ll be happy to help you. Send a message to my Facebook Page: Backpack Israel.

Conclusion

In general, there’s no need to book a bus ticket in advance in Israel. You only need a charged Rav Kav or payment application. But, if you need a bus ticket to Eilat, you should book it in advance through the various ways I showed in this post. Hope this post cleared the ways you can buy a bus ticket in Israel!

If you liked this post or found it useful, please don’t hesitate to like, share or comment (:

If you need any more advice, please don’t hesitate to send me a message on my Facebook page or to contact me at [email protected].

If you’re searching for a tour guide in Israel, I also offer private tours in Israel.

You can also support my work by buying me a coffee on Ko-Fi.  Your support helps me maintain the site and keep creating content about Israel. It’s greatly appreciated!

Yours,

Lior

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38 comments

There’s No Public Transportation on Shabbat – Backpack Israel August 9, 2018 - 3:22 am

[…] site to see if, maybe, the line you want leaves before Shabbat ends or arrives after it begins. Use my guide to buying bus tickets to Eilat online. You can also connect to the Facebook group – “Lifts for Eilati People“. […]

Reply
Israel: All You Need to Know Before you Go – Backpack Israel August 25, 2018 - 5:04 pm

[…] Buses – The line between Tel Aviv and Jerusalem costs 16 ILS, the line between Jerusalem and Haifa costs 37.5 ILS, the line between Tel Aviv and Haifa costs 21.5 ILS, the line between Jerusalem and Eilat costs 70 ILS. You can check prices through the Egged site. Also, read my guide to buying a bus ticket to and from Eilat. […]

Reply
data entry jobs from home no fees start today January 13, 2019 - 9:29 am

I read this piece of writing completely concerning the comparison of most recent and previous technologies, it’s amazing article.

Reply
Emese January 20, 2019 - 8:46 am

Useful article and very helpful. Afer booking online my ticket will i get the reservation code by hebrew numbers or by latin numbers as well. Thank you

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backpackisrael January 20, 2019 - 9:01 am

Happy to hear it is helpful! You will get a reservation code with regular numbers, like 123456789.

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Marki007 February 8, 2019 - 4:17 pm

It was the most difficult and funniest online booking in my life ? Thank you very much for your helpful blog!

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backpackisrael February 8, 2019 - 4:49 pm

Happy to help 🙂

Reply
Canadien Hongroise February 18, 2019 - 5:15 pm

Good article! I have a question in 2019 🙂
I would like to go to Ein Bokek from Jerusalem in 2019 march. It will be a one day trip. Can I buy a ticket on board from the Bus driver, or..?

Many thanks!!

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backpackisrael February 18, 2019 - 8:14 pm

Buy the ticket in Jerusalem from the Central Bus Station ticket stalls. Then, when coming back from Ein Bokek to Jerusalem, you can buy from the driver (you can book the back ticket from the central station). Just keep in mind that you might not have room on the bus..

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lacka980 February 18, 2019 - 8:24 pm

Thank you very much!

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hebs May 1, 2019 - 6:54 am

We (3) are planning to travel Friday 3rd March by bus from Tel-aiv to Dead sea and cover Jersusalem in return? Which mode is better to book tickets – online/bus station / customer service?

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backpackisrael May 1, 2019 - 8:27 am

I would recommend buying the tickets at the bus station/ on the bus. This kind of ride does not require pre booking online

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backpackisrael May 1, 2019 - 8:29 am

Though you should take into account that on Friday transportation stops around 4pm. So you need to make sure you get back on time, otherwise you will be stuck in the Dead Sea

Reply
lacka980 June 19, 2019 - 12:50 pm

Hi backpackisrael! 🙂

I have been in Israel in March, it was fantastic experience. So, I would like to go again in Sept – Oct. 2019.
Can I travelling from Jerusalem to Dead Sea and back to Jerusalem during Rosh Hashanah with Egged Bus Company october 1. 2019 on Tuesday?

Reply
backpackisrael June 19, 2019 - 2:09 pm

Hi there! 🙂 Unfortunately during Rosh Hashana there is no public transportation, so you cannot travel with Egged to the Dead Sea and back. You can rent a car or join one of the tours that goes to the Dead Sea

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Ted November 12, 2019 - 12:01 am

Thank you very much for this article. It is very helpful since Egged is only bookable in Hebrew.

