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'''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
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
=== History ===
A very comfortable train ride links the city to [[Tel Aviv]], [[Haifa]], [[Netanya]] and [[Naharia]] with hourly departures.
* From Tel Aviv: Take line 380 from Arlozorov Terminal, or line 370 from Tel Aviv Central Bus Station. The trip costs only
Beersheva is served by buses (NIS4). 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. Most taxi cabs in the city will take you anywhere else in the city for around 20 shekels.
* <see name="Abraham's Well" address=""
* <see name="Negev Museum" alt="" address="" directions="" phone="" url="" hours="" price="" lat="" 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" address=""
* <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,
* 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
The '''[http://www.bgu.ac.il/osp/ Ginsburg-Ingerman Overseas Student Program]''' at the [http://www.bgu.ac.il/ 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 [http://www.bgu.ac.il/zis German Language Summer University] is organized yearly.
The Medical School for International Health at the [http://www.
The MAPMES (Master of Arts Program in Middle Eastern Studies) offers an English-language M.A. program to international students.
Lots of water, it's in the desert.
*'''Hotel Hanegev''', 26 Independence st
*'''Beit Yatsiv Youth Hostel'''
*'''The Desert Inn'''
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