As you know Jerusalem is considered to be the Holy City and a religious capital since there are many important locations for Christians, Jews, and Muslims to visit. Because of this, the city was completely destroyed on two occasions, attacked over 50 times, and captured 44 times. Regardless of the purpose of your journey, this country has so much to offer to people of all ages and interests.
In the following article, we are going to introduce you to some places within the city of Jerusalem you must visit, but we are also going to mention some that are located in the other parts of Israel.
Firstly, we are going to start with the Old City of Jerusalem. The area behind these walls is probably the most popular tourist attraction. You cannot miss the Western Wailing Wall that was originally the part of the Second Jewish Temple. Today, millions of Jews visit this holy place to recite their prayers or write them down and put them in the cracks of the wall.
Next, there is the Church of Holy Sepulcher which contains the holiest sites in Christianity – the place where Jesus was crucified (Golgotha or Calvary) and the tomb where he was buried and resurrected. Also, there is an Islamic shrine – the Dome of the Rock which is located on the Temple Mount. Besides its religious significance, it is also considered to be one of the oldest works of Islamic architecture.
One of the things that you have to visit while in Jerusalem is the Yad Vashem museum, the world holocaust remembrance center. It was founded in 1953 and it is located on the Mount of Remembrance. It consists of numerous facilities, museums, and monuments and there is also a research and educational center. It is dedicated to the victims of the Holocaust and also preserves the memory of Gentiles, the people who protected Jews during this horrific period. Besides remembering all the victims, the goal is to teach the future generations about this dark time in our history and also to ensure that something similar doesn’t repeat in the future, which is why hundreds of thousands of people visit this center each year.
Jerusalem is also the home to the one of the largest encyclopedic museum in the world – the Israel Museum which was reconstructed in 2010. There are numerous exhibits that you will enjoy – from archeological to Fine Art collections. In addition, there are multiple departments such as European and Israeli Art, Modern and Contemporary Art, Photography, Paintings and Drawings, Design and Architecture, and so on.
If you are interested in learning more about the ancient times of Jerusalem, then you have to visit the City of David. Book a trip via Elijah Tours and travel back in time. We believe that just by telling you that the archeological expedition of this site has begun in the 19th century and that there are still some parts that haven’t been explored, is good enough of a reason to embark on this adventure.
While on the subject of tourist attractions in Jerusalem, we have to mention the famous Machane Yehuda market. Here you will get a glimpse of the everyday life, meet and chat with locals, and try some exquisite fresh food such as shawarma, shashlik, falafel, baklava, halva, and so on. Here, you will find street singers and musicians, but also numerous local bars and restaurants where you can take a break and breathe in the city.
Now, we are moving on to other locations in the country of Israel that you should put on your travel list. Firstly, we are going to tell you about an ancient fortress that overlook the Dead Sea and that is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site – Masada. It was built by King Herod in 30 BCE. In the year 68 CE, it was one the last stronghold during the battle with Romans, but still, in the year 72, Romans captured it. The following year, almost a thousand Jews zealots chose to commit suicide in order not to fall under the control of the Roman Empire. Nowadays, this place is not only an archeological site but it also stands as a symbol of heroism.
If you are fascinated by history, besides visiting the above-mentioned Yad Vashem museum, you cannot miss the Independence Hall in Tel Aviv. This is the place where back in 1948 the Israeli Declaration of Independence was proclaimed by David Ben-Gurion who soon became the country’s first Prime Minister. Besides, there is a Bible Museum on the upper floors of this building where you will have the chance to see numerous artifacts and art pieces with biblical motifs.
While in Tel Aviv, you should also go on a tour of the part of the city which is called the White City. This district is the home of 4,000 International Style buildings which were designed by architects from Germany and other European countries who immigrated after the Nazis came to power in Germany.
You cannot go on a vacation to Israel and not spend an entire day on the beach of the Dead Sea, right? Floating on the surface of the water is an experience that you must enjoy. Plus, it is also believed that the mud has some healing and regenerating powers, which frankly is the only excuse you need to cover yourself in it and relax. No spa treatment can come in comparison with this treatment.
Another adventure you can embark on while in the Dead Sea area is the exploration of the salt caves. This is definitely something that you should not do on your own because, let’s face it, you are going to investigate the inside of the cave and in certain situations, this can be dangerous. In order to ensure your safety, our recommendation is to go on a tour with a professional guide. Also, you might want to think twice about going on this journey if you are claustrophobic.
To conclude, we have gathered a list of ten places, both in Jerusalem and Israel, that you should definitely consider visiting. Due to its long and oftentimes dark history, it comes as no surprise there are so many important sights that you can explore and learn about.