Overview

Jerusalem
Jerusalem © Neta Bartal
Israel's capital city occupies an important place in the hearts and minds of Muslims, Christians and Jews alike. The walled section comprising the Old City is rich in the historical traditions of these three religions. It is home to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, the Dome of the Rock, and the Al Aksa Mosque on the Temple Mount. The Western Wall provides the focal point for Jewish worship and stands as an enduring symbol of the Jewish homeland.

The Old City is accessible through seven of eight gates in the ancient walls surrounding it. Within these walls are the separate quarters of the Muslim, Jewish, Christian and Armenian communities. A dazzling array of merchandise can be purchased from the lively Arab souk (open-air market). Meandering through the narrow corridors and cobbled pavements of the ancient centre inevitably provides a feast of sensations. For an orientation of the Old City, it's best to set off along the Ramparts Walk (originally designed for watchmen), or to climb the Tower of David for a panoramic vista of the eternally fascinating city of Jerusalem.

Although famous for its many remarkable historical and religious sites, Jerusalem also has more modern attractions. The city has everything visitors would expect by way of amenities, shopping, restaurants and nightlife, though Tel Aviv is a better destination for these sorts of experiences.