Places to visit in Jerusalem

Jerusalem behind the city walls


This trip is the full-day walking tour to Jerusalem for those who have already been in the city more than one time. We will start the day with two amazing museums that discover the real streets of Jerusalem from the time of King David and King Herod the Great. The city of King David impresses with its antiquity and authenticity. The Jerusalem archaeological park - Davidson Center shows the buildings of the vicinity of the Second Jerusalem Temple, its streets, and even shops of artisans. We will visit the Wailing Wall. We will walk along the southern walls of the old city to the Sultan's Pool and climb a little up the slope to the old windmill in the first suburb built behind the city walls. From the quarter of Moses Montefiori, we will approach the legendary King David Hotel and stop for a rest in Independence Park. At the end of the day, we will take a leisurely walk and eat at the most colorful, tasty, and famous city market - Mahane Yehuda.

Author & Co-authors
Evgeny Praisman (author)
Здравствуйте! Добро пожаловать в мои экскурсии! Я как-то понял, что погулять с каждым я не успею, гулять в группах мало кому сейчас хочется, а гулять «вслепую» быстро становится скучно. Так и появилась идея записывать маршруты и создавать полноценные путеводители, которые я здесь собираю. Если вы попали сюда, значит вам нужен ключик, чтобы открыть маршрут – пожалуйста! Напишите мне сообщение на телефон +972 537907561 или на и я с радостью вам помогу! Иначе, зачем я всё это делаю?
5.54 km
4h 0 m
Places with media
City of David, Jerusalem
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The City of David an Israeli national park managed since 1997 by the Ir David Foundation. The City of David is best known for its Canaanite fortified walls and its newer structures from the Iron Age, built by Judean rulers. The Bible describes King David as the Israelite leader who conquers the fortified city of Jebus and establishes the capital of his kingdom. The excavations in the city of David discovered the biblical history of the Jewish nation and it's capital Jerusalem representing today the most significant period of the city history.

Photo By Shlomo.abitbul - Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0,

The overlook to City of David, Jerusalem
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David founded a large and powerful state. He united the lands of all twelve tribes into one country. His task was to create the capital of this state. He chose Jerusalem, not only because the center and foundation of the Jewish faith - the Temple Mount is located above this small city, but also because no one of the twelve tribes did not own the land of this city and none of them could claim domination. Above us is the Temple Mount, opposite Mount of Olives, a steep slope of the town of David, and its ramparts go down.

Photo By Omerm - Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0,

Warren's Shaft, City of David, Jerusalem
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In 1867 British engineer and archaeologist Sir Charles Warren (1840–1927) discovered a vertical shaft next to the Gihon Spring, the primary source of water to Jerusalem at the Bronze and Iron age. This discovery led to research of the water supplying system of ancient Jerusalem and understanding the biblical text where it states that David conquered Jerusalem from its prior inhabitants, the Jebusites, due to Joab sneaking up a similar water shaft and launching a surprise attack on the city from inside.

Photo By MathKnight at Hebrew Wikipedia, CC BY-SA 2.5,

Pool of Siloam, Jerusalem
Pool of Siloam, Jerusalem

The modern Pool of Siloam was constructed In the 5th century. This pool is in close proximity to the Pool of Siloam from the time of Second Temple and is significantly smaller. The original pool was on the southern slope of the City of David, outside the walls and was fed by the waters of the Gihon Spring, brought by aqueducts.

Photo By Deror_avi - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0,

Underground passage from the city of David to the Temple Mount, Jerusalem
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This underground passage from Gihon Spring to the southern tip of the Temple Mount is one of Jerusalem's most exciting archaeological discoveries. The tunnel passes through the sewer channel of the time of King Herod the Great. Its cobbled pavement is the oldest street in Jerusalem since King David. It was along this street, about seven hundred meters long, that Jewish pilgrims were climbed the temple mountain after having bathed in the Siloam basin. If the passage is closed due to weather conditions, you need to go back to the main entrance to the park City of David.

