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Jerusalem is a huge city with several district articles containing sightseeing, restaurant, nightlife and accommodation listings — have a look at each of them.

Jerusalem (Hebrew: ירושלים Yerushalayim, Arabic: القدس al-Quds) is the claimed capital city of both Israel and Palestine, although almost all foreign embassies to Israel are located in Tel Aviv, and the foreign missions to Palestine are located in Ramallah which is the de-facto capital). The city is located in and is also the capital of the Jerusalem District of Israel, and the Jerusalem Governate of Palestine.

Jerusalem is considered to be the cultural, spiritual and national center of the Jewish people and the Jewish state, it is also a holy city to Islam and Christianity, and is also one of the oldest cities in the world. The City of Gold, as it has come to be known in Hebrew, is a fascinatingly unique place where the first century rubs shoulders with the twenty-first century, each jostling for legitimacy and space, and where picturesque "old" neighborhoods nestle against glistening office towers and high-rise apartments. It is one of those places which has to be seen to be believed.

In Jerusalem you can find anything, from pilgrims to liberal protesters. Due to the fact that the population of Jerusalem, is as diverse as the population of Israel, Jerusalem is seeing a lot of conflicts and debates, between conservatives and liberals, Mizrahi Jews and Ashkenazi Jews, secular Jews and Ultra- Orthodox Jews, Jews and Muslims and Jews and Arabs. But eventually, everyone lives together, and sit down beside each other when they eat, or when they are waiting for the doctor, they put their idelogies aside. And talk to each other as human beings.


Jerusalem is a large city and it can be divided up into districts:

Old City
  • The Old City and its Walls form a UNESCO World Heritage Site. This tiny ancient city is home to holy sites for Jews, Christians, and Muslims, and is truly breathtaking.
  • West Jerusalem is the Israeli part of Jerusalem, also known as New Jerusalem; it is the modern commercial heart of the city, having become the focus for development in the city from the time of the creation of the Jaffa-Jerusalem Railway in 1892. To preserve the Old City, the Ottomans would not allow the train to reach its walls, so the Kahn station was located to the west.
  • East Jerusalem is, roughly, the Eastern side of Jerusalem. East Jerusalem is made of territory taken by Israel from Jordan during the Six Day war of 1967. The territory was annexed when the war ended and Israeli law is imposed on it, unlike the West Bank which is considered by Israeli law to be under military rule. Israeli law also considers East Jerusalem to be part of Israel; these claims cause considerable controversy in the international community where they are unrecognized. The city is now home to approximately 200,000 Israeli settlers while most of Jerusalem's Muslim and Christian populations of approximately 250,000 have long lived here.

East Jersualem has several, if not dozens of neighberhoods.

  • Me'a Shearim is the area of Jerusalem inhabited largely by ultra-Orthodox Jewish people, a place where modest dress is required. The area looks like a 19th century Russian town with largely Yiddish speaking inhabitants.
  • The German Colony is a West Jerusalem neighbourhood southeast of the city centre. It's a wonderful place to drink coffee and to eat in restaurants. You may hear more "Anglos" speaking English than Hebrew on these streets. It is located around Emek Refaim street. You can read about its history here.
  • Ein Kerem is a (relatively) secluded neighbourhood in West Jerusalem that maintains a village atmosphere. It is surrounded by picturesque hills dotted with olive and cypress trees, home to artists and sculptors who have opened numerous galleries. Several churches are built on the site believed to be the birthplace of John the Baptist. Before 1948, the site was an Arab village called 'Ayn Karim and before that, the Jewish village of Beit HaKerem.

Please note: the areas of some of these districts may overlap.

View of Ein Kerem center from the south
The Western Wall and Temple Mount at night


Located in the Judean Mountains, overlooking the Judean Basin(Shphela in Hebrew) and acting as a border city between Israel and Palestine(Bordering the Palestinian cities such as Abu Dis and Ramallah(Which currently operates as the de facto capital of Palestine)). Jerusalem is considered holy to the three major Abrahamic religions: Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. It is the holiest city in Judaism and the spiritual center of the Jewish people since the 10th century BCE it is also the cultural, historical and national center of the Jewish people. Jerusalem is the third-holiest city in Islam and is also home to a number of significant and ancient Christian landmarks. It is also a city with a very violent past, as it has been severely damaged several times, from the Jewish Roman wars, that ended with the burning of the city, to the 1967 Six Day War. While the city has had a large Jewish majority since 1967, a wide range of national, religious, and socioeconomic groups are represented here. The walled area of Jerusalem, which until the late nineteenth century formed the entire city, is now called the Old City and became a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1982. It consists of four ethnic and religious sections — the Armenian, Christian, Jewish, and Muslim Quarters. Barely one square kilometer, the Old City is home to several of Jerusalem's most important and contested religious sites including the Western Wall and Temple Mount for Jews, the Dome of the Rock and al-Aqsa Mosque for Muslims, and the Church of the Holy Sepulchre for Christians.

Jews are allowed to visit the Temple Mount, but not pray on to not create a religious tension between Jews and Muslims. This is because the Muslims, say that prayer of Jews on the Temple Mount will "corrupt" Al- Aqsa mosque.

Surrounding the Old City are more modern areas of Jerusalem. The civic and cultural center of modern Israel extends from western Jerusalem toward the country's other urban areas to the west, while areas populated by Arabs can be found in the northern, eastern and southern districts.

Archaeological findings prove the existence of development within present-day Jerusalem as far back as the 4th millennium BCE, but the earliest written records of the city come in the Execration Texts (c. 19th century BCE) and the Amarna letters (c. 14th century BCE). According to Biblical accounts, the Jebusites, a Canaanite tribe, inhabited the area around the present-day city (under the name Jebus) until the late 11th century BCE. At that point (c. 1000s BCE), the Israelites, led by King David, invaded and conquered the city, expanding it southwards and establishing it as the capital of the United Kingdom of Israel and Judah (the United Monarchy). It was renamed at this time as Yerushalayim (Jerusalem), a name by which it is still referred to today.

King David's reign over Jerusalem ended around 970 BCE when his son Solomon became the new king. Biblical sources state that within a decade Solomon started to build the first of two Holy Temples within city limits — Solomon's Temple (or the First Temple), a significant site in Jewish and Christian history as the last known location of the Ark of the Covenant. The period of the First Temple was marked by the division of the United Monarchy at the time of Solomon's death (c. 930 BCE) when the ten northern tribes, originally part of the Monarchy, split off to form the Kingdom of Israel. Under the leadership of the bloodline of David and Solomon, Jerusalem continued to act as the capital of the southern par of the split, the Kingdom of Judah. Later, with the Assyrian conquest of the Kingdom of Israel in 722 BCE, Jerusalem became the center of a Judah strengthened by the great number of Israeli refugees. In approximately 586 BCE, the Babylonians conquered the Kingdom of Judah including the city of Jerusalem, and the First Temple Period came to an end.

In 538 BCE, after fifty years of Babylonian captivity, the Jews were given permission from Persian King Cyrus the Great to return to Judah so they could rebuild Jerusalem and construct the Second Temple. The construction was completed in the year 516 BCE, seventy years after the destruction of the First Temple. Jerusalem regained its status as capital of Judah and center of Jewish worship for another four centuries, with a considerable portion of that period under Hasmonean rule. By 19 BCE, the Temple Mount was elevated and construction began on an expansion of the Second Temple under Herod the Great, a Jewish client king under Roman rule. In 6 CE, the city, as well as much of the surrounding area, came under direct Roman rule as the Judea Province. Still unchallenged, the Roman rule over Jerusalem and the region came to an end with the first Jewish-Roman war, the Great Jewish Revolt, which resulted in the destruction of the Second Temple in 70 CE. Jerusalem once again served as the national capital for the people of the region during the three-year rebellion known as Bar Kokhba's revolt. The Romans succeeded in sacking and recapturing the city in 135 CE and as a punitive measure, the Jews were banned from Jerusalem.

In the five centuries following Bar Kokhba's revolt, the city remained under Roman and Byzantine rule. With the city controlled by Roman Emperor Constantine I during the 4th century, Jerusalem was transformed into a center for Christianity, with the construction of sites such as the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. For most of the time between Constantine's rule and the arrival of the Muslim forces in 638, Jews were banned from Jerusalem. From that point, the rights of the non-Muslims under Islamic territory were governed by the Pact of Umar, and Christians and Jews living in the city were granted autonomy in exchange for a required poll tax (jizya). When Caliph Umar first came to the city, he requested that Sophronius, the reigning Patriarch of Jerusalem, guide him and his associates to the site of the Jewish Holy Temple. Upon the advice of Caliph Umar's associate, Ka'ab al-Ahbar (a Jewish convert to Islam), who convinced Caliph Umar that the Foundation Stone on the Temple Mount was the site of the Islamic miracle of the Isra and Miraj, Caliph Umar decided to build the Dome of the Rock and Al-Aqsa Mosque. By the end of the 7th century, a subsequent caliph, Abd al-Malik, had commissioned and completed the construction of the Dome of the Rock over the Foundation Stone. In the four hundred years that followed, Jerusalem's prominence diminished as Arab powers in the region jockeyed for control.

In 1073, Jerusalem was captured by Seljuk Turks. In response, Jerusalem was re-taken by the First Crusaders in 1099, with many of the city's then 30,000 Muslim and Jewish inhabitants slaughtered. That would be the first of several conquests to take place over the next five hundred years. In 1187, the city was taken from the Crusaders by Saladin. Between 1228 and 1244, it was given by Saladin's descendant al-Kamil to the Holy Roman Emperor Frederick II. Jerusalem fell again in 1244 to the Khawarizmi Turks, who were later, in 1260, replaced by the Mamelukes. In 1517, Jerusalem and its environs fell to the Ottoman Turks, who would maintain control of it until the First World War.

