Jerusalem is situated on a plateau in the Judaean Mountains between Western Asia's Dead and Mediterranean Sea. This religious and historical epicenter of the world is the largest Middle-Eastern city in Israel. It is one of the oldest cities globally. It is considered holy by three major Abrahamic religions: Islam, Judaism, and Christianity. A sense of spirituality emanates from the narrow streets and alleyways that make up the Old City.
Within the historic walls of the Old City, you can find a bustling metropolis where traditional living and cosmopolitan developments coexist. Restaurants and bars abound in West Jerusalem, but in East Jerusalem, markets are a mainstay. As a pilgrimage spot, Jerusalem has evolved into a well-rounded vacation destination. So your visit to the city will be one you'll never forget, no matter the reason. Here are the top five things you can explore on your port day.
There are seven entry gates to visit the Old City – Jaffa Gate, the New Gate, Lion's Gate, Damascus Gate, Dung Gate, Herod's Gate, and Zion Gate. Each gate marks a significant era of Jerusalem's history. For example, Jaffa Gate opens out onto the Christian Quarter on one side and the Armenian Quarter on the other side. Chances are there that you might spend your entire day exploring these seven gates of Old City. But there are several other attractions to explore in Old City, including Temple Mount and the Church of the Holy Sepulchre.
One of the most important historical sites of the Jewish faith is the Western Wall, Wailing Wall, and the Kotel. It is located in the heart of the Old City. The wall is a remnant of King Herod's renovation of the Second Temple and dates back to the first century B.C. To explore the wall, millions of people come here to pray, write their wishes on a small paper and place them between the cracks in the stone for God to answer. Moreover, there is an underground section where Western Wall Tunnels are there. One can take an hour's tour to explore those tunnels.
Yad Vashem contains the world's most extensive collection of information on the Holocaust. It is located around four miles from the Old City in West Jerusalem's Mount Herzl Neighborhood. It is stretched out on 45 acres of land and offers museums and memorials. This place is an emotional place. It contains the memories of those people who were brutally murdered during the Holocaust. It gives you a chance to visit through the horrific atrocities that the Nazis committed. One can see all the photos of those who died in "the Hall of Names," and it is something one can never forget.
The city of David was founded more than 3,000 years ago by King David. It serves as a significant archeology site and a functioning residential neighborhood within the Old City. Visitors explore what remains of this ancient city, both above ground and below. Before you start your exploration, stop at the visitor's lobby and grab information on the town of David sites and guided tours. The major highlight of thea city is Hezekiah's Tunnel. According to the Bible, this tunnel was ancient Jerusalem's primary source of water. You can walk the entire tunnel, wading through the water during the descent from the Warren Shaft. A torch and comfortable clothing are a must since the trek is well worth it. Make sure that you have water-proof shoes and comfortable clothing. Through this tunnel, a blind man's vision was restored by Christ to the Pool of Siloum, where he had healed the crippled. The experience will be richly educational and historically enriching.
Mount of Olives is located just outside the Old City, overlooking Jerusalem. One can enjoy incredible views of Temple Mount and the glimmering Dome of the Rock from the hillside. The area is a scenic spot; it is also a historical and religious site, with a large Jewish cemetery and several churches, such as the beautiful Russian Orthodox Church of Mary Magdalene. According to the Old Testament, this hill represents God's place to raise the dead on Judgment Day. Christian believers believe that Jesus ascended to heaven hereafter; he was crucified and risen from the dead.
The best time to visit Jerusalem is April through May and October through November. During these months, the weather remains mild, and crowds are thin. A day can be sunny one minute, then gloomy and chilly the next. This is known to happen a lot between December and March. Bring a raincoat with you if you plan to hike the Jerusalem Trail in winter.