Host Country – Israel

Form of GovernmentParliamentary Democracy
LocationSouth-eastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea
Area22,072 km2
Population9.48 million
Coastline210 km
ClimateAverage temperatures in Jerusalem in July 19.4°-29.0° & Average rainfall in Jerusalem in July 0 mm
Religion74.2% Judaism, 17.8% Islam, 2.0% Christianity, 1.6% Druze
Local TimeUTC+2
Electricity220V, 50 Hz, sockets type C and H
DrivingOn the right
Telephone Country Code+972
Mobile Phone NetworksCellcom, HOT Mobile, Partner, Golan Telecom, Pelephone
CurrencyNew Shekel (ILS)

Host City – Jerusalem

There are many places around the world which are beautiful and fascinating but there aren’t a lot of cities in which the diversity and variety come together as in Jerusalem. Jerusalem is a city in constant renewal; shrouded in light and rising in all colours of the rainbow. A surreal and vibrant city with 891.000 inhabitants, holy to Jews, Muslims, and Christians. Jerusalem is as unique as it is special. Beyond its religious and historic significance, Jerusalem is the capital of modern-day Israel and an advanced, dynamic city. Jerusalem has to be seen to be believed. Exploring Jerusalem is fantastic, and if it’s your first time visiting this glorious place, a tour of Jerusalem is a must.

The Old City of Jerusalem is full of the historic and religious elements that make this city so special. The one-square-kilometer walled area is central to Judaism, Islam, and Christianity. The Western Wall in the Jewish Quarter is the last remaining wall of the Jewish Temple compound. Also, it is the holiest site in Judaism. Jesus died, was buried and resurrected in Jerusalem. The Church of the Holy Sepulcher in the Old City is shared between many denominations. In Islam, Jerusalem is said to be from where Muhammad rose into the heavens. The Dome of the Rock makes this city the third holiest for Muslims.

There are four quarters in the Old City: Jewish, Muslim, Christian, and Armenian.

Jerusalem is not all old, though. Modern, West Jerusalem is the capital of modern-day Israel containing the modern-day functions you would expect of any capital city. Jerusalem has become a distinguished cultural centre. Likewise, modern Jerusalem contains the shops and institutions you would expect anywhere else. All buildings in the city must, by law, be fronted with the magical golden stone the city is famous for.

The modern-day center of Jerusalem is the pedestrianized area around Ben-Yehuda Street. It features a large selection of restaurants, cafes, and stores. Just in the last couple of years, however, this has come under competition from Mamilla. It’s a pedestrianized mall leading right up to the Jaffa Gate of the Old City containing very upmarket shops, restaurants, and hotels. You can also find the Machane Yehuda Market, Jerusalem’s largest market with over 250 vendors. The Machane Yehuda Market is one of the most vibrant parts of the city. You can buy groceries and household items in the many stalls. Or enjoy the delicious hole-in-the-wall style restaurants and great bars for nightlife enthusiasts.

There is a fascinating array of museums in Jerusalem. Of these, perhaps the most important is Yad Vashem. On beautiful Mount Herzl, this is Israel’s memorial for the millions who perished in the Holocaust. The incredible museum tells the story of the Holocaust. It uses words, chilling architecture, and moving multimedia displays. Not far from Yad Vashem is the Israel Museum. It houses a huge selection of artistic, archaeological, historical, and cultural displays. This includes the world-famous Dead Sea Scrolls.

Ultimately, Jerusalem is like nowhere else, a city where old and new jostle for space. Incredibly intense, Jerusalem, the ‘City of Gold’ is somewhere beyond explanation. No visit to Israel is complete without a visit here, no matter how long.

Business Hours Shops, Government Offices, Banks

Most stores are open Sunday through Thursday 9:00-19:30. On Fridays stores close earlier, at 14:00 or 16:00 depending on the season (Shabbat times vary). In Jerusalem most stores and restaurants are closed on Saturday (Shabbat). Some of them open again an hour after Shabbat goes out. Government Offices and Banks are open Sunday through Thursday 8:00-16:00. On Friday Government Offices are closed and banks close at 13:00. On Saturday Government Offices and Banks are closed. It’s advisable to check opening times at any time.