The city of Jerusalem offers its visitors a variety of routs, attractions and activities. Most of the sites are good for short visits of one to three hours, so to make it a full day trip, you will need to combine several of them to have a full day tour of the city.
These are some of the recommended sites to visit while you are in Jerusalem, for touring Israel in Style.
A tour of the tunnels
The very first site to visit when coming to Jerusalem is the Western Wall tunnels. The tour at the tunnels leaves several times a day and it needs to be booked in advance through the website or the phone. It is available in Hebrew and English, and during the summer in French as well. Since the tunnels are under the ground, the time of the tour does not matter and the experience is the same during the day time and the night time.
The tunnels stretch to a length of 332 meters, under what once was the Temple and also under the remains of the Western Wall. The tunnels were discovered over 150 years ago by English archeologists but were opened to the public only in 1984. The tour is conducted by an experience guide telling the hisory of the tunnels, of the Temple and of the city of Jerusalem.
The tunnels are very well kept with light signs providing clear explanations on the way and with a room exhibiting a miniature model of Jerusalem from various periods of history. Along one of the tunnel walls you may see people standing and praying. This is the wall that was standing beyond what is considered to be inner sanctum, the most holy place of the temple, where the Arc of the Covenant lay.
The entire tour takes about an hour, with parts of the tunnels giving somewhat a claustrophobic feel, but the tour as a whole is easy and suits everyone. The exit is through the Armenian market.
The entrance to the tunnels is near the Western Wall so you can take a secluded moment and put a note between the ancient and holy wall stones.
The open Shopping Mall
After soaking the holiness of the Western Wall, what can be more fun than shopping at the Mamilla Mall, just five minutes’ drive from the hold city.
This open mall, built in a pedestrian style and located in a typical Jerusalem-style building, with stylish and luxurious shops on both its sides, gives you with a unique experience unlike in any other shopping mall.
It is a nice place to just have a walk and enjoy the cool Jerusalem air, especially at night when the entire mall is glooming with small blue and white lights.
Now that you have worked up an appetite, you can either enjoy one of the coffee shops or restaurants in the mall, or you can continue to the place most identified with Jerusalem – Mahane Yehuda Market, an experience in of itself.
This is the most colorful and extraordinary market in Israel where you can find anything your heart desires. Breads and cheeses, fruits and vegetables, meats and fish and any spice you can think of, along side gourmet dishes and unique food slowly cooked on kerosene burners and designers’ shops for jewelry and cloths.
Wandering along the stands summons an addictive experience with all the smells, the colors, the sounds and the tastes the market offers, making it a unique place.
But its uniqueness goes beyond that. It is evident in the special fusion of people coming from all sections and statuses – Arabs and Jews, Religious and Non-religious, locals and tourists. All gathering around the stands and the small shops, enjoying the vibrant atmosphere while doing their shopping.
Along the alleys of the market you can find some small excellent coffee shops, workers restaurants and gourmet Delis, drawing to them the Jerusalem youth for some night-time fun.
Delicious Home cooking
If you were too busy taking it all in at the market, and did not have the time to grab a bite, we recommend you try the Azura restaurant. This is a small workers restaurant, operating for more than 60 years, offering homemade old times style dishes cooked on wicks, just like in the old days.
The place is usually packed, but it takes only a few minutes until you are seated and the food arrives really quick. Everything is so delicious, you may not want to stop eating, even after you are full.
Short and Sweet
To finish off your day on a sweet tone, don’t miss out on “Babbet’s Celebration” coffee shop, offering the best Belgian Waffle in the country, as the Jerusalemite claim.
The thing that makes Babbet’s waffles special, in addition to the secret recipe, are the unique toppings you can order, such as chestnut paste, apple mash with sour cream and cream cheese with cinnamon, all handmade.
Aside one of the various waffles in the menu you can enjoy a cup of hot chocolate or a glass of freshly squeezed orange juice.