What you should really know
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Jerusalem is the most popular tourist destination in Israel, attracting millions of tourists and pilgrims from all over the world each year, exploring a vast array of archaeological sites, holy sites, churches, modern museums and of course, Jerusalem’s Old City. Jerusalem holds a special significance for the world’s main three monotheistic religions. For over 3000 years, Jerusalem has remained at the center of Jewish life and prayer. As the holiest city in Judaism, observant Jews world-wide pray three times each day in its direction, towards the site where the Temple once stood.
For Christians, the Holy City is sacred as well, as according to Christian tradition, Jerusalem is where Jesus preached, was persecuted, crucified and ultimately resurrected. Jerusalem also remains holy to Muslims, as it is the home to the Dome of the Rock, where, according to Muslim belief, Muhammad ascended to heaven. Beyond the holy offerings here, Jerusalem remains the vibrant, metropolitan capital of the contemporary State of Israel, with plenty going on in terms of arts, academia, world-class dining, architecture, business opportunities, nightlife, culture, tech and staggering urban development projects.
So no matter what your beliefs and interests, a tour of Jerusalem and setting foot on the land where both Judaism and Christianity were born can be an eye-opening and informative experience. With four vast quarters surrounded by eight massive gates, the Old City of Jerusalem is a highly popular destination for Jerusalem walking tours. Most Jerusalem tours encompass journeys around the Old City’s four quarters: the Jewish Quarter, the Armenian Quarter, the Muslim Quarter and the Christian Quarter. Because each of these offers different religious, historical and cultural landscapes, each offers a unique experience.
For more than 2,000 years, the Western Wall has been standing intact and sturdy, being the primary remnant of the retaining wall that supported the Second Temple in the days of King Herod. The Western Wall is considered to be Jerusalem’s holiest site, attracting millions of visitors every year. Traditionally, visitors insert small pieces of paper with written prayers into the crevices of the wall.
Starting at St. Stephen's Gate and ending at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in the Christian Quarter is the Via Dolorosa, a path that follows the last footsteps of Jesus as he journeyed from his conviction at Antonia to his crucifixion on Golgotha, now contained within the walls of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. The Via Dolorosa remains one of the most popular Jerusalem tours among Christian pilgrims.
Who says you need to walk everywhere? New on the Jerusalem touring scene are Segway tours. You can take a tour through the neighborhood of Armon HaNatziv and see beautiful views of the Old City, Dead Sea and more. There’s also an option of a Segway tour of Jerusalem’s green spaces
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