|<map lat='32.05' lng='34.8' zoom='11' view='2' country='Israel'/>|
|District (mahoz):||Tel Aviv District|
|Population:||Metropolitan Area: 3,150,800 (2007)|
|Major roads:||1, 2, 4, 5, 20|
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Tel Aviv is Israel's economy and trade center, and serves as the center of the vast metropolitan area which is built all over central Israel. It is also where most of the foreign embassies are located, since the status of Jerusalem is disputed.
There is almost no good hitchhike spot in Tel Aviv itself, and your best bet is always to take the bus to the suburbs and try there, which is a pain on Shabbath, since there the public transport is very limited and more expensive.
To Haifa and the North
Hitchhiking to Haifa and the North is not that bad at all. There are two good places to start, both accessible by buses leaving from the central bus station, or from the Arlozerov Terminal (Namir street).
To the Cinema City complex take bus number 501/601/90 (8.7 NIS). This is on the main road, 5 min out of Tel Aviv, and located half a kilometer north of the Gilot junction, where traffic from Jerusalem joins in with Tel Aviv traffic towards the north. Here there is a bus stop, but traffic on the main road is moving too fast to easily stop a car. Try instead hitchhiking a lift with one of the cars leaving the petrol station or shopping mall. Many drivers are only going to the first city on the main road, Herzaliya, but you can eventually get a lift that will take you beyond.
You can also take a bus to the intersection where the main road turns off towards Yakum, 20 min out of Tel Aviv, after Herzalyia.. To get to this Yakum junction take bus 601 (13.5NIS). From here you can hitchhike from near the bus stop, which is a bit off the main road and so you'll be waiting for cars coming from Yakum or the petrol station here.
Another good spot to hitch from Tel Aviv to the North is from right next to the Azrieli shopping mall (HaShalom train station). You'll need to cross the big bridge from Azrieli east (towards Givataim, on HaShalom/Givat HaTahmoshet street), past the train station, and right there turn left to the small ramp leading to Ayalon North. See exact location here. Notice that if you're going far north, that most of the traffic here is local, so it's best not to take a ride if doesn't take you at least as far as Netanya - otherwise you'll end up in another bad hitching spot in the Tel Aviv area.
To Haifa a direct ride is best, as sometime drivers get off the highway where there is no good hitchhiking spot. However, ask the driver and he may know a petrol station on the main road where he can drop you off. To Afula and Tiberias you will need to get a ride which turns right in Ceaseria Junction to Road 65 - If the driver continues till Haifa then you will not be able to get off in that junction.
To Beer Sheva, the Negev, Eilat, Egypt and Aqaba (Jordan)
One possible spot for this is from the Central ("Merkaz"/"Savidor"/"Tzafon") train station, AKA Arlozorov Bus Terminal, there is a small ramp leading to Ayalon Highway South-bound. Most of the traffic is local, and traffic goes from here in 3 main direction: Ayalon South, Road 4 (Ashdod, South) and Road 1 to Jerusalem direction. On that ramp there is a little used bus stop, and a place for cars to brake. They often do, even if it seems improbable at first. See exact location here.
Another spot is Holtz junction, ten minutres walk from the central bus station - Go to the end of Levinsky street, where the bus station is, and turn south before the bridge over the highway, until you get to a street called Kibbutz Galuyot. Then go left under the bridge. There is a bus stop there that is a good spot for rides south and east in the direction of Jerusalem - if the driver is going all the way to the Jerusalem area, ask them to drop you off at Latroun interchange - under the interchange bridge is a possible (not very good) spot, or walk a little bit south along highway 3 (about 5 minutes), past the monastery, there is a bus station that is a much better spot.
On-ramps to Road 20 (the Ayalon) that are north of LaGuardia (Halacha, Arozolov and HaShalom) are all safe and commonly used for hitchhiking. Standing with a sign is very helpful - "south" (דרום) would be the best sign to hold. Be aware of drivers using Road 6 may be exiting in an area where it is difficult to get a ride. Kiryat Gat is the only Road 6 exit with regular on/off traffic. It is not recommended to take a ride to Ashdod, as there is nowhere safe to drop riders who are heading south because the intersection is now an interchange that continues far away from the road south. Another destination to be aware of is Ashkelon or Sderot (Road 4) - you may wait a long time for a ride out and there are often hitching queues on Friday afternoon/evening.
However, if 14.5NIS (3 Euro) is only a small part of your daily budget and you're not addicted to hitchhiking there is not really a good reason to go hitchhike - as the bus from Tel Aviv to Beer Sheva is pretty cheap, and from there you can continue south by thumb easily. Other two options for the adventurous from Tel Aviv:
- The La Guardia on ramp south. Basically, anyone going South will take you to a better spot. It's not very safe though.
- Take bus 475 from Tel Aviv central bus station, and ask the driver for a ticket till "El-Al junction" (11.7 NIS). The bus will pass the "Airport offices", and the next station is where you should get off. From the bus station you just descended to, it is possible to hitchhike south towards Beer Sheva. You go south on Road 40#, don't take a ride which diverts from this road, and you will get to Beer Sheva. (The last few kms are considered road 406, so don't worry about it).
If you are heading southern towards the Negev, Eilat or Egypt, then it's recommended to take a bus till "Goral Junction", 10 km north of Beer Sheva. Take any bus to Beer Sheva, like line 370 from Arlozerov terminal, and ask the driver to go off in that junction. From there continue your journey on Road 40, and again do not divert from this road. If you don't find there any long-haul rides, ask the drivers to take you do "Hativat Ha-Negev" Junction, from which any ride south will be helpful. Road 40 continues approx. 200 km south, till you reach "Ketura" junction, where you change to road 90 that goes all the way south to Eilat, the Jordanian border crossing at Aqaba, and the Egyptian border crossing at Taba.
Several options, none of them are great because those spots are before the Road 1 and Road 4 split, and much of the traffic are local commuters. It is not uncommon for people to stand with signs indicating where they want to go on the on-ramps to Road 20 (the Ayalon) that are north of LaGuardia (Halacha, Arozolov and HaShalom) or just standing and asking. From here, it's recommended to take only rides that can bring you the whole way, as few people stop along Road 1 you may get stranded, with the exception of a ride to Ben Shemen on the weekend.
- guaka has had okay results with taking a local bus (Kavim 168 and some others) to the Tsomet Aluf Zede junction in Ramat Gan.
- The La Guardia on-ramp is not very safe, not a lot of space for traffic to stop, but it's walkable from the center and of course, people do stop. guaka used it twice and it didn't take longer than 10 minutes.
- The above mentioned Arlozerov bus stop might work, although traffic is heading in many different directions.
If someone offers you a ride to Ben Gurion airport you can take it. At Terminal 3, make sure to have a sign in English with Jerusalem and hitch at the taxi stand (where people are getting in and out of normal cars as well). Terminal 1 is better since you can simply take Route 40, just make sure to walk to the trempiyada.
Modi'in is a new city in between Jerusalem and Tel Aviv, and if someone offers a ride there you should definitely take it (stay on 443 though).
Take bus 127 to the second but last stop, walk on to highway 5, enjoy hitching in on-ramp since there won't be highway policemen. Be aware that Palestinians are sharing taxi, sometimes you have to pay for the ride.