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

Punctual pick-up, friendly guide, wonderful experience

The tour was very well-balanced with a bit of everything. Our guide, Ossy, was very experienced and spoke fluently 5 languages, including our own

Jerusalem: Half-Day Tour from Tel Aviv Reviewed by Cosmin, 06/18/2019

A comprehensive trip. Covered a lot of ground in one day.

Yoab in Bus 20 is Outstanding guide of Bein Harim tours. Super funny and a history buff. We learnt and enjoyed a lot.

Excellent tour, beautiful places, lot of historical and interesting

Guide was not the very best, time given for HOLY CHURCH of sepulchre was too little just 40mins, considering the huge crowds and the importance of this church, the long distances we travel to come n expenditure involved, we certainly wished to see Jesus tomb, in the bargain we got late coming out, and our guide had left us behind, we missed the bus, without a phone we requested a shopkeeper and contacted the company, we were surprised with thr promptness that the company contacted us back and kept a taxi waiting for us and helped us join the bus again. However the tour ended much before time within 8hrs when we were told 11hrs, hence we feel at least 1hour should be given for thr holy church of sepulchre considering the crowds there to worship and waiting in line for Jesus tomb.

Spectacular experience, spectacular guide

Our guide made this tour so wonderful. He was very knowledgeable, friendly, and attentive. I normally don’t do group tours, but because our guide was so exceptional, I am now inclined to do tours in the future.

Outstanding tour - a long day, but well organized and interesting.

The tour starts early but that's understandable since there's a lot of territory to cover. I really enjoyed Jerusalem - a person could spend several days exploring the sights, but for a view of the highlights and historical/religious perspectives like I wanted, this was perfect. Bethlehem felt a little less structured and there was a fair amount of time spent trying to park the coach when I thought we could have been touring. Still, the Church of the Nativity was worth it. Finishing up at the Dead Sea was awesome and there was enough time to enjoy it and relax a little (i.e. get a drink or two) before the journey back to Tel Aviv. Good value.