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Tourist kiosks in Jerusalem?

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Tourist kiosks in Jerusalem?

Hi everyone!

I am wondering if you have something like what we have here, in Canada.

Outside of nearly every larger city ... there is something known as a "roadside tourist office".

You can drive in, or walk in, and everything that you might need to travel in that province (and generally the provinces on either side) is there. They have nice rest-rooms, and great staff ... and these are really nice and informative little stops.

There's pamphlets and maps and booklets and most sources of information are free, though there can be a small charge for some of the maps. One of the really useful things there, that I remember, was a pamphlet that listed area BB and telephone numbers. There are booklets of coupons, and information on side-trips in the area ... everything you could possibly need to plan your time well. Some even have Internet.

Likewise, when I was in Ireland - they had these little tourist kiosks dotted in the touristy area ... about 3 of them - and these were supplied by the government tourism department. You could book tours there ... things like that.

Do you have such a central tourist place in Jerusalem?

If you do ... where is it, and what information is available?

Also - if I am understanding posters correctly, mention been made in other threads of some sort of a Christian Services Place (I don't mean church service times; I mean information that would be of interest to Christians) in the Old City, as well as an area in the Old City where a person can check out daily or weekly restaurant discount coupons, or deals.

(I came across these before I knew how to make a "favorite thread folder" - and I can't find them now!)

Could you please shed some light on this ... where these places are, and what is made available for tourists there?

I would want to find these areas right off, my first day in Jerusalem.

AND ... there was this wonderful deal in Ireland called a Hop-on, Hop-off bus! You could buy a 3-day pass, and it took us out to the zoo and everything! There were 31 or so sites the bus passed by and let you "hop off", or "hop on". Do you have something like that? I thought I read somewhere (not here) that Jerusalem had this, too. I haven't heard anything about it here - and if it existed, that would be strange not to hear -but the strange thing was that in Ireland, when I mentioned this to a cabbie and to a hotel operator - it was news to them - so maybe it is to people here too!

Thanks! (still having a great time exploring and planning ... part of the fun!)

Gippsland, Australia
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1. Re: Tourist kiosks in Jerusalem?

There is a hop on hop off bus. Details here: http://www.citytourjerusalem.com

There is also one for Tel Aviv - easily found in Google if you are interested.

There is a tourist centre on your left when you go through the Jaffa Gate, actually there are three places in that area. One is the official tourist place, and there are a couple of other - I didn't go to the others so someone else may be able to explain better what they are.

Also, if you google 'sites in the Old City of Jerusalem'. You should find heaps of ideas there.

Here are some ideas...

The Roman Cardo - free for all to see in the Jewish Quarter

The remains of a wall from the time of Nehemiah - just of Hurva Square in the Jewish Quarter - free for all to see

The Herodian house - cost involved - by Hurva Square

The Burnt house - head from Hurva Square towards the Kotel (Western Wall) and you will find that. Cost involved.

The Temple Institute - they are producing replicas of everything used in Temple worship in readiness for the future temple to be built. Website here: http://www.templeinstitute.org. Cost involved.

Church of the Holy Sepulchre - no cost involved. Plan to be there either before the tour groups arrive or after they have left for their evening meals or you could have a very long wait to see the sepulchre itself.

The Garden tomb. Outside the old city - go out from the Damascus Gate to reach this. An absolute 'must see' and so peaceful after the markets in the Old City. Website here: http://www.gardentomb.com

Completely free and they give a guided tour (free) to everyone there. There is a nice shop there which I usually shop at because the prices are good and any profits they do make go into the upkeep of the place.

I've run out of time.... There is so much more!

Israel
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2. Re: Tourist kiosks in Jerusalem?

Just to point out that the HOHO bus goes only every two hours. There are very few places on the route where you would want to spend two hours while waiting for the next bus.

Israel
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3. Re: Tourist kiosks in Jerusalem?

There are tourist information centers dotted throughout the country and denoted by a brown sign with a question mark on it.

