Crossing the border from Jordan to Israel without a guide or tour group can be a pretty difficult feat. But it can be done! And as long as you’re prepared ahead of time, it’s really not quite as hard as it seems. When we were planning our trip around the Middle East at the end of last year, figuring out how to cross the border from Jordan to Israel was the hardest thing for me to find information on and figure out how to do. So as soon as we did it, I knew I needed to write this post to make it as easy as possible for you to understand how to do it.
There are three different points where you can cross, but the King Hussein Bridge (Allenby) Terminal is the closest border crossing between Amman, Jordan and Jerusalem, Israel. Luckily, it’s not as complicated as it seems. Part of what makes crossing the border so difficult is that there are all sorts of rules that come with it. You can’t drive a car across the border. And flights are astronomical (about $300-400 USD one way) for a 45 minute flight from Amman to Jerusalem. If you’re traveling with a tour group, you’ll have to be dropped off and cross the border. And then get in a different tour bus on the other side. But since we didn’t want to travel in a tour group, we had to figure out the logistics on our own. Here’s how to cross the border from Jordan to Israel:
Each border crossing has two names—one for Jordanian side (King Hussein Bridge) and one for Israeli side (Allenby).
How to Cross the Border From Jordan to Israel at King Hussein Bridge (Allenby) Crossing:
The crossing is closed on Yom Kippur and Eid al-Adha, and the hours differ for other religious and national holidays. So make sure you pay attention to the holidays around the time you are visiting. And double check that the border won’t be closed when you’re wanting to cross. You can check the Jewish Holiday schedule here. We happened to be crossing during Rosh Hashanah. So we asked our hotel concierge in Amman to call the border and check that they would be open when we wanted to cross and they verified that it was. So, if you’re not sure, you can always have your hotel call and check.
How to Get to the Border:
Crossing the Border:
Exit and shuttle fees stated above are accurate as of October 2019.
Keep in mind that you cannot take photos while crossing the border.
Be sure to keep a hold of your luggage and load it onto the shuttle yourself. When we were there, there was a man loading peoples luggage and then demanding a significant tip.
At the Israeli Terminal:
From there, you can take a taxi to Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, or wherever you’re trying to go in Israel. Or you can take a shared van. If you’re planning to go to Jerusalem (like we were), you can take a shared van to Damascus Gate for about 45 NIS (about $14 USD) per person.
We read a lot of things saying to ask Israeli border control not to stamp your passport, so that you don’t have any trouble getting into other countries in the future. However, when we arrived, they didn’t stamp our passports, but rather, gave us a little slip of paper that acted as a passport stamp. We needed when we left Israel, but they never stamped our passports, so it seems like this is their current protocol (as of October 2019).
A Few Other Things to Note:
There are two other land border crossings—Sheikh Hussein/Jordan River Crossing, which is about one and a half hours north of the King Hussein/Allenby Crossing, or Wadi Araba/Yitzhak Rabin Crossing, which is about three and a half hours south of the King Hussein/Allenby Crossing and located between Aqaba and Eilat by the Red Sea.
When you cross the border at the King Hussein Bridge (Allenby) Crossing from Jordan, you are technically crossing into Palestine, which means once you cross the border and go through Israeli customs, you’ll exit and be in Palestine. If you take a taxi or shared van to Jerusalem, you will need to have your passports out and your driver will show them to Israeli officers at the Israeli border about 20 minutes before you arrive in Jerusalem.
You can find more information about the Allenby Terminal on the Israeli Government website here.