The border with Israel is open 24 hours except during Yom Kippur and Eid el-Adha. Avoid crossing after mid-morning on a Friday or any time on Saturday, however, as most public transport and businesses in Israel shut down over shabbat. The whole process can be very quick, unless you get caught behind a large group. If you’re arriving from Israel, don’t listen to any taxi drivers who say you need to take a taxi to reach Taba bus station – it’s less than five minutes’ walk.

Israel issues free three-month visas to EU, US, Australian and New Zealand citizens. However, if you plan on travelling to Syria or other Arab countries that do not recognize Israel, ask immigration on both sides of the border to leave your passport unstamped. Travellers must walk across the no-man’s land between the Egyptian and Israeli checkpoints; from the Israeli checkpoint you need to catch a shared taxi or #15 bus for the 10km trip into Eilat. If you need to change money, the exchange rate on the Egyptian side, at Bank Misr, which also has an ATM, is better than the Israeli bank where you pay your exit tax.

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