Jerusalem Overview

Jerusalem Overview

autor iconBy Loren Minsky , February 8, 2024

The City of Jerusalem is truly one-of-a-kind in its vast importance to such a great number of people around the world. In fact, Jerusalem's centrality to the three major monotheistic religions – Judaism, Christianity and Islam – makes it a draw for as much as half the world's population. There is simply no comparison with any other city, anywhere, for only Jerusalem can claim such a rich spiritual and historical magnetism for so many. It's no wonder that millions come yearly for Jerusalem tours, for all kinds of reasons. And yet, perhaps surprisingly, Jerusalem is also just such a solidly fun city, whose spirit and history provide a backdrop for a vacation getaway with an ambiance you cannot achieve elsewhere. Simply put, there are tons of things to do in Jerusalem, all while experiencing the unique essence of the city.

Old City

Talk about rich depth and intricacy in a tiny area. Jerusalem's ancient Old City, around 3,000 years old, is the original Jerusalem, built under King David's initiative. The Holy City was home to the two Jewish Temples, Jesus and his disciples meeting places, and Mohammed's ascension to heaven.

Four quarters

The Old City's four quarters (Jewish, Christian, Muslim and Armenian) are cornerstones of any Jerusalem tour: Walk the quarters' narrow alleyways, and you'll be stepping on and seeping in centuries-old streets, synagogues, churches and mosques, and enlightening yourself with a variety of museums such as the Tower of David. Key visitation spots are the Western Wall (Kotel), the Church of the Holy Sepulcher, and the Temple Mount with the Dome of the Rock. In parallel, the Old City also offers a range of enticing restaurants and bars, as well as nightlife entertainment, from live music to light shows and festivals for all ages throughout the year.

Learn more about the Old City >>

New City (West Jerusalem)

Jerusalem boasts over 200 venue attractions, including over 60 museums and numerous holy sites and cultural venues.

Major attractions

Jump into world and Judaica exhibits at the Israel Museum and Bible Lands Museum; get up close to all kinds of flora and fauna – including many mentioned in the Bible - at the Biblical Zoo; delight in the tastes and sights of the Mahane Yehuda Market and adjacent Nahlaot neighborhood. You can also focus on the institutions of Jerusalem as a capital city – the Knesset Parliament and Supreme Court offer daily tours. These are just a few examples of unique things to do in Jerusalem.

In terms of holy sites, there are hundreds even outside the Old City, from places of worship for a myriad of sects, including Jewish, Christian and Muslim, to archeological dig centers, such as the City of David.

For outside venues, Jerusalem is blessed with several family-friendly nature reserves, parks and playgrounds such as as the Gazelle Valley, Bird Sanctuary, Gan Sacher, Botanical Gardens, Liberty Bell Park, and Independence Park.

Near Jerusalem

And just a short trip away from Jerusalem are the easily-accessed Bethlehem sites including the Church of the Nativity, and nearby Tomb of Rachel. Day trips are easy to arrange – the Hills of Judea, Samaria, the Dead Sea, Masada, and Ein Gedi – even Tel Aviv is just 40 minutes away.

See all Jerusalem attractions >>

Entertainment and Restaurants

Jerusalem is entrenched with both local and international cultural influences, and this plays out with the city's offerings of entertainment and restaurants.  Entertainment-wise, from orchestra to theater to dance to film, you have your picks of performances anytime of the year, and specifically during annual festivals such as the spring Israel Festival and the summer Jerusalem Film Festival. And for eats – you name it, you got it, from a variety of falafel stands to high-class steak or sushi - the palette choices are endless.

See events, night life, restaurants and shopping.

Planning Your Visit

Plan your Jerusalem tours and getaway vacations easily via our site. Book your stay with over 100 choices of Jerusalem accommodations – from hostels to 5-star brand hotels. As well, book your tours, from half-day tours to multi-day tours, all right here.

Begin planning your visit >>

Welcome to Jerusalem! We hope you have a wonderful time in this vibrant, multi-faceted city.