Jerusalem One Day Tour - Jerusalem Old and New - Egged, United Tours or Bein Harim
There are three major bus tour companies in Israel which offer basically the same standard routes which cover Israel's top attractions; there are also a myriad of private guides and smaller companies which also follow the same routes. The top three tour companies in Israel are United Tours, Bein Harim and Egged, of the three each has its advantages and disadvantages but you will probably be satisfied no matter which of these you choose. Each of these companies has a tour called "Jerusalem Old and New" which covers both the Old City of Jerusalem within the old walls and a few sites outside of the Old City.
-On all these tours lunch is not included.
Egged Tours – Jerusalem Old and New
Price - $68 if you are coming from Jerusalem (if your pick-up point is not Jerusalem $85)
Pick-up point – Major hotels in Natanya (6:30am), Hertzalia (7:00am), Tel-Aviv (7:15am) and Jerusalem (8:30am).
Route – Entering the Old City from the Armenian Quarter and making the first stop at the Wailing Wall, during the tour you also walk along the ancient Cardo (a Roman road which once ran through the city). On Saturdays the tour goes to the Hall of the Last Supper and the Tomb of David (both are in the same building) on Mount Zion instead of the Holocaust Museum.
Phone service – 8:00am-9:00pm Sunday to Thursday and 8:00am -12 noon on Fridays.
Special terms – Under 5's not welcome, not wheelchair accessible, under 12's get 10% discount. You may pay the driver.
United Tours – Jerusalem New and Old
Price - $68 from Jerusalem, $85 from Tel Aviv, Natanya and Hertzalia
Route – as mentioned above but the United website does not go into a lot of detail so it is hard to tell if there is anything more or less than the other companies. The website does not mention an alternate site for Saturday tours when the Holocaust Museum is closed.
Pick-up Points – Natanya hotels (6:30am), Hertzalia hotels (7:00am), Tel-Aviv hotels (7:15am) Tel-Aviv Arlozorov terminal (7:45am) and Jerusalem hotels (8:45am)
Differences – Note that the United Tours set out to see the sites after picking up everyone at 8:45am also they have an additional pick-up point apart from the hotels at the Arlozorov Terminal. Discount of 10% for kids under 12 years and students, under 5's are not welcome.
Bein Harim – Jerusalem Old and New (211)
Price - $68 from Jerusalem or $83 for business class. $85 from Tel-Aviv, Natanya and Hertzalia or $100 for business class.
Special differences – This is the only one of the three which offers a business class option. When the Holocaust Museum is closed the tour stops at the Church of All Nations, Gethsemane, Tomb of David and the Hall of the Last Supper – this is more than the other two companies offer. Bein Harim offers private tours as well. The company has a Customer Club (loyalty club) where you will get offered special deals and lunch vouchers for some of their tours.
Phone service - from 5:00am to 11pm daily including Saturdays and Sundays unlike Egged.
Overall Egged gives a less personable but very reliable service as they are a large well established company. United Tours has the extra pick-up point at the Tel-Aviv Arlozorov Terminal. Bein Harim is perhaps the most personal especially as for a few extra dollars you can take the Business class which has fewer people in the group. If you take the Bein Harim Saturday tour you get to see a few more sites outside the Old City walls than on the other tours. None of these tours really cover the new part of Jerusalem as it should be. You will need to still explore the new part of Jerusalem by yourselves. None of these tours really get going until about 9am after all the pick-ups but that is something you just need to be prepared for. If you are staying in Natanya or Hertzalia you may be better off getting to Tel-Aviv or Jerusalem by yourself and then joining the tours from there rather than waiting for the pick-up.