(Israel Ministry of Tourism)
Jerusalem has been named one of the "World's Top 10 Destinations on the Rise" in a recent survey by TripAdvisor. The survey lists Jerusalem among the world's most popular up-and-coming places to visit, a result that is bolstered by the recent record-breaking tourism numbers to Israel so far in 2014.
TripAdvisor lists Jerusalem in the number 4 slot, noting that "the city's profound cultural and historical significance" in addition to the fact that "religious pilgrims have been traveling to Jerusalem for centuries." The popular travel website continues: "Plan on seeing the major sights, but also leave plenty of time to walk through the streets and simply immerse yourself in the daily life of such an ancient and revered place."
The capital city has a cultural calendar bursting with activities, performances, innovative exhibitions, music and festivals throughout the summer. Here are some of the highlights:31st Jerusalem International Film Festival (July 10-20, 2014)
Since 1983, Jerusalem hosts an international film festival every summer. For ten days, the Jerusalem International Film Festival features the best of Israeli and world cinema and holds prestigious competitions, tributes to well-known film figures, professional panels, workshops and live musical performances. Screenings take place at the Jerusalem Cinemateque as well as several other venues around Jerusalem. This year, there will also be three days of outdoor free movie screenings in the Old City.Annual “Contact Point” (July 10, 2014)
This is the fifth year that artists from a range of different disciplines have engaged with artworks on exhibit at the Israel Museum. For one night only, dancers, musicians, intellectuals, performers, DJ's, directors and those who have yet to be defined, meet to create a contact point between them and an artwork in the museum, between them and themselves.Jerusalem Beer Festival (August 7-8, 2014)
The annual Beer Festival in Jerusalem, now entering its ninth year, plays host to tens of thousands of visitors and tourists, and provides the perfect summer opportunity for an escape to Jerusalem's cool, pleasant weather. Concerts, lighting and the myriad beer stands transform the Independence Park into a colorful and lively arena of quality alcohol and unforgettable atmosphere.The 23rd International Festival of Puppet Theater (August 10-14, 2014)
The International Festival of Puppet Theater offers high quality, rich and colorful puppetry programming geared towards both children and adults.Every year the festival hosts several foreign productions and international directors, giving Israeli artists a unique opportunity for exposure.Performances take place at a number of cultural institutions in Jerusalem and there are also street performances.Jerusalem Wine Festival (August 11-14, 2014)
The annual Wine Festival at the Israel Museum which began over a decade ago is one of the most popular events in Jerusalem in the summer. A celebration of Israeli wineries, last year's festival hosted around 60 wineries offering tastings of hundreds of wines, some entirely new. Alongside the many wine stands are food stands with sushi, fish & chips, pastries, chocolate, cheeses and wine. The festival is held in the beautiful Art Garden of the Israel Museum with live music every evening, making the wine festival a wonderful way to spend a summer evening in Jerusalem.Hutzot Hayotzer International Arts and Crafts Fair (August 11-23, 2014)
The annual outdoor International Jerusalem Arts and Crafts Fair, commonly known as “Hutzot HaYotzer” is certainly one of Jerusalem's summer highlights for locals and tourists alike. The venue is perfect - just at the foot of the Old City, in the Sultan's Pool valley and surrounding areas. Visitors stroll from stand to stand, taking in local and international artisans' work from watches to lampshades to hammocks to fresh paintings, and much more. The fair includes live music nightly from popular Israeli bands, as well as eatery stands and workshops scheduled throughout.Jerusalem International Chamber Music Festival (September 2-13, 2014)
This year the festival will mark the centenary of the outbreak of World War I within the specific context of musical history - the final stages of nineteenth-century tradition and the move to new styles and expression. It will also celebrate the 150th anniversary of the birth of Richard Strauss, one of the most important precursors of musical modernism. The programs will be performed by an outstanding roster of international and Israeli artists.
Jerusalem Sacred Music Festival (September 9-12, 2014)
of the Jerusalem Season of Culture, this four-day festival calls
musicians from across the globe to celebrate their sacred traditions in
the most sacred city in the world, with a number of original
productions, as well as a unique mix of concerts, performances with
audience participation, ceremonies, meditative experiences and more. The
festival brings its own unique voice into millennia-old caves, gardens
and the Tower of David.