Reasons Why Jerusalem Should be on Your Bucket List

From virtual reality tours to a new-fangled city pass, Jerusalem is officially becoming one of the fastest growing tourist destinations in the world

Hailed as one of the fastest-growing tourism destination in the world, witnessing a staggering 38% increase over the past two years, Jerusalem boldly brings with it a plethora of exciting tourist attractions. Here, the Jerusalem Development Authority rounds up the top five reasons to visit, inviting visitors into a world where ancient wonders rub shoulders with modern-day innovations:

Ben Gurion Airport, Tel Aviv to Jerusalem City Centre High Speed Rail

A new high-speed rail line between Ben Gurion Tel Aviv airport and Jerusalem city centre opened late last year, ensuring visitors have a smoother and easier transition. The billion pound project links Tel-Aviv to Jerusalem in just 20 minutes, shortening the 37-mile commute by more than half the current drive time. The high-speed rail is one of the country’s biggest infrastructure projects, connecting with the city’s sleek light rail. Running since 2011, the light rail has made it dramatically easier to navigate the city, cutting down on commute time and increasing access into various neighbourhoods including Modi’in, and Sha’ar Hagai.

Jerusalem City Pass

The Jerusalem City Pass is a new initiative created by the Jerusalem Development Authority, offering tourists a low cost and effective way to navigate through the ancient city. The ticket, priced at £28 is valid for 7 days and will allow access to a return transfer from Ben Gurion Airport in Tel Aviv to the Old City as well as unlimited public transportation within the city and entry discounts to popular attractions. The continuously growing map of attractions and museums, includes the Tower of David and the Western Wall tunnels as well as activities such as the time elevator, audio-visual shows, night tours, Segway and ZUZU bicycle trips and baitmojo – a tour and tasting app at the Mahane Yehuda market. Each card offers 3 free attractions included in the price of the ticket – the rest are offered at a discount price of 20% -50% below the normal rate. The card is available to purchase online or at tourist information trucks across the city.

Visual Reality Mobile Walking Tour comes to Jerusalem

The Tower of David Museum and the Tower of David Innovation Lab are excited to team up with Lithodomos VR to produce Jerusalem VR Tours: Step into History, the first mobile VR walking tour in Israel. The tour, available in English and Hebrew, takes visitors on a guided walk through the Tower of David Museum winding its way down from the ancient fortress and through the Old City showcasing the Western Wall, Robinson’s Arch and the Cardo to name but a few. Using state of the art mobile virtual reality technology, this fully guided tour takes visitors on a journey, not just through the Old City in 2019, but through Jerusalem’s Old City as it was during the time of King Herod, some 2,000 years ago at the time of the 2nd Temple period.

Hotel Openings

18 new hotels are scheduled to open in Jerusalem this year, with a total amount of 1,602 new hotel rooms becoming available. Jerusalem hosts millions of visitors each year; both pilgrims and tourists, for business and pleasure. The city is home to a range of world-class hotels and accommodations to suit every style and every budget – from luxury to boutique. In response to its ever growing tourism scene, Jerusalem has invested tremendous growth in accommodation, including family-friendly hotels, business hotels, romantic getaways, hostels, guesthouses, and, luxurious 5 star properties.

Culinary Capital

Jerusalem’s menu is an eclectic one and embraces flavours on a global scale from the Middle East, North Africa and South America, as well as Asian classic European cuisine. Mahane Yehuda is Jerusalem’s most central market and is a bustling, dynamic exchange between vendors, busy locals and tourists. In the Old City, the Muslim Quarter boasts a delightful view of pomegranate towers and rich spices, all of which line the food stalls in the Old City. Hummus, pita and falafel stalls are omnipresent throughout and remain a signature delicacy for tourists and locals alike. Additionally, one of the most vibrant eateries is The First Station, a centre for leisure, culinary, tourism and events. Renovated from an old train station, The First Station is brimming with restaurants, cafes and drink bars. To celebrate Jerusalem’s dynamic food movement, restaurants open their doors annually for the Jerusalem Open Restaurants Festival. Running throughout November, the Festival is a celebration of Israel’s long standing culinary delights and talented local and international chefs.