It is an understatement to say that Israel in general and Jerusalem in particular has a lot to offer for the visitor and resident alike to see. You can live here for years and still be surprised by the discovery of of sites that have been around for years.
I want to be able to share these experiences with others and the Interwebs seems to be the best way to do it. Who knows, perhaps it will encourage more people to visit here and see Israel for themselves.
Without doubt the main sites to see in Jerusalem are the Old City with the Jewish Quarter and Western Wall, the Christian Quarter and the Church of the Holy Scepulcre, The Dome of the Rock and the el Akasa mosque on the Temple Mount, The Israel Museum and Yad Vashem, the Holocaust Memorial and museum.
Personally, I enjoy the fact that Jerusalem is has a unique mixture of cultures and communities as a result of the historical processes that have formed the city. These process continue to work and as a living city, Jerusalem is always in a state of flux and change. These communities are within walking distance of each other, but most people stick to their own areas.
I have put together the route below which can be followed on foot. Although it can be done in one day, you would probably chose to split it up, especially during the warm days of summer.
There are differences in the environment and the populace which can be identified by the the observant visitor. While many shops sell the same things, there are some shops only found in each section. Geulah and Mea Sharim have food and books hard to find elsewhere. The vast majority of men there are dressed in big black hats, white shirts and long black coats, even on the hottest days of summer. On Salah el Din street the majority of the women wear the hijab or Muslim headscarf. In both cases this is only a recent development of the past few years.
I chose to start from the fruit and vegetable market of Machane Yehuda.
From there we cross over Jaffa road and walk through the alleyways down to Geula and Mea Shearim.
From there we depart the Jewish side of town, cross the light railway tracks and enter East Jerusalem by the American Colony Hotel.
Then we walk down Sultan Suliman street and at the end of the road turn right to the Damascus gate.
We enter the Old City of Jerusalem by the Damascus Gate and walk down el wad hagai street until we hit the Via Dolorosa. We enter the large building on our left, the Austrian hospice, pressing the buzzer by the door.
From there we can continue onwards to the Western Wall plaza, the Dome of the Rock and the Jewish Quarter or we can follow the via Dolorosa up to the Curch of the Holy Scepulcre (or do both..).
Then we can walk up the street of David, the Old City tourist shuk (market) to Jaffa gate.
During the weekdays (Sunday to Friday midday) we can walk through the new Mamilla mall and then go back onto Jaffa Road.
The approximate route is set out on the map below. By clicking on the i points of interest or on the links below, you are taken to the relevant pages.
- Machane Yehudah
- Geula, Mea Shearim
- American Colony Hotel, Salah el Din street
- Damascus Gate, Old City of Jerusalem
- Austrian hospice
- Old city shuk (market)
- Mamilla mall