Tourist Tip #190 / Parking in Jerusalem

Don't ruin your historic day by getting a ticket. Follow these commandments for parking in the Holy City then proceed to enjoy your visit.

To help keep your driving experience as stress-free as possible, here are the ten commandments of parking in the Holy City:

1. Consider parking in a garage near your destination. Fees are higher than street parking but the benefit is that you pay when you leave and don’t have to constantly check your watch or worry about running over the meter, which usually has a two or three hour maximum (See the Ninth Commandment below). A full day in a private garage or lot might set you back NIS 80 or so.

2. Some parking garages have automatic payment via machines that also take credit cards; the Mamilla garage near the Jaffa Gate in particular is a great place to leave your car when touring the Old City.

3. When parking on the street, look for the blue and white markings along the curb. That’s where you’re allowed to park.

4. Keep away from red and white markings and gray markings. Parking there will earn you a ticket.

5. There are no parking fees on the Sabbath (Friday after 1 P.M. until Sunday morning at 8 A.M.).

6. When you see your spot, signal your intention to the (almost invariably) impatient driver behind you that you are about to own that parking place. The blinker may not be enough. Energetic gesturing out your window at the empty space will help get your point across and buy you the minute or two you need to park and may even inspire a bit of backing up by the driver behind you.

7. Once parked, look for an automatic payment machine – a free-standing pillar-like metal machine which will be within 100 yards or so from where you parked on one side of the street or the other.

8. While on your way to the machine, watch out for the inspector! They’ve been known to ticket people in the short time it takes to get to the machine and back with your stub. Tell him or her that you’ll be right back with your stub.

9. Directions on the machine are clear; you’ll see a button that says “English.” Press it and set the amount of time you think you’ll be there, as directed.

10. Take the stub right back to your car and insert it on the upper part of the window inside the car, where it's clearly visible.

Pierre Terdjman / BauBau