Considered to be the most abundant area of interesting sites and things to do, you will find a variety of attractions for every age and every season in Jerusalem.
Apart from the holy sites of the three religions, the capital of Israel includes some of the most famous points of interest in the country.
The attractions in Jerusalem are fascinating and varied so you won't even have a minute to spare - starting with the Biblical zoo and the Israel Aquarium adjacent to it, through to the City of David site located near the Western Wall and strolling the alleys of the Mahane Yehuda market with its many colorful booths, cafes and authentic restaurants.
On this page we have collected for you the must-see attractions in Jerusalem, special attractions for children, special tours, museums and all the things you must do in Israel's capital city.
Recommended Tours of Jerusalem
Do you prefer to walk about in nature? Love to look at historical buildings? Or is a pastoral urban tour more your thing? Even the history lovers among us, and the nature lovers too, will be able to find what they are looking for in the next article, where we will recommend three tours in Jerusalem.
HaNeviim Street: Meet the Jerusalem of the peak of the 19th and 20th centuries
We have already recommended a tour of HaNeviim and Jaffa streets, as part of the ‘must’ attractions in Jerusalem, and now we will focus on a tour of HaNeviim Street. The ABCs of Jerusalem tours include tours of the historical city center, in the direction of the Old City, and the tour of this street is one such. Tours of HaNeviim street normally start at the Davidka monument, though it is possible to start at the other end near the Damascus Gate and go back up. This is one of the best-known and main streets in Jerusalem, that passes very close to Jaffa Street, so that over the years this has become one of the busiest areas of the city.
HaNeviim Street, to a certain extent even more than Jaffa Street, has various building with historical-international importance, such as hospitals, former consulates, religious edifices and the homes of the rich and famous. The reason these buildings exist is the fact that starting from the sixth decade of the 19th century (+/-), the world powers began to understand that the Ottoman empire was approaching its end, something which enabled the construction that would constitute a foothold by the power in the Holy City, and in the Holy Land in general, a foothold with strategic importance for the Middle East.
Accordingly, one can find along this street the Italian Hospital, the English Hospital, the American consulate, the Bikur Holim Hospital, the William Holman Hunt house and more (by the way, these building were listed here not according to their date of construction, and there are many more on the street that are worthwhile reading about).
Ein Karem: A Jerusalem neighborhood or a pastoral village?
Ein Karem is a neighborhood located in one of the most fruitful areas in Jerusalem, and as a result, it has been settled throughout history (as archeological evidence indicates the existence of settlements in the area since the Bronze Age). Over the years, Ein Karem became a Christian pilgrimage site and an Arab village. In the War of Independence, the control over Ein Karem moved to Israel’s hands and new immigrants were settled there.
In truth, there is no need to expand much about the pastoral streets of Ein Karem, since many tourists choose to independently walk about through its streets and to discover more and more sides to its breathtaking landscape, or to go for walks along nature paths in the area. However, note that alongside the historical buildings, the stone houses and churches, there is a new scene in the neighborhood of unique artisans that give workshops in their colorful homes.
Among the important sites in Ein Karem are: the Bible Sources Museum, the Marciano House, the Muscovite compound, the Eden Tamir Music Center and more.
The Jerusalem Forest
The Jerusalem Forest is perhaps one of the only places where today one can find impressive evidence to the variety of life and unique nature that exist in Jerusalem, at least so close to the city. Most of the nature areas that used to exist in Jerusalem have long been covered by concrete and much construction, but the Jerusalem Forest has survived, between Moshav Beit Zayit, Givat Shaul, Har Nof, Beit HaKerem and more.
Despite the fact that the forest preserves local nature, this is a forest that was planted by Keren Kayemet L’Israel (the Jewish National Fund) in the 1950s and quickly became the home of a variety of animals, such as porcupines, foxes, gazelles (in the past), hedgehogs, etc. There are a number of parking lots and several entrances to the forest, and there are also a number of paths. Among the recommended sites in the forest, one can note: the historical terraces, the restoration and preservation and the lookout point (Horvat Hamama).
From many points in the forest, one can easily view the amazing landscape. In addition, the recommended path during all seasons of the year is the Cedars Path, which is considered to be relatively easy even for families. One can combine a tour of the forest with additional tours of Jerusalem, such a tour in the direction of Yad v’Shem or even a tour towards Ein Karem.
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We recommend to take a train from the airport to Yitzhak Navon station in Jerusalem from there you can take a bus, light rail or taxi to everywhere you wish in the city.