12 Jun 10 Things to do in Jerusalem
Today we are sharing an article by fellow travel blogger Jessica Kay from A Passion and A Passport, as part of our guest post series “10 Things to do in X”. Jessica’s goal is to show others that travel is possible without being on a RTW trip, and cheaply at that as well, and it is definitely something we have in common with her! We are excited to share her fun tips about 10 things to do in Jerusalem with you!
Jerusalem is just one of those places you need to see to really get a feel for what it’s like. Not only is the city filled with so much history, but the food is incredible, views are delightful, and there are plenty of once-in-a-lifetime day trips to be taken.
1. Feast on hummus, felafel, latkes, and schawarma. And get these traditional Israel treats from various markets and hidden restaurants all over the city. They all taste delicious in some homemade pita bread. May not be the beat for the waistline, but they’re too good to pass up! Also try some Bumba, Goldstar Beer, and Pop rocks chocolate.
2. Spend an hour or so exploring the Old City of Jerusalem, which is actually a walled area within the modern city. The old city is comprised of 4 different areas, the Jewish Quarter, Muslim Quarter, Christian Quarter, and the Armenian Quarter. Each is very different, with lots of history. Check out the shops and markets with homemade items. If you are planning on buying friends and family something from Jerusalem, this is the place to do it.
3. Put a prayer into the western wall, also known as the Kotel, and observe others doing the same. Feel the intensity that is surrounding you, and be sure to take it all in. It has been a site for Jewish prayer and pilgrimage for centuries. When you’re done, make sure to walk with your face towards the wall (backwards), as it is disrespectful to turn your back to the wall.
4. Devour the views from Haas Promenade. Bring a picnic lunch, or just some wine and challah, and spend some time taking in the gorgeous buildings in the distance. Look out for the Dome of the Rock and the Temple Mount, two of the most famous buildings. You can even take a Segway tour around the area if you like.
5. Admire the Temple Mount and Dome of the Rock up close and personal. The architecture of both are so intricate, you’ll want to have a good camera with a decent zoom to capture all the little details.
6. Take a day trip to the Dead Sea and float in the salty waters. If you’re up for it, get some all- natural mud and lather it all over your body- it makes for great exfoliation! Just make sure you have no open cuts, as the salt water will sting like there’s no tomorrow.
7. Eat your heart out in mahane yahuda, an open-air market filled with so much local food you won’t know where to start! With more than 500 vendors, it’s hard to choose! I say try the olives, fresh pitas and breads, halva, and spices and beans.
Also, you can’t leave without trying some of the famous chocolate rugelach.
8. Take a day exploring Yad Vashem, the holocaust museum in the heart of the city. It is Israel’s official memorial to the Jewish victims of the Holocaust, and is the world center for documentation, research, education, and commemoration of the Holocaust. A sight not to be missed.
9. Watch the sunrise from atop Masada, as it’s totally worth the effort to get up nice and early and hike up the mountain. You’ll be greeted with some inspiring views of the Dead Sea and then get an intense workout hiking down the snake path.
10. Spend a night on Ben Yehuda Street. It is a major street in downtown Jerusalem, and is closed to vehicular traffic. The street is a fun place to be, with plenty of restaurants, bars, and shops. However, businesses are closed on Shabbat, so be sure to visit after the sun goes down on Saturday night! (The whole street basically shuts down Friday at sundown to Saturday at sundown.)
About the Guest Blogger:
Jessica is the lead writer at A Passion and A Passport. She is attempting to travel the world as much as possible to control her wanderlust, all while holding a full-time job and starting her career. She is not a long-term traveler; she simply travels over long weekends and breaks from work.
Her goal is to show others that travel is possible without being on a RTW trip, and cheaply at that as well! She hopes to inspire others to get up and explore, whether it be in their own backyard or 15,000 miles away.