Jerusalem is one of the top travel destinations in the world. We know that visiting this holy city is a lifelong dream for so many. That’s why we’ve put together an itinerary to help you make the most out of 2 Days in Jerusalem. Get ready for an adventure, because with so much to do, there is never enough time to dedicate to this ancient wonder. Prepare to walk your way through history, and discover a city that will captivate all of your senses, fill you with emotion, and leave you longing for more.
Start your morning early as you rise with the call to prayer, echoing from the exquisite Al-Aqsa mosque. Head to Jaffa Road, one of the oldest major streets in Jerusalem, crossing the city from east to west and connecting the Old City to the downtown district. Sit at one of the many cafes that line the road, and sip on some cafe shahor (black coffee) as you watch Jerusalem and all of it’s eclectic inhabitants wake up and spring to life. Indulge in a boureka or two, because you’re going to be walking all day (and also because they’re delicious). Then walk along Jaffa Road until you reach the iconic Jaffa Gate, and prepare to step back in time for an indescribable experience.
Spend the afternoon exploring the four quarters of the Old City: Jewish, Christian, Muslim, and Armenian, each with their own rich history and culture contained within the ancient walls. Slip a note inside the Western Wall, then walk along Via Dolorosa to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre to witness the empty tomb where Jesus was said to have been buried and resurrected. Continue on Via Dolorosa towards the Damascus Gate, just follow your nose as the intoxicating scents of cardamom and other spices lead you towards the lively Arab souk. Sample some freshly-squeezed pomegranate juice, halvah, and strong Arabic coffee, and admire the colorful pyramids of spices and delectable traditional wares. Then head back toward the Jaffa Gate to visit the charming Armenian quarter along the way, with its authentic restaurants, beautiful ceramic shops, and historic Cathedral of Saint James.
Wander along Jaffa Road toward downtown Jerusalem, and head to the Machane Yehuda Market to reward yourself with a feast after a day of walking. The market comes alive in the evening, with locals and tourists alike flocking to the winding streets that boast some of the best restaurants in Jerusalem. Choose from favorites like Machneyuda, Azura, and Hamotzi, where you’re practically guaranteed an out-of-body experience.
After dinner, night owls can check out the many bars in Machane Yehuda that come to life after the produce vendors close their stalls for the day. With the aisles of the market empty, there is plenty of room to sit down for a drink, or even join in one of the impromptu dance parties that often happen when the bars’ DJs start to play.
Rise and shine, it’s time to shake off that food coma and explore! Joining a tour on the second of your 2 days in Jerusalem is the best way to learn more about the historical significance of the holy sites that surround you. When in Jerusalem, even travelers who prefer to wander to the beat of their own drum will appreciate the knowledge of an experienced guide. Go underground to discover the astonishing city of David and Hezekiah’s tunnels, a truly unique experience that many visitors aren’t even aware exists. Visit the magnificent Temple Mount, Al-Aqsa mosque, and Mount of Olives, or hop on a tour to Bethlehem to visit the Church of the Nativity. If you aren’t in the mood for a tour, admire Jerusalem from above as you walk along the Ramparts Wall for a view like no other.
Spend the afternoon exploring the charming neighborhoods of Nachalat Shiva, Ein Kerem, and Emek Refaim in the German colony. Discover a different side of the city as you roam the streets lined with shops, galleries, bakeries, bars, and cafes. If you’re hungry for some culture, head to The Jerusalem Artists House, which exhibits works by local and international artists. Then check out Yaffo 23, a gallery-lab-studio that integrates art with academic research. Museum buffs won’t want to miss a trip to the Israel Museum, which exhibits a fascinating collection of pieces that chronicle the history of the Land of Israel, including the Dead Sea Scrolls. If you feel like being transformed by a solemn but important experience, visit Yad Vashem, Israel’s Holocaust museum, and prepare to leave with a heavy heart.
As your 2 days in Jerusalem come to an end, you’re undoubtedly exhausted and revitalized at the same time. Whether you feel like relaxing or going out on the town, Jerusalem has you covered. Unwind at Rooftop, above the Mamilla Hotel, and enjoy a leisurely meal with breathtaking views. Or join a pub crawl to discover a completely different side to the holy city, which has an unexpectedly buzzing nightlife. If you fancy something in between a rooftop lounge and a full-blown pub crawl, cruise at your own pace to some of the best bars in Jerusalem to discover favorites like Gatsby, Toy Bar, and Yellow Submarine. Either way, this is the perfect way to end your 48-hour love affair with Jerusalem.