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Jerusalem
day day BY

20 Smart Ways to See the City

YISRA’EL
YISR
YISRA
SR A’E
EL Tombs of
Me’
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he 17
17 the Kings
Kin
Heil Hahan

Derech S

asi

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’ar

18
im

El-Muqad

Shmue
l Ben
Hadaya
13
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13
20 21
dasa

20 21
Dere
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19 Ha Suleim
19 ne ltan
Shivtei Yisra’el

ch Y

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m Su Herod’s
Gate
erih

22
o

Damascus
Gate Lions Gate
Yaf nim
o ha
tzan
Ha New Gate
Derech Ha’ofel

MOUNT OF
28
29
OLIVES 31
33
OLD CITY
Ha’em
el 29
30
30
32
Jaffa
23
23
David Hamele

Gate Dung Ophel


Hativat Yerushalayim

Gate
27
27

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m with
Zion Gate sh
Ha
foldout
Derec
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leh CITY OF h Yeri


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24
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24
DAVID map
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MOUNT
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26
26
Contents
16 Favorite Moments 1
1 The Best Full-Day Tours 7
The Best in One Day 8
The Best in Two Days 16
The Best in Three Days 24

AL
2 The Best Special Interest
Tours 31

RI
Archaeology & History 32
Jerusalem Religious Sites 38

TE
Architectural Landmarks 44
Jerusalem with Kids 50

3 The Best Neighborhood


MA
Walks 55
Downtown 56
Ein Karem 60
Yemin Moshe–German Colony 64
D

Nahla’ot 68
HaNevi’im Street 72
TE

4 The Best Shopping 77


Shopping Best Bets 81
Shopping A to Z 82
GH

5 The Best of the Outdoors 89


Mt. of Olives & Mt. Scopus 90
Ramparts Walk 96
RI

Promenades, Gardens & Parks 100

6 The Best Dining 105


PY

Dining Best Bets 108


Jerusalem Dining A to Z 109
CO
7 The Best Nightlife
& Performing Arts 119
Nightlife & Performing Arts Best Bets 122
Jerusalem Nightlife & Arts A to Z 123

8 The Best Lodging 129


Lodging Best Bets 133
Jerusalem Lodging A to Z 134

9 The Best Day Trips &


Excursions 141
The Dead Sea & Masada 142
Tel Aviv & Jaffa in 1 Day 148
Tel Aviv & Jaffa in 2 Days 152
The Jerusalem Corridor 156
Judean Hills Wineries 158

The Savvy Traveler 161


Before You Go 162
Getting There 164
Getting Around 164
Fast Facts 165
A Brief History of Jerusalem 170
Useful Hebrew Words & Phrases 172
Useful Arabic Words & Phrases 175
Useful Websites 176

Index 177
1 The Best Full-Day
Tours

AL
RI
TE
MA
D
TE
GH
RI
PY
CO
De
rec
hY
eri

El-Ma
ho
8
The Best Full-Day Tours

dana
Es-
Damascus Mawlawiya Salahiya
0 1/10 mi Gate Sheikh Mosque Muslim
8 Lu’lu a Cemetery Church
lawiy
Maw
Mosque El- Sheikh

El-Ha
0 0.1 km

Bur Laqlaq
Hasan Synagogue
MOUNT OF

mra
Sheik

El-
Jabz h Lion’s Gate OLIVES
Rihan Mosque
(St. Stephen’s Gate)

El-K
Al

ana
-W
ad

yes
Notre Dame CHRISTIAN sa a
4
3 oloro uriy

Suq Khanes
Church & Center Via D ans
nim QUARTER El-M

uta

Shivtei Yisra’
ha

-Zeit

el
tza

El-T
New Ha Er-Rusul
sa 5
Gate Ethiopian oloro
Via D
French Patriarchate
Hospital Terra
Sancta El-Kh
anqa Golden

New G
a
cis St. 7
3 Et-Taqiy Dome Gate

ate
Al-Wa
St. Fran of the Rock

St
ek Rd. 6 Holy
Ca s Gre hate Sepulcher

d Road
iarc
r Es-Saraya

aN
Pat

Christian Quart

ova
1 The Western Wall
Tomb of

r
Muristan ld iya
THE

te
El- Kha Jehoshaphat

St-
er Rd.
2 Western Wall shafts

Pe
Bazaar

Previous page: Walking along the Western Wall shafts.


Mamilla Ja
TEMPLE Tomb of

St-
ffa
The Best in One Day

Dim
Ro Pa

St George
3 The Temple Mount
Absalom

itri
ad tri Pool of MOUNT

El-Hakari
arc
ha Hezekiah hain 2 3 3
4 AustrianTomb of
Street of the C Hospice

te
r 1 Bene Hezir
Suq El-Baza

Rd
.
David St . St-Ma 5 Via Dolorosa
Tomb of
rk Jewish
Jew
Jaffa Gate 9 JEWISH the Holy Sepulcher
6 Church ofZacharaiah Ceme
Cemetery
Citadel Tif
e QUARTER 3
7 Lina’s
l

et r

at
Yis
r
ah
fe

a’e Opel ’
’o

l ilo Gate
8 Damascus
sh

Arar
Park Ha Ha
Davidson ch ch
9 Jaffa
Or Hay re
Derech Yeriho

s im re Gate

Jewish Quarter Road


Arts and Jame Center De De
Misquau
Crafts Lane St k Beir El 10 The Haas Promenade
Ladach Rd.
ala Dung
11
3 10 11
3 Baba Ras El-
El-Amud

Hativat Yerushalayim
Gate

El- M
Mosque
Mosqu

Armenian Patriarchate Rd
Gal’ed
ass
eh
iM
ate
9

The Best in One Day


ay 1 focuses almost exclusively on the Old City, which
contains most of the historic and sacred sites for which Jerusa-
lem is justly famous as a pilgrimage destination for Jews, Christians,
and Muslims. We start with the Western Wall, which is an integral
part of the Temple Mount revered by all three religions. City Tour
Bus 99 (see p 15) is recommended as a traveling observation plat-
form from which to view and gain perspective of both the Old and
New cities—before ending up at the Haas Promenade, the station-
ary outlook providing the most comprehensive panorama of the
walled city. START: Dung Gate.