In 1917 after the Battle of Jerusalem, the British Army, led by General Edmund Allenby, captured the city. The League of Nations, through its 1922 ratification of the Balfour Declaration, entrusted the United Kingdom to administer the Mandate of Palestine and help establish a Jewish homeland in the region. The period of the Mandate saw the construction of new garden suburbs in the western and northern parts of the city and the establishment of institutions of higher learning such as the Hebrew University, founded in 1925.

As the British Mandate of Palestine was expiring, the 1947 UN Partition Plan (Part III) recommended "the creation of a special international regime in the City of Jerusalem, constituting it as a corpus separatum under the administration of the United Nations." However, this plan was rejected by the Arabs, and at the end of the 1948 Arab-Israeli War, Jerusalem found itself divided between Israel and Jordan (then known as Transjordan). The ceasefire line established through the 1949 Armistice Agreements between Israel and Jordan cut through the center of the city from 1949 until 1967, during which time western Jerusalem was part of Israel and eastern Jerusalem was controlled by Jordan. In 1949, West Jerusalem became Israel's capital. After the 1967 war, all of Jerusalem was claimed by Israel as its capital, although no other country recognises Israel's sovereignty over East Jerusalem and its occupation of East Jerusalem is considered illegal under the Rome Statute of the Geneva Convention.


In addition to many secular Israelis and foreigners, Jerusalem is considered home by large numbers of adherents to three of the four Middle Eastern monotheistic faiths: Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. Adherents of these faiths have tended historically to congregate in various neighborhoods of the city, with considerable overlap.


The main languages spoken in Jerusalem are Hebrew in western Jerusalem and Arabic in eastern Jerusalem. Most people throughout the city speak sufficient English for communication. In particular, English is widely spoken in areas most visited by tourists, especially the Old City. Typically, even if you do not find an English speaker on first attempt, one will be nearby. Israelis are always ready to help out tourists with the language as with other needs.

Additionally, many Charedi (strictly Orthodox) Jews speak Yiddish, and there is a significant number of French and Italian-speaking Jews. Smaller groups of Jews speak Spanish or German. There are also large numbers of Soviet immigrants of Jewish background, so it is not uncommon to see signs in Russian or hear Russian in the streets. A substantial Ethiopian community also exists in the city, with most bilingual in Amharic and Hebrew.


Since it is not very far from the eastern edge of the Mediterranean Sea, Jerusalem has a Mediterranean climate with hot, dry summers and cool, wet winters.

Winters are very wet, with nearly all of Jerusalem's annual 590 mm (23 in) of precipitation occurring between October and April. The coldest month is January, with an average high of 12°C (53°F) and an average low of 4°C (39°F). Sub-freezing temperatures are not an everyday occurrence, but do happen, snowfall sometimes occurs in the city during winter.

Summers are hot and dry as a bone with virtually no rainfall between the months of May and September. Temperatures will generally approach around 30°C (88°F) during the day and cool to around 15°C (59°F) at night. Being near the desert, there is often a big difference between the day and night temperatures, and even the hottest days can turn into chilly nights. Spring and fall are mild, with minimal rainfall and pleasant temperatures.

Get in

By plane

While techniclly Jerusalem has an airport called "Atarot" in northen Jerusalem, it also borders Ramallah, Palestine. The airport is closed since 2002 because during the Second Intifada Palestinians from the other side of the border tried to shoot airplanes. Currently, Israel's main entry point for the international traveller, is the newly built Terminal 3 at Ben Gurion International Airport (IATA: TLV), named after Israel's first Prime Minister, is situated near Lod and next to the highway linking Tel Aviv and Jerusalem (highway no. 1).

The airport, referred to by locals as Natbag (pronounced "Nut Bug") - its initials in Hebrew - comprises all the usual amenities expected from a first class airport and contains one of the world's largest duty-free shopping malls for an airport of its size. Ben Gurion Airport acts as the base for El Al, Israel's national airline, and is also served by over 50 international air carriers. Travel from the airport to the centre of Jerusalem takes 40-50 min and depending on traffic conditions often more. It is advisable to budget at least an additional 2 hours on top of your pre-flight check-in time to ensure timely arrival and completion of time consuming and exhaustive security procedures.

Security is extremely stringent at Ben-Gurion Airport, and is especially suspicious of travelers with Muslim names or visas from Islamic countries in their passports. Expect to be stopped and questioned for several hours if this is the case, both on the way in and on the way out. It would be wise to have some phone numbers of local contacts for security officials to call to verify your reasons for visiting. The airport prides itself in being one of the most secure in the world. It achieves this through a number of means. The most evident for travelers will be the pre-check-in security check. (Optional, should you go through it, you will be escorted to skip regular security check). On joining the queue for this security check, a security official will ask you several questions. Based on these (and what appears to be racial profiling) and a brief inspection of your passport, you will be assigned a number from 1 to 6. 1 signifies the lowest security concern and 6 the highest. Foreigners will typically get between a 3 and a 6. Age, appearance, stamps from Arab countries, evidence of visits to the Palestinian territory and other vague factors will be taken into account. Depending on the number you get (stuck on your passport and luggage), the security check is more or less thorough. Travelers who have visited the Palestinian territory will almost certainly receive a 5 or 6 (but this is not exclusive to this cohort; you can get 5 if you have never been to Israel before, and are of European descent). With a 5 or a 6, you can expect every single item of luggage to be taken from your bag and inspected in detail. Security officials have been known to check individual bank-notes. With a 6 (but sometimes even 5 if they have time), you can also expect to be taken to a cubicle and asked to remove your belt, shoes and have a personal inspection. If your clothes contain any metal that would set off a detector (such as studs in your jeans or a zip) even if plainly visible on the outside, you will be asked to remove the item of clothing. Travelers are regularly prevented from taking mobile phones, laptops and even shoes in their hand-luggage, although there is no consistency, with reports of one policy one week and another the next week. Arguing about such invasive checks is almost always fruitless and security reasons are the only ones that are ever cited. Though encouraging tourism, Israeli authorities would answer to criticism by irate travelers that Israel is not a usual destination, and that people who are looking for sun with no security checks should rather head to Canary Islands.

Getting to and from Jerusalem. The 'Nesher' shared taxi service (☎ 972 2 623-1231 - Hebrew and English) is a 14-seater minibus that runs approximately hourly services to the airport - ₪64 one way per person. For the Airport to Jerusalem, you will find them waiting outside the arrivals hall (they are signposted inside). Tell the driver where you want to be dropped. Again they should drop you at your hotel, but have been known to avoid parts of East Jerusalem. The rate is fixed, and the price should be paid in Shekels. You can pre-purchase the ticket from the Airport from Abraham Tours online in case you don't want to change money at the airport upon your arrival, but if you have Shekels, you can just turn up. They depart when full, or an hour after the first passenger boards, whichever is first. From Jerusalem to the Airport - You must reserve your seat in advance by phone and you will be picked up from your hotel or a chosen location (they have been known to refuse to pick up from some East Jerusalem neighborhoods, so check with your hotel or take a taxi to the Jerusalem hotel where they normally pick up without a problem). Be on time - they don't wait. You will be dropped at Terminal 1 or 3 in the airport.

Always check what terminal your flight goes from! T1 is for domestic flights to Eilat (all carriers) and low-cost flights. T3 is for all other international flights. Check it before you take the cab (cab driver will be no help in this). There is a free shuttle going between T1 and T3 several times an hour.

Expect your taxi to be stopped on the way to the airport - have your passports, tickets, and answers for some questions (how long have you been to Israel, where are you going...) ready.

The Egged bus service does not go directly from Jerusalem to the Terminal. You should take bus #947 to Airport City (Kiryat Sde Hateufa) and take a shuttle bus to the terminal (free in conjunction with a bus ticket). When traveling to Jerusalem, you first catch the #5 bus from the airport to El Al Junction and then continue on bus #947 to Jerusalem. Price as of February 2016: ₪25. You pay the driver of the #5 bus and he gives you your ticket, which you give to the driver of the #947. Travel time on the #947 roughly 45 minutes.

The train does not run from Jerusalem to the airport, but there are trains between Jerusalem and Lod where you can change for connecting trains to the airport

Some people choose to enter Israel, and Jerusalem, by flying to Queen Alia Airport in Amman, Jordan and entering at the Israeli-controlled Allenby Border Crossing in the West Bank. It takes approximately an hour to reach Allenby Crossing from Amman, and a half hour to reach Jerusalem from Allenby Crossing. There are frequent shared taxis parked outside the Allenby crossing that drive to Jerusalem. A private taxi between Amman and Jerusalem will cost around ₪150-200 (tourist map in Jerusalem quotes official flat price ₪197, however this is hard to reach. While the asking price can be different, it usually costs about ₪250. Expect to go through Israeli check-point on the way (via Ramallah). Alternatively, nearby Damascus Gate, there are shared taxis that run from Jerusalem to the Allenby Bridge Crossing relatively close to Amman, Jordan. Note: Jordanian tourist visas aren't given at Allenby Bridge. Jordanian authorities require one to have a valid tourist visa before entering Jordan via Allenby Crossing (This is only applicable for Allenby Crossing because it is located in the Palestinian Territories, which used to be under Jordanian jurisdiction). If your previously obtained one-month tourist visa to Jordan has already expired, or you started your trip in Israel first, you can get a Jordanian visa at the Jordanian Embassies in Ramat Gan or Ramallah, otherwise, you can get a Jordanian tourist visa at the other border crossings located nearby in Beit Shean and Eilat).

Israel has recently opened a low-cost-carrier airport at Ovda Airport, 40 minutes north of Eilat in the Negev desert in southern Israel. It takes four hours to travel from this airport to Jerusalem: either the 392 bus from the airport to Be'er Sheva, transferring to the 446 or 470 Egged busses, or the 282 bus from the airport to Eilat, transferring to the 444 bus. Flying into Ben Gurion is a far closer and easier option, unless your town happens to have a direct and inexpensive Ryanair or Wizzair connection to Ovda.

