Excursions from Jerusalem: the best day trips around Jerusalem

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Martí Micolau

wikipedia.org, lonelyplanet.com

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Jerusalem is a very ancient city and is a fundamental place for all three great monotheistic religions, the Christian, the Jewish and the Islamic.
But if you are staying longer in the city, you need to know that in its surroundings you will find ancient and extraordinary places! Among deserts, lakes and other cities, there are so many things to see, so you will want to choose carefully and find out what is most worth seeing!

We can help you with this little guide on best day trips around Jerusalem!


  1. Tel Aviv
  2. Bethlehem
  3. Jericho
  4. Masada and the Dead Sea
  5. Sea of ​​Galilee
  6. Ramallah
  7. User questions and comments

1 - Tel Aviv

Surely you have already seen this city from the window of your plane, since landing at its airport is the only way to get to Jerusalem. But if once you landed you immediately took a taxi or a bus to Jerusalem, without stopping in this city, then there you are we strongly recommend dedicating at least one day to it! Reaching it will be very easy thanks to the numerous buses that connect the two cities.

It is a cosmopolitan city, one of the most avant-garde in the whole Middle East. In fact, it is also a very popular choice for young people looking for fun and nightlife. Obviously you won't be able to see everything in one day, but we recommend you to stroll along its beautiful promenade, di lose yourself among the scents and colors of the Jaffa Flea Market and to take a step back in time through the streets of Jaffa district, its oldest part.

  • Range: 66 km
  • with the bus of the Egged company, the most famous and safest in Israel, at a cost of 16,00 NIS (about € 4,20) or with the bus number 485 that connects it with the center of Tel Aviv, ticket cost 18,00 NIS (about € 4,70); in both cases the travel time is about 1 hour
  • city ​​always accessible; the market is open from Sunday to Wednesday and Friday from 10:00 to 15:00
  • free; the recommended tour below costs € 100,00 per person - book online
  • Tel Aviv city tour from Jerusalem

2 - Bethlehem

Just 10 kilometers from the city, it is ideal for a half day trip, quiet and perfect if you don't want to travel too much. And, another plus, is that it is really easy to reach thanks to bus 231!

According to the Christian tradition, Bethlehem it is the city where Jesus Christ was born, then you can imagine the sacredness of this place, where there are places such as the Basilica of the Nativity and the Shepherds' Field.

Don't miss the Walled-Off Hotel, founded by the famous and mysterious Bansky in 2017.

  • Range: 10 km
  • by bus 231 from the Damascus Gate in Jerusalem to Bethlehem, ticket cost 8,00 NIS (approximately € 2,10), travel time 40 minutes
  • the city is always accessible
  • free; the tours offered start from € 50,00 per person - book online
  • Jerusalem: Bethlehem Half-Day Tour Bethlehem and Dead Sea: Full-Day Tour from Jerusalem

3 - Jericho

Among the most popular day trips there is the one in this city just 25 kilometers from Jerusalem and, thanks to several tours, it can also be visited in half a day. The tours also include transport, you can also find solutions that unite this city to that of Bethlehem, visiting both of them in one day. If you want to reach it on your own, you will have to move by bus 36 and by taxi.

It is the oldest fortified city in the world! It was in fact founded 8.000 years before the birth of Christ, which means that it is about 10.000 years old, very many. Located near the Jordan River, it has always been disputed between the State of Israel and the Palestinian Territories and, nowadays, lies beneath the latter. So don't forget to bring your passport with you. Among very interesting archaeological sites, many bazaars, markets and shops, dedicate at least half a day to it.

  • Range: 25 km
  • from the Damascus Gate in Jerusalem you have to take the bus line 36 in the direction of Bethany (ticket cost 7,00 NIS, about € 1,80), from there you will have to take a taxi to Jericho
  • the city is always accessible
  • free; the tours proposed below start from € 40,00 per person - book online
  • Jericho: Half-Day Tour from Jerusalem Bethlehem and Jericho: Full-Day Tour

4 - Masada and the Dead Sea

Another excursion not to be missed is the one to Masada and the Dead Sea. Masada is located just under 100 kilometers from the city and you can easily reach it in an hour and a half by car, by bus or with one of the many tours organized every day.

The Masada fortress, located 400 meters high and with walls more than 5 meters high, is an ancient fortress from which you can enjoy an extraordinary view over the entire valley below, up to the shores of the Dead Sea. To get to the top, you can follow a path of about 45 minutes on foot or take the cable car, choosing between a return ticket or a one-way ticket, perhaps going down on foot.

Once you have visited the fortress it is not there nothing better than a dip in the Dead Sea, the lake with the highest concentration of salt in the world! Not far from the fortress you can find a public beach where you can spend an hour or two relaxing.

  • Range: 99 km
  • by bus 486 from Jerusalem central station to the stop at the foot of the fortress (single ride 42,00 NIS, about € 10,90) or with one of the many organized tours
  • the Masada fortress is open every day from 8:00 to 16:00, on Fridays until 15:00
  • the ticket for the fortress costs 75,00 NIS (about € 19,50) with a return ticket by cable car included, or 47,00 NIS (about € 12,20) without cable car; the tour proposed below costs € 100,00 per person
  • From Jerusalem: Masada and Dead Sea (1-Day Tour) Tour to Bethlehem, Dead Sea, Jericho and Jordan from Jerusalem

5 - Sea of ​​Galilee

About 120 kilometers north of Jerusalem is another place with a great importance from the biblical point of view: we are talking about the Sea of ​​Galilee, also known as the Sea of ​​Galilee. Reaching it from Jerusalem will be really very simple thanks todirect bus of the Egged company, with a journey of about 2 and a half hours. Alternatively, you can take part in one of the many day tours.

It is the largest freshwater lake in Israel and is fed by the waters of the Jordan River. The his name is often repeated in the Gospels, as it is said that Jesus preached right around its banks.

E' a perfect place to relax and spend a few hours in the midst of nature: in fact, you can walk or cycle along its banks and enjoy a nice boat ride. If you just want to relax, you should know that it is nearby you can find many spas.

  • Range: 123 km
  • with the Egged company bus from Jerusalem central station to Tiberias central station, ticket cost 37,50 NIS (about € 9,70), travel time 2 and a half hours
  • always accessible
  • the visit to the lake is free, half-day admission to a spa overlooking its shores costs on average around 42,00 NIS (about € 10,00), while a boat ride costs on average 7,00 NIS (about € 2,00)
  • From Jerusalem: Nazareth, Tiberias & Sea of ​​Galilee Jordan, Nazareth & Lake Tiberias: Tour from Jerusalem From Jerusalem: Day Trip to Christian Galilee and Nazareth

6 - Ramallah

Another day excursion that can be very interesting is the one in capital of the Palestinian Territories. Located only 22 kilometers north of Jerusalem, getting there will be a lot thanks to the bus links between the two cities.

It is located in the center of the West Bank, in the Judean mountains, and being the capital of Palestine, here are the seat of the Palestinian parliament, several ministries and foreign diplomatic representations. Furthermore, due to its lively soul and vintage-style premises, it is nicknamed the Paris of the East. In a day lose yourself exploring the city on foot, visit the souq where you can try different typical foods of the country and let yourself be surprised by its desire to live.

  • Range: 22 km
  • by bus 131 of the Egged company from Jerusalem to Ramallah central station, ticket cost 18,00 NIS (approximately € 5,00), travel time 35 minutes; alternatively, from Jerusalem you can take part in a tour that will take you to explore the entire West Bank, including Ramallah, so you don't have to worry about transport
  • the city is always accessible
  • free
  • From Jerusalem: Full-Day West Bank Tour

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