If you are visiting Tel Aviv it is really worth adding a day in Jerusalem to your itinerary. Just an hour’s drive from Israel’s capital city, Jerusalem is a magical place everyone should experience once. Thanks to the tourist board we had a packed day with our tour guide Tami, who picked us up bright and early after breakfast and drove us for a day of sightseeing (and eating) in Jerusalem.
– This luxurious five star hotel is conveniently located in the middle of the historic old town. Mamilla Hotel is part of Leading Hotels of the World for good reason, this beautiful accommodation offers stylish bedrooms, exceptional restaurants and a renowned spa & holistic wellbeing.
Adom – Adom restaurant is known for its fine cuisine, elegant wine menu and wonderful atmosphere. In 2013 Adom moved to the First Train Station compound, a new centre for culture, fairs, music and food. It was built on the foundations of the historical Jerusalem old train station, and is a lovely place to wander round before or after eating.
– The original restaurant from the Palomar and Barbary team in London, Machneyuda is a culinary institution in Jerusalem. The open kitchen ensures the venue is always lively and fun. Guests are treated to a constantly changing market-to-table menu of seasonal treats, I loved everything I tasted, from creamy polenta with rustic mushroom ragout, to the utterly indulgent Chamshuka (hummus topped with grilled meat).
There are so many important historic and religious sights to see in Jerusalem, but you can tick most of them off just wandering round the maze of streets in the old town.
Mount Scopus – These mountains offer a spectacular view of old city. It is best to head up here first to get an overview of the city before heading down to explore.
Church of Holy Sepulchre – Enter through Jaffa Gate into old city where you should stop by the Church of Holy Sepulchre. This church is in the Christian Quarter and dates back to the fourth century. Inside you will witness the holy sites where Jesus was crucified and also his empty tomb where it is said he was buried and resurrected. It is a beautiful building to see with high ceilings and spectacular mosaics.
The Austrian Hospice – In an 1850s stone building originally built as a hospice for Austrian pilgrims, this humble guesthouse is found in the centre of old town Jerusalem. It is a calm, clean and cheap place to stay whilst in Jerusalem, or simply visit for the terrace views and Viennese cafe.
The Western Wall – The Western Wall or Wailing Wall is considered to be the holiest site in Jerusalem. It is humbling to wait your turn to visit the wall and join hundreds as they touch the stone and recite prayers.
Machne Yehuda Market – Whilst in Jerusalem keen foodies should visit the Machne Yehuda Market, a fragrant and busy market place filled with Israeli food specialities. Snack on freshly made herby falafel, a glass of fresh juice, or some sweet halva.
Thanks to the Israel Tourist Board for their help with this day trip, more information here