Jerusalem: Accommodations

Mamilla Hotel – www.mamillahotel.com – One of the best Luxury hotels in Jerusalem. very modern. great roof top deck for drinks.
Waldorf Astoria www.waldorfastoria3.hilton.com/en/hotels/israel/waldorf-astoria-jerusalem.com  is one of the newest luxury hotels and equally beautiful and pricey as the Mamilla but the Waldorf  is much more authentic.
American Colony Hotelwww.americancolony.com  american owned hotel with great service and attention to detail. one of the few places with great outdoor pool.
The David Citadel Hotelwww.thedavidcitadel.com one of the older classic hotels, nice roof top pool plus a spa and a gym. Perfect location.
Leonardo Boutique Hotel * –  www.leonardo-hotels.com – a little more reasonable than the hotels listed above.  nice rooms.  no room service though. coffee and food one floor below reception.
Villa Brown Jerusalem* – www.brownhotels.com – great location and more reasonably priced too.
Dan Boutique Hotel* – www.danhotels.com  Reasonably priced hotel that faces the old city wall.
*Join their frequent guest program for 5%  discount off of your room but you must book your room directly with hotel.  Better chance for an upgrade too.
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Jerusalem: Resources, Tours and Tips

Tour Guide: Ori Unterman – oriunterman@gmail.com or +972 52 338 4669 She is a great local guide that can take you to see old and new Jerusalem. The Machane Yehuda Market. 

Jerusalem Tour –   Tower of David Museum. Visit historical marvels and spiritual landmarks as King David’s Tomb and the Room of the Last Supperthe Church of the Holy SepulcherVia Delarosa, the Arab Market and the recently restored Roman Cardo.  Wander through the charming Armenian & Jewish quarters.  See the sacred Western Wall and then the Christian Quarter. End your day at the tasty and lively culinary gem The Machane Yehuda Market.  

National Holocaust Musem (YadVashem.org) – you can visit this museum on your own.  Hire a guide when you get there or use audio head set.  This is easily a 3 hour plus tour. You can do it quicker but you will likely miss parts of it.  It’s big and beautiful and tragic and moving all at the same time.

Welcomepickups.com –  rides from the TLV airport. Trip usually costs approx $110. You can jump in a cab for cheaper.

Sandlemansneweuropetours.com

Due to Shabbat Friday nights are really slow in Jerusalem and most of Israel.

Saturday Tours always have an extra fee if they run at all.

Jerusalem: Food & Drink

Jacko’s St – https://www.facebook.com/JackosStreet/ – good little local mediterranean place. pretty local.  If two of you the best seat in the house is at the bar.

 

Machneyuda –  www.machneyuda.co.il – 10 Beit Ya’akov | Located in the Lamahane Market 943231+972 2-533-3442 a great local place with mediterranean food in the Lamahane Market. Its really good but you need an advanced reservation. It can be really crowded in the market.

 

Ishtaback – m.facebook.com/א%D6%B4ישטָבָח-1381815998803237/ -m is another great place in the MY market.  This place serves Kurdish food.  They are known for their Shamburak which is a pastry filled with meat and potato’s baked in a large round oven.

 

Anna Italian Cafeannarest.co.il – a great little Italian place in the middle of Jerusalem.  It is at the Ticho House Museum. They employ at risk youth in the kitchen. Nimrod Norman and the Mona restaurant group run the place. 

 

Arais Machane Yehuda – https://www.facebook.com/araismahneyuda/?utm_source=tripadvisor&utm_medium=referral –   this is a very casual place across from the market.  Great for lunch without the market crowds. They serve fried pita type bread that you then fill with meat and tomatoes. This dish is called Arais. The place is very small with places to sit inside and out.  And right next store is a great little lemonade stand.  (top right pic above)

 

Machane Yehuda Market –  https://en.machne.co.il – a great market in Jerusalem with so much to eat and drink during the day.  Then at night the alcohol and music come out and the market is more like one big club with many different stalls offering food and drink.  This place gets extremely crowded.  The market is spelled many different ways: Mahane, Machane and Machne 

 

Hachapuri – www.facebook.com/hachapuria/ is near the Machane Yehuda Market – this is a Georgian place that serves really great Acharuli which is a version of the pastry dough that is filled with Georgian cheese, butter and a fried egg served with a tasty tomato sauce on the side.  Great for the morning with coffee or beer. (bottom left pic above)

 

Roasters in Machane Yehuda market – www.facebook.com/CoffeeRoasteryJerusalem/ – this is a great little coffee place in the middle of the market.  They actually roast the coffee right next door to where you buy it. 

 

Knafe Ir Aviv – This is a little dessert stall in the middle of the Machane Yehuda Market.  It is right across from Roasters the coffee place. (bottom 2nd pic from the right)
Basher Fromagerie – A kosher cheese and wine shop in the middle of the market.  The cheese is very tasty and so is their wine but the place is a bit pricey.  Ask for a tasting of wine and cheese.  Very nice group of guys run the place.  Try the butter too. (2 people pics above)

 

 
Drinks 
Mirror Rooftop Bar at the Mamilla Hotel http://www.Mamilla.com

 

Uzi Eli’s Juice – http://www.etrogman.com/en/ –  great little juice stand in middle of the Machane Market. Go for the fresh juice plus you can add many additional ingredients to it…one for stress, one for nutrition etc.  They have a juice combo for everything.  Or you can just have a plain juice with nothing added. 

 

 
The Gatsby Cocktail Room – www.facebook.com/GatsbyJerusalem/ – 18 HillelJerusalem 9458118  – great little 1920’s cocktail bar.  great atmosphere, great drinks and music. (bottom right pic above)  

 

 
HaTaklit (lit. the Record/Album) – www.facebook.com/hataklit/ – and its sister bar Cassette – www.facebook.com/hakaseta/ – are a great nightlife location in the heart of Western Jerusalem. Hataklit is a mix between a bar and pub with an alternative, young feel. Choice to sit at a table or the bar inside or sit at one of the many tables outside.  The Cassette is pretty much just a small bar attached to the HaTaklit.

