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Middle East

Jerusalem Holidays

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Jet Off To Jerusalem

With a past spanning more than 3,000 years, Israel’s capital is a fabled place, steeped in cultural and religious significance. A fiercely contested city, it’s been destroyed and rebuilt many times through the centuries, changing hands along the way. But despite almost constant reinvention, a holiday to Jerusalem stills feels like a journey through the pages of history.

Jerusalem is sacred to three major world religions, and as you walk along the cobblestone alleyways of the Old City’s enchanting Jewish, Christian, Muslim and Armenian Quarters, you’ll find monuments of faith poking out round every corner. Behind the age-old walls of this storied area of the city lie notable landmarks like the Dome of the Rock, which is open only to Muslims; the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, where Christ is believed to have been crucified and buried; and the Western Wall – the holiest shrine in the Jewish world. Meanwhile, the smells of incense and coffee permeate the air as they drift out of charming cafés and bustling souks. Once you’re done ticking the main attractions off your list, pop in and have a go at haggling for souvenirs.

Away from the Old City, the rest of Jerusalem rocks a slightly different vibe. Despite being built in the same rosy colour palette, things elsewhere feel increasingly modern. Bookshops and art galleries are found amongst boutique hotels and fancy shops. You can enjoy a culinary medley of Mediterranean and Middle Eastern flavours at an array of exciting restaurants and, once the sun goes down, you’ll discover a lively and vibrant bar scene which may just surprise you. That said, it is still possible to delve into history in this part of town, too, thanks to the many excellent museums. Or you can always take a break from it all in one of the delightful parks and gardens that populate this surprisingly green city.

Things to do

New City

Daytrips

Best time to go

Things to do in Jerusalem Old City

Most of your Jerusalem holiday will likely be spent in the Old City, as that’s where the majority of the big-ticket attractions are found. Step inside the 16th-century Ottoman walls and you’ll discover a whole heap of famed religious sites. There are over 220 historic monuments to choose from but top of your list should be Temple Mount – an elevated plaza in the southeastern corner. It’s here you’ll see Jews in deep prayer at the Western Wall, and also spot two of Islam’s most important buildings: the al-Aqsa Mosque and the Dome of the Rock. Meanwhile, over in the Christian quarter lies the Church of the Holy Sepulchre – widely considered to be the holiest site in Christendom.

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The Tower of David, also known as the Citadel of Jerusalem, should also feature on your Jerusalem holiday itinerary. Located near Jaffa Gate, it started life as a palace of Herod the Great before being used by the Romans and the Crusaders, and eventually being turned into the Museum of the History of Jerusalem. Or, to get a completely different perspective on things, take a stroll along the top of the Old City ramparts, where magnificent views greet you at every turn.

 

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New City

Long overlooked in favour of the Old City’s popular tourist sites, in recent years the contemporary part of the city’s really been gaining traction. With an ever increasing number of boutique stores, hip bars and pavement cafés dishing up exciting culinary treats, it’s setting itself up as a worthy rival to Tel Aviv. The upscale neighbourhood of Mamilla is particularly popular, thanks in part to the Mamilla Mall – the only open-air mall in West Jerusalem. But you should also find time during your Jerusalem holiday to check out Mahane Yehuda Market. Known locally as ‘The Shuk’, it packs in over 250 vendors, selling all manner of fresh produce, baked goods and aromatic spices, and is one of the most famous markets in Israel.

 

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The New City isn’t all about shopping and eating, though. It’s also got a number of pretty parks and lovely open spaces, plus it caters to culture vultures with its plethora of museums. The Israel Museum in particular is well worth a visit. Home to the Dead Sea Scrolls, it’s a great place to gain a sense of the history of the Holy Land.

 

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Daytrips

Israel’s a compact country and Jerusalem occupies a prime spot, right in the centre. So, if you base yourself here, there are many places you can easily visit on a daytrip. First up should be the bustling city of Tel Aviv. It’s just an hour-and-a-half drive to the west but it feels worlds away from Jerusalem. A buzzing metropolis, it’s got a shimmering shoreline, an exciting arts scene and some seriously top-notch watering holes. Other destinations to tick off on the Mediterranean Coast include Haifa – where you’ll find the immaculately landscaped Baha’i Gardens and the gold-domed Shrine of the Bab – and Akko, where hundreds of years of history are packed within Crusader walls.



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History buffs may like to visit the biblical city of Nazareth, or join a guided tour to Bethlehem. And no one should miss the chance to float in the ridiculously salty Dead Sea. This is commonly combined with a trip to Masada – an ancient desert fortress, and UNESCO World Heritage Site, where the last Jewish resistance to Roman rule was crushed in 73CE.

