An Introduction to Jerusalem
This Jerusalem travel guide mainly features the sites and attractions of the Old City of Jerusalem. With a past that goes back thousands of years, this part of the Israeli capital is a place that is as interesting as it is historical. An ancient city, which is surrounded by the waters of the Mediterranean and the Dead seas, Jerusalem is embraced by the three faiths of Christianity, Judaism, and Islam. Therefore, this travel destination provides tourists with a variety of sites to see that are spiritually, historically, and architecturally significant.
The Old City: A World Heritage Site
Indeed, Jerusalem is ancient as the oldest section of the capital was established during the fourth millennium BCE. The walls that surround the city were constructed much later, or during the first part of the 16th century. These ramparts define the old part of the city – an area that is, by tradition, segregated into four distinct quarters that are made up of Christian, Jewish, Armenian and Muslim populations. The resorts in Jerusalem or the modern areas of the city expand far beyond this section of the capital, which has been designated as a World Heritage site.
Popular Old City Attractions
Jerusalem has been considered a holy city for Christians from the time of Christ’s crucifixion. It is also considered the third holiest of the holy cities for Shiite Muslims, who regard Najaf and Karbala in Iraq only more sacred. So, although Old Jerusalem is only comprised of a small area, it is still the spot in the city that draws the most interest from tourists. As a result, many visitors regularly visit such attractions as Temple Mount, the Dome of the Rock, and the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, each of which are popular religious attractions.
The Church of the Holy Sepulchre
The Church of the Holy Sepulchre is noted as being the site where Jesus was laid to rest (known as the Sepulchre). Therefore, this area has been a destination from ancient times for Christian followers. The Dome of the Rock is revered by Muslims as is the Al-Aqsa mosque in this area of the capital.
Things to Do in Jerusalem: Visiting the Newer Sections of the City
The other areas of metropolitan Jerusalem feature leisure and shopping activities where pedestrian streets, cafes, and retail shops define the environment. On the other hand, the east side of Jerusalem, which sits due north of the Old City, conveys a more casual demeanor. Vibrantly colored street markets make up this part of the capital.
The Mount of Olives
Indeed, this Jerusalem travel guide would not be complete if it didn’t mention the Mount of Olives as well, which is located east of Old Jerusalem. The location, which is the burial site for around 150,000 graves, has been a Jewish cemetery for over three millennia. You can find a number of architecturally interesting tombs in and around the region too, such as the ancient monolithic tomb of the prophet Zechariah.
The Best Time to Go
Travelers who visit Jerusalem often will experience fewer crowds if they go in the spring or fall. However, you still have to make sure that you don’t plan your trip at the same time as a major celebration. Otherwise, you’ll probably have a hard time reserving a room. If you do plan to go during such times as Passover or the High Holy Days, make sure your reservations are made well in advance of your trip.
Recommended 3, 4, and 5-Star Old City Hotels
Speaking of hotels, this Jerusalem travel guide can suggest some Old City hotels that are close to all the activities and things to do in Jerusalem and beyond. Three-star accommodations can be found at the Beit Shmuel Hotel and Guesthouse and Eden Jerusalem Hotel, and four-star rooms can be booked at The Prima Royale Jerusalem Hotel. The King David Jerusalem Hotel is a five-star property that is also a distinguished member of the Leading Hotels of the World.