Jerusalem is known for being the world’s holiest city, and all three Abrahamic religions have several sacred sites within Jerusalem and the surrounding area. Jerusalem is also one of the world’s oldest cities and has, therefore, a lot of history to offer its visitors.
For those who are interested in history, religion and culture, there’s always something to do in Jerusalem. In this article, I share my personal favorites when it comes to tourist attractions and things to do in Jerusalem.
Old City of Jerusalem
Jerusalem’s Old City is a must to visit. Here are many of the city’s oldest attractions and holy sites. The Temple Mount is a sacred place in all Abrahamic religions. Previously, the Temple of Solomon was standing at this place, but now it’s the Dome of the Rock and Al-Aqsa Mosque that stands here.
Golden Gate is located in the middle part of the east side, and the Western Wall (Wailing Wall) lies in the southwestern part.
South of the Temple Mount is the City of David (Silwan), which is the oldest district in Jerusalem. In the northwestern area, you will find the Resurrection Church.
This place is an archive and a monument in remembrance of the victims and heroes of the Holocaust. There are thousands of photographs, videos, and testimonies that have been recorded by the survivors.
At Yad Vashem, there are about 62 million documents and a record of all the Jews who became victims during the Holocaust, so if you are interested in learning more about the Holocaust, this is an excellent place to visit.
Western Wall (Wailing wall)
For Jews and Muslims, this is a very sacred place. In Islam it’s called Al-Buraq, and it is of particular importance since it was here that it that Muhammad chained his bewinged horse.
In Judaism, it’s a holy site because the Western Wall is the part closest to the Holiest place. Therefore, the wall has become a place that is particularly suitable for praying.
Here you’ll find the world’s largest collection of archaeological finds from the Holy Land of Jerusalem and other Biblical sites. The museum showcase the legendary “Dead Sea Scrolls”. The collection at Israel Museum is very impressive and for those who want to know more about Jerusalem and Israel’s history, this is an excellent place.
Mount of Olives
In addition to a magical view of the whole city, Mount of Olives is mentioned several times in the Bible. The name comes from the many olive trees, which also makes the Mount of Olives scenic and beautiful.
Mahane Yehuda Market
If you’re interested in trying local food culture of Israel and the Middle East, this is where you should go. Mahane Yehuda is a lively market that has existed since ancient times. At the market, one will find a great selection of fruits and food.
Haram El Sharif
This square is where the Al-Aqsa Mosque and the Dome of the Rock are located. Dome of the Rock is a Muslim shrine, which is considered the third holiest building in Islam. To go to the Haram el-Sharif is a must thing to do in Jerusalem if you’re interested in religion, culture and history.
Resurrection Church is located in the old Christian quarter of Jerusalem, and the church consecrated burial place of Jesus. The church is also known as the Holy Sepulchre and has been a pilgrimage site for Christians since the 300’s. The church’s location is near the hill of Calvary, which was the place where Jesus were crucified.
Eat biblical food at Eucalyptus
Do not miss eating biblical food at the restaurant Eucalyptus. This restaurant serves you food with recipes that are dating back several thousand years. Some of the most popular dishes are the biblical couscous, oriental ceviche, and Iraqi meatballs.
A must thing to do in Jerusalem, at least if you love to try different cuisines.
Address: 14 Hativat Yerushalayim Street, just below the Jaffa gate.
City of David
The City of David is the place where King David himself had as the capital when he was king. To explore the Royal David’s City is both exciting and interesting. A special place that stands out is the place where Jesus is said to have cured a blind man (the second miracle).
There are guided tours if you feel like some more information, but it is just as easy to stroll around on your own. I recommend bringing a flashlight and rubber boots, or at least rugged footwear.
Other things to do in Jerusalem
Tomb of the Virgin Mary
A very sacred place, since it’s said to be the burial site of Virgin Mary.
Church of St. Anne
Go here to the mass and enjoy wonderful acoustics. If you like old churches and biblical sites, it can be interesting. The Church of St. Anne was built back in the mid-1100s and is a classic example of Romanesque architecture.
What is unique about the church, though, is that it has a direct connection to Bethesda, which is said to be the pool where Jesus healed a paralytic.
Church of All Nations
This church sits on a cliff next to the garden of Gethsemane. It was here that Jesus was praying before he was captured. An impressive basilica with many beautiful paintings. In the middle is a large stone slab and according to the story, it was this particular rock where Jesus prayed on the night when Judas betrayed him.
Jewish Quarter (Cardo)
A cozy area with lots of history and old buildings.