loss of their Temple. This is the holi-


Travel Tip est of Jewish sites, a sizable rem-
Cabs are the way to go to get nant of the monumental retaining
between stops on this tour—less wall that still supports the Temple
expensive than renting a car and Mount. After 1948, when the Old
almost as cheap as public transit for City was controlled by Jordan, Jews
two people. In wintertime, there are were denied access to this site;
fewer daylight hours before sunset, since 1967, Israeli policy has been
when you want to be at the end of to permit free access to worship for
the tour. Take a hat and drinking all religions at all holy sites. Visitors
water, no matter what the season. of all religious faiths are welcome to
approach the Wall to pray, medi-
tate, or stuff a small note into a
1 ★★★ The Western Wall. crack between the stones; these
Known in Hebrew as HaKotel “messages to God” (Pope Benedict
lom

HaMa’aravi (or simply the Kotel), it


ha

XVI [1927–] delivered one) are col-


s
Ha

has also been called the “Wailing lected monthly. Men must wear a
eh
a’al

Wall,” since Jews here mourn the hat or head covering; simple ones
M

Men praying at the Western Wall.


10
The Best Full-Day Tours

The Al Aqsa Mosque at the Temple Mount.

are available at no cost from a box seniors. Sun–Thurs 8am–dusk, Fri &
beside the entrance to the prayer eve of festivals 7am–noon; closed
area. Women should be modestly Sat & most Jewish holidays. Tours
dressed. The right-hand section of can be arranged by making an
the Wall Plaza is for women, who appointment with the Western Wall
are not allowed in the men’s section Generations Center (y *5958,
(as per Orthodox Jewish tradition); http://english.thekotel.org).
however, a man and woman (or
family) can pray together at the Wall
on their respective sides of the bar- Travel Tip
rier. Smoking is disrespectful in the The 4-digit phone number, pre-
prayer area; no photography is per- ceded by a *, is a dialing shortcut
mitted on the Sabbath and most that many companies provide for
Jewish holidays. @ 1 hr. Free the convenience of their customers.
admission.
2 ★★ Western Wall shafts. 3 ★★ The Temple Mount.
The Wall is actually much deeper
Israel has turned over control of the
and longer than the part we can
Temple Mount and its mosques to
readily see today; for an idea of the
the Muslim Religious Authority (the
original, enter the doorway located
Waqf), except for maintaining secu-
between the men’s restrooms and
rity. Access (up the ramp from the
the public telephones on the plaza’s
Western Wall Plaza) is free of
northern side; shafts have been
charge. It is sacred to Jews as the
sunk along the Wall to show its true
site of ancient Israel’s Temples and
depth and ground levels in Herodian
to Muslims as the place from which
and Crusader times. @ 1⁄2 hr. Admis-
Muhammad ascended to Heaven.
sion NIS 25 adults, NIS 15 children &
11

The Best in One Day


Temple Mount

3C
Dome
of the
Rock

(Closed to
visitors)
3B

3D 3E
3A
0 100 yds

0 100 m

s ★ Al Aqsa Mosque is the Muslims believe the rock housed


third-holiest place of prayer for Mus- within is the altar where Abraham
lims after Mecca and Medina. To the almost sacrificed his son Isaac. The
southeast of the building is a corner Waqf frequently closes the interiors
in the Temple Mount walls; some of the Al Aqsa Mosque and Dome of
say this is the “pinnacle of the Tem- the Rock (as well as the Islamic
ple” where Satan took Jesus to Museum v and Solomon’s Stables
tempt him. From here is a view w) to tourists. @ 1⁄2 hr. plus possi-
of the Mount of Olives and its bly up to 1 hr. waiting time in line.
churches. t ★★ El-Kas is the May to Oct, Sun–Thurs 7:30–11am &
fountain with faucets where Mus- 1:30–2:30pm, Nov to Apr, Sun–Thurs
lims perform their ritual ablutions; 7:30–10am & 11:30am–1:30pm; best
the circular row of pink marble seats to arrive an hour ahead of closing
is off-limits to non-Muslims. The time. The Temple Mount is closed to
exterior of the u ★★★ Dome of non-Muslims on Fri (the Muslim Sab-
the Rock was tiled by Sultan Sulei- bath) & Muslim holidays; it is open
man (1520–1566) in the 16th cen- only morning hours during the holy
tury. In 1994, Jordan’s King Hussein month of Ramadan. Modest dress is
(1935–1999) had the dome gilded enforced; even men with shorts too
with 24-karat gold. Jews and short may be denied admission.
12
The Best Full-Day Tours
Dolorosa itself—most of whose
Leaving the Western Wall Plaza
route coincides with the alleys of
along Al-Wad Street to the north will
the Arab souk, or bazaar—have
bring you to the 4 Austrian Hos-
been set in a semicircular pattern to
pice at the eastern edge of the Via
mark those Stations directly on the
Dolorosa. The coffee shop, located
street. Other Stations are behind
in a garden, is a remarkably tranquil
closed doors; knock and someone
oasis in the relative austerity of the
will probably be there to open up
Old City; it is justifiably famous for
for you. Each Friday at 4pm, monks
its delicious apple strudel. Kosher
lead a procession for pilgrims, some
food options can be found on the
carrying crosses, along the Via Dolo-
Jewish Quarter side of the Plaza. 37
rosa. (See p 39, 1 and sidebar, for
Via Dolorosa 37. y 02/626-5800. $.
details and descriptions of the Sta-
tions.) There are free restrooms at
5 ★★★ Via Dolorosa. The Latin several spots along the route. @ 1
literally means Sorrowful Path, tradi- hr. The Via Dolorosa never closes,
tionally believed to be the Way of but it is not advisable to be here at
the Cross followed by Jesus bearing night.
the instrument of his death to Cal- 6 ★★★ Church of the Holy
vary, the site of the Crucifixion. Over Sepulcher. The church contains
the centuries, millions of pilgrims the last four Stations of the Via
have come here to walk the way Dolorosa and is divided among the
their Lord trod and to pray at the 14 six oldest Christian sects: Roman
Stations of the Cross. The Via Dolo- Catholic, Armenian Orthodox, Greek
rosa begins in the Muslim Quarter, Orthodox, Egyptian Coptic, Ethio-
in the northeast corner of the Old pian, and Syrian Orthodox. Each
City, and winds its way to the denomination has its own space
Church of the Holy Sepulcher in the (down to lines drawn in the middle
Christian Quarter. Each Station is of floors and pillars) and schedule of
marked by a small sign or a number times to be in other areas of the
engraved in the stone lintel over a church. The oft-changing partitioned
door. Paving stones on the Via interior is a mixture of Byzantine

