When visiting Israel I made Jerusalem one of my priorities, especially since it is the capital city that connects travelers to different parts of the country very well. Located on a plateau region of Judaean Mountains, it lies between the Dead Sea and the Mediterranean. Known to be one of the oldest cities I paid special attention to the places that proclaimed to be shrines of having formed the major religions like Christianity, Judaism, and Islam. The history of the city is long and tumultuous; it was captured as well as recaptured 44 times, attacked about 52 times and besieged 23 times. Called the City of David, the signs of settlement here were first seen in 4th millennium BCE.
Places to Visit
The Western Wall was my first stop which is known as the sacred ancient site for Jewish prayers. Church of Holy Sepulchre is the Christian chapel that is a must-visit for all Christians, having been formed in 4th century BC.
If you take a city tour you will also be taken to Temple Mount which is a hilltop of several religious sites. I especially enjoyed views from the Mount of Olives that is a revered peak as well as a pilgrim site for Christians. In the same day tour, you can also visit Dome of the Rock that is an Islamic shrine. I would also recommend that you stop by other important places such as the Tower of David, Jaffa Gate, and Mount Zion.
If you have more time in hand, there would be several other archaeological ruins, churches, inside and outside of Old City walls, museums and government buildings that you would enjoy visiting as I did.
Places to Stay
I would recommend that you choose a place to stay in the Old City of Jerusalem. It is located minutes away from most of the historic landmarks and walks are nice and pleasant from here. You could stay at popular places like Mamilla hotel, Abraham Hostel, Post Hostel that help provide a restful stay for travelers.