Jerusalem, one of the oldest cities in the world, offers a cultural experience, historical sites, magical alleys and unique shopping options. Here are some ideas for your next vacation in Israel
Jerusalem is located on the Judean Mountains and is one of the oldest cities in the world. It is home to Christians, Jews and Muslims. This holy city is filled with heritage, ancient history, and important sites. The Old City is the heart of Jerusalem, surrounded by a wall and divided into the Jewish, Christian, Muslim and Armenian quarters.
The main sites of the three Abrahamic religions can be found there. These are the Western wall, the Church of the Holy Sepulcher, and the Dome of the Rock. Many historic, archeological and spiritual sites can be found in Jerusalem.
This important Jewish site is the last remnant of the ancient holy temple built about 2000 years ago. The wall was built as one of the outer walls supporting the Temple Mount, on which the Holy Temple stood before it was destroyed. Throughout history and still today, Jews make pilgrimages to the sight to pray and put notes in the crevices between the stones. There are separate sections for men and women, and many prayer sessions are held throughout the day.
Dome of the Rock
This gold plated dome built in the late 7th century is an icon of the Jerusalem skyline. It is holy to both Muslims and Jews. This was the site at which Abraham was prepared to sacrifice his son, where Mohammed departed to his ‘Night Journey’ to the heavens, and the site of Solomon’s Temple. Today only Muslims are allowed to enter inside the building.
Church of the Holy Sepulcher
This church is the holiest Christian site in the Old City. It is here that Orthodox and Catholic Christians commemorate Jesus’ crucifixion and burial. Inside the Church, an altar marks the site of the crucifixion and Christians line up to touch it.
The Via Delarosa, or ‘Way of Sorrow’, was Jesus’ final route from the courthouse to Golgotha Hill where he was crucified. Many Christian pilgrims come to Jerusalem to follow in Jesus’ footsteps. This is one of the most significant sites in the Christian quarter.
Western Wall Tunnels
Archeology and history buffs will find this attraction fascinating as they see for themselves that the Western Wall goes beyond that is exposed in the open air and most of it is underground and nearly 1,700 feet long. This system of manmade tunnels running underneath the Old City reveals the continuation of the Western Wall, exposing the huge stones that King Herod set, a Hasmonean tunnel, the remains of an ancient synagogue, and more.
The Armenian quarter is the most tranquil of the four quarters of the walled Old City of Jerusalem. Wander through the old narrow lanes and visit the St. James Cathedral and St. Mark’s Chapel, which are some of the oldest existing sanctuaries in Jerusalem.
Tower of David
Inside the citadel, which was built by King Herod in approximately 24 BC, the Tower of David Museum tells the story of Jerusalem. Be sure to climb up to the roof for an amazing view of the Old City. In the evenings they have a light and sound show projected on the walls of the fortress.
Mount of Olives
The Mount of Olives is particularly significant to religious pilgrim travelers to Jerusalem, but everyone can value the stunning panoramas of the Old City from the top of the hill. With many churches and the old longstanding but still operating cemetery, this is a sacred historical spot where you can reflect while taking in the inspiring view.
- Modest dress is required when visiting the holy sites
- Advanced reservations are required when visiting the tunnels, especially during the high summer season