It’s just insane being in a place with so much history. I had no idea what to expect when we booked our trip to Israel and Jordan (stay tuned for more posts on Tel Aviv and Jordan), but Jerusalem was obviously a must-see.
Quick, shout out to the Post Hostel for being perfectly located near the old city, the tram and a ton of nice restaurants and bars. We had a nice private room that was clean and not as small as I had expected. Also, free breakfast (including yummy Shakshuka). I recommend it if you are looking for a great location but would rather spend your money on food and touristing than on your hotel room.
First things first, we headed to the King David museum. We’d heard it was a “don’t miss” but didn’t expect it to be the literal perfect spot for a 360 view of all of Jerusalem. So seriously, aside from the great museum content – which gives a fantastic overview of the incredibly long and rich history of this city, the view from the top is worth it alone.
I’ll be honest, I was already impressed just walking towards the old city with it’s fortress walls.
But all the good stuff was through the (baddass) entrance of the museum.
We didn’t go any closer to temple mount and it’s incredibly beautiful mosque as it was Friday and with recent tensions in the area, it was recommended to avoid the area on prayer day. Nevertheless, we got a perfect view of it from the top of the museum with the Mount of Olives in the background.
Inside the museum itself, was a fantastic introduction to the history of Jerusalem, including beautiful art (and pretty tile work).
Sigh. It was amazing. But onward we went, with only one full day to see all that we could, we quickly popped into the old city to visit the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, where Jesus is said to have been buried and resurrected.
I didn’t take nearly enough pictures, but suffice to say, it was quite impressive.
Next up, the wailing wall:
It’s divided into two sides. The above picture is a shot from the women’s side – you can see, over the barrier the men’s side.
At this stage in the day, we were exhausted from the heat so we decided to head to the Holocaust Museum. As it was Thursday, we lucked out – it’s the one day of the week that it’s open ’til 8 pm. I didn’t take any pictures, it just didn’t feel right. It was without a doubt one of the most profound experiences I had ever had – heartbreaking and infuriating all at once. The way the layout of the space led you through the history of the barbarism that happened fed into the incredibly moving experience. We ended our tour just as the sun was setting off a large balcony. I was moved beyond words and urge everyone to take the time to visit.
I found some pictures of the museum online which illustrate how strikingly and hauntingly beautiful it truly is (via Architizer).
Pfew okay. This is a long post, but there is just so much to see and do. I wish we had had more time, but we had quite an incredible experience nevertheless.
As a side note: we didn’t focus too much on finding great restaurants while we were there, but did stumble upon a little gem just around the corner from our hotel. It was a South American restaurant called La Boca, just steps away from the busy Yafo pedestrian street. We were exhausted and thought to just find a place super nearby to eat something quick, but lucked out! It’s a shared plates place (for the most part) and we had some yummy stuff. Don’t worry, we also had our fill of Israeli and Jordanian cuisine during our trip, but it’s still nice to switch it up.
La Boca: Queen Shlomziyon St 8, Jerusalem