Jerusalem – the sacred city of the three great religions, is the most important spiritual centre of the world. Filled with pilgrims, tourists and visitors from all over the globe, it’s full of sounds, scents, lights and customs. The multicultural character of Jerusalem is without a doubt its huge asset, adding a lot of flavour to the already interesting streets and alleys. Downtown Jerusalem offers a wide choice of restaurants and eateries, with cuisines from all over the world. The most popular landmarks and objects are located in the Jerusalem’s Old Town, with Western Wall, Temple Mount and Church of the Holy Sepulchre being visited by thousands upon thousands of tourists each year. Those interested in exploring museums and learning the rich history of Jerusalem should head west of the Old City, where the Israel Museum and Yad Vashem memorial are. Tourists interested in shopping will be delighted by what Mahane Yehuda Market has to offer. All in all, Jerusalem is about much more than religion and sacral architecture – all the different cultures flooding it made it one of the busiest and most diverse cities in the world.
Top 10 Things to See and Do in Jerusalem
Jerusalem Three Religions Walking Tour
Learn about the rich religious history of the Jerusalem city during this walking tour which will show you the main sites of the three intersecting religions. Jewish, Islamic, and Christian monuments are included during the tour, which will take four hours and will be guided by a local English-speaking guide.
The Biblical City of David Tour
This three-hour tour of Jerusalem will show you the City of David archeological site, which is still being explored to this day. You will be able to see for yourself the dig sites, ancient tunnels and old monuments as you learn about the history of the city from a professional guide.
Providing a unique and unusual experience, this tour will show you some of the underground portion of Jerusalem. The journey will begin in the City of David and proceed through the underground tunnels all the way to the Western Wall, allowing you to see the ancient underground to its fullest.
The Israel Museum Admission Ticket
This online ticket allows you to enter the Israel Museum without having to wait for hours in long lines. You will be provided with an audio guide and headset to help you find your way through the museum, which has some of the oldest relics in the world.
Caeserea and Rosh Hanikra Day Trip
Take a break from the bustling city of Jerusalem and visit some of the gorgeous countryside of Israel on this full-day trip along the coast. You will visit some of the historic sites outside of Jerusalem, along with some breathtaking views, all with a convenient pickup and drop-off at your place of accommodation.
Old and New Jerusalem Full-Day Tour
This tour will take a whole day to carefully show you in detail both the Old and New districts of Jerusalem. A local guide will show you along both the most popular and the lesser known landmarks, including the Holy Sepulchre Church, the Wailing Wall, Yad Vashem, and more.
Mount of Olives Walking Tour
Enjoy three hours of exploring the religious past of the city of Jerusalem with a knowledgeable, professional guide who will provide commentary in English. All of the sites are located on the hillside of the Mount of Olives and include important landmarks of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam alike.
The City of David’s Show
This admission ticket will allow you to unwind after a long day of sightseeing with a comfortable seat during an outdoor light show. The show will teach you some of the ancient history of the city, which began after the return from exile, all presented with modern projection mapping technology.
Masada Sunrise, Ein Gedi, and the Dead Sea Trip from Jerusalem
This unique trip will begin early in the morning and takes you from Jerusalem to Masada in order to show you the unforgettable sunrise that you can see to the fullest on the top of the mountain. Later on, you will be taken by a local guide on a trip to Ein Gedi and through some of the highlights of the Dead Sea.
West Bank Tour
Visit the highly controversial area of West Bank with a ride from Jerusalem in an air-conditioned coach. The area is known to have been a place of conflict for years, where Israeli and Palestinian people struggled for years for control. You will be even able to sample some of the unique Palestinian cuisine.
Other Things to See and Do
There are a lot of places to visit in the Old City, most of which are ancient holy sites. You are probably not going to visit all of them in a single day, so do not even try, and instead keep visiting the Old City every day to see its beauty and important historical and religious heritage.
The Western Wall
Known more widely as the Wailing Wall, the Western Wall is an ancient wall in the Old City of Jerusalem. The Western Wall is a small part of a long defensive wall, and it was originally a part of the Second Jewish Temple. Nowadays it is used as a traditional place used by Jews for prayer.
The hill of Temple Mount is truly a unique place to visit. The top of the hill has been regarded as a holy site not only by Jews but also by Christians and Muslims alike. There is a flat plaza at the hilltop, which is surrounded by ancient walls, and there are three monumental structures dating as far back as the 6th century.
