Jerusalem is truly one of the most captivating cities in the world. It’s significance to the three major monotheistic religions — Judaism, Christianity and Islam — cannot be understated, and it plays a big part in attracting million of people from all over to the city. That said, there is more to Jerusalem than religion, including a rich history that has seen numerous cultures establish roots there and a burgeoning cultural scene that features world-class museums, a variety of restaurants ranging from traditional Middle Eastern and European cuisines to modern fine dining fusion and a bustling nightlife scene with bars, lounges and clubs that cater to all types.
The Old City
With over 3,000 years worth of history packed into such a compact area, the Old City is a must-see part of Jerusalem. In addition to the history underneath every step you take, the Old City is also home to some of the world’s most iconic historical and religious sites, such as the Temple Mount and Dome of the Rock, the Western Wall, the Church of the Holy Sepulchre and much more. And just walking through the narrow alleyways can be a journey unto itself as you pass by or stop in all of the unique shops and restaurants serving local cuisine.
While the history of the newer part of the city does not stretch back as far as that of the Old City, West Jerusalem is home to a bevy of important cultural institutions, major attractions, interesting neighborhoods, amazing restaurants and fun bars.
Jerusalem is home to some of the country’s best museums, including the world renowned Israel Museum, which regularly makes international top 10 museum lists and houses the Dead Sea Scrolls, one of the most important archaeological finds of the 20th century, in its Shrine of the Book complex.
Jerusalem is a melting pot of different cuisines. From traditional Palestinian and Arabic fare in the Old City and authentic European, Moroccan, Tunisian and more in the Mahane Yehuda Market to the unique cafes and modern fusion restaurants in Jerusalem’s fine dining establishments, there is something to wet every appetite.
Under every step you take and around every corner you turn in Jerusalem, there is a piece of history and culture, but if that’s not enough head to any number of Jerusalem’s highly acclaimed museums to get an in depth look at the history and culture of Israel.
Jerusalem is also home to the Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial Site and Museum, which offers a tremendously moving experience and in depth look at the history and victims of one of the world’s greatest tragedies.
Top 5 Tours
If you’re coming for the opera already, it’s a great opportunity to get to know Jerusalem and the country better. It’s always nice to explore on your own, but often times, using a tour guide can be the simplest and most efficient way, and Jerusalem has some truly wonderful tours to offer.
Jerusalem Old & New
Explore the 2 sides of Jerusalem as you tour from the Mount of Olives through the Old City of Jerusalem, visiting historical and holy sites like the Cardo, the Western Wall, the Via Dolorosa, the Church of the Holy Sepulchre and much more before moving onto the New City and a moving tour of the Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial and Museum.
Hidden Treasures of Jerusalem
See the city like never before and learn that every stone tells a story. This tour takes you to Mount Zion, King David’s tomb, the Armenian Quarter, the Muslim Quarter and other historical locations.
Masada, the Dead Sea & Qumran
Take a guided tour down to the wondrous Dead Sea, swim in the salty waters, take the cable car up to Masada and learn about stop in Qumran to learn about the Dead Sea Scrolls and the ancient Jewish sect that penned them.
Cook a Tour
This culinary chance of a lifetime allows you to experience Jerusalem by combining an exploration of the city’s picturesque alleyways with authentic culinary highlights. Join cooking workshops, enjoy home hospitality, visit a chef’s studio and more!
The Bible Lands Museum
One of the city’s most interesting museums, the Bible Lands Museum offers number of tours that take you through the history of the Bible through sculptures, rare artifacts, mosaics, pottery, ancient documents and more.
Top 5 Attractions
Jerusalem is also a home to some of the most exciting attractions in Israel. Here are the top five attractions the city has to offer!
Night Spectacular Sound & Light Show
See the walls of King David’s Citadel come to life like never seen before as they become the stage for a nighttime show celebrating Jerusalem’s 4,000-year-old history through sights and sounds.
The Israel Musuem
Israel’s largest cultural institution and one of its most iconic museums is home to one of the world’s richest collections of art, archaeological findings and Judaica.
The Friends of Zion Museum
Located in the heart of Jerusalem, the FOZ Museum is a beacon of light built to be a platform for fighting Anti-Semitism internationally. The museum tells the story of non-Jewish support for the State of Israel and the Jewish people. The museum invites the guests to meet non-Jewish Zionists through colorful exhibits and state of the art interactive displays.
The site of one of Israel’s grisliest and most important battles, Ammunition Hill is today a well-preserved memorial and museum that offers educational interactive tours, adventurous activities and much more!
The Western Wall Tunnels
These complex underground tunnels are one of the most important archaeological finds in the Jerusalem, uncovering direct link between the history of the Hasmonean period and modern times. Discover it first-hand with a riveting guided tour.
More about Jerusalem
To find out everything you need to know about Jerusalem for your upcoming trip, including hotels, tours attractions, restaurants and more, visit iTravelJerusalem.com, the official Jerusalem travel site.