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Beer Sheva

1,530 bytes added, 23:21, 9 March 2013
'''Be'er Sheva''' (also spelled '''Beersheba''', ''Hebrew'' באר שבע) is a desert city of approximately 200,000 inhabitants in southern [[Israel]]. It is the sixth largest city in the country and is very much the gateway to the [[Negev]] region of Israel. The city is spread out by Israeli standards, as there is no shortage of land in the desert, and there isn't much of a downtown, except for a few streets in the old Turkish quarter. While Beer Sheva is mostly middle class, it does have three wealthy satellite suburbs with manicured landscapes, private villas and a Palm Springs feel to them: [[Omer]], [[Metar]] and [[Lehavim]]. A few Bedouin villages surround the city as well. Some feature tribal attractions which are worth a visit include , including [[Rahat]], [[Tel Sheva]], [[Hura]] and [[Laqiya]]. In Beer Sheva itself, some modern/experimental architecture was been explored built in the 1960s. Today, this is found mostly in government and public buildings, including the Ben Gurion University and Soroka Hospital buildings.
Beer Sheva is at first sight highly disappointing for any visitor. As one enters the city, the oversized avenues and partially run down residential building blocks from the fifties and sixties make for an unwelcoming first impression. However, Beer Sheva can be of interest for any traveller who wishes to experience Israel off-the-beaten-track and there might be no better place to do this, since not even most Israelis are aware that Beer Sheva can be much more than only a stopover on the way to Eilat. The old Turkish town, as run down as it might be, has a very distinct feel and a is hugely underrated: it is the only planned Ottoman city in the entire region, erected in 1900 for strategic reasons in order to secure the Negev region and to control the revolting Beduin restive Bedouin population. Today, the architectural and historical jewels, culinary highlights, highly welcoming people and the provincial atmosphere of Beer Sheva allow for the visitor to explore the "normal" and "unpretentious" Israel beyond Tel Aviv, Jerusalem and Haifa. In addition to that, Beer Sheva offers a vibrant student community - based around the University - which has developed a great nightlife one would never expect at first sight. Beer Sheva and its surroundings give a feel of Israel's strength. On the way down from the North, endless fields with agriculture have replaced desolate dessert; as Isaiah prophesied: "Thirsty deserts will be glad; barren lands will celebrate and blossom with flowers". Also, like Tel-Aviv, a modern skyskraper city has been created out of virtually nothing. Yet, an exciting feel of desert has remained, as Beer Sheva looks with one side right into the Negev desert.
=== History ===
===By road===
* From Tel Aviv: Use Highway 1 20 (Ayalon) to connect to Highway 4 towards Ashdod, then turn to Highway 41 in order to connect to Highway 40 south. Straight to Be'er Sheva approximately 1 1/2 hrs.
* From Jerusalem: Highway 1 towards Tel Aviv, Pick up route 3 at Latrun interchange, follow for 20 minutes to Route 40 at Re'em Junction. Straight ahead to Be'er Sheva. Total about 1:40.
===By bus===
* From Tel Aviv: Take line 380 from Arlozorov Terminal, or line 370 from Tel Aviv Central Bus Station. The trip costs only 13 16.5 NIS. Both take about 1.5 hours. * From Jerusalem: From central bus station - line 470, 32 30 NIS, one and a half hours; line 446, 32 30 NIS, 1 hour and 50 minutes.
==Get around==
Beersheva is served by buses, 3(NIS4.80 shekel (about 90 cents2). Most of these depart from behind the central bus station (on your right when getting off from an inter-city bus). If coming in by train - , these will be on your left when coming out of the train station. All Most taxi cabs in the city are a flat rate of will take you anywhere else in the city for around 20 shekel (about 5 dollars)shekels.
