Jerusalem, the capital of Israel, is located in the Judean Mountains between the Mediterranean Sea and the northern edge of the Dead Sea. It is the largest city in Israel in both area and population. Jerusalem has been the focus of mankind for more than 3,000 years. Sanctified by religion and tradition, Jerusalem is a city revered by the three monotheistic faiths – Judaism, Christianity and Islam. With numerous holy places and treasures, Jerusalem has drawn pilgrims and tourists throughout the ages.
Jerusalem promises a religious and spiritual experience, excitement and pleasure, interesting tours and entertaining adventures. Alongside Jerusalem’s fascinating historic and archeological sites, there are amazingly modern tourist attractions for all lovers of culture, the arts, theater and music, architecture and gastronomic delights
In less than an hour one can reach the Mediterranean, Dead Sea, historic Galilee or the fascinating desert. Full or multiple-day excursions will take you to the sun-drenched glory of Eilat or the beautiful landscapes, nature reserves, waterfalls and religious sites of the Galilee and Golan.
Traveling to Jerusalem
Most international flights land at Ben Gurion Airport, which is located near the town of Lod – approximately a 30 minute drive from Tel Aviv and 50 minutes from Jerusalem (outside rush hours).
Options for getting to and from Ben Gurion Airport include: private car/van services; railway; taxi; rented car and limousine. For details regarding transportation depots and general airport information, please visit the Israel Airport Authority website here.
The train station is located on Level S (the lowest floor) at Ben Gurion Airport. Tickets may be purchased from automatic machines located on Level G.
Israel Railways Information: +972-3-577-4000 or *5770 (in Israel)
Public transportation depots are located in the three-story bridge on the second floor, near Gates 21 and 23. Busses leave from there to the Egged station at nearby Airport City where one can transfer to regular Egged bus lines. Various Egged lines run between the Airport City station and central points in Israel at frequent intervals throughout the day.
Egged Information: +972-3-694-8888 or *2800 (in Israel) from any telephone
The taxi companies based at Ben Gurion Airport are under the supervision of the Israel Airports Authority. We recommend that you only use these licensed taxis, operated by on-site dispatchers, rather than those which do not belong to these companies. The taxi stands and dispatcher’s booth are located at Terminal 3 on the ground level (G) of the multi-level road. Private-taxi (called “special”) and shared-taxi services (called “sherut”) are available.
Hadar Lod – transportation to all parts of the country.
Nesher Tours – transportation to and from Jerusalem.
Taxi drivers are required by law to use the meter on all trips. Unless you know the accepted rates, do not be tempted to set a price beforehand. For long trips, the driver must charge passengers according to the Ministry of Transport price list posted in all taxis.
The car rental companies’ counters are on the first floor of the East Gallery in the Greeters’ Hall and are open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Getting Around Jerusalem
Israel is a small country, and it is therefore easy to get from one place to another in a relatively short time.
Israel Railways operates convenient, inexpensive train service.
Buses are the most popular form of public transport in Israel for both local transport and intercity trips. The Egged bus company operates most of the intercity bus lines, as well as the local service in most of the large cities and towns. Local and intercity transport in the Gush Dan area (Tel Aviv and the surrounding suburbs) is provided by the Dan bus company.
For more information, please click here.
Jerusalem by Bus
Jerusalem’s inner city bus system is run by bus company, Egged. Buses are identified by a number displayed in the front window. Most buses depart from Jerusalem’s Central Bus Station just near the city entrance, and a 15 minute walk from city center.
Tickets can be purchased at the ticket booths in the central bus station, or from the driver.
Egged Information: +972-3-694-8888 or *2800 (in Israel) from any telephone
Jerusalem Light Rail
The Jerusalem Light Rail stretches from Pisgat Ze’ev in the North (Heil Ha’avir Station) to Mount Herzl in the West, with 23 stops altogether.
Ticket machines are in English, Hebrew and Arabic only. Purchase your ticket at the ticket machine before getting on the train, validate it when you board the train by swiping it and then keep it for possible (and regular) ticket inspection. Those without proof of valid tickets are fined on the spot. Tickets are valid for 90 minutes from the time of first validation.
Important – Public transportation do not run on Saturday (Shabbat) or on Jewish holidays. Service ends on Friday afternoon and resumes Saturday evening.
Thing to See in Jerusalem
Jerusalem overflows with wonderful places to visit, to eat, or to just enjoy a coffee and “people watch”.
The Old City
At Jerusalem’s heart is the Old City, which is surrounded by a wall and divided into four quarters – Jewish, Armenian, Christian, and Muslim. Inside the walls are the important holy sites of the three major religions: the Western Wall, which is
holy to the Jews, the Church of the Holy Sepulcher, and the Dome of the Rock on the Temple Mount.
The Western Wall plaza is visited by millions of worshipers. Here, at the base of the massive wall that is a remnant of the Holy Temple, prayers are offered and notes containing heartfelt wishes are wedged between the crevices.
Apart from the holy places throughout the Old City, there are several charming sites that are well worth visiting. There is the wonderful market, which is one big sensual celebration. Here you can buy Armenian-style decorated ceramics, beautiful strings of beads, authentic clothing, embroidered cushions, colorful wool carpets, candles and amazing glassware, and countless different souvenirs. From the promenade along the tops of the Old City walls you can look out over the Old City and the New City. Tours along the walls are a wonderful night-time activity, too, when the city’s lights sparkle making the sights even more unforgettable.
The New City
The construction of the new city’s Jewish neighborhoods began in the late 19th century. Some of the neighborhoods have retained their original picturesque charm, and wandering among the houses is a real pleasure. Some of these neighborhoods
are Even Yisrael, the German Colony, Yemin Moshe, Me’a She’arim, Makhane Yisra’el, Nakhla’ot, Nakhalat Shiv’a, Ein Karem, Komemi’ut, Rekhavia, the Bukharian Quarter and the Ethiopian Quarter.
There are many other interesting and unique sites from different periods throughout the city, such as Armon HaNatsiv and the Promenade, Ammunition Hill, Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial Museum, Mishkenot Sha’ananim, the Monastery of the Cross, Elias Monastery and the YMCA building. Among the more modern sites are the Supreme Court, the Israel Museum, the Biblical Zoo, the Knesset, Mt. Herzl, Makhane Yehuda market, with its unparalleled variety of exciting sounds, colors, flavors and aromas.
Since Jerusalem is a city that has become home to people from many different faiths, traditions and ethnic groups, the city’s culinary culture offers something for everyone. Alongside Bohemian gourmet restaurants you will find eateries where the food is cooked slowly over ancient stoves, coffee shops with style, ethnic restaurants, fast food stands and bars that come to life in the evening hours.