Visit the most popular archaeological and religious sites in Jerusalem in just two days, from the Western Wall to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, the Machne Yehuda Market and the Mount of Olives.
The holy city, home to the three Abrahamic faiths, is best visited on weekdays as many sites close on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays during the religious holidays. Plan to avoid long queues and dress modestly – long trousers for men and knee-length skirts or dresses and long-sleeved tops for women.
If you’d rather leave your travel plans in the hands of travel experts, join Culture Trip’s specially curated seven-day tour of Israel – from Jerusalem to Tel Aviv and the Dead Sea.
Day one: Old City and East Jerusalem
Morning: Visit the Temple Mount
Grab breakfast on the go from the numerous street food stalls piled up with kaak bel simsim (a sesame-topped ring of bread) or nawa’im (a sweet saffron-flavoured bread filled with dates). Head through the Old City to the Temple Mount, sacred to Jews, Muslims and Christians. On top of the site lies the beautiful Dome of the Rock, decorated with glazed ceramic tiles and a large golden dome. Non-Muslim visitors are required to use the Mughrabi Gate by the Western Wall to enter the Temple Mount. It should be noted that opening times are strict, and the queues are long. Also, the site is subject to frequent closure.
Walk along the Via Dolorosa and stop at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre
Stroll down Via Dolorosa, the route Jesus walked with his cross to his crucifixion. Jerusalem Audio Walking Tours is a handy app that provides an audio tour of the path along with navigation. Stop at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, where Jesus was crucified, and visit the Tomb of the Sepulchre, where Jesus was buried before his resurrection.
Afternoon: Enjoy a hummus lunch
Take a lunch break at one of the top spots for hummus in Jerusalem – Hummus Lina in the Christian Quarter or Abu Shukri in the Muslim Quarter.
Explore the Museum on the Seam and East Jerusalem
Walk through the Arab souq and exit through the Damascus Gate. Head to the Museum on the Seam to catch a contemporary art exhibition. From there, visit The Garden Tomb, which houses Jesus’s tomb, and then make your way to the American Colony Hotel (one of the top hotels in Jerusalem) to enjoy coffee and an aperitif in the courtyard cafe or garden bar.
Evening: Join one of the many fun events in Jerusalem
Check the events taking place at the Yabous Cultural Centre or Dar Issaf Nashashibi, or search on GoJerusalem.com to discover more timely experiences. During the summer, the Sacred Music Festival is not to be missed. End the day at one of the restaurants in the Notre Dame of Jerusalem Center hotel, whose gorgeous terrace looks out over the Old City.
Day two: Mount of Olives and Museums
Morning: Summit the Mount of Olives
Either walk (20-30 minutes uphill from Gethsemane) or take a taxi to the top of the Mount of Olives and walk down, exploring the sights. Start with the Mosque and Chapel of the Ascension, where Jesus ascended into heaven, and then make your way down to the Church of the Pater Noster, which houses beautiful courtyards decorated with the Lord’s Prayer in more than 160 languages.
Head down another level to the Russian Orthodox Church of Mary Magdalene. Admire its gleaming golden domes and take in the view of the Old City and the Jewish cemetery below. Many Jews believe that on the Messiah’s return, God will begin to redeem the dead at the Mount of Olives; therefore, more than 150,000 Jews have chosen to be buried here for the best chances of salvation. Continue past the Tombs of the Prophets and down to the Church of All Nations, which lies next to the Garden of Gethsemane, and admire the stunning golden mosaics on its facade.
Afternoon: Visit the Machane Yehuda Market for lunch
Walk or take a taxi to the bustling Machane Yehuda Market in West Jerusalem and sample some of the street food. Enjoy a flaky boureka pastry stuffed with cheese and spinach, an Iraqi sabich (a pita sandwich filled with aubergine and boiled eggs) from Aricha Sabich, a Yemeni malawach sandwich (made with two fried pancakes) from Jachnun Bar, or some Kurdish home cooking from Ishtabach.
Stroll around the museums
Head out farther west and spend a long afternoon at the Israel Museum or the moving Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial. Both attractions are vast and will take up the best part of your day. If you would like to learn more about Palestinian culture, head back east and spend the afternoon at the Palestinian Heritage Museum. If you have time, visit the Rockefeller Archaeological Museum, which is nearby.
Evening: See the Western Wall
Head back in evening to the Old City to take in the atmosphere at the Western Wall before watching the sunset one last time from the roof of the Austrian Hospice. For dinner, try The Eucalyptus, a kosher-friendly biblical-themed restaurant that overlooks the walls of the Old City. It offers three tasting menus – the King David Feast, the Song of Songs Feast and the Queen of Sheba Feast.
KEEN TO EXPLORE THE WORLD?
Connect with like-minded people on our premium trips curated by local insiders and with care for the world
Since you are here, we would like to share our vision for the future of travel - and the direction Culture Trip is moving in.
Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.
Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.
Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.
We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.