Jerusalem has more than 3,000 years of history. It is an ancient and modern capital city at the cross roads of the world.
Abraham brought Isaac to Jerusalem; when he was tested to see if he would be prepared to sacrifice his son. King David made Jerusalem his capital and ruled here for 33 of his 40 years. His son Solomon built the first Temple, which was sacked by the Babylonians, rebuilt and eventually destroyed again by the Romans. From the Romans, Jerusalem passed to the Byzantines, to the Mameluks, to the Ottoman Empire, to the British Mandate before eventually becoming the capital of the reborn State of Israel. They have all left their mark in the archaeology of Jerusalem — their history is embedded in the layers of destruction and renewal, and they have all left their mark in the buildings, the roads, the squares and the atmosphere of Jerusalem.
Geographically and spiritually, Jerusalem was the cross roads of the ancient worlds. Its story is of flourishing communities and periodic destruction by new masters followed eventually by rebuilding and a new cycle of growth and then destruction. The impact of the invaders, the locals, and its central role in three religions have all left a huge impact on this unique city.
While we’re a little biased, we’d like to say: everyone should visit Israel! But truly, there are countless reasons to visit this beautiful country — sadly, though, these reasons are often ignored and overlooked. Israel is a country of incomparable natural wonder, unparalleled history, diverse culture, and amazing people. It’s safe, contrary to what people believe based on the images they see before arriving in the country.
Jerusalem, being the capital, is the usual first stop for most foreign tourists (the other being Tel Aviv). Jerusalem is the city of religion — the holiest city of the world. Every year pilgrims of different faiths (Judaism, Christianity, and Islam) come to Jerusalem, particularly the Old City, which is the home to the Western Wall, the Church of the Holy Sepulcher, and the Al-Aqsa Mosque.
Apart from its religious side, there are tons of things to do in Jerusalem. Shop at the diverse markets in the Old City, at the Mahane Yehuda Market, or modern shopping malls such as upscale Mamilla Mall.
Touring in (and around) Jerusalem won’t be complete without taking a bite of the city. There are a few dishes that you must try while you’re there. There’s hummus, of course, but there’s also the fabulous falafels, shawarma, and halva. And while you’re wandering on the streets, don’t forget to try their fresh and delicious pomegranate juice!
Unless you’re staying longer in the Jerusalem, it’s impossible to conquer every bit and artifact of Jewish history, every market, shop, and restaurant in Jerusalem, and every under-the-radar attraction. Throw in the museums and art galleries in the city! Israeli has an overload of arts and culture. If you’ve got only a week or a month of stay in Jerusalem, squeeze your time by visiting the top-tier art spaces in the city. But especially if you’re a fan of Israeli arts and culture, you’ll definitely plan for a longer exploration in Jerusalem alone! There’s the world famous The Israel Museum where you can find the most important archeological artifacts, as well as traditional Jewish art, and fine art. Other museums include the Museum for Islamic Art, Bible Lands Museum, Yad Vashem (World Holocaust Remembrance Center), U Nahon Museum of Italian Jewish Art, Jerusalem Artists’ House, and many more.
A unique place full of charm and contrasts – come and explore the Old City with its alleys, markets, squares and holy places or the New City with its museums, big shopping malls, the latest attractions, modern history and vibrancy.
Yet, in Jerusalem it is still possible to experience true spirituality and peace.
Pray for the peace of Jerusalem; they who love you will prosper. May peace be within your walls and prosperity within your palaces