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Five Free Things to do in Jerusalem

Viva Sarah Press is an Israeli Journeywoman. She is an associate editor and writer at ISRAEL21c. She has jumped out of a plane, and been attacked by a baboon all in the name of a good story. Her work has been published by international media outlets including Israel Television, CNN, Reuters, The Jerusalem Post and Time Out. We asked Viva about free things that the women in our Journeywoman Network would enjoy in Jerusalem. Here are her top five suggestions.

Take the holiest city in the world, mix in thousands of years of history, sprinkle it with fascinating architecture, add a splash of culture, stir in a dollop of culinary delights and then frost with modernity and you've got the secret recipe to the world's pinnacle tourist destination.

Jerusalem has a little - or, actually, a lot - of everything for everyone.

Reward your senses at Machane Yehuda Market...

Open up your senses: it's time to see, smell, taste, feel and experience the real Jerusalem. The Machane Yehuda Market is always an exciting place to go. It's much more than fresh fruit and vegetables. There's also cheese, wine, halva, exotic spices, coffee, baked goods and ethnic dishes. In fact, the fare mirrors the city's residents, who hail from a hodgepodge of countries. This is the place to feel the people, food and customs of Jerusalem.

EDITOR'S NOTE: The Halva Kingdom stall in the Mehane Yehuda market in Jerusalem offers up 40 different flavors of halva, a middle eastern treat that you must try.

Take time to smell the flowers ...

One of the sweetest-smelling gardens in the country, the Wohl Rose Park sits in the middle of the government complex in Givat Ram, at the foot of the Supreme Court and directly opposite the Knesset. Built in 1981, this 19-acre public garden boasts 15,000 rose bushes representing more than 400 varieties. It was named one of the 11 most beautiful rose gardens in the world. Wohl also comprises expansive lawns, hills, quarries, an ornamental fishpond, waterfall, sculptures and a sixth-century mosaic floor. A perfect place to get lost in.

The Jerusalem Bird Observatory...

Every year, one billion feathered visitors of 200 different species migrate through Israel en route to and from Africa, Europe and Asia. The Jerusalem Bird Observatory has a strategic location on this route and that's exciting news for the ornithologists. Located between the Knesset and the Supreme Court, the observatory is a research and eco-tourism project that teaches visitors about avian culture. It was established in 1994 by the Society for the Protection of Nature in Israel and serves as the national bird-banding center. The public is invited to take part in spring and fall ringing activities. Click here for more information.

Brigham Young Mormon University...

You do not have to be Mormon to visit this extraordinary place. Save a date on your busy touring schedule to come up to the Brigham Young Mormon University's Jerusalem Center for Near Eastern Studies on Mount Scopus. Visitors are given a free guided tour of the gorgeous campus, which includes a short video and live 10-minute classical music performance on a pipe organ - with 3,165 pipes, said to be the largest in the Middle East. The Mormon University also offers free classical music on Sundays and jazz concerts on selected Thursdays.

Bezalel Street Fair...

Taking its cue from the craft fair in Tel Aviv , the Bezalel arts and crafts street fair serves up creativity, charm and friendliness every Friday between 10am and 4pm. The fair started in 2009 and has become a weekly hangout for young families, couples, tourists and artists. Take a stroll past the different stalls and catch a glimpse of Israel's creative community's output. The market is set up between Bezalel Street and Shmuel HaNagid Street, next to the old home of the Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design, Israel's national art school.

EDITOR'S NOTE: For another 12 free things to do in Jerusalem click here.


For women-friendly things to do in Tel Aviv, click here

Picture album of life in Tel Aiv

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