Israel, Travel blog

How to visit Jerusalem off the beaten track + practical tips

If you follow me on Instagram you probably saw that I was in Jerusalem for a few days, while on the pre-TBEX press trip, we had the possibility to discover the city in an alternative and modern way.
How to visit Jerusalem in a cool way?
Most people go to Jerusalem for a day or two in order to visit Jerusalem’s most famous site that are the the City of David, the Western Wall, the Al Aqsa Mosque, the church of the Holy Sepulchre, etc, but even though Jerusalem is all this, the city also has so much more than this to offer.

Jerusalem off the beaten track and practical tips

Practical tips for Jerusalem

When to go to Jerusalem?
The best days to go to Jerusalem are from Sunday to Thursday. Indeed, Saturday is Shabbat and therefore, many shops and restaurants are closed from Friday evening.

How long to stay in Jerusalem?
It depends what you would like to see and do, but to really see everything and enjoy the city to it’s fullest without too much stress I would say at least 3 days.

How to get to Jerusalem?
From Ben Gurion Airport, it is a 40 minutes drive. With taxi it cost around 180Shekels wich is around 45Euros.
With shared taxi it is around 15Euros, and with Bus

From Tel Aviv – It is around 1 hour away by car. I would recommend to go with a bus or with shared taxi. Taxi indeed is very expensive – around 100Euros.
You can take a shared taxi from the bus station in tel Aviv, it is very convenient and quite cheap, around 8Euros, or you can also from there go with the bus but note that only Sheruk (shared taxi) will take you to Jerusalem on Saturday.

Where to sleep in Jerusalem?
I stayed at the Inbal hotel. It is a very luxurious hotel situated not far away from the old city but if you budget is low, I know some people who stayed at the Abraham hostel but also at the Post hostel Jerusalem and they really enjoyed it. Modern and young.

Jerusalem off the beaten track

For more practical informations about Jerusalem visit I Travel Jerusalem

  • Segway tour of Jerusalem

On the first day we went to Jerusalem we did a Segway tour that took us from outside the wall of the old city of Jerusalem to our hotel. It is a good and fun way (I would have not think so but it is) to see the new part of Jerusalem.

  • Take a food tour

I think a food tour is a great way to visit a city as you discover through a food tour the different culture in a city but also it’s people. We took the Machane Yehuda Market food tour that is one of the Mojo Bite Jerusalem food tours. Very easy to use, you just need to buy the tour online then there is a map on your Bite Mojo App that tells you where to go. Everything is already paid, you just need to show your app and then you walk around at your own rythme.

If you prefer to taste food in the old city I also found another tour : Jerusalem: Beyond the Walls Tour with Food Tasting

And if you prefer to drink, Jerusalem also has it’s pub crawl.
Street Food Jerusalem Tbex press trip

food tour Jerusalem
  • Museum

The most important Museum in Jerusalem in the Holocaust Museum but if you art in general you will love The Israel Museum, one of the leading art and archaeology museums in the world.
travel blogger Israel Musem Jerusalem Tbex press trip

  • Ein Karem

Ein Karem is to me the cutest and the most green district of Jerusalem. Many Pilgrims visit Ein Karem because it is where John the Baptist was born but even though you are not super religious it is great to go to Ein Karem for a walk. It has very picturesque houses and looks a bit like Tuscany.
I found this Day Tour from tel Aviv that will also take you to Ein Karem

Ein Karem Jerusalem
Travel blogger Jerusalem Ein Karem Tbex press trip

Jerusalem Ein Karem Tbex press trip
  • Markets

When you come to Jerusalem, if you plan to see the most famous sites you will pass by the Old City Souk where you will be able to buy absolutely everything, from religous items to food. My favourite part of this market was the muslim part of the market. Very authentic.
Anothe market that is not situated in the Old City is the Mehane Yehuda market. It is where everyone who lives in Jerusalem goes to buy groceries, all social class confused. At night, it turns into a very cool place, almost hipster like, where locals go for food and drinks.

souk Old City Jerusalem Tbex press trip Souk old city Jerusalem Tbex press trip Night at The Shuk Mahane Yehuda Market Jerusalem The Shuk Mahane Yehuda Market Jerusalem Souk Old city Jerusalem
  • Scavunger hunt

I never did a scavunger hunt (a party game in which the organizers prepare a list defining specific items, which the participants seek to gather or complete all items on the list) before this but it was a great way to learn about the city. It makes you walk around and looking for the items makes you discover historical facts about the city.

Take a day trip from Jerusalem

  • Dead Sea : I went to the Dead Sea while in Jordan and I really recommend the experience. Jerusalem is very close to the Dead Sea (around 1 hour by car) so I would advise to take a day tour from Jerusalem to the Dead Sea. Indeed locals told me it is the best way as if you go on your own you will not know where exactly at the Dead Sea you will be able to swim as most places belong to Dead Sea resorts.

Day tours :
Sunrise in Masada and Dead Sea
Spa Day at the Dead Sea
Masada and Dead Sea : check out The Russian Abroad’s Guide to Jerusalem for more informations about this trip.

  • For the most religious people, Jerusalem is a good starting point to visit Bethlehem and Jericho but also Nazareth and the Holy Land sites, from the lower Galilee to the Sea of Galilee
  • During my trip to Israel, I also went to Jordan.
    Jordan is fantastic but I know many people don’t have time to visit the country. A great option from Jerusalem is to take a 2 days tour to Jordan that will take you to Petra, the most famous site in Jordan where also Indiana Jones was filmed, but also to Jerash : the best well preserved roman site in Jordan and to Amman, the capital of Jordan, home of a roman theater and the Hercules temple.
Travel blogger Jerusalem Ein Karem Tbex press trip ramparts City of David Jerusalem city Jews at Mahane Yehuda Market Jerusalem Ein Karem Jerusalem Travel blogger Jerusalem Tbex press trip prayer Western Wall Jerusalem Tbex press trip Holy books at Western Wall Jerusalem Tbex press trip skyline jerusalem Tbex press trip ramparts jerusalem Tbex press trip

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*ADVERTISEMENT – This trip was made in collaboration with I Travel Jerusalem.

*The opinions expressed here represent my own