New City – Jerusalem
Few places in the world offer the diversity found in the New City of Jerusalem. Few places in the world contain the rich history that is found in the New City of Jerusalem. A visit to the New City of Jerusalem will take you from the ultra-orthodox neighborhood of Meah She’arim to the hustle and bustle of Ben Yehuda Street; from the lands of the Bible to the atrocities of the Holocaust. Below are just a few suggestions of things you should see while you’re in the New City.
King David Hotel
One of the premiere hotels located in the New City is the King David Hotel. Even if you are not staying here during your visit, you should stop in to enjoy the beauty of this elegant hotel and perhaps feast on a delicious meal.
Ben Yehuda Street
This is where the action is. Ben Yehuda Street, the heart of Jerusalem’s downtown district, is always bustling with people. If you’re looking for souvenir shops, restaurants, night life, great falafel (you know, the kind with the French fries on it), or just a place to watch people, this is the place to be.
The real name of this place is Machne Yehuda, but everyone calls it “The Shuk.” It is the huge, main outdoor market of the New City, and a place which everyone should experience at least once! The sights, sounds and smells are like none other you’ve ever experienced. If you’re claustrophobic, however, do not visit here on a Friday afternoon when everyone is out shopping for Shabbat dinner!
Israel Museum and the Dead Sea Scrolls
If you’ve already visited Qumran then you know all about the Dead Sea Scrolls, and you will definitely want to see the incredible display of the scrolls in the Shrine of the Book.
The Rockefeller Archaeological Museum
If you like archaeology and seeing what’s been found in the dirt, the Rockefeller Museum and the Bible Lands Museum are a must see.
Bible Lands Museum
Remember reading about all of the “ites” in the Bible…the Hittites, the Canaanites, etc.? Well, a visit to the Bible Lands Museum will help you understand who these people were and how they (and the ancient Israelites) lived.
One of the first neighborhoods built outside the Old City is the ultra-orthodox neighborhood of Meah She’arim. Walking into this neighborhood, one can immediately sense a difference in the atmosphere as compared to Ben Jehuda Street, for example. Out of respect for the neighborhood’s population, women should dress modestly on a visit here. If you’re looking for Judaica shops and bookstores, this is the place to go!
No visit to the New City would be complete without a visit to Yad Vashem, the Holocaust Museum. Be prepared to be moved to tears as you hear actual recordings from broadcasts from the days leading up to WWII, as you read letters written by the victims to their loved ones or words penned in a diary, as you hear testimonies of the survivors, as you see the clothes and shoes of those who would never wear them again, as you read the names of the millions of innocent people whose lives were cut short.