We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Safety in the Old City

New York City
Level Contributor
6,476 posts
77 reviews
Safety in the Old City

I like to walk around midevil and ancient cities. The cobblestone streets and looking at the old buildings are a feeling hard to pass.

I would like to do the same in the Old City of Jerusalem and visit possible the christian and muslim quarters. Just wander around.

Is this a safe thing to do?? Is it adviseable? especially if we go at it solo (without a guide)

Modi'in-Maccabim-Re...
Destination Expert
for Israel
Level Contributor
18,358 posts
323 reviews
1. Re: Safety in the Old City

No problem walking alone around the Old City. The only time I would advise staying away from the Moslem Quarter is on Friday between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. which includes the Via Dolorosa (but not the Church of the Holy Sepulchre). At night it's a bit creepy in the areas outside of the Jewish Quarter, but then there really is not anything to do there at night. Note that you cannot roam around the Armenian Quarter except on the main road where the shops are.

Chana

Israel

Jerusalem
Destination Expert
for Jerusalem, Israel
Level Contributor
3,783 posts
67 reviews
2. Re: Safety in the Old City

Generally I agree with Chana.

I'd add that the more you look like an American tourist and the less you look like an Orthodox Jew (which for many people in those quarters is conflated with settlers), the better the reception you'll get. If you're wandering quieter alleyways on your own the difference could be significant.

Please note that I'm describing the situation as I perceive it (others are welcome to disagree), and not of course saying how I think things should be,

Israel
Destination Expert
for Israel
Level Contributor
19,807 posts
117 reviews
3. Re: Safety in the Old City

The above information is an accurate representation of the way things are - it's all a matter of how you look, where in the old city and what time of the day or night. On the whole you should not encounter any problem anywhere - especially if you look "American" - and as already noted, most areas in the Old City are virtually deserted after dark and that in and of itself will make one feel uncomfortable.

New York City
Level Contributor
6,476 posts
77 reviews
4. Re: Safety in the Old City

If one looks like an American Jew would that be OK?

Modi'in-Maccabim-Re...
Destination Expert
for Israel
Level Contributor
18,358 posts
323 reviews
5. Re: Safety in the Old City

You are fine anywhere except the hours I mentioned. This for the simple reason that the Muslims are going up to the Temple Mount for prayers and the area is more than crowded and subject to some uncomfortable issues. No violence, only verbal -- which is against anyone who is not seen as a Muslim. If you go up to the Temple Mount you may be subject to insult, spitting, yelled at and more. No one has been physically injured in either situation, it's just a bit uncomfortable.

Chana

Israel

Jerusalem
Destination Expert
for Jerusalem, Israel
Level Contributor
3,783 posts
67 reviews
6. Re: Safety in the Old City

:)

Your interest is to look American, period. If you can wear a baseball cap rather than a kippa, do so. If you usually wear tzitzit that are visible and you're okay with tucking them in, do so.

New York City
Level Contributor
6,476 posts
77 reviews
7. Re: Safety in the Old City

Are you saying its Not safe to go to the Temple Mount?

I had intended to go there and see it.

Truthfully if someone yelled at me, Id likely yell back

Jerusalem
Destination Expert
for Jerusalem, Israel
Level Contributor
3,783 posts
67 reviews
8. Re: Safety in the Old City

Chana wasn't saying you shouldn't visit the Temple Mount during the hours for tourists, just saying that you *might* encounter hostility near the Mount at the times she mentions.

My comments are about walking around the Muslim (particularly) and Christian Quarters.

In any case, I would not recommend screaming back at people for all kinds of reasons.

Edited: 12:48 pm, April 15, 2015
New York City
Level Contributor
6,476 posts
77 reviews
9. Re: Safety in the Old City

So long as I dont go to Muslim Quarter or Temple Mount on Fridays between 10-2 I will be fine?

Jerusalem
Destination Expert
for Jerusalem, Israel
Level Contributor
3,783 posts
67 reviews
10. Re: Safety in the Old City

That's what Chana is saying, Howard.

What I'm saying, more generally, is that walking around the Muslim quarter and possibly the Christian quarter, particularly on quieter roads and alleys, you may get a less pleasant reception if you're perceived as Orthodox (=settler, to many of the residents), rather than as an American (=neutral and welcomed visitor).