Nuns along the Via Dolorosa.


13

The Best in One Day


traditions. Most notable are the Ser-
vice of the Holy Fire (See p 5, 7),
the dramatic pageant called the
Washing of the Feet, and the exotic
midnight Ethiopian procession on
the part of the church under Ethio-
pian jurisdiction—the roof. Modest
dress required. @ 1 hr. y 02/627-
3314. Free admission. Open daily
May to Oct, 5am–9pm, Nov to Apr,
4am–8pm.

Time to taste the most popular dish in


the Middle East—hummus. Israelis
never tire of arguing which place
makes the best hummus in Jerusalem:
The Church of the Holy Sepulcher is Abu Shukri or Lina’s. I recommend
divided among the six oldest Christian
sects. 7 Lina’s, where one bowl of hum-
mus with either fava beans or whole
and Frankish Crusader styles. Inside chickpeas (and maybe a small side of
the church are the Stone of Unction, falafel) mopped up with complimen-
the marble slab where the body of tary fresh pita and raw vegetables
Jesus was prepared for burial; the should be enough for two people to
site of Calvary (the second floor); share—especially since dessert is de
and a later marble tomb enclosing rigueur. Wash the hummus down
the Cave of the Sepulcher. The with either fruit juice, lemonade, or
church has been restored and is mint tea; beer works better but is ver-
constantly being renovated. During boten on the Muslim side of town.
Easter week, one can observe fasci- Lina’s, 42 Ikbat a-Hanaka St. (near
nating services held here that are Station VIII of the Cross on Via Dolo-
based on ancient Eastern church rosa). y 02/627-7230. $$.

Dressing Modestly in Jerusalem


It is a good idea in Jerusalem to be prepared to be dressed
“modestly” in order to avoid any unpleasantness at holy places
(churches, mosques, synagogues, and the Western Wall/Temple
Mount), or if you wander into an ultra-Orthodox Jewish neighbor-
hood or pass a church that looks worth a peek inside. Women are
generally fine with sleeves that are at least elbow-length and skirts to
the knees (or pants that are not tight-fitting). In the hotter months, if
clothing is skimpier than this, it is a good idea to carry around a long
scarf (an Arab kafiyyeh—headdress—works fine) to cover shoulders
and upper arms and a wraparound long skirt (sometimes these
things can be borrowed at entrances). Men can usually get by with
short sleeves and Bermuda shorts (although shorts that convert into
long pants might be a worthwhile investment).
14
The Best Full-Day Tours
becomes the covered Suq el Attarin,
or Spice Bazaar. On the southern
side of David Street, the bazaar
morphs into the restored Cardo (see
p 26), the main street of Roman and
Byzantine Jerusalem, which runs
through the rehabilitated Jewish
Quarter. @ 1 hr. Avoid this area at
night.
9 ★★ Jaffa Gate. The exterior of
the magnificent Jaffa Gate merges
into the outer section of the Tower
of David to create the most photo-
graphed and recognizable pan-
orama of the Old City walls when
viewed from the west. The gate
A market stall near the Damascus Gate. took on its present form when it
was widened by the Ottoman rulers
8 ★★ Damascus Gate and of Jerusalem to accommodate the
the bazaars. Inside Damascus pilgrimage in 1898 of Germany’s
Gate, the largest of the entrances to Kaiser Wilhelm II (1859–1941). The
the Old City, are cafes, shops, and walls of Jerusalem, like the city
market stalls lining a wide-stepped itself, are composed of stones used
entrance street going downhill. again and again by successive civili-
Whether you take El-Wad (the Val- zations and populations. Inside the
ley) Road to the left or Suq Khan gate, on the left, is Jerusalem’s main
es-Zeit (the Olive Oil Inn Market) to Tourist Information Office (y 02/
the right, the way becomes nar- 627-1422; www.goisrael.com),
rower and confusing. Unlike the where visitors can pick up free maps
markets near the Jaffa Gate, which and informative literature. @ 1⁄2 hr.
cater primarily to tourists, this part
0 ★★★ = The Haas Prome-
of the bazaar is an authentic market
nade. The perfect way to cap any
used by the people of East Jerusa-
day of sightseeing in Jerusalem is to
lem. Suq Khan es-Zeit eventually
watch the city transform itself at

The Jaffa Gate.


15

The Best in One Day


Round-the-City Tour on Bus 99
Egged’s (y *2800; www.egged.co.il/eng) red double-decker
bus (#99) travels a continuous route, making 28 stops at most major
sites throughout the united city; it is an unbeatable way to get ori-
ented in Jerusalem. (Egged is the public sector company that oper-
ates Jerusalem’s city buses.) Personal earphones give audio
explanations in eight languages. One may board at any stop, although it
is best to start at the Central Bus Station. The fare for the entire route is NIS
45 for adults; all-day passes allowing hop-on, hop-off privileges are NIS 65 for
adults, but you have to coordinate reentering the bus with the route sched-
ule. Tickets may be bought at many hotels (your hotel can also make a reser-
vation for you, advisable during peak tourist seasons) or from the driver. The
bus does not run late on Friday afternoons or at all on Saturdays.

