The Western Wall, or “Wailing Wall”, is the most religious site in the world for the Jewish people. Located in the Old City of Jerusalem, it is the western support wall of the Temple Mount. Thousands of people journey to the wall every year to visit and recite prayers. These prayers are either spoken or written down and placed in the cracks of the wall. The wall is divided into two sections, one area for males and the other for females. It is one of the major highlights in any tour of the Old City.
About the Western Wall
King Herod built the Western Wall in 20 BCE during an expansion of the Second Temple. When the Romans destroyed the temple in 70 CE, the support wall survived. For hundreds of years, people prayed in the small area of the wall that could be seen. In 1967, following the Six Day War, Israelis dug below the ground of the wall, exposing two more levels. They also cleared the area around the wall to create the Western Wall Plaza that visitors see today.
The site is open to all people and is the location of various ceremonies, such as military inductions and bar mitzvahs. The Western Wall is free and is open all day, year-round. Women and men should be dressed modestly in the Western Wall Plaza. To pray at the wall, women should have their legs and shoulders covered. Men should cover their head.
Explore the Western Wall Tunnels
What visitors see of the Western Wall today is only a small part of what existed during the Second Temple Period. Archeologists have uncovered layers of the wall underground through years of excavation. With a guided tour, visitors can walk through areas of this original, unrestored site that dates back to the first century C.E.
Tours are given in English and Hebrew. During August, tours are also given in French. Visitors will only be allowed to enter with a ticket, which includes a guide. Visitors may also enter the site with a private tour led by a licensed guide.
Sunday – Thursday: 7 am – evening
Fridays and on the Eve of Festivals: 7 am – 12 pm
Adult: NIS 30
Student/Soldier/Security Officer: NIS 15
Child (5-18)/Senior Citizen/Disabled: NIS 15
Tickets must be purchased in advance. It is recommended that you buy them two months before your visit.
Pair an afternoon tour of the Western Wall Tunnels with the morning Half Day Jerusalem Old City Tour. Want more ideas about what to see in that area? Check out these other highlights of the Jewish Quarter.