* <see name="Abraham's Well" address="" phone="" email="" fax="" hours="" price="" url="">Located at the edge of the Old Town and on the Wadi Beer Sheva, this small site contains the well where according to tradition Abraham made the oath with Abimeleh. </see>
* <see name="Israel Air Force Museum" alt="" address="" directions="" phone="+972-78-9064289906853" url="" hours="Open every day except Saturday, 8.00 am to 5.00 pm (Fridays until 1.00 pm)" price="" lat="" long="" email="" fax="+972-78-9063149906314">Located next to Kibbutz Hatserim 5 km to the West of Beer Sheva. The museum displays historical airplanes of the Israeli Air Force. </see>* <see name="Negev Brigade Memorial" address="" phone="" email="" fax="" hours="" price="" url="">Located on a hill to the west of the city, this large monument made out of concrete, commemorates symbolically the different aspects of the Negev Brigade which conquered the Negev region in Israel's War of IndependanceIndependence. There is a superb view on the city and its surroundings from this site.</see>* <see name="Negev Museum" alt="" address="" phonedirections="" emailphone="" faxurl="" hours="" price="" urllat="" long="" email="" fax="">Located in the residence of the Turkish governor in the Old Town, this small museum contains an art collection and has changing exhibits.</see>
* <see name="Municipal Zoological Garden" address="" phone="" email="" fax="" hours="" price="" url="">Located at the North-Western entrance to the city, this Zoo displays many indigenous animals.</see>
* <see name="Old Turkish Town (Old City)" alt="" address="" directions="" phone="" url="" hours="" price="" lat="" long="" email="" fax="">The Old Town was planned by Turkish and German engineers at the end of the 19th century. Its streets form a grid (very uncommon in the region). Many buildings date from Turkish times and have secret gardens behind high walls. Rehabilitated Smilansky Street has the best preserved buildings. Additionally there is a wide array of cheap stores and excellent ethnic restaurants and bars.</see>
* <see name="British WWI Military Cemetery" alt="" address="" phonedirections="" emailphone="" faxurl="" hours="" price="" urllat="" long="" email="" fax="">Located just next the the Old Town, this cemetery is the resting place of British, Australian and New Zealand (ANZAC) soldiers which have who fought against the Turks in the First World War.</see>* <see name="Beduin Bedouin Market" address="" phone="" email="" fax="" hours="" price="" url="">Located just outside of the city on the Road to Eilat, this market takes place every Thursday morning. Beduin merchandize Bedouin merchandise can be found next to a wide array of other products.</see>* <see name="Municipal Market" alt="" address="" phonedirections="" emailphone="" faxurl="" hours="" price="" urllat="" long="" email="" fax="">Located between the Old Town and the central bus station is a vibrant market for any kind of merchandize.</see>
* <see name="Tel Beer Sheva Archeological Park" address="" phone="" email="" fax="" hours="" price="" url="">Located outside the city to its east (next to Omer), this archeological park is a [[World Heritage Site]] and one of the top sites to explore how people have lived in Biblical times.</see>
* <see name="Ben-Gurion University of the Negev" address="" phone="" email="" fax="" hours="" price="" url="">Located in the northern part of town on the road to Tel Aviv, this renowned university has a vibrant campus with many buildings designed by famous architects. There are two art galleries located in the Senate Building and in the Library, a small museum of medical history in the building of the Medical Faculty and many small exhibits in the buildings of the different faculties.</see>
* A few miles south is a modern desert spa facility, an oasis with natural hot mineral water springs "Neve Midbar". Hanging water pipes dump hot spring water on your back with such intensity, its it's like shiatsu without the massuesemasseuse! Opens till late. 45 Shekels entrance ($10).
* Go clubbing at the '''Forum Club''', '''Baraka Club''' or the '''גרDraft Dance Bar'''.
* Play billiards at '''Interpol''' or go bowling next door to it.* drive road 40 to Eilat for about half an hour; turn left for lake Yeroham, a natural oasis. Very shallow water, but if you stay horizontal you may swim/wade around; water smelled OK. No entrance fee. From there drive through Yeroham to the 'large crater' and mount Arnon; it's just a few miles ahead, and has magnificent views. * Go back to road 40, drive a few minutes further south, and swim in deeper water in Golda Meir park, near Revivim. Also, no entrance fee and good-smelling water.
The '''[ Ginsburg-Ingerman Overseas Student Program]''' at the [ Ben-Gurion University of the Negev] offers a wide array of short and long-term Hebrew language and academic studies. For German speaking students the [ German Language Summer University] is organized yearly.
The Medical School for International Health at the [http://www.msihmdmsih.orgnet/ Ben-Gurion University of the Negev] offers an MD program for North Americans.
The MAPMES (Master of Arts Program in Middle Eastern Studies) offers an English-language M.A. program to international students.
*- in the Civic Center (new city centre) close to the central train and bus stations ('''Arigato''', '''Kapulski''', '''Mor Noodle Bar''', '''Saba Jebetto''')
*- at the BIG shopping compound ('''Nafis''', '''Spagettim''', '''Rigoletto''', '''Shipudei haAvaz''', '''and the highly recommended Pitput''')
*- around the main campus of the Ben-Gurion University of the Negev (mainly Dalet neighborhood) ('''Gatro''', '''Small India''', '''MonaRingelblum''', '''Hummus Hamsa''', '''and the highly recommended SUSHI Ishimoto at mesada Derech Metsada street ''', and a Mehadrin Kosher shwarma place '''Falafel Liberty''' at 50 Merkaz Oren with very generous servings...)
Israeli fast food (falafel, shawarma, hummus) is readily available almost everywhere across town. Some places have gained fame for their quality ('''Hummus Hamsa''', '''Universitat haShawarma''', '''Falafel haKerem''', '''Beit haFul''').
