With so much to see, working out what to do in Jerusalem should not be a problem! One of the most incredible cities on Earth, Jerusalem is full of great things to do from the historical and archaeological sites which are everywhere, to the religion and spiritual, the modern culture, and the museums. Jerusalem is a city like no other, and choosing what to do in Jerusalem is important for you to make sure that you have as amazing an experience as possible whilst visiting.
Jerusalem view by Flickr user Or Hiltch
The Old City of Jerusalem represents the historic and religious entities which make this city so special. Serene, surreal and intense are all words which jump to mind when describing this one-square-kilometer walled area, holy to Jews, Muslims, and Christians – perhaps the capital of world religion. It includes, the Western Wall, holy to Jews, the Dome of the Rock, holy to Muslims, and the Church of the Sepulchre, holy to Christians. Just strolling the streets of the Old City enchant a kind of magic that cannot be described. The wonderful contrast between Ultra-Orthodox Jews rushing to worship, Christian Priests strolling the alleyways, Arab men in the shuk (market) and Arab and Jewish kids playing in the streets against the fascinated tourists from around the world is amazing. Visiting the Old City is one of the best things to do in Jerusalem, somewhere that you have to visit, whether it is a short visit for a few hours, or a visit that extends over a number of days.
Yad Vashem, situated on beautiful Mount Herzl, is Israel’s memorial and place of commemoration for the millions who perished in the Holocaust. The incredible museum tells the story of the Holocaust not only in words, but also via its chilling architecture, and moving multimedia displays. Yad Vashem isn’t fun, but it is one of the things to do in Jerusalem which any visitor should do.
The newly renovated and extended Israel Museum houses a huge selection of artistic, archaeological, historical and cultural displays from Israel’s history. These include the world-famous Dead Sea Scrolls. The Israel Museum is a true world-class museum, and its collections are staggering considering Israel is less than 65 years old.
The Jerusalem Biblical Zoo is technically Israel’s most popular visitor attraction with a great selection of animals (including a Biblical theme this being Jerusalem) as well as some more common-day favorites. Its great for kids, and adults alike!
The Jerusalem Botanical Gardens are a 30-acre oasis of beautiful gardens housing about 10,000 species arranged according to geography, with sections for plants native to the Mediterranean region, Central and Southwest Asia, Australia, North America, Europe and Southern Africa. It also has a large collection of bonsai trees, a tropical conservatory and an herb and medicinal plant garden.
Jerusalem has an active and diverse cultural scene with festivals taking place throughout the year as well as performances from local and international orchestras, dance troupes, bands, singers, and musicians. Be sure to check out what’s on when you’re in town because there’s bound to be something perfect.
A very good way to explore Jerusalem is with a Jerusalem tour. If you only have one day, check out our Best of Jerusalem Day Tour to see all the city has to offer. If you have more time, there are other options for all tastes, interests, and ages. There are private and group tour options running across Jerusalem every day, and if you are visiting, you should strongly consider joining a tour.
Hopefully this article has done something to answer the question of what to do in Jerusalem. Please, look around this site to discover more things to do in Jerusalem and across Israel.