 

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Best time to visit Jerusalem

April-May or October-November are the best times for a Jerusalem holiday. The weather during these months is typically warm and sunny, with highs in the low to mid-twenties, and night-time temperatures rarely dropping below 12°C. Although rainy days do occur at this time of year, you rarely get more than a handful of them. The summer months, which run from June to September, are guaranteed to be dry, but they’re usually unpleasantly hot and humid, with highs often coming close to – and sometimes exceeding – 30°C.

 

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Show Less

If you go on holiday to Jerusalem during winter, you’ll find the days are mild and the nights are cool. However, this is also the wettest time of the year, and the odd flutter of snow is also possible. January in particular is best avoided as it’s the coldest month of the year, with average highs of 11°C, and it also sees the most amount of rain.

Show More
Show Less

Things to do

Things to do in Jerusalem Old City

Most of your Jerusalem holiday will likely be spent in the Old City, as that’s where the majority of the big-ticket attractions are found. Step inside the 16th-century Ottoman walls and you’ll discover a whole heap of famed religious sites. There are over 220 historic monuments to choose from but top of your list should be Temple Mount – an elevated plaza in the southeastern corner. It’s here you’ll see Jews in deep prayer at the Western Wall, and also spot two of Islam’s most important buildings: the al-Aqsa Mosque and the Dome of the Rock. Meanwhile, over in the Christian quarter lies the Church of the Holy Sepulchre – widely considered to be the holiest site in Christendom.

Show More
Show Less

The Tower of David, also known as the Citadel of Jerusalem, should also feature on your Jerusalem holiday itinerary. Located near Jaffa Gate, it started life as a palace of Herod the Great before being used by the Romans and the Crusaders, and eventually being turned into the Museum of the History of Jerusalem. Or, to get a completely different perspective on things, take a stroll along the top of the Old City ramparts, where magnificent views greet you at every turn.

 

Show More
Show Less

New City

New City

Long overlooked in favour of the Old City’s popular tourist sites, in recent years the contemporary part of the city’s really been gaining traction. With an ever increasing number of boutique stores, hip bars and pavement cafés dishing up exciting culinary treats, it’s setting itself up as a worthy rival to Tel Aviv. The upscale neighbourhood of Mamilla is particularly popular, thanks in part to the Mamilla Mall – the only open-air mall in West Jerusalem. But you should also find time during your Jerusalem holiday to check out Mahane Yehuda Market. Known locally as ‘The Shuk’, it packs in over 250 vendors, selling all manner of fresh produce, baked goods and aromatic spices, and is one of the most famous markets in Israel.

 

Show More
Show Less

The New City isn’t all about shopping and eating, though. It’s also got a number of pretty parks and lovely open spaces, plus it caters to culture vultures with its plethora of museums. The Israel Museum in particular is well worth a visit. Home to the Dead Sea Scrolls, it’s a great place to gain a sense of the history of the Holy Land.

 

Show More
Show Less

Daytrips

Daytrips

Israel’s a compact country and Jerusalem occupies a prime spot, right in the centre. So, if you base yourself here, there are many places you can easily visit on a daytrip. First up should be the bustling city of Tel Aviv. It’s just an hour-and-a-half drive to the west but it feels worlds away from Jerusalem. A buzzing metropolis, it’s got a shimmering shoreline, an exciting arts scene and some seriously top-notch watering holes. Other destinations to tick off on the Mediterranean Coast include Haifa – where you’ll find the immaculately landscaped Baha’i Gardens and the gold-domed Shrine of the Bab – and Akko, where hundreds of years of history are packed within Crusader walls.



Show More
Show Less

History buffs may like to visit the biblical city of Nazareth, or join a guided tour to Bethlehem. And no one should miss the chance to float in the ridiculously salty Dead Sea. This is commonly combined with a trip to Masada – an ancient desert fortress, and UNESCO World Heritage Site, where the last Jewish resistance to Roman rule was crushed in 73CE.

 

Show More
Show Less

Best time to go

Best time to visit Jerusalem

April-May or October-November are the best times for a Jerusalem holiday. The weather during these months is typically warm and sunny, with highs in the low to mid-twenties, and night-time temperatures rarely dropping below 12°C. Although rainy days do occur at this time of year, you rarely get more than a handful of them. The summer months, which run from June to September, are guaranteed to be dry, but they’re usually unpleasantly hot and humid, with highs often coming close to – and sometimes exceeding – 30°C.

 

Show More
Show Less

If you go on holiday to Jerusalem during winter, you’ll find the days are mild and the nights are cool. However, this is also the wettest time of the year, and the odd flutter of snow is also possible. January in particular is best avoided as it’s the coldest month of the year, with average highs of 11°C, and it also sees the most amount of rain.

Show More
Show Less

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Whether you're looking for luxury or simplicity, we've got the perfect holiday for you.

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