I thought I would write this to help people when crossing the border from Jordan to Israel via King Hussein Bridge and to know what to expect.
Ive just come back from Jordan and Israel last week and would like to share the following:
Crossing from Jordan to Israel, firstly we paid 20jd from Amman to King Hussein Bridge for a taxi but you could negotiate this lower. It takes an hour. There is a servee (local bus) that also takes you there for 3jd from Abdali bus station.
Upon arrival at the bridge (known as King Hussein to Jordanians and Allenby to Israelis), you are ushered in to a building by the locals to see the authorities regarding passports. There are 3 counters; first one you hand your passport over, the official checks it (expect a delay, especially if coaches are outside). Counter 3 is where you pay your exit tax of 5jd. Counter 2 is where you return once you have the stamps off counter 3 and the official from counter 1 enters the 'stamps' on a piece of paper then stamps over papers. You are not stamped out of the country in your passport. He then keeps the passports. You then go outside and board the jett bus for 2.5jd. You need to pay luggage too if you have any for 1.75jd. Watch the ticket giver as he claims not to have 'any change'. Passports are then given back to you on the bus and it then sets off. Journey takes a few minutes. Not so bad...
The stress starts when you get off at the Israeli side. You disembark and see outside where the bags are to be dropped off to be scanned through their machines. This is fairly chaotic and can be crowded. You are given a ticket which you retain stating how many bags you have/don't have and they look at your passports. You then walk in and show your passport again to a girl on the desk before walking through the x-ray machine. You then enter enter the next hall which is very crowded yet there is a kiosk for tourists. Make no mistake, this queue can be as long or as short as you like depending on how many bus loads have been dropped off before you. If like us, you also have the misfortune to be stuck behind someone with a dual passport, expect a longer delay. We waited 45 minutes in this queue alone. You then are questioned by the girl behind the counter as to why you are visiting and you need to show evidence of your trip. You are then stamped in (on passport) and asked to go round the corner where you find another booth where you have your photo taken and fingerprints. Following this, you then again have to queue for another counter further on where you are again quizzed on why you are visiting Israel by a girl who also checks your passports in a suspicious manners. You walk through the barrier, then go to another desk and the girl checks your passport again! Finally, you can see a collection of bags on the ground in front of you. If yours is not there, then you have been unlucky and it is located in a room awaiting your arrival so they can open it in front of you and quiz you again. Finally, following this, you are FREE!
This whole process took 2.5 hours but we could have been there longer. I found entering Israel very stressful but it is worth it once you get there if you are visiting Jerusalem etc.
Returning to Allenby/King hussein bridge is somewhat less traumatic. We got a taxi from Damascus gate in Jerusalem which cost 175 shekels and takes 40 minutes roughly. We could have got this cheaper but the driver insisted no-one would take us for less than 200 shekels so we just accepted our fate as we were in a hurry.
Unfortunately, as you approach the border along a long road, there is a check-point and you could be held up here ages (whilst in taxi or bus) due there being only one guard who checks all vehicles and quizzes you whilst the others sit around and look pretty. He asks if you are carrying any weapons! If you are in a taxi, you have to wait for all the coaches to go through first so you could be waiting an hour or so to get through the checkpoint like us which is very frustrating.
Once through, you leave the taxi and enter the building. Pay departure tax of 161.5 shekels (disgraceful) and then show passport to desk and get stamped out. Queue not too bad for this. You then wait outside for jett bus. Again, pay 2.75jd to ride the bus the short distance and pay the luggage cost if necessary. Half way along the drive the officals enter the bus and check passports then take them. Once off the bus you walk through the x-ray machine in the building, scan your bags and wait at the counter for the official to look at your passport and then hand it back to you. You are not stamped back in if you left here originally to enter Israel. Visas are not granted at this bridge so you will need one already if using this route.
This is the end of the nightmare! Hurrah! Board the servee bus outside back to Amman for 3jd and be relieved that it is all finally over!