Originally printed in https://www.touristisrael.com/5-best-things-to-do-in-jerusalem/5268/

There are literally hundreds of great things to do in Jerusalem, but there are some things which you just have to do when you are in the city. The best things to do in Jerusalem are activities which should be included on almost every itinerary and are things which will interest travelers from all backgrounds and corners of the world.

Visit the Old City of Jerusalem

Western Wall, in the Old City of Jerusalem by Avital Pinnick, on Flickr

Western Wall, in the Old City of Jerusalem by Avital Pinnick, on Flickr

The Old City of Jerusalem is hard to ignore! It might not be big (it’s only 1 square kilometer in size), but within those walls are some of the most important religious sites in the world, some of the most intense history and politics, some of the most beautiful coexistence, and almost undoubtedly, some of the greatest surprises. Depending on religious background, you will experience the Old City in very different ways – for Jews, the Kotel or Western Wall, is the holiest place in the world as the last remaining wall of the Temple, for Christians, there is the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, believed to be the place where Jesus is buried, and for Muslims, there is the Al-Aqsa Mosque. As well as the core religious sites, the Old City is full of fascinating markets, alleyways, and museums, fascinating people to watch, and, amazing surprises.

Israel Museum

The Israel Museum is Israel’s flagship museum of art, archaeology, and history. It’s showpiece are the Dead Sea scrolls which are situated in the beautiful Shrine of the Book, however, this is really just the beginning. The rest of the museum, which has just been extensively refurbished contains an incredible collection of pieces which chronicle the history of the Land of Israel, the city Jerusalem, and the Jewish people, through the ages. It is an incredible museum and certainly a place worth visiting.

Machane Yehuda Market

The Mahane Yehuda in Jerusalem by Flavio@Flickr, on Flickr

The Mahane Yehuda in Jerusalem by Flavio@Flickr, on Flickr

In the modern city of Jerusalem (west of the Old City) lies the Machane Yehuda Market, an authentic Middle Eastern market, or shuk, filled with small stores selling almost every imaginable product, from every conceivable corner of the world. A myriad of sensual experiences await you when exploring Machane Yehuda, with contrasting smells filling the air, and the sounds, sights, and, if you’re lucky enough, tastes make Machane Yehuda a highlight of Jerusalem for many and for sure one of the best markets in Jerusalem.

Yad Vashem

Yad Vashem is Israel’s national Holocaust Memorial, and the Yad Vashem Holocaust Museum is an important place to visit in Jerusalem. At Yad Vashem image and architecture are as important as the words telling the story, and the incredible museum offers so many different ways to interact with the story of the Holocaust that it gets across not just the story of the tragedy, but also a remarkable atmosphere which effects almost everybody who visits. The Yad Vashem site, in the lush Jerusalem Forest on Mount Hertzl offers peace for contemplation after visiting the museum.

Jerusalem Biblical Zoo

Flamingos Standing in Jerusalem's Biblical Zoo by ForestForTrees, on Flickr

Flamingos Standing in Jerusalem’s Biblical Zoo by ForestForTrees, on Flickr

Set on the outskirts of Jerusalem, nestled in the beautiful hills upon which the city is set, is the amazing Jerusalem Biblical Zoo. The zoo is not only a great place for kids, its beauty and interesting theme with a focus and special interest in animals from the Bible make it a great escape from the hustle of downtown Jerusalem for pretty well everyone. Whilst visiting a zoo might not be something you expect to do in Jerusalem, visit, and take our word, you will not be disappointed.

Other places to visit in Jerusalem

This article really only touches upon a few of the best places to visit and things to do in Jerusalem, a city which is full of incredible culture and history, religion, and adventure. There are many ways to explore the city, many like to see it on their own, at their own pace, others decide to join group tours of Jerusalem, whilst others take a private tour of Jerusalem with a private guide who can take you where you want to go, and create a special tour just for you.

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