By Bus -- Several express buses operate between Netanya and Jerusalem. Connections are available from Haifa, and there is regular bus service from Tel Aviv. Netanya buses (no. 601 or 605) leave Tel Aviv about every 15 minutes during the day until 7pm. The last bus to Tel Aviv departs at 11pm. Fare is NIS 16 ($4/£2).
By Car -- There is a main coastal highway, Hwy. 2, that connects Tel Aviv and Haifa; the wider Hwy. 4 parallels it slightly inland. Netanya can be reached from both Hwy. 3 and 4.
The Tourist Information Office (tel. 09/882-7286) is in a little modern kiosk at the southeastern corner of Independence Square. Hours are 8:30am to 4pm Sunday to Thursday and from 9am to noon on Friday. Winter hours may be shorter. This office is especially helpful and will answer questions about Netanya or other places in Israel. Be sure to pick up a copy of the monthly booklet listing special events, entertainment, and services in Netanya. If you're traveling by bus, you might also want to pick up their bus timetable, which you might find clearer than the information you'll get at the station.
Tip: Netanya closes down between 1 and 4pm every day, so plan to shop or go to the bank before or after the afternoon siesta.
Many international social clubs hold regular meetings in Netanya, including Rotary, Lions, Hadassah, Freemasons, Pioneer Women, B'nai B'rith, and the British Olim Society. Ask at the Tourist Information Office for information about making contact. The Association of Americans and Canadians in Israel (AACI), 28 Shmuel Ha-Naziv St. (tel. 09/833-0950; www.netanyaaaci.org.il), offers a good schedule of lectures, excursions, and other social activities ranging from volunteer English tutoring to bridge, amateur theater, and bingo.
Tip: If you'd like to meet an Israeli citizen, apply 3 days in advance at the Tourist Information Office, and you'll soon find yourself invited to a home for a friendly chat and a cup of coffee.
The city sponsors free evening concerts and events throughout the summer. A chess tournament is held in Netanya yearly during May and June; every 2 years there's an international match. Games start at 3:30pm and last until 10pm. For further information, contact the Tourist Information Office.
Netanya is a big town, but it's not really difficult to find your way around. From Hwy. 2, you will see the exit for Netanya, which will get you onto Herzl Street, Netanya's main east-west boulevard. At the beginning of Herzl Boulevard, not far from Hwy. 2, you'll pass the large Kanion (indoor shopping mall). Farther down, on the left, where Herzl crosses Dizengoff, is the bus station. Another 6 blocks, and Herzl ends at the great expanse of Ha-Atzma'ut Square, by the sea in the very heart of Netanya. Most of the hotels and restaurants recommended below are within a few blocks of the square.
The square, the town's pedestrian promenade, has been enlarged in recent years, and now extends up Herzl Street all the way to Dizengoff Street.
Around Ha-Aztma'ut Square you'll find everything you need, including the Tourist Information Office, banks, ATMs, places to change money, a post office, and eateries of many kinds as well as pubs, discos, a movie theater, hotels, and more. Be warned that since the center of Netanya was not designed for a population of almost 200,000, parking is a serious problem and many streets are RESIDENT PARKING ONLY. Towing, rather than ticketing, is common, and parking regulations are enforced with draconian rigor.
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.