Travel from Israel to Jordan by bus

The World’s Longest Bus Ride

As a traveler with an American passport, you should have no problem traveling from Jordan to Israel by land, right? Although Israel officially maintains a peace treaty with Jordan, other obstacles exist which make traveling from Jordan to Israel overland a difficult experience, one I recommend only if you have no other option. Allow me explain why I feel this way, courtesy of a travel blog post.

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Jordan to Israel Bus

At face value, traveling from Jordan to Israel by bus is an easy enough task to complete. Or at least it once was.

Up until a few years ago, a company called Trust Bus ran daily departures from Amman to Tel Aviv, which traveled via the northern Jordan-Israel border crossing. Costing 35 Jordanian dinars one-way, the nonstop bus from Jordan to Israel left at 8 am and arrived in time for a lunch. A long journey, considering that the distance between Amman and Tel Aviv is only 40-something miles as the crow flies, but doable.

Unfortunately, Trust Bus is no more, and neither is the nonstop bus from Jordan to Israel.

 

An Alternative Jordan-Israel Overland Route

Taking the “nonstop” Trust bus from Amman to Tel Aviv was a nightmare for me. I got detained at the border crossing, on account of having a stamp from Lebanon in my passport, and ended up having to take a slow and piecemeal route to Israel, which saw me arrive at the Mediterranean so frustrated and cynical I returned to Jordan as soon as I could. I’m not exaggerating when I say that Israeli security forces treated me like a terrorist everywhere I went!

Of course, my subsequent trips to Israel (I’ve taken four in total) have all been much less eventful from that perspective, but I feel the need to mention them before recommending that you make the stressful overland journey from Jordan to Israel. There are a few ways to do this, but the way I went was to take a sherut share bus from the Israeli frontier town of Beit She’an to Afula, then board a second sherut bound for Tel Aviv. Had I not attempted to take the Jordan-Israel Trust Bus, I’d have had to take a taxi from Amman to the northern border crossing, which is near the city of Irbid.

The Easiest Way from Amman to Tel Aviv

Of course, no one wants to spend all day traveling less than 100 miles. To be sure, if you’ve got more money than time, you could consider flying from Amman to Tel Aviv. The most beautiful place between the two cities is the Dead Sea anyway, and it’s easy enough to see that from both sides. With this being said, you’ll need a lot more money than time: Nonstop flights from Jordan to Israel are expensive, with a cost of between $300-400 for the 45-minute gate-to-gate journey.

 

I’m In, Now What?

No matter how you traveled from Jordan to Israel you made it, and I’m proud of you! Provided you don’t encounter the same bad luck I describe having experienced above, there’s a lot to see and do here. I’ve created a sample two-week Israel itinerary, but whether you have longer or shorter than that here, you can use it as the building blocks of your own trip.

The Israeli Passport Stamp

Another fact that made my Jordan-Israel border crossing so miserable was the fact that the border guard not only interrogated me for my Lebanon passport stamp, but chose to put an Israel stamp inside my passport, even though I asked her not to. Thankfully, Israel hasn’t regularly stamped passports since 2013, so you won’t have any probably traveling to Arab countries (or Iran!) after having gone to Israel in the future, unless you’re extremely unlucky.

 

The Bottom Line

While it’s no longer practical to travel to Jordan from Israel by bus, it is still possible to make an overland journey between Amman and Tel Aviv. On the other hand, while flying from Amman to Tel Aviv is expensive, it saves you a great deal of time, since the distance between the cities is less than 100 miles as the crow flies. To travel between Jordan and Israel, you’ll either need to sacrifice money or time, so consider the one you have more of when you make your decision.

 

Leave Your Daily Hell   Filed under: Israel

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is the author of 840 posts on Leave Your Daily Hell. Robert founded Leave Your Daily Hell in 2010 so that other travelers would have an entertaining, reliable source of information, advice and inspiration at their fingertips. Want to travel more often? Subscribe to email updates today!

 

informs, inspires, entertains and empowers travelers like you. My name is Robert and I'm happy you're here!

 
 
 

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{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

Deb April 6, 2012 at 4:29 am

Interesting post. I flew into Tel Aviv and found the security harder to get through when leaving. Funny you had to ask to go to the toilet.

Robert Schrader April 6, 2012 at 6:28 am

I’m glad that I left by land then after all! My experience at Ben Gurion Airport actually wasn’t awful (i write about it in another post) but the Jordan border, holy crap

Sabina April 10, 2012 at 11:12 am

Hi Robert,

This may sound so amazing as to be untrue, but please believe me, I tell the truth. I have traveled to Bahrain, Qatar and Jordan one time each, Oman twice, lived in the UAE for three months (during which I had to do two visa runs resulting in multiple UAE visas) and lived in Egypt for four months and have managed to accumulate numerous stamps from them. I’ve entered Israel five times with Arab country stamps in my passport with very, very little and sometimes no delay whatsoever at the airport and various border crossings. I am currently living in Israel for a few months and lived here last year for seven months. The longest I’ve been detained was in 2009 when I was departing Israel through Ben Gurion Airport (when the only Arab nation stamps I had in my passport were Oman and Egypt) for about two hours, and I believe what provoked my extra screening was that I was carrying several gifts with me which my Palestinian friends had given me. I don’t even think I told the airport security that it was Palestinians who had given me the gifts, rather it seemed that the presence of the gifts no matter what the source was a concern to them.

I think because I have spent so much time in Israel I have probably been investigated to some extent at some point, without my knowledge and that’s fine with me. If they did investigate me, they have surely learned that I love and support Israel, so perhaps they recognize I’m not a threat and that is why they don’t detain me for more than 15 minutes or so when I’m entering the country. Perhaps also it’s because I’m female or over 40 and they figure there’s not much of a chance I’m going to do any harm.

Did you travel to Syria or Lebanon before you entered Israel? Maybe that was part of the issue. If not, perhaps it was your age and/or gender. You never know. I’m very happy to hear that you gave Israel another try despite your first bad experience and that you’ve come out of it loving this country and its people. Keep on writing, please. 🙂

I

Robert Schrader April 10, 2012 at 12:09 pm

I’m glad to hear that you didn’t experience the same sort of scrutiny for stamps alone. Indeed, I’d been to Lebanon just a week before attempting to enter Israel the first time, which is probably the reason for the scrutiny. Still, it was not a very warm welcome — and I think I’m pretty obviously not a terrorist!

Interesting story about the gifts, however. I’ve only entered Ben Gurion, not left it. I heard leaving is much harder!

Hindi News June 26, 2012 at 2:47 am

Royal Jordanian, the national airline, flies direct between Amman and numerous destinations throughout the Middle East, Europe and the world. It goes to Chicago, Montreal, New York and Toronto to the west and to Calcutta, Delhi, Colombo, Bangkok, Kuala Lumpur, Singapore and Jakarta to the east.

jlabramoff December 3, 2013 at 9:08 am

Hello. While I do not doubt the accuracy of your account, I think you should point out that you did not have to apply for a visa beforehand, as some countries do, even countries with which the US has friendly diplomatic relations (for example, Russia and India). Therefore, because you wanted a visa on the spot, the authorities had to perform whatever background check they needed while you waited. You had recently visited a country that
refuses to recognize the independence of, negotiate with, and actively supports military and in some cases, terrorist, activity against Israel. That background check was entirely legitimate, and even efficient. Try that in other countries in similar situations and see whether they grant you a visa on the same day. You don’t know whether you would have had to wait a similar length of time if you had decided to enter Israel by air; my guess is that you would have had to wait at least a few hours, because of your recent travel.

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