Doing Jerusalem Right: Balancing the Old With the New

October 7th 2017

Jerusalem is the most fascinating dichotomy you’ll find anywhere in the world. Preserving the ancient history and heritage of the Jewish People, this city is ever-evolving, embracing the new cultures, people, and times that are inexplicably drawn to her venerable stones.

With so much in flux, it can be hard to keep track of what to do and where to go as a tourist. You want to see the centuries-old sites that Jerusalem is famous for, but there is so much modern appeal that you also don’t want to miss out on. If you only have a limited amount of time, here are some highlights that you’ll be glad you experienced in this beautiful city.

Old City

Jerusalem’s Old City is the center of ancient Jewry, so if you want to experience this aspect of the city, head to this section. Here you’ll find some key tourist spots including:

The Kotel (and it’s Tunnel Tours)

King David’s Tower (and museum)

The southern wall excavations

Several ancient synagogues

The Curdo

Your feet might ache a little by the end, but you can cover all of these fascinating highlights in one day. And you’ll be glad you did.

Ben Yehuda/Jaffa St./Mamilla


Once you’ve gotten your fill of ancient wonders, you can head over to the more modern side of town for some good present day shopping. Mamilla is the super exclusive, high-end outdoor mall that runs right alongside the Old City walls. From contemporary art sculptures to haute couture shopping, this is definitely a trendy place to be. Ben Yehuda and Jaffa St. are the places to go for great deals, souvenirs, and good food to eat. When the weather permits, also be sure to hit up Jerusalem’s Night Shuk, an amazing outdoor marketplace with all sorts of handmade crafts, jewelry, trinkets, and more.

Mahane Yehuda

Next, take a quick stroll through Mahane Yehuda, Jerusalem’s bustling outdoor marketplace. Whether you go during the daylight hours or wait for things to come down, there’s always something exciting going on in these alleyways.


Finally, hit up a few of the amazing museums Jerusalem has to offer. There are tens of incredibly well done exhibits throughout each one, so it might be hard to choose if your time is limited. Of course, the Israel Museum and Yad Vashem are particularly iconical and well-worth the time spent there.

Still got some time? Take a city tour bus that lets you travel around Jerusalem on a comfortable double decker bus, pointing out the main attractions as you travel along. And remember, there’s always next year!