Pilgrimage Journey: Top Places to Visit in Israel as a Christian: Part 1

a stone arch on the beach with the ocean in the background
By Daniel Goodman

Updated July 4, 2024.

Church of the Holy Sepulcher

In this article

Embarking on a pilgrimage to Israel is a profound and transformative experience for many Christians, as it offers the unique opportunity to walk in the footsteps of Jesus and explore the sacred sites of the Bible. This ancient land, rich in history and spiritual significance, holds a special place in the hearts of believers around the world. In this blog post, we aim to guide Christian and pilgrim travellers on a spiritual journey through Israel, highlighting key religious sites and their profound significance. Whether you are seeking to deepen your faith, connect with biblical history, or simply experience the serenity of these holy places, Israel offers a pilgrimage that promises to inspire and enrich your spiritual life.

Throughout this Artza blog we will highlight a few key places to visit in Israel as a Christian.

We will take you through from the south of the country to the north:

  1. Bethlehem - Located just south of Jerusalem, Bethlehem is renowned as the birthplace of Jesus.

  2. Jerusalem - This ancient city is a central hub for Christian pilgrims, home to many significant religious sites, including the Church of the Holy Sepulchre and the Garden of Gethsemane.

  3. Jericho - One of the oldest inhabited cities in the world, Jericho is situated north of Jerusalem and east of the Jordan River.

  4. Jordan River - Flowing from north to south, the Jordan River is where Jesus was baptized by John the Baptist, marking an important site for Christian pilgrims.

  5. Nazareth - Located further north, Nazareth is the town where Jesus grew up and is home to the Basilica of the Annunciation and St. Joseph’s Church.

  6. Sea of Galilee - The northernmost site on this list, the Sea of Galilee is central to many events in Jesus' ministry, including His walking on water and calming the storm. Capernaum, His ministry base, is located on its shores.

  1. Jerusalem.

Jerusalem, a pivotal destination among the Places to Visit in Israel as a Christian, is where Jesus was crucified, buried, and resurrected, making it central to His life and the Christian faith.

Church of the Holy Sepulchre: The Church of the Holy Sepulchre, situated in the Christian Quarter of the Old City of Jerusalem, holds profound significance for believers. According to many traditions, it contains the two holiest sites in Christianity: the site where Jesus was crucified (Golgotha) and His empty tomb. Visiting this sacred church is a deeply moving experience, offering a powerful connection to the events of Jesus' Passion and Resurrection. For those seeking a spiritual journey, the Church of the Holy Sepulchre is undeniably a must for Places to Visit in Israel as a Christian.

Via Dolorosa: The Via Dolorosa is a street in Jerusalem associated with the road Jesus walked on His way to His crucifixion, according to Christian tradition. The name means "Way of Suffering" in Latin, and it is believed to be the path that Jesus walked on the way to His crucifixion. The street is marked by a series of stations, each representing an event in the final journey of Jesus. The Via Dolorosa is a popular site for Christian pilgrimage and is one of the holiest places in Jerusalem for Christians. Via Dolorosa includes nine stations of the cross and five from the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. The walk begins inside Jerusalem's Old City, and the different stations are all marked with plaques. Walking this sacred path, reflecting on Jesus' suffering and sacrifice, is a profoundly moving experience. For any Christian, the Via Dolorosa is undeniably a must for Places to Visit in Israel as a Christian.

Mount of Olives: This hill is considered a sacred site for Christians, as it is believed to be the location where Jesus taught and prayed, and where he will return at the end of time. According to the Gospels, Jesus often visited the Mount of Olives and used it as a place for prayer and contemplation. The Mount of Olives is believed by many Christians to be the location where Jesus ascended into heaven after His resurrection—an event that is considered one of the most important in the Christian faith. Standing on this holy ground, where Jesus prayed and ascended, evokes a profound sense of spiritual connection and reverence. For any pilgrim seeking a deeper connection to their faith, the Mount of Olives is undeniably a must for Places to Visit in Israel as a Christian.

The Garden of Gethsemane: The Garden of Gethsemane holds profound significance for Christians as the sacred place where Jesus prayed on the night before His arrest, leading to His crucifixion. Located at the foot of the Mount of Olives in Jerusalem, this serene garden is a poignant site of reflection and prayer. The ancient olive trees and tranquil atmosphere invite pilgrims to connect deeply with the emotional and spiritual struggle Jesus faced. For any believer seeking to walk in the footsteps of Jesus, the Garden of Gethsemane is undeniably a must for Places to Visit in Israel as a Christian.

Stay tuned as we continue this Artza blog in Part 2, where we will explore even more sacred sites and delve deeper into the spiritual journey awaiting Christian pilgrims in Israel.