Photo By Deror_avi - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0,

Robinson's Arch in the Archaeological Park at Davidson Center in Jerusalem
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This street dates to the time of Herod the Great. At this point turn the head up and see the southern end of the Western Wall with a row of vaulted stones which once supported a huge arch that carried stairs ascending from the street to the Temple Mount. This arch is named Robinson's Arch after British researcher. This site is the southern extension of the original Western wall but does not come under the direct control of the Rabbi of the Wall or the Ministry of Religious Affairs. Due to this juridical fact, in 2004, the place has been opened for man and women joint prayers and hosts ceremonies of Reform and Conservative Jewish groups. In 2013 additional space was added to expand the prayer area.

Photo By Nis101 - Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0,

The main approach to the Western Wall and its plaza, Jerusalem
The main approach to the Western Wall and its plaza, Jerusalem

The main approach to the Western Wall and the plaza in front of it. Due to the holiness of the place, it is necessary to be clothed modestly and it is forbidden to smoke, use the mobile phone and write on Saturdays. Please cooperate with the security at the entrance point. The entrance is gender separated.

Photo By דוד שי - Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0,

The Wailing Wall
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The Western Wall, Wailing Wall, or "Kotel" in Hebrew is a segment of a retaining wall of the Temple mount from times of Herod the Great. The Wall and its plaza considered holy places due to their connection to the Temple Mount and used for prayer by Jews. This wall is almost the only open segment of the western wall of the supporting substructures that give the natural hill of the Temple mount a geometrically regular shape. The wall has also been called the "Wailing Wall," referring to the Jewish practice of wailing at the site at Tisha B'Av, the day of national mourning for the Temples. The Jewish prayer was held continuously at the place except for 19 years after the Israel Independence war when under Jordanian control, Jews were expelled entirely from the Old City. This period ended on June 10, 1967, when Israel gained control of the place following the Six-Day War.

Photo By Yourway-to-israel - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0,

Exit from the square in front of the Wailing Wall

Exit from the square in front of the Wailing Wall. Get around the guardhouse and go through the revolving door.

Zion Gate, Jerusalem
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Zion Gate is one of eight gates in the city walls of the Old City of Jerusalem. The gate is also named Bab an-Nabi Dawud "The Prophet David Gate" after the near tomb of the great king. The name Zion Gate comes from the mount Zion on which the gate stands. The plenty of bullets traces on the gate can be seen. These signs refer to the battle for freedom of the Jewish quarter after May 13, 1948, as the British Army withdrew from Jerusalem, and major from the Suffolk Regiment transferred the key for the Zion Gate to Jewish commander Mordechai Weingarten.

Photo By Berthold Werner - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0,

The Sultan's Pool, Jerusalem
The Sultan's Pool, Jerusalem

The Sultan's Pool is an ancient water reservoir, that likely dates to the time of Herod. After the Ottoman sultans enlarged the reservoir, the people of Jerusalem named it for rulers' common name. The Sultan's Pool is dry nowadays and is used for concerts and festivals.

Photo: By צלמי המושבה - צלמי המושבה האמריקנית, CC BY-SA 3.0,

Montefiori's windmill in Jerusalem
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The new Jewish neighborhood of Mishkenot Sha'ananim was built three years after the windmill was built in 1857. This first development of the city outside its wall was possible by the efforts of British Jewish banker and philanthropist Moses Montefiore. Designed as the first windmill in Jerusalem it has never milled flour. People of Jerusalem didn't accept this present since they were afraid to settle outside the city walls. The windmill serves as a small museum dedicated to the philanthropy of Montefiore the English Lord of Jewish origin. Windmill was restored in 2012 with a new dome and vanes. The mill can turn in the wind.

