Best things to do in Jerusalem
Updated: Dec 19, 2021
The Old City, West Jerusalem, and East Jerusalem are the three parts of Jerusalem. The Old City is encased in stone. The grounds include seven entrances. The Western Wall, the Dome of the Rock, and the Church of the Holy Sepulchre are all within these confines. Jerusalem's thriving yet laid-back metropolis is found outside the Old City. West Jerusalem's Jaffa Road and Ben-Yehuda Street are humming with activity.
There are many shops, restaurants, and pubs here. East Jerusalem is the Arab community's hub. While not as modern as West Jerusalem, the East has vibrant markets, especially around Damascus and Herod's Gates. Following are some of the best things to do in Jerusalem.
Western Wall and Jewish Quarter
The Western Wall is the only intact First Temple retaining wall. The Wailing Wall is the holiest shrine in Judaism and has been a pilgrimage center for the Jewish people since the Ottoman dynasty.This section of the Old City extends from the Zion Gate to the Western Wall Plaza. This section of the Old City was destroyed in 1948 and restored considerably in 1967.
The Jerusalem Archaeological Park, at the southern end of the Western Wall Plaza, is a must-see for history buffs. Not to be missed are the Western Wall Tunnels, which transport you back to the old city level. The district's main street, Jewish Quarter Street (Rehov HaYehudim), has a cluster of important synagogues to visit.
Mount of Olives
The Mount of Olives is located outside of Jerusalem's old city. This rocky outcrop overlooks the old city, providing visitors with an amazing perspective of Jerusalem. Additionally, the Mount of Olives has religious significance being the site of a sizable Jewish cemetery. Numerous Jews choose to be buried here because they believe that when the Messiah returns, the Jews here will be the first to be resurrected at the end of the world.
Temple Mount and Dome of the Rock
The Temple Mount is a holy location for Jews, Muslims, and Christians. The Romans demolished the Jewish second Temple that was erected here. In 705 AD, the Al Aqsa Mosque was established here as Islam expanded. The golden Dome of the Rock was built in 692 AD where Mohammed ascended into heaven. Temple Mount visits are limited, and lineups might be long, but it is worth the wait to see this sacred location.
Church of the Holy Sepulchre
The Church of the Holy Sepulchre is claimed to be erected on the location where Jesus was crucified. Saint Helena, Constantine's mother, chose the site for the chapel during her Holy Land pilgrimage. She was the one who told the Byzantines that this was the biblical Calvary (or Golgotha). As a result, the majestic church you see today dates from the 11th century. The church inside is opulently gorgeous and regularly crowded with pilgrims from throughout the world.
The Via Dolorosa pilgrimage ends here, and the last five Stations of the Cross are inside the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. The church's interior holds sacred treasures, and several Christian denominations own the quarters.