Jerusalem Tips & Tricks, Pt. 2
This article is for those of you who will be visiting or moving to Jerusalem soon! There are a ton of useful things to know about in this city that aren’t obvious to everyone, so we’re sure that there will be something to help out everyone!
The Iriya – City Hall
Nowadays with the COVID pandemic, the Iriya is closed to the public; however, you can perform a wide variety of tasks such as paying your Arnona bill or any parking/ traffic tickets on their website (in English!) at: https://www.jerusalem.muni.il/en/.
The Post Office
Depending on your local office, queues here can be pretty long. Salvation is at hand with online appointments! You can go to their website or download their app and make an appointment to go do what you need to get done.
If your Hebrew isn’t up to scratch to order take away over the phone, have no fear – 10bis is here! Download the 10bis app or go to their website at https://www.10bis.co.il/ to order from a plethora of local Jerusalem restaurants. They even have a tracking feature so you can watch your food make its way to you!
By day, Machane Yehuda offers an incredible open and closed market with everything from the freshest produce, poultry and meat, to makeup, clothing, ice cream and candy shops, and more! After dark, the whole area converts into a buzzing social scene with bars, restaurants and impromptu dance parties.
The First Station
The Tachana Rishona, also known as the First Station or Mitcham HaTachana, is an open-air leisure complex created on the site of the former Ottoman era train station, the first in Jerusalem, hence the name. Today, it’s a bustling concourse, full of restaurants, shops and activities and as a boon for tourists and non-religious residents, it is one of the very few places open for business on Saturdays in the city.
Ben Yehuda Street
The famous Ben Yehuda Street offers bars and restaurants galore, including the famous Mike's Place, an American style bar/restaurant with tons of events including open mike night, karaoke, live music, and more. Ben Yehuda is usually packed to the brim on Thursday and Saturday nights. We are hoping that with the passing of COVID we can get back to this special nightlife scene!
Gett - If you don’t have a car, but still want to get around without using the buses, Gett offers you a way to hail a taxi from your cellphone. You can hook it up to your credit card or you can pay in cash.The app also works with foreign credit cards, so if you’re on a visit you don’t need to worry about having the right change. We’d recommend that you put in your destination when hailing the taxi, as you’ll see a route mapped by the app, so you’ll know if your driver is literally taking you round the houses to get to your destination.
Gett also offers a number of specialised services:
• Gett Mehadrin - This will only offer you a ride from drivers that don’t work on Shabbat
• Gett Kids - This will only offer you a ride from a driver with a booster seat for children aged 3-8, so no need to worry about shlepping it round with you all day!
• Fixed price intercity rides - Enter a destination in a different city and the app will give you a fixed price quote to get there.
*Please note that depending on the time of day, taxi drivers can charge you for ordering through the app. The app will tell you when those fees apply. The driver should charge by the meter when you are riding in the cab, unless you’re on a fixed fare intercity trip.
Moovit- A handy little app for public transportation which tells you the exact bus lines you need and where the bus stops are located. It works like Waze, but for public transport, and since it has users on the buses themselves, it’s often pretty good at telling you when the next bus is actually going to arrive.
Pango- This is a great app that doesn’t seem to exist at scale outside of Israel (that we are aware of, anyways). Pango allows you to park without needing to carry a bunch of change for the parking meters. Just set up your credit card details and your license plate on the app, and you’re ready to go (well, park)! Look out for the yellow and blue parking signs which indicate the zones and times you will need to activate Pango. The app charges per minute, and will automatically turn off when the parking restrictions end. Very importantly, the app will keep going until you turn it off, but there is a mode to automatically stop when it detects the car moving again - just be aware that you might end up paying more if you forget to turn it off!
**Please note that paid parking areas are indicated by the yellow and blue signs, as well as by blue and white paint on the curb. Areas where there are no signs, and the curb is grey (not painted), indicates a free parking zone. Any areas with curbs which are painted red are strict no-parking zones. Also make sure to keep an eye out for signs that indicate parking for vehicles with stickers only- these are not paid parking spaces and you can be sure to receive a ticket if you park there without the proper stickers.
Bus Service - There’s a relatively new bus service that goes to and from the airport to a couple of stops in Jerusalem. Short of getting a free ride off of a friend, this is one of the cheapest ways to get between Jerusalem and the airport. The bus runs 24 hours a day on the hour and for 6 days a week (excluding Shabbat) and will go to the Central Bus Station amongst other stops. Check the schedule for more information.
Nesher - The classic shared taxi is the way that many of us get to and from the airport. Famed for their legendarily grumpy customer service and their long winding pick up routes, this is cheaper than a taxi and they will pick/drop you and your suitcase up at your door. Call them a few days before your flight at +972-2-625-7227.
Taxis- A taxi service may be arranged prior to your arrival/departure as well as at the airport itself, with set prices per city. Look out for the taxi stands or for the cab drivers who will undoubtedly ask you if you need a ride, but make sure to ask the driver for the price list to make sure you aren’t getting ripped off.
VIP Car Service- A private car service may be arranged ahead of time. Please contact us for more information.
Yerushamayim- Weather apps can be a hit or miss in Jerusalem, but there’s a dedicated weather station that provides much more useful local weather reports called Yerushamayim. Originally a project of the students at Betzalel College of Art and Design, this website also has an app that you can download on your phone for weather on the go. Very handy during the winter time. Visit the website at http://02ws.co.il.
There are a multitude of supermarkets in Jerusalem, from big chains across the country to small makolets and family-owned stores. The stores’ hours and locations can all be found on Google.
SuperDeal and Super HaMoshava- A bit pricey, but offer many beloved American products. SuperDeal has free parking, too!
Shufersal - Probably the most popular market, offering an option to order online straight to your door with a 30 NIS delivery fee on orders less than 750 NIS.
Rami Levi and Osher Ad - The cheaper options, Osher Ad being the closest thing Israel has to Costco.
Makolets - There are literally hundreds of makolets throughout the city, on just about every street corner in every neighborhood, carrying everything from frozen dinners to hygienic products to soft drinks and alcohol. Don't forget that in Israel the sale of alcohol is illegal after 11 PM, but the drinking age is 18+!