One of the holiest cities in the world, Jerusalem is a feast for all the senses. With a multitude of ancient sites, a revered Old City, and charming neighborhoods brimming with charm and wonder, it’s difficult to know where to begin your exploration. However, if you adore art, design and architecture, we have you covered. Here’s our itinerary of must-see places in Jerusalem, even if you’re only spending a few days in the city. We also have a guide to 2 days in Jerusalem. Feel free to use our Jerusalem design guide as a jumping-off point for your exploration!
The Temple Mount is an architectural treasure in the Old City of Jerusalem. It may be one of the most contested religious sites on the planet, but it’s a must-visit. The well-preserved temple topped with a shimmering gold dome is sacred to Jews, Muslims, and Christians. It’s resplendent with blue, green, white, and ocher mosaics. Every facet of this site is incredible and a highlight of our Jerusalem design guide.
The site was chosen as the location to house the Ark of the Covenant by King David in the 10th century BCE. The entire site covers a sprawling 35 acres. The Temple Mount can be visited through a gate near the Western Wall. If you’d like to dive deeper into religious history, we offer a tour that includes the Old City as well as Bethlehem and the Dead Sea. Once inside, there are approximately 100 different structures to discover including fountains, arches, and places of worship. Finally, should you wish to enter Temple Mount, you must adhere to dress codes and bring your passport. Leave any religious artifacts behind in your hotel.
Temple Mount, Jerusalem, Israel
Church of the Holy Sepulchre
The Church of the Holy Sepulchre is located in the Christian Quarter of Jerusalem’s Old City. It purportedly houses the tomb where Jesus rose from the dead and is visited by millions of pilgrims each year. It may not be as spectacular as Temple Mount from the exterior, but inside there are around 30 chapels to explore. Highlights include the Calvary (Golgotha) which is made up of a Greek Orthodox and a Catholic chapel. There is the Stone of Anointing, depicting the anointing of Jesus’ body on a wall mosaic. Or see the Aedicule – a small chapel holding the Angel’s Stone. As you walk around you’ll see a unique blend of styles ranging from Romanesque to Gothic and Byzantine. With incredible ancient design elements, history and culture to uncover, it’s a must see whilst visiting Jerusalem. You can learn more about it on our highlights of Jerusalem day tour.
Christian Quarter, Old City, Jerusalem
Jerusalem International YMCA Building
This architectural gem on King David Street was designed by the same architect who gave us the Empire State Building, Arthur Louis Harmon. The building incorporates Jewish, Muslim, and Christian architecture along with Moorish, Romanesque, Byzantine, and Gothic elements. It’s one of the most impressive landmarks in Jerusalem and a place where many cultural events take place. While the outside is stunning, it’s possible to venture inside too, and worth it to view the cupola and arabesque work in the entrance lobby.
26 King David Street, Jerusalem, Israel
One of the best restaurants in the city, Machneyuda specializes in cuisine of Middle East and Mediterranean. Dishes are a mix fresh ingredients from the neighboring market and culinary genius; if you want to try your hand at the goods, we have a market tour and cooking class. You can expect to dine on plates of polenta with mushrooms or Parmesan and truffles. Favorites include a kebab with roasted vegetables and tahini, and Uri’s Mom’s famous semolina cake with fruit and cream. The interior also captivates diners, offering a living room type vibe. Shelves lining the walls are full of candlesticks, plants, wine bottles and produce. Large family-style wooden tables sit around a verdant interior courtyard. Undoubtedly, it’s an icon, making it the perfect place for lunch or dinner in Jerusalem.
Beit Ya’akov St 10, Jerusalem
This wonderfully light and airy Italian and Kosher restaurant is a social business employing at-risk youths and training them in their kitchens. Stylish interiors are lively with towering plants, intricate tiles, and wooden furnishings, and the menu contains myriad Italian and regional goodies. The interior alone has earned their place in our Jerusalem design guide. Try their yellowtail sashimi, chili plate, potato agnolotti, and fettucine with barramundi fillet drizzled in lemon butter. For dessert, give your test-buds a treat with plum and pistachio tart or chocolate cremeux brulee! It’s the perfect place to begin your evening before exploring the best bars in Jerusalem.
Ticho House Museum, Harav Hagan St 10, Jerusalem
Mamilla Hotel is, as far as design hotels go, outstanding. The interior is almost castle-like, with chunky stone walls, contemporary Gothic chandeliers, and luxurious wall-to-wall furnishings. Renowned Israeli architect Moshe Safdie kept the original ambiance of old Mamilla from Ottoman times by weaving the threads of past, present, and future together. It’s a blend of styles, fabrics, and signature pieces that creates a unique design space in the city. One-of-a-kind room interiors mix classic Jerusalem with the vibrant energy of the area, plus there’s a rooftop restaurant, a mirror bar, ballroom, and even a wellness center to help you relax after a day of sightseeing in the city. Overall, it’s a delight to spend time here.
Shlomo Ha-Melekh 11 St. Jerusalem
Harmony Hotel – an Atlas Boutique Hotel
Set in the heart of Nahalat Shiva neighborhood, Harmony Hotel sits next to Zion Square and is just a few minutes walk from bustling Mahne Yehuda market. This elegant boutique offering from Atlas Hotels blends traditional Israeli design with contemporary elements creating a sleek decor, with photographic ceilings and exposed brick walls. Particularly gorgeous are the guest rooms and suites combining timeless pieces with modern furnishings, and the buffet restaurant serves tempting regional dishes to satisfy everyone’s taste buds. It’s a unique hotel in the center of the city within walking distance to Jerusalem’s main attractions. If neither of these hotels fit your needs, see our hotels in Jerusalem.
6 Yoel Moshe Solomon St, Jerusalem
Design in Jerusalem
This ancient city is full of beauty, and we hope our Jerusalem design guide helps you choose what to see. We also offer a number of tours to get to know the city better, and a curated guide on where to stay. It’s one of our favorite cities, and we hope you enjoy it as much as we do.