Without deciding in advance what to see in Jerusalem, you risk missing out on the main architectural, historical and entertainment attractions of the great city. Read our review “Jerusalem’s Highlights” and you’ll be safe from that danger.
Excursions in Jerusalem are indeed numerous and varied. Your journey through the holy land should certainly include a visit to such significant places as:
Let’s start our ranking with Israel’s most famous landmark. The sacred temple was erected on the site of Christ’s crucifixion and resurrection. Inside are many of the greatest Christian shrines: the Holy Sepulchre, the Anointing Stone, Calvary, etc. The magnificent complex is also the headquarters of the Jerusalem Orthodox Church.
Official website: http://churchoftheholysepulchre.
Part of the ancient wall of the Temple complex, rebuilt many centuries ago by Herod. Another major shrine of the country, it welcomes hundreds of thousands of pilgrims and travelers from all over the world every year. Among those who leave a note of desire and offer their prayers are celebrities, important officials, and even heads of state. Your trip would be incomplete if you were to turn down a visit to this Jerusalem landmark. But be prepared for a huge number of other travelers.
Official website: https://ru.thekotel.org/
An illuminated underground corridor rich in attractions of its own. There’s the 517-ton Western Stone, the ruins of an ancient water supply network (pools and canal), and the cavernous Warren Arch synagogue. If you do not know what to see in Jerusalem will be interesting to both adults and children, book a tour here. Along the entire length of the tunnel are Roman streets, arranged in the second to fourth centuries. Traces of ritual mikvahs can be found in the limestone walls.
Official website: https://english.thekotel.
What is free to visit in Jerusalem? The grounds of the complex, created in memory of those who died in the Holocaust. The 18 hectares of area are divided into several zones with different themes. The exhibitions include, among other things, rare works of art created by concentration camp prisoners. In addition to the museum, the complex includes a library and archive, a school of disaster studies and disaster research institute, an Alley and Garden of the Righteous, and the Valley of the Commons. A leisurely tour of this vast complex is one of the best options for what to see in Jerusalem in 1 day.
Official website: http://www.yadvashem
It was on this street that Christ, led for crucifixion, fell the second time (the ruins of the column are on this spot). It is also where the beautiful Franciscan chapel is located. The main purpose of the street is to strengthen faith, to remind us of the great way of Jesus, who atoned for people’s sins.
Many are convinced that the real tomb of Jesus is the Garden Tomb. This ancient Jewish burial cave is located north of the city walls. Few places of interest in Jerusalem can give visitors such peace and tranquility: they come here for reflection and prayer.
Official website: https://gardentomb.com/
Flat stones and dry earth are all in this ancient cemetery of 150,000 graves (the first appeared in the 1st century B.C.). Many legends are associated with this sacred place: the resurrection of Christ, the road from Jericho, the apostles, and the raising of Lazarus.
Official website: https://mountofolives.co.il/en/
The shrine contains the thrones of St. Nicholas and St. Stephen the First Martyr, the tombs of the Blessed Mary, her husband Joseph and her parents. In addition, there is an ancient icon painted by the Apostle Luke himself. Arriving here, every tourist can pray for health and happiness for themselves and their loved ones.
Official website: http://palomnic.org/xm/hram/gefs/
A Catholic church that was the birthplace of the Virgin Mary. The crypt of the basilica contains ancient halls that believers associate with the Nativity of the Virgin Mary.
Official website: http://www.seetheholyland
One of the main Islamic shrines and an outstanding example of architecture. It is the home of the Museum of Islamic Art and is home to the Paradise Stone and the Foundation Stone. The interior halls of the mosque are decorated with marble, ceramic tiles, and mosaic ornaments. Along the walls of the Dome stretch two-story galleries with colorful stained glass windows. Even the most luxurious hotels in Jerusalem cannot compare in their splendor with this mosque.
Official website: https://www.touristisrael.com
A modern complex with seven gates make up 7 huge galleries. At the top of the temple you can see the dome lined with mosaics and covered with lead plates. The interior is decorated with numerous stone and marble columns connected by arches. The walls of the building are decorated with beautiful mosaics in the upper part and white marble in the lower half. Tourist reviews say that a visit to this sacred landmark is a must.
Official website: http://www.portalostranah.ru
In front of the altar of the temple is a stone, the great shrine on which Jesus said a prayer in the hour of his arrest. The building is in the classical style, with a facade decorated with mosaics, powerful column groups, and a semicircular dome.
Official website: http://www.seetheholyland
At the summit of Mount Zion stands the Benedictine abbey built in the early 20th century. We recommend a visit to it to anyone with a passion for architecture - the building is in Byzantine and Arab style. One of the main attractions of the temple is the sculpture of the Virgin Mary on a pedestal. On the canopy that covers the Virgin Mary, you can see Christ calling her to himself. On the monastery’s sacred bedside are 6 large-scale altars donated to the complex by the States, Venezuela, Brazil and three other countries.
Official website: http://dormitio.net/english
The sacred landmark also rises on Mount Zion, and is famous for being the place where the meal of Jesus and his disciples took place. The Upper Room is an ordinary room in the building, yet believers consider it the first temple of the Christians. At one time the building was rebuilt into a church, which is now decorated with domes and marble columns. It has managed to preserve some of the decorative elements of the old days. On the lower floor is the tomb with the remains of King David.