By train

Jerusalem is connected to Israel Railway network, but the service, which follows the route of the 1892 Jaffa-Jerusalem line, is noted for its scenery rather than speed.

From Tel Aviv, you should take the train to Jerusalem, with stops en-route at Lod (where you can make connections to Beer Sheva, Ashkelon and Rishon LeZion), Ramla (currently the Ramla station is under construction, and the trains don't stop there), Bet Shemesh, and arrive at Jerusalem's Malkha train station, which is inconveniently located at the south of the city. The old train station in the city center is currently out of service. A few trains also stop at the Biblical Zoo station, but it is within walking distance from Malkha station.

Journey time from Tel Aviv Merkaz/Savidor station to Malkha station is about 1.30 hour. There's one train per hour from 5.54 to 19.54 on weekdays, 5.25 to 14.25 (15.25 in summer) on Friday, 20.10 (22.10 in summer) on Saturday. Trains from Malkha depart on weekdays from 5.44 to 21.41 (the last one only as far as Lod), on Friday from 6.00 to 13.56 (14.56 in summer), on Saturday at 19.47 (21.47 in summer).

From the train station there are several buses to destinations in and around Jerusalem. To downtown take bus #4 or #18, and ask for "MerKaz Ha-ir" or for "Kikar Tzion" (Zion Square). To the central bus station, #5 is the fastest, though the #6 and #32 are alternatives. Taxis are also available.

A high-speed rail link connecting Jerusalem to Tel Aviv in half an hour and Ben Gurion Airport in 20 minutes is under construction and is scheduled to open in 2018. Its terminus will be an underground station (80m below surface) near the central bus station and Binyaney Ha'uma (convention center). Until then, use the train if you have plenty of time and want to see nice mountain scenery, but not if you are in a hurry.

By bus

Central Bus Station

At the moment, this is the fastest and most efficient way to travel to and from Jerusalem

Bus services to Jerusalem from Ben Gurion International Airport and most Israeli cities are frequent, cheap, and efficient. Egged is almost the only operator of intercity buses to/from Jerusalem, as well as the entire urban network. To check on these services look at its website [35] or dial *2800 from any phone.

Most intercity buses arrive at the Central Bus Station (CBS) (in Hebrew: Tahana Merkazit) located at the western edge of Jaffa street, at the main entrance to Jerusalem. [GPS coord 31.789047, 35.203149]. The new Jerusalem Light Rail line has a station just outside the CBS that can link you to many other parts of the city.

There are two direct buses to/from Tel Aviv, which the ride takes about one hour. They both cost NIS 18 each way, and a back and forth ticket (Halokh Vashov) will cost NIS 30.60. (Oct 2012) 405- Jerusalem CBS - Tel Aviv CBS - Runs between ~6AM - ~11:50PM. This line is suitable for southern Tel Aviv and the neighboring cities in the south. 480- Jerusalem CBS - Tel Aviv Arlozorov Terminal- Runs between ~5:50AM- ~11:50 PM. This line is suitable for Central Tel Aviv, and the terminal is adjacent to the Tel Aviv Savidor Train Station.

From the Central Bus Station it is a long but enjoyable walk (or short ride on the light rail) along Jaffa Road to the Shuk (the market) (~15 min) > city centre (~ 25 min) > Old City (~45 min).

Inter-city buses arrive and depart inside the station building, while City buses and the light rail stations are right in front of the CBS. When exiting the CBS, turn left to walk towards the city, or cross the street to find the city buses and the light rail. Finding your way when you leave the CBS for the first time can be a confusing experience, since there are almost no city maps around. There is a city map on the large square opposite the CBS, on the right side, towards Sederot Shazar.

NOTICE- Public transport does not run on the Jewish Sabbath and holidays - from half hour before sunset on Friday (or the day before the holiday) till Saturday night. Hours vary by the time of year - In December (winter solstice) Shabbat starts as early as 3.55PM and ends at 5.15, while in June (summer solstice) Shabbat starts as late as 7.10 and ends on 8.30. Do not take chances on Friday- If you need to get somewhere on time, give yourself at least a two hour clearence before shabbat.

By shared taxi

There are regular shared taxis running from the Allenby Bridge Crossing, situated nearby Jericho, that drive to Jerusalem. There are also private taxis outside of the terminal.

Public buses do not run during Shabbat (between sunset on Friday and sunset on Saturday, roughly speaking), during which your only option is a sherut (shared taxi). These depart from Tel Aviv's Central Bus Station and Ben Gurion Airport, and charge a small surcharge on top of the normal bus fare. As of mid-2012 a sherut costs ₪23 (₪28 at night, ₪33 at Shabbat; Feb 2016: ₪24 during regular day) and drops you off downtown, not far from Zion Square. A sherut from the airport to anywhere in the city of Jerusalem costs about ₪62. The company offering the sherut service is called "Nesher".

Shared taxis are also the best option if travelling from Jerusalem to Palestinian cities, especially Ramallah and Bethlehem. The main bus station (On Sultan Suleiman street, next to the Rockfeler Museum) serves the surrounding Palestinian towns and villages, including Abu-Dis (Line 36), and Bethlehem (Line 124), those buses are colored mostly in blue strips . Another bus terminal, on Nablus road (Straight on from the Damascus gate) serves Ramallah, other main Palestinian cities. There is a shared taxi direct to/from the Allenby bridge (The border crossing with Jordan), for ₪38 plus ₪4 (Dec 2011) per luggage (picking up from Al-Souq Al-Tijaree "The commercial souq" not far away from the main bus station).

All Palestinian shared taxis are very cheap, ₪5 for the surrounding villages, ₪5.50 for Abu-Dis and ₪6.50 for Ramallah.

There are no Israeli sherut lines within Jerusalem (unlike most Israeli cities). But there are sherut lines to Tel Aviv and Beit Shemesh as well as the airport.

The bus operator in the eastern Jerusalem is called Al-Safariat Al-Mowahadda "The united traveling service". Note that the taxi is called "Moneet" in Hebrew, and called taxi in the Palestinian side. Both differ from the shared taxi, which runs fixed routes for many people like a bus. Moneet or Taxi is a private taxi.

Get around

By taxi

Cabs are plentiful in the city of gold, but be warned as the drivers may try to rip you off by "taking the scenic route" or charging a fixed price instead of on the meter. Insist that the driver turns on the meter (Mo-neh).

Also, a common tactic is that when you tell a cab driver you want to go somewhere, they say "Well I want to take you here first", and then they proceed to take you on an involuntary tour of different sites and then demand an exorbitant amount of money that they don't tell you about up front.

By bus

NB: The description here refers solely to West Jerusalem (the jewish part). The Arab system of buses is based on two bus stations near Damascus Gate.

The most effective public transportation option is currently in the form of buses. Take into consideration that the intercity bus system is quite confusing, especially for a tourist. Even people living in Jerusalem their whole lives won't be able to help you, if they aren't familiar with the bus route you're interested in using. This is caused by the lack of any official bus route maps, and to the fact that bus routes and numbers tend to change rapidly. Buses are run by "Egged" Company. Most buses are dark green, but you might see the older red and white buses too.

To use the bus, you pay the driver as you board the bus. All bus rides are at a fixed price of NIS 5.90, no matter how many stops you stay on for. You may pay in change or bills. Entrance to the bus is from the front door only, and exit is usually from the back door(s).

Once you pay the driver, a ticket will come out of the gray calculator next to the driver. You must take and keep the ticket, for proof to the conductor, which tends to come and check.

Many bus drivers have a very limited knowledge in English, so try to find someone else to help you when needed.

The Jerusalem City Tour (Bus #99), intended for tourists, does a loop of pretty much the whole city and costs ₪45 adults and ₪36 children for a one-day pass.

Below is a summarized overview of which bus to take to get from certain places to other places. Printing this list, and the map, will be very helpful.

  • Central Bus Station
    • Buses towards the city leaving directly in front of the CBS (going left / east)
      • 1 to Kotel HaMa'aravi: CBS - Sarei Yisrael - Malchei Yisrael (Geulah) - Meah Shearim - Shaar Shechem (Damascus Gate) - Kotel HaMa'aravi (Western Wall)
    • Buses away from the city leaving directly in front of the CBS (going right / west)
      • 7 to Har Chotzvim: Kiryat Mattersdorf - Sorotzkin - Kiryat Tzanz - Ezrat Torah - Har Chotzvim
    • Buses towards the city leaving from Sederot Shazar (the main road across from the CBS; cross under the road through the tunnel) (going left / east)
      • 11 to Ramat Shlomo: CBS - Machaneh Yehudah - HaNevi'im (Bikur Cholim hospital) - Strauss (Geulah) - Yechezkel - Shmuel HaNavi - Golda Meir - Ramat Shlomo
      • 15 circle bus: CBS - Sarei Yisrael - Malchei Yisrael (Geulah) - Meah Shearim - Shaar Shechem (Damascus Gate) - Yaffo (municipality offices, central post office) - Kikar Tzion - Strauss (Bikur Cholim hospital) - Malchei Yisrael (Geulah) - Sarei Yisrael - CBS - Givat Shaul - Har Nof
      • 35 to Ramot: CBS - Machaneh Yehudah - HaNevi'im (Bikur Cholim hospital) - Strauss (Geulah) - Yechezkel - Shmuel HaNavi - Golda Meir - Ramot
  • Other Routes
    • 1: CBS - Sarei Yisrael - Malchei Yisrael (Geulah) - Meah Shearim - Shaar Shechem (Damascus Gate) - Kotel HaMa'aravi (Western Wall)
    • 2: Har Nof - Givat Shaul North - Hamag - Kiryat Mattersdorf - Sorotzkin - Kiryat Tzanz - Ezrat Torah - Golda Meir - Shmuel HaNavi - Shaar Shechem (Damascus Gate) - Kotel HaMa'aravi (Western Wall)
    • 7: Kiryat Mattersdorf - Sorotzkin - Kiryat Tzanz - Ezrat Torah - Har Chotzvim
    • 11: Har Nof - Givat Shaul North - CBS (Shazar) - Machaneh Yehudah - HaNevi'im (Bikur Cholim hospital) - Strauss (Geulah) - Yechezkel - Shmuel HaNavi - Golda Meir - Har Chotzvim - Ramat Shlomo
    • 15 circle bus: Har Nof - Givat Shaul North - CBS (Shazar) - Sarei Yisrael - Malchei Yisrael (Geulah) - Meah Shearim - Shaar Shechem (Damascus Gate) - Yaffo (municipality offices, central post office) - Kikar Tzion - Strauss (Bikur Cholim hospital) - Malchei Yisrael (Geulah) - Sarei Yisrael - CBS (Shazar) - Givat Shaul North - Har Nof
    • 16: Bayit VeGan - Yefeh Nof - Kiryat Moshe - Givat Shaul North - Hamag - Kiryat Mattersdorf - Sorotzkin - Kiryat Tzanz - Hannah - Bar Ilan - Sanhedria - Golda Meir - Har Chotzvim - Ramot
    • 18: CBS-Yaffo-David HaMelech-Derech Beit Lechem-Emek Refaim-Yochanan Ben Zakkai-Yossi Ben Yoezer-Kanei HaGalil-Yehudah HaNasi-Yaakov Pat-Kenyon Malcha
    • 21: replaces the 14 into Talpiot
    • 29: Har HaMenuchot - Givat Shaul Commercial Area - Givat Shaul North - CBS (Shazar)
    • 35: Har Nof - Givat Shaul South - CBS (Shazar) - Machaneh Yehudah - HaNevi'im (Bikur Cholim hospital) - Strauss (Geulah) - Yechezkel - Shmuel HaNavi - Golda Meir - Ramot
    • 38: Jewish Quarter Parking lot - Yafo Street - Davidka Square - Yafo Street - Jewish Quarter Parking lot.