Travelers can hop on and off of Bus 99 to get around the city.

dusk. Arguably the best vantage the electric lights begin to twinkle
point is from the tayelet—prome- on, then head for dinner. Daniel
nade—that runs along the first ridge Yanovsky St.
south of the Temple Mount. The
promontory at the eastern edge of
the ridge is known to the Christian A good place for an introduction to
Israeli cuisine is !★ Baba; the
world as the Hill of Evil Counsel,
where the high priest Caiaphus menu provides informative explana-
determined to condemn Jesus. tions in English of popular Jerusalem
Catch Jerusalem in all its glory while dishes. Lamb and chicken are good
it is still light out, then stand trans- choices here. 31 Emek Refaim St.
fixed as the walls turn a golden hue y 02/566-2671. $$.
as the sun begins to set. Stay until
Be

Ro

n
z al

El-K
el B

ma
en

ana
Wohl Yehu
da

se
th s c h
sa
16

Zus
Ka
Rose oloro The Best Full-Day Tours

ild
yes

am
Via D

pla

u-
Garden

S. H’onim
n
uta
CHRISTIAN 0 1/10 mi

Sderot Ben Zvi

Der
El-T
nim
Knesset

ec
New ha QUARTER
tza

hR
sa 0 0.1 km

De
Gate Ha Sacher Ethiopian Doloro

Suq Khanes

up
re
Diskin
Via

pi
ch
Park

n
Terra Ru Patriarchate

-Zeit
pp qa Golden

New G
in St. El-Khan a
10 CSancta
as Francis Park Et-Taqiy Dome Gate
St.Rehavia

ate
Al-Wa
KIRYAT of the Rock

St
aN
9 (Valley of. Holy
the ek e Rd
t Sepulcher

ova
SHMU’EL
Gre hCross)

d Roa
c a

d
riar

Yehuda Burla
Pat Es-Saraya
Tomb of 1

Christian Quart
3
6 Jehoshaphat

r
ld iya
g sk y El- Kha THE

Z al
St-
rzo hov Muristan

D
Mamilla Ja Tomb of

ma
er Rd.
He ic TEMPLE

v
St-
ffa

Koim
Bazaar

a
Pa Absalom

nS
BotanicalRo

St George

vsitr

h
hie
tri Pool of
ah MOUNT 5

Ha
El-Hakari

Tchern Pete
l B az Garden neadur arc

iK
ak ha hain

al m
Hezekiah

p
Street of the C

ata

te
To inset r Tomb of

Ha
1 Mount of Olives

mo
Suq El-Baza

Rd
.
n

r
area zog David St . Bene Hezir
Tomb of

He
St-Ma
rk 2 Jerusalem Jewish

av
Jaffa Gate JEWISH Zacharaiah
8 Cemetery

Har
Tif QUARTER Archaeological Park
Citadel e
Opel
l
et r

at
Yis
r
3 The City of David
fe
a’e

’o
l 2 Park

Arar
Ha 4 Hezekiah’s Tunnel
Davidson ch
Or Hay re
Derech Yeriho

s im

Jewish Quarter Road


Arts and Jame Center De 5 The Valley of Kidron

Misquau
The Best in Two Days

Crafts Lane St k Beir El ’ah

Ladach Rd.
11
3 ala Dung ilo 6 Fountain Coffee
3 Shop
sh Ras El-Amud

Armenian Patriarchate Rd

Hativat Yerushalayim
Gate

El- M
Ha Mosque
ch & Restaurant

Gal’ed
re
3 De
eh 7 Mt. Zion
ass
iM Warren’s
ARMENIAN B ate 8 The Citadel of David
Shaft
QUARTER Church 9 Israel Museum
lom
ha CITY OF DAVID
as 4 10 The Shrine of the Book
hH Synagogue
’ale
Zion Ma (Dead Sea Scrolls)
Hativat Etzioni Mosque
Gate 11
3 Armenian Tavern
7
l
ne

Water Tun
17

The Best in Two Days


second day in Jerusalem lets us delve deeper into his-
tory, as revealed by startling archaeological excavations at a
number of sites in and around the Old City. It’s here that the past
touches the present day, as you gaze upon the Dead Sea Scrolls or
the room where Jesus is thought to have gathered with his disciples
for the Last Supper. West Jerusalem can best be explored with a Bus
99 hop-on, hop-off ticket. START: Mount of Olives.

1 ★★★ Mount of Olives. The would have proceeded through tun-


holiest places to Christians outside nels to the Temple courtyard. Visi-
the walled city are found on the tors can stand on the Broad Stairs;
slopes of this famous hill. It is explore Roman-era remains; and
revered as well by Muslims (as an see where the great staircase to the
apocalyptic site) and Jews, whose Temple Mount once stood, sup-
oldest cemetery in continuous use ported by a series of arches that
(except for 1949–1967, when the spanned the market street below.
Jordanians encouraged its desecra- The picture becomes clear at the
tion) covers the slopes. The views, park’s Davidson Exhibition Center,
both in the direction of the city and whose virtual tour depicts the area
the Judean Desert, are stunning. as archaeologists believe it might
@ 1
⁄2 hr. See Mount of Olives & have appeared in Jesus’s time.
Mount Scopus, p 90. Located in the ruins of an 8th-cen-
Hezekiah
’s tury Islamic palace, the Davidson
2 ★★★ Jerusalem Archaeo- Center contains a small museum
logical Park. The Jerusalem with artifacts found at the site, as
Archaeological Park consists primar-
well as videos and computer infor-
ily of the excavations at the Ophel,
mation on the Temple Mount’s his-
below the Southern Wall of the Tem-
tory. @ 11⁄2 hr. Entrance between
ple Mount. In the era just preceding
the Western Wall Plaza & Dung Gate.
and during Jesus’s ministry, this was
y 02/627-7550. www.archpark.org.
the main route to the sacred enclo-
il. NIS 30 adults; NIS 16 students,
sure. A broad staircase led to the
children, & seniors. Sun–Thurs 8am–
Hulda Gates, through which pilgrims
5pm, Fri 8am–2pm; closed Sat &

Visitors can explore Roman-era remains at the Jerusalem Archaeological Park.


