Ramallah is located about 10km north of Jerusalem, Israel. At first, we weren’t planning on going there, but when in Jerusalem, we spontaneously decided to check out Ramallah anyway. And we were not disappointed.
Ramallah is surrounded by 8 meter high concrete walls, supported by barbed wires and an electric fence. To make sure no one gets out illegally, there are guard towers every 5 km with Israeli snipers positioned inside (according to our cab driver). As a local Palestinian cab driver also told us, people trying to escape are instantly shot – no warnings, no leg shots. It reminded me of the division of West Germany and DDR before 1990.
The taxi dropped us off at the Ramallah check point and we walked in. Getting from Jerusalem to Ramallah is not a problem. Once on the inside, we had to take another cab to drive us to the Ramallah city center.
Ramallah is a small city and looks similar to other Arab cities. We went there early in the morning, walked from the city center to Yasser Arafat’s mausoleum, which was unfortunately closed in the morning, and then grabbed some breakfast at a very nice small local place. Ramallah is full of young, well educated people that speak English and are very open and kind to tourists.
Still, the city has a strange vibe. You feel trapped, like in a large, open-air prison. A cab driver was telling us that there are two types of passports for Palestinians. One is for citizens who are allowed to go in and out as they like (of course, going out still is a hassle and can take hours). He further explained that people living in Ramallah but who work in Jerusalem often get up at 2 a.m. to queue at the checkpoint, so that they can get to their workplace in time. The bearers of the other passport type are not allowed to enter Israel ever.
Did you enjoy our Jerusalem to Ramallah adventure so far?
Leaving Ramallah took a little bit longer. You have to pass through a luggage and passport check – kind of like when boarding a plane. There are narrow corridors made out of metal, metal revolving doors and army personnel sitting behind thick bomb proof glass and talking to you through loud speakers. Luckily, we got through without any problems.
We definitely recommend going from Jerusalem to Ramallah. It’s a very unique experience, although nobody knows how the situation will develop in the near future.
For questions or feedback regarding how to get from Jerusalem to Ramallah, please feel free to leave a comment at the bottom of this page.11 people recommend this.