Going to Jerusalem
You probably want to visit Jerusalem Israel for such a long time but you are probably wondering how safe it is, how beautiful it is if it is really worth going there and so on.
I’ve been to Jerusalem more than once and I can tell you that it is a wonderful city with oriental influences.
Actually Jerusalem is the only place on Earth where Muslims, Christians and Jewish live together in harmony.
Let’s discover together the beauty of this place!
1. Where is Jerusalem located?
Jerusalem is located in what today is called Israel and is considered by many as the holiest place on Earth. The city is located in the Middle East, on the Judaean Mountains, right between the Dead Sea and the Mediterranean Sea.
Both Israel and Palestinian Authority claim Jerusalem as their capital and three major religions- Christianity, Judaism and Islam consider this city a holy land.
2. How to get to Jerusalem?
The easiest way to get to Jerusalem is by plane. Fly to Ben Gurion Airport from Tel Aviv and then take a taxi or a bus from the airport to the city.
The shuttle bus costs around 4 Euro and in about an hour you reach your Jerusalem downtown.
Taxi is more expensive than the bus so you will end up paying somewhere between 80 to 100 euro for the journey which lasts for around 50 minutes if the traffic is normal.
Going to Jerusalem by train is another option, but you have to change one of two trains which makes the ride more complicated and uncomfortable. More than that, the journey lasts for around 2 hours and the cost is the same as for bus which is faster.
3. Is it safe to visit Jerusalem Israel?
Jerusalem is a safe place to visit but a very important thing when travelling abroad is to be aware at any time where are you and who is around you.
Most of you probably wonder which are the possibilities of a terrorist attack. Well, you should not be worried because there are really low chances almost to zero to be part of such an unpleasant event!
What you see on television with all kind of attacks over people are mostly from the Palestinian territory and from the areas which are not visited by tourists.
The Israeli Government do their best to keep the security of all citizens and visitors at really high levels.
You will see soldiers with guns roaming around Jerusalem but they are there to protect you and to watch you.
You maybe don’t feel very comfortable seeing armed people on the streets but for Jerusalem, it is something normal! The army and the police are spread all over the city to watch your back and to protect locals and tourists!
Like all major cities and touristic attractions, pickpocketing risk is moderate so be careful and watch your personal belongings especially when you are in public transport, in crowded areas and Old Souq.
In terms of street crimes, Jerusalem streets are safer than more European and American cities.
Females should be careful and dress properly. Avoid moulded clothes, tops and skin-tight trousers or anything else similar because is considered an offence to that scared place!
When travelling to Israel please pay respect to people around you, to their beliefs and religion. Also, it is not advisable to drink too much; act decent and nothing wrong would happen to you!
Going to Jerusalem is safer than visiting some other cities from all over the world!
4. Israeli-Palestinian Conflict over Jerusalem
By the moment when Israel gains its independence, clashes between Israelis as well as Palestinians over key regions in Jerusalem have been continuous.
Jewish law prohibits Jews from praying in the Temple Mount. Yet, Israeli forces enable numerous Jewish settlers to enter the location regularly, which some Palestinians are afraid might result in an Israeli requisition.
As a matter of fact, one key occasion that brought about the 2nd Palestinian Intifada (a Palestinian uprising against Israel) took place when Jewish leader Ariel Sharon, who would end up being Israel’s Prime Minister, visited Jerusalem’s Temple Mount in 2000.
Recently, some Israeli groups have also announced a strategy to construct a third Jewish Holy place on the Holy Place Mount. This proposal has outraged Palestinians staying in the area.
On top of that, both Israelis and also Palestinians have aimed to make the city their capital.
In 1980, Israel declared Jerusalem as its capital, however a lot of the global countries does not recognise this distinction.
In May 2017, the Palestinian team Hamas provided a paper that suggested the formation of a Palestinian state with Jerusalem as its capital.
Nevertheless, the group refused to recognize Israel as a state, so the Israeli federal government promptly rejected the idea. You should not feel depressed because going to Jerusalem is not that dangerous as you might think!
