Ten Things not to Miss

Don’t Miss in the New City of Jerusalem

Here are some recommendations of must visit places in Jerusalem’s New City.

Three Views of Jerusalem

To understand Jerusalem you should try and see it from the three important viewpoints –  The Tayelet, Montefiore’s Windmill & Viewpoint &  if possible from Mount Scopus by the Hebrew University at the Tabachnik Park or better still from the Mount of Olives. Also stroll towards the other side of the mountain and enjoy the contrast of more than 3000 years of urban development with the raw desert. On a clear day you can see the Dead Sea in the distance. See Jonathan’s Jerusalem Skylines

Yemin Moshe & Mishkenot Shananim (Windmill)

There were the first neighbourhoods built outside the Old City in the second half the 19th century. Now an artists colony and exclusive neighbourhood – so exclusive that there is an endless stream of tourists passing their front doors! Walk towards the French Consulate and explore the look out points in the park and along Paul Botta Street.

Cinemateque, Mount Zion Hotel, Begin Center, St Andrews Church

Just down from the Windmill you will find these buildings and some great views of the Hinom Valley and Mount Zion. Near the hotel there is a small museum with the story of the secret cable car that supplied Mount Zion in 1948.

Menahem Begin was a pre-state freedom fighter (and leader of the  Irgun – IZL) turned politician. He was in opposition until 1977 when he became Prime Minister. During his time in office he made peace with Egypt and launched the Lebanon War. The Menahem Begin Center covers the story of the prime minister and some of the important history (See Begin Center) St Andrew’s is a beautiful building and a little taste of Scotland.

YMCA & the King David Hotel

It is possible to climb the tower for a great view of the Old City. The King David is a historical site in its own right having been part of the pre-independence struggle. It is now a top class hotel – wander around the lobby to understand how some people lived in the British Empire. If you are not staying there, but want to enjoy then the swimming pool or coffee on the terrace offer possibilities.

Israel Museum

Highly regarded and newly renovated. Enjoy the exhibits and Take a few minutes to go and see the Dead Sea Scrolls and the Model of Jerusalem in the Second Temple era. There is also a youth wing and during chagim there are normally children’s arts & crafts groups for a few shekalim. See the Israel Museum

Bible Lands Museum

One of the important and popular museums in Jerusalem, detailing biblical history, but, also covering the broad range of cultures of the Ancient Near East. See Bible Lands Museum

Islamic Art Museum

Not one of the better known museums, but, very popular with those who are in the know, some beautiful treasures. Located near the Jerusalem Theater and the President’s Official Residence. See Islamic Art Museum

Jerusalem Theatre

Jerusalem’s main center for performing arts and in the spring one of the foci of the Israel Festival. See  Jerusalem Theatre (Hebrew)

Neighbourhoods

Wander through some of the classic Jerusalem neighbourhoods – Rehavia, German Colony, Shaarei Chesed, Yemin Moshe & Mea Shearim.

Machane Yehuda Market

Jerusalem’s main market, and considered a classic experience by it fans and addicts of fresh produce. It also has spices, cheese, confectionery and some hardware shops. A recent trend has been to add some cafes so that you can drink and surf in the heart of the market! Is generally very busy on Thursday/Friday and just before the chagim.

Seasonal Markets

Around the time of the various different chagim (festivals) then there are some unusual markets. Just before Sukkot there is the 4 Species street markets (Mea Shearim), before Yom Kippur the traditional kaparot can be seen (with live chickens) in Mea Shearim, Mahane Yehuda and other places. Just before Pesach, you may be able to see matzot being hand baked (a process from mixing to end of baking taking less than 18 minutes.)

Mamilla

Explore this trendy modern ancient shopping walk just outside the Jaffa Gate. Always has atmosphere (helped by the art work and often by street performers) – a great place to wander and get a coffee or a meal, even if you don’t like shopping. Close to the Tower of David Museum & the Old City Wall Tour

Yad Vashem

The Holocaust Museum is an essential – essential to honour and essential to never forget. If you visited a few years ago then there are new exhibits.  Certain areas are restricted to over 10 years old & some of the outside exhibits are not wheel chair accessible. It is located on Mount Herzl and is easily accessible by many bus routes (18 20 23 etc) and by taxi. See Yad VaShem Museum

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