18
The Best Full-Day Tours
HolyPass—The Discount Pass
for Jerusalem Sites
Visitors to Jerusalem can save some money by purchasing a
HolyPass, which grants admission to five sites in the Old City (two
“main” sites/attractions and three “secondary” ones). The pass
costs NIS 99 for adults and NIS 50 for children. Once activated
(upon its first use), the HolyPass is valid for 90 days. You may
inquire at the Jaffa Gate Tourist Information Office about the Holy-
Pass or visit www.holypass.co.il.

Jewish holidays. 1-hr. audio tours of points of the City of David Archaeo-
the center & park are available. logical Park are just downhill south-
east from Dung Gate. y 02/626-
3 ★★ The City of David. It was
2341 or *6033. http://cityofdavid.
to this area that King David, after
org.il. Free admission. Daily tours in
conquering the city and claiming it
English (which may be booked in
from the Jebusites, brought the Ark
advance) cost NIS 55 & include Heze-
of the Covenant—the pivotal first
kiah’s Tunnel (see below, 4) & a 3D
step in Jerusalem’s transformation
movie. Sun–Thurs 9am–7pm, Fri
into a holy city and the capital of
9am–3pm.
Judah/Israel; here the ark rested
until King Solomon built the Temple 4 ★★ Hezekiah’s Tunnel. In
to house it. The City of David is now the 8th century BCE, King Hezekiah
the scene of the most exciting constructed an underground aque-
archaeological discoveries to shed duct through which the spring
light on Biblical history. @ 1–2 hr. water that Jerusalem depended on
The excavations & observation could be hidden from Assyrian and
Babylonian invaders—an extraordi-
Hezekiah’s Tunnel dates from the 8th nary engineering feat for the time.
century BCE. The tunnel is still there—along with
the Siloam Pool, whence water
was drawn for Temple rituals—
waiting for you to wade through it.
The one-way journey through ankle-
deep water (higher on children)
takes about 40 minutes; bring
water-friendly footwear of some
kind. There is a shorter “dry” route
that gives you almost the same feel-
ing. Visitors exiting the tunnel need
not climb back uphill; there is a fre-
quent shuttle bus costing an extra
NIS 5 (pay the driver). Entrance to
the tunnel is from the City of David
Archaeological Park. See 3 for
phone number, website, open hours
& fees.
19

The Best in Two Days


foot of the City of David and right in
the middle of the present-day Arab
neighborhood of Silwan—lies the
vital Gihon Spring (known to Chris-
tians as the Fountain of the Virgin),
Jerusalem’s only water source from
pre-Biblical times until the Ottoman
Empire. There are many ancient
burial caves in this “Valley of God’s
Judgment,” and several elaborate
tombs, most of which can be
viewed quite adequately from van-
tage points on the Temple Mount
and City of David. Archaeology buffs
may turn to p 37 to get up close to
these monuments. Admission to the
Siloam Pool NIS 12 adults.

In the vicinity of the Old City, Arabic


fare is the logical choice for lunch.
There is much more to eat than
An excavation in the Valley of Kidron. hummus: Middle Eastern salads and
grilled meats, such as kebab and
5 ★★ The Valley of Kidron. shwarma, can be sampled at the
This narrow valley, also known as 6 ★ Fountain Coffee Shop &
the Valley of Jehoshaphat, runs Restaurant. Suq Efthemios Dab-
between the Mt. of Olives and the bagha No. 62, Christian Quarter.
walls of the Old City, extending past y 02/628-2191. $$.
the City of David southward to join
with the (east-west) Valley of Hin-
nom and end together at the Hill of 7 ★★ Mt. Zion. Mt. Zion, which
Evil Counsel (known to some as the dominates the southwest corner of
Mount of Contempt), where Caia- the Old City, is home to several
phas is said to have resolved to put important Christian sites, one dubi-
Jesus to death (the regional head- ous Jewish one—and the place of
quarters of the United Nations sits the eternal repose of a hero who is
there today). In this valley—at the an inspiration to all mankind.

The Room of the Last Supper at Mount Zion.


halayim

Gal’ed
us
20
t Yer
The Best Full-Day Tours tiva

Mt. Zion
Ha

Batei Masseh

Patriarchate Rd
Armenian
ARMENIAN
QUARTER

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Hativat Etzioni Gate

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ash Cemetery
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m 0 100 m

The [ ★★ Room of the Last Sup- small stone on his grave (open
per (Coenaculum) is believed to be Mon–Sat 8am–2pm). The %
where Jesus celebrated his last Church of St. Peter in Gallicantu
Passover Seder meal, with his disci- marks the place where tradition
ples (open daily 8am–6pm). Below holds that the disciple Peter dis-
this Upper Room is ] King avowed Jesus three times before
David’s Tomb, venerated by some the cock crowed (open Mon–Sat
as the burial place of the monarch, 8:30am–5pm). Mt. Zion’s most rec-
although most scholars dispute this ognizable landmark is , ★ Haga
(open Sun–Thurs 8am–5:30pm; Fri, Maria Sion (or Dormition) Abbey,
Sat & holidays 7:30am–2pm). whose squat round tower is topped
Nearby is the \ Chamber of the by a gray cone and four turrets. The
Holocaust, a small, eerie private Benedictine convent is so named
memorial to the Jewish victims of because it is believed Mary fell into
the Nazis (open Sun–Thurs 9am– everlasting sleep here before her
3:45pm, Fri 9am–1:30pm; closed assumption into heaven. Free
Sat). The ; ★ Roman Catholic admission to all sites. Dormition
cemetery on Mt. Zion is the final Abbey hours: Mon–Sat 8:30–
resting place of Oskar Schindler, 11:45am; Mon–Fri 12:30–5pm, Sat
the hero of Schindler’s List; many 12:45–4:45pm; Sun 10:30–11:45am
come to pay tribute by placing a & 12:30–5pm.

