Jerusalem- The land where three religions co-exist, the belief which is as contagious as its historic stories dwells and is one of the oldest cities in the world. The city is considered a Holy place in Judaism, Christianity and Islam. Its proximity to the Dead Sea and Biblical pathways where you can relive history are nothing short of time-travel.
Jerusalem has had its share of troubles and many kingdoms have ruled its land including the Ottoman, British and the Jordanian- Israeli. The latest archaeological discovery- a 7,000 year old settlement from early Chalcolithic period is only a tip of its ancient treasures.
The city occupies a plateau in the Judean Mountains and is the place Jesus Christ lived and died. The city is the birthplace for Christianity and marks its importance in many scriptures.
The old part of Jerusalem is divided into 4 quarters- Christian, Jewish, Armenian and Muslim and occupies the Western Wall (or wailing wall), Church of the Holy Sepulcher and the Dome of the Rock among other attractions. The Holy Temple located on the Temple Mount is a place of worship for ancient Israeli and the Jewish population of Jerusalem.
Ceramics of the City of David date back to the 4th millennium BCE along with innumerable archaeological findings which have been discovered in and around the city.
Seeing Jesus’ Christ’s tomb including the anointing stone on which he was laid down only scratches the surface of the city’s mystique and wonder. Say a little prayer at the Western Wall or visit the innumerable ancient tombs and caves which breathe stories into Jerusalem.
The city of Jerusalem, without doubt surpasses religions, boundaries and ethnicities and it is this very fact which boosts Israel’s tourism unlike any city in the country.
For the modern souls, you can explore the shopping streets, the fragrant souks, buy intricate souvenirs, home décor, carpets, authentic clothing, gorgeous ceramics and other fabulous gift items.
The times in Israel have changed and underneath all the controversies of the modern world, the city still maintains its authentic charm and holds its history close to its heart. If you love history or are simply looking for a mythological adventure, a visit here will leave you stunned, amazed and in love with Jerusalem.
Jerusalem Travel Tips
Essential travel information and Jerusalem tips for your visit
- Time Zone: UTC + 2 hours
- Currency: New Israeli Shekel (NIS)
- Off-the-beaten Path: Take a bike on rent and explore the outskirts of the city without following the tourist-attraction itinerary.
- Tipping: Drivers rarely expect to be tipped but at restaurants and hotels you can tip a minimum of 10% of your bill.
- Tourist Traps: When shopping at souks, you will be followed by locals luring you into ‘good deals’. Stick to the shops on the streetand bargain if you want a good deal.
- Customs: When visiting temples, mosques and places of worship, cover your head and wear conservative clothing. Even on days when you just want to take a casual walk, modest clothing is preferred.
- Languages: Hebrew is spoken more in the western Jerusalem and Arabic is spoken more in eastern Jerusalem. English is spoken well in the city but if you are travelling off the beaten path, you will need a translator.
Electricity and Internet:
- The voltage is 220-240 Volts. You will need an Adapter for "Type H " Israeli SI 32 (Current standard, round pins).
- Free Wi-Fi is available at most hotels and BnBs.
- Police: 100
- Magen David Adom: 101 (National emergency number for medical, disaster, ambulance issues)
- Fire Department 102
- Tourist Police:+972 03-5165382
Important/ Helpful Facts about Israel:
- Public transport system does not operate on Jewish Sabbath and holidays from half hour before sunset on Friday (or the day before the holiday) till Saturday night. If you need to get somewhere on time, give yourself at least a two hour buffer time before Shabbat.
- If you cannot speak Hebrew well and like to plan things ahead, booking tickets online for tours of the city of Jerusalem is preferred by tourists.