A temple complex with a 19th century Carmelite monastery built in the 19th and 20th centuries. It was built on the section of the Mount of Olives where Jesus read the Lord’s Prayer to the apostles. Although not much remains of the 4th century building, the partially restored walls give an idea of the former dimensions of the basilica. The complex includes several living quarters, the tomb of Princess de Latour d’Auvergne (the founder), a convent church and a couloir. The walls are covered with decorated slabs on which are inscribed the words of the Lord’s Prayer in more than a hundred languages.
Official website: http://www.sacred-destinations.com
The 19th-century structure still serves as an Orthodox Russian abode for women. The stone house houses the Hodegetria iconography and the remains of Saints Elizabeth and Barbara.
Official website: http://www.russgefsimania.com
A Neo-Byzantine-style Catholic church building built on the site where the Apostle Peter mourned his crime (according to legend). The gate is lined with wrought iron bas-reliefs. The courtyard is decorated with sculptures depicting the story of Peter’s abdication and other participants in the event. The most significant element of the interior decoration is considered to be the ceiling with large windows-crosses of different colors. In front of the temple are caves and a chapel.
Official website: https://www.assomption.org/en
The structure was erected by King Herod to protect his possessions. The Citadel was destroyed in the 13th century but was later rebuilt by the Turks and Mamelukes. They gave it the name of Tower of David. There is now a museum whose exhibits tell the story of Jerusalem.
Official website: https://www.tod.org.il/en
The gate is recognized as one of the most beautiful gates in the world. It was built on the orders of Sultan Suleiman, and is located on the northeast side of the city, giving access to the Muslim Quarter. Not long ago steps were added to the structure leading to the towers with hinged loopholes and the Damascus Gate between them.
If you are lucky enough to visit the building during parliament’s meeting hour, you can view the meeting from a special room - through sound-permeable glass. To view the interior of the building, you must present your identity card.
Official website: https://knesset.gov.il/
We have told you about the main attractions of Jerusalem in brief. But our recommendations don’t stop there:
The city’s walking alley, located from the modern part of Jerusalem. It is covered with souvenir shops, cafes and restaurants. Local cosmetics boutiques offer products with Black Sea minerals. For the entertainment of tourists are street singers. In the evening young people gather on Ben Yehuda.
If you want to experience the true spirit of Israel, go to this famous bazaar. In addition to tasting the dishes of the national Middle Eastern cuisine, you will be offered dishes from many other cuisines of the world. Be sure to buy spices and fragrant olive oil, Turkish sweets, pita bread, hummus and the juice of the locally grown oranges and grapefruits.
Official website: https://en.machne.co.il/
The date of construction of the attraction is 1940. The vast 25-hectare area is home to those animals you can learn about from holy scripture. Keeping endangered species alive, the Biblical Zoo is famous all over the world. Today there are about 250 species of animals.
The area is divided into two levels, a lower level and an upper level. There are special carriages for a fun ride through the sections. Information about the zoo’s pets is listed in three languages, including English.
Official website: http://www.jerusalemzoo
The museum’s exhibits tell of the culture and life of those states and nationalities spoken of in the multi-volume Tanakh (holy writings for Jews). The objects are artifacts from various countries of the Middle East - Mesopotamia, Persia, Rome, etc.
Official site: http://www.blmj.org/template/
An entire complex of buildings opened over 50 years ago. There are over half a million interesting objects of history (many of them can be viewed outdoors) on an area of 80,000 square meters. A huge area is set aside for objects of fine art. There are such wonderful works as paintings by Chagall, Picasso and other famous artists.
Official website: https://web.archive.
Experienced guides in Jerusalem recommend that vacationers visit this center with the whole family: any prototypes and interactive elements presented can be touched and used for experiments. The museum consists of different rooms, each devoted to a different area of science. In the conference room, there are movie screenings that allow you to broaden your horizons many times over.
Official website: https://www.mada.org.il/en
The building’s nine rooms tell the story of how the culture of Islam was born and flourished. The themes of the exhibits are crafts, writing, worldview, religion, architecture, and fine art. There is a permanent exhibition featuring antique clocks from various European countries.
Official website: http://www.islamicart.co.il/english/
The objects in the museum date from very different times. Some are about two million years old, others were created in 1700 B.C. Among the most famous exhibits are the lintels of marble from the temple of the Holy Sepulchre and panels of wood from the Al-Aqsa temple.
In the 10th century B.C., stone was quarried here to create the First Church. The former Quarry is riddled with numerous corridors, halls and passages. The area of 9000 square meters was at one time a home for sectarians and freemasons alike. Nowadays there are fascinating guided tours.
Christ’s place of prayer in the hour of arrest. Within the garden are the grotto of Gethsemane, the shrine of St. Magdalene, the tomb of the Virgin Mary, and the church of all nations. Once here, you will see all the best sights of Jerusalem.
Official website: http://www.gethsemane-en
Those sights of Jerusalem, photos with names and descriptions of which you have just seen, deserve the attention of every visitor of the ancient city. Tel Aviv is another city in Israel, which is worth a visit. Read about Tel Aviv attractions and be inspired for further travels in Israel.