Many people never consider visiting Israel. But this tiny country has a bucket load of things to see. The list is extensive, so I thought I would help you at least pick one major destination in the country to start your travel. Jerusalem is as ancient as they come and no visit to Israel would be complete without a visit to this old and historic city. There is plenty more then 5 things to see in the city alone, but this will be at least a good start.
Eat hummus & baklava
No visit to Israel would be complete without eating some of the local delicacies. In my mind the two that stand out are hummus and baklava. Hummus is a Middle Eastern food dip or spread made from cooked, mashed chickpeas blended with tahini, olive oil, lemon juice, salt and garlic. While Baklava is a rich, sweet pastry made of layers of filo pastry filled with chopped nuts and sweetened with syrup or honey. I can not get enough of either.
Mount of Olives
High up, east and adjacent to Jerusalem’s Old City is The Mount of Olives. From it’s top you can get those killer tourist shots of the Old City. There is even a donkey and bedouin to “authenticate” it. It is a valuable piece of land to several religions.
Dome of the Rock
Located on the Temple Mount is one of the most recognizable and iconic mosques in the entire world. It is open twice a day 8:30 – 11:30am & 1:30pm – 2:30pm except Friday and Saturday. Non-Muslims cannot enter the Mosque, but you can still visit the surroundings. Modest dress is required.
Church of the Holy Sepulchre
This Church located in the Christian Quarter of the Old City, has been erected on the possible location of where Jesus was crucified and buried. Entrance is free and while modest dress does not seem to be enforced, it is respectful.
The Stone of Anointing is visible as soon as you walk through the doors. It is believed to be where Jesus’ body was prepared for burial. To the left is a beautiful dome and underneath this dome is the cave thought to be where Jesus’ body was laid.
Above the ground you will find the very tall and highly religious site of The Western Wall (Wailing Wall), also known as the Kotel, it stands at 187 feet. But there is more to it then just the small stretch you see within the Old City. Underneath is far more mystery and amazement than you can believe with another 1050 feet of wall. Book your $10 AUD tickets in advance, it’s well worth it.
There is so much depth and history to Israel that we didn’t even see all of it in the two months we spent there. And Jerusalem holds an ever-growing list of things to see and do, but this at least is the beginning and hopefully enough to wet your appetite in considering the Holy Land on your next vacation.
About the Author
In May 2012 we rented our Australian house, packed 3 bags and took our then 2 & 3 year old off to Bali and we have been travelling ever since. Our journey has taken us from the jungles of Bali to the beaches of Thailand through the cities of Malaysia and then a giant leap to the other side of the world where we traversed the roads of the US, played in the cenotes of Mexico, discovered the ruins of Guatemala and walked the sacred grounds of Israel. And we are still going!
It’s an open-ended, unplanned, round-the-world trip discovering amazing places for toddlers that you can share by visiting our family travel blog, following us on Facebook or catch us tweeting on Twitter. We look forward to bumping into you around the world.