On December 2017 President Donald Trump and the White House announced that the United States recognizes Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and moved its embassy to Jerusalem.
On the other hand, the United Nations, part of the European Union countries and other diplomatic missions of some Muslim countries do not recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.
5. Getting around Jerusalem
Now that you plan to travel to Israel and visit Jerusalem Israel you are probably wondering how to move around.
The most effective methods to get around Jerusalem are on foot or by taxi. Much of the city’s top destinations are within walking distance of one another within or simply past the Old City wall surfaces. When you want to go further from your hotel taxis are incredibly convenient (maybe a little pricey).
The transport company called Egged provides public bus solution within the city as well as numerous points around Jerusalem.
Egged has also shuttle buses to Ben Gurion International Airport Terminal (TLV), which is located about 38 miles northwest of Jerusalem on the borders of Tel Aviv.
Nonetheless, the bus system isn’t very easy to use for foreign site visitors. Travellers normally will have far better luck with the brand-new light rail system, which opened in 2011 because it is simpler and faster than the traditional buses.
6. Best months to visit Jerusalem
April through May and October through November are considered the best months for going to Jerusalem. During these periods the weather is mild and the crowds are thin.
Tip: Before you plan your holiday to Jerusalem you’d better double-check to see when are the major Jewish events like High Holy Days, Passover and Sukkot.
During these feasts, the prices go up and the number of tourists increases.
On the other hand, summer is the time of the year when most people plan their trip to Jerusalem Israel. If you do the same then you should expect a high number of tourists roaming around, long queues and higher prices.
Take with you sun cream, a hat and a lot of water because it might be very hot outside during summer months!
Winter instead is the less crowded period of the year. The crowds are long gone, the prices for hotels and restaurants drop significantly and the weather is pretty good for sightseeing with many days of sun.
The average temperatures all over the year are as follows:
FAQ about the weather in Jerusalem
What is the coldest month in Jerusalem?
January is considered to be the coldest month of the year. The average temperatures fluctuate between 12 degrees Celsius to 7 degrees Celsius.
What is the rainiest month in Jerusalem?
January is not just the coldest but also the wettest month in Jerusalem. From the total number of 31 days, 12 days will be rainy.
How much does it rain in Jerusalem?
Going to Jerusalem depends on how much it rains? This should not be a problem when planning your trip because the rain falls for 62 days and collects up to 555 mm of precipitation all year round.
What is the driest month in Jerusalem?
There are three months when there are 0 drops of rain: June, July and August.
What is the warmest month in Jerusalem?
For sure August is the warmest month of the year. I personally advise you to avoid visit Jerusalem Israel in August because is too hot. The average temperatures fluctuate between 20 degrees Celsius to 30 degrees Celsius.
7. Things to see in Jerusalem
7.1 Visit the Old City of Jerusalem
Among the most interesting things to do in the Old City, in my opinion, is to just roam. The Old City streets are pretty narrow as well as there are stores and suppliers on either side.
The Old City is actually quite tiny but you could easily get lost (in the best means!) in the streets for days. There is a lot to see as well as do around this tiny but extremely picturesque place.
And it’s such a unique experience simply wandering via the maze of the Old City and also strolling from one quarter to the next.
Walk in and out of the stores, get to know the shop proprietors, and buy homemade shoes, sweet, or precious jewellery. (My advice is not to accept the first price and keep negotiating!).
7.2 Visit the Church of Holy Sepulchre
Going to Jerusalem is not complete without a tour of Church of Holy Sepulchre.
The Church of the Holy Sepulchre is in the Christian Quarter and also it’s the site where lots of Christians believe Jesus was tortured as well as hidden.
The church is absolutely beautiful and also you can invest hours inside checking out the murals as well as paints, touching what is believed to be the rock of Golgatha, and also going inside the Tomb.
7.3 Walk along the Ramparts
The Ramparts Walk is just one of my outright preferred things to do in the city! You reach walk on the Old City wall surfaces and also see the entire city from above.
