Jerusalem

  • An inevitable place of pilgrimage for Jews, Catholics, and Muslims, Jerusalem is the most visited cities on the itinerary when visting Israel. Historical monuments and religious sites are the main draws of the city. This city, perched on the summits of Judea, is home to a large number of buildings and sites linked to the country's history. Israel's cultural heritage is extremely rich: the mosques, ...
    © Rudolf Tepfenhart / age fotostock
    Jerusalem

    An inevitable place of pilgrimage for Jews, Catholics, and Muslims, Jerusalem is the most visited cities on the itinerary when visting Israel. Historical monuments and religious sites are the main draws of the city. This city, perched on the summits of Judea, is home to a large number of buildings and sites linked to the country's history. Israel's cultural heritage is extremely rich: the mosques, ...

Amy Adejokun
Amy Adejokun Expert destination Israel

An inevitable place of pilgrimage for Jews, Catholics, and Muslims, Jerusalem is the most visited cities on the itinerary when visting Israel. Historical monuments and religious sites are the main draws of the city. This city, perched on the summits of Judea, is home to a large number of buildings and sites linked to the country's history. Israel's cultural heritage is extremely rich: the mosques, the Dome of the Rock, the old town and its eight gates, etc. The City of David cannot be outdone when it comes to history. Although the city's economy was for many years dependant on religion, today it relies on the tourist sector, welcoming 3 million visitors per year, 80% of which are holidaymakers from abroad.
This really is a modern and vibrant city, thanks especially to its pedestrianised city centre and its major streets like Ben Yehudah and Nahalat Shiva. Jerusalem is one of the wealthiest capitals when it comes to historical, cultural, and religious heritage.
Unfortunately, the city cannot seem to rid itself of its conflicts, making visiting certain sites difficult. Problems between citizens and law enforcers in public areas are fairly frequent, creating a climate of insecurity which makes for a reduced civilian presence in the capital. The city remains relatively safe for tourists though, despite the tense situation between the Palestinians and Israelis.

Jerusalem: what to do?

The souks
In every little street you will find local products such as clothing, souvenirs, and spice stalls. So don't hesitate to take a stroll along them to discover the typical products on offer. Plus, each one is selling something different!

An excursion to Mount Tabor
588 metres high and semi-circular in shape... Mount Tabor, isolated in the middle of the countryside, towers over the surrounding area. Mount Tabor was often referred to in religious texts, which has encouraged tourists to explore the area.

The Church of the Holy Sepulchre
For Christians, this church represents the site of the crucifixion, called Golgotha, and the tomb of Jesus. Three Churches of the Holy Sepulchre have been reproduced: one in the United States, one in France, and another in Germany.
The Wailing (Western) Wall
A sacred wall for Israelis, the last remains of the city's temple, the Wailing Wall is one of the most important sites in the country. Many ceremonies are held here, including notably bar mitzvahs.
Al-Aqsa Mosque
Al-Aqsa Mosque, located near the temple of Solomon, is currently the largest mosque in Jerusalem.

  • The historical heritage.
  • The Eastern cuisine.
  • The tensions between the Palestinians and the Israelis.

Jerusalem: what to visit?

Reminders

Although non-Muslims may not enter the Omar and Al Aqsa mosques, it is well worth visiting the site as it is one of the most beautiful landmarks in the city.

To avoid

Like in all large cities, there are many pick pockets, so be careful with your belongings and hide any valuables from view especially when travelling on public transport or walking around in crowded areas.

Jerusalem: what to eat?

As for the cuisine, the style is Eastern. Pita bread, olive oil and vegetables are the main products, but Eastern cuisine is very diverse. There will be something for everyone among the spicy flavours of the East.
Hummus
Hummus is a dish whose main ingredients are mashed chickpeas and tahini, a puree of sesame seeds. The two purees are mixed together with olive oil, lemon juice, and crushed garlic until you are left with a thick and smooth paste.
Falafel
Fried little balls of chick peas or beans, they are very often served with tahini, a yoghurt sauce in Israel. Generally, Israelis eat them rolled in a pita and accompanied with hummus.

Jerusalem: what to buy?

To the delight of tourists, you will often find little stalls in Jerusalem selling objects like embroidered place mats, brooches and candlesticks. Small and light, you can easily fit them in your suitcase. These are an excellent souvenir from your trip, and at a good price!

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