FROM TEL AVIV TO JERUSALEM WITH A PRIVATE DRIVER CAN BE JUST WHAT YOU NEED!
Everyone knows Jerusalem as the religious and cultural center of Israel, a place of aspiration for pilgrims and an obligatory item in the program of lovers of history and archeology. However, few people know that this is also a great place to buy spices and oriental sweets, that music and art festivals are regularly held here, that you can have a lot of fun here, walking around the central market and the Old City during the day, and at night arranging a race through numerous local bars. We want to tell you about Jerusalem today.
Jerusalem is built of white stone so characteristic of Israel (although in fact, it is quite yellow). Its narrow winding streets sometimes allow you to forget yourself and feel like in some kind of Barcelona or Venice ... however, soon a couple of Hasidim will come out at you in their traditional black and white formal suits, with tall warm hats or wide-brimmed hats, with which they do not part even in hot summer. And you will immediately remember that you are in one of the most religious cities in Israel.
Every time we come from liberal, freedom-loving Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, we feel that I am in a completely different world. In Jerusalem, everything is closed on Shabbat, people here have their dress code and even a slightly different language - Tel Avivians and Jerusalemites call some things differently, although both speak Hebrew. And there are also areas where a woman shouldn't enter without being completely covered with clothes (well, except for her head).
A short visit to Jerusalem can bring a sense of novelty into your life and help you get inspired by its history, architecture, and color. For the sake of this, it is worth going here for at least one day.
HOW TO GET FROM TEL AVIV TO JERUSALEM
There are three ways to get to Jerusalem from Tel Aviv:
1. Bus. From the Central Bus Station, which is located in the southern part of Tel Aviv, you can take bus 405 and get to Jerusalem Central Station in about an hour. This bus leaves from the 6th floor of the station, from platforms 603 / 607. In the northern part of Tel Aviv, you can take bus 480, which goes from the Arlozorov bus station. The bus schedule can be found here.
2. Minibus. Minibusses run from the Central Bus Station to Jerusalem. They are parked in the street on the left side of the station if you are standing with your back to Lewinsky Street. On the minibus, you will get there faster ... if you can get into it. There are only 10-12 seats in the car, and there are always a lot of people who want it, especially in the morning. So it won't be easy to get a seat.
3. Train. There are three railway stations in Jerusalem. Two of them (Malka and Gan HaShayot) are very far from the center, so I do not recommend coming there. The third, new station, Yitzhak Navon, is located next to the central bus station in Jerusalem, but so far there is no direct train there from Tel Aviv (you need to change at the airport station). It takes 50 minutes to drive from Tel Aviv Hashalom Station to Yitzhak Navon Station.
The most convenient way to get from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem is to take a train to Yitzhak Navon station - no traffic jams, Wi-Fi, toilet - in a word, everything you need for a comfortable trip. By the way, until about December 25, 2018, travel from Yitzhak Navon station to any point in Israel will be free for those who purchased a ticket at this station using the Rav Kav travel card!
4. The best and most reliable option is a private car with a driver from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, a full day with peace of mind!
Do not forget that Jerusalem is a very religious city and Shabbat is observed very strictly here, so it is better not to come here on Saturday.
EXAMPLE TO A FULL DAY ITINERARY FROM TEL AVIV TO JERUSALEM
8:00 | JERUSALEM CENTRAL MARKET MAHANE YEHUDA
We recommend arriving in Jerusalem on Friday early in the morning, at 8-9 o'clock. So you will have the opportunity to calmly walk through its main attractions - the Mahane Yehuda market or the Old City.
Let's start with the Mahane Yehuda Market. Walking along it will impress you in itself. But it is much more interesting to go into his shops, be sure to bargain and reward yourself for this work with local delicacies. What should you buy at the local market? Halva! And more! Here they sell it in a variety of flavors: with chocolate, with nuts, with coffee, with mango, with berries, and even with whiskey flavor! Next on the list are teas and spices. The Israelis, like the inhabitants of other countries of the East, are very fond of seasonings. Zaatar, cumin, cardamom, turmeric, Skhug - all this must be bought here in bags.
By the way, about bargaining. We know the Russians and Europeans treat bargaining almost with contempt, but it's normal here, and if you don't bargain, you'll easily find yourself a pimp (an easy victim, a naive dupe). And believe us, here it is much more shameful than arguing with the seller.
9:00 | BREAKFAST AT MAHANE YEHUDA MARKET
Start your day in Jerusalem with breakfast next to the Mahane Yehuda market. Order shakshuka (red with tomato sauce, spicy or green with herbs instead of months) and a cheese platter here. We also recommend trying their pastries, for example, a cookie with halva and chocolate. Keep in mind that the place is popular, so the sooner you get here, the better. Haba is open from 7 am.
