Access in Israel: Getting to and around the Coastal City of Tel Aviv

Despite what people see on the news or the political stance they take on the current situation in Israel, millions of people are visiting Tel Aviv every year. This international city provides its visitors with a chance to learn about the history and culture of this region while getting a taste of its rich nightlife and beautiful beaches.

Airport
Though the Israel Airport Authority is responsible for providing the infrastructure so services can be provided to disables passengers, it is the airlines responsibility to assist their passengers and their baggage from the moment they land at Ben Gurion Airport. All passengers in wheelchairs will have access to a priority check line. An assistant from your airline will accompany you through the entry procedures. If you would like to use your own wheelchair, please call and notify your airline in advanced. Only at the boarding gate will you have to switch wheelchairs to one that will fit in the airplane isles. Passengers that are using a wheelchair by the airline are not required to go through any security checks, but those with personal wheelchair must go through all standard security measures. When boarding the plane, passengers in wheelchairs will be given priority over all other passengers.

Wheelchair accessible parking both short and long-term is available at Ben Gurion Airport. Enter the Long Term Car Park with your disabled parking permit and identification documentation to be given to the information desk representative. You will receive a parking permit for the requested days and will be charged for your stay using the long term parking rates. Call the Car Park Control Room for more information about pricing at 03-9752550/1.

Additional Note: If you are leaving or arriving the by public transport to Ben Gurion Airport you may use the elevator to access the train station level while a service can escort your luggage for a fee.

Railroad
The Israel Railways has stops in all the major cities throughout the country. The trains are clean, comfortable and most stations are wheelchair accessible. Please map out your trip first to make sure the stop you are getting off at is wheelchair accessible. Most stops are, but a few are not. If you contact Israel Railway customer service before your trip, you can understand the cost of the trip and what identification you will need to get a discount on your ticket. Calling in advanced also allows you to reserved seating and any other assistance if needed. You can check on their English website to see which stations provide accessibility. The cost to ride the train is pretty reasonable. Some disabled passengers are able to qualify for a discount on their tickets if they have proper identification. Customer Service Call Center phone number is *5770.

Buses in Tel Aviv
Public transportation within Israel is very good. Local buses within Tel Aviv have wheelchair accessibility. The bus is lowered and a ramp can be used for entry and exit. Each bus has a designated area for wheelchairs with belts to secure the chair as the bus moves. Contact Dan Bus services for more information about cost and disability services in the Tel Aviv area).

Equipment Rentals in Tel Aviv
If you want to rent a wheelchair or scooter in Israel, there a few great organizations that can make the process easy and also affordable. Nonprofit organization Yah Sarah will load you a wheelchair with a deposit. When you return the chair, you will get your deposit in full. Renting a wheelchair from Kibbutz Tzora is also very convenient as they will deliver the chair to your hotel or residence.

Tips on Finding Restrooms in Tel Aviv
Unfortunately, a guide to accessible public restrooms in Israel doesn’t exist yet. If you are in Tel Aviv, all the hotels that are 4 or 5 stars have wheelchair accessible public restrooms. All the hotels along the promenade ( like Crowne Plaza Tel Aviv City Center, Leonardo Boutique, Melody, Hilton Tel Aviv, Carlton Tel Aviv) will allow you to come in and use their facilities. The two largest malls in Tel Aviv, Dizengoff Center and Azrieli Mall also provide accessible public restrooms. You can also find wheelchair accessible bathrooms at the beaches. There are 4 Tel Aviv beaches (and a few more under construction) designed for wheelchair accessibility: Tzuk, Northern Tzuk, Metzizim and Hilton. These beaches provide cement pathways to shaded cabana’s close to the waters shore.

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