Intriguing Israel is a melting pot of Christian, Jewish and Muslim cultures and is a delight to explore. From visiting ancient ruins and holy sites, to enjoying the local culture and culinary delights, there are endless things to do in Israel, especially in the holy city of Jerusalem. So here is an assortment of fun things to do in Jerusalem for unforgettable vacay memories!
1. Explore the archeological treasures of the Old City’s Christian Quarters
Beginning with the Jaffa Gate, the Christian Quarters of the Old City depict Jerusalem’s role in Christian history. Walking through the Via Dolorosa, translated ‘Way of Sorrows’, is one of the most popular things to do in Jerusalem as it is believed to be the path that Jesus walked during his crucifixion. Discover ancient establishments like the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, Convent of the Sisters of Zion and the Ecce Homo Arch as you take a stroll through this stone passageway. With a traditional Roman Catholic procession every Friday and dramatic reenactments of Jesus’s life events gracing the streets, a visit to this area’s stone passageways is one of the most insightful things to do in Old City Jerusalem.
2. Witness age-old tradition at the Jewish Quarters in the Old City
With its historical roots dating back to the 8th century BC, and the Western Wall welcoming people of all faiths, a visit to the Jewish Quarters is one of the most soulful things to do in Jerusalem. As one of the holiest places in the Old City, the Western Plaza is where one can pray, meditate or simply marvel at the wondrous site. Many visitors place their prayer notes in the cracks between the stones of the Western Wall in spiritual belief and for self-realization. Also, Ramparts Walk here is known for the best bird’s eye view of the Old City.
3. Head to Israel Museum for a dose of history
If you’re looking for things to do in Israel to elevate your archeological experience, dive into Israeli past as you marvel at the huge range of age-old artefacts, ancient records and Jewish art pieces at the Israel Museum. Well-preserved and artfully displayed, the Shrine of the Book, the Second Temple model and Billy Rose Art Garden are some of the notable treasures here. For art and history enthusiasts, a visit here tops the list of things to do in Jerusalem.
4. Experience Middle-Eastern culture at Machane Yehuda
Buzzing with food, spice and souvenir stalls during the day, the Mahane Yehuda market in Jerusalem New City transforms into a street art gallery by night. With the closed shutters adorned by spray-painted portraits of famous personalities, this age-old market is home to hip restaurants and bars where locals and tourists come to enjoy. If you’re looking for some local things to do in Jerusalem, whether it's shopping for essentials, gorging on local delicacies or capturing the local vibe, this market is a must-visit.
5. Take a day trip to the Dead Sea
Only a 90-minute drive from Jerusalem, a day trip to the Dead Sea is the perfect way to add some salty relaxation to your list of things to do in Israel. Blessed with a picturesque shoreline, saline therapeutic waters and desert surroundings, this heavenly body attracts tourists from all around the world. The salty water here is renowned for its health and healing properties and makes one naturally float on the water. So don’t miss taking a dip in the mineral enriched waters. Plus, you can also take a trip up to the ancient Masada fortress here, known for its archeological exhibits and splendid viewpoints.
6. Step back in time at the Yad Vashem Memorial
Painting an intricate picture of the past, the Yad Vashem Memorial pays homage to the millions of Jewish souls that were lost in the Holocaust. With the world’s largest repository dedicated to preserving the memory of these victims, this site in Jerusalem New City draws in over one million visitors every year. Definitely an experience that will humble you, this is a must-add to your list of things to do in Jerusalem, simply because it provides a mesmerising glimpse into the soul of Israel.
7. Spend time browsing the colourful markets of Jerusalem
No holiday feels complete without bagging souvenirs, and when you are in one of the oldest cities of the world, shopping antiquities and Armenian pottery should not be missed. Shop local spices, quirky jewellery, handcrafted ceramics, attires decorated with traditional Palestinian embroidery and much more during your Jerusalem holiday. From high end stores to local street markets where you could get in touch with the native vibe of the city, the options are endless. A few shopping hubs you must check out are, the Machane Yehuda market on Agripas Street 90, The First Station on David Remez Street 4, stores in Jerusalem City Center and Malha Mall.
8. Enjoy a day trip to Tel Aviv from Jerusalem
An hour-long drive from Jerusalem takes you to Tel Aviv, a long coastal stretch along the Mediterranean Sea featuring exquisite beaches. Head to Banana Beach if you’re looking for touristy things to do in Tel-Aviv or Alma Beach for a peaceful retreat. Ranging from crowded Metzitzim popular among youngsters, to the surfer-spotted Hilton, you will also find the religious haDati’im beach here that designates separate days for men and women!
9. Embark on a Biblical Safari at the Tisch Family Zoological Gardens
Divided into two-levels featuring plant and wildlife species mentioned in the Holy Bible, along with special exhibits like Moses’ Waterfall and Noah’s Ark, visiting this biblical zoo is one of the most delightful things to do in Jerusalem. If you’re in the mood to skip sightseeing, then head here to see wildlife from around the world, including alpacas, penguins and parakeets!
A paradise for foodies, Jerusalem is packed with a variety of fine and casual dining restaurants where you can gorge on more than just hummus and falafel! Try a bit of everything from Kosher dishes at Anna Italian Cafe, modern Israeli cuisine at Machneyuda to home-styled Turkish eats at Azura and a beefy affair at Jacko’s Street. Fret not if you’re feeling gastronomic on Shabbat day, head to Adom for desserts, Menza for cocktails and Zuni for the best hamburger in town!
What’s better than a tour around aromatic wineries in the Middle-Eastern landscape? Visit the wineries located around Jerusalem where some of the finest wines in the world are made. Raise a toast to life as you enjoy a view of the magnificent Judean Hills and sip on one of the most cherished drinks in Jewish and Israeli culture. One of the most popular things to do in Jerusalem, this wine-tasting allows you to be a part of the Israeli culture and learn about its nuances.
Brimming with cultural, historical and gastronomic experiences, the city of Jerusalem offers a never-ending list of things to do. Let go of the hassle and get planning with MakeMyTrip for an exquisite holiday in Israel.