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Guided Tour of Jerusalem: The Biblical City of David

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    What to Expect
    While the modern city of Jerusalem bustles with life above ground, below ground, the ancient city of Jerusalem is being rediscovered, one pickax at a time. The City of David, located outside the Old City Walls, actually predates the Old City by hundreds of years. Measuring only 11 acres, Jerusalem’s birthplace is unsurprisingly one of the most extensively excavated sites in the region.

    The tour of the City of David begins with a breathtaking observation point overlooking Biblical Jerusalem which sends visitors 3,800 years back in time to the days of Abraham, when the first foundations of the city were laid.

    The journey continues to an excavation that might very well be the site of King David’s Palace. Archaeological excavations revealed foundation stones from the 10th century BC, the period when King David lived and ruled. Bullae, clay seal impressions bearing Hebrew names from the Bible were found, as well as a tower that was part of ancient Jerusalem’s city walls during the days of Nehemiah, who lived during the Second Temple period.

    Stop at the Royal Acropolis, also known as Area G, to see First Temple homes which were leveled in the destruction of Jerusalem, before descending underground into the water system, originally used by David and his men to conquer Jerusalem. Pass through the Gihon Spring Citadel, which protected Jerusalem’s main water source- the Gihon Spring, before entering the highlight of our tour- a walk through Hezekiah’s Tunnel. The Spring’s waters still flow through the tunnel, making for a fun and wet Jerusalem adventure. An alternative, dry route is open to those who choose.

    Up next is Jerusalem’s famous Siloam Pool, and the Herodian Road and Water Channel. Visitors who choose may finish their tour at the Siloam Pool and take a shuttle (for a small fee) up to main entrance. The Herodian Road was the main thoroughfare of Jerusalem during the Second Temple Period. Abutting the road is a water drainage tunnel that collected rainwater and brought it outside of the city. It also served as a refuge for Jews who were trying to exit the Old City and escape the Romans. An incredible amount of important and rare artifacts were found in this tunnel and channel that have greatly contributed to our understanding of events. The tour concludes in the Givati Parking Lot Excavation, just a five minute walk from the Western Wall. the largest archaeological excavation in the region, which is continually revealing new layers of Jerusalem’s history, from the Biblical to the Islamic period.
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    Important Information
    Departure Point
    Ma'ale HaShalom/Ma'alot Ir David, West Bank, Jerusalem
    Duration
    3h
    Return Details
    Returns to original departure point
    Inclusions
    • Professional guide
    • Entry/Admission - City of David National Park
    Exclusions
    • Flashlights for the water tunnel are available for purchase in the City of David Store. Cost: 5 NIS (about $1.50)
    • A shuttle service is available for 5 NIS (about $1.50) to bring visitors from the Siloam Pool at the bottom of the site, back up to the main entrance.
    • There are lockers onsite that one may use to store small items. Cost: 10 NIS (about $2.50)
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    Additional Info
    • Confirmation will be received at time of booking
    • Walking through the tunnels is not recommended for those with claustrophobia.
    • Hezekiah's Tunnel, the water tunnel, is approximately 570 meters in length. Visitors can expect a 20-30 minute walk through the tunnel, with a longer times during busier periods of the year.
    • The dry Canaanite Tunnel is approximately 120 meters in length. Visitors can expect a 5-10 minute walk through the tunnel. Flashlights are not needed.
    • FLASHLIGHTS and WATER SHOES are needed in the water tunnels. Both can be purchased at the site. The use of candles, as well as walking without shoes is absolutely prohibited.
    • Certain sections of the tunnel may require visitors to bend down slightly while passing a low ceiling or turn their shoulders to the side when the tunnel narrows.
    • Entrance to Hezekiah’s Tunnel is recommended from age five. The water may reach 70 cm high (a little over 2 feet high).
    • Not wheelchair accessible
    • Near public transportation
    • Babies may be carried through Hezekiah's Tunnel in a front carrier, but not in a back carry. One may rent a baby carrier in the City of David.
    • Strollers are not permitted on the tour.
    • Comfortable walking shoes are recommended.
    • The tour route includes multiple steps, as well as places with uneven surfaces.
    • Not recommended for travelers with claustrophobia.
    • Most travelers can participate
    Cancellation Policy
    For a full refund, cancel at least 24 hours in advance of the start date of the experience.
    Reviews (37)
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    1 - 5 of 14 reviews
    Reviewed 4 weeks ago

