West Jerusalem (also known as "New Jerusalem") represents the modern commercial heart of Jerusalem, having become the focus for development in the capital from the time of Israeli independence in 1948 to the reunification of the city, following the Six Day War in 1967. That said, many of the districts of West Jerusalem date back to the late 19th century when the Old City became no longer able to contain the city's increasing population.
King George Street (Rehov King George) and Jaffa Road (Rehov Yafo) represent the two main thoroughfares in central western Jerusalem. Around their intersection, and up to Zion Square (Kikar Zion), where Jaffa Road intersects with Ben Yehuda St. (Rehov Ben-Yehuda, pedestrianized) is a large triangle between the three streets where most of the main shopping streets - the center of town.
Mea Shearim (along and around Mea Shearim Street) - This neighborhood is perhaps the closest the 21st century can get to the shtetl Jewish communities of Eastern Europe. Uninfluenced by the tides of change, the Hasidic, ultra-Orthodox residents of Mea Shearim continue to dress like their great-grandparents, and many even speak Yiddish conversationally. For tourists, the main roads are lined with shops selling Judaica. But it's not all fun and games -- the people of Mea Shearim are very vocal about their conservative opinions and very modest dress and male-female interaction are a prerequisite.
Ein Kerem - Though slightly out of the way, the wonderfully picturesque and rustic village of Ein Kerem is worth a visit for extended visitors. Ein Kerem is home to a number of churches open to the public, including John the Baptist's birthplace (the Church of St. John). Also, new restaurants and cafes are always popping up in the stone cottages of the neighborhood.
the Knesset - the Israeli Parliament Building - The Knesset offers guided tours (in Hebrew, Arabic, English, French, Spanish, German, Russian, Amharic, Yiddish, and Finnish) for the public on Su and Th 8:30AM-2:30PM. For both groups and individuals, one must call and arrange their guided tour in advance. Tel (02) 675-3420, (02) 675-3416. One may observe the Knesset sessions from the public gallery on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Wednesdays. Groups must call and arrange this visit; individuals may arrive directly with their identity cards or passports.
Israel Museum, Jerusalem (מוזיאוןישראל,ירושלים, Muze'on Yisrael, Yerushalayim), Ruppin Boulevard, near the Knesset (Bus: 9, 17, 24, 24a, 99), ☎ +972-2-6708811, . Su-M,W-Th,Sa and holidays 10AM-5PM, Tu 4PM-9PM, F and holiday eves 10AM-2PM. Israel's national museum sprawls over a compound near the Knesset and covers a broad body and extremely unique body of work in its five wings. The Judaica Wing contains an unequalled collection of Jewish ceremonial pieces, tools, and artwork from throughout the Diaspora, as well as an entire replica of both a 17th century Italian synagogue and an Indian synagogue. Moving on, visitors can find the largest collection of artifacts found in Israel at the Archaelogoy Wing. The collection covers millenina of settlement in the Holy Land, from the Neolithic ancestors to the Canaanites to the ancient Jews. Probably the best-known wing of the Israel Museum is the onion-shaped Shrine of the Book (כל הספר, Heikhal HaSefer), wherein the Dead Sea Scrolls, considered among the greatest discoveries of the 20th century, are permanently housed. The Israel Museum also contains notable collections of pre-Columbian Central American Art, Primitive and Tribal Art, and a collection of Impressionist and Post-Impressionist Art, which, though perhaps less connected to the Jewish State, are worth a visit for art lovers.₪50 adults, ₪37 students, ₪25 children 5-17, seniors, and the disabled (Free admission for children Tu and Sa). edit
Bible Lands Museum (מוזיאוןארצותהמקראירושלים), Avraham Granot St (opposite the Israel Museum entrance), ☎ +972-2-5611066, . Su-Tu,Th 9:30AM-5:30PM, W 9:30AM-9:30PM, F and holiday eves 9:30AM-2PM, Sa 10AM-2PM, closed holidays. Laid out chronologically, the Bible Lands Museum provides a detailed look at the development of society in the Near East, also called the Cradle of Civlization. The museum's wide range of artifacts from around the region, including among others Egyptian, Minoan, and early Christian works, appeal to a variety of different segments.₪40 adults, ₪30 foreign seniors, ₪20 children 5-18, students, Israeli seniors, soldiers, and the disabled. edit
the L.A. Mayer Memorial Museum of Islamic Art, Palmach Street. Su-Th 9AM-3PM, F-Sa, holidays, and holiday eves 10AM-2PM. Admission adults ₪20, students ₪13, youths ₪10. In the heart of Jewish West Jerusalem, the recently-renovated Museum of Islamic Art offers "of the foremost collections of Islamic art" from across the Muslim world and the many centuries of Muslim artwork.
