Rahat is a city of 70,000 in the southern Negev region of Israel. It was founded in 1972 as a home for the previously nomadic Bedouin Arabs, who form the large majority of its population. It is the largest Bedouin settlement in the world.
Buses 450 and 455 run every 20-30 minutes from the Beer Sheva market to the center of Rahat. Arab-run jitneys run frequently on the same route. There are less-frequent buses from other places in the Negev, like Ashkelon.
From more northern locations, one should take the bus (369 from Tel Aviv, 446 from Jerusalem) to Lehavim Junction, or the train to Lehavim-Rahat station, and transfer to a bus to Rahat (450 and 455, or the local buses 40 and 41). If one is taking the train, the transfer is less convenient, and it might be simpler to continue to Beer Sheva and take the 450/455 from there.
Private taxis from Be'er Sheva are approximately 50 Shekels, although many Jewish drivers prefer not to drive into the town center.
Rahat is small enough that one can easily get around by foot, although there are many vans that pick up passengers willingly for a small fee.
There is not much to see in Rahat, although the Rahat Market, located in the center of town, sells many trinkets and products, including some traditional Bedouin handicrafts.
About 8km east of Rahat, next to Kibbutz Lahav, is the Museum of Bedouin Culture in the Joe Alon Center[dead link]. Buses to Kibbutz Lahav run only about twice a day, so you are best off driving here.
Rahat has a limited cuisine variety, although what does exist is delicious. Shwarma and falafel are a must in Rahat, as is the chicken and rice. Food is less expensive than the more cosmopolitan neighboring Beer Sheva. On the main street is an unsuspecting wonderful bakery; the knaffe is a must for all visitors.
Don't expect to get liquored up in Rahat. As a Bedouin Muslim community, mosques are ubiquitous while bars and clubs are not.
Hitchhikes out of the town are quite common, but there is always a risk of danger. The eastern exit of town is popular place to catch vans headed to Be'er Sheva, and socialize. The city outskirts have several Egged and Metrodan bus-stops that head to Be'er Sheva, Tel- Aviv and Arad as well.