The extraordinary city holds tradition, religion, history and a growing modern cultural heritage of art, theatre, music and food.
Jerusalem is holy to Jews, Muslims and Christians and explains the significance to so many.
Old City of Jerusalem This is the historic and religious area which makes this city so special. It’s only a one-square-kilometer walled area – it can be described as tranquil, surreal and intense. The Western Wall or Kotel, is in the Jewish Quarter and is the last remaining wall of the Jewish Temple compound. As the holiest site in Judaism, it is the central focus for Jews in this city.
For Christians, Jesus Christ died, was buried and resurrected in Jerusalem – the Church of the Holy Sepulchre is also the Old City and is shared between many denominations.
In Islam, Jerusalem is said to be from where Muhammad rose into the heavens, and the Dome of the Rock makes this city the third holiest for Muslims.
The four quarters of the Old City (Jewish, Muslim, Christian, and Armenian), are each unique and yet, fit together as local residents go about their daily lives. There are secret alleyways and private viewing points to find and be rewarded with incredible sights of the Old City.
New City of Jerusalem The capital of Israel has become a distinguished cutting edge center of culture. Restaurants like Machneyuda (Israeli-rustic/Market-to-table), a perennial Jerusalem favorite founded by Israeli Chef Uri Navon in the heart of Jerusalem’s Machane Yehuda market, Lara (Israeli/Italian), Elegant bistro founded by Michelin-starred Italian Chef Lior Chaftzadi specializing in Israeli cuisine with multicultural influences to Rama’s Kitchen (Israeli-rustic), founded by Rama Ben Zvi 17 years ago, Rama’s Kitchen has become a thriving culinary landmark and is consistently ranked as one of Israel’s leading restaurants. The restaurant consists of a wooden deck in the heart of a flourishing nursery overlooking the breathtaking landscape, which changes with the seasons, of the Judean Hills and the coastal lowlands.
Jerusalem isn’t quiet the rambunctious Tel Aviv and is certainly not as liberal, but there are shops museums and institutions you would expect anywhere else.
The center is around Ben Yehuda Street, a pedestrianized area with restaurants, cafes, and shops. In the past few years, a new addition Mamilla Avenue is a pedestrianized mall running from the Mamilla Hotel to the Jaffa Gate of the Old City. Here are found more upmarket and household recognized brand names, with art pieces and one off sculptures by Israeli artists lining the avenue.
Yad Vashem On beautiful Mount Herzl, this is Israel’s memorial and place of commemoration for the millions who perished in the Holocaust. It has been renewed, the story of the Holocaust told in words, pictures and by the architecture itself. An important place to visit.
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The Israel Museum The largest cultural institution in the State of Israel, is ranked among the world’s leading art and archaeology museums. Founded in 1965, the Museum houses encyclopedic collections, including the world-famous Dead Sea Scrolls and works dating from prehistory to the present day, in its Archaeology, Fine Arts, and Jewish Art and Life Wings, and features the most extensive holdings of biblical and Holy Land archaeology in the world.
Ticho House Ticho House is a beautiful museum with gardens and a top restaurant, as part of the Israel Museum collection, it is one of the first houses built in Jerusalem in the second half of the 19th century which was purchased by the ophthalmologist, Dr. Ticho and his wife, Anna. Today, the house serves as a museum dedicated to the works of Anna, whose sketches are iconic, as well as other exhibitions, a library of books about Jerusalem, art and literature, and a popular restaurant.
Art and culture In recent years, a number of artists have moved to the neighborhood, and three art schools have opened up: a religious film school called Maaleh; Musrara, an edgy photography, animation and sound school; and the School for Oriental Music, which occasionally has open concerts in the evenings, and is lovely to walk past as the musicians practice during the day. These last two are both on Ayin Het street, and there is another gallery next to them. An artists’ collective called Muslala has sprung up, and they engage in artwork in the public domain, involving longtime local residents and social activists from East and West Jerusalem.
Bezalel Arts Fair, Jerusalem Jerusalem is proud of its reputed Bezalel Academy for Arts – the Bezalel Arts Fair in Jerusalem features the works of Jerusalem artists. Every Friday in the pedestrianized area of Bezalel Street, around 150 artist stalls and 10,000 visitors. Opening 10am to 4pm
General Opening Hours for Jerusalem Sunday, Monday, Wednesday, Thursday 10 am to 5 pm Tuesday: 10 am to 10 pm Friday: 10 am to 2 pm Saturday and Festivals: closed