Jerusalem has a mixed subtropical semiarid climate with warm dry summers and cool rainy winters.The average annual precipitation is about 24 inches (600 mm), and snowfalls—which in some years do not occur—are generally light.
To the west it faces the coastal plain and the Mediterranean Sea, about 35 miles (60 km) away.
In recognition of its central place in the traditions and histories of numerous peoples, the Old City was designated a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1981.
Yet outside the walls Jerusalem is in every sense a modern city, with its network of streets and transportation, high-rise buildings, supermarkets, businesses, schools, restaurants, and coffeehouses.
The scent of cooking and spices, the peal of church bells, the calls of muezzins from minarets, and the chanting of Jewish prayers at the Western (Wailing) Wall all add flavour to the life of the city.
The absence of vehicular traffic within most of the Old City helps preserve its special character.