So you landed in Israel and you had some time to rest and now what? So If this is your first time in the Holy Land so going to Jerusalem got to be on the top of your list! If so what are the best things to do in Jerusalem? Well, let’s begin with a nice viewpoint from Mount of Olives. This is the best spot to start your day! Try to get there early because at some point if it’s high season there are lots of tourists and noisy tour guides around.
Best Things to Do in Jerusalem: Old City Jerusalem
Well, I guess if you’re touring Jerusalem you can’t skip the Old City right? This city is so different from anything else. In such a small area there are so many sacred sites for Jews, Christians, and Muslims. Old Town Jerusalem today is divided into four different quarters, and I would recommend focusing on the Christian and Jewish where most of the sites are located. In the Jewish Quarter, you can find known sites like the Western Wall. But there also the famous Roman-Byzantine Cardo and the Herodian Mansions. Both are worth checking out.
Also, the Christian Quarter is worth exploring. Obviously, the Church of the Holy Sepulcher should be your first stop. But there are other points of interest like the Via Dolorosa (Road of Sorrow in English). Even though it’s a later tradition that road that people follow today still it’s a good way to explore the Old City. Another stop I would recommend going up to Temple Mt. where the Golden Dome and Al-Aqsa Mosque are located. Just double-check when exactly is allowed to go up there.
Temple Mt. Opening Hours:
Sundays through Thursdays
Morning: 7:30 – 11:00
Lunch: 13:30 – 14:30
Morning: 7:00 – 10:30
Lunch: 12:30 – 13:30
The Temple Mount is closed for non-Muslims on Fridays and Saturdays
Best Things to Do in Jerusalem: City of David and Modern Jerusalem
After exploring what’s inside the city walls let’s start exploring things just outside of it. For example, the City of David, where it all began is a good start. There you can find the biblical tel of Jerusalem. Ironically when the Ottomans constructed the current walls of the city, they didn’t include it inside. Well what can you do they didn’t know, modern archaeology didn’t exist back then in the 16th century.
Okay then now let’s go and get a nice bite to eat and the best place to that is the local food market Machne Yehuda, there I would recommend eating at Azura. It’s a true local joint with homemade food that was freshly prepared. Try there Hummus with Tahini, you will lick your fingers!
For a nice finale, another stop would be either the Israel Museum or the Yad Vashem Holocaust Museum which are two must-see museums in Jerusalem. Israel Museum in Jerusalem archaeology is one of the best museums today in the Middle East, especially after the Bronfman family invested so much money in renovating it. Of course, if you are there already don’t skip the Shrine of the Book, where today the Dead Sea Scrolls are on display.