Jerusalem is an amazing city to visit, but a visit here doesn’t have to be expensive. This article includes some of the best free things to do in Jerusalem, and with magnificent history and culture almost everywhere you look, it’s a big list…
Free in the Old City
View across to the Old City of Jerusalem from the Mount of Olives. Image: Clare Nicole Smith
- Real history has no price, and Jerusalem’s main attraction is free to enter and explore. Take a stroll through each of the quarters of the Old City of Jerusalem – Jewish, Muslim, Christian, and Armenian
- Visit the Western Wall, pray, and of course, place your prayer in a crack in the wall
- Head up to the Temple Mount and explore the Dome of the Rock
- Head out of the Old City on the eastern side, walk down into the Valley of Kidron and back up onto the Mount of Olives. Take in the magnificent view and visit the churches that adorn the mountain.
- Bonus: If you are interested in a guided tour of the Mount of Olives and the Dome of the Rock, check out this Jerusalem Mount of Olives and Temple Mount Tour.
- Explore the Church of the Sepulchre
- Walk through the shuk in the Muslim quarter and take in the smells, sights, and sounds of this bustling marketplace
- Join the daily FREE Jerusalem Tour run by Sandemans of the Old City
Free in the New City
The Museum at Yad Vashem is free and should not be missed. Image Switch_1010 via Flickr
- Visit Yad Vashem. This impressive, fascinating, and deeply emotive museum is free to enter.
- Walk in the Machane Yehuda Market – the bustling marketplace at the heart of the New City. The ‘shuk’ is an amazing place to stroll, and many vendors give free samples to passers by to draw them in
- Explore the Botanical Gardens of the Hebrew University and stroll through the lush Givat Ram campus
- Every Friday you can visit the Bezalel Arts Fair in the center of town and maybe even pick up a bargain to take home
- Travel south to the Haas Promenade and soak in the amazing view of the Old City and modern city of Jerusalem
- Head to the Cinematheque and walk along the Old Railway Line through the German Colony and Baka neighborhoods. Walk back to the center through the pretty streets of the German Colony and examine the magnificent houses built by Templars over a century ago
- Explore the fascinating neighborhood of Yemin Moshe with its iconic windmill and pretty stone houses
- Walk through Nachlaot, one of the most interesting Jerusalem neighborhoods on a Saturday morning and enjoy the tuneful music coming from the many synagogues of the area
- Head to Mea Shearim, one of the most religious neighborhoods of Jerusalem where almost all of the residents are ultra-Orthodox Jews. Walk the streets and take in the contrast to modern-day Jerusalem.
- Walk through the Mamilla Mall, a new addition to the city. An upscale shopping precinct, window shop, people watch, and maybe splash out with a coffe overlooking the walls of the Old City
Head not far from the center of town and there are many adventures awaiting you:
- Visit Ein Kerem, a pretty village just minutes from downtown Jerusalem – stroll the pretty streets, enjoy the peace, and visit the famous churches of the village
- Head to Sataf, a beautiful nature reserve in the hills outside Jerusalem and hike along the beautiful trails which pass along terraces made thousands of years ago by farmers.
- Go east into the Judean Desert and hike alongside the stream at beautiful Wadi Qelt
Free events in Jerusalem
There are many free events in Jerusalem throughout the year including many one-off shows and concerts. There are some recurring festivals each year including: