Local Information

Business hours

Sunday-Thursday: Most businesses open at 8-9am, close at 6-7pm. Banks are often open only half the day. Supermarkets and large pharmacies stay open until 9-10. Restaurants are open until 10 and often much later.
Friday: A half-day, businesses close around 3pm (in the old city around noon).
Saturday: All businesses in the Jewish neighborhoods are closed (except a small minority of restaurants and some gas stations). Most restaurants, and some (but not all) supermarkets and pharmacies, open around 8:30-9pm. Hotel services (including dining) and museums operate as usual. Businesses in east Jerusalem and the old city are generally open.

In Tel-Aviv restaurants are mostly open on the weekend.

Points of Interest

Climate

Summers are dry and hot, with heat peaking in July/August (30+ degrees °C is not unusual in the mid-day). In the evening things cool down to a comfortable and sometimes even chilly temperature. Most people wear a short-sleeve shirt, light pants or shorts in the day, and possibly a sweater for after dark.

The Jerusalem winter starts around December and lasts until February, with rain and cold winds, and a rare snowfall.

For more information see here.

Public Transportation

There is no public transport from 3pm Friday to 9pm Saturday! (except taxis and airport shuttles).

  • Light rail: Runs from the hotels nearst to the campus, through the central bus station, city center to old city (and beyond). Tickets are purchased with cash or credit card at automated machines located at the stations (there are English instructions). Tickets can only be used on day of purchase! Validate your ticket upon boarding a train.
  • Local buses: Tickets are purchased with cash from the driver.
  • Intercity buses: Leave from central bus station (on light rail line). Tickets can be purchased for cash from the driver or at the kiosk in the station.

NOTE: Transfers are not allowed between bus and train (or vice versa) using paper tickets. Multi-pass ("rav kav") cards which allow transfers are available for purchase at the Citypass offices (one is located in the central bus station), but for a one-week visit this is probably more hassle than it is worth.

Local Customs

The main languages are Hebrew and Arabic, but essentially everybody speaks English.

Behavior that may seem aggressive to you is probably just self expression.
Be respectful in holy places and dress appropriately.
Tipping in Restaurants is customary, 10%-15% is the usual range. Cash only.

Safety

Jerusalem has a very low crime rate (though like any city some neighborhoods are less inviting). In the university and center areas there is no problem walking at night. If in doubt, feel free to consult the locals.