First time in Jerusalem? Find my top 7 things to see and do in the city!
Located on a plateau in the Judaean Mountains between the Mediterranean and the Dead Sea, Jerusalem, an ancient city of the Middle East, is a surprising destination and pleases both those seeking a religious itinerary and travelers who wish for cultural and historical experiences.
For many, here is still a mysterious land where religion has a strong influence over all aspects of the local lives. Although most of the time the motivation of the tourists is religious, a trip to Jerusalem can also show you a modern city, with a young and easygoing atmosphere, not to mention the good gastronomy, which has so many new flavors and dishes that you would never even think of.
According to the international magazine Conde Nast Traveler, Jerusalem cannot be summed up as a sacred, ancient and solemn destination. The city has much more to offer and, if well explored, can show a new perspective that will blow your mind!
You can spend years in the religious capital exploring sights, so we’ve crammed for you 7 essentials things to see and do in Jerusalem:
1 – Lose yourself in the Old City – Located in the heart of the city, here is one of the greatest historical sites in the world. Amazingly intense and deeply religious, it’s divided into four different quarts that combine the city culturally, religiously and even historically: the Christian, Jewish, Armenian e Muslim Quarter;
2 – Watch the sunrise by Mount of Olives – If you’re looking for a new perspective of the city, you should finish your day with this breathtaking view of the top of Jerusalem;
3 – Explore the food scene – Israelis really buy into the “Breakfast is the most important meal of the day” mantra, so the best way to appreciate this fact is to start your day trying a variety of cheeses, hummus, and the shakshouka, a dish of eggs poached in a sauce of tomatoes, chili peppers and garlic. As the Israeli breakfast never includes meats such as ham and bacon, which are common on the menus in many other countries, be open to new flavors and dishes that you may have never tried before in your life;
4 – Walk the Via Dolorosa – A two parts street located in the Old City of Jerusalem, held to be the path that Jesus walked on the way to his crucifixion. Since the early days of Christianity, pilgrims of all over the world come daily to the city to walk through the narrow street to retracing the steps of the torture, sentencing, carrying of the cross, crucifixion, death, and burial of Jesus;
5 – Join a dual narrative tour – Jerusalem’s Old City presented by two tour knowledgeable guides – one Palestinian and one Jewish Israeli – side-by-side. It’s a unique chance to hear the history and its impact on their lives, living in this divided city;
6 – Go to the Western Wall during Shabbat – This is the best opportunity to have a Shabbat experience by observing many religious Jews in prayer. From a few minutes before sunset on Friday evening until the appearance of three stars in the sky on Saturday night, the Western Wall, the holiest place in Jerusalem for the jews, welcomes religious visitors to recite their prayers in unison;
7 – Nightlife – When you fell it’s time for partying, Ben Yehuda street is a nice way to start! Whether you prefer to sit back with a glass of Israeli wine or are looking to dance the night away, the nightlife scene in Jerusalem will surprise you in a good way. Toy Bar, Soho Pub and the sounds of the jazz with beautiful cocktails in Gatsby can be great first experiences!
Many things come to mind when people think about traveling for the first time in Jerusalem, one of the greatest historical sites in the whole world. Doubtless, the city is a must-stop in Israel if ever there was one. Here is all about intensive color, tastes, religious and interesting things you’ll only experience once you visit Israel!
My photos and daily tips are on the IG: @before30project
Still don’t know where to stay during your visit to Jerusalem? Get into the movie with Cinema Hostel, located in the ‘downtown triangle’, a central commercial and entertainment district within the boundaries of Jaffa Road, King George Street, and Ben Yehuda, with an easily accessible for all the city’s charms: both ancient and new.
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