Israel Border Crossing, the Outs and Ins

We get a lot of questions about Israel border crossing. It’s very common to combine Israel and Jordan as travel destinations and somewhat common to combine Israel and Egypt.

Israel shares land borders with four countries, Lebanon, Syria, Jordan and Egypt, but the only border crossings are with Jordan and Egypt.

The Egyptian border crossing is from Eilat, Israel to Taba, Egypt on the Sinai Peninsula. It’s the easiest border to cross, but we don’t recommend traveling in the Sinai right now; it’s not safe.

From here on out we will move first in an easterly direction, from Israel to Jordan, then back again. Any mention of visa requirements refers to Americans. Also, visa costs and procedures can and do change abruptly. We’ll strive to keep this post updated but, if you’re planning a cross-border trip, please contact us directly for the most current border information.

Crossing into Jordan, there are three options.

Yitzhak Rabin/Arava Border in the south is about 3km north of Eilat. We use it mainly for travelers doing a day trip from Israel to Petra but logistically it’s the most convenient border to Eilat and the southern Negev in Israel and Aqaba, Petra and Wadi Rum in Jordan.

 Hours of Operation

Israel-Jordan

Jordan-Israel

Sunday-Thursday

7am-8pm

7am-8pm

Friday-Saturday

8am-8pm

8am-8pm

The procedure is thus:

From Israel to Jordan
– Pay Israel border tax.
– Clear Israeli Immigration.
– Walk across the border (about 100 meters, there are trolleys for luggage).
– Clear Jordanian Immigration (visa must be obtained in advance, contact us for current cost.)
– Clear Jordanian customs.
– Pick-up your vehicle and be on your way.

From Jordan to Israel
– Pay Jordan border tax.
– Clear Jordanian Immigration.
– Walk across the border.
– Clear Israeli security.
(This can take awhile. The last time Ronen crossed at Arava with his Israeli passport, along with his Cuban wife Tania, they were scrutinized for 20 minutes.)
– Clear Israeli Immigration.
– Pick-up your vehicle and be on your way.

Aside – Petra entrance fees are 50% higher for day visitors than they are for those spending at least one night in Jordan.


Northern/Sheikh Hussein Border
is closest to Tiberias in Israel’s Galilee region and the Roman site of Jerash in Jordan.

 Hours of Operation

Israel-Jordan

Jordan-Israel

Sunday-Thursday

6:30am-9pm

6:30am-9pm

Friday-Saturday

8am-8pm

8am-8am

The procedure is thus:

From Israel to Jordan
– Pay Israel border tax.
– Clear Israeli Immigration.
– Take a public Israeli bus across the border (pay fare in shekels, buses run every 30-40 minutes).
– Clear Jordanian Immigration (visa may be purchased on the spot, contact us for current cost).
– Schlep your luggage to another building and clear Jordanian Customs.
– Pick-up your vehicle and be on your way.

From Jordan to Israel
– Pay Jordan border tax.
– Clear Jordanian Immigration.
– Take a public Jordanian bus across the border (pay fare in Dinars, buses run every 30-40 minutes).
– Clear Israeli security.
– Clear Israeli Immigration.
– Clear Israeli Customs.
– Pick-up your vehicle and be on your way.

Allenby/King Hussein Border is closest to Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, Amman and airports. This one is tricky because it’s the only border where West Bank Palestinians are allowed to cross. That means a lot more traffic and much tighter security. Also, it closes on Fridays and Saturdays at 11am, much earlier than the other borders. Israelis are not allowed to cross here.

 Hours of Operation

Israel-Jordan

Jordan-Israel

Sunday-Thursday

7am-10:30pm

7am-9pm

Friday-Saturday

7am-1pm

7am-11am

The procedure is thus:

From Israel to Jordan
– Pay Israel border tax.
– Clear Israeli security (yes, there is Israeli security on both sides of this border).
– Clear Israeli Immigration.
– Take a public Israeli bus across the border (pay in shekels, buses run every 30-40 minutes).
– Clear Jordanian Immigration (visa must be obtained in advance, contact us for current cost.)
– Clear Jordanian Customs.
– Pick-up your vehicle and be on your way.

From Jordan to Israel
– Pay Jordan border tax.
– Clear Jordanian Immigration.
– Take a public Jordanian bus across the border (paying fare in Dinars).
– Clear Israeli security. (This can be quite a wait. The Israeli Ministry of Tourism has acknowledged the frustrations tourists experience at this crossing by installing an information desk where you can at least communicate with someone if you’re in danger of missing your plane. The security officers can be quite gruff and it does help to have a liason to plead your case.)
– Clear Israeli Immigration.
– Clear Israeli Customs.
– Pick up your vehicle and leave that border in your dust.

If it’s so troublesome, why use this border? It’s really the most central crossing, closest to the major cities and airports of both countries. Our best advice is to leave yourself plenty of time, especially if you have a plane to catch.

It’s very hard to estimate the time needed to cross any of the borders because we can’t know how many people might be crossing at any given time. If you get stuck behind a tour group, that can really slow things down. In such a case, don’t hesitate to ask nicely to go in front of the group.

At Arava and the Northern Border there is free parking on the Israel side, where you can leave your car for several days.

Israel border tax must be paid in Shekels. The current cost is 100NIS  at Arava and the Northern Border and 173NIS at Allenby.
Jordan border tax must be paid in Dinars. The current cost is 8JD.
If purchased at the border, the Jordan visa must be paid in Dinars. the current cost is 20JD.

We include the Jordan border tax and visa in all of our published programs that include Jordan.

Image

5 thoughts on “Israel Border Crossing, the Outs and Ins

  1. Pingback: 3 Religious Sites in Jordan: Mt Nebo, Madaba, Bethany Beyond the Jordan | The Ya'lla Blog

  2. Pingback: Petra, Stupefacente! | The Ya'lla Blog

  3. Pingback: Lost & Found in Wadi Rum | The Ya'lla Blog

  4. Pingback: The Dead Sea: Grab a Natural High at the Lowest Place on Earth | The Ya'lla Blog

  5. Pingback: Pink Lipstick and the Israeli Border | see something

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s