*K = Kosher*SD = Student Discount with ID*D = Delivery*S = Open on Shabbat*V = Vegetarian Options
*Arabica - 12 Herzel St (08-627-7802) *Saba Gepetto - 109 Rager (08-627-2829)*Kifris - 1 Herzel St, old city*Matte Midbar - 22 Histadrut St, old city (08-623-3370)*Ta'amin - 101 Rasco Ct (08-627-0392)
*China Town - Kenyon HaNegev (08-627-5489)*Jade Palace - Beer Sheva Theater (08-627-5375)*MOR Noodles Bar - 115 Rasco (077 766 5005)
French Mediterranean
*Ahuzat Halperin - 23 Smilansky St, Old City (08-665-4854)
*Hodu Ha-Ktana: Ringelblum St (08-648-9801) K,V,D
*Balcona - 18 Herzel, Old City*Gatro - Sports Center, Ben Gurion Blvd*La Piazza - Kiriat HaMemshala*Spagettim - BIG Shopping Center (08-665-5122) SD,D,S*Pizza Hut - Kenyon HaNegev (1700 50 6070) K,D*Dominos - (1700 70 7070) D*Pizza Guta - D
*Ishimoto - Derekh Metsada, (077 7551100) S,D,V*Street Food - Tiv Tam, BIG Shopping Centre (08-625-2000) SD
Meat Restaurants
*Amuna - 58 Keren Ka'emet St, Old City (08-627-8865)*Shipuday Sof HaDerekh - 111 HaPalmach St, Old City (08-628-9155)*Shipuday HaTikva - Kenyon Kiriat HaMemshelah, near Rasco City (08-665-5722)*Mifgash Shaul - BIG Shopping Center (08-623-0161)*Schnitzel and Grill - 8 Henrietta Szold, Rasco City (08-628-6619)*Chompy - 8 Henrietta Szold, Rasco City (08-645-0130)*Nafis - BIG Shopping Center (08-628-2855) S*Avazi - BIG Shopping Center (08-665-5274)*Meat me at Shiri - 5 Pinchas HaChotziv (08-623-4935)
*Hmamsky's - Yosef ben Matiyahu (University Gate 90)*Yakuta - 18 Moredai Ha Geta'ot St, Old City (08-623-2689)
South American
*Barzilai - Dimona Rd, Opposite Hutzot Lahav (08-649-9942)
*Misadat HaDagim Shel Zvili - 7 HaPalmach, Old City (08-627-5557)
Coffee Shops
*Mona - 2 Shlomo HaMelech (054 664 7773) S,V*Balkona - 81 Herzel St, Old City (08-665-1811)*Ma'Afiat HaRishonim - BIG Shopping Center*Mocca - 108 Rasco Ct (08-628-4339)*Pocoloco - 97 Herzel St, Old City (08-628-2793)*Pitput - 122 Herzel, Old City (08-623-7708)*Kapulsky - Kanyon HaNegev (08-623-0425) K*Betti Bar - 8 Henrietta Szold, Rasco City*Siesta - Kanyon Kiriat HaMemshelah and BIG Shopping Center *Aroma - Ben Gurion Campus K and BIG Shopping Center (1700701017) S*Ashan Hazman - Ringelblum St (077 764 4218)*Arcaffe - New side of the Big center S (free wireless, good place to study)
*Forum Factor - Kiriat Yehudit, Industrial Park (08-626-2555)*The Q - Kiriat Yehudit, Industrial Park *Baraka - 70 Shoshet Bnei Ein Harod, Old City (08-628-7111)*Red Bar - BIG Shopping Center*Chika - 4 HaSadna St, Derekh Hevron (08-690-0330)
*Belfast Irish Pub - Mitcham Slavador (08-623-7723)*Izzy - Intersection, Omer South (052 270 0796)*Publo - Near Dalet Dormitories*Coca - 50 Arlozarov, behind Gimmel Dormitories*Cazma Lounge Bar - 50 Arlozarov*Moncheela - Gimel, opposite Coca (052 2626 266)*SanGam - Merkaz HaNegev*Manga - Teacher's Center, Rager St
Lots of water, it's in the desert.
And then, Go go into the student pubs around the university during the semester in order to sense the country-wide famous student life of the city. The pubs around the university are: '''Publo''', '''Rosa''', '''Manga''', '''Munchilla''', '''Coca''', '''Black & White''' and '''Einstein'''.*irish Irish pub '''Belfast''''.
*'''Leonardo Hotel Golden Tulip''', 4 Hennrieta Szold St
*'''Hotel Arava''', 37 Histadrut st
*'''Hotel Eshel''', 56 Histadrut st
*'''Beit Yatsiv Youth Hostel'''
*'''The Desert Inn'''
* <sleep name="Mashabim Holiday Village" alt="Mashabim Holiday Village" address="D.N. Halutza 85510 on Route 40 (Beer Sheva-Mitzpe Ramon-Eilat)" phone="972-8-6565134/6" url="" >Mashabim is an excellent point of exit to a wide range of challenging, desert field trips.</sleep>
==Get out==
Beer Sheva is a convenient departure point for excursions to [[Arad (Israel)|Arad]] and elsewhere in the [[Negev]].
Two good rental car agencies across from the train station (daily rate for automatic 200 Shekels - $45 on a walk in basis), but be careful' : police inspectors are on the lookout for traffic and parking violations
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