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Ben Gurion airport to Ramallah

Seattle, Washington
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Ben Gurion airport to Ramallah

I'll be visiting Ramallah for a weekend in June, with my flight arriving on a Friday morning and departing on Saturday night. I'm trying to decide if it would be best to stay at a hotel in Jerusalem, or in Ramallah. My preference would be heading directly to Ramallah since I have a very short time to visit a friend there, but I'm having trouble figuring out an efficient way to get to Ramallah. Can I catch a taxi from Ben Gurion and get all the way to Ramallah, or would I have to transfer in Jerusalem? Any idea on the approximate cost?

Thanks!

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1. Re: Ben Gurion airport to Ramallah

You would have to go from the airport to Jerusalem and then either take an Arab bus from near the Damascus Gate or a taxi from that same area to Ramallah.

On the return you would need to do the same, in reverse.

To get to Jerusalem you can take the Nesher shuttle - a shared taxi that will drop you near the Damascus Gate in Jerusalem. If you want to return with them you will need to make a reservation when you arrive for the return trip, setting a pick up time and location. The Nesher shuttle costs 62 NIS per person each way.

Jerusalem, Israel
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2. Re: Ben Gurion airport to Ramallah

Are you carrying a Qatar passport? If so, you have to apply for a tourism visa to Israel in advance.

If not, and you have a pasport that makes you eligible for a visa on arrival to Israel - since you are not intending to visit Israel (only Ramallah), you may be having a problem at immigration to get it. Also, expect to be asked about your visit in Qatar by airport security.

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3. Re: Ben Gurion airport to Ramallah

Thanks for the info. I'm an American currently working in Qatar, so I'll be traveling on an American passport but do have a Qatar work visa. I also have recent passport stamps for Lebanon and the UAE.

If I'll need to stop in Jerusalem to transfer to an Arab bus or taxi anyway, it sounds like it might be easier to stay in a hotel in Jerusalem to avoid additional airport security issues.

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4. Re: Ben Gurion airport to Ramallah

Definitely, having a reservation to a hotel in Jerusalem will make you ultimately eligible for the Israeli tourism visa. But aren't you intending on seeing some sights of Jerusalem during your stay?

Israel does not deny entrance to the country based on stamps on the passport (while it's not like that the other way around - people who just visited Israel, judging from the stamps in their passport or items they posses, may be denied entry to some Arab countries, but since Israel stopped stamping passport in the airport since last January, this had become harder to prove), however do expect a possible delay at the airport while Israeli security will ask you questions about your visits, before you would be let in.

The shuttle to Jerusalem waits at exit 02 of the arrivals hall, and will take you (and 9 other passengers) directly to your Jerusalem hotel, for 61.90 NIS. You can withdraw NIS (New Israeli Shekels, also ILS) with your credit card from the ATMs at the arrivals hall (or use a money exchange to exchange cash).

Seattle, Washington
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5. Re: Ben Gurion airport to Ramallah

Thanks, Amos R. Very good info. I'll plan to arrive on an earlier flight so I can do some sight-seeing in Jerusalem and will plan to stay in a hotel there. I'll have to come back another time when I have a longer vacation to see more of Israel, but I figure that a short trip is better than no trip!

Edited: 18 May 2013, 16:22
Madrid, Spain
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6. Re: Ben Gurion airport to Ramallah

To chime in on this you could certainly get a taxi from ben gurion to Ramallah. You just need a palestinian driver in an iSraeli plated car, i get picked up in Tel Aviv and driven to Palestine, it's fine.

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7. Re: Ben Gurion airport to Ramallah

It is my understanding that Hadar--the official airport taxi company does not go to to Palestinian Authority Areas. You would need to make advance arrangements to get the aforementioned driver. However, since the OP visited in June, the answer is slightly late!

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8. Re: Ben Gurion airport to Ramallah

OP here.... I did take this trip in June. I ended up staying at a hotel in Jerusalem (as advised) and took the shuttle from/to the airport. I asked my hotel to arrange for a taxi to Ramallah. I likely paid a bit more than finding one myself, but it was worth the convenience and assurance that the driver could enter Ramallah. I spent a day in Ramallah and headed back to Jerusalem around 7:30pm. I was not able to find a taxi in Ramallah who was able to travel to Jerusalem, so I took the bus. The bus was quite nice and the driver was very helpful. I didn't have any problems and the bus station in Jerusalem was only a few blocks from my hotel near the Damascus Gate.

I did not get questioned at all about my trip to Ramallah when flying in or out. However, for departure, I did get a bunch of questions about my other travels in the Middle East and all of my electronics and every individual item in my luggage were thoroughly scanned. Security personnel were nice about the whole process and I had allowed extra time, so it was fine.

Thanks all, for the responses to my questions!

Jerusalem, Israel
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9. Re: Ben Gurion airport to Ramallah

Did you visit some sites in Jerusalem during your stay?

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10. Re: Ben Gurion airport to Ramallah

Carrie--thanks for getting back and your apparent mature attitude towards understanding and accepting what security had to do. They were polite to you, because you were polite to them. Glad you had a good trip to this corner of the world.

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