Winding streets, important religious structures and ancient architecture all help to make Jerusalem’s Old City one of the most interesting destinations in Israel.
The Old City is a compact area in the center of Jerusalem, surrounded by ancient walls and places of religious importance. Divided into four quarters, each area has its own ambiance. Explore each one to build up a picture of the neighbourhood as a whole. Walk around admiring religious monuments, browsing traditional stores and sampling the aromatic street food that the Old City is famed for.
The Jewish Quarter is home to the Western Wall, the holiest Jewish site in the world. Regardless of their own personal beliefs, many visitors write a short prayer on a piece of paper to place in a crack in the wall. Book a guided tour to explore the Western Wall Tunnels below the main plaza.
Located directly to the north is the Muslim Quarter, the largest area of the Old City. Pick up souvenirs at the Shuk, a traditional marketplace where you can barter with vendors. The Dome of the Rock sits on Temple Mount, above the Western Wall. Only Muslims may step inside, but the exterior of the structure can be admired by all.
To the west lies the Christian Quarter, home to over 40 holy sites. Perhaps the most visited of all these is the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, where Jesus is said to have been crucified and buried. Find the Armenian Quarter directly to the south. Here, the atmosphere once again changes dramatically.
The walled city can be entered by one of seven gates, with the Jaffa Gate being the most popular. This is due to its proximity to the Tower of David Museum. Here, you can learn all about the history of this diverse city. Come after dark to enjoy the evening sound and light show, an audio-visual presentation that takes place several times per night.
Explore the Old City of Jerusalem to gain a better understanding of the different religious influences at work in the city. As you wander these historic streets, enjoy unearthing the history of this culturally rich area.