While Jesus may have traveled to Jerusalem by donkey, Solomon by mule, and the Prophet Muhammad by a winged Buraq, thousands of years later the holy city has plenty of other methods of transportation to get around, from bus to light rail to train. And today, there’s a way to see this ancient city from a new, unexpected perspective.
Anyone comfortable on two wheels can now rent a bike and cycle along the newly opened Kerem Tunnel, part of the Jerusalem Ring bike path, a 42-km route that allows visitors to circle the holy city at their own pace, starting, for example, at the Biblical Zoo in the western part of the city and finishing at the Jaffa Gate in the east. (Standard pedal bikes, including unlocking fees, cost $2.78 per 30 minutes, and electric bikes will set you back about $6 for a 30-minute ride.) Along the way, one can bike through the 2.1-km-long Kerem Tunnel, the fifth longest cycling tunnel in the world ($7 million was spent to get the infrastructure tunnel—which includes a sewage pipe—cyclist-ready). It connects two parts of the Jerusalem Ring: on one end lies Ein Lavan, a spring dating back to the Iron Age, and on the other, Ein Karem, the birthplace of John the Baptist, which has become a foodie and art-gallery hot spot. Those in the mood for a more rigorous afternoon of touristing can work their way to the windy streets of the Old City for 360-degree views found at the recently renovated Tower of David Jerusalem Museum.
Regardless of the route, the gooey chocolate rugelach at the beloved outdoor market Mahane Yehudah (also accessible by the Jerusalem Ring bike path) are worth a detour.
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