8 ★★ The Citadel of David. developed 800 years after David


The citadel tower beside the Jaffa died. Three massive towers built by
Gate is called the Tower of David, Herod originally stood on this spot;
although historically this site was each of the subsequent rulers of
21

The Best in Two Days


Private Tour Guides
You may choose to hire a private guide to enjoy maximum flex-
ibility and focus on exactly the places and topics you want to get to
know better. The following are recommended English-speaking
guides, licensed by the State of Israel, along with areas of expertise
(although each is qualified in any area):
• Honey Stollman: Jerusalem, Dead Sea/Masada; y 077/751-
3412.
• Suzanne Pomeranz: Introductory full-day tour, ramparts,
Christian sites, Ramat Rachel; y 02/673-8192.
• Hanitai Alyagon: In the footsteps of Jesus, reconstructing the
historic battles of ancient and modern Israel, the Templers;
y 052/422-6626.
• Max Blackston: Millennia of history in and around Jerusalem,
Herodion; y 02/567-1833.
• Amir Cheshin: The Old City, Jewish-Arab relations, in the foot-
steps of Mark Twain; y 050/533-6027.
• Shmuel Browns: Underground Jerusalem (caverns and tun-
nels), Herodion; y 02/561-0785.
• Itamar Shapira: Yad Vashem and the Old City from both a
Palestinian and Israeli perspective; y 054/808-7440.
• Aram Khatchadourian: An expert on the Armenian quarter;
y 050/335-1859.

Jerusalem—Romans, Byzantines, The Israel Museum boasts several


Mamluk Muslims, Crusaders, and excellent collections.
Ottoman Turks—rebuilt these fortifi-
cations beside Jaffa Gate. The
Tower of David Museum of the
History of Jerusalem now occu-
pies the citadel, which is a fascinat-
ing structure in and of itself, besides
affording great views of the New
and Old cities. @ 1 hr. y 02/626-
5333. www.towerofdavid.org.il.
Admission NIS 30 adults; check for
schedules of guided tours in English,
included with admission. Sept–June
Sun–Thurs 10am–4pm, Sat & holi-
days 10am–2pm, closed Fridays; July
& August Sat–Thurs 10am–5pm, Fri
10am–2pm.
9 ★★★ = Israel Museum.
The Israel Museum boasts some of
the most striking architecture in
22
The Best Full-Day Tours

The Shrine of the Book is the home of the Dead Sea Scrolls.

West Jerusalem, but it is the muse- 10am–5pm; Tues 4–9pm; Fri 10am–
um’s incredible collections that are 2pm. The box office is closed on Sat,
the real attraction. The Judaica but tickets may be purchased just
Wing houses the greatest artistic outside the building from an autho-
creations in the long history of the rized agent.
Jewish religion, gathered from the 0 ★★★ The Shrine of the
four corners of the earth. The
Book (Dead Sea Scrolls). Under
Archaeological Museum and
the gleaming white parabolic roof,
Garden contain ancient artifacts of
contoured to resemble the clay jars
almost unequalled historical impor-
in which the Dead Sea Scrolls were
tance, reflecting the antecedents,
discovered, resides the permanent
birth, and development of Judeo-
home of the oldest known parch-
Christian civilization. The Billy Rose
ment documents in the Hebrew lan-
Art Garden contains sculptures by
guage. These scrolls, along with the
Rodin (1840–1917), Picasso (1881–
Bar Kochba letters from the time of
1973), and others, while the Floer-
the Jews’ revolt against Rome, are
sheimer Pavilion for Impressionist
prized national and cultural trea-
and Post-Impressionist Art features
sures that are stored underground
works by Monet (1840–1926),
in case of enemy bombardment.
Renoir—and other masters of the
The Shrine also contains finds from
genres. The Children’s Wing (see
the legendary Dead Sea fortress of
p 53) is dedicated to educating
Masada; rare and priceless finds
future generations about art and
shedding light on ancient Israelite
culture by means of entertaining
history are added to this exclusive
interactive programs. @ 1–2 hr.
collection from time to time. Adja-
Ruppin St. y 02/670-8811. www.
cent to the Israel Museum (see 9).
imj.org.il. Admission NIS 40 adults
Admission included with the
(dual- & multiple-entry tickets
Museum.
available). Sat–Mon, Wed & Thurs
23

The Best in Two Days


Organized Tours
There are a number of tours available—some even free of
charge—that can enhance any visit. The following private compa-
nies offer group tours of Jerusalem and nearby regions, led by
licensed guides. Check the latest schedules and prices:
• Zion Walking Tours offers 3-hour tours of sections of the Old
City, West Jerusalem, and even the Judean Desert. Located on
Armenian Patriarchate Road (inside Jaffa Gate, opposite the
police station next to the Tower of David). Call y 02/627-7588
or visit http://zionwt.dsites1.co.il.
• Egged Tours, operated by the country’s largest bus company,
depart Jerusalem daily for tours of 1 to 3 days to all parts of
Israel. Most hotel reception areas contain brochures with
schedules, itineraries, and prices. Tours may be booked at
travel agencies or travel desks at major hotels. Call y 700/707-
577 (or y *3920) or visit www.eggedtours.com.
• An arm of ICAHD (The Israeli Committee Against House
Demolitions) specializes in “alternative” tours from Palestin-
ian, as well as Israeli, perspectives. Find it at the Travel Center
at Damascus Gate, or call y 054/693-4433 or check out www.
toursinenglish.com.
The following group tours are free; while guides here are also very
knowledgeable, they are not always licensed by the state:
• Sandeman’s Free Tours: 31⁄2-hour walking tours depart daily
at 11am and 2:30pm from just outside the Jaffa Gate Tourist
Information Office; look for staffers in red t-shirts. Call y 02/
624-4726 or visit www.newjerusalemtours.com. The guides
work for tips; do not let yours go unrewarded.
• Jerusalem Municipality: Free walking tours in English are
offered Saturdays at 10am from 32 Jaffa Rd. Call y 02/531-
4600.
• The Society for the Protection of Nature in Israel: Offers
occasional free walking tours in English of Jerusalem neighbor-
hoods. Call y 02/625-2357.

