48 hours in Jerusalem
Every step you take in this holy city reveals an aspect of its tangled history
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Jerusalem is 50km south-east of Tel Aviv airport. Sheruts (shared taxis) shuttle to Jerusalem for 58 Israeli shekels (NIS58, about £10). Run by Nesher (00 972 2625 7227; neshertours.co.il), they take about an hour. Private taxis are about NIS300 (£50). The more scenic train ride (NIS22/ £3.70) threads through the hills to Jerusalem Malha station (2) – take a train to Tel Aviv HaHagana station and change (rail.co.il). It takes two and a quarter hours.
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A holy city in Judaism, Christianity and Islam, Jerusalem is nominally the "eternal, indivisible" capital of Israel, and is also claimed as the capital of a future Palestinian state. No borders exist within the city, though divisions of language and culture are sharp.
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Jerusalem's most recognisable building is the golden Dome of the Rock, a seventh-century Islamic shrine within the walled Old City. It sits on a high platform known as Haram Al Sharif or Temple Mount
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Islam's third most-revered mosque, Al Aqsa
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The Western Wall, Judaism's holiest site
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Church of the Holy Sepulchre, Christianity's most venerated site
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Of the Old City's eight gates, Damascus Gate is the main exit to East Jerusalem, the Arabic-speaking, Palestinian part of town, centred on the shops and cafés of Salah Ed-Din Street
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Jaffa Gate accesses Hebrew-speaking West Jerusalem, focused on the shopping artery of Jaffa Road
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For Old City atmosphere, the 19th-century Austrian Hospice, at 37 Via Dolorosa (00 972 2626 5800; austrianhospice. com), is unbeatable. Dorms €24 per person, doubles €114, both with breakfast.
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Outside the walls, at budget level opt for Abraham Hostel, 67 HaNeviim Street (00 972 2650 2200; abrahamhostel.com), amid West Jerusalem's bustle. Dorms from NIS72 (£12), doubles NIS270 (£45), breakfast extra
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The Jerusalem Hotel on Nablus Road (0800 328 2393; jrshotel.com) offers outstanding character. Doubles from US$190 (£127), room only
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