Photo By Ralf Roletschek - Own work, GFDL 1.2,

Bloomfield Garden, Jerusalem
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This area above the Yemin Moshe quarter called Nikephoria (the Nikephorian dynasty of Byzantine Empire) was purchased from the Greek Orthodox Church to build an open city garden. The garden is one of the biggest in the capital and includes some interesting sites. One of them is the family tomb of King Herod and fragments of an ancient aqueduct as well as monuments and sculptures donated by artists and governments of different countries.

Photo By דוד שי - Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0,

King David Hotel, Jerusalem
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In 1929 on Julian’s Way, today King David Street, Ezra Mosseri, a reach Egyptian Jewish banker and director of the National Bank of Egypt, purchased 4.5 acres and build together with wealthy Cairo Jews, King David Hotel. The hotel was opened in 1931 and became a home for King Alfonso XIII of Spain, forced by Franko to abdicate in 1931. Emperor Haile Selassie of Ethiopia lived in the hotel after driven out by the Italians in 1936. King George II of Greece managed his government in exile at the hotel after the Nazis occupied his country in 1942. Swiss architect, Emile Vogt designed the building with locally pink limestone. British turned the southern wing of the hotel into a British military headquarters, which became a target for Jewish paramilitary group Irgun, who demanded unhindered entry into Palestine of Jews who survived in the Holocaust. The British authorities of Palestine not only refused a visa to Jews but also deported illegal immigrants to concentration camps in Cyprus. On July 22, 1946, Irgun bombed the southwestern corner of the hotel. Ninety-one people died, and 45 people were injured in this attack. On May 4, 1948, the British Mandate ended, the building became a main Jewish headquarters. The hotel was on the proximity to the armistice line that divided Jerusalem into Israeli and Jordanian territory at the end of the 1948 Arab–Israeli War. After the 1967 Six-Day War, Israel forces defeated Jordan troops east Jerusalem was proclaimed the part of the Jewish capital of Jerusalem the hotel was expanded, with two additional floors. Since then King David Hotel accommodated many foreign heads of state and diplomats visiting Israel.

Photo By Unknown - Own work, Public Domain,

The YMCA Stadium, Jerusalem
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Once upon a time, the legendary YMCA stadium was at this site. On August 23, 1926, American philanthropist James Navgin Jarvey laid the cornerstone of the stadium. The construction lasted six years, but the use began during the building process. In November 1935, the stadium hosted the first athletics championship. The field glanced many major games, including the Jerusalem derby. In 1991 after the last derby game, the two Jerusalem teams left the stadium and moved to the city's new football stadium - the Teddy Stadium. In the last derby game on the YMCA pitch, Hapoel won Betar. At the beginning of the 21st century, the stadium complex was demolished, and a prestigious residential complex called Keter David was built on its territory.

Photo מאת לא ידוע - the State of Israel's national photo collection, נחלת הכלל,

Zamenhof street, Jerusalem
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We pass through the neighborhood, which was built up in the thirties of the twentieth century. Esperanto was a popular language in those days. The Polish Jew Zamenhof invented this artificial language. He dreamed that people of the entire world would freely communicate with each other. His plans were not destined to come true. He was killed in the Holocaust. In Jerusalem, the street is named after him.

Photo By Yair rand - Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0,

The Independence Park in Jerusalem
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Independence Park is Jerusalem's second-largest park located next to the Mamilla cemetery. Muslim graves date to the 13th century. The most popular tradition states that there is Lion's cave in the park, which preserves bones of Jewish, Christians, and Muslims as well. A lion - the God's creature, was placed to the cave to guard the dead. Christians believe that the remains of monks who were massacred by the Persians in 614 preserved in the cave. Jewish tradition states that the bones of Jews killed by the Seleucid Greeks are buried there. Muslims say that the remains from the nearby Mamilla cemetery were transferred by Allah to the cave to save them from a fire. The one fact is undisputable - there is a sacred place in the holy city where the three religions come together to guard the dead.

