15 Dec Jerusalem
Welcome to Jerusalem
Jerusalem in Israel, is a holy city among the oldest cities in the world, between the Mediterranean and the Dead Sea, where the Old City of Jerusalem divides into four quarters, the Armenian, Christian, Jewish and Muslim quarters.
Walking through the Old City takes you back thousands of years of religious history, and each Quarter has many unique sites, restaurants, architecture, and history to explore.
How To Get There
Getting to Jerusalem is easy. Once you have arrived in Tel Aviv, you have a few options. By car, the distance is about 66 km via Route 1, which you can cover in less than an hour. Alternatively, you can take a high-speed train between Jerusalem and Tel Aviv, with an average travel time of approximately 35 minutes. The bus journey time is about 44 minutes and covers a distance of about 62 km, operated by Egged.
Getting Around Jerusalem
Once you reach Tel Aviv, take a shuttle bus from the airport. Look for bus No. 485 that will directly take you to Jerusalem. The service from terminal 1 or 3 operates six days per week, 24 hours a day.
Monit Sherut (Shared Taxi): You can also get a ‘Sherut’ or a shared taxi from the central bus station, which conveniently runs during the Sabbath, but the fare may be slightly higher than usual.
Regular or Private Taxi: For a hassle-free journey, opt for a private taxi, which will be slightly more expensive than the other transportation options, but it will give you peace of mind by reaching your destination on time. The approximate cost for a standard sedan is $100 from Ben Gurion Airport.
Car Rental: For independence, car rental is an excellent option to travel around Israel at your own pace. Rental companies are available at the airport, but bookings are required as most transportation options are unavailable on Shabbat. If they are available, then the fair will be high.
Light Rail: A high-speed train booked through Light Rail, is a standard transportation mode available to everyone, especially between Tel Aviv and Jerusalem. You can buy a rechargeable card called the “Rav Kav”.
Places Of Interest
The City of David is ancient Jerusalem and one of the most important archaeological sites. It originates in the biblical narrative where Israelite king David conquers Jerusalem. A great place to explore the many significant attractions and relive its historical past. Book tickets here.
The Armenian Quarter is not dedicated to a religion and is the smallest of the quarters. Explore St. James Cathedral, dating back to the Crusaders and St. Mark’s Chapel, one of the oldest churches in Jerusalem. Also, in this Quarter, you’ll see beautiful cobblestone streets and ceramic art depicting Armenian culture. Entrance to the Armenian Quarter is through Jaffa or Zion Gate. Book tickets here.
A 12th-century Armenian church near the entry point of Zion Gate is the burial place of St James the Great, an apostle of Jesus Christ. Still, it is dedicated to two of the Twelve Apostles of Jesus, the son of Zebedee, and James, the brother of Jesus. It is also one of the remaining churches in the world that was built over the tomb of an apostle, the other ones being St Peter’s Basilica in Vatican City, St Thomas Cathedral Basilica, Chennai in India and Basilica of St.
The Christian Quarters are the most-visited quarters of Jerusalem, with Christians having deep ties to the Old City of Jerusalem. Visit the main site of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, dating back to at least the year 336 CE. You can also walk the Via Dolorosa, representing Jesus’s path to his crucifixion. Explore the Lutheran Church of the Redeemer, Saint Saviour Monastery, and St. Abraham Monastery. The Muristan Market is an outdoor market near the Church of the Holy Sepulchre worth visiting. It is colourful and bright, and plenty of shops and restaurants are here.
Enter the Christian Quarter through the Jaffa or New Gate.
The Via Dolorosa (Way of Sorrow) is a route in the Old City of Jerusalem, representing the path Jesus would have taken, forced by the Roman soldiers, as he bore his cross on the way to his crucifixion at Golgotha. Visitors can follow in Jesus’s footsteps towards his crucifixion – stopping at the 14 stations he stopped en route. The journey can take approximately an hour and a half, stopping and learning stories of the sufferings he encountered. Book tickets here.
The holiest Christian site in the Christian Quarter is the famous Church Of The Holy Sepulchre, where Christ was crucified and buried. It has two rooms where one holds the Angel’s Stone, and the other room sits the tomb of Jesus. Book tour here.
The Jewish Quarter is home to the Western Wall (or Kotel in Hebrew). Jews visit the Wall from around the world. Here you will witness Jews praying at the Wall and leaving notes in its cracks. If you join a tour, you will likely visit the Western Wall tunnels under the Wall.
Explore King David’s Tomb, the burial site of King David from biblical times. Explore the many synagogues, including Hurva Synagogue and the Cardo, the main street during ancient Roman times, which is now a functioning market. Enter the Jewish Quarter through the Zion Gate.
The Western Cardo is the remnants of a main street which crossed Jerusalem during the Roman-Byzantine era. It was an impressive avenue with two parallel rows of pillars. At the centre of the bustling street, pedestrians, horses and carriages are depicted, including the local shops and life from that era.
In the northeast of the Old City, in an area called Temple Mount, is the largest of the quarters, the Muslim Quarter. The striking Dome of the Rock and the Al-Aqsa Mosque are the most significant attractions here.
To enter Temple Mount, you must show your passport and undergo security screening. (Beware that entry is refused if you wear anything religious, like a cross on your necklace).
Enter the Muslim Quarter through the Damascus, Herod, and Lions’ Gate.
The Dome of the Rock, in the middle of the Temple Mount area, is an iconic structure revered by most Muslims as the location from which the Prophet Muhammad ascended to Heaven. It is a magnificent gold structure that is the oldest existing Islamic monument in the world and has iconic views of the Jerusalem skyline. Book tickets here.
Masjid al-Aqsa is the third most important site for followers of Islam. Per Islamic scriptures, this is where Prophet Muhammad arrived at the end of his night journey from the sacred Mosque of Makkah. Muslims consider this Mosque as where the Prophet Mohammed encountered God. Book tickets here.
Where To Stay
For world-class service, try King David hotel, 23 King David Street, Jerusalem. It has panoramic views and luxury decor offering traditional Israeli food while centrally located in the Old City.
Where To Eat
Explore Trips From Jerusalem
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