!
For dinner, try the ★★ Arme- Reservations are essential Friday
nian Tavern in the Old City’s Arme- and Saturday evenings. 79 Arme-
nian Quarter. The best night is nian Patriarchate Rd. y 02/627-
Friday, when the restaurant offers 3854. $$.
a special “Armenian kitchen” dish.
asi
Me’a
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Tahkemoni
Avo he’
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Yesha’ayahu
The Best Full-Day Tours

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The Best in Three Days

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8 lm ABU
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25

The Best in Three Days


n the third day, we spread our wings a bit and travel
outside the city—to the suburb of Ein Karem and the nearby
Judean Desert. And we get acquainted with the outdoor Jewish mar-
ket, with its colorful stalls of produce and ethnic foods, to the delight
of our taste buds. START: The Jewish Quarter, inside the Zion Gate.

1 ★ = Zedekiah’s Cave. This Old City. @ 45 min. Entrance along


huge underground cavern, extend- the Old City Walls between Damas-
ing from the Old City Walls nearly all cus Gate & Herod’s Gate. y 02/627-
the way to the Temple Mount, 7550. Admission NIS 10 adults.
reopened to the public in 2009. It is Sun–Thurs 9am–5pm (9am–4pm in
also known as Solomon’s Quarries, winter).
since it is believed to be the quarry
from which the stones for the 2 ★★ The Jewish Quarter of
ancient Temple were hewn. The the Old City. By now, you will
cave is of special importance to the probably at least have passed
worldwide Order of Masons, which through this area of the ancient city,
claims spiritual descent from the which has been the center of the
A
original builders of the First Temple. Jewish community in the Old City
Jewish and Muslim legends claim since 1267, when the Crusaders
that tunnels from here extended to were driven from Jerusalem. The
the Sinai Desert and Jericho. The Jewish Quarter was destroyed by
Derech name comes from the story that the Jordanians during and after Isra-
King Zedekiah fled from the Babylo- el’s War of Independence in 1948;
it
c h Be nians through these tunnels in 587 since Israel retook the Old City in
Dere 1967, the quarter has been rebuilt
BCE, only to be captured later near
Jericho. An illuminated path leads and repopulated.
you into this netherworld under the

Zedekiah’s Cave is a huge underground cavern underneath the Old City.

on
tam
Ka
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Ha
26 Holy
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Sepulcher
Gre hate
St GeorgTours
rc The Jewish Quarter Es-Saraya

Al-Wa
Pa tria
Dome
Christian Quar
of the Rock

d Road
ldiya
e

El- Kha
The Best Full-Day

Muristan

El-Hakari
Bazaar
Pool of
ter Rd.

Hezekiah Chain
Street of the
ar
Suq El-Baz
David St .
St-Ma

Jewish Quarter Road


rk
2B JEWISH
QUARTER
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2A
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at

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Or Hay Davidson
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ARMENIAN
Synagogue M
QUARTER 0 1/10 mi
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0 0.1 km

The highlight of the Jewish Quarter of each wave of destruction. The

nnel
is j ★★ the Cardo Maximus, massive k Broad Wall was part of
Jerusalem’s main market street from the city’s defenses dating from theWater Tu
Hezekiah’s

the 2nd to 6th centuries (Roman First Temple period (about 700 BCE).
and Byzantine times). The southern Other important sites in the Jewish
portion of the Cardo, with many Quarter are the l Hurva Syna-
original paving stones, is open to gogue, now being rebuilt to its orig-
the sky and lined with imposing inal striking dimensions, complete
columns found and re-erected by with a white dome that constitutes
archaeologists; note the walled-up a new landmark in the panorama of
facades of Crusader-era shops built the Old City; a complex of four small
into arches (some replaced by mod- m Sephardic synagogues; the
ern tourist shops). In this restored n Wohl Archaeology Museum;
section, you can look down shafts and the o Burnt House. See p 35
that reveal how far above ancient for details on the Wohl Museum and
street-level the city has risen after Burnt House. @ 11⁄2 hr. www.jewish-
centuries of rebuilding on the ruins quarter.org.il.

3 ★ The Armenian Quarter.


Travel Tip
Tucked between the Citadel of
The intricacies of the Armenian Quar- David and the Jewish Quarter is an
ter are difficult to explore on your area containing Armenian religious
own; visitors with a special interest institutions dating back to the earli-
in this community are advised to hire est centuries of Christianity. The
a specialized guide (see Private Tour Armenian Quarter does not yield its
Guides sidebar, p 21). secrets easily: Access to the Church
27

The Best in Three Days


St. James Cathedral in the Armenian Quarter.

