Jerusalem is possibly the holiest city in the world, combining a fascinating mix of historical and sacred destinations. A tour to Jerusalem can take a lifetime, but most will settle with at least one day tour. The main attraction of Jerusalem is no doubt its old city, but one should not miss the Mount of Olives for its breathtaking views, and a variety of holy sites. Touring the city can be done by yourself, but a full appreciation of the city requires a proper preparation. Some of the sites are almost hidden within the alleys of the old city, and road signs are minimal. The sites themselves are complex, and require a good understating of the local history, archaeology, architecture, theology, geo-politics, and more.
Many books and guidebooks were written about Jerusalem, and the internet provides much information as well (including this website). A proper study, and a good map, can enable you to explore the city on your own. However, there are plenty of guided tours available as well. Here are the three main ways to tour Jerusalem –
Tour Jerusalem By Yourself
If you are using public transportation, the Jerusalem’s tram stops at the city hall which is two blocks walk from Jaffa gate. If you are using a car, you can try your luck finding a parking spot on Mount Zion. The easiest it to park at Carta or Mamilla parking lot, a block away from Jaffa Gate. Passing through the gate you can turn right to the Armenian quarter and Mount Zion, or head straight into the Suq, whose allies lead to the Christian, Muslim and Jewish quarters.
Join a Group Tour
Plenty of tour agencies offer daily group tours of Jerusalem at competitive prices. Most of these tours cover the highlights of the old city or combine it with Mount of Olives and destinations in Western Jerusalem. The paid group tours are USD$80 per person in average and follow a set schedule and set pace.
Book a Private Tour of Jerusalem
No doubt that the best quality tour experience of Jerusalem is with an expert private guide. Such a tour is conducted at your own pace and can include your specific interests and wishes. Check out several tour itineraries below:
An Introductory Tour of Jerusalem
The best option for first timers in Jerusalem. A tour of the main highlights of the Old City, Mount of Olives, with optional activities in Western Jerusalem. Read more about this tour here.
Jerusalem Christian Heritage Tour
A tour focused on Holy Christian sites and their historical context, in the Old City, Mount of Olives, and Eastern Jerusalem. Learn more about this tour here.
Jerusalem Jewish Heritage Tour
An in-depth review of the Jewish Quarter and the City of David, including the Western Wall, the latest finds in the City of David, and more. Read more about this tour here.
Highlights of Western Jerusalem Tour
An in-depth review of the national monuments in Western Jerusalem, including the Israel Museum, the Holocaust memorial museum, the Mahaneyudah market, and more. Learn more about this tour here.
Hidden Gems in Eastern Jerusalem
Exploring the less known and less visited tourist attractions of Eastern Jerusalem, including the Garden Tomb, Damascus Gate, Zedekiah’s cave, the Rockefeller Museum, and more. Read more about this tour here.
Tour to Jerusalem and Bethlehem
A day tour combining the main highlights of the Old city of Jerusalem and a guided tour of the Church of Nativity in Bethlehem by a Palestinian guide. Learn more about this tour here.
Tour to Jerusalem and the Dead Sea
A day tour combining the main highlights of Jerusalem’s Old city, a swim at the Dead Sea at Kalia Beach, and ending with a breathtaking panorama of Jerusalem at sunset. Read more about this tour here.
These are all suggestions, and all tours are totally customizable. Each day tour starts at USD$600 (with transportation – USD$700)