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Best things to see and do in Jerusalem without guide?

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Abu Dhabi, United...
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Best things to see and do in Jerusalem without guide?

We are traveling to Israel with our four kids (ages 5 to 11). We are hiring a guide for part of our stay but want to self-tour on our own as a family some as well. If we had a full day in Jerusalem without a guide, what are some of the best things to do on our own (easy for us to understand without the context from the guide, easy to get to, not traipsing from one side of town to another, etc.)? I was thinking about the 3D movie, the archeological hands-on dig and the light show but that won't take all day. The tunnels? I also don't necessarily want to cover all the same geography that we'll cover with a a guide so location might be an important variable as well. We want to be smart about how we allocate our time and get the most from the days that we *do* have a guide. What about Mount of Olives/ Garden of Gethsemane - better to see with a guide or okay to do on our own? I would love to give our guide guidance on what we plan to see on our own so that we can best plan our time with him for the other days.

Thank you in advance for any advice you have. We are getting so excited about our first trip to Israel.

Haifa, Israel
Destination Expert
for Jerusalem
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1. Re: Best things to see and do in Jerusalem without guide?

I would take the opposite approach - plan your days with the guide, then once you've sorted out your itinerary, come back here and we can help you with the remaining days. That way you can get the most of your days with the guide.

Israel
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for Israel
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2. Re: Best things to see and do in Jerusalem without guide?

Things not requiring a guide -- the Emek Zurim sifting project on the Mt. of Olives, the Time Elevator, Western Wall tunnel tour, Israel Museum children's wing to name a few. The hands on archaeological dig is about an hour away in Beit Guvrin and is for sure worth going to with your kids if you will have a car.

Chana

Israel

Ottawa, Canada
Destination Expert
for Jerusalem, Galilee, Tel Aviv
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3. Re: Best things to see and do in Jerusalem without guide?

I have prepared a document for traveling to Israel with kids and teens. It is based on my own experiences. You might find it helpful in planning activities in Jerusalem and around the country. If you would like a copy, please send me your personal email in a PM (private message) and I will send it to you. It is fairly lengthy and can't be attached to Tripadvisor.

Abu Dhabi, United...
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4. Re: Best things to see and do in Jerusalem without guide?

Thank you all for your help and great advice avigail9 on talking to our guide - that was a very helpful conversation. I think like visitisrael recommends, we'll keep it simple during our time on our own and hit the museum and the sifting project and that's the night we'll also do the light show (maybe the kids won't be quite as tired as they would be after a full day of touring with a guide).

Anmejoshme - I already have your guide and it's been invaluable in planning our trip so far! I hope all families planning a trip there will get that. It's how I found out about a lot of the hands-on activities (like the sifting project and the Kfar Kedem that we plan to do during our few days in the north. Thanks for sharing such an amazing resource. I also found that family that posted in the forum their favorite things to do with their kids also a great resource.

Thanks everyone! Not long now until our trip!

NYC/Israel
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for Israel
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5. Re: Best things to see and do in Jerusalem without guide?

In terms of touring the Old City--if you go to the OFFICIAL tourist office ( SECOND one on your left as you enter the Old city via Jaffa Gate, first is commercial and has reported problems.) they will help you download a free app with a large number of walking tours. Use your smart phone or tablet and you then have a "virtual guide"

The new city--Israel Museum, Yad V;shem etc. , CAN be done on your own.

Haifa, Israel
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for Haifa
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6. Re: Best things to see and do in Jerusalem without guide?

Jerusalem Biblical Zoo might be interesting for kids http://www.jerusalemzoo.org.il/len/

7. Re: Best things to see and do in Jerusalem without guide?

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