"Fast Lines" These are new and modern buses which cut though the city vertically.

    • 71, 72: Gilo- Derekh Hevron- King George- Straus- Ramot.
    • 74, 75: Har Homa- Derekh Hevron- King George- The Shuk- CBS- Har nof

Note Buses in Jerusalem (Egged) do not run on Shabbat (30 minutes before sunset on Friday until at least 30 minutes after sunset on Saturday), nor on other religious holidays. That doesn't apply for Al-Safariiat Al-Moahaddih. This list is incomplete

By light rail

The Jerusalem Light Rail line opened on 19 August 2011. It links the north-eastern neighborhoods to the south-western neighborhoods, runs along the western side of the Old City, and passes through the city center. Additional lines are planned to be constructed later.

The light rail runs past many areas of interest to tourists: Damascus Gate station close to the Old City gate of that name; City Hall station (Saffra square) which is close to the Jaffa Gate of the Old City; King George V station which is close to Ben Yehuda street; the light rail station just outside the Jerusalem Central Bus Station; the Mahane Yehuda station at the main markets which are the largest in Israel, and there are also numerous food stalls offering local cuisine. The tram line runs along Yaffo Street (also referred to as Jaffa Street) which has many interesting cafes and shops in the portion of Yaffo/Jaffa Street that lies between City Hall station and King George V station. At the southern end of the light rail line, at the Mount Herzl station, are Yad Vashem holocaust museum as well as Mount Hertsel national cemetry where famous citizens, prime ministers and Israeli soldiers have been buried.

As of 1 January 2014, the ticket price is ₪6.90 with no transfers alowed unless you have a Rav kav card. (Same price, February 2016)

The light rail service ceases a few hours before Shabbat on Friday afternoon, and starts up a few hours after the end of Shabbat on Saturday night. The regular travel times on other days of the week can be found at the light rail website ( which can be found at the official website of the Jerusalem Light Rail.

The roads on which the tram line runs are half taken up by the tram lines, so cars must travel in single lanes in the remaining half of the road. This means that travel by car along these roads, shared by the tram, can be quite congested - in particular, Yaffo street (or Jaffa Street), which has parts that are exclusively used by the light railway.

Note that if asking locals where is the nearest station of the Jerusalem Light Rail, some people refer to it as the "train station" or "tram station".

By foot

Much of Jerusalem is walkable (check before going) and is pleasant to walk. The humidity level of Jerusalem is much lower than most cities in Israel, but you must remember the city is built on mountains- and you might have to climb some steep ascents. Some of the neighborhoods are a bit distant, so make sure to check on Google Maps the distance before you go. The Old City has to be toured by foot, not only because it is more impressive this way, but also because many of the lanes and alleyways are inaccessible to cars.

By bike

Bike rentals are available at the abraham-hostel 67 Hanevi'im street, Davidka square, as well as at Bilu Bikes, 7 Bilu Street for a guided Bike tour Cycling in Jerusalem is probably the best way to see the city, recommended by many past travelers, Lonely Planet and Tripadvisor  ; this is a way to see the real Jerusalem. This 3-5 hour tour covers most of Jerusalem's historical neighborhoods, including many places that most visitors never get to see. The tour includes, The Israeli Parliament, The valley of the Cross, "Rehavia" and "Talbia", The German Colony, "Mishkanit Shananim", Jaffa Gate the Russian Compound and "Nachlaot", to name only a few. The ride goes through side streets, short cuts and allies, known by few other than our expert guides. Despite the hills around Jerusalem, the ride in the city is not as hard as people tend to think, and the ride can be modified to suite families and inexperienced riders.

The Jerusalem Night ride includes an unforgettable ride through the empty streets of the 3000 year Old City.


Jerusalem has an amazing array of attractions for the traveler to see. The following are some of the must-sees. For more attractions see individual district articles. Old city attractions (such as Way of the Cross) and suggested tour routes can be found on the Interactive Jerusalem Map [36]

