The capital of Israel, Jerusalem is a remarkable city. 'Jerusalem of Gold' as it is fondly known, is considered holy by the three major religions - Christianity, Judaism and Islam. The city offers an experience unlike any other in the world.
Pulsing with cultural diversity, this 5000 year old city is frequented by millions of travelers annually. Yerushalayim (as it is known in Hebrew) draws each and every visitor into an experience of intense spirituality.
The old city's archaeological park
Some amazing facts about Yerushaliyam - you can visit:
Visiting the city, especially for the first time, can be a very overwhelming emotional experience. I clearly remember my first visit as a 16 year old on summer camp from Britain. Our group planned to spend the Jewish holiday of Passover in the old city. As it is traditional to read the Haggadah Jewish prayer book and pray for the 'next year in Jerusalem', you can imagine my anticipation was great.
Model of the City of David
To this day I still remember how I felt walking around the old city; It was as though I had
been transported back in time 3000 years as I wandered the stony alleyways and streets.
One of the unique characteristics of this city is the architecture and use of Jerusalem stone. You will notice that all the buildings in the city have a similar look as they are all built from the same local stone - from the Wailing Wall built 3000 years ago to today's modern buildings. I would definitely recommend hiring good tour guide to show you around the city.
Jerusalem also attracts many Jews from around the world who come to the Western Wall to celebrate the coming of age of their sons and daughters at the Bar/Bat Mizvah ceremony. Particularly on Tuesdays and Thursdays, you can visit the kotel and see families celebrating this traditional and meaningful occasion.
As a traveler to the Israeli capital, no amount of time you plan will ever be enough. There is so much to see and do and so much to learn historically. I do suggest you plan carefully to get the most out of your time in the city.
If you spend more than a day in the city, check out my recommendations for hotels or B&B Zimmers in the capital.
Top places to visit:
More of the old city's top attractions that are a 'must see':
Machaneh Yehuda Food Market
Take your time around Alquds (as the city is called in Arabic) if you can. There is so much to take in historically. If you have the time, visit and wander around the old neighborhoods:
Top Tip!- Dress modestly! - nearly all of the places that you visit will require a modest dress code. Ladies especially should have something to cover both their heads and bare shoulders.
Visit Jerusalem-Insiders-Guide.com for more information and tips on planning your visit to Jerusalem.
Tiyul na'eem (have a good trip in Hebrew)