Jerusalem has so many things to see that you could be busy for at least a week. The old city of Jerusalem is a labyrinth of streets and tunnels that would take a lifetime to get to know itimately. But if you are short on time then here is a guide of what to see in 24 hours. This is what you can do on a day trip to Jerusalem.
Can you go on a day trip to Jerusalem?
Yes absolutely, but you should get up early to avoid the crowds. Head straight to the old city of Jerusalem as this is where you can see the most famous sites. If you are staying in west Jerusalem or arrive at the train or bus station head towards the old city and aim for the New Gate to begin your day trip.
1. Enter the New Gate and Walk the Via Dolarosa
The old city of Jerusalem is surrounded by high walls and there are numerous gates surrounding it, each with different names. If you enter through New Gate into the old city of Jerusalem you’ll initally start walking through a market/souk area. If you havn’t already had breakfast then this is an amazing place to pick up some falafel pita. I went to an amazing hole in the wall that got me off to a great start.
2. Church of the Holy Sepulchre
Follow the signs to the Holy Sepulchre and within 10 minute of walking you’ll have arrived at this wonderful church. This is one of the most historically important churches to Christians in the world. You will be blown away by the sheer amount going on in this place of worship.
3. Western Wall
Following the signs from The Sepulchre to the Western Wall, only a five minute walk. The Western Wall is the only lasting remnant of a Jewish Temple that stood on the site. As a result it is held the highest regard for people of the Jewish faith. You will be need to have bags x-rayed, but other than that I did not have any trouble entering, and queues will not be long if you are early. Once inside you can wander freely and even go up to wall itself.
4. The Austrian Hospice – a Vienna style cafe/bar for refreshments
Making sure you leave by the north exit (there are two) Head to a true oasis of calm to allow you to escape the hustle and bustle. The Austrian Hospice has a great courtyard garden and elegant dining room. Food choices limited but most defintively Austrian and reasonably priced. If the door is shut in the evening ring the bell. Then go up to the roof terrace for great views. A Weiss beer here will cost $8, in addition they have a selection of coffee and cakes.
5. Al Aqsa Mosque
From the Austrian Hospice head back along to entrance of the Western Wall and then further along another 100 metres. Here is the entrance to the Al Aqsa Mosque. Not to be confused the golden domed Temple on the Mount. However you will be asked if you are Muslim in order to enter. If not, you will have to skip this site on this day trip to Jerusalem.
We are now leaving the Old City. Head out the Zion gate and follow the outside wall around the east (left). The Gethsemane gardens are along and to the right marked Mt. Olive, this poignant place for Christians is the site of Jesus betrayl.
7. The Garden Tomb Jerusalem – Jesus’s Tomb
After visiting Gethsemane, continue walking around the outside walls of the old city. After 20 minutes of walking take a right down Nablus street and another right soon after that where you will reach The Garden Tomb of Jesus. This is the final stop on our day trip to Jerusalem.
Could you do a day trip from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem?
Yes absolutely, the distance from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem only takes 45 minutes by road. On arrival you could have enough time to see the sites as they stay open late. Wondering how to get to Jerusalem from Tel Aviv? We’ve written an article about it here.
Are Muslims allowed to visit Israel?
Yes of course. Jerusalem is the centre of three major faiths and welcomes all.
How much does it cost to enter the sites in Jerusalem?
The sites we are mentioning in this article were all free to enter. This is a general trend of Jerusalem sites. Let us know about a site you had to pay for.
Hope this helped answer whether you can do a day trip to Jerusalem.