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Jerusalem Tours – Walking, Segway and more
From the maze of shadowed streets which meander through the Old City, bursting at the seams with life and color; to the stunning panoramic vista of the swelling city amid the Judean Mountains from the Mount of Olives - and everything in between - discovering Jerusalem is truly an unforgettable experience.
Yet while it may rank as one of the most interesting - and indeed old - cities in the world, it is far from the easiest to explore, and trying to see everything in a single weekend can be at best described as an intense experience. Even a tourist with the liberty of a whole week to explore the city will find that there's to always more to see and do.
Therefore, if you are planning on a trip to the Holy City, you should do a little homework first and not only plan what you want to see, but how you are going to get there. By taking advantage of the various means of transportation on offer you can really make the most of your time. Here is a short guide to a variety of touring options that are available in Jerusalem.
Walking – the Old City
There is no better way - and indeed no other option - to explore the Old City than the good-old-fashioned way: on foot. Covering an area of merely 0.9 square kilometers, ancient Jerusalem is brimming with charm and reverence. Each corner you turn reveals a new wonder, as each quarter – the Armenian, Christian, Jewish, and Muslim – offers a different perspective of an ancient site.
A walk around the new city is also enjoyable, and the humidity levels are not nearly as stifling as coastal Israel; however, as the city is spread over the Judean Mountains, going for a long walk is more of a mission for hill walkers.
Point-to-point: Bus & Light Rail
Israel's capital and largest city boasts an extensive bus system, yet the sheer abundance of routes and a lack of information means the modern light rail system is an easier option. It passes along the western side of the Old City, the new city center and other areas of interest. Tickets are the same price as the bus (6.60 shekels) and are valid for 90 minutes – this includes multiple uses on both the bus and the light rail systems.
Bus #99 - Jerusalem City Tour – comes highly recommended as an excellent option for anyone unfamiliar with the city and on a tight time budget. Embarking from the Central Station and terminating at the Supreme Court to the west, the route encompasses many essential sites of interest along the way. A day ticket grants you the freedom of jumping off and on at any of the 24 stops.
Exploring the City and Surroundings: Bike
Biking Jerusalem combines the best of both worlds: the speed of public transportation, with the liberty of walking. Cycling also grants the auspicious discovery of small bi-ways and backstreets that are all part of Jerusalem's charm, revealing a whole other side of the city, full of individual personality.
Biking is also a great way to explore the city's surroundings, rewarding explorers with breathtaking views.
Bike tours cater to individual needs, and can be confined to less arduous areas of the center.
Exploring the City: Segway
A special city calls for a special means of transportation, and perhaps the most innovative (if unorthodox) means of touring in the 21st century is via Segway. Easier than it may look, environmentally friendly, and perfect for weaving through the winding streets, exploring the city with a Segway is a not only an efficient but amusing experience you will be sure to remember.
Off the beaten track: ATV
If you are an adventurous spirit and you are looking for something a little more extreme then do not fear, there is an extreme means for your needs.
There are several companies within Jerusalem which offer ATV (all terrain vehicle) tours over the beautiful Judean hills, revealing panoramic views of the city and all its characteristic landmarks, while pumping you full of adrenaline.
However you wish to travel, or whatever part of the city you wish to explore, tours can be arranged which allow you to rest your orienteering skills. Tours are well organized and guides can offer extensive knowledge of a city full of complex history.
One thing is for sure, on a trip to Jerusalem you are not going struggle to find things to do.