  • Mar Elias Monastery - Greek Orthodox Monastery that built over the tomb of the Greek Orthodox Bishop of Jerusalem called Elias, Bethlehem and Beit Jala residents used to come everey year to visit his tomb for centuries. another tradition says that Prophet Elijah (Elias) used to rest there when he escaped from Jezebel.
  • Tantur theological center - a Christian theological center in Southern Jerusalem, opened for all the variation of Christianity.
  • St. Simeon monastery is a Greek Orthodox monastery (originally Crusader) in the neighborhood of Katamon, built over what believed to be the house and even the burial place of St. Simeon (Gospel of Luke)
  • Ramat Rachel archaeological site is an archaeological site dates back from biblical times to first century BC
  • Monastery of the Cross - a Greek Orthodox monastery surrounded by walls (the current monastery was built in the crusader period on the remains of the 4th monastery), according to the Christian tradition, the monastery built over the site of the trees that Jesus's Cross made from. Only 4 monks living there today
  • The Israel Museum [37] is the largest museum in Israel. The Museum contains the "shrine of the book" where the dead sea scrolls are kept. It also has a large scale model of Jerusalem in ancient times. It has large archeology and art sections that were renovationed and reopened in 2010. Entrance fee is ₪50.
  • Yad Vashem [38] is Israel's Holocaust museum. There is no fee to enter but tours can cost about ₪30. Children under ten are not allowed to enter the museum proper but they go to other areas.
  • The Garden Tomb [39] on Nablus Road, East Jerusalem marks what many believe is the location of Calvary and the tomb of Jesus. The tomb is located in a lush big garden which is a good break away from the hustle and bustle of East Jerusalem. Must do, but only open in the afternoons. Free entrance.
  • The Palestinian heritage museum [40] is within the American Colony complex in East Jerusalem. Located in a 200-years-old Palestinian building, the museum hosts permanent and temporary exhibitions on Palestinian culture, folklore and history. The permanent exhibition include a room dedicated to the Palestinian Nakba, a floor dedicated to traditional Palestinian dresses and Jewelery, as well as a laboratory for the restoration of old artifacts. Entrance 20/10 NIS.
  • The Biblical Zoo is one of Israel's most popular tourist sites, in West Jerusalem
  • Visit the Belzer Rebbe's tish on Friday night in Charedi Jerusalem (men only!) or just wander around Ultra Orthodox neighbourhood of Mea Shearim in decent attires
  • Mount Herzl (also called: Mount of Remembrance) in the end of Herzl boulevard street. adjacent to Yad VaShem and the Jerusalem Forest. this is the national cemetery of Israel and includes "Yitzhak Rabin grave" and the "Theodor Herzl Museum". also including the memorials of the "Victims of Acts of Terror Memorial" and the "Garden of the Missing Soldiers". near Herzl's grave there is a large broad for the main ceremony of the opening of the Independence Day. There is station of the light rail near the entrance to Mount Herzl.
  • Yemin Moshe the first modern neighbourhood outside the Old Town, a beautiful cluster of small cobbled streets.
  • Old City — the atmospheric historical core of Jerusalem surrounded by Ottoman period walls, filled with sites of massive religious significance and a bustling approach to life. (Please note that sites are often specific to one religion, being used by adherents of a particular religion for worship or exhibits, and some sites, particularly Islamic ones, may bar nonmembers from entry or praying on the grounds.)
Church of the Holy Sepulchre
  • The Church of the Holy Sepulchre (Christian) [41] is the end of the Via Dolorosa (Way of the sorrows) in the Christian quarter of the Old City. It is the most holy Christian spot in the world. The first church on the site was built by Queen Helena, mother of the emperor Constantine, the Holy Sepulchre is Jerusalem's number 1 site for Christian pilgrims and is consequently horribly crowded. Expect to queue for an hour or more to enter the tiny tomb chamber.
Temple Mount
  • The Temple Mount (Jewish/Muslim) is in the Old City of Jerusalem, and it is important to both Jews and Muslims, to the extent that ferocious international disputes have arisen over it. The Temple Mount is the third most important site in Islam (and the most important in Judaism), and it is a showcase for Islamic architecture and design from the Umayyad to Ottoman times. (Jewish construction dating from Roman times and before can also be found at the site and in the vicinity.) Jews often pray at the Western Wall (Hakotel Hamaaravi) [42] in the Old City on the side of the Temple Mount, which is part of the outer retaining wall of the Temple, built 2000 years ago. The Temple Mount also continues as an important religious and educational centre for Muslims to the present. It is crowned by the magnificent Dome of the Rock, which stands on or near the site of the ancient Jewish Temples. It is accessible at only specific times which you should find out in advance. Encompassing over 14 hectares (35 acres) of fountains, gardens, buildings and domes, the Temple Mount houses the following Islamic landmarks:
  • Al-Aqsa Mosque (The Far Mosque) is the point from where the prophet of Islam, Mohammad (PBUH), is believed to have ascended to heaven.
  • Qubbat Al-Sakhra (Dome of the Rock) [43] - located in the middle of the sanctuary opposite of the Al-Aqsa Mosque, is probably the most known landmark of Jerusalem with its golden dome and octagonal blue walls that are adorned with Arabic calligraphy of Koranic verses. The interior of both the Dome of the Rock and the Al-Aqsa mosque are closed to non-Muslims, however, the plaza that they are situated in is open to the public. The Dome of the Rock is also labelled the most amazing Islamic building in the world.
  • Entrance into the mosques on the Temple Mount is granted if a Muslim man/woman asks the guard of the mosques for entrance (they usually ask you to recite a well known Quranic verse to prove you are a Muslim). For others (such as journalists, ect) who wish to enter the Muslim sites for media purposes, ect write to the Director of the Islamic Waqf via the following address:
Director of the Islamic Waqf
Islamic Waqf Council
P.O. Box 19004
Jerusalem, Israel
In the request, make sure to include your nationality, some information about yourself (ex. your occupation), and the reason why you want to enter the Dome of the Rock and Al-Aqsa Mosqe. Do not refer to the Temple Mount by its English name; refer to it as "Haram-el-Sharif".
Jewish quarter
  • The Jewish quarter in the Old City was completely re-built in 1969 after the 1967 Arab-Israeli War. It still holds many ancient masterpieces such as the Cardo (700 BC), Burnt House (70 AD), and Western Wailing Wall (50 BC). All of which are among the most holy Jewish sites in the world. Definitely worth a visit, especially the western wall. The Jewish Quarter also includes The Western Wall Tunnel and the archaeological park at Davidson Centre (the Ophel). Also interesting are The Hurba Synagogue and The Herodian Quarter.
Via Dolorosa
  • Via Dolorosa [44] - passing through Bethesda (crusader church and Roman excavations), Franciscan Archaeological Museum and Les Seurs de Sion Monastery with its underground Roman Street.
  • Damascus Gate is the most elaborate one. The vegetable market borders it. It is also near Jaafar - Jerusalem most renowned sweets store.
  • Just outside Damascus Gate you can visit Hezekiah's Tunnel and Rockefeller Archaeological Museum as well as The Garden Tomb and The Tomb of the Kings
  • Lady Tunshuq Palace and Tomb
  • The Indian Hospice, The Austrian Hospice, The Armenian Hospice
  • Syriac Church, Maronite Church
  • The Armenian Cathedral and Museum
  • The Tower of David (Citadel) at Jaffa Gate, the museum of town history
  • Murestan Square with the Lutheran Church of the Redeemer
  • Mount of Olives with numerous monuments including: Kidron Valley Monuments [BEWARE 'helpful locals scam' at the southern end of Kindron valley where the steps up the hill to the City of David is. They will ask where you are going and tell you the way, which there is only one, up the stone stairs, then ask for money because they 'have helped you with directions'. Firmly tell the guy not to follow you.], Maria's Tomb, The Ascension Chapel, Domini Flevit Church, Church of All Nations, Tombs of the Prophets, Jewish Cemetery, Pater Noster Church, The Muscoviya, The Tomb of Lazarus (in Al Eizariya village at the south-eastern slope of the Mount of Olives)
  • Hass Promenade -- Amazing view of the old city and environs, especially at sunset
  • Zion Mountain with several monuments including: Hagia Maria Sion Abbey (Dormision Church), Schindler's Tomb, Chamber of the Holocaust (Martef HaShoah), David's Tomb and Room of the Last Supper

Around Jerusalem

  • Bethlehem - south to Jerusalem, the town of the Nativity of Jesus Christ.
  • Ramallah - north to Jerusalem, The de facto capital of Palestine and it's cultural center.
  • Monastery of Martyrius - located in the Ma'ale Adumim settlement east to Jerusalem, the monastery was one of the most important centres of Judean Desert's monastic life during the Byzantine period. There are ruins of church, bedroom also the largest mosaic in the middle east.
  • Abu Ghosh - an Israeli-Arab metropolitan town, known for its Restaurants and it's Hummous. There are some sites in the village like the Crusader Benedicte monastery which is built during the crusader times and still working, also the nearby old mosque and the new one which is the second biggest mosque in Israel (after Al-Aqsa) with four minarets, Deir al-Azhar is located of the top of archaeological hills (tel) and built on the traditional site of Kiryat Yearim, this was the resting place of the Ark of the Covenant.
  • The Monastery of St. John in the Wilderness is a Franciscan monastery located just north to moshav Even Sapir on a wooded slope, the monastery celebrates John the Baptist's childhood and activity at the Judean Desert.
  • Sataf National Park - a pastoral national park with an ancient mountain agricultural technique, facing the Monastery of St. John in the Wilderness.
  • Belmont fortress - a Crusader fortress, controlled on the road to Jerusalem near the village of Tzuba
  • Tomb of Rachel - Just south to Jerusalem is the location of Tomb of the matriarch Rachel, the 3rd Holiest Jewish Shrine surrounding by wall, Churches and Mosques on the bordering city of Bethlehem, the accesses is from Jerusalem.
  • Tomb of Samuel - Tomb of the Prophet Samuel, in the site there is a archeological site from crusader period, the building includes a abadoned Muslim mosque and active Jewish synagogue with mikve on the hill slope.
  • Shephelah - region with many Christian Monasteries and Archaeological sites.
  • Ein Hemed National Park - remains of a big Crusader building.
  • Qastel - Remains from Israel's independence war, that shows a tunnels and few remains of Crusader fortress that used also to be the house of the village's mukhatar.


Most hotels will provide tours. Bus # 99 (NO LONGER IN OPERATION per Wikipedia) provides an orientation to the whole city and can provide a perspective of the city. It cost ₪60 for a 2 hour tour and ₪80 for all day tour. It starts at the Egged Central Bus Station. You can get on and off all day and is run and looks like the double-decker tour buses in London.

Western Wall

The Western Wailing Wall/underground is a tour that is well worth your time. The female guide there was well versed in the history of the wall and the explanation of the first two temples and the subsequent construction of the Dome of the Rock will create a great picture of the conflict between relevant cultures. A reservation should be made through your hotel. But individual walk-ins can sometimes be squeezed in.

The City of David water tunnels tour is interesting. It is located down the road from the Dung Gate (near the Western Wall), follow the signs. The tour lasts around 2 hours and starts with a description of the City of David. It culminates in a 25 minute walk through the water channel cut to bring fresh water into Jerusalem from a nearby spring. Sandals and a torch are required! The water is ankle deep for most of the tour.

Jerusalem is an amazing city for kids and kids events. Each museum runs special kids programs during the summer including Recycle workshops at the Israel Museum, Costumed tours of the Bible Lands Museum and the Museum of the Underground Prisoner. The Jerusalem Theater has a full schedule of kids theater and even opera.

For teens there is mini golf, segway tours, bowling, go karting, extreme sports, carpentry workshop and Kad V'Chomer (paint your own ceramics). Fun In Jerusalem also has a full list of swimming pools open to the public which come in handy during the hot summer months.

  • Temple Mount Sifting Project, Tzurim Valley National Park (Enter from ‎Derech E-Tur Shmuel Ben Adaya‎), 972-2-6280342. 9-17. Participate in salvaging antiquies in debris that was dumped out of the Temple Mount ₪15. (31°47'14.24N,35°14'26.07E)

For people interested in the environment there is Eco Israel Tours, which offers visitors to Israel the opportunity to head off the beaten-path and to experience a side of Israel rarely seen by visitors and students. They expose groups first-hand to Israel’s natural beauty, as well as its living, breathing culture of innovation. Despite its challenges, Israel is a global leader in green solutions to environmental problems. Eco Israel Tours provides an interactive, dynamic experience of this exciting world within Israel by exploring contemporary challenges and solution such as water and energy. For more information or to sign up for a tour, contact Yonatan Neril, Eco Israel Tours director, at 973-433-3322 (US-line), 054-723-4973 (Israel-line), or by email at [email protected]

The Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions (ICAHD) offers alternative tours that examine the complexities of life in East Jerusalem, Greater Jerusalem, and the Jordan Valley, with the option of meeting Palestinian families adversely affected by Israeli policies of separation and home demolitions. ICAHD's tours prioritize first-hand learning and a wide perspective on the social, cultural, political, and historical issues that underlie the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Tours are provided in seven languages: English, Arabic, Hebrew, German, Portuguese, Spanish, and French. [45]. For more information please contact Ruth Edwards at [email protected] or +972 (0)52 399 3946.

  • The Meaning of Life, 44 Chabad Street, Old City, Jerusalem (Above the Cardo, in the Jewish Quarter), 052-293-0366, [1]. 10am -5pm, Sun-Thurs. Unique tourist attraction promising a money-back guarantee of finding the meaning of life. Includes 20 minute film with cutting-edge rotoscope animation; challenging touchscreen quizzes and movie store, where you can buy something to fulfill your own particular 'meaning of life', from gourmet chocolate to expensive bubble baths. Suitable for ages 10+ 40 nis.
  • Kikar Hamusica, Nachman Square (Nachalat shiva (the neighborhood) is located between hillel street, ben yehuda street and jerusalems famous zion square (kikar tzion).), 972-2-6303200 ext. 226, [2]. 11:00 - 23:00. Kikar Hamusica is the new, ambitious and largest urban renewal and development project located in the downtown area of jerusalem. It is located in pictureque nachalat shiva-one of the original and first jewish neighborhoods, to be built outside of the walled old city of jerusalem.


