We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Shabat in Jerusalem

Casatenovo, Italy
Level Contributor
32 posts
3 reviews
Save Topic
Shabat in Jerusalem

What do you think are pros and cons to be in Jerusalem on Shabat. Someone tells that is good to be there on Shabat.. What could you suggest me as I can organize my visit in Israel staying or not in Jerusalem on that day.

Israel
Destination Expert
for Israel
Level Contributor
14,382 posts
Save Reply
1. Re: Shabat in Jerusalem

The pros and cons depend a lot on whether you are Jewish and religiously observant, or not. What one person would see as a beautiful spiritual experience, another would see as an irritating shut-down.

Many places are closed, but enough things are open to prevent boredom. Most museums are open (do a Google search for specific museums to see the hours). Yad Vashem is closed. There is no public transport, but that is true of almost everywhere in Israel on Shabbat, the same with shops and businesses being closed. Everything in the Old City with the exception of the Jewish Quarter is open as normal. Places in the Jewish Quarter that charge an admission fee are closed. The Western Wall is open to all and free 24/7 (but photography is not allowed there on Shabbat.

Kosher restaurants (the majority in Jerusalem) are closed, but enough non-kosher restaurants are open to prevent starvation. Or you can go to Arab East Jerusalem to eat, if you like.

In short, it depends on what you're looking for.

NYC/Israel
Destination Expert
for Israel
Level Contributor
37,569 posts
38 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: Shabat in Jerusalem

Jerusalem is a beautiful city on Shabbat. Whether Jewish or not, observant or not, there is something special as a quiet hush falls over the city on Friday night. Also, regardless of your background a visit to the Kotel (Western Wall) enables all to see a joyous welcome extended to Shabbat. (no cameras or cellphones please) However, the city doesn't shut down. The Old City ( except the Jewish Quarter) is open and thriving. Most museums are open. Non-Kosher restaurants are open. There are day trips available from the companies that offer day trips. The Arab buses run to Bethlehem. Other than that public transport--buses, light rail do not run. Taxis do, but this is no different than in any other city.

Casatenovo, Italy
Level Contributor
32 posts
3 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: Shabat in Jerusalem

When I visit a country I try to understand their different habits, religious or not. Probably it will not be as for a Jewish but I think it will be necessary to better understand the main differences between this religion and mine.

Cincinnati, Ohio
Destination Expert
for Israel
Level Contributor
14,779 posts
212 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: Shabat in Jerusalem

I am non-Jewish, though quite versed in Judaism (at least as far as non-Jews go) and very interested in it. On my visit which starts a week from today, I will be spending a Shabbat in Jerusalem, and I actually planned it that way. In my case, I speak Hebrew at at least a functional level and will go to synagogue services on Erev Shabbat (Friday evening) with a friend and her family. But rdglady is right -- just the atmosphere is something special and lovely to experience. I think you'll enjoy it.

And, yes, there is enough open to do some things as well if you've had enough rest. :-) But while I am not completely Shabbat-observant, I slow down quite a bit that day in the spirit of a lovely observance.

Douglas Duckett

Ottawa, Canada
Destination Expert
for Jerusalem, Galilee, Tel Aviv
Level Contributor
5,935 posts
146 reviews
Save Reply
5. Re: Shabat in Jerusalem

Experiencing Shabbat in Jerusalem is something special. Traffic goes from gridlock with crowded streets and hustle and bustle to and almost eerie quiet. A walk through the streets of West Jerusalem on Shabbat early in the morning is almost surreal. Taking a 'break' in the week is good for everyone, Jewish or not. There is still plenty to do and see and on Saturday night, all is back to the way it was before.

Minneapolis...
Level Contributor
153 posts
76 reviews
Save Reply
6. Re: Shabat in Jerusalem

I am staying in Tel Aviv during my first ever trip to Israel this coming February. I am going to be renting a car for part of my trip, picking up the car from the Eldan office in Tel Aviv on a Friday morning. I was thinking of driving down to Jerusalem on Saturday. I assume the crazy traffic will be much lighter than non-Shabbat traffic? So probably a good way to get acclimated to Israel driving?

NYC/Israel
Destination Expert
for Israel
Level Contributor
37,569 posts
38 reviews
Save Reply
7. Re: Shabat in Jerusalem

Traffic will definitely be lighter. Parking will be harder. There is free parking on the streets but locals will frequently be parked there all Shabbat. I believe the Karta lot is open on Shabbat ( near Jaffa Gate) Be aware many lots are NOT open.

Ottawa, Canada
Destination Expert
for Jerusalem, Galilee, Tel Aviv
Level Contributor
5,935 posts
146 reviews
Save Reply
8. Re: Shabat in Jerusalem

Yes, the Karta lot is open. It is located under the Mamilla Mall. Location is excellent if you want to walk around the Old City. It is not inexpensive (for Israel) but worth every penny for the precious parking spot and you are on holidays after all so convenience is worth the price sometimes.

Jerusalem
Destination Expert
for Jerusalem, Israel
Level Contributor
3,368 posts
65 reviews
Save Reply
9. Re: Shabat in Jerusalem

rtfagan - your assumption is correct. Traffic is much lighter on Shabbat and it's a good chance to get used to the roads and find your way around Jerusalem.

Parking is also much easier. Immediately around the Old City it may be busy, as rdglady mentions, but within a radius of 300-400 meters you will find plenty of places (in the city center, on Shama'a Street, on Agron Street and so forth). There are also a couple of pay parking lots near Damascus Gate which are busy on Shabbat but you have a very good chance of finding a place.

10. Re: Shabat in Jerusalem

-:- Message from TripAdvisor staff -:-

This topic has been closed to new posts due to inactivity. We hope you'll join the conversation by posting to an open topic or starting a new one.

To review the TripAdvisor Forums Posting Guidelines, please follow this link: http://www.tripadvisor.com/pages/forums_posting_guidelines.html

We remove posts that do not follow our posting guidelines, and we reserve the right to remove any post for any reason.

Removed on: 02 November 2014, 06:19