What to Do in Jerusalem: Must-See Sights

By Carmen Slabbert
Edited by Taj Schlebusch

Published October 11, 2021.

View of Jerusalem tourist destination

Scholars believe the first human settlements in Jerusalem took place during the Early Bronze Age, somewhere around 3500 B.C. Today Jerusalem is still the capital of the Holy Land (Israel) and a major holy city for the three Western traditions of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. When visiting Jerusalem, most tourists like to visit sacred, historical sites. Most of these sites are Biblical locations.

Below we take you through the top things to do in Jerusalem.

See Sites of Worship

Church of all nations, also known as Basilica of the Agony, is a Roman Catholic church located on the Mount of Olives in East Jerusalem next to the Garden of Gethsemane. It is built on a section of bedrock where Jesus is said to have prayed before his arrest.

Church of the holy sepulchre is a church in the Christian Quarter of the Old City of Jerusalem. According to traditions, it contains the two holiest sites in Christianity, the site where Jesus was crucified (Golgotha) and Jesus’s empty tomb.

Temple Mount is a hill in the Old City of Jerusalem that for thousands of years have been acclaimed as a holy site in Judaism, Christianity and Islam alike.

The Western Wall, also knowns as The Wailing Wall or "Kotel", is a sacred site of prayer to Jewish people. The wall is the only remaining structure of the retaining walls of the Temple of Jerusalem - the holiest site in ancient Judaism.

Visit the Best Museums

The Tower of David Museum, also known as the Citadel, is an ancient citadel located near the Jaffa Gate entrance to the Old City of Jerusalem. The name "Tower of David" was first used for the Herodian tower in the 5th century CE by the Byzantine Christians, who believed the site to be the palace of King David.

Israel Museum was established in 1965 as Israel’s foremost cultural institution and one of the world’s leading encyclopedic museums. It is situated on a hill in the Givat Ram neighbourhood of Jerusalem. Its holdings include the world’s most comprehensive collections of the archaeology of the Holy Land.

Yad Vashem is Israel’s official memorial to the victims of the Holocaust. It was established in 1953 and is located on the Western slope of Mount Herzl, known as the Mount of Remembrance and is adjacent to the Jerusalem forest.

Spend Time Amongst Jerusalem Artisans

Mahane Yehuda market is often referred to as The Shuk and is a popular marketplace, and is one of the fun things to do in Jerusalem at night. This market has more than 250 vendors selling fresh fruits, vegetables, baked goods, fish, meat, cheese, nuts, seeds, spices, wine, liquors, clothing, shoes, housewares, textiles, and Judaica.

Off the wall spices are located in the heart of the Old City of Jerusalem. The founder Simcha wanted to deliver the best spices in Israel to visitors from around the world. Together with Artzabox, this dream became a reality.

Tables that talk is owned by Anati and Sarit and they make beautiful, hand-designed games. These games create magical moments around the table as families. The owners wanted to create games that helped families share experiences and come closer together. You can also get your own tables that talk game in an Artzabox.

Walk Through Gardens and Parks

Garden of Gethsemane is a garden at the foot of the Mount of Olives in Jerusalem where Jesus underwent agony in the garden and was arrested the night before his crucifixion.

City of David National Park is also known as the Jerusalem Walls National Park and is an Israeli National Park, located near the walls of the Old City of Jerusalem. It was originally designed to surround the old city from all sides, to separate the old city and the new constructions.

The Garden Tomb is a rock-cut tomb in Jerusalem, unearthed in 1867 and is believed to be the site of the burial and resurrection of Jesus. It is near the Damascus Gate and standing in the shadow of Skull Hill.

Other Historical Sites to Visit

The things to do in the Holy Land are endless and if planned right, could be a wonderful trip. Some other landmarks that are worth visiting include:

  • Western Wall in Jewish Quarter
  • Armenian Quarter
  • Christian Quarter
  • Muslim Quarter
  • Follow the route of the Via Dolorosa,
  • Mount Zion
  • Walk the Old City Walls
  • East Jerusalem
  • Central City sites
  • Kidron Valley
  • Monastery of the Cross
  • Herzl museum
  • Visit Latrun

Jerusalem is a region in Israel the Holy Land, that has a lot of Biblical locations and historical sites, not only important to Christianity, but also to Judaism and Islam. Making it a very special place to visit.