Jerusalem offers a wide range of educational programmes, which include:

  • The Rothberg International School [46] — part of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.
  • Yad Vashem [47] runs a number of educational courses treating the subject of the Holocaust and Genocide Studies.
  • Damascus Gate Arabic [48] has many options, both private and group, to learn Arabic in Jerusalem.
  • All Nations Cafe [49] organizes summer caravans where internationals can learn about the social, political and cultural aspects of life in and around Jerusalem.
  • AISH Hatorah [50] Offers walk-in interactive discussions and lectures that cover topics such as: Being Jewish in today's world, defining the major tenents in Jewish thought from a rational perspective, and exploring major themes and practices in Jewish spirituality.
  • Yeshiva Machon Meir [51] Address: 2 Hameiri Ave., Kiryat Moshe, Jerusalem 91340, Israel: Shiurim in weekly tora portion (parasha), religious rules (halacha), Jewish ethics (mussar). Jewish outreach. Instruction languages: Hebrew, English, Russian



Jerusalem is big on t-shirts of all shapes, colors and designs, often with good evidence of Jewish humour being present! If shopping in the Old City's markets, where almost anything can be found, be prepared to haggle. You will get all sorts of beautiful and unique gifts here ranging from jewellery, bed covers, statues to spices. Judaica is also a popular choice of purchase. The Old City's Jewish and Arab Quarters are particularly good for this, as is Mea Shearim, however, dress modestly. Outside the old city a very good shopping destination is the pedestrian mall at the Ben Yehuda street, the Mamilla pedestrian mall outside the old city and the Malcha mall. These malls are also good places to eat!

The shopkeepers can be rather aggressive in their sales tactics. One tactic they use is that they invite you in for tea or coffee with a promise of "no pressure to buy." They change tune once you're inside and make it very difficult to leave without buying. If you're not interested it's best to just wave hi and keep walking.


Jerusalem, being the multicultural city that it is, has food from all countries, cultures, and tastes. Besides the ubiquitous falafel stands, there are European, Ethiopian, Mediterranean, and Middle Eastern foods. There is also a large ranges in prices from the ritzy and exotic Emek Refaim to falafel stands centered around Machaneh Yehuda and the Central Bus Station. A good rule of thumb is to look for restaurants filled with Hebrew or Arabic speaking locals.

If you keep kosher Jerusalem will be a wonderful place to visit. In the Jewish sections of the city almost everything is kosher. However you should still check for the paper on the wall. The Jerusalem rabbinute issues Kashrut certificates that are good for 3 months at a time, and color coded. If you don't see it displayed do not hesitate to ask the staff. If they don't show you one its a good sign to move along. The certificate should be stamped "Basari" (meat) or "halavi" (Dairy) in Hebrew. The current certificates are cream colored with red print for dairy and pinkish-red for meat restaurants. These will be good until Sept 22 (Rosh Hashana) after that the rabbinute will put up new certifications. Note it is not unusual for it to take a few days to get the new certificate up. It is usually the policy of the Jerusalem rabbinute to not certify a chain store as kosher unless all the branches in the city of Jerusalem are kosher. For this reason some branches of Aroma in Jerusalem are not certified kosher.

Jerusalem is a huge city, so all individual listings should be moved to the appropriate district articles, and this section should contain a brief overview. Please help to move listings if you are familiar with this city.

  • Dov's Corner, 18 Nissim Bechar (From Agrippas Street or Betzalel Street turn onto NIssim Bechar and it's mid-way), 02-538-7521, [3]. 10:00-9:00. A yogurt shoppe in Central Jerusalem. Rated A from the Jerusalem Post. Fresh toppings, all natural ingredients. A must see, and take a stroll through the lovely Nachlaot neighborhood with your yogurt in hand. $.


  • Burgers Bar. A small chain of stores, one can be found on Emek Refaim St. and another on Shamai St. (near Ben Yehudah St.) Kosher, also on French Hill, though they have sloppy service and questionable hygiene at busy hours
  • New Deli, Hillel St and Emek Refaim St. Kosher- 33 Hillel Street,
  • Meat Burger, Hillel St. Burger, fries, and drink ₪35-45. Not Kosher.


  • Abu Shukri, This is regarded as one of, if not the, tastiest and most affordable in Jerusalem. It is located where the Via Dolorosa and Al Wad Road meet. It's renown for its hummus and falafel. Go early on Saturday. That's when lines of Israelis wait for tables on afternoons. Not Kosher
  • Hashipudia, 6 Ha-Shikma St. This restaurant exclusively prepares skewers of lamb, beef, hearts and livers, geese and chicken breast, and goose liver. Also, it bakes fresh Iraqi pita bread every afternoon. Not Kosher, it is Halal though.
  • Azura - A traditional Iraqi Jewish restaurant in Mahane Yehuda market (shuk). Kosher.


  • The Eucalyptus, The Artists Colony by the old city, biblical Israeli cuisine best known for its "shir hashirim (song of songs)" tasting menu. There is a view of the David citadel from the restaurant and the chefs are internationally acclaimed. Reservations recommended. Kosher.
  • Matameh Tziona, French Hill Town Center, Small family run restaurant. Hailed by university students as some of the best food in Jerusalem. Falafel, Shawarma, Schnitzel, and many other delicious dishes. open Sunday through Thursday, 10:00 a.m.–10:00 p.m. Kosher.
  • Shalom Felafel, 36 Bezalel Street, open Sunday through Thursday, 11:00 a.m.–8:30 p.m. Kosher.
  • Try me'orav yerushalmi (lit. "Jerusalem Mix"), a pita or laffa bread stuffed with a tasty mix of spices and grilled meats and chicken innards. One famous place is Steakiyat Hatzot, Agrippas St., near the Mahaneh Yehuda Market. Check out the photos on the wall.
  • Melech Shawarma, Agripas and King George. The best shawarma in Jerusalem by far. A real treat. And only ₪20 for one of them. Best deal all around. Kosher.
  • HaSabikh, past the Ben Yehuda midrachov on the right. Home to the tastiest Sabikh in the city, in pita made fresh at the restaurant.
  • Falafel Hamelech (Falafel King) at the intersection of King George and Aggripas st, right in the center of downtown. Cheap and fair. A falafel in pita with a soda will be ₪14. Be sure, however, to try your Falafel with "amba", a mango-based condiment that you cannot get outside of the region easily! Kosher Rabbinute
  • Steakiat Tzidkiyahu Talpiot, Israeli "Steakiat" place, which is to say meat on skewers. About ₪45-60 per person but very good. Also they will fill your table with various Israeli salads and fresh bread. Amazing value! Kosher Mehadrin l'Mehadrin
  • From Gaza to Berlin (55 Gaza St, ) at the corner of Gaza St and Berlin St, with a second branch downtown. A small and friendly place selling hummus and falafel, has excellent Kube of different types.
  • Versavee [52] (just next to the Jaffa gate, next to the Imperial Hotel). A lovely bistro/cafe/bar. A pleasant atmosphere, good prices and the staff are friendly and all speak English. Try the local Palestinian beer called Taybeh - only ₪18. One of the nicest and cleanest cafes in the Old City. This small indoor/outdoor cafe/restaurant/bar is a nice spot for lunch, dinner or late night snack. The atmosphere is lively, the food very good, prices reasonable, service prompt and friendly. It is also one of the few eateries open at night in the Old City.
  • Azura Located in the Mahane Yehuda Market (it is hidden inside so ask around) Azura is one of the best places to try traditional Jewish middle eastern food. The prices are also very reasonable.
  • Rachmo A semi-cafeteria style restaurant on Ha'eshkol Street, just off of Agrippas Street, in the area of Mahane Yehuda Market. Rachmo is a great place to try traditional Jewish home cooking (mostly Middle Eastern Jewish) for a good price. It tastes great too.


  • Marvad Haksammim, King George St and Emek Refaim St. With its large serving sizes this is one of the best places for Yemenite food in the city. Be sure to try the Kuba soup (red, sweet, and spicy with round meat dumplings), Saluf (think large, thick, and crispy burritos), Shakshuka (poached eggs in tomato sauce), and Malawakh (doughy sweet pancake). Entrees are ₪15-40. Kosher.


Ethio-Israel experience, Turn left on Havatzelet St. when going on Yafo St. towards the Old City. Then turn right on Elyashar street and follow it to the left. In the little cul-de-sac is an incredible little restaurant. You won't be able to stop eating.


Mamila street

Jerusalem is a huge city, so all individual listings should be moved to the appropriate district articles, and this section should contain a brief overview. Please help to move listings if you are familiar with this city.

There is plenty of nightlife in Jerusalem [53] . For clubs, the best way is to have a "proteksya", or connection with someone. This way of knowing someone who works at the door or a friend is the easiest and best way to have a great time in Jerusalem. In the way of a more laid-back alternative bar scene, crawl around the closely nestled joints centered around the corner of Heleni HaMaika and Monobaz.

