Jerusalem Mini Guide
What can you Tell me About Jerusalem?
Probably the most written about city in the world, Jerusalem has been in existence for over 4,000 years. For the early part of its history it remained small and relatively unimportant compared to the explosion in importance following the rise of Judaism, Christianity and Islam. Sadly it has been the focus of many wars and long running hatred between Islam on one hand and the Christians and Jews on the other. At times dangerous to visit, especially around the ancient centre, there is so much of historical and religious significance; everyone should visit at least once in their lives.
How can I get to Jerusalem?
Strangely, for a capital city, it relies on the airport of another city to get visitors to it. Tel Aviv International Airport is the preferred point of entry, nearly an hour away by road. The airport has many operators flying from the UK including the budget operator, Jet2 who fly from Manchester. From the airport you can take highway 1 direct to Jerusalem or go by train although you’ll need to catch the shuttle to Tel Aviv
station first. A ‘door to door’ high speed rail link was completed in 2017.
What is There to See and Do in Jerusalem?
It depends on how much time you have for there is so much to see there. For those wanting to see the religious sights you have the Wailing or Western Wall where you can watch devout Jews praying and inserting prayer notes in the cracks of the foundations of Solomon’s Temple. You can also follow the ‘Via Dolorosa’, the route walked by Christ on the way to his crucifixion. The site of Golgotha looks nothing like it would have done millennia ago but the Church of the Holy Sepulchre stands on the reputed site. Finally, walk around the bazaars and market places of the old city and thread between the different ‘quarters’ but be mindful of pickpockets.
What Should I buy When I’m in Jerusalem?
You should make sure you shop in the bazaars of the old city and like all Middle Eastern bazaars, be sure to haggle on price. Between the tourist tat you’ll find beautiful souvenirs such as ornate linen, spices by the truckload and exquisite jewellery as well as soapstone statues of biblical and historic figures. You can guarantee that you won’t return from your trip empty-handed and may well have made new friends amongst the bazaar’s stallholders.
What Would you Recommend That I eat in Jerusalem?
Much of the food available in Jerusalem is a mix of the many cultures that make up the city’s population. For food on the go, try a shawrma, a light wrap filled with shaved meat, spices, vegetables and a hummus dip. Try too, Kuba, a spicy soup based on tomatoes with meatballs.
Do They Have Many Festivals or Celebrations in Jerusalem?
Jerusalem has many religious festivals but if this isn’t your cup of tea, try the nightlife. Things work differently there and you will find it beneficial to get to know someone local in order to find the best venues for a night out.
Jerusalem conjures all kinds of images but nothing beats visiting the great city. Wracked by conflict, it still is considered the holiest city for Islam, Judaism and Christianity. Whilst there visit the Church of the Holy Sepulchre built on the site of Golgotha, the site of Christ’s crucifixion.
Leave your hire car outside the old city and take a guided tour of the city’s different quarters for a flavour of real Jerusalem then descend to the foot of the Wailing Wall and watch the orthodox Jews praying. Finally, marvel at the gold roof of the Dome of the Rock Mosque.