49 free or cheap things to do in JerusalemHey, times are tough out there. You're lucky enough to be in Jerusalem, or on your way, but maybe you don't want to spend like Montefiore every day that you're here. GoJerusalem understands. To help you make the most out of the city with minimal hemorrhaging of your hard-earned shekels, we've compiled a list of, count 'em, 48 things you can do for pocket change or less.
Hey, times are tough out there. You're lucky enough to be in Jerusalem, or on your way, but maybe you don't want to spend like Montefiore every day that you're here. GoJerusalem understands. To help you make the most out of the city with minimal hemorrhaging of your hard-earned shekels, we've compiled a list of, count 'em, 48 things you can do for pocket change or less.
Save your money for what's important, like eating hummus three meals a day, and check out our definitive list of what Jerusalem has to offer for cheap.
1) Take in the view of the Old City from the Haas Promenade (pictured), and wander the park's terraced, wooded walkways.
2) Play a pick-up game of soccer or basketball in Gan Sacher - the athletic fields are always hopping, and Israelis are friendly and welcoming, if competitive.
3) Yad Vashem is a stunning museum - and being state-run, it's absolutely free.
4) Take a stroll through the hills of the picturesque, venerable neighborhood of Ein Kerem.
5) Climb the Mount of Olives at dawn or dusk, and watch the sun play off the ancient stones and golden domes of the Old City as it rises or sets (pictured).
6) Walk the Via Dolorosa in the Old City, following the final footsteps of Jesus from arraignment to crucifixion.
7) Wander through the alleys of Nachlaot, one of the oldest neighborhoods in western Jerusalem.
8) Hit up the weekly street fair on Emek Refaim for free live music, theatrical performances and arts and crafts on display (also for sale).
9) Head down to the Ben Yehuda pedestrian mall and watch street performers dance, demonstrate capoeira, play human chess, busk, sing inscrutable missionary songs in Korean, or any number of interesting things (pictured).
10) Take the kids to the mifletzet, a strange and much-beloved sculpture-cum-playground apparatus.
11) Watch some of Jerusalem's finest jazz musicians trade fours for free on summer Wednesday nights in the German Colony.
12) Check out local edgy art at the Barbur gallery, where community gardening, movie screenings and all kinds of other cool things are always happening.
13) Wander the halls of power - take a tour of the Knesset (pictured).
14) Walk through the Wohl Rose Garden, a beautifully manicured botanical display, in the government quarter, behind Sacher Park.
15) Did you know Israel is one of the best spots for bird-watching in the world? Check out all the migratory birds at the Jerusalem Bird Observatory, which recently opened an upgraded visitors' center.
16) Take in the newly rebuilt Hurva Synagogue, the Old City's newest (sort of) piece of iconic architecture.
17) Walk through the City of David and see the real old city (pictured).
18) Slip a note into the cracks of the Western Wall.
19) See the amazing tile work of the Dome of the Rock up close.
20) Check out "Etnachta," a regular series of free educational classical concerts at the Jerusalem Theatre.
21) The incredible Hebrew University Botanical Gardens have one of the best bonsai collections you'll see anywhere - plus a lot more (pictured).
22) Bring out your darbuka and join a drum circle on the Ben Yehuda pedestrian mall on a Thursday night.
23) Jerusalem's best underground DJs regularly spin at Sira - buy a beer or two, and you've earned a spot for the night.
24) Witness the beautiful interior - and the stunning surroundings of the Jerusalem hills - at the Church of Saint John the Baptist in Ein Kerem.
25) Free Museum Day comes once every spring - if you're in town, don't miss your chance to see, say, the Israel Museum (pictured) for free.
26) See the work of Jerusalem's finest up-and-coming visual artists and crafts-people at the Bezalel Art Fair.
27) For many of the Jerusalem Studio School's courses, your first class is free - so get painting.
28) Head to the top of the Austrian Hospice for one of the best views of the Old City rooftops.
29) Hamshushalayim, a yearly city-wide cultural festival in the late fall, offers more free culture than you can shake a falafel at.
32) The end of summer doesn't have to be sad - the festival celebrating it every year at the Jerusalem Theatre is cheap and a whole lot of fun.
33) For the price of a beer, you can get into the pre-screening gatherings at the Cinematheque's Jerusalem Film Festival (pictured) in early summer every year. The scene at the courtyard is awesome, with VIPs rubbing elbows with local bohemians while live bands wail.
34) Give something back to Jerusalem. Volunteer and make the city a better place.
35) Every Saturday morning during services at the Great Synagogue, you can catch a world-class chazzanut (Jewish cantorial music) choir in action.
36) Celebrate the end of summer every year with the city's youth downtown, with 2010 festivities having included live bands, rock climbing, movie screenings, a stand-up comedy marathon, rappelling and karaoke.
37) Polish off a plate of some of Jerusalem's best hummus (pictured) for pocket change at Abu Shukri.
38) Walk along the ramparts of the Old City.
39) Visit the little-seen Armenian History Museum in the Old City's Armenian Quarter.
40) Catch an indie movie in theater surroundings for only 25 NIS at the Third Ear's screening room.
41) Haggle with vendors for kibbutz-fresh fruits and vegetables at the Machane Yehuda shuk (pictured).
42) Browse through the eclectic (mostly English-language) bargain racks at funky bookshop Sefer v'Sefel.
43) For the price of a shlish (1/3 liter) of Goldstar, grab a stool at Birman for hours' worth of live jazz.
44) A coffee or a beer entitles you to an evening of browsing through underground comix and listening to avant-garde music at Uganda.
45) Families with young children can take the tots to be entertained by the puppet theater savants at the Train Theater's "Story Theater" series (pictured) for 15 NIS.
46) Get your asina in gear with free yoga lessons at Independence Park every Wednesday.
47) The Bible Lands Museum's Saturday Night Wine and Cheese concerts feature an all-you-can-eat refreshment bar - oh yeah, and concerts too - for a great price.
48) In late summer, you catch top musical acts for a downright ridiculous price at Festival Beshekel - that is, the one-shekel festival.
49) In the summer months, enjoy the Front Stage line of Friday street parties, where Jerusalem's nightlife set makes regular daytime appearances in droves.
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