 

 
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Masada & The Dead Sea

Masada and The Dead Sea Drive along the shores of the Dead Sea to Masada and learn about the heroic story of the Jewish fighters. Take the cable car up and tour the mountain fortress built by King Herod, where the Zealots made their last stand against the Romans. Visit the remains including: a palace, synagogue, water cisterns, mosaic floors, roman baths, walls  and other findings.  Descend by cable car or hike both ways.        

Now continue to the Dead Sea!  The lowest place on earth. Enjoy the unique opportunity to float in the Dead Sea. You will not believe how buoyant you are.  Then cover yourself with the mineral rich mud that many believe has therapeutic effects and wash it off in the water. Make sure to bring towels, sunscreen, water and flip flops. Do not shave anything the day you go for if you do the salty water will burn the shaved area.  

Masada

The Dead Sea

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Petra & Wadi Rum, Jordan – Incredible!

Visiting Jordan from Israel: A trip to Petra Jordan is well worth it if you are in Israel and have a couple of extra days.  You can see Petra and Wadi Rum in a day but it will end up being one of the longest days ever.  Instead I would opt for at least one night in Petra.  Arrive early morning at one of 3 Jordan borders – the one near the Eilat Airport in Israel is the easiest place to cross.  You can get your Visa at the Border or have your Jordanian guide or tourist company arrange it ahead of time.  We knew a local Jordanian guide that handled all of our paperwork.  We booked an early morning flight online to Eilat on Akria airlines ($110 roundtrip fro Tel Aviv). Took a 10 minute Taxi to the border.  Walked across the boarder and our Jordanian guide was waiting for us with paperwork and car.  We went directly to Petra with a tourist souvenir stop on the way. 
We checked into Movenpick http://www.movenpick.com/en/middle-east/jordan/petra/resort-petra then headed to Petra which was just across the street.  After our 6 hour tour we hung out by the pool and had drinks on the Rooftop then dinner inside.  Then at 8pm we headed 1/2 way down Petra to see Petra by night.  The dark trail is lit by candles but you cannot see anything until you get to the main square.  The main square is lit up by 100’s of candles on the ground. They have a few speeches and solo musical performances then the main building is lit up with many different colors for about 2 minutes.  Get ready to photograph.  People are everywhere, so grab one of the mats sit and enjoy.  There are no concessions at night so bring water…and maybe a bottle of wine.  Once done head back to the Movenpick and get a goods night sleep.  Head over to Wadi Rum in the morning and spend 2 hours in an open bed truck riding and enjoying the landscape. Then head back to the border.  If hungry grab a quick meal at the border town before going back. Papaya was one of the better places to eat in town.  Very local and very friendly. The lamb and chicken skewers were amazing and cooked on a little grill right at your table.  The french fries were quite tasty too. 
Petra – This incredible Nabatean city was built around 2300 years ago. It is in the southern part of Jordan and worth a visit. It was made famous in the West after the filming of Indiana Jones. It is approximately a 4 km walk each way and well worth it. Food and drinks are available along the way.  Price for admission is approx $50 and includes a horse ride for 30% of the way.  You can hire a horse and buggy, plus solo horses and camels if you would rather not walk it.  Be careful the local Bedouins (nomadic locals) handle the transportation and they will push you not just for a tip but as much money as they can get from you.  Ours offered to have the horses take us right to our hotels cash machine.  They are camped out all over the site also trying to sell you local crafts.
Wadi Rum – a huge dessert valley in southern Jordan. It is a popular destination due to it’s rock climbing, hiking, outdoor adventures and a night filled with beautiful stars.  The mountains, rock and sand are a beautiful pink and salmon color.  The sand can get pretty hot in the summer so do not even try wearing flip-flops or sandals. If you also want to stay the night you have many choices of Bedouin camps.  They range from 4 Seasons like accommodations at the Memories Aicha Luxury Camp – http://www.mlc.jo/en/  or mid – level at Wadi Rum Night Luxury Camp – http://www.wadirumnight.com or very basic and as cheap as $25.  The more expensive camps have air conditioning in individual rooms.  The cheaper ones do not. If you like the most basic just make sure it is not going to be 90 plus degrees.  

 

Bethlehem, Banksy & The Banksy Hotel and Hebron Information

Below are pictures of Banksy’s hotel that he secretly built in Bethlehem. And yes it faces the wall 10 feet away. The rest of the pictures are of the interior of the hotel except for the Dove and Flower Thrower pictures that are actually painted on the wall.

You can actually stay in the hotel and walk through the museum inside that Banksy created about the conflict.  Seeing his hotel might have been better then seeing the girl with the balloon destroyed at auction.  The guy is a a creative genius. When I was asked recently, if granted a wish,  who was the one person that I would love to have dinner with, I can unequivocally say it would be Banksy.  Please go see and even stay in his brilliant hotel. And maybe track him down at a concert or two???

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Sulwis Suleiman – sulwis@gmail.com  +972 54 582 3612 – he tours all over Israel including: TLV, Bethlehem, Jerusalem, West Bank, Jordan etc.

Bethlehem Tour Guide – Issa (Abu David) Phone number – 0523730465

Al – Surfara Restaurant – www.facebook.com/مطعم-السفراء-Al-sufara-Restaurant-315722595985/ – this is a very local family owned hole in the wall with great shawarma and falafel. They make the falafel right in front of you on the street.  The salad and pita are also very very fresh.  This place is in front of the church 100 yards up the little shopping street near the fake starbucks.