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Jerusalem tours and excursions

Jerusalem tours

Segway tours

Segway tours are an excellent and low-energy way to see large parts of Jerusalem. There are several companies offering tours outside of the Old City in areas such as the Armon Hanatziv Promenade and the area around the Knesset (government buildings), along with night tours through the Jaffa Gate and into the Old City.

Tel: +972 2 566 1441; +972 58 648 0334.
Website: http://jerusalemsegwaytours.com

Walking tours

There are dozens of walking tours, and some of the most worthwhile are around the Old City. Leaflets and information can be found at the Tourist Information Center at Jaffa Gate, Old City. Recommended tour companies include Zion Walking Tours and Sandeman’s free New Jerusalem Tour. The tourist office also offers downloadable pamphlets for self-guided walks of Jerusalem’s key sights on their website.

Tel: +972 2 627 7588; +49 30 510 50030
Website: http://www.zionwt.dpages.co.il

Jerusalem excursions

Masada

A guided dawn trek to watch the sunrise over Masada, King Herod’s mighty mountaintop fortress, is an unforgettable experience. Walking up the winding ‘snake path’, followed by the cable car back down, allows you to enjoy the views of the Dead Sea and to witness the mountain’s extensive ruins, which include Herod's Palace, the synagogue, the fortress, and an elaborate bathhouse.

Tel: +972 8 658 4207
Website: http://www.parks.org.il

Ein Gedi, Dead Sea

A high spot, or to be technically correct, the low point, of any trip to Israel is floating in the Dead Sea. The lowest point on earth at 430m (1,412ft) below sea level, the salty, mineral-rich waters make it impossible to sink. There are public beaches, but it’s easiest to take an excursion to Ein Gedi Sea of Spa resort with its sulphur pools, private access to the sea and changing facilities.

Tel: +972 8 620 1030
Website: http://www.eingediseaofspa.com

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Featured Hotels

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David Citadel Hotel

This modern 385-room hotel is a short walk from both the Old City and the new city centre and is just around the corner from the trendy Mamilla Mall. A standout feature is the terrace overlooking the pool, a great spot to indulge in Israel’s trademark big breakfast while gazing over the city. After a day’s sightseeing, the L’Occitane spa is a tranquil spot for a restorative massage.

Little House in Bakah

Set in a renovated 1930s Ottoman-style mansion in the old Bakah neighbourhood, this 33-room boutique property is big on charm with its high ceilings, arched windows and rustic décor. Rooms are simple and comfortable, and there’s free Wi-Fi, tea and coffee 24/7 and breakfast included. The hotel is just around the corner from the hip cafés of Bethlehem Road and Emek Refaim Street.

Knight's Palace

A former theological seminary with some parts dating back to the 11th-century, this lovely hotel is nestled in a quiet corner of the Muslim Quarter. It is steeped in Old City elegance with vaulted ceilings, arched windows and exposed stone. Despite being close to both the New Gate and Jaffa Gate, its location on a quiet cobbled lane means it is just out of reach of the hustle and bustle. It has comfortable rooms, a nice restaurant and bar, Wi-Fi throughout, AC and cable TV.

King Solomon Hotel

This 5-star in the centre of Jerusalem caters to religious Jewish travellers by offering its own synagogue, a Glatt Kosher menu and Shabbat lights in the bedrooms. The stunning views overlooking the Judean hills make up for the slightly outdated décor. The centrepiece of the lobby is a globe-shaped metal sculpture of Jerusalem by the English-born artist Frank Meisler. The hotel is just 10 minutes' walk from the Jaffa Gate of the Old City.

King David

Situated in an elevated position, this landmark hotel is one of Israel's most luxurious and prestigious hotels, boasting a guest list of world leaders, royalty and celebrities. The majestic King David was built in the 1930s and has all modern facilities, with fine views towards the Old City. It’s also a historic building in its own right – in 1946 when used during the British mandate as the British Army HQ, it was the scene of a dramatic anti-British bombing by militant Zionists.

Harmony Hotel

The Harmony Hotel is part of the fast-growing Atlas chain. With a bright and very kitsch chic atmosphere, it makes for an unusual stay in the Holy City. It is located in the trendy and historic Nahalat Shiva neighbourhood, a short 10-minute walk to the Old City, and with plenty of restaurants and shops nearby. It offers spacious, funky rooms designed by local artists, an impressive breakfast, and excellent views from the roof.