Photo מאת Elians מוויקיפדיה העברית, CC BY-SA 3.0,

King George Street, Jerusalem
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In 1924 British celebrated the seventh anniversary of the conquest of Jerusalem by General Allenby. King George Street, named in honor of King George V, was inaugurated in this event. There are some significant buildings along the street. In 1950–1966, the Knesset, Israel's parliament, met at Beit Froumine. Beit HaMa'alot ("elevator house"), the highrise building with elevator, was built in 1935 by architects Alexander Friedman and Meir Rubin. The headquarters of the Jewish Agency is on this street.

Photo מאת לא ידוע - user:idobi, נחלת הכלל,

Agrippa Street, Jerusalem
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Agrippas Street is one of the oldest and busiest streets in Jerusalem. Until the end of the 19th century, it was just a tiny piece of land dividing between Jewish neighborhoods around. The narrow section was only not sold or developed. Garbage and dirt of mudflows were damaging neighboring Jewish quarters. On one night in 1875, Jews from neighborhoods gathered together and worked until dawn to clear this area and turn it into a wide, clean street. The new road became known as BILA, the abbreviation for the Hebrew phrase "bimlalaya" or "overnight." The name was later changed to Agrippa, perhaps because tradition attributes to King Agrippa II that he laid marble streets of the city 2,000 years ago. Tiny historic quarters - Nakhlaot surrounds the Agrippas street; between them, the market of Mahane Yehuda began to grow.

Pereg Spice Store, Mahne Yehuda, Jerusalem
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The Mahane Yehuda neighborhood was established in 1887. Three partners: Johannes Frutiger (a German Protestant and owner of a bank), Shalom Construm, and Joseph Navon founded it. They decided to name the market after the Navon's brother Yehuda. Even earlier, across the road, owned by the Valero family, a trading lot was created. This market was known as the Shook Beit Jacob (Beit Yaakov Market). Arab merchants and fellahs sold their goods to residents who lived outside the Old City. As new neighborhoods grew, the Beit Yaacov market developed. In 1906, the Faraj family of Libyan Jews settled here. Arriving in Israel, they changed their surname to Pereg (the Hebrew word for poppy seeds). The aromas of olive oil, turmeric, caraway seeds, and paprika reign there. Today, Pereg is the leading spice company in Israel.

Mamlechet aHalva, Mahane Yehuda, Jerusalem
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This is one of the famous shops in the market. This is the Kingdom of Halva. The first shop of the Kingdom of Halvah opened in 1947 in the Old City of Jerusalem. After the Jews were expelled from the Old City, during the war for the Independence of Israel in 1948, the family opened a store in the Mahne Yehuda market. Today, the Kingdom of Halva produces halva at the plant in Mishor Adumim, east of Jerusalem in the Judean Desert, and provides jobs for hundreds of residents of the west bank. The halva production process is long and complicated. It includes importing sesame from Ethiopia, grinding seeds to sesame flour in a special mill, and mixing the powder with sugar until it becomes viscous and hardening, like real halva. Eli Maman knows all the family secrets of halva making. These are ancient recipes that have been passed down by generations in his Moroccan family. The recipe for adding various natural flavors, from simple lemon-orange flavors to the taste of whiskey and peanut, is a special secret. Halva, sold in the Kingdom of Halva, is only available in the Mahne Yehuda market and in the recently opened market in Tel Aviv - Sarona Market. The brand uses more than 100 different tastes and types.

Fresh Fish on Mahane Yehuda, Jerusalem
Fresh Fish on Mahane Yehuda, Jerusalem

There are many fish stalls on the market. Everything that is sold on the market is kosher. Therefore, you will not find shrimp, crayfish, crab, octopus, oysters. Kosher inhabitants of marine and sweet water spaces are only those that have fins and scales. This is pure fish.