Machane Yehuda Market
Even if you are not into buying anything, visiting the Machane Yehuda Market is a unique experience. The place is an exciting spot to visit, filled not only with fruits and vegetables, but also with traditionally made sweets, exotic spices, local beverages, pastries, and even some souvenirs and dishes.
The three promenades of Jerusalem connect to create a long line of pathways, perfect for an afternoon walk around nature. The promenades also provide some of the best views of the cityscape and the landscape beyond the city, and they start at the Jabal Mukabaar Park and end at Abu Tor.
Take a free guided tour of the building of the Israeli’s Parliament and see the workplace of the controversial Israeli politicians. With a local guide who provides commentary in English, you will learn not only about the building itself but also about the inner workings of the Parliament and its importance.
Supreme Court of Israel
Similarly to the Parliament building, the Supreme Court of Israel is a gorgeous piece of architecture and has even been named the finest public building of Israel by The New York Times. The building is made in a modern style and was opened in 1992, offering a mixture of Herodian, Hellenistic, Crusader, and British flavours.
Wohl Rose Park
If you are a nature enthusiast, you will surely love to spend time at the Wohl Rose Park in Jerusalem, which is located at the foot of the Supreme Court and not far off the Parliament. The park is filled with a plethora of flower beds, creating a breathtaking combination of vivid colors and enticing aromas.
Located not far from the Jaffa Gate, the Teddy Park has its own unique attraction, apart from being in general a beautiful place to walk through. Every day at 8 p.m. a sound and light water show begins in the middle of the park, and there is even a small fountain for kids to play in and cool down during hot weather.
The Jerusalem Bird Observatory
Quite unlike a visit to a zoo, the Jerusalem Bird Observatory grants you a chance to see some of the migrating birds which travel every year through Israel. The observatory has plenty of strategically placed locations along the route, providing ample places to spot the birds.
Visit the living memorial to the millions of casualties of the Holocaust during the Second World War. The exhibits inside of the unique museum include authentic footage and videos of people who survived the Holocaust, along with their historical documents, journals, and even some of their personal items.
Visit one of the tallest windmills in entire Israel, which has been restored not long ago. The windmill was constructed in 1857 as a way to power a large flour mill, and is located in the Mishkenot Sha’ananim district of the city, which is the first Jewish neighbourhood outside of the Old City.
Ein Karem is one of the most beautiful neighbourhoods in Jerusalem, making it a place certainly worth visiting. The area is filled with old churches, most of which can be visited for free during mass, and the whole district is a frequent destination for Christian pilgrimage, as it is supposedly a place where the mother of John the Baptist became pregnant.
This district of the city is filled with very narrow alleyways, surrounded with tall buildings and hidden courtyards with gardens, giving you the ability to explore the area on your own. There are also a lot of small synagogues placed around the district, providing a lot of places and monuments to see.
Old Train Station
The Old Train Station of Israel is over a hundred and thirty years old, but is still a cultural hub to this day. The building of the train station is filled with high-class restaurants and hipster pubs and cafés, and there are even a couple of old-fashioned locomotives on display.
Emek Refaim Street
Being one of the busiest streets of Jerusalem, the Emek Refaim Street is located in the German Colony neighbourhood. The whole street is filled with small shops managed by the locals, offering handmade jewellery, traditional fashion, and there are even a couple of small bakeries and cafés.
Liberty Bell Park
Located right in the centre of the city, the Liberty Bell Park is a fine place to choose for a jogging session or a tranquil walk. The main attraction of the park is a replica of the Liberty Bell, which is the symbol of independence - and the original one is placed in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in the United States of America.
Brigham Young Mormon University
Take a walk through the mysterious hallways of this Mormon university, which is going to be quite a sight even if you are not a Mormon yourself. The university provides free walking tours to the visitors with an English-speaking guide, and the tour even includes a live classical music performance by the students.
Bezalel Street Fair
Every Friday between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. the Bezalel Street fills up with hundreds of local artists and craftsmen who show off their homemade products. The tradition of the fair started in 2009 and has become a huge part of the lives of locals, who take the opportunity to present their work to tourists.
The Garden Tomb
Being one of the best maintained gardens in the entire city, The Garden Tomb is located near the Damascus Gate and proves a great place to escape the bustling city. The garden is usually quite empty, allowing you to relax in tranquillity on the stone benches among lush greenery.