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
- The Old City (accessible by light rail).
- The Israel Museum (walking distance from hotel and campus).
- Open Market ("Mahne Yehuda") (accessible by light rail. Closed on the weekend).
- Ein Karem (harder to get to but many restaurants open on the weekend).
- The Dead Sea, Massada and Ein Gedi (day trip).
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.
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: A ‘Rav Kav’ smartcard needs to be bought and loaded prior to the bus ride with either a daily, weekly or monthly ticket or with a sum of money, which is sufficient to cover the bus ride. A Rav Kav card can be purchased at any Rav Kav service station across the country or from the bus driver him/herself.
- 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 allow transfers.
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.
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.