It’s likewise an excellent mean to get a much better understanding of each of the quarters of the Old City. There are two separate walks.
The north side as well as the south side, and also the entry goes to the Jaffa Gate. We did the south sidewalk, which ends at the Western Wall surface. A very unique and interesting experience which you definitely have to try it, too!
7.4 Visit the Garden Tomb
When you visit Jerusalem Israel you definitely have to visit the Garden Tomb.
The Garden Tomb is outside the walls of the Old City and is another important location for Christians. Here is the place where Christians believe Jesus might have been buried.
This is a less preferred site and also, therefore, is generally a great deal much less crowded, which offers it a little bit more of a serene experience to it.
The yards are stunning as well as there are usually tour teams singing hymns and religious songs. This is a great place to go if you’re seeking a peaceful minute to sit and reflect on your experience below in Jerusalem.
7.5 The Western Wall
The Western Wall ancient website is absolutely remarkable and also truly brings you back to the ancient times of Jerusalem when the First and also Secondly Temples were developed right here.
You can see the ritual baths and the original steps that led up to the Temple. The steps leading up to the Temple Mount are a truly unique area for Christians, as it is among the places in the city where you can really walk where Jesus strolled.
7.6 Dome of the Rock
Visit Dome of the Rock when going to Jerusalem as it is one of the most important spiritual sites for Muslims!
Non-Muslims are allowed in the location, however, they are not allowed inside. It is genuinely among the most attractive buildings on the planet and also an amazing area to go.
It’s cost-free as well as open up to visitors every Monday via Thursday from 7:30 am– 10:30 am as well as 12:30 pm– 1:30 pm during the winter months and 8:30 am– 11:30 am and also 1:30 pm– 2:30 pm during the summer season.
Be sure to dress modestly and to have your shoulders, knees, and also upper body covered or else you will not be allowed to enter.
The entryway to the Holy place Mount is on the outside of the Western Wall surface and you have to pass security check if you want to go in.
Tensions are a lot greater below than they have actually remained in previous years, so the protection is a bit stricter. Be quiet and respectful to those who are worshipping within.
You are enabled to take pictures, yet there are guards and also safety and security all over that are very rigorous. Do not put your arms around each other in images or attempt to “design” for pictures. It is strictly forbidden and guards will promptly come up to you and also inform you that you will be tossed out if you do.
You have to know before you visit Jerusalem Israel that this place is also considered the Holy place Mount, where the First Temple was constructed by King Soloman, so this website holds a lot of relevance for Jews as well as Christians too.
7.7. Pray at the Western Wall
The Western Wall is among one of the most crucial religious websites for Jews and you should visit it when going to Jerusalem.
At the Western Wall surface, men and women go separate and pray on different sides. Men should cover their heads (there are kippahs available there for you to borrow) and both males and females must be clothed decently in order to go into (ensure your knees and also shoulders are covered).
It is such an amazing experience to witness so many individuals praying to venerate in their own way. Be quiet and also respectful to those around you while you’re at the wall surface, and bring a pen and paper, so you can leave your own prayer in the wall.
When leaving the Western Wall surface, it is conventional to stroll backwards so that you do not reveal your back to the wall.
7.8 MaHAne Yehuda Market
Mahane Yehuda Market is in what’s in some cases thought about “West Jerusalem” as it’s outside the Old City wall surfaces and in a much more contemporary area of the city.
It’s the oldest market in Jerusalem and offers fresh fruit, homemade desserts, the most delicious bread, and also many various other stores and also dining establishments.
It’s an excellent location to spend an afternoon roaming and also snacking. Ask the store proprietors for a small piece to taste as well as get to know them. Every person is extremely friendly and going to let you attempt their specialities!
7.9 Mount of Olives
On your visit Jerusalem Israel travel list include also the Mount of Olives.
The Mount of Olives in Jerusalem, occasionally also described as Mount Olives is a vital site, situated alongside the Old City of Jerusalem.
