The Western Wall is a holy site for the Jewish people, a place for prayer and religious & national gatherings. The Western wall is one of four huge supporting walls built during the 1st century BCE, when Herod renovated the Second Temple. Herod created a huge courtyard on the Temple Mount, with the temple at its center.
The Old City of Jerusalem has been a center of culture, religion and history for thousands of years, from the time of the Judean kings and the Roman era through the Islamic Empire to the modern State of Israel. Every brick and stone is teeming with history. No trip to the Middle East is complete without wandering through alleys of the bazaar, walking the ramparts and exploring the Old City’s rich history at the Western Wall, Church of the Holy Sepulchre, Temple Mount (Al-Aqsa) or Tower of David Museum. temple at its center.
The Tower of David and the Old Citadel are undoubtedly one of the most prominent symbols of Jerusalem. The Tower of David Museum and its impressive archaeological artifacts reveal the story of the city throughout three thousand years of history, from the days of the biblical kings of Judah to the present day. The mysterious and impressive Kishla structure that stands alongside the fortress gives visitors a glimpse into specific chapters in the history of the city, such as the stories of Hezekiah’s Wall, Herod’s Palace, the Ottoman walls and the British detention center. The ancient and beautifully restored Citadel stands at the main gate and entrance to the Old City; Jaffa Gate, which still carries a profound symbolic significance, as the meeting point and the transition between ancient Jerusalem and modern-day Jerusalem. Credit Image: Gelle Vanderwwlf
Downtown Jerusalem is the heart of the modern metropolis, bursting with nightlife, dining and culture to rival any major city. The area is made up of several neighborhoods, including the colorful Mahane Yehuda Market, charming Nahalat Shiva and bustling Ben Yehuda and Yafo Streets. Each has its own unique personality and atmosphere that you won’t want to miss out on. What to Pack: Men – Pants/Long Sleeve Shirts; Women: Skirt (can be wrap around) and long-sleeve shirt or cover.
Mishkanot Sha’ananim neighborhood is the first Jewish neighborhood that was built outside the walls of the Old City in Jerusalem. Situated at the heart of the neighborhood is Montefiore Windmill – the only active windmill in the Middle East.
The First Station is a hub for cultural entertainment and activities in Jerusalem, with an emphasis on the family-friendly variety. On any given day, you’ll find concerts, art galleries, lectures, performance art and more going on alongside a strong contingent of enjoyable dining options, such as the famous Adom or popular Landwer Cafe and Kitchen Station. Credit Image: baruch gian
Visit the heritage memorial dedicated to the Six-Day War at the Ammunition Hill. This unique center offers numerous adventures and experiences that will give you a glimpse into the historical events that led to the unification of Jerusalem in the Six-Day War.
The Mahane Yehuda Market (aka The Shuk) is the largest market in Jerusalem and one of the most famous in the Middle East. Once a shopping and dining center for the working class, the shuk has transformed into one of Jerusalem’s main cultural centers. Locals and visitors alike flock there for incredible culinary experiences, an unforgettable Thursday nightlife scene, concerts and, of course, shopping. The ancient and beautifully restored Citadel stands at the main gate and entrance to the Old City; Jaffa Gate, which still carries a profound symbolic significance, as the meeting point and the transition between ancient Jerusalem and modern-day Jerusalem.
Founded in 1965, the Israel Museum is the country’s largest cultural institution, comprising several wings and large collections of art, archaeological findings and Judaica. Its recent major facelift only makes the Israel Museum even more of a must-see. The museum reopened in the summer of 2010 after long months of renovations, featuring many new galleries and public spaces as well as a completely revamped design to many of its wings. One of the major highlights of the museum—and one of the city’s more recognizable landmarks—is the distinctly shaped Shrine of the Book, which houses many ancient manuscripts including the Dead Sea Scrolls. Nearby, lending historical context to some of these priceless manuscripts, is a definitive grand model of the Second Temple and surrounding Jerusalem neighborhoods circa 2000 years ago.
Nestled at the foot of the Jerusalem Hills, Ein Karem is the perfect escape from the hustle and bustle of the city. Drive just 15 minutes out of the city center, and you’ll come upon a small village made up of charming alleyways and surrounded by green hills and forest. Ein Karem is probably home to the city’s largest concentration of delicious restaurants with even more incredible views.