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Jerusalem, Israel

Jerusalem—Who Knew History Could Be So Stunningly Beautiful?

Street in the old part of Jerusalem, IsraelCreamy hummus, crispy falafel, and flavorful shawarma—we bet your mouth is watering just thinking about all of that delicious food, and your stomach’s growls are probably disturbing your coworkers. In between drool-worthy meals, you can enjoy ancient historic sights, a dip in the Dead Sea, and tours around the Old City. You’ll want to grab your walking shoes for this one—we’re headed to Jerusalem, Israel.

This historic city is home to a Mediterranean climate, which is fitting, since it sits on a plateau sandwiched between the Mediterranean Sea and the Dead Sea. You’ll find that the temperatures in this area of the world aren’t too extreme on either end—they typically range from 39 to 84 degrees fahrenheit. Jerusalem landed a 7 out of 10 on the Pasha Allergy Scale, so it’s a little higher than some of the other locations we’ve featured, but our insight and tips will help you manage the city’s pollen and ragweed just fine.

Pollen and Ragweed —Jerusalem’s Allergens and What to Do About Them

In Jerusalem, allergens leave their mark in the spring (March to June), much like they do in the United States. The olive tree, which is indigenous to Israel, may produce a tasty snack for you to munch on while you wander through Jerusalem’s markets, but it’s also a major producer of pollen. Because olive tree pollen is lightweight, it’s easily transmitted by winds, making it a prime allergy aggravator. Watch out for ragweed pollen too, which is produced in high quantities (up to a million grains of pollen per day!) and can travel easily by wind as well. While you’re visiting, check the daily pollen levels before you plan the day’s itinerary, so that before you’re even exposed to the allergen, you can easily adjust to an indoor vacation day if the pollen is out of control. If you just can’t bear to miss the outdoor sights and attractions, avoid going outside between the hours of 5 a.m. and 10 a.m. because pollen counts are typically higher during these hours. If you can, we recommend traveling during the rainy season (October to March) because allergy season won’t have started just yet. Plus, the rains are great for cleansing the air—making October to March the perfect time to visit (if you don’t mind bringing an umbrella, of course).

Now That Your Allergies Are Under Control, Let’s Have Some Fun

The Israel Museum is a point of interest that you won’t want to miss. Here, you can admire 500,000 pieces from ancient artifacts to contemporary sculptures. The Dead Sea Scrolls are housed at this museum, so be sure to keep an eye out for that exhibit. Notably, this museum is Israel’s largest cultural institution.While you’re visiting, consider a trip to the Yad Vashem Museum. Located in Jerusalem, the museum is Israel’s official memorial for the Jewish victims of the Holocaust. A harrowing, haunting, and emotional experience awaits you as you walk through 45 acres and 37 exhibits of Holocaust history. A visit to this museum will be a heart-wrenching experience, but it will allow you to learn a little bit more about the major, tragic event that shaped Israel.The colorful Aftimos Bazaar with numerous tourist stalls, outdoor taverns and unique eastern atmosphere.After your museum tour, you may be in need of a less emotionally heavy activity. Head to the Machane Yehuda market to pick up some lunch. This outdoor market has been around for almost 90 years. Pick up fresh meat, bread, produce, and spices and make your own meal—or if you’d rather, stop by one of the restaurants that line the market for some authentic Israeli food.Dome of the Rock and Western Wall in Jerusalem, IsraelOf course, you won’t want to miss touring the Old City of Jerusalem. Here, you can be fully immersed in the rich culture and heritage of Jerusalem. You can also visit several of the most famous and sacred religious sites, like the Western Wall, the Dome of the Rock, and the Church of the Sepulcher.Sunset landscape of the coast and spa hotels in Dead Sea, Israel.An hour away, but well worth the trip, is the Dead Sea. Located at the lowest point on Earth, this body of water has such a high salt content that anyone who gets in the water floats almost immediately. Spend the day relaxing by the beach, or explore the surrounding areas. You can go for a hike at Ein Gedi, take a cable car up to the Masada plateau, visit the Qumran caves where the Dead Sea Scrolls were discovered, and more.

What to Know Before You Go—A Guide to Medications in Jerusalem

As for your trusty medications, be sure to bring your normal supply and then some. You’ll want to keep the medication in its original packaging, accompanied by a doctor’s letter stating the medication’s medical purposes and its generic name.One allergy medication you should be able to find in Israeli pharmacies is Allegro. While it is marketed as an allergy medication and it does have a similar name to Allegra, an allergy medication in the United States, it contains a different active ingredient than the American counterpart. If you find yourself in a pinch and need some allergy relief stat, ask a pharmacist for help finding the right medication.Church of St. Mary Magdalene at Olives Mount of Jerusalem, Israel.Jerusalem, Israel is a city dripping with culture, tradition, and history. When you visit, be sure to keep your go-to allergy routine handy, so you can enjoy the historic sights, the outdoor adventures, and the delicious cuisine. דרך צלחה!Be sure to check out the Pasha Travel Guide to see this year’s top 12 travel destinations, and learn tips for traveling allergy-free. Next week, we’re featuring Mérida, Mexico, and covering allergens to watch out for, fun activities to do while you’re there, and important medicine restrictions for travelers. Stay tuned later this week to learn how to pack your CPAP machine for travel. Follow us on Facebook and Pinterest for more updates!