The Mount of Olives refers to the ridge located east of the Old City and obtains its name from the olive groves that at once covered the land. A considerable and meaningful site, the Mount of Olives in Jerusalem go back to scriptural times and also is important to both Jews as well as Christians.
A few of the spots found on the Mount of Olives include the Augusta Victoria Health Center with the Lutheran Church of the Rising and also the legendary 50-meter bell tower.
There is likewise the Russian Orthodox Church of the Ascension with its tall and noticeable white bell tower, Chapel of the Ascension, the Church of the Pater Noster, in addition to the 7 Arches Resort.
The Jewish burial ground is located on the western incline of the mount, together with the Burial place of the Prophets, the Catholic Church of Dominus Flevit, and the Russian Orthodox Church of Mary Magdalene.
Maybe among the most renowned and also visited points along the Mount of Olives goes to the base, where the Kidron Valley links the Garden of Gethsemane with the Church of all Nations.
New Jerusalem: Mount of Olives Tour is one of the best tours you can book if you want to visit this holy place and find out much useful information about each monument from the area.
The tour starts at at 2 p.m from the Jaffa Gate, where is a bus waiting for you and goes up to the Hill and lasts for 3 hours. Church of Pater Noster, Mosque of the Ascension, Jewish cemetery, Church of Mary Magdalene and Garden of All Nations are just some of the places you’ll visit during your tour.
7.10 Via Dolorosa
For Christians going to Jerusalem means the unique opportunity to step on Jesus steps. Following Via Dolorosa, you actually step on Jesus footsteps!
Via Dolorosa (“Way of Grief” in Latin) is a roadway in the old city of Jerusalem, a path where Jesus was lead in pain, carrying the crucifixion cross.
There are a total of 14 stations along this path, based on occasions that took place en route to the Golgotha hill, the place of crucifixion, which lies at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. 8 terminals are marked along the old city road, while 6 extra terminals are places in the compound of the church.
It begins with the place where he was attempted and convicted– near the Lions’ gateway on the eastern side (Muslim quarter). It ends in the crucifixion area, Golgotha, where the Church of the Holy Sepulchre is located in the west side of the old city (Christian quarter).
And before ending my article about visit Jerusalem Israel I would like to tell you a very important thing which you definitely have to know before you go! It is about Shabbat and Holy Days!
The Jewish Holy Day, Shabbat, is from Sundown of Friday to Sundown on Saturday. Consequently, nearly whatever in the nation is closed, including public transport.
There are still some shops that are open, however, you’ll most likely have a difficult time locating places to eat and also things that are open. The Muslim Holy Day is Friday, which means Friday early mornings, a lot of things are closed.
Always check in advance to see what’s open on which days so your plans aren’t ruined.
Also, accessibility to some of the attractions might suffer modifications as a result of holidays and also political scenarios, so ensure to look into that in advance as well!
8. Where to sleep in Jerusalem?
Arthur Hotel an Atlas Boutique Hotel is a remarkable resort situated right in the centre of the city, 2.5 kilometres away from the Mount of Olives Israel. The spaces are tidy and well kept and also the breakfast is excellent with numerous alternatives.
Orient Jerusalem by Isrotel Exclusive Collection a 5 stars resort located within strolling distance from Old Town of Jerusalem and 2.5 kilometres away from Mount Olivet.
The resort has a wellness location with a sauna, a hammam and also fitness facilities. Guests can have breakfast at the property in addition to lunch and also dinner. The services are great while a few of the rooms offer amazing views of the neighbourhoods.
Ibis Styles Jerusalem City Center is another great option for your trip to Jerusalem. It is another wonderful hotel located in the centre of Jerusalem, 2.6 kilometres away from Mount Olivet. The rooms are spacious and clean, breakfast is good and the staff is very helpful and polite.
Going to Jerusalem was on my bucket list for such a long time and I had a really wonderful time there! I definitely recommend you to visit this old city and to see with your own eyes its amazing attractions!