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.
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
Islam's third most-revered mosque, Al Aqsa
The Western Wall, Judaism's holiest site
Church of the Holy Sepulchre, Christianity's most venerated site
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
Jaffa Gate accesses Hebrew-speaking West Jerusalem, focused on the shopping artery of Jaffa Road
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.
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
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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