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
My boyfriend and I joined a group of 40 tourists both national and international to visit and learn all about Jerusalem followed by some down time at the Dead Sea. A few tips for people like myself who haven’t travelled in this area before. Girls wear a skirt or pants or dress covering your knees and take an over shirt or scarf to cover your shoulders and chest. You don’t need to wear the scarf all the time but you cannot enter some of the sites without this attire. Men can wear a long short and shirt but if you’re Aussie we wear short shorts haha so maybe pants and a change of shorts for later. This wasn’t really something we were briefed on which wasn’t a negative but good to know. The insight our guide gave us was amazing, which he explained while exploring three of the Jerusalem quarters. Our guide was very knowledgeable explaining the rich history in a reality lovely way. Lunch was delish and the perfect amount of downtime by the sea afterwards. Highly recommended!
Guide was not the very best, time given for HOLY CHURCH of sepulchre was too little just 40mins, considering the huge crowds and the importance of this church, the long distances we travel to come n expenditure involved, we certainly wished to see Jesus tomb, in the bargain we got late coming out, and our guide had left us behind, we missed the bus, without a phone we requested a shopkeeper and contacted the company, we were surprised with thr promptness that the company contacted us back and kept a taxi waiting for us and helped us join the bus again. However the tour ended much before time within 8hrs when we were told 11hrs, hence we feel at least 1hour should be given for thr holy church of sepulchre considering the crowds there to worship and waiting in line for Jesus tomb.
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!
Well organized an well timed your. The tour guide was excellent looking after each and everyone in the group( 18 oeople). The visit to the holy site was arranged very well, barely 15 minutes waiting time. Considering that it was a Sunday, when masses are regularly held, it was perfect timing.
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.