Israël: exploring Jerusalem & Bethlehem
Updated: Apr 26
Wake up early when you visit Jerusalem because the light in the streets is magnificent.
Just roam around the winding alleyways, drink some tea, chat with locals en see how the city starts to live.
Best time to visit the Western Wall is on Shabbat (friday at sunset) or on monday and thursday for bar mitzvahs (celebration when grils turn 12 and a boys turn 13).
When you have seen all the famous sights in Jerusalem it is nice to do the Ramparts Walk, a 1 km walk along the top of the city wall. From here you have great views and you can observe the city life below. Be aware, there is zero shade, so bring a hat if you easily get sunburnt.
Hungry? Just go to the old city centre and you will definately find some mouth-watering falafel, hummus and the freshest fruits. But if you love to eat on a market go for Mahane Yehuda Market. It is crammed with so much good food that you probably don't know where to start. I ate a fantastic meal at Azura. Some say they serve the best hummus in town! By the way, the market will close earlier on friday because of Shabbat, so be there on time.
Streets in the old town:
My lunch at Azura:
I was lucky that I was in Jerusalem during Shabbat. I booked the Shabbat dinner in my hostel (Abraham Hostel) and I loved to eat together, sitting on long tables and meet people from all over the world.
From Jerusalem it's easy to do a day trip to Bethlehem.
When I visited Bethlehem I was very, very impressed by the streetart. Graffiti artists have started using the barrier wall (the wall that separates Israel from Palestine) as a canvas for political protest and socially critical art. It is their connection with the world outside.
If you like to see Banksy's work (see below), you can book a tour which shows you all the pieces by this famous British artist. Banksy even has got a shop in Bethlehem.
For impressive views on Jerusalem and over the 150.000 graves (some of them are 3.000 years old) and the Dome of the Rock, go to Mount of Olives. You will probably love to escape the heat of the city by the end of the day, and feel the wind upon the hill. It's a nice place to end your day before you dive in the small streets again for a wonderful and tasty dinner.
I can definately recommend a citytrip to Jerusalem. I stayed there for 3 nights and I really loved it. The people where so friendly that I immediately felt very welcome. The city has a great admosphere, the sights are beautiful and the food is fresh and of a very good quality. So don't hesitate, just pack your bags and go! :)