All this being said the official Tourist information center is just inside Jaffa Gate as mentioned above. It had a glass storefront The commercial tourst information tours and will also give you information but they are more interested in sales than information. The official center usually has a small booklet about Jerusalem in general terms whic is a great starting point. However I highly recommend doing dome research before arriving. There is so much mire information on line than in a general tourism pamphlet whic many times is lacking in English.

Feel free to consulte this forum for specific questions and expect to pick up a city map from the official Ministry of Tourism tourist information site.

Chana

Israel

england
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4. Re: Tourist kiosks in Jerusalem?

I found that the Hop On Hop Off bus in Jerusalem tended to get stuck in a lot of traffic!

england
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5. Re: Tourist kiosks in Jerusalem?

the Hop On Hop Off bus in Tel Aviv is very good, you get to see lots of different architecture and go around Jaffa.

Israel
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6. Re: Tourist kiosks in Jerusalem?

The HOHO bus is good for sitting on all the way round, but not for getting off somewhere and waiting two hours or more for the next one.

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7. Re: Tourist kiosks in Jerusalem?

Thank-you Heather!! I checked out the websites for both the HO, HO bus ... and the Garden Tomb ... and will look into the others too. I am so glad you take time (which is precious to us all) to share your experiences and knowledge. Blessings to you!

Again, thanks Chana ... for your information too. I have a better idea of what to find and not find at the tourist centers in Jerusalem. And you are right ... there is much more information available on the Internet - and this is a good place to ask questions!

Thanks, others, for the insights regarding the HOHO bus. It does seem a nice option for a panoramic view of a city ... and good that you gave us a "heads up" on needing to stay at a location for at least 2 hours. I could see me doing that at a few places, like the zoo ... but I think probably taking the Lightrail or regular bus will be as good in those cases.

Might check out the Tel Aviv one though ... for a panoramic view of the city.

Have a great day, all!

Ottawa, Canada
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8. Re: Tourist kiosks in Jerusalem?

In Israel, you will not find tourist kiosks like the ones in Canada. The official tourist information centre in Jerusalem, located just inside the Jaffa Gate has some pamphlets and a few maps though the maps are not that good (your hotel will probably have the same). Staffing is okay but not great. It is also closed on Shabbat. The other tourist info centres sell tickets and admissions and, quite frankly, because they are selling things, their service seems better to me (at least that is my opinion). They are open on Shabbat and you can purchase tickets for the Ramparts Walk there, for example. They also often have discount coupons and promotions. I do think they are worth stopping in to check out. They are located right next to the Israel Tourism Info Centre. There is also a Christian Information Centre located across from the entrance to the Tower of David Museum. http://www.cicts.org/ It is run by the Fransiscans but has tons of information that you might find useful.

The Hop-on Hop-off bus in Jerusalem might not be worth it because of traffic and because it really isn't a true HOHO like the ones you might be used to in Europe. People report that the Tel Aviv one is much better.

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9. Re: Tourist kiosks in Jerusalem?

Thank-you Anmejoshme ... that is really thorough and I am really glad to know where these places are!

I am on a map search ... and you mentioned that the maps at the tourist booth isn't the greatest.

Where can a person find really good walking maps of Jerusalem ... especially the Old City?

And driving ones, too ... for Israel as a whole.

And - I know there have been varied opinions of using a car GPS. Which is better - a map, or a GPS.

Thank-you!

Israel
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10. Re: Tourist kiosks in Jerusalem?

GPS is problematic in Israel because there is no universally agreed system of transliteration. Then on top of that, some street names may be translated (rather than transliterated), and unless you know Hebrew you won't be able to figure it out.

King David Street may appear as David Hamelech. Jaffa Road might appear as Yafo. Going beyond Jerusalem, would you ever guess that Caesarea could be Qesaryya?

At least with a map, you can make a reasonable guess that what you see written might be what you're looking for.

All bookshops sell maps. There are branches of Steimatzky and Tzomet Sfarim everywhere. It's worth paying a small amount of money to get a better map than a free piece of junk picked up from a tourist office.