A pilgrimage site for thousands of years, the city of Jerusalem attracts travelers not only for its religious melting pot (it has sacred sites for the world’s great monotheistic beliefs), but also for its incredible history, resilience, and enigmatic mix of cultures.
If you are planning a trip to this destination, get ready for an authentic mystical experience full of smells, tastes and endless knowledge. But since there are classics that are not forgotten, we share 10 of the most popular activities in this city of Israel.
- Get to know the Wailing Wall
Remnant of the Temple of Jerusalem and the holiest site for Judaism, the so-called “Wailing Wall” is one of the most visited places in the Old City of Jerusalem by practitioners and tourists.
One of the most common traditions in this section of the Western Wall is to place a prayer, prayer or wish on paper between its stones.
Seeing the start of Shabbat at the Wailing Wall is an incredible experience, dozens of Jews, from different factions congregate on this site, you can see many praying, singing and dancing.
If you decide to visit the Western Wall it is important to be respectful and not to hinder the traditions. It is important that they dress modestly, that is, do not wear shorts, miniskirts, or a blouse or sleeveless shirt.
- Go through the stations of the cross
The route that Jesus of Nazareth would have taken before being crucified is marked in the streets of the Old City and reaches the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. The Via Dolorosa has fifteen stations, of which the last five are inside the Christian temple of the Holy Sepulchre.
The traditional itinerary begins just inside the Gate of the Lions (St. Stephen’s Gate), near the site of the old Fortress Antonia, heading west through the old city towards the Church of the Holy Sepulchre.
The signs can be found in three languages: English, Hebrew and Arabic.
- Visit the Church of the Holy Sepulcher
One of the most important sites for Christianity worldwide is the Church of the Holy Sepulcher in the Old City of Jerusalem. The first construction in this place was consecrated in the year 335 on the site where the burial of Jesus of Nazareth would have been.
Although there are other possible locations of the tomb, this is the one that has the most followers within the religion. In fact, it is currently in the custody of various Christian communities, including the Catholic Church, the Armenian Apostolic Church and the Orthodox Church. The tomb is protected by an aedicule and is the most desired and visited site by pilgrims.
If you want more information, in this post we share 3 unmissable sites in this church.
- Admire the Dome of the Rock
Located on the Esplanade of the Mosques of Jerusalem, one of the holiest places for Muslims along with Mecca and Medina, the Dome of the Rock is one of the most representative monuments of the city.
The Foundation Stone on which the temple is built has great significance for the Abrahamic religions (Judaism, Christianity and Islam) and would have been where God created the world and the place where Abraham was about to sacrifice his son Isaac.
Due to political and religious tensions in the area, access to people has certain hours and rules to follow. To enter the esplanade, it is necessary to carry your passport. Non-Muslim access is located off Western Wall Plaza.
From April to September, the hours to enter the Esplanade of the Mosques are from Sunday to Thursday: from 8:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. and from 1:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. From October to March, admission is from Sunday to Thursday: from 07:30 to 10:30 and from 12:30 to 13:30. Friday and Saturday: closed.
* It is free to visit the Dome of the Rock (although non-Muslims are prohibited from entering), however seeing it from the outside is impressive.
- Walk through the four neighborhoods of the Old City
The Old City of Jerusalem is made up of four quarters: Jewish, Armenian, Christian and Arab. Each one has a marked personality and different tourist attractions to visit. Walk its streets with the greatest possible respect for the locals.
- Have incredible views from the Mount of Olives
In addition to its religious importance, on the Mount of Olives you can visit sites such as the Sepulcher of Mary, the Church of Mary of the Magdalene, famous for its golden towers, the Basilica of Gethsemane and the impressive Jewish cemetery.
Although it is necessary to research the entrance hours of each of these places (some are constantly changing and are not open every day), watching the sunset on the Mount of Olives is a unique experience. The sun hiding behind the old city of Jerusalem is an excellent reason to visit it at this time.
- Learn about the country at the Israel Museum
This amazing museum has archaeological collections in the area, art and important documents such as the Dead Sea Scrolls, protected in the Book Sanctuary.
It is worth spending several hours to understand the formation of the country and the history in the area.
Hours: Sunday, Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday: from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Tuesday: from 4:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.
Friday: from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.
Price: Adults: 54 shekels, students and pensioners 39 shekels and children from 5 to 17 years old 27 shekels
- Holocaust Museum
The Holocaust Museum or Yad Vashem is one of those places that invite reflection and was erected in 1953 in memory of the more than six million Jews murdered during World War II.
Its delicate character is a memory of one of the darkest episodes in history, making it an overwhelming visit with an important message.
Hours: From Sunday to Thursday: from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Friday and Saturday: from 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.
- Tour the Mahane Yehuda Market
This Jerusalem market is visited by locals and tourists alike and is an attraction for the hundreds of groceries, souvenirs and everyday items that can be purchased here. Do not miss the opportunity to visit it.
- Enjoy its cuisine and mix of cultures
Israel is a mixture of cultures and Jerusalem is a city with multiple languages and ways of praying, visiting it is the only way to understand its complex history.
This diversity makes it a melting pot of flavors and ways of seeing life, an attack on the senses!
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