The weather is heating up, cafés and restaurants are buzzing, and there is a feeling of excitement in the air. It can only mean one thing. Summer is here.
You’ve planned your trip, packed your bags and now it’s time for us to greet you in Jerusalem.
Being a tourist can sometimes be tricky. You might not always know the language or how to get the most out of a city, and a city like Jerusalem has hundreds of sights and attractions mixing old and new.
So where do you begin? Right here! With our quick guide to making summertime in Jerusalem even easier.
Don’t have time to read the posts? Listen to the BITE SIZE interview with Ilanit Melchior the Tourism Director for the City of Jerusalem.
Introducing the new Jerusalem City Pass created by the Tourism Department of the city of Jerusalem.
The experience begins when you pre-purchase a Jerusalem City Pass card. If you don’t have a chance to pre-purchase you can ask one of the special Jerusalem tourism representatives who greets you at the airport, to help you purchase it.
What is the JLM City Pass?
City passes are a great way of getting the most bang for your buck when exploring a new city. The basic pass, which costs just $36, gives you reduced entry to a number of attractions, and free entry to the first three attractions of your choice, see the table below for a breakdown of the discounts.
The deluxe option adds transportation into the package and costs $63. This includes a shuttle bus to/from Ben Gurion airport (more on that later) and five individual journeys on public transport within the city, very useful when getting from place to place.
You can buy your pass online here or at one of the new Jerusalem Information Trucks (more on those later, too!)
10% – 20% off
Bloomfield Science Museum
Emek Tzurim National Park
Hallelujah show and City of David tour
Old City Train
Tower of David Museum
Western Wall Tunnels
30 % off
Friends of Zion Museum
Hebrew Music Museum
Jerusalem Time Elevator
L.A. Mayer Museum for Islamic Art
Menachem Begin Museum
Night Spectacular, Sound and Light Show
The Bible Lands Museum
FREE Shuttle bus to/from Ben Gurion
The Jerusalem – Ben Gurion Airport itraveljerusalem branded shuttle bus runs 24 hours a day, 6 days a week (Saturday night, after Shabbat until Friday afternoon, before Shabbat) and is operated by Afakim as line 485.
Tourists with a JLM City Pass with transportation have access to this special shuttle which comes with free wifi and itraveljerusalem information. Make sure to purchase the pass that comes with transportation.
It departs once an hour from the arrivals level concourse at Terminal 3 and terminates at the Jerusalem Central Bus Station. There are also several stops along the way, including at Terminal 1, and in the Givat Ram neighborhood of Jerusalem. For your return journey to the Airport, the shuttle runs from the Jerusalem Central Bus Station and runs along the same route through Givat Ram and via Terminal 1, terminating at the departure level concourse of Terminal 3.
The Jerusalem Information Trucks (JIT)
Jerusalem Information Trucks are a new resource in a joint initiative between the Jerusalem Municipality and itraveljerusalem. The trucks will be stationed in the Machane Yehudah market and near the Jaffa Gate (Kikar Tzahal), on the walkway to the Old City. They will be equipped with free wifi, phone charging stations, useful information on tours and other activities and a free drink to all JLM city pass holders. You will also be able to purchase your city pass at the JIT’s if you are unable to do it online. These trucks will be hard to miss and definitely worth a visit! – You can find out Fun In Jerusalem Summer Guides there too.
RavKav Jerusalem – Getting around on the bus & light rail
RavKav is Israel’s smart pass, a pre-loaded card which can be used on public transport. Jerusalem is the first city in Israel to go cashless on public transport, so make sure your RavKav has credit on it before you travel. Bus drivers can not accept cash.
Here’s a quick guide to getting your RavKav
1. Head to one of the Rav Kav service stations or purchase an anonymous card for 5 NIS from a bus driver.
2. Request an “anonymous card” – this does not require an ID or Passport number, or your personal details and won’t have your photo on it. Important to note that an anonymous card is not insured if it is lost or stolen
3. Pay 5₪ and receive your card
4. Load up the card with credit at any of the RavKav service points or at a payment kiosk located at every light-rail station
5. One RavKav can hold multiple accounts, each account just needs to be loaded with separate payments
6. Travel on buses and the light-rail stress free!
If you’ve chosen to rent a car for the duration of your stay you may have found parking in Jerusalem tricky since all of the paying terminals were removed. All curbs marked with a blue and white require payment for parking as well as large parking lots in the city.
Cellopark makes it really easy! Tourists can use their international phone numbers and credit cards to sign up.
Download the app and register in English, then whenever you need to park your car just log into the app, find your location and start the meter. Cellopark has an automatic parking termination, triggered when the app senses rapid movement of the vehicle. This feature costs an additional 9.90₪ per month but it’s well worth it for that hassle-free vacation feeling.
Don’t worry, once you leave Israel you won’t be charged as long as you don’t use the app.
To read more about Cellopark check out this detailed Cellopark blog post.
So that’s it! A guide to the best tourist tricks out there! Use all of the resources to get the most out of you vacation and enjoy it to the max!