The internationally reputed TIME publication chose Jerusalem as one of the 50 "World’s Greatest Places” to visit in 2023.
The publication highlighted the recent addition to Jerusalem Ring Route, a 42-kilometer-long (26-mile) cycle path which allows visitors to circle the ancient city from a new perspective and at their own pace.
The newest addition to the path features the 2.1-kilometer-long Kerem Tunnel, considered the fifth longest cycling tunnel in the world. Israel spent approximately $7 million to build the new infrastructure which connects Ein Lavan, a spring which dates back to the Iron Age to the biblical site, Ein Kerem, known as the birthplace of John the Baptist.
The Tower of David’s recognition on the prestigious list comes just months ahead of its scheduled grand re-opening to the public on June 1, following a 3-year, $50 million renovation and conservation project to preserve the historical structure, which was in danger of collapse.
The popular tourist spot is composed of the iconic, historic tower and museum, which offers an impressive 360-degree view of Israel’s ancient capital.
Following the major upgrade, the site will be more accessible to all visitors, offering two elevators and a chair lift. In addition, guests will be able to enjoy 10 new technologically-advanced exhibitions.
TIME compiled its “World’s Greatest Places” list with the help of its international network of correspondents and contributors.
Jerusalem, along with the other top 50 travel designations were chosen with "an eye toward those offering new and exciting experiences,” according to TIME's website.
It should be noted that Jerusalem is also unique in that it is the only city in the entire world without a country. In the absence of an agreement between the Israeli government and the Palestinian Authority, much of the international community continues to regard east Jerusalem as part of “occupied Palestine” and, therefore, not willing to officially recognize Israeli sovereignty over Jerusalem.
With or without drawing boundary lines, some believe that modern Israel has inherited a connection to Jerusalem as the capital of the biblical Jewish state where its holiest site, the Jewish Temple, once stood. Palestinians continue to reject this belief.
Apart from Jerusalem, TIME’s 2023 listing included the Japanese city Kyoto, Giza in Egypt, the Jordanian port city of Aqaba and Ladakh in India.
The All Israel News Staff is a team of journalists in Israel.