Top attractions in Jerusalem
A center of religions throughout its history, a visit to Jerusalem beguiles the spirit and the senses. A stroll through the Old City's labyrinth of alleyways, with its pungent aromas and the lilt of languages, will lead you from one sacred treasure to another.
The Church has the last five Stations of the Cross and the 14th is Jesus's tomb, known as the Holy Sepulchre. 2,000 years ago, this spot was an open area beyond the city walls.
Built in 1982, the structure reflects the original Holy Temple, which stood on the Temple Mount until its destruction in 70 AD. An exhibit also showcases thousands of "mezuzot."
The ridge east of Jerusalem has a series of pilgrimage sites, including churches and the Grotto and Gardens of Gethsemane. It's also the city's main cemetery with 150,000 graves.
Many claim that this garden, which surrounds the Church of All Nations, was where the Romans arrested Jesus. The site also has some of the world's oldest olive trees.
The holiest site in Judaism, this former retaining wall, erected by Herod the Great in 20 BC, supported the outer section of the Temple Mount, upon which stood the Second Temple.
To Muslims it's Haram esh-Sharif, or Noble Sanctuary, and it's the third holiest site in Islam. It's also the location of the First Temple built by Solomon.
Sacred to Muslims and Jews, the golden dome of the structure covers the rock from which Mohammed ascended to join Allah, and where Abraham prepared to kill his son Isaac.
Built 20 years after the Dome of the Rock, the name means "the farthest mosque" and signifies Muhammad's "isra," or night journey, from Mecca to Jerusalem and back.
This national museum not only houses the Dead Sea Scrolls, but it also exhibits a fine arts collection, and a model of the city during the era of the Second Temple.
The original intention of the zoo was to collect animals mentioned in the Bible. The new zoo, which opened in 1993, has a Noah's Ark with information on the animals from that era.
You could spend years (maybe a lifetime?) delving into this city. However, five to seven days will allow you to visit many of the main attractions. Add another one to two days if you only have time to take day-trips either to the Dead Sea and/or Masada.
Your own two feet will get you around the Old City of Jerusalem. Beyond these, there are buses (known as Egged) and one light rail line, a part of which runs along Jaffo Road in West Jerusalem and also has a stop at Damascus Gate. Keep in mind that public transport comes to a halt once Shabbat begins (Friday just before sundown), but the Arab buses and taxi services still operate just outside Damascus Gate.
You'll find all sorts of accommodations in the Old City, but there are other options in West Jerusalem, for example the area around Zion Square and Ben-Yehuda Mall. It's a lively area with restaurants, bars, cafes, and shopping.
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- Best time to visit
- Late spring and early fall are the best times to visit, when the temperature is mild and the crowds are thinner. However, make sure you check the calendar, as a Jewish celebration could bring masses into the city.
Things to Do in Jerusalem
Top Attractions in Jerusalem
Cities in Israel
Other Sightseeing Options in Jerusalem
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What people are saying about Jerusalem
We loved the tour & ride with Ali. We highly recommend to do this safari tour. We were 6 people in one jeep, Ali is a very good driver. We had cold water for free and we get fresh watermelon for break. Ali was a great guide funny and nice he has a lot of expierience as he lives in the desert. The ride was 4 hours where he explained us the nature, animals and the plants. He gives us an idea how Nomad people live and lived in the desert and how they made it to survive. Which plant can be eaten, which one used as soap. How to find water, where to sleep. How to read tracks in the sand. We saw dromedas, ibex, birds and a yellow scorpion. The nature and beeing in the middle of the desert surrounded with nothing then sand and the view at the Dead Sea in over 300m was amazing Contra: The dead sea afterwards. Huge bus group,the "Kalia Beach" super crowded touristic spot. Not nice. Would recommened to split this tour to just do the safari OR even better add a desert sleepover under the stars
Bus arrived at 7:30AM, took us to a collecting area, we had an excellent guide Amir, very knowledgeable, open minded & ready to answer all types of questions. We stopped on the way to get Coffee, arrived in Jerusalem around 9:00AM .. We had a view of the city from over the mountain. Then went to the Lamentation wall, the Via Dolorosa, the church of the Holy Sepulcher, it was impossible to enter Jesus's tomb because of the long queue. Left to the bus at 12:15PM to go to Bethlehem. There we were guided to a restaurant to have lunch (Costs around 16$) I had my lunch with me, I just took a drink. We went a walking distance to the Church of Nativity, visited inside with another guide Martin. Before leaving Bethlehem we stopped by a gift shop. Then trip back to Tel Aviv, we arrived at around 5:15PM My next visit will be on my own, there is still a thousand of other sites in Jerusalem that you can never see in a guided tour. A new train takes you directly from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.
All in all a great tour with a reliable tour guide and a good price-performance ratio. Highlights were of course the sunrise at Masada and Ein Gedi with it's animals and the waterfal. Things to mind: - The climb at Masada is really exhausting. The cable car starts at 8am,, so you have to walk. If your old or not that sporty, it is possible, that you are not in time in Masada for the sunrise. - We don't know why everybody's talking about the dead sea and how wonderful it is. You feel like a dead fish in (too) salty, oily, nearly boiling water. If you make the mistake to put finger in your eyes, you feeling the pains of your life and after 30 minutes lying at the "beach" (more like mud desert) you sweating like hell. You can say, that you were at the lowest point at the earth, maybe that's the experience. But, like I said: The tour was all in all a great adventure!
The tour was organized very well. Large airconditioned, comfortable bus delivered our group from Tel Aviv and back with maximum comfort. Itamar, a young, but highly knowledgeable young man, was detailed and factual in describing the history of Jerusalem and the lives of people that made history over 2000 years ago, in the manner, that was capturing attention of all members of our group. The tour of Jerusalem requires a good stamina, as it's a walking tour! We walked through Old Jerusalem most of the day in 25 to 35 degrees Celsius. But if you can do it, it's worth it. Memorable!
This was my favourite tour in Israel. Danny was a great guide, must be difficult having a tight agenda but he waited for some of us to get baptised in the Jordan, and for me to figure out what necklace to buy my wife in Nazareth:) All the sights were cool and interesting.