West Jerusalem Tour

Tour Highlights

• West Jerusalem neighborhoods & culture
• Musrara & Mea Shahrim
• Historic Sites
• Machane Yehuda market
• Mount Hertzl & Yad v'Shem (Holocaust Museum)
Tour Details

Sunday and Wednesday
Length of Tour: 8 Hours (includes about 3 hours walking)
Tel Aviv Departure:  6.30 am - Hyarkon48 Hostel (map)
Jerusalem Departure  8.30 am - New Gate, Old City (map)
Return 4.30pm in Jerusalem - 6pm to Tel Aviv
Cost: From Jerusalem 260 NIS/Shekels
From Tel Aviv 360 NIS/Shekels
walking shoes and hat - modest dress* • Tea, coffee or a bottle or water included at the briefing • Lunch not included
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Detailed Description
This tour is designed to introduce you to life in West Jerusalem, covering the history of the city in modern times, the intricacies of Israeli culture, and visiting several neighborhoods that cover much of the mosaic of Israeli Jewish society, from the ultra-orthodox, to the secular.

The guide will begin with a briefing with maps, that will illustrate the development of the city in the 19th and 20th centuries, from the Ottoman times, British Mandate, the establishment of the State of Israel, and the conquest of East Jerusalem in 1967.

Alleyway in Musrara
For the overwhelming majority of its many thousand year history Jerusalem was only the small city inside the walls. Only around 1860 were the first houses built outside its walls and within a generation the city had more than doubled in size, with a new modern city built along the Jaffa road, catering to new European immigrants, to the city's old elites and to the influx of tourists, pilgrims and adventurers that was made possible with the advent of steamships, paved roads and the railroad.

You'll pass through the Musrara neighborhood which was an Arab community until 1948, after which a large population of 'Sephardi' Morrocan Jews settled there in confiscated homes. Today there is a mixed population of ultra-orthodox and Middle Eastern Jews, and a growing population of artists and bohemians.

The nearby Ultra-orthodox neighbourhood of Mea Sharim is a large closed community of pious Jews who dress differently than most Israelis, and shun normal contact with the largely secular israeli society and the outside world in general. You'll learn about the intricacies of their culture, and see a little about how they live.

* In order not to offend the sensibilities of the residents, please wear modest dress - men and women - covered to the neck, to the elbows and below the knees. For ladies skirts below the knee are preferable, otherwise pants (trousers ) are acceptable. Your cooperation is appreciated.


Ethiopian Church
Walking along Jaffa Road and the neighbouring Street of the Prophets the tour explores the first monuments, businesses and historical events that shaped modern Jerusalem,. You'll see some of the beautiful and historic sites like the Ethiopian Church and the Ticho house, hidden within today's bustling down town and tells the story of a city that went in two generations from medieval to cosmopolitan to a city divided by new and violent national lines.

Lunch will be in the bustling Machane Yehuda market where a cross-section of Israelis can been seen shopping. It is the largest outdoor market in West Jerusalem.

After Lunch you'll hop on the tram to Mount Hertzl. Herzl, the founder of the Zionist movement, was originally buried in Austria and his bones were brought here after the founding of the state and placed at the center of what would become the national memorial site. The plaza around Hertzl's tomb is the site of the annual ceremonies of  which begins in somber remembrance and continues with parades and fire works for independence day.

Around the plaza is  an ever growing military cemetery and the tombs of Israel's political leaders, included the assassinated prime minister Yitzhak Rabin. The tour explores the heritage of Hertzl, Rabin and other Israeli leaders as well as the ways the state choses to commemorate its leaders and war dead.

From here we will walk down the hill to the other part of the memorial – the Yad Vashem holocaust museum. Here we will tour the impressive historical museum and visit the famous Childrens' Memorial and explore the links between the tragic history of European Jewry, the founding of the state of Israel and the violence and displacement of the 1948 war.
Looking at the ways Israel chooses to tell its history, and at the things it choses to leave unsaid is a powerful way of learning about national ethos and the way that history is constructed by ideology.

The tour ends after the visit to Yad Vashem. You can take the tram back to the centre of Jerusalem - about a 20-minute ride, or take a taxi.

  • Nablus Day Tour
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  • Masada, Dead Sea & Southern West Bank
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  • Taybeh Village
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