Jerusalem is one of the world’s truly great cities. For thousands of years, people have been visiting this meeting point of civilisations and religions, and it remains one of the most fascinating travel destinations into the 21st century. It is safe to say that human history is tied to Jerusalem like no other place on Earth, so take the time to discover and explore as much of the city as possible during your holiday in Jerusalem.
Jerusalem’s Three-Thousand Years of HistoryThe starting point for many on holiday in Jerusalem is the Old City, surrounded by walls and accessed by gates – the Jaffa Gate, the Damascus Gate – that have become famous landmarks in their own right. From the Jaffa Gate, you can climb up on the ancient walls for the fascinating views from the Ramparts Walk, before heading back down to explore the sights, sounds and smells and the city below. The Old City is divided into four quarters – Muslim, Jewish, Christian and Armenian – and they are all worth exploring in their own right.
The Old City of Jerusalem is where you will find many of the buildings of historical and religious significance. After all, Jerusalem is a holy city for Jews, Christians and Muslims alike. The Temple Mount is the third holiest place in Islam, with its Dome of the Rock and Al-Aqsa Mosque, while the holiest place Jews may pray is the Western Wall. For Christians of all dominations, one of the most important places of pilgrimage is the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, built on the spot where Christ was crucified.
Culture in JerusalemDuring your Jerusalem getaway, make time to visit the many excellent museums in Jerusalem. In the Old City, the Tower of David Museum of the History of Jerusalem tells the story of the city, while in West Jerusalem, the Israel Museum and the Bible Lands Museum are both close to the Botanical Gardens and the Knesset, Israel’s Parliament. In East Jerusalem, head to the Rockefeller Museum to see room after room of fascinating archaeological artefacts.
One place that should be on every visitor’s itinerary is Yad Vashem, Israel’s Holocaust Museum and Memorial to the six million Jews murdered by the Nazis in Europe. Beyond the history museum, there is also a children’s exhibition, a garden of remembrance and the sombre Hall of Names, dedicated to the victims known and unknown.
Food and Drink in JerusalemFor more relaxed parts of your holiday, Jerusalem has plenty going for it in the evening and after dark. Jerusalem city centre is where you’ll find much of the shopping and entertainment in the city. The Nahalat Shiva neighbourhood in particular is well-known for its upscale boutiques and high-end restaurants. The area around the Mahane Yehuda Market is packed with excellent bars and restaurants, and Talpiot in the south is home to many of Jerusalem’s best clubs. Increasingly, holiday makers head for East Jerusalem to sample regional cuisine and the famous Jerusalem hospitality.