Ben Gurion International Airport (TLV) is situated nine miles (15km) from the vibrant and cosmopolitan city of Tel Aviv. It is Israel's busiest airport and the perfect gateway to exploring the ancient history of the region or relaxing on Tel Aviv's fantastic beaches. Passengers might have heard about the heavy security presence at Ben Gurion, and should expect to go through as many as five different security checkpoints before reaching the check-in counter. Stay calm and maintain eye contact with the officials, and these should all go smoothly. It is worth noting that frequent travellers may pay a high price for having an Israeli stamp in their passports. Most countries in the Gulf Region will not allow entry to passengers with Israeli stamps in their passports. The good news is that Israeli immigration officials are friendly and generally will be happy to stamp a piece of paper affixed to your passport rather than stamping your passport itself.
The airport is situated nine miles (14km) southeast of Tel Aviv, and 30 miles (50km) west of Jerusalem.
Getting to the city
Trains are the best option for getting into Tel Aviv; they're clean, fast and cheap. Trains run from Level S of Terminal 3 to Tel Aviv Savidor Station. Tickets cost ILS 16 and the trip into town takes 20 minutes. Passengers arriving after midnight will have to wait until 3am for the first train of the day. Buses run from the nearby Airport City rather than the airport itself. Passengers can take the free Egged 5 Shuttle from the second floor of arrivals to Airport City.
GMT +1 (GMT +2 from the end of March to the end of October)
Tel: +972 (0)3 975 5555.
Avis, Budget, Hertz Sixt, Economy, Car Trawler and Eldan have facilities at the airport.
Taxis usually wait outside the arrivals hall. Taxi fare for the nine mile (15km) trip into town costs about ILS 100. There is an added surcharge at night and on Jewish holidays and the Sabbath.
Transfer between terminals
A free shuttle service operates between the three terminals at 15-minute intervals.
Money and communications: currency exchange, ATMs, banks, public telephones and a post office.
Luggage: Luggage carts are free of charge. The Lost and Found desk and luggage storage are located on the ground level of the short-term (western) parking lot.
Conference and business: Business facilities, including internet access and fax machines, are available in the airline lounges, particularly the Arbel lounge, the two Dan lounges, the El Al King David lounge and the Metsada lounge. The airport does not have conference facilities, but a number of hotels in Tel Aviv (such as the Carlton and the Intercontinental) offer great conference services.
Information: Information desks are located in the departures area and in the airport's central arrivals hall. There are also a number of computerised information machines. The tourist information office is in the arrivals hall - just look for the desk with loads of brochures and pictures of beaches, the Dead Sea and Jerusalem. Staff speak Hebrew and English and the tourist centre is open 24 hours a day.
Wifi: Free wifi is available in Terminal 3. Simply open your browser and surf away.
Shopping: The main shopping area at Ben Gurion International Airport, located on the same level as passport control in departures, is aptly named Buy & Bye. There is everything from small change items (books and holiday souvenirs) to big spender boutiques with items such as Dead Sea mud cosmetic products, electronics, fashion and alcohol.
Food and Drink: Passengers travelling to and from Ben Gurion International Airport are spoilt for choice when it comes to dining options. Passengers rushing to catch a flight can grab a quick coffee from one of the numerous coffee shops in the terminal. Fast food joints such as Mc Donald's and Pizza Hut have also made their mark, or for those wanting some kosher cuisine there are a number of places that stock typical Israeli salads, falafel, pita, humus and much, much more.
Other facilities: The Ben Gurion Airport has two synagogues, medical clinics, a police station, a VAT refund desk, special needs assistance services, a playroom and a mother and child room.
The area directly in front of the terminals is reserved for pick-up and drop-offs only. Short-term parking is available in the parking lot in front of Terminal 3 as well as parking lot number one. Rates for short-stay parking start at ILS 18 for the first hour, and go up by ILS 4 every fifteen minutes thereafter. The maximum daily rate is ILS 90. Long-term parking is available opposite Terminal 3. A shuttle bus runs from this parking lot to the terminal at 15-minute intervals. Long-stay rates are ILS 40 per day in the open area and ILS 70 per day in the roofed area.
The ILS 50 departure tax for leaving Israel is included in ticket prices.
European and North American passengers are spoilt for choice when it comes to finding cheap flights to Ben Gurion International Airport. Airlines flying to Tel Aviv include Air France, Air Canada, British Airways, Delta, easyJet, El Al, Iberia and Sun d'Or. Seasonal charters fly to Ben Gurion from Greece, Scandinavia, Germany, London and many other European cities.
Free wifi is available in all terminals of Ben Gurion Airport.
Business facilities, including internet access and fax machines, are available in the airline lounges. The best of these include the Arbel Lounge, the two Dan Lounges, the El Al King David Lounge and the Metsada lounge. The airport does not have conference facilities, but a number of hotels in Tel Aviv (such as the Carlton and the Intercontinental) offer great conference services with full catering facilities.
Ben-Gurion Airport Taxis: the taxi fares above are intended as a guideline only.