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Do's and Don'ts for a Jerusalem Visitor

By Edited Jul 16, 2016 0 0

Tel Aviv At Dusk
Credit: Image courtesy of Boaz Yiftach at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Even though Jerusalem has become a truly modern and vibrant city and most of the times the tourists (especially in the center) can feel quite free, there are few things to bear in mind when visiting the city. They are mostly related to the religious matters, but some of them are just regular tips in order to avoid unpleasant misunderstandings. 

Watch your clothing

It does get hot in Jerusalem, especially in the summertime, but you have to remember the religious significance of the city and the different cultural background that, in many occasions, does not fit the Western standards. Therefore, avoid wearing shorts or miniskirt within the religious sites or Muslim quarter. Long trousers, long skirt, covered shoulders are especially important for the women. At the entrances to most of the sacred sites, it is indicated what kind of clothing you should wear or who is (or is not) allowed in the particular site.

East Jerusalem - better prices

If you happen to be a low budget traveler, definitely keep in mind that the east of Jerusalem is more affordable. Everything is much more expensive in the center. It takes just a few minutes of walking to the Muslim quarter, the Old Town or the east of the city and you will see that the wonderful small shops and the larger markets are much cheaper than the supermarkets in the city center. While shopping in the market, never forget about the good old bargain or otherwise you risk to overpay. 

Watch your stuff

Sometimes it can get really crowdy, especially when visiting the markets. Take a good care of your bags, hold them tight and, if carrying a backpack, carry it in front of you. Just like any other big Eastern city, Jerusalem has its pickpockets.

Be prepared that many sellers would want to have a nice chat with you. Conversation with some of them may end up with paying for an item that you do not really need. This does not apply to all the sellers on the streets of Jerusalem, but their attention to the tourists is very obvious.

Be aware of the situation in the country

Remember the current situation in Israel and do not panic if the alarm goes off. As of now, like most of Israeli cities, Jerusalem is well-equipped with the shelters for these cases. Although Gaza is shooting rockets to Israel territory from time to time, Israel has one of the best military defense systems in the world and the shelter is usually a temporary measure, required until the rockets are neutralized. This mostly happens during a few minutes. Nevertheless, be aware of the up-to-date situation in the country. This may change over time.

Cheap and Delicious - Muslim Quarter Market

Situated by the walls of the Old Town, the Arab markets can become one of the greatest oriental experiences, while visiting the city of Jerusalem. You start to feel hungry just by looking at the offers. You definitely want to buy something when feeling the amazing smell of the food sold on the streets of the quarter. The boys shouting the offers of the day, selling almost anything you can imagine: sweets, nuts, various sorts of just baked bread, fruits, vegetables, clothing, toys, jewelry and much more. It is a magnificent place, where you can see the Muslim families in their everyday shopping and selling activities. Some of the most delicious street oriental food is there and you are highly recommended to practice your bargain skills, since this is a great way to communicate with the locals and better understanding their culture, as well as get some discounts, of course. Forget about the credit cards and shopping carts. Do not be afraid to step inside the crowded markets of Jerusalem. It is guaranteed that you will leave them with something beautiful, delicious and, at the same time, affordable.

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