Jerusalem, Israel is one of the oldest cities in the world, and a religious center for Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. The city is also a major tourist site. The well preserved Old City (east Jerusalem), while not even 0.9 km sq., is the location of the Temple Mount, Western Wall, Church of the Holy Sepulchre, Dome of the Rock, the Garden Tomb, and the al-Asqua Mosque. The western part of the city is where the bulk of the residents live, and is home to Israel’s main government buildings. Note: If you’d like to have a guided running experience in Jerusalem, we highly recommend our affiliate partner Go! Running Tours.
We would not consider Jerusalem a major running city. You’ll see fewer joggers here than many other world cities. We would not recommend running in the Old City. The streets are narrow, crowded, and for reasons of religion and respect, running in the Old City might not be appropriate. But there is some good running to be had in Jerusalem! One can piece together a good ‘tourist’ run of some of the major sites, using busy Hebron Rd. as an anchor, and heading up to Hebrew University and Mount Scopus. This is part of the Jerusalem Marathon route. There is also a wonderful Promenade (Tayelet), with great views of the Old City. The best off-road run is the Rekevet, which is a 3.5 mile ‘rail trail’ accessible from the central part of Jerusalem. The best green spaces for running are the centrally located Sacher Park, and the Jerusalem Forest, which is a few km west of the Old City and has some good running trails and roads.
Jerusalem is well served by buses. A new light rail system runs to Mt. Herzl (a good running spot), and to Jerusalem.
A few particular notes. We also recommend to be careful about running in certain neighborhoods, for both safety and religious respect concerns. Please consult a guide book or speak with your hotel concierge. Also, Jerusalem is crowded and busy with cars, and some roads have narrow sidewalks or no sidewalks at all. Use caution.
Our particular thanks to Mollie Feldman, and her Treasure Your Being blog, for her help with this Jerusalem running post.