Basher Fromajery Mahane Yehuda, Jerusalem
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The market of Mahane Yehuda or only “the market” has many stories, and Basher Fromagerie is the story of Cinderella. Since 1956, two generations of the Eli Basher family have been running a small restaurant on Makhne Yehuda, but Eli decided to make another career. During a trip to France, he fell in love with the European cheese culture. Although Eli grew up in traditional Jerusalem cuisine, he decided to take a chance and “bring the taste of Paris” to the very heart of the Jerusalem market. Basher Fromagerie is now well known outside of Mahne Yehuda and is one of the best cheese shops in the country. Each month, Ely travels to Rungis, a huge wholesale market in the suburbs of Paris, to replenish her empire with new varieties from Europe. Israeli dairies are also represented in the store. In addition to cheese, the store offers a variety of wines, imported beer, unique sauces and seasonings, herring, Italian kinds of pasta, particular types of bread, and other high-quality delicacies.

Baklava Machnayehuda, Jerusalem
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One of the most famous sweets in the East and almost its symbol is Baklava. The word baklava is mentioned in English in 1650, as a word from Turkish. The name baklava is used in many languages ​​with minor phonetic and spelling changes. Although the baklava recipe is wrapped with a myriad of legends, its current version was probably developed in the imperial kitchens of Topkapi Palace in Istanbul. The Sultan welcomed Janissaries with baklava on the 15th day of the month of Ramadan in a ceremonial procession called Baklava Alaiy. The local development of the Turkish recipe is the tradition in Jerusalem. The local twist is to fill the layers of dough with pistachios, walnuts, or almonds. A more simplified version of the dessert is also used, in which the milk is replaced with simple syrup. Some variations include fresh cream in the filling.

Takuru Anbesa, Mahane Yehuda, Jerusalem
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Ethiopian cuisine is little known to Europeans. However, for the inhabitants of Jerusalem, it is not an extraordinary thing. Ethiopian monks have been living here since ancient times. With the immigration of Ethiopian Jews, the traditions of this cuisine became known to many. For example, spiced lentils, green banana, fried cabbage cooked with red onion, garlic, yellow pepper, and tomatoes are common and familiar to Jerusalem. Also, a dish of garlic, onions, and potatoes, baked in a small amount of coconut oil, flavored with pink Himalayan salt, avocado, and berber is a delightful dish in the market. This meal can be quickly cooked with these outlandish spices in the Ethiopian shop.

Hochmat HaBorekas
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Under Ottoman rule, the market expanded spontaneously, and sanitary conditions worsened. In the late 1920s, the British Mandate authorities demolished all temporary buildings and built permanent stalls. From this time on, the market became known as the Mahane Yehuda Market. In 1931, a new section was built west of the market with 20 trading places, instead of the wooden stalls that stood here earlier. It was later called the Iraqi market, as many traders were Jewish immigrants from Iraq. Today it is the central street of the market - Mahane Yehuda Street.

Bela Malbi, Mahane Yehuda, Jerusalem
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Dried fruits are one of the most important hallmarks of the market. Probably the most famous type of all dried fruits is dried apricots. We will not list her numerous services to our health, they are really credible, let us listen to the Arabic and Hebrew word for dried apricots. It sounds really funny - MishMish. Linguists tell different scientific statements, fans of folk etymology state their own, but in fact, no one will say exactly why there is such a funny word for dried apricot. In Hebrew, it is most likely comes from Arabic. In Arabic there is even an proverb: "Bukra fi ilmishmish". It’s like saying: “in a month of Sunday,” or “till the cows come home.”

Michmoret fish restaurant, Mahane Yehuda, Jerusalem
Uploaded by Evgeny Praisman

The most reasonable thing is, in my opinion, the opening of a restaurant in the market. Here, all products are fresh, and customers are fairly hungry. So numerous pubs, bars, and restaurants opened up on the market. They are noisy, colorful, ingenious and on folks mode. This is their charm and atmosphere. Therefore, Mikhmoret fish restaurant serves beautiful fish - all is grilled. Homemade loaves of bread are baked here. Numerous salads are an excellent appetizer for the main dish. It is tasty, simple and comfy.

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