The Old City of Jerusalem – Visitors Guide

Despite its small size, the Old City of Jerusalem has holy sites for three Abrahamic religions. They are the Western Wall, Church of the Holy Sepulchre, and Dome of the Rock.

Note: for attractions near the Old City, check out Around The Old City Of Jerusalem.

The Most Popular Attractions

The Old City Of Jerusalem is not large. It is 0.9 square kilometers of walled area. And I visited the Old City at least several dozen times. Nonetheless, during each visit, I discover something new. But now let’s start with the most famous attractions.

If you are planning to visit Jerusalem, the Old City is a must, and you need to reserve at least half a day. And in this post, we will explore different places in the Old City, including, as I call them, “The Big Three”, which are:


Within one square kilometer, you can find the holy sites of three major Abrahamic religions – Judaism, Christianity, and Islam.

Map of the Old City:

Directions for drivers: Link to Waze and Link to Google Maps
Directions for public transport: Link to Moovit

View TripHelp

Interactive map of the area:


  • Hotels, hostels, and apartments in this area:

You can find the following map in several places in the Old City of Jerusalem.

Jerusalem Old City Map
Jerusalem Old City Map

Note: you can click on the map to enlarge it.


You can reach the Old City by using public transport, driving, or combining both. Here are the most common ways.

Public Transport

You can take a bus to the Old City. For example, when I checked how to get to Dung Gate from Tel Aviv, Moovit suggested bus #1. You can use this preset Moovit link. Just enter your starting point, and you will get updated directions. Another option is taking a taxi.

There is, of course, the option of the light train, and I will elaborate on it in the next section.


If you decide to take a car, you have several parking options.

  • Mamilla Parking, also known as Karta Parking – you can reach by car to Mamilla mall and park inside the mall. The upside is the closeness of the mall to Jaffa Gate. The downside is that convenience comes at a price.
    You can take the Western Wall Train and Shuttle bus to Goren Square near the Western Wall. It runs from Karta Parking Lot B (the bus parking lot parallel to Yitzhak Kariv Street) every 20 minutes between 08:40 and 13:20. as far as I remember, it costs 10 NIS per person.
  • HaPa’amon Garden – there is free parking on land (on the left of the paved parking lot). From the HaPa’amon Garden, it is about a 15 min walk to the Old City. It is free but has the longest trail, including an uphill walk. Also, there is currently some construction on-site, so not sure how long this parking will be available.
  • First Station Parking – the First Station is located near HaPa’amon Garden, and you can find a big parking lot at this complex. You have to pay for the parking, and they offer a free shuttle to the Old City (the shuttle stop is in the middle of the parking area). It is a blue and white paved area, so the easiest way is to pay via an app. And then take a free shuttle to Dung Gate. It is very close to the Western Wall and the City Of David. The shuttle runs every 20 minutes and operates at least from 8:00 to 20:00 on weekdays (see photo with the timetable below). A word of caution: on one of the instances when I parked, the Pango parking app allowed me to leave the car for two hours. And after two hours, I had to renew the parking manually. But we went to the City Of David, and I was inside underground tunnels at the requested time. When I exited the tunnel, I renewed parking at the app. But as I returned to the car, I found out I got a 100 NIS fine during that 20-minute window. So I paid both for the parking and the fine. Thus, if you are in a similar situation, put a reminder on the phone for at least one hour before due time (for example, the water tunnel at the City Of David takes around 40 minutes to pass).
  • Giv’at HaTahmoshet (Ammunition Hill) Parking – it is a park-and-ride site (free parking for those who use the light train). And from there you can take the light train. Safra Square tram stop is within a five-minute walk from Jaffa Gate. It is less convenient than Mamilla Parking, but it is cheaper, and kids love riding the light train. Also, keep the light train tickets, as you will need them to exit the Ammunition Hill parking.
Shuttle bus stop at The First Station Parking
Shuttle bus stop at The First Station Parking

The Road From HaPa’amon Garden

I will show you the way from HaPa’amon Garden since it is the most complicated one.

After about half a kilometer, you will reach Mendes-France Square. At that point, you will see Mount Zion. Here is a look over stairs climbing to the top of Mount Zion, and you can see the clock tower that is next to Dormition Abbey (you can also see a part of the Dormition abbey’s dome):

Mount Zion and Dormition Abbey
Mount Zion and Dormition Abbey

As you climb Mount Zion, if you look back, you will see the Mishkenot Sha’ananim neighborhood. It was the first area of Jewish settlement in Jerusalem outside the Old City walls. You can also see its iconic symbol, the Windmill (top left):

Mishkenot Sha'ananim neighborhood
Mishkenot Sha’ananim neighborhood

Usually, I climb the stairs toward Dormition Abbey (the stairs on the Mount Zion photo above). But, if you are heading to the City Of David or the Western Wall, you can also walk along Ma’ale HaShalom street.

Old City Attractions

In this section, we will go over the most popular attractions in (or very close to) the Old City.

