Arad (Israel)

Travel Guide Middle East Israel Arad

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Introduction

Arad is a city in the South District in Israel, about 25 kilometres west from the Dead Sea and 45 kilometres east from Beersheba. It has about 24,000 inhabitants.

Tel Arad, the site of the ancient city of Arad, is located some 10 km west of the modern city centre. Arad is a great centre for hiking and exploring the northeastern part of the Negev desert.

Modern Arad was founded in 1962 by young Israelis, most of them ex-kibbutzniks and ex-moshavniks, who were seeking an environment free of the urban ills of overcrowding, traffic, noise and pollution. Although not noted for its great beauty, the town's growth has closely followed a well-designed master plan. Arad's present population is approximately 28,000 (2003 estimate) and reflects the broad spectrum of Israeli society with a special emphasis on recent immigrants.

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Sights and Activities

Tel Arad National Park (At the Tel Arad junction on Route 31 (Arad-Shoket junction) turn north on Route 2808 - the park is 2 miles north of the junction.), ☏ +972 7 776-2170, +972 8-9957 690, fax: +972 7 995-5866. Open April-September 8am-5pm, October-March 8am-4pm. The site of the ancient city, well worth a visit from an archaeological point of view. The site consists of two parts, the lower city (from the Bronze Age) and the upper city (an Israelite settlement). ₪14/12/7 adult/student/child&senior.

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Getting There

By Car

Highway 31 connects Arad with Beersheba to the west and the Dead Sea to the east.

By Bus

From the Beer Sheva central bus station, line 386 (express), 387 (direct) and line 388 (higher frequency, but more intermediate stops) run to Arad. The price is ₪8.70.

From Tel Aviv (Arlozorov terminal only), lines 389 and 421 run to Arad. Each line has only 2-3 trips per day each direction. Line 421 continues to the Dead Sea. In addition, line 550 runs from Bnei Brak to Arad, approximately 9 times per day.

From Jerusalem, lines 554 and 555 run to Arad. These lines are oriented to the Haredi sector, so they start in Haredi neighborhoods rather than the central bus station. Together these lines have about 9 trips per day in each direction.

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Getting Around

There are 5 local bus lines (Lines 1, 2, 3, 11 and 12) that serve all parts of the city. These lines are operated by Metropoline.

Having said that, Arad can easily be explored on foot.

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Sleep

  • Arad Tandem, Gilad St 21, ☏ +972 8-9952207, +972 54-5439980, ✉ Saltroomarad@gmail.com. This is the secret in town. Offers a great apartment with 3 rooms (including private) and all necessities. Book through their website or just call ahead, they are not so firm with online bookings, but you want to make sure it is not fully booked. Don't mind the dog when walking up to their house - there is no sign, you have to walk up on the left side and knock. From ₪95 for a bed in a 4 bed room (supposedly $34 during high season, but the website doesn't say something like it).
  • Dead Sea Adventure Hostel, Odem St 68 (Rotem), ☏ +972 58 4960748, ✉ Deadseaadventurehostel@gmail.com. Also offers tours into the surrounding area. Dorms from ₪85.
  • Desert Bird Hostel, 28 Bareket St. (Rotem), ☏ +972 72-3902195, ✉ desertbird2015@gmail.com. Another budget option. Member of ILH. Dorm bed from ₪100.
  • Israel YHA Hostel Arad (Blau-Weiss Hostel), ☏ +972 8-9957150, ✉ arad@iyha.org.il. Book ahead, not to get an expensive private room offered if you arrive late. Dorm bed from ₪145.
  • Inbar Hotel, 38 Yehuda Street, ☏ +972 8-997-3303.

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Keep Connected

Internet

Israel is a technologically advanced society, and internet cafés are widely available in most cities and towns. The regular price for paid internet cafés is about 15 shekels per hour but you can get it for about 10 shekels in some of the more local places. Free Wi-Fi access is common in cafés (check individual articles). All branches of 'Aroma Espresso Bar', 'Arcaffe', 'Café Café', 'McDonalds' and 'Yellow' convenience stores have free Wi-Fi access, though in some you will have to approach the staff for a password.

Recently, the "Jerusalem Wi-Fi" project started. This government started project aims to cover the entire Jerusalem area with Wi-Fi although at the moment the only areas covered are in the city center. A similar project has started in Tel Aviv and in Karmiel in the north. Some other cities are following suit.

Phone

See also: International Telephone Calls

The international country code for Israel is 972. Emergency numbers include 100 (police), 101 (ambulance) and 102 (fire). 112 is supported in mobile networks.

Currently Israel offers support for all the available networks including GSM/UMTS (Pelephone, Cellcom and Orange), CDMA (Pelephone) and iDen (Hot Mobile). In any case, you must check with your carrier about the roaming option and the compatibility of your device in advance. A valid suggestion otherwise is to turn off data services.

You can rent a cellphone for use in Israel either before your trip or once you arrive from several firms. You can also rent smartphones with sim cards included sometimes for lower than the cost of renting just a sim card. Vendors such as Israel Phone Rentalsoffer the advantages of a sim card rental without having to worry about bringing your own phone to Israel. If you have a GSM cellphone without a SIM-lock, you can buy a SIM-card. Prepaid SIM cards are available at Pelephone (Talk & Go), Cellcom (Talk Man) and Orange (Bigtalk) phone stores throughout Israel. Almost all shopping malls will have a Pelephone, Cellcom or Orange kiosk or store.

There are many public phones scattered around. Public phones can be always found at hotels, post offices, central bus stations and train stations. These phones use a Telecard, which, today, is a pre-paid calling card that works only with pay phones and can be purchased at post offices and some stores, as well as ordinary calling cards. Some phones also accept credit cards, usually those in hotels and post offices.

Post

The Israel Post is the national postal service of Israel and generally has fast, reliable and affordable services. Efficiency means that letters and postcards send by airmail just take about 3-7 days within Europe, a few days more to the USA and Australia. Express Mail Services (EMS) is available, with which you are guaranteed to have the postcard or letter delivered within 72 hours anywhere in the world. You can buy stamps at post offices, or newspaper stands/kiosks or some souvenir shops and hotels. The main post offices are usually open from 8:00am to 6:00pm Sunday to Thursday and 8:00am to 2:00pm on Friday, though some might keep longer hours. Branch offices and post offices in smaller towns keep shorter hours, usually with a break from 12:30pm to 3:30pm, and on Wednesday and Friday only during the morning. Parcels can be send by the regular post offices or with companies like TNT, UPS, FedEx and DHL.

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This is version 5. Last edited at 12:32 on Jul 5, 19 by Utrecht. 1 article links to this page.

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