9 top things to do in Jerusalem
Welcome to one of the oldest cities in the world; a walled city, with 7 gates and 34 watchtowers. Jerusalem is an important city to the Christians, the Jews, and Muslims because of the significance it has in the three religions. Many people throng Jerusalem every year to witness the place where the things they read in religious books happened. Also known as Yerushalayim in Hebrew and Al-Quds in Arabic, this Holy City has a lot to offer, and because of the significance it has, preservation of the city is very important and is always insisted on, even in the construction of the buildings. Here are some of the things you can experience in this magnificent city.
1. Western Wall
Whenever you look at photographs or videos of Jerusalem, chances are high that you will see one of the Western Wall, and if you know anyone who has been to the city, they will tell you of the incredibly high and popular Western wall. Also known as the Wailing Wall, this popular site is in the middle of the Old City, and is very important for the Jewish community. A lot of people visit the wall to pray, and not just people of the Jewish faith, people write their wishes and place them in the cracks on the wall, for God to answer them. King Herold renovated the second temple in 1st century BC, and this is part of the remnants of that construction. There are many points on the wall where one can enjoy.
2. Israel Museum
Jerusalem has been in existence for thousands of years, it is a popular city among not only the Christians and the Jews, but all people around the world know it as a religious and cultural city. In a city like this, there is always a museum, because of the long and rich history attached to it, and Jerusalem has Israel Museum which is also one of the world’s leading art and archeological museums. There are many antiques and art collection, a collection of over 500, 000 pieces all held in a 20-acre space! Many people, however, go to the museum just to see the Dead Sea Scrolls which are texts written between 150 BC and 70 BC.
3. Visit the Mount of Olives
Zachariah and Absalom from the Bible were both buried in the Mount of Olives and have been a burial site since time immemorial. People pay a pretty penny to be buried there. The view from the Mount of Olives is spectacular. The mount of Olives also has very many interesting, and significant things, like the Dome of Ascension, which is believed to be the place that has footprints left by Jesus just before he ascended to heaven, and the Garden of Gethsemane, where Jesus prayed before he was killed.
4. The Dead Sea
The Dead Sea is very popular in the Bible, it is also the lowest point on the surface of the earth, on 413 meters below sea level. It is located in the Southwestern part of Jerusalem and if you are visiting Jerusalem, you should find the time to visit the lake. It is located on the Israel-Jordan border, and is very colorful, and also extremely salty, that there is no marine life there, so no fishing, but you can swim and people say that because of the salt in the water and mud, it is very good for your skin! I guess you will have to visit to prove the theory! It is very beautiful.
5. Via Dolorosa
Via Doloroso means ‘Way of Sorrows’, and many people will remember it from the life of Jesus Christ as the path He took on his way to the cross, from Pontius Pilate’s sentencing Him in Gethsemane. You will however not see olive trees, this is a street with many people and of course buildings, but you get t experience something that happened over 2,000 years ago! Apart from the street, there are many sites that one can enjoy and learn from, all from the sentencing and the death of Jesus Christ.
6. Garden Tomb
Anyone who knows the story of Jesus Christ knows about His death, and if you are visiting Jerusalem, you will learn a lot about the life and death of Jesus. One of the most interesting places you will visit, and one of the most popular tourist destinations in Jerusalem is the Garden Tomb, which is where Jesus was buried after His death, and where He resurrected. Many people consider it to be very spiritual and it is very green, and serene, and a lot can be seen there like the sepulcher of Joseph of Arimathea. The place is located just a few minutes’ walk from the Garden of Gethsemane. For a more detailed visit, one can book a guided tour or you could just go there from Monday through to Saturday and enjoy it.
7. Do some shopping and eat some great food
Food is an important aspect of culture. Jerusalem has a lot of food to savor, and you definitely need to check out the shawarma- which is meat cooked in a pit, and wrapper in flatbread, and the spices are also there in plenty, so if you are staying in a place where you can cook, you should get the spices and also, some to take home! You will also find many vendors sending falafel, all of these which you can find at Mohan Yehuda, which is a very popular market for buying souvenirs and foodstuff!
8. Church of the Holy Sepulchre
This church is one of the most popular spots in Jerusalem. Many consider it to be the world’s holiest church, as it stands in what is believed to have been Jesus’s tomb. The Crusaders built the current church in 12th AD. It has been destroyed twice, the first time by the Persians in 614 AD, and the second one, in 1009 AD, by the Egyptians. after the first one was built in 326 AD. That one was destroyed by the Byzantine on the command of Emperor Constantine. This church attracts so many people, so definitely expect some crowds, but once there, you will be taken by surprise, by the beauty of the church!
9. City of David and Hezekiah’s Tunnel
Fancy a hike in a 3,000-year trail? Well, you are in the right place. 3, 000 years ago, King David founded the City of David, and the tunnel is part of the First and Second Temples, which is one of the most popular attractions on this visit. The tunnel was built to keep the people of Jerusalem safe from the siege by the Assyrians in 701 BCE, and leads from Gihon to where the Siloam Pool was! It will take you between twenty to forty minutes to walk the tunnel, and you might encounter some water, depending on the route you will take.