Jerusalem may be the center of one of the most enduring conflicts of the contemporary era, but that fact does not define this glorious city at all. Jerusalem is called "al-Quds" in Arabic, which means "the Holy" or "Holy" and that is exactly it. It is a unique city, which is central to the three Abrahamic religions. Christians, Muslims and Jews make a pilgrimage to this unique city from all over the world.
The old city of Jerusalem is well preserved and picturesque, but Jerusalem has expanded to include the new and the modern as well. As Jerusalem attracts pilgrims from all over the world, you can interact and make friends with people from all walks of life.
To get a true picture of the city's vast diversity, you should try to explore on foot. By walking just a few minutes, you can cross the Arab neighborhoods to the Jewish area of the city. From here, the Russian complex is also just a few streets and great monuments of the Christian faith, such as the Cathedral of the Holy Trinity, can be found here.
Keep reading for 10 of the best things to see and do in Jerusalem.
1. Visit the Sacred Shrine of the Dome of the Rock
The golden dome of this beautiful mosque is iconic and central to the landscape of Jerusalem. At the heart of the holy shrine is the great stone from which Muslims believe that the prophet Muhammad ascended the skies on the night journey. The mosque itself was built in the 7th century AD by the Umayyad caliph Abd al-Malik ibn Marwan.
The structure and shape of the Domo da Rocha are octagonal, which also makes it exceptionally striking and memorable. The beautiful blue tiles on the outside are wonderful to see on a sunny day. The al-Aqsa mosque is also located at the end of the sanctuary. Both mosques are still actively used for Muslim prayer and Muslim visitors come from countries around the world to pray there.
Due to the sensitivity around the place, while tourists are received at the sanctuary on most afternoons, they are not allowed to enter the mosque's buildings. The sanctuary itself, however, allows excellent views of the buildings and surroundings. Tourists should dress modestly, covering their legs and shoulders. The holy sanctuary is also known as the temple mount and is also sacred to the Jewish and Christian faith.
2. Explore the old town's souq
The Arab souq in the old city is an experience in itself. With its narrow and winding alleys, it resembles the markets of yesteryear. Among other things, there are all kinds of clothes, souvenirs, pastries and fresh bread available throughout the souq. The souq closes early, before 7 pm, so enjoying most mornings is crucial to experiencing the excitement of a lively souq.
CONTINUE READING BELOW
3. Visit the Church of the Holy Sepulcher and the Mosque of Omar
The Church of the Holy Sepulcher is one of the most revered buildings in Christianity. It is believed to be the place where Jesus rose and is visited by pilgrims from all over the world. The enchanting aroma of incense hits your nose at the entrance and transcends the church. It is particularly busy at Easter time, and tourists will enjoy the festivities during that time.
Little known is the Omar Mosque, located in front of the Church. It is said that when the second caliph of Islam, Omar, visited the church, he was asked to pray, but he refused. Instead, he went out and prayed outside the Church. His explanation was that he did not want the Church to become a mosque because of his prayer within it, and therefore a mosque was erected at the site of his prayer outside to honor his wisdom and consideration. This story captures the spirit of this glorious city, where people from all walks of life come together in harmony to appreciate and marvel at its unique character and history.
4. Visit the Western Wall
The Wailing Wall or the Wailing Wall is central to the Jewish faith. It is the western wall of the holy sanctuary and is considered the original wall built by King Herod. It is a popular religious tourism website and visitors are welcome there daily. The wall is divided into a section for men and women and is a place for prayer and meditation. Just like entering the holy sanctuary, it is important to dress modestly here.
5. Day trip in Masada and the Dead Sea
There are numerous tours that you can embark on in Jerusalem. The Masada and Dead Sea tour is an interesting option that will give you an enlightening and pleasant experience. It is a full-day tour from Jerusalem and you can visit the ancient fortified palace of Masada and then visit the Dead Sea.
The ruins of Masada are about 1,300 feet above sea level and you will be taken to the cable car site, where you can explore the ruins of a fortress dating back to 37 BC. From here, you will be taken to the Dead Sea, which is the lowest place in the world. Be prepared for a unique saltwater experience. You will also have the opportunity to take a mud bath and benefit from the healing properties of natural Dead Sea mud.
6. Go to Yad Vashem, the World Holocaust Remembrance Center
Yad Vashem is the largest Holocaust memorial in the country and is located just outside Jerusalem. The new Yad Vashem Museum it was opened in 2005. It has photographs, films, documents, letters and art that depict the horror that occurred before the Second World War. The Hall of Names contains about three million names of victims of the Holocaust and it is difficult to understand the number of lives interrupted due to hatred and fascism. It may not be a fun visit, however, it is a good way to acknowledge the atrocities that have occurred and also to remind us why none of this should happen again.
7. Tower of David Citadel
The Tower of David Citadel is also known as the Jerusalem Citadel. It is a historic piece of architecture that is situated on the western outskirts of the old city. The citadel you can visit today dates back to the Mamluk and Ottoman periods. There is some controversy as to whether the name relates to King David or not, however, it remains a place in ancient history that has been frequented by tourists and visitors from around the world over time.
From the towers of the Citadel, you can enjoy stunning panoramic views of Jerusalem. This includes the Old and New City, the Mount of Olives, the Judean Desert and even the Dead Sea in the distance.
8. Walk along Via Dolorosa
Via Dolorosa is a procession route that is visited and traveled by pilgrims throughout the year. It is located in the Old City, and Christians believe that this is the path that Jesus took on the path of the crucifixion. in solemn remembrance. It is particularly busy and popular during Easter time.
9. Try the local cuisine
If there is one thing that visitors to Jerusalem remember, it is delicious food. If you are a fan of shawarma, a variety of salads, hummus and freshly brewed tea, then you are in for a potential treat around every corner. In addition, there are also restaurants that cater for all types of palates and budgets.
10. Best of the West Bank day
The West Bank may not be the easiest place to get around on public transport due to the ongoing occupation and, therefore, a guided tour is the most comfortable experience. Traveling outside Jerusalem will give you a healthier image of the country and region and everything that is happening today.
The tour begins with the place of Jesus' baptism and continues to Jericho, which is believed to be one of the oldest cities in the world. From there, you can enjoy the modern and bustling city of Ramallah. The tour ends in Belém with a visit to the Church of the Nativity and the Gruta do Leite. The separation wall can be witnessed in Belém, with ample art representing the current state of affairs in the region to reflect.
For a rich and exciting holiday culture that brings together the best of the modern and the ancient, Jerusalem will not disappoint. It is a place that has been the center of pilgrimage throughout the ages and has witnessed the rise and fall of many rulers and empires. Today, Jerusalem is still standing with the wounds of the ongoing situation, however, that has not stopped visitors from all over the world.
Among the many things to do, marvel at the glorious Dome of the Rock, take a solemn tour of Via Dolorosa and enjoy mouth-watering food. Jerusalem offers a wide range of experiences that are hardly compatible with anywhere else. You will also meet people from all over the world. From friendly Greek Orthodox priests to large, agitated Turkish groups, you may find that you also have many opportunities to make international connections for life.
Tours and Activities
/ jerusalem-l97 /
We recommend the options below to book your hotels, activities and flights:
Please note that we receive a small commission if you purchase through our referral links. We use this to invest in new content and improve this site.