The City of Gold, as Jerusalem is known, is so-called because of its beautiful buildings all built out of the same golden stone. Jerusalem city is a place that glitters with the history of numerous religions – Christianity, Islam and Judaism. The city’s ancient section is where Jesus walked, where Muhammad stood, where Jews of every description pray at the hallowed Western Wall and where Armenians come to find their link to this historic city.
Time and tradition whisper around every corner, with churches and temples just waiting to be explored. Visit a bustling market place where people barter for goods as they have done for centuries and discover unearthed treasures on display for tourists and pilgrims to enjoy. Jerusalem in Israel is one of those places one has to visit at least once in a lifetime, a treasure trove of historical and religious artefacts and cultural experiences.
Why take a trip to Jerusalem
- Explore 3,000 years of history in the well-preserved Old City, a living museum.
- Jerusalem is the holiest city in the world for numerous religions.
- To see new additions to the city’s skyline including the vast Israel Museum.
- Savour exotic and delicious Middle Eastern cuisine.
- You can use the city as a base from which to visit the legendary Dead Sea.
- To see so many famous pilgrimage sights.
Whether you’re looking to soak up history and religion or want to enjoy Jerusalem’s young and vibrant side, you’re in for a treat. You can explore the Old City on foot at leisure to discover its many cultural, religious and historical treasures, shop or dine in bustling markets day and night, explore world-class museums and enjoy a buzzing nightlife. Enjoy the ultimate Jerusalem holiday on an Israel holiday package from Thompsons Holidays.
Things to do in Jerusalem
If you love history, culture, religion and tradition, you have to visit Jerusalem. It’s a living museum with well-preserved ancient buildings to explore, traditional markets to browse and cultural surprises to discover around every corner.
A trip to Jerusalem is so many things: a religious pilgrimage, a historical discovery, a chance to explore ancient cultures and beliefs, and an opportunity to learn about a place that is so important to so many different people. There is so much to do in Jerusalem, you will have to return time and again to relive its magic, rediscover spiritual awakenings and find new treasures.
Things to do in Jerusalem
- Visit holy Christian sites like the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, the Via Dolorosa and the Stations of the Cross.
- Discover the Dome of the Rock in the Al-Aqsa Mosque.
- Pray at the Kotel, the Wailing Wall.
- Explore the Jewish religious district, Meah Shearim (‘100 Gates’).
- Discover the calm and quiet on a Saturday, the Sabbath.
- Explore world-class museums.
- Shop for bargains in the Old City’s ancient bazaar.
- Dine at one of the cafes inside Jerusalem’s Mahane Yehuda Market.
- Visit the holy cities of Nazareth and Bethlehem on day trips.
- Embark on the Ramparts Walk to see all four sections of the Old City from up high.
- Visit during July, when the city explodes with fun and activities during the Jerusalem Festival of Light.
Whether you’re hiking through ancient ruins, exploring some of the world’s holiest sites, bartering in traditional Arab markets or enjoying an all-night rock concert, Jerusalem offers something for everyone. Bring the family, enjoy a romantic holiday with your partner or travel solo… Jerusalem is a City of Gold for all who visit to experience its magic.
Know before you go...
- The best time to visit Israel is in spring (April & May) and late autumn (October & November).
- Winters (late October to mid-March) are generally quite mild.
- Summer – April to October – is hot and dry.
- Flight duration from Johannesburg to Tel Aviv: 8 hours, 40 minutes.
- You then take shuttle bus from the airport, which takes an hour, or an airport taxi.
- Public transportation in Jerusalem consists of a network of buses and a light rail system that connects one end of the city to the other. You can also explore on foot or use a taxi.
- Lightweight clothing and beachwear in summer, warm layers for winter.
- Comfortable walking shoes.
- Sunscreen, lip balm, hat and sunglasses.
- Mini first aid kit and regular prescription medication.
- Hand sanitiser and insect repellent.
- Travel adaptor.
- Be safety conscious: don’t display cash or valuables. Leave jewellery and expensive watches at home.
- Keep your belongings safe – use the hotel safe for passports and valuables and watch out for pickpockets and bag snatchers when out and about.
- If passports or valuables are stolen, report the theft to the hotel/police immediately.
- Contact the Thompsons Holidays 24-hour care line to assist.
Out of season
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