If you only have a limited amount of time in Jerusalem and you want to see as much as possible without spending the time trying to figure out the cheapest way, or even how to get to specific sights, I can highly recommend using the outings offered by Abraham Tours.
1. Market Tour - if you're a foodie, this is a must. Not only do your eyes get to feast on the vibrant colours of the fruits, vegies, spices and people that make up this amazing market, you also get to sample and buy food for the dinner that you're going to prepare back at the hostel. The guide, Or, is a former chef, so you know you're in good hands where Israeli cuisine is concerned. A highlight.
2. Bethlehem - I was part of a small group of five so the guide managed to get us in to see the manger before all the crowds flocked in which was a bonus. The guide takes you to a specific souvenir store where you are semi-forced to buy goods but it's fine as the store seems to be run by a family that carve the products from the olive branches themselves. Expect to give a tip to the driver and guide. Was an OK half-day trip, but just to 'tick the box'. Worth it if you have no time to organise it yourself.
3. The Dead Sea (Chill out) - The local guide, Athol, was lovely and provided a crash course in the recent history of Jerusalem, the West Bank and its surroundings - very insightful. The Dead Sea is definitely worth seeing and experiencing. You are taken to a private beach where you can float in a zoned-off area overlooking Jordan. There's plenty of mud to rub yourself with and there are private showers for use afterward. We were treated to some dates, walnuts and mint tea while watching the sun set and the blue moon rise over the dead sea and Jordan. Priceless.
Tip: I would recommend going to the Dead Sea during the cooler months as the water was way too warm in August.
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