Safety & Security
Israelis, Arabs and Palestinians enjoy the tourism industry in east and west Jerusalem as well as in nearby Bethlehem, and tourists can rest assured that most major sites are safe and manned by special security police. There is always the presence of the Israeli military or army at major attractions in Jerusalem’s Old City.
Crimes like mugging are not common in Jerusalem, though pickpocketing takes place, particularly in the Old City, and visitors are always encouraged to be vigilant and sensible. Women can receive undue attention from Israeli and Arab men, and are advised to walk in numbers, particularly in the Old City, the Mount of Olives and surrounding areas.
There are special tourist police at most major sites. Israeli police wear a navy blue and white uniform and peaked cap, and the border guards between Israeli and Palestinian territories wear a green military-style uniform. You will feel a military presence on the streets of Jerusalem and at the bus station, mainly young soldiers on the way to and from their bases.
The number of security checks before entering hotels, restaurants and public venues has decreased significantly in previous years. However, you may still be subject to security checks upon entering the Central Bus Station and big institutions and it’s advisable to carry a form of identification with you.
Always keep your personal belongings and luggage with you as unmanned luggage may arouse a reaction in the security personnel.
Many marches, protests and demonstrations take place in Jerusalem and although they are usually peaceful, it is good to be aware.
Hitch-hiking, known in Israel as “tremping”, is not recommended for tourists and there are many other convenient ways to get around.
Read more about emergency services in Israel.
Medical care in Jerusalem and Israel is of an exceptionally high standard, but is expensive, and it’s therefore recommended to get travel and medical insurance before traveling. It is also worth bringing with you a selection of medicines for common ailments like flu and diarrhea. Pharmacies like Superpharm are accessible and stock many familiar products. Make sure to drink plenty of water, particularly in the summer, and wash all fruit and vegetables well.