Those who like to travel through highways and byways, making memories are jotting down their 2019 travel bucket list already. Travelling is an opportunity to learn more about the world. But you’d agree that people who travel learn more about themselves. In case if you are a history buff, we will urge you to travel to Jerusalem, the capital city of both Israel and Palestine to witness its enriched with historical, spiritual, and cultural values.
Jerusalem is located on a plateau in the Judaean Mountains that fall between the Mediterranean and the Dead Sea. Once in Jerusalem, you will experience a blissful amalgam of three major Abrahamic religions – Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. The ancient city of Jerusalem is the cultural and national centre of the Jews. In Hebrew, Jerusalem is called the City of Gold. It stands out with its picturesquely quaint neighbourhood next to the swanky high-rise office buildings. Jerusalem is also home to the primary governmental institutions of Israel and the events held in Jerusalem epitomize the cultural splendour of Israel.
Jerusalem prides on some of the holiest sites in Christianity, Judaism, and Islam. You have a fascinating tryst with history once you visit this beautiful city. Also, this is a thriving, beautiful, and modern city with breathtaking architecture, food, and great nightlife. The yummiest craft beers available in Jerusalem also make your stay worthwhile.
Here are the reasons why Jerusalem ticks all the right boxes for every backpacker:
A Shutterbug’s Paradise:
You can take strides along the cobblestoned pathways of the historical sites. While your eyes feast on the gorgeous architecture belonging to the bygone years, you learn a new thing with every step. There are layers of history that you unravel as you delve deeper. Needless to say, you will want to freeze these moments in your camera too. So, Jerusalem is definitely a go-to for the shutterbugs and Instagrammers.
The Tower of David:
The Tower of David or Jerusalem Citadel is one of the most coveted tourist spots. It carries tectonic evidence from the Roman era to the Ottoman Empire, from the Crusader’s time to more recent British period. Standing tall since centuries, the tower is attributed to David, who was a loved king. This tower is located in the western side of the old city (near Jaffa gate).
The Wailing Wall:
Alternatively known as the Western Wall or Kotel, this place is the holiest site for those that follow Judaism. According to popular belief, a short segment in the wall contains the last remnants of the second temple built by Solomon. People from all over the world come here to offer their prayers. They write their wishes on folded pieces of paper and tuck them in the cracks of walls, wishing for them to come true.
Church Of The Holy Sepulchre:
Christians from across the world consider it as one of the holiest because Christ was crucified here. Further, in this same place, Christ was buried and resurrected, making it a must-visit for Christians. Keeping aside the religious aspect, the aesthetic mosaics in the Church’s interior captivate history enthusiasts.
Old City Bazaar:
This is one of the most bustling bazaars in Jerusalem’s old city. Flanked by the Church of Holy Sepulchre, Western Wall, and Dome of The Rock, this bazaar has beautiful authentic souvenirs at its disposal. You can pause for sometime during your trip to haggle with the buoyant shopkeepers. Don’t forget to start from half the asked price.
The Israel Museum:
You will need at least an entire day to explore the intriguing collection in this museum. This largest cultural institution of the country boasts of housing the original Dead Sea Scrolls. It also has a sizeable collection of ancient and modern artefacts from Israel. Some international masterpieces too are here waiting to captivate you.
Alternatively known as Yad Vashem, this is one of the world’s largest Holocaust Museums. It was raised to commemorate the millions of Jews that were killed during World War II. You will get to see a history museum, art exhibits, synagogue, a library, and various commemorative sites. No wonder, this is one of the most visited sites in Israel.
Mahane Yehuda Market:
Mahane Yehuda Market is alternatively known as “The Shuk.” It is a partially covered and busy marketplace in Jerusalem. It has fresh fruits and vegetables, baked goodies, fish, meat, cheese, nuts, seeds, spices, wines and liquors, clothing, shoes, and basically everything at its disposal. This place will definitely leave you spoilt for choices. But, the major highlight is that you catch glimpses of the local lifestyle here. Also, some endearing cafes and boutiques have lined up to offer you the best refreshments. Mahane Yehuda Market is visited by the tourists and locals alike for its old-world charm.
Dome of the Rock:
This intriguing edifice can be seen from all over Jerusalem. This is the crowning jewel of the third holiest site in Sunni Islam called Temple Mount. Dome of the Rock has the same reputation as the Ka’ba in Mecca among the Muslims. According to popular belief among the Muslims, Muhammad ascended to heaven during a night journey from this place. Dome of the Rock obviously stands out with its architectural excellence. Its mosaics are similar the nearby Byzantine churches and palaces.
For those twinkly-eyed merrymakers, Jerusalem offers an array of options. If you leave the Old City of Jerusalem behind, there’s a lot more to explore. You can have a footloose in the city just like the locals where you can visit cafes, go shopping, or simply relax in a hookah bar. Further, the food of Jerusalem will delight you! You will have the best gastronomical experiences of your life In the fine dining restaurants. This landscape prides on lip-smacking Falafel and Shawarma. For years, the countless immigrants who have made Jerusalem their home have enriched it with their culinary masterpieces. To top it all, this holy city exposes you to people with some strong religious upbringing. In short, Jerusalem is a world of its own that overflows with history.