    This was the thing I enjoyed the most on my first trip to Israel. LOVED it....we did the "WET TUNNEL" tour, and our guide was fantastic. If you really want the "FEEL" of Ancient Jerusalem, this is it. Bring water shoes, and a flashlight. You...More

    Date of experience: September 2018
    1  Thank 16tarab
    LeoraRoth, Manager at Guided Tour of Jerusalem: The Biblical City of David, responded to this reviewResponded 5 days ago

    We are thrilled that the City of David was the highlight of your trip! Thanks for taking the time to share your experience.

    Reviewed 11 August 2019 via mobile

    Good tour, amazing place, the group was a bit too big for one guide. Your questions are not always answered.

    Date of experience: August 2019
    Thank Rodrigo V
    LeoraRoth, General Manager at Guided Tour of Jerusalem: The Biblical City of David, responded to this reviewResponded 14 August 2019

    Dear Rodrigo, Thanks for your input. If you have any questions, I'd be happy to get them answered for you. Please send me an email at leora@cod.org.il

    Reviewed 7 August 2019 via mobile

    Had booked a tour. Showed ticket to person working there. He drove us down to tunnel and let us in. On the other side, there was no one there. The ticket showed we had tour and tunnel. Seeing the tunnel was still cool, but not...More

    Date of experience: August 2019
    Thank miamerete
    LeoraRoth, General Manager at Guided Tour of Jerusalem: The Biblical City of David, responded to this reviewResponded 8 August 2019

    Please accept our apologies. I would like to look into this further. If you paid for a full tour and only went through the tunnels then we will refund the ticket. Please send your reservation # and as many details as you can remember to...More

    Reviewed 7 August 2019 via mobile

    Just took the City of David and the water tunnel tour. Our tour guide was very young. She tried hard, but was long winded and quite dull. It’s not entirely her fault as the first two hours of the tour were all above ground seeing...More

    1  Thank jhistory
    LeoraRoth, General Manager at Guided Tour of Jerusalem: The Biblical City of David, responded to this reviewResponded 9 August 2019

    We apologize that you did not have a positive experience. If presented in an engaging manner, visitors find the history and archaeology of the site fascinating and therefore the tour does not feel so long. I have shared your review with the guiding department and...More

    Reviewed 29 July 2019 via mobile

    Excellent tour of a fascinating place. Be sure to do the water tunnel. Bring a good flashlight and water shoes.

    Date of experience: July 2019
    Thank Explorer796314
    LeoraRoth, General Manager at Guided Tour of Jerusalem: The Biblical City of David, responded to this reviewResponded 29 July 2019

    Excellent advice. Glad you had a great time!

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    Questions & Answers
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    CausewayNI
    1 May 2019|
    Answer
    Response from Diane A | Reviewed this property |
    My husband is 68 and was fine. The ‘wet’ tunnels are quite long ( takes about half an hour) but the dry tunnel is fairly quick and more spacious. I took the dry tunnel because I am claustrophobic and it was absolutely fine
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    Mobile815201
    29 September 2018|
    AnswerShow all 3 answers
    Response from gwyn r | Reviewed this property |
    hi! I'd say to leave 2 1/2 hours for the trip so you don't rush. The tunnel itself takes about 40 minutes.The closest gate in the old city is the dung gate. Following the tour a mini bus will take you to the dung gate. I'd... More
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