Jerusalem is one of the most sacred cities in the world. Jews, Muslims and Christians all consider Jerusalem holy land, and many people booking flights to Jerusalem come in search of higher meaning and enlightenment. Stepping off the flight to Jerusalem can be shocking for some – this modern city in ancient Israel is full of people running to catch buses, hail taxis and fight traffic on their way to work, temple and school. But even in this “new” Jerusalem, history is reverent.

Travelers booking flights to Jerusalem inevitably find themselves in the “Old City” – the walled section of this city where most of the sights are. Here travelers can find the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, the holiest Christian site in Jerusalem; the Wailing Wall (Western Wall), where Jews come to pray and visitors can leave notes between the cracks of the wall’s stones; Mt. Zion, the burial place of King David. By night, the city comes alive with concerts, nightclubs and restaurants raging until the wee hours of the morning.

So what makes Jerusalem so special? That debate has gone on for centuries. It’s one of the holiest places on earth, and is the spiritual destination for Jews. It shares its spiritual value with many religions, which might be the reason so many religious groups fight over the land, and also the reason it should be the one place anyone religion or culture can call home. After a tour of this walled city, many travelers board Jerusalem flights and reflect on their own individuality. Find a cheap flight to Jerusalem and experience a trip rich in historical worth and self-exploration.

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Jerusalem climate

Jerusalem is generally very sunny and has two distinct seasons: winter and summer. Mid-summer highs are in the upper 80s (F) with low humidity. Winter temperatures drop to the 40s and it can get cold enough to snow.It rarely rains May through September. Even though November through March are rainy, many travelers prefer the cooler temperatures.

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Best Time to Fly to Jerusalem

Peak Season:

Jerusalem is busy in July and August when Israelis take their vacations and head for the city. Not only are Jerusalem flights accommodations and attractions crowded, some hotels add a surcharge to their rates.

Hotel prices are also very high during the Passover (early April) and Sukkoth (late September–early October) holidays. At the same time, services are curtailed and many Israelis go away for Passover. Hotel reservations for Passover need to be four months in advance and plane reservations six months to a year in advance.

Jerusalem is also very crowded during school holidays.

Off Season:

May and early to mid-September are pleasant times to visit Jerusalem.

If you prefer cool, rainy weather to dry heat, and less expensive accommodations, November through March are a good time for you to visit.

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Getting downtown Jerusalem

There is a taxi rank at Terminal Three of the airport where you can book taxis into town.

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Getting around Jerusalem

Don’t worry about getting around in Jerusalem. Between buses, taxis, biking and your own two feet, you’ll get where you want without a problem. The bus system reaches all corners of the city between 5:30am and midnight. On Fridays and the night before a religious holiday, buses stop running 30 minutes before sunset and resume after dark the next day. Discount cards like the kartissiyah offer 11 rides for the cost of 10 and hofshi-hodshi are worth unlimited rides for a month. Taxis are all metered and can be picked up at either a taxi stand or major hotel. They can also be hailed off the street or called ahead of time. Beware of drivers who claim to have broken meters. Either negotiate a fare before getting in the cab or find another one. Also be aware that taxi rides at night or on Shabbat will go up 25 percent. A shared taxi is a minibus or minivan that usually follows bus routes. They can carry seven or 12 passengers at once. Be sure you hop on and off quickly, as drivers and passengers have little patience for slowpokes. Biking is increasing in popularity and there will soon be a bike path around the city. It is still difficult to find rental bikes though. Avoid renting a car, since both traffic and parking can be difficult.

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Jerusalem Travel Information

  • Many of the sites of interest in the city are religious ones and you will always need to dress appropriately. Women should ensure their shoulders (and ideally down to the elbow of their arms) are covered and that skirts or shorts reach below the knee. Men should always wear tops, and will need to wear a yamacha at many Jewish sites. Some places, such as the Western Wall, will provide tourists with extra clothes such as scarves, if they do not have enough on. At others, you will simply be turned away.
  • The Mount of Olives is a place of significance for all three religions. It is listed in the Old Testament as the place from which God will begin to redeem the dead on Judgment Day; hence it is the most popular (and most expensive) burial ground for Jews in the world. At its foot is the Garden of Gethsemane, where Jesus is said to have rested. A secular draw for tourists, however, are the stunning views of the city from the top of the hill. The Mount is separated from the rest of Jerusalem by the Kidron Valley, which runs East of the old city, so it can take some time to walk to the top. Bring plenty of water and take frequent stops if you arrive in the heat of the day.
  • The city is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world, which brings its own host of problems. If you accept guided tours, camel rides, or take photos of locals with camels, make sure you settle on a price beforehand. Many tourists have been taken in by seemingly friendly locals offering all sorts of assistance, and then becoming extremely angry when large payment isn’t made at the end. However, don’t be constantly suspicious. Firm refusals of unwanted help are all that is needed; never become angry.
  • Deciding where to stay in Jerusalem can be a complicated decision. The Old City is unquestionably the most atmospheric, and the part that comes to mind when most travelers think of the city. Accommodation is also cheaper here. However, it is not very safe to walk through these parts at night, especially for women traveling on their own. The New City has a huge array of upmarket hotels and is where much of the nightlife takes place.

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Jerusalem airports

Ben Gurion International Airport (TLV). The airport is located 25 miles northwest of the city.

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Melisse Hinkle
A New England native but explorer at heart, Melisse has lived in four U.S. cities, spent a summer in Hawaii, made her way through wine-producing regions in Australia and New Zealand, and traveled around Europe while studying abroad in London. She is the Content Manager for the U.S. and Canada at Cheapflights.
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