the Wolfson Jewish Heritage Museum at Hechal Shlomo, King George Street. Su-Th 9AM-3PM. Admission adults ₪15, students ₪10, youths ₪10. In the heart of downtown Jerusalem, this museum houses a unique collection of Jewish and Israeli art, with an interesting combination of old and new.
Yad Vashem, . Su-Th 9AM-5PM, F and holiday eves 9AM-2PM, closed Sa and holidays. The Museum of the Holocaust - Yad Vashem, the Holocaust Martyrs' and Heroes' Remembrance Authority, was established in 1953 by an act of the Israeli Knesset. Since its inception, Yad Vashem has been entrusted with documenting the history of the Jewish people during the Holocaust period, preserving the memory and story of each of the six million victims, and imparting the legacy of the Holocaust for generations to come through its archives, library, school, museums and recognition of the Righteous Among the Nations. Located on Har Hazikaron, the Mount of Remembrance, in Jerusalem, Yad Vashem is a vast, sprawling complex of tree-studded walkways leading to museums, exhibits, archives, monuments, sculptures, and memorials.Admission free. edit
If you are interested in learning first hand about the delicate fabric of life in Jerusalem, the All Nations Cafe in Refa'im Valley, near the Malha train station, is offering a social, cultural and ecological experience for both locals and internationals.
Ben Yehuda Street (רחוב בן יהודה, Rehov Ben-Yehuda, pedestrianized), Jaffa Road (רחוב יפו, Rehov Yaffo, شارع يافا), and King George Street (רחוב המלך ג'ורג, Rehov HaMelekh George) are the three main shopping streets in central western Jerusalem. The network of small streets and malls around these two thoroughfares represent the main shopping centre of New Jerusalem.
Mahane Yehuda Market (שוק מחנה יהודה, Shuk Mahane Yehuda, often called The Shuk) is the main outdoor market of western Jerusalem, located centrally at the junction of Jaffa Road and Agripas Street. Vast and labyrinthine, the market boasts a large number of stalls, generally open Su-Th 8AM-8PM, F 8AM-3PM, closed Shabbat. Fresh produce, pastries, salads abound. Definitely the place for a bargain and a unique insight into traditional Israeli culture.
Western Jerusalem have attracted a number of large mall developments in the last decade. One of the biggest is the Malha Mall (קניון מלחה, Kanyon Malha) in the neighborhood of Gilo.
Spaghettim, 8 Rabbi Akiva St (between Independence Park and Ben-Yehuda St), ☎ 623 5547/8. Noon-midnight daily. The quintessential pasta restaurant, located in an old Ottoman period house with high ceilings and arches. Over 50 varieties of pasta sauces, well-cooked and presented, in meat, seafood and vegetarian options. Not kosher.An average sitting will set you back ₪40-50 (takes cards). edit
Village, 10 Ben-Yehuda St. Su-Th 11AM-10PM, F 11AM-3PM.. Vegetarian restaurant with homemade soups, mains, bread and salads. Kosher.Main course ₪25. edit
Stanley’s, 3 Horkanos St, ☎ 6259459. Noon-midnight daily. South African cuisine, friendly owners. Reservations recommended. Not kosher. A pricier option.Steaks start at about ₪75, but often has special rates for 3 course meals. Business lunch ₪35 (until 5:30PM). edit
The Dan Panorama Jerusalem Hotel, 39 Keren Hayesod St., (firstname.lastname@example.org), . Located in the center of Jerusalem. Somewhat old and faded with dated rooms, and a dingy lobby. Filled with tour groups. Very nice service. Mediocre food.edit