of the Archangels—adjacent to the


★ First Prison of Jesus, as well as 4 Kedma, a meat restaurant
to the Gulbenkian Library, which (highlighting corned beef), coupled
houses some 4,000 illuminated man- with a sister dairy restaurant (that fea-
uscripts—is limited. The interior of tures pasta). The beautiful coffee bar
the ★★ St. James Cathedral is one will not serve you milk, but the server
of the most interesting in the coun- will tell you where to obtain it for your
try, with chapels and altars richly coffee. On the third floor of the inte-
rior mall. y 02/500-3737.$$. Kosher.
adorned with ceramic tiles, mother
of pearl, silver, and gold; dazzling
chandeliers; dozens of hanging oil
lamps; and a unique confessional. 5 ★★ = Herodion (Hero-
The church may be visited only dur- dium). Herodion is an oft-underrated
ing services (see p 42, @, for sched- site, partly because of its similarity
ule). The Mardigian Museum of to its more famous counterpart,
Armenian Art and History con- Masada, and partly because it is a
tains a collection of artifacts and reli- 25-minute drive from Jerusalem. For
gious objects, and chronicles tourists who will not be visiting
Armenian history. y 02/628-2331. Masada, it is well worth the few hours
Admission to the museum NIS 5 it would take to visit the ruins of this
adults. Mon–Sat 10am–4:30pm. The cliff-top fortified palace that overlooks
museum is closed for renovations for both Bethlehem and the Judean Des-
all of 2010. ert, with views as far as the Dead Sea.
(Tourists or pilgrims planning to visit
Bethlehem can easily incorporate
The Alrov Mamilla pedestrian mall Herodion into this half-day excursion.)
that connects Jaffa Gate with the Herodion is so named because the
new city is Jerusalem’s latest “coffee magnificent tomb of the infamous
shop row.” For the best variety—and monarch is here, alongside his winter
most spectacular view—check out palace and over-the-top swimming
pool, which was kept filled for Herod’s
28
The Best Full-Day Tours
(Gen. 49:1–27) that Jacob bestowed
on his 12 sons destined to become
the founders of the Twelve Tribes of
Israel. Fans of Chagall will be happy to
learn that more of his work—large,
colorful tapestries—is on display in
the Knesset (Parliament) building.
@ 1
⁄2 hr. Ein Karem. y 02/641-6333.
Admission & tour of Chagall windows
NIS 14 adults; discount for students &
seniors. Sun–Thurs 8am–1:15pm &
2–3:45pm, Fri & eves of holidays
8am–12:30pm.
7 ★★ = Mahane Yehuda
market. The open-air market—the
shook—in West Jerusalem is very
different from its counterpart in the
Old City, but it is no less enjoyable.
Israel’s fruits and vegetables range
from the familiar to the exotic; and
like the breads, pastries, and cheeses
you’ll find here, all are at their freshest
and tastiest at this bustling market.
Along with the old-fashioned Jewish
Loaves of bread at the Mahane Yehuda
market. and ethnic foods on display, there are
trendy cafes, sophisticated restau-
pleasure with water diverted from rants, healthful drinks, and even ter-
Jerusalem. The personality and para- rific ice cream. Taste the free samples
noia of this notorious historical figure (especially the halvah), shop for the
is reflected in the grandeur of the best prices, and think about the ter-
Herodion complex, complete with rific picnic for dinner or the next day’s
underground escape tunnels. @ 11⁄2 lunch you can provision here. And
hr. (not including travel time). Hero- don’t forget the wine. The market is at
dion is a national park on the edge its busiest Thursdays and Fridays; pre-
of the Judean Desert. y 050/623- pare for slow going or to be jostled. It
5821. www.parks.org.il. Admission is closed Friday nights and Saturdays,
NIS 25 adults; NIS 13 students, chil- although restaurants will reopen
dren & seniors. Sun–Thurs 8am– Saturday nights. Try to avoid Sun-
5pm, Fri 8am–2pm; closed Sat. day, as many stalls are closed.
@ 1 hr. Opposite 110 Jaffa Rd. on the
6 ★★ The Chagall windows at north side, or starting at 44 Agrippas
Hadassah Medical Center. The St. on the south side; 5–10 minutes’
largest medical center in the Middle walk west from downtown.
East, the Hadassah-Hebrew University
Medical Center stands on a hilltop 8 ★★★ Yad Vashem Memorial
several miles from downtown Jerusa- and Holocaust Museum. The
lem. The teaching hospital’s syna- world’s largest institution dedicated
gogue is adorned by 12 exquisite to the commemoration of the Holo-
stained-glass windows designed caust and its victims is located on the
by renowned French-Jewish artist Ridge of Remembrance on Mt. Herzl,
Marc Chagall (1887–1985). Each win- next to Israel’s national military cem-
dow depicts the Biblical blessing etery and the burial places of the
leaders of the state of Israel.
29

The Best in Three Days


Yad Vashem Memorial

8G
8D
8F
8B P
8E 8C 8A

Hazik
P

aron
Entry Gate

Information
Point of Interest

0 100 yds
P Parking
Rest Rooms
0 100 m

The Yad Vashem complex com- of as many of the victims as the


prises the tunnel-shaped _ Holo- institute has been able to gather;
caust Museum, wherein moving the 6m (20 ft.) | monument to
video testimonies by survivors are the 1.5 million Jewish soldiers
interspersed among exhibits that among the Allied forces, partisans,
detail the suffering and near-extinc- and ghetto fighters; the : Valley
tion of European Jewry over the of the Destroyed Communities,
course of 12 years of Nazi persecu- memorializing 5,000 entire commu-
tion; the + Avenue of the Righ- nities that were wiped off the face
teous Among the Nations, lined of the Earth; and the ! Children
with trees planted in honor of heroic of the Holocaust Memorial, com-
gentiles (many of them martyred) memorating more than 1.5 million
who saved Jewish lives; the { Hall murdered children. @ 2 hr. On Har
of Remembrance, a crypt-like Ha-Zikaron. y 02/675-1611. www.
room where an eternal flame sheds yadvashem.org.il. Free admission.
somber light over plaques on the Sun–Thurs 9am–4:45pm, Fri 9am–
floor identifying dozens of death 1pm; Hall of Names Sun–Thurs
camps (the Hall’s massive gate is 10am–2pm, Fri 10am–1pm; archives
unforgettable in and of itself); the & library Sun–Thurs 9am–3pm; all
} Hall of Names, with the names, closed Sat & Jewish holidays.
photographs, and personal details
30
The Best Full-Day Tours
Visiting Yad Vashem
As difficult as the subject matter is, this is a uniquely enlight-
ening, albeit depressing, experience for adults and teenaged
children; parents should exercise discretion with regard to
younger children. It is also an opportunity to sign a Remem-
brance Book that includes the comments and signatures of many
world leaders. Visitors who do not feel they can complete the
entire tour may wait for others in the new Art Museum, whose
contents are less emotionally charged. Warning: It may be diffi-
cult for some to continue sightseeing as usual after a visit to Yad
Vashem. If so, it is recommended to visit either during a rainy day
or towards the end of the day, when all that is left to do is watch
a golden sunset over the Eternal City.

Yad Vashem’s Avenue of the Righteous Among the Nations.

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