  • Artel Jazz Club, Heleni Hamalka 9 (Russian Compound), [4]. Every night live jazz concert at 22:00. Great food. Good selection of beverages. Free Wireless Internet.
  • Glen, Shlomtzion st. 18 (mamila area), +972-54-9010076 (), [5]. A proper English bar with 17 taps of extraordinary beers from Israel and all other the world, the bar has its' own beer on tap!. It's a whisk(e)y bar with over 100 types of single malt whiskies from all over the world. It's a small bar where you can meet locals from Jerusalem and students from all over Israel. Open hours are since 20:00 every day till last customer. It plays mostly rock music. Sometimes hosts a live bands and has simple but good food and free wireless internet.
  • HAOMAN 17, Rechov Haoman #17, Talpiyot Industrial Area. Open Thursday and Friday nights. Opens around 12:00AM, closes well after sunrise.. is one of the top rated night clubs in the world. DJs from around the world entertain beautiful people into the morning hours with live house-techno music. The long line prefers well dressed, attractive people. Flashing a University ID helps you get through the crowd on a busy night. Go with friends, as the club in in an industrial area (not the safest place to be alone at night). Do not pick fights with regulars, as people have been assaulted in the past. Cover is ₪80-120.
  • The Cassette, 1 Horkenous St, Jerusalem, 054-7263567. Sun-Thu and Sat 20:00-4:00; Fri 21:20-4:00. With the electric conduits forming a vine pattern over your head in its crypt-like backroom, this bar screams 'talk to me about philosophy' while experimental music plays in the background. The customers are the sort of people you'd find lounging around in art student's dorm room--in the best way possible. ₪18 beer and ₪6 chaser.
  • Uganda, Aristobolus 4 (Russian compound), [6]. If you're looking to nudge your friend to ask them if they know this B-side, then you need to check out this hipster, music-oriented college staple. Uganda's unpretentious decor with cover art clad walls is matched by the understated fashion sense of its patrons. From hummus in the afternoon to Goldstar beer at night, the prices are pocket-friendly. Come here to meet Jerusalem's art- and image-conscious students.
  • Ha-Tipa, Hadekel 2 (Mahane Yehuda Market). Small neighborhood pub at the outskirts of the Ben-Yehuda Market. Very Cheap alcohol, good music and Photo gallery. closed on Friday night.
  • Sira, Ben-Sira 4, [7]. Jerusalem hardcore pub. Live DJs every night.
  • Daila, Shlomtzion 4, [8]. Multi-cultural space for independent art and social change.
  • Birman (Musical Bistro), Dorot Rishonim ST (pedestrin mall, downtown Jerusalem), +972-50-2990059. daily 19:00-late night. Musical Bistro - Live music every night. For art, music & good food lovers. Open daily 19:00 till late hours Friday 13:00 – Sabbath Closed on SAT.
  • Izen Bar, Dereh Beit Lehem 7 (Old Train Station), (). IZEN Bar has for the past 3 years been the highest rated bar in Jerusalem. It's open Thursday, Friday & Saturday (sometimes also earier in the week). It appeals to the crowd with it's lovely enviroment. Outdoor area, a various numbers of DJ's playing popular high beating tunes into the early morning. Also known for it's happy atmosphere, entertainment of dancers, drummers, saxophonists +++ and different theme night's. A delicious assortment of dishes & snacks is served all night. It's recomendable to come early too avoid long lines.
  • Angelica, Shatz 7 (any bus to king george street, exit at cafe joe), (02) 623-0056. the only bar in jerusalem serving classic cocktails using freshly muddled fruits and vegetables. elegant atmosphere and the best drinks in town.

If you are looking for alcohol stores, there is one right by the Jaffa gate and several on Jaffa Rd. One of the stores by the Generali building (located on the right side on Jaffa when you're facing the building) stocks a wide variety of different beers and also has great prices, lower than that of other stores, check it out!


Jerusalem is a huge city, so all individual listings should be moved to the appropriate district articles, and this section should contain a brief overview. Please help to move listings if you are familiar with this city.

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The Old City has a diverse mix of small hotels, religious hospices and cheap hostels that might appeal to the traveller.

West Jerusalem has a blend of B&Bs, guesthouses, small hotels and large hotels - all the way up to 5-star accommodation, including the famous King David Hotel.


Jerusalem's Old city boasts the cheapest accommodation, while some newly-built hostels operate in West Jerusalem.

  • Abraham Hostel Jerusalem, Haneviim 67 (From Jerusalem's Central Bus Station, the Abraham Hostel is a 10 minute walk along Jaffa Street. Once you reach Davidka Square, the hostel stands in front of you on the left hand side of the road. The entrance is around the square, on Haneviim Street), 02 6502200, [9]. Located in the heart of Jerusalem's city center, the Abraham Hostel offers 72 guest rooms, all with en-suite bathrooms and free wi-fi. All guests receive free breakfast and a free Old City walking tour. Dorms from ₪77, private rooms from ₪240.
  • Jerusalem Hostel, 44 Jaffa Rd (From Jerusalem bus station walk along the Jaffa road to the left (toward Old City) where the railtrack lies), 02-6236102, [10]. Clean hostel with a convenient central location on Zion Square. Dorm ₪80, private room starting from ₪230.
  • New Swedish Hostel, David St. 29(67), +972-544431177, [11]. Probably one of the cheapest hostels in the old city - standard consistent with the price. Dorm from ₪50, private ?.
  • Jaffa Gate Hostel, (opposite Tower of Dawid, in a cul-de-sac next to Christian Information Center), [12]. Cheapest non-bunk dorm in a good location. Dorm (not bunk) ₪70, private room starting from ₪150.
  • Jerusalem Gaia Garden Guesthouse, 58 Harlap St, +972546204727, [13]. Nestled between four of the most classical neighborhoods of Jerusalem (Rehavia, Talbieh, Old Katamon and Kiriat Shmuel), Garden of Gaia at Jerusalem Garden Guesthouse (4GJ) is only a few hundred meters from the Jerusalem Theatre, Islamic Museum, the President's Residence and scores of Institutions and attractions, shops, cafes, bars and restaurant in one of Jerusalem's trendiest areas. Distance to Old City 30 min; Downtown 25 min; Emek Rephaim 15 min; Saker Park 5 min; HU Science Campus, Israel Museum and the government quarters are less than 25 minute walk.
  • Ramsis Hostel(guest house) ([email protected]), 20 Hanevim Street ((outside) damascus gate), +972 -02-6271651-. checkin: 12.00pm; checkout: 10.00am. Very friendly and the location is outstanding, right on the very frontline between east and west, with the bars in West Jerusalem only a 5 minute walk away. Wireless internet included in price. dormbed=$10 private =$15 free tea or coffee.
  • Golden Gate Inn, Khan al-Zeit st.. Breakfast included in the price and has free WiFi. Very near Damascus gate and about a 8 minute walk to Jaffa gate. Rooms are clean but tiny as you would expect for the price. ₪150 or so for a private single.


  • Eyal Hotel by Smart Hotels, Jerusalem, + 972 2-623-1000, [14]. Located 350 feet from the Zion Square in Jerusalem, Eyal Hotel ✅ is opened in 2014 and offers modernly furnished accommodation with free WiFi access. The Great Synagogue is 1,950 feet away. All rooms are air-conditioned and comprise a minibar and a flat-screen TV with cable channels. Featuring either a bath or a shower.
  • Al Hashimi Hotel and Hostel, Souq Khan El-Zeit # 73, Old City, Jerusalem, 9277 - 628-4410, [15]. Air-conditioned rooms, all of which have a cable television, private toilet and bath, telephone, and internet connection. Recently renovated and great 5th floor/roof view of city. Single - $100.
  • The Dan Boutique Jerusalem Hotel, 31 Hevron Rd., 03-5202552 (), [16]. Cosy hotel, 15 minute walk from Jaffa Gate.
  • Harmony Hotel Jerusalem, 6 Yoel Moshe Salomon Street (Nahalat Sheva), [17]. Single: 120$; Double: 140$.
  • Jerusalem Inn, 7 Horkanos St., [18]. Israeli buffet breakfast and free WiFi included in the price. All rooms have a private bath and toilet, a balcony, TV, airconditioning, mini-bar and a safe.
  • Montefiore Hotel, 7 Shatz Street, [19].
  • Park Hotel, 2 Vilnay Street, [20]. Close to Calatrava Railway Bridge, Park Hotel stands adjacent to modern Jerusalem's International Convention Center (ICC Jerusalem) and is only a short walk from the Israel Museum, the Hebrew University's Givat Ram campus, the Knesset (home of Israel's Parliament) and the Government's most important buildings.
  • Ella Residence Suites Hotel, 21 Hadishon St., 972-2-6781925 (, fax: 972-2-6799989), [21]. checkin: 14:00; checkout: 12:00. Furnished suites. 180$.
  • St. Andrew's Scottish Guest House[54]PO Box 8619 1 David Remez Street Jerusalem 91086 Israel email: [email protected] Single: US$90. No curfew. Overlooks the Hinnom Valley and located between Mishkenot Shaananim/Yemin Moshe district and Emek Refaim.
  • Capitol Hotel, Salah Eddin Street, [22]. 54 guest rooms. From US$99.
  • Crowne Plaza, Givat Ram (at the city's entrance), 972-3-5390808, [23].
  • Rimonim Hotel Jerusalem, 24 Shachrai St, Bait Va'gan, 972-2-675-2222. checkin: 15:00; checkout: 11:00. Hotel in Jerusalem located on the slopes of Jerusalem mountains, near Jerusalem popular sites and public transport
  • Prima Kings Jerusalem, 60 King George St., 972-2-620-1201 (, fax: 157-2-620-1211). checkin: 14:00; checkout: 11:00. Jerusalem Hotel and centrally located at the heart of Jerusalem. The hotel offers 214 designed rooms, business and religions services, Glatt Kosher meals and more
  • Prima Royale Jerusalem, 3 Mendele Mocher Sfarim St., 972-2-560-7111 (, fax: 157-2-654-4393). checkin: 14:00; checkout: 1:00. Hotel Prima Royale in Jerusalem offers cultural experience and relax vacation close to Jerusalem old city
  • Prima Palace Jerusalem, 2 Pines St., 972-2-531-1811 (, fax: 157-2-254-4388). checkin: 14:00; checkout: 11:00. Glatt Kosher Hotel in Jerusaelm, located just a minutes away from Jerusalem old city and offers 76 rooms, two dining halls serves Glatt Le’Mehadrin and Badatz Agudat Israel kashrut
  • Prima Park Jerusalem, 2 Vilnay Street, 95435 Jerusalem, 972-2-6582222 (). checkin: 14:00; checkout: 11:00. Prima Park Hotel is located at the entrance of Jerusalem, at the Judean Hills wine region and offers 217 designed rooms
  • Jerusalem Tower Hotel (Jerusalem Tower Hotel), 23 Hillel Street, Jerusalem 9458123, +972-2-6209209 (, fax: +972-2-6252167). The Jerusalem Tower Hotel is located in the center of Israel's capital, making it a perfect focal point for tourists, business travelers and pilgrims alike.
  • Apartments Israel LTD (Apartments Israel LTD), 24 Ben Sira Street, Jerusalem 94181, +972-2-650-8008, [24]. Furnished Apartments in all the city for short term rentals
  • Arcadia Ba'Moshava Hotel Jerusalem, Yehoshua bin-Nun Street 13, Jerusalem, 9314531, 972-2-5423000. Boutique Hotel in Jerusalem, located at the heart of the German colony, near Jerusalem’s sites.
  • Jerusalem Gate Hotel, 43 Yirmiyahu St, +972-2-5008500, [25]. Hotel located at the entrance to Jerusalem with bar, coffee shop and banquet halls. The cuisine is international with Glatt Kosher LeMehadrin Rabbinate Supervision.


