Jerusalem
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Top attractions in Jerusalem

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The 10 Best Things to Do 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.

Holy Sepulchre

Holy Sepulchre

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.

Great Synagogue

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."

Mount of Olives

Mount of Olives

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.

Gethsemane

Gethsemane

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.

Western Wall

Western Wall

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.

Temple Mount

Temple Mount

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.

Dome of the Rock

Dome of the Rock

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.

Al-Aqsa Mosque

Al-Aqsa Mosque

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.

Israel Museum
Photo: Chris Yunker@flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Israel Museum

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.

Jerusalem Biblical Zoo

Jerusalem Biblical Zoo

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.

Planning Your Jerusalem Visit

How many days to spend in Jerusalem?

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.

Getting around

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.

Where to stay in Jerusalem

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.

Good to know

  • Language
    Hebrew
  • Currency
    Shekel (₪)
  • Time Zone
    UTC (+02:00)
  • Country Code
    +972
  • 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

Excellent informative impartial/agnostic tour

Allan Younger was an excellent tour guide and kept things factual and religiously impartial. He was fun and knowledgeable and took great care of us (making sure we had shady spots to stop in as it was a very hot day). I would thoroughly recommend this tour.

New Jerusalem: Holy City Tour Reviewed by Simon, 05/20/2019

Great tour with a delicious lunch at the impressive house of the guide

Kamal impressed with his historical & religious knowledge of the area. State-of-the-art bus. Delicious lunch. Can only recommend this tour from Israel as it balances the view one gets from the conflict of the two sides.

Good tour to see the most, if you have only one day

Noam hat a lot knowledge and explained a lot about all kind of things! Best informed tour guide I’ve ever had! Tour was some time a little bit rushed because some attendants kept staying behind and we had to wait- even Noam keeps saying that they please stick to the group... you never know who you get in your group. Jerusalem and Bethlehem was amazing! More time at the dead sea would have been better. Food was okay. Place upstairs is better...maybe with more time and a menu to choose..

Awesome experience with enthusiastic guide

Our guide Itamar (Bus) was fantastic and the whole tour was fun but the guide was knowledgeable and really hard working We had the best time and would highly recommend

Gordon was a great guide. Highly recommend.

Great for the money. Would be very difficult to do all this on your own for the same money. Takes straight to the highlights.

Jerusalem, Dead Sea, and Bethlehem Tour Reviewed by Jarred, 04/20/2019