Address: Jaffa 119, Jerusalem
10:00 | OLD CITY OF JERUSALEM
Of course, a visit to Jerusalem cannot be complete without a visit to its main attraction - the Old City. we will omit its history and description of sights - you can learn all this from Wikipedia or a good printed guide (by the way, we recommend using a private tour guide), but we will give a couple of tips and tips on interesting points:
NOON | CAFE-LIBRARY TMOL SHILSHOM
Tmol Shlishom is a café with a library feel, housed in a 19th-century building. Poetry evenings, readings, and musical performances are often held here. Tmol Shlishom is known as one of the best places for romantic dates (they even have a book with photos and stories of couples who either met or got engaged here). This place has a unique history and wonderful decor, which they deserve their fame.
It is better to come to Tmol Shlishom after midnight when they start serving dishes from the main menu (the morning menu is rather boring - their shakshuka and breakfast did not impress me at all). It is worth trying Humshuka (hummus with shakshuka inside), Caprese salad, and, of course, their pasta (a selection of spaghetti, gnocchi, or pappardelle).
| Address: You'll Moshe Salomon St 5, Jerusalem
13:00 | MIDDLE EASTERN STREET FOOD FOR LUNCH
Near Mahane Yehuda there is a great place for lunch. This is a very famous Azura restaurant for traditional Middle Eastern cuisine. They have excellent hummus, moussaka (fried eggplant with meat), kebab, bean soup, and other homemade food typical of the region. The place looks very simple and is hidden in a narrow alley, but you can easily recognize it by the huge crowd of people lisping at its doors.
| Address: Eshkol 4, Jerusalem
Another place ideal for a hearty lunch after an active walk in the Old City is Arais street food restaurant. It serves fried meat of several types in a thin flatbread with spicy sauces. Very fatty and filling, but very tasty. You can pamper yourself. In a serving of 3 tortillas with meat, you can take one for two or three, and then go catch up with hummus in Azura (may my coach not see these my recommendations!).
| Address: Agripas 115, Jerusalem
15:00 | ISRAEL MUSEUM
Be sure to visit the Israel Museum in Jerusalem. It deserves attention not only because of its impressive collection of paintings, archeology, costumes from different peoples and eras, photography, and design. It is also a wonderful attraction for the whole family: on its territory, you will find a miniature of ancient Jerusalem, bizarre modern sculptures and buildings, and you can also enjoy a magnificent view of the city. Here you can walk for a long time, play with children, examine and discuss works of art.
20:00 | MAHANE YEHUDA MARKET BARS
Toward evening, when the shops are already closed, numerous bars open in their place, and Mechane Yehuda turns into the center of Jerusalem nightlife. Moroccan Tahrir Bar with live music will introduce you to the world of Mizrahi, Freddy Lemon will introduce you to local young musicians, Beer Bazaar will offer a wide range of local and foreign beers. But of all the bars in Mechan Yehuda, I want to pay special attention to Casino De Paris.
21:00 | BAR CASINO DE PARIS
Casino De Paris, despite its name, is not a casino at all and has nothing to do with the chic restaurants of Paris. However, in the 30s of the 20th century, during the British Mandate, it was a well-known motel with a casino and an officer's club bearing the same name - Casino De Paris. The place was reconstructed in 2011 and reopened by two romantics (one of which is the lead singer of the famous Israeli band Hadag Nahash). This quiet cozy place is famous for its cocktails, whose names can tell a brief history of Israel: "The German Colony", "The Arab Spring", "Yitzchak Rabin", as well as a good range of beers and salty snacks.
| Address: Mahane Yehuda 3, Jerusalem
If the bars on Mahana Yehuda are not enough for you, you can continue in the city center on Yosef Rivlin Street - this is just the perfect place for a pub crawl, as the bars here come one after another.
23:00 | COCKTAIL BAR GATSBY
Well, we propose to end this fabulous day with a margarita or a glass of whiskey in a stylish bar, decorated in the best traditions of America in the late 20s of the XX century. This bar is named after the character that best characterizes that era - "Gatsby"! This is a great place where you can taste all the delights of the life of the lost generation in an intimate atmosphere of "close friends" (the bartenders here masterly turn into best friends for one night) and a couple of good cocktails.
Traveling from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem is best on a Thursday evening (if you want to hit the local bars) or early Friday morning before Mahane Yehuda is packed with tourists and locals. In winter, be sure to check the weather forecast before you travel, as Jerusalem's climate is very different from Tel Aviv's.
Have a nice trip!