“While Jesus may have traveled to Jerusalem by donkey, Solomon by mule, and the Prophet Muhammad by a winged Buraq, thousands of years later the holy city has plenty of other methods of transportation to get around, from bus to light rail to train. And today, there’s a way to see this ancient city from a new, unexpected perspective,” TIME correspondent Jessica Shaw writes.
“Anyone comfortable on two wheels can now rent a bike and cycle along the newly opened Kerem Tunnel, part of the Jerusalem Ring bike path, a 42-km route that allows visitors to circle the holy city at their own pace, starting, for example, at the Biblical Zoo in the western part of the city and finishing at the Jaffa Gate in the east.”
The tunnel, she notes, “connects two parts of the Jerusalem Ring: on one end lies Ein Lavan, a spring dating back to the Iron Age, and on the other, Ein Karem, the birthplace of John the Baptist, which has become a foodie and art-gallery hot spot. Those in the mood for a more rigorous afternoon of touristing can work their way to the windy streets of the Old City for 360-degree views found at the recently renovated Tower of David Jerusalem Museum.”
The Tower of David will re-open to the public on June 1 after a three-year, $50 million renewal and conservation project at the historic citadel and archeological park. The museum is now wheelchair accessible and features a new multi-level sunken entrance pavilion at the Jaffa Gate entrance to the Old City.
TIME solicited nominations for the list from its international network of correspondents and contributors, with an eye toward those offering new and exciting experiences.
In addition to Jerusalem, other destinations include Kyoto in Japan, Musanze in Rwanda, Giza and Saqqara in Egypt, Ladakh in India and Aqaba in Jordan.