City Of David

Though now the City Of David is located outside the Old City, this is where Jerusalem began.

You can find my complete guide at the City Of David.

Davidson Center

Between the Dung Gate (also known as Sha’ar Ha’ashpot) and the Western Wall, you can see the Davidson Center.

Davidson Center – Jerusalem Archaeological Park
Davidson Center – Jerusalem Archaeological Park

Davidson Center is a magnificent archaeological park with findings from different periods.

You can find my complete guide at Davidson Center – Jerusalem Archaeological Park.

Western Wall

The Western Wall, Wailing Wall, or Kotel is an ancient limestone wall in the Old City. Herod began its construction as part of the expansion of the Second Jewish Temple. And due to its connection to the Temple Mount (and Temple Mount entry restrictions), the Wall is the holiest place for Jews.

You can find my complete guide on this topic at the Western Wall.

Western Wall
Western Wall view from the Jewish quarter

Dome Of The Rock and The Temple Mount

Inside the Dome of the Rock, you can find the Foundation Stone. And the Foundation Stone has great significance in Abrahamic religions. For example, the belief that this is where God created the world and the first human.

You can find additional information about this site at the Dome Of The Rock And The Temple Mount.

Alleys and Markets in the Old City

When exiting Temple Mount, you will be using the visitor’s entrance. And it leads back to Western Wall.

When visiting the Old City, do not rush between different sites. Enjoy a stroll in the alleys and the markets. And on our way to the Church Of The Holy Sepulchre, we will take a slight detour through the Jewish quarter.

Old City Of Jerusalem

Here you can see the Four Sephardi Synagogues with the Hurva Synagogue behind them:

Four Sephardi Synagogues

Do some street photography 🙂

Jerusalem old city streets
Beit El in Jerusalem old city
Jerusalem old city streets

And visit the market:

Jerusalem old city market
Jerusalem old city market

Church of the Holy Sepulchre

According to traditions, the Church Of The Holy Sepulchre contains two holiest sites in Christianity. They are the Golgotha (also known as Calvary) – the site where Jesus of Nazareth was crucified and Jesus’s empty tomb, where he is said to have been buried and resurrected.

You can find my complete guide at the Church Of The Holy Sepulchre.

Rotunda at Holy Sepulcher
Rotunda at Holy Sepulcher

Church of the Redeemer

Church Of The Redeemer is not only a church, but it is also a place where you can listen to concerts, tour an archeological park, and visit one of the best viewpoints in the Old City. Check out my complete guide about the Church Of The Redeemer.

Since I mentioned viewpoint, here is an article where you can find 14 Best Views of Jerusalem.

Tower Of David

Tower Of David is a history museum, specifically about the history of Jerusalem. If you love history and archeology, I recommend this museum. Besides having a wide range of exhibits, it also shows everything in chronological order (which makes it easier for most people).

Moreover, Night Experiences at the Tower of David is a lovely addition, and if you have not been to either, consider purchasing the combo tickets.

You can find my complete guide at the Tower Of David.

Tower Of David
Tower Of David

Ramparts Walk – Walls Promenade

Ramparts Walk offers Southern And Northern routes. Both of them together almost cover the whole circumference of the Old City. And as you guessed from the name, they allow walking the old city’s massive walls and see both inside and outside from a high viewpoint, making it an enjoyable experience.

You can find my complete guide at Ramparts Walk.

Ramparts Walk - Southern Route and Dormition
Southern Ramparts Walk

Zedekiah’s Cave – King Solomon’s Quarries

Though the entrance to Zedekiah’s Cave is outside the Old City (near Damascus Gate), its halls are beneath the Muslim quarter. Hence I include it in this post.

Zedekiah’s Cave is one of Jerusalem’s wonders, with a fascinating history and excellent acoustics. Thus, it is also a good place for a concert. Check out my full Zedekiah’s Cave guide to find out more.

Zedekiah's Cave
Zedekiah’s Cave

The Roman Plaza

The Roman Plaza is a small museum that shows findings from the Roman period. And it is located below Damascus Gate in the Old City. Check out my full guide to The Roman Plaza.


If you are interested in museums, see 15 Best Museums in Jerusalem.


Best Hotels in Jerusalem lists the best regular, luxury, and boutique hotels in Jerusalem. You can also see the distance to the Old City and the rating.


For most people visiting the Old City Of Jerusalem is a must. There is much to see, including history and holy places. As I mentioned in the beginning, dedicate at least half a day to the Old City. And if you are short on time (have only half to full day), then take a tour. It will allow you to see more in less time. Also, remember that this post combines many visits, and it will be hard to cover all the mentioned places in one day. Moreover, there are many additional sites in the Old City, and I covered only the main ones.

If you are looking for additional places to visit, check out Around The Old City Of Jerusalem.

Have you ever visited the Old City Of Jerusalem? What is your favorite place? Let us know in the comments below.

That’s all for today, and I’ll see you in future travels!

Stay Tuned!

For additional points of interest nearby, check out Jerusalem.

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