  • The King David, 23 King David St., 03-5202552 (), [26]. Probably the city's most historic and most famous hotel, best remembered for the 1947 King David Hotel bombing of the British headquartered inside it.
  • The American Colony, 1 Louis Vincent St., 02-627-9777 (), [27]. A historic hotel with picturesque buildings on the seam of Old and New Jerusalem. Popular with diplomats and a member of The Leading Hotels Of the World.
  • Novotel Jerusalem, 9 Saint George St., [28]. Not one of Novotel's finest hotels, located a very short walk from the Wailing Wall. Some refurbishment is needed. Starting at $115/night with breakfast.
  • Mamilla Jerusalem Hotel, 11 King Solomon St., 02-5482222 (fax: 02-5482220), [29]. A 5-star hotel located in the City Center near the Old City few minutes walk from Jaffa Gate, Tower of David and Alrov Mamilla Avenue.
  • Grand Court Jerusalem Hotel, 15 Saint George St., 972-2-591-7777. Jerusalem Hotel which Located at the entrance of Jerusalem and offers 442 luxurious rooms including family rooms and some especially designed for handicapped guests. />
  • The Inbal Jerusalem Hotel, Liberty Bell Park, 3, Jabotinsky St., 972-2-675-6666, 1-877-443-7443, [30]. A five star hotel with 283 rooms and suites, a spa, pool and gym.
  • Herbert Samuel Hotel Jerusalem, Herbert Samuel, St. Shamai 25, Kikar Zion, Jerusalem, +972-2-5600600. hotel in Jerusalem, The hotel is located in the heart of Jerusalem, one of the most unique cities in the world. Guest rooms at the hotel allow travelers to experience the authentic and quintessential nature of our vibrant city.



The area code prefix for Jerusalem is: 02. Israel's country code is: 972.

Public telephones take prepaid phone cards which can be purchased at post offices, shops and lottery kiosks. They are available in the following denominations: 20 units (₪13), 50 units (₪29), or 120 units (₪60). Calls made on Saturdays and Friday evenings are 25% cheaper than the standard rate.

Coin-phones (usually ₪1) are also available. Those are private "public phones", owned and operated by shop owners.

For international calls prepaid cards can be bought from post offices, including the new VOIP calling card "x-phone".


Israeli Post offices are available for service from 8 AM–12 PM and 2 PM–6 PM, Sunday through Thursday.

  • The central post office for West Jerusalem is located near the head of Jaffa Road, close to the municipality ofices. Open until 7 PM.
  • In the Old City, post offices can be found in the Armenian Quarter near the Jaffa Gate, diagonally opposite the Tower of David Museum, as well as the Jewish Quarter on Plugat Ha-Kotel near the Broad Wall.
  • A post office is in a small shopping mall on King George Street, immediately south of Jaffo street.

Israel uses the red British "pillar" mail boxes in some areas of Jerusalem, a reminder of the previous British Mandate.

Internet cafes

The most common price for internet cafes in Jerusalem is ₪15 per hour.

  • Cafe Net, 3rd floor (Departures) of the new Central Bus station (232 Jaffa Road), (), [31].
  • Netcafe, 9 Heleni Hamalka Street, Russian Compound. Call for opening times, as these vary. Closed Shabbat.
  • Ali Baba, Via Dolorosa, Old City. Free tea and coffee ₪6/hour.

Note however that most hostels should offer free Wi-Fi.

Wireless Internet

There is now a wireless internet connection in some of the streets in Jerusalem. The service is free of charge and can be accessed in the center of the city (Nov. 2004). The streets are: Ben-Yehuda, Nahalat Shiva, Shlomzion Hamalka. There is also wireless internet in the food court of the central bus station and in most chain coffee shops. Free access is also available at the airport.

Alternatively, it is possible to buy an Internet modem stick from Orange [55] or one of the other telcos. Typically a USB modem can cost around ₪700, and the monthly cost can be around ₪150. There are either monthly subscription plans, or pre-paid plans. Some Orange shops - because of their insistence on a requirement of having an Israeli ID - will not allow foreign tourists to sign up for the non-contract monthly subscriptions - but tourists are definitely able to purchase the pre-paid plans upon showing proof of identity such as a passport.

Stay safe

Explosive Souvenirs?
Due to high security levels throughout Israel, any unattended packages will be assumed to be explosive in nature and will be destroyed. Standard procedure requires that a bomb squad treat all such packages as live ordnance. A large majority of unattended packages turn out to be souvenirs that have been left by preoccupied or absent minded tourists.

Despite alarming news headlines, Jerusalem is safe for tourists. Street crime is nearly nonexistent, although pickpockets may work in crowds in the Old City.

There are, however, a few areas in the city where it is important to be mindful of one's dress, religion, and time period visiting. Here are some guidelines:

  • Dress. When visiting any holy site or religious neighborhood one should dress modestly. For men this means long pants, a closed shirt with sleeves, and a head covering. For women, it means a skirt that falls below the knee, a shirt with elbow-length sleeves and no exposed cleavage or stomach. This applies to churches, mosques, and synagogues, as well as the Temple Mount (Noble Sanctuary) and Western Wall (the plaza by the Wall is essentially an open-air synagogue, and there are mosques on the Temple Mount). When in religious neighborhoods as well, such as Mea Shearim, it is advisable to follow these guidelines.
  • Religion. Although all of Jerusalem is accessible to members of all religions, there are some problems with religion-specific discrimination. The main issue involves Muslims and Jews, and the dispute is an old and very territorial one. It is not always safe for those obviously of the Islamic faith (e.g. wearing a hijab or kufi) to enter Jewish concentrated areas, especially on Sabbath, as well as those obviously of a Jewish faith (e.g. wearing a kipah) to enter Muslim concentrated areas, especially at night.
  • Time Non-Muslims are not allowed on the Temple Mount (Noble Sanctuary) during times of Muslim prayer. During Shabbat and Jewish holidays, one should not publicly use electronic devices or smoke in any synagogue, at the Western Wall, or in any ultra-Orthodox ("hareidi") Jewish neighborhood. (Smoking is, otherwise, rather common in Israel, so nonsmokers should also be forewarned.) Driving in orthodox Jewish neighborhoods on Shabbat is disallowed and roads may be closed off. This also goes for most Jewish holidays. During Ramadan, eating, drinking or smoking in the streets of Muslim areas is culturally insensitive although tourists are rarely interfered with.

Due to the mixture of religions, tensions can sometimes be high. Avoid any confrontations between locals. Although extremely rare, some locals may carry xenophobic attitudes and ask foreigners to leave the area near their home. You have the right to see all of Jerusalem, but moving along to another area will resolve the situation.

Security checks can be frequent, especially when entering hotels, cinemas/theaters and shopping areas. It is wise to carry some identification.

On the whole, theft is not a large-scale problem. To minimize risk, however, normal precautions apply. Do not leave valuable objects inside a car or in full view in your hotel room. There are many ATMs throughout the city and credit cards are widely accepted, so there is no need to carry large amounts of cash.

Visitors may notice a large amount of military personnel on the streets of Jerusalem, especially around certain sites. Every citizen must perform military service in the Israeli Defense Force (IDF) as soon as they reach the age of 18. Many servicemen and civilians carry firearms (handguns) in public. There are always large concentrations of soldiers around bus stations, as they are usually on their way to or from their bases. When going to the Western Wall it is quite common to see soldiers praying. Sometimes you might see an Israel Defense Forces "swearing in ceremony" near the Western Wall. This is quite common because of the historical and religious importance the Western Wall has to the Jewish People.

As of 2017, bombings and other terror attacks have virtually ceased in Jerusalem, due to heightened security. Tourists have never been the target of attacks and most have occurred well away from tourist sites. Naturally it is important to remain vigilant and alert.

In the case of injury or incident, Police services can be reached by dialing 100. Ambulance services can be reached by dialing 101.



Dur to the political uncertinty and dispute over Jerusalem, most countries maintaining embassies in Israel keep them in nearby Tel Aviv.

  • Gr-flag.png Greece, 31 Rachel Immenu, Kattamon, +972 25-619-583 (, fax: +972 25-610-325), [32]. M-F: 09:00-16:00.
  • It-flag.png Italy, vest/West: Katamon-16, Kaf Tet Benovember St. Jerusalem 9104402 - Est/East:Sheikh Jarrah 2, Mujeer Eddin St. Jerusalem, 0097225618966 (fax: 0097225618944), [33].
  • Us-flag.png United States, 14 David Flusser (Near the former Diplomat Hotel, now the Caprice Diamond Center), +972 2 630-4000 (, fax: +972-2-630-4070), [34].

Get out

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