Reply
backpackisrael November 12, 2019 - 4:45 am

Thanks for the comment! Was happy to help

Reply
Pavel November 27, 2019 - 3:34 pm

Hi, we would like to travel from Eilat to Tel Aviv on saturday. Everywhere is noticed that due to Sabbath no bus go anywhere, but on reservation system of egged there is possibility to buy a ticket for that day. Is it right? Thank you Pavel.

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backpackisrael November 27, 2019 - 3:46 pm

Hi Pavel, yes, there are limited number of buses on Saturday from Eilat. Because Eilat is far away from the rest of the cities of Israel, it gets a few buses during Saturday

Reply
Pavel November 27, 2019 - 4:02 pm

OK… thanks for helpfull informations!

Reply
Pavel November 27, 2019 - 7:48 pm

I am trying to buy a ticket but when I confirm payment, that it announces me an error: Object reference not set to an instance of an object.
Do you know where the problem is? Thanks. Pavel

Reply
backpackisrael November 28, 2019 - 6:25 am

Can you please send me an email with a screenshot of the details you filled in to [email protected] so I can try to understand the problem?

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Pavel November 28, 2019 - 7:54 am

Thank you, I have already finished it, but a confirmation via email did not come. I wrote the number done so I hope it will be work.

Reply
backpackisrael November 29, 2019 - 1:52 pm

Yes, the number should work. I need to change the post and say they have stopped sending emails

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Irene July 13, 2022 - 7:01 pm

I followed your instructions and was able to get to the payment page. I am traveling in November, so I think I will be able to order tickets online then. Thank you for your post. It’s so helpful. I wish there is a similar how-to for the Akira airlines site.

Reply
backpackisrael July 13, 2022 - 7:41 pm

I’m happy to hear it was helpful. Do you mean the Arkia website? It’s not in English?

Reply
Irene July 13, 2022 - 9:42 pm

Yes, the Arkia website. It’s in Hebrew only and the google translate didn’t work. I got an error message every time.

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backpackisrael July 16, 2022 - 11:10 am

If you still need help with the Arkia website, email me about it and I’ll try to help you translate whatever you need.

Reply
Irene July 15, 2022 - 1:22 am

I just want to provide an update that I was able to get to step 6 – select the schedule from the time table. I kept getting an error message – תקלה , נסה שנית מאוחר יותר. I went back to switch the language to Hebrew and hit continue then it went through and gave me the payment page.

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Geral February 6, 2023 - 10:06 pm

I want to go from Eilat to Dead Sea, then to Masada and then to Jerusalem. For Dead Sea I select מלונות ים המלח (Dead Sea Hotels) in destination and can buy tickets. But if select ‘From’ Dead Sea Hotels – in ‘To’ dropdown where are no Masada for selection. Event if I select ‘To’ Jerusalem – all date are disabled. Can you confirm that it is impossible to buy tickets from Dead Sea to Masada or Jerusalem? Thank you.

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backpackisrael February 6, 2023 - 10:54 pm

Hi, yes, it is impossible to reserve tickets for 444 from the Dead Sea Hotels to Masada or to Jerusalem because the line is meant mainly for people traveling from Jerusalem to Eilat and vice versa. You can take bus number 486 from the Dead Sea hotels area to Masada or Jerusalem without pre reservation.

Reply
Geral February 7, 2023 - 2:35 pm

Thank you!

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Jason March 2, 2023 - 9:12 am

Great article! Very helpful. I have successfully ordered a Bus 390 ticket from Tel Aviv to Eilat by using your article. Thanks!

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backpackisrael March 3, 2023 - 9:28 am

I’m happy to hear it was helpful. Thanks for your comment!

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Vince March 18, 2023 - 5:54 pm

Thank you!!! Very helpful!

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Martina April 1, 2023 - 12:14 am

Super super helpful! I bought two tickets from Eilat to Jerusalem from the Hebrew site. Thank you so much, I would have been so lost without your help 🙂

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Martina April 1, 2023 - 12:17 am

As an update, the website didn’t allow me to type my name on the credit card details page. I pressed ‘Send’ and payment went though successfully anyway.
Thanks again Lior!

Reply
backpackisrael April 5, 2023 - 5:32 pm

Thanks for the update. Happy to hear it was useful!

Reply

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