Jerusalem highlights, 2-day and 3-day Itinerary
Many people say 5 days minimum for Jerusalem. Believe me, if you’ve got all 5 days to spare then even then that wouldn’t be enough. The city is huge and there is so much to see. Add to that the strange opening hours, and you really have to be selective and keep an eye on your watch. Oh, and try to enjoy your time too!
This itinerary is how I spent my time in Jerusalem. It is not for the faint hearted! I wanted to see as much as possible with my time here, with minimal relaxation periods. Days one and two are reserved for the inner/old city whilst day three is for the larger Jerusalem area.
1) Be at the Jaffa gate by 9.30am for the best introduction to the city with a Free Walking tour with Sandemans New Europe tours. This company runs similar tours all over Europe and they really are a great way to get your first introduction to the city, as well as small history lessons.
2) Spend the next couple of hours wandering through the bazaars of the inner city (which are an attraction by themselves!) and find somewhere nice to have Lunch.
3) After 1pm, venture out of the walled city and go towards the Mount of Olives. Walk to the top and enjoy the best view of Jerusalem, for that picture perfect shot.
4) On your way down from the Mount, stop inside the Church of the Ascension, The Church of All Nations, the Garden of Gethsemane (inside all nations grounds), and the Tomb of the Virgin Mary.
5) Walk back into the City via the Lions Gate and walk the Via Dolorosa (the way Jesus carried the cross to be crucified).
6) Enter into the Church of the Holy Sepulture and visit the tomb of Jesus Christ.
7) For Sunset, walk down towards the Western Wall and find out why its nicknamed the ‘Wailing Wall’.
1) Start early. Be in the queue for the Temple Mount at 7am. Any later than that and you will be at the back of the queue and the mount will close (very limited hours) before you even get up to the top. If you are a muslim, take your passport to prove it otherwise you will not be allowed inside the Dome of the Rock (sadly).
2) Take your torch/swimming gear and head over to The City of David. Spend a couple of hours walking through the site and wade through waist height water in Hezekiah’s Tunnel, an ancient biblical water reservoir channel.
3) After lunch, explore the Mt Zion area and visit the Room of the Last Supper and King David’s grave.
4) Wander through the Muslim Quarter and play ‘spot the differences’ between the Jewish Quarter.
5) Walk the Ramparts, a circular walk around Jerusalem’s walls for sunset.
6) Grab a spot (call earlier in the day, or day before) on the Western Walls Tunnel tour in the evening.
1) Visit the Israel Musuem – recommended by all who go there.
2) Visit the Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial
3) Spend the afternoon in the New City of Jersualem and see the Mahane Yehuda Market, for those last minute presents for the mother-in-law.