When it comes to crossing from Jordan to Palestine and Israel, let’s get three things clear. One, it is not an easy, straightforward process, two, it is not quick, and three, it is not cheap.
Why is it so hard to cross the border? Without getting political, it is prohibited to drive Jordanian/Israeli border. Just look how close they are on the map, but the route shown is non-sensical. No comment.
The following article will tell you from firsthand experience all the steps for a foreigner (non-Jordanian/non-Palestinian) to get from Amman to Jerusalem, or other cities in Palestine and Israel, the cheapest way possible by land.
Tip: Check the Jordanian/Israeli border timings and schedule ahead of time.
Tip 2: If you will be traveling back to Jordan after your visit, make sure you have a re-entry visa for Jordan. If you have the Jordan Pass you will be covered to re-enter via Allenby.
Step 1 – Bus to North Amman
Take a bus from Jordan University to Mujamma Al-Shamal bus station (مجمع باصات الشمال) in North Amman (map). Price: 1/2 JD
Tip: Start your journey as early as possible. 7 am should be fine.
Step 2 – Bus to King Hussein Bridge (Allenby)
At Mujamma Al Shamal bus station you can get to the Jordanian border crossing by “shared taxi”. Price: 8-10 JD. Option two is to take a public bus that departs directly from the station. The bus from Mujamma Al Shamal station to King Hussein Bridge (also known as Allenby Bridge) costs 5 JD and the trip takes around 1 hour.
Step 3 – Arrival at Jordanian Border
When you arrive by shared taxi or public bus to the Jordan border, everyone is required to get out of the vehicle and pass the Jordanian border. There is a line for Jordanians and Palestinians (right-hand side) and a line for foreigners and groups (left-hand side). As it can be a bit chaotic, if you doubt which line to go and don’t speak Arabic, just show your passport to a police officer and they should point you in the right direction. Here you must pay the exit fees of 10 JD.
Step 4 – Exiting Jordan
After you have paid your 10 JD exit fees to the Jordanian Border Patrol, you need to go back outside and wait for another bus. It’s hard to say how long you will have to wait for the bus, but expect a minimum of 15 minutes. This shuttle bus will take you across the King Hussein/Allenby Bridge to the Israeli border. You pay the ticket inside the bus. Without luggage, the bus ticket costs 12 JD.
The bus ride on the bridge is about 45 minutes because of border traffic.
Step 5 – Israeli Border
Once arrived at the Israeli side, you will be guided through a security check and then questioning with the Israeli Border Patrol. You never know how much time it will take you. It can be quick (about an hour) but it can also take 5-8 hours. It’s a crap shoot based on the data the Israeli Intelligence has on you. Usually, with a European or American passport, there should be no problem.
Tip: There is free WiFi in the Israeli side of the Allenby crossing.
Step 6 – Bus to Jerusalem
Once you pass the Israeli border control, there are buses or shared taxis (called Sherut, “shared route”) that will take you to Jerusalem, Jericho or other cities.
To Jerusalem – There is a sherut mini-bus from the border that costs 20 JD. It is expensive, but other options are not easily found. The end stop in Jerusalem is the “Damascus Gate” from where you can take the tramway or a taxi or even walk to the old city. Option two, which is much cheaper, but more time-consuming and not as easy, is to take a taxi from the border to Beit Shean, the junction of Allenby bridge on highway 90. From there, Bus 961 will take you to Jerusalem.
Money exchange tip: There is a money converter at the border but I strongly recommend to change dinars to shekels only in Jerusalem, where you can find “no commission” exchange offices.
Thank you to Lévi Sollberger, an expat living in Jordan, for the detailed information about crossing from Amman to Jerusalem.