Must Visit: Jerusalem, Israel

February 9, 2012 by

Jerusalem’s luminous innovative tram system, progressive architecture and delightful restaurants are giving the Holy Land’s ancient capital a one-of-a-kind contemporary spin.

The city’s modern, $1-billion light-rail transit network runs by some of the most famous Jerusalem landmarks including: Mount Herzl, Damascus Gate and the Mahane Yehudah Market, before gliding across the Chords Bridge, Santiago Calatrava’s soaring, harp-inspired bridge at the city’s western perimeter.

Dan Jerusalem Hotel, the fourth Jerusalem property of Dan Hotels, Israel’s foremost luxury brand, is designed like a series of terraced pavilions. Its Mount Scopus location denotes many of the 505 rooms have wonderful Old City views.

Designed by Italian interiors ace Pierro Lissoni, the Mamilla Hotel is a tranquil opposite to the seriousness of the Old City less than a mile away. Its 10,000 square foot Akasha Wellbeing Center includes: a spa, yoga studio, infinity swimming pool and organic juice bar, all constructed out of smooth Jerusalem stone.

The opening of Machneyuda has altered the bazaar-like Mahane Yehudah market into a true dining target. The split-level restaurant’s Levantine menu is motivated and supplied from the market itself. Patrons are suggested to book early to score a seat at the kitchen-front bar for dishes such as sweetbreads in pitta and grouper fish with buffalo yoghurt .

Fresh from a $100-million makeover, The Israel Museum is now the country’s main advanced artistic establishment. The adored Isamu Noguchi-designed sculpture gardens and the ancient Dead Sea Scrolls remain must-sees, along with new site-specific works by Anish Kapoor and Olafur Eliasson.

Alrov Mamilla Avenue is a stone-paved pedestrian walkway lined with high-class boutiques. You don’t want to miss these shops: including, first-class Israeli brands Daniella Lehavi, Ronen Chen, and Michal Negrin, whose ultra-womanly, belle époque- inspired jewelry has been worn by Hollywood actress Sharon Stone.

The Jerusalem Development Authority, in cooperation with the Prime Minister’s Office, the Ministry of Tourism, the Jerusalem Municipality and managed by the Ariel Company, is thrilled to invite tourists, residents, and visitors to a light celebration in the Old City. The third annual Jerusalem Light Festival will take place from June 6th- June 13th, 2012; admission is free.

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