City of David and Hezekiah's Tunnel

#9 in Best Things To Do in Jerusalem
City of David and Hezekiah's Tunnel picture
Courtesy of www.goisrael.com

Key Info

Ma'alot Ir David

Details

Sightseeing, Tours Type
2 hours to Half Day Time to Spend
4.4scorecard
  • 4.5Value
  • 3.0Facilities
  • 4.0Atmosphere

The City of David, founded more than 3,000 years ago by King David, serves as a major archeology site and a functioning residential neighborhood within the Old City. Visitors explore what remains of this ancient city (which includes what's left of the First and Second Temples), both above ground and below. Before you start your exploration, stop in at the visitor's center (located just outside the Jewish Quarter's Dung Gate), where you'll find information on City of David sites and guided tours.

For most visitors, the highlight of a City of David visit is Hezekiah's Tunnel. The tunnel was ancient Jerusalem's primary source of water, according to the Bible. Today, you can traverse this ancient waterway, an amazing feat of ancient engineering. One TripAdvisor warns, "This is pretty strenuous and can be damp, so wear proper clothing and shoes."

During the winter, you can explore the City of David and Hezekiah's Tunnel from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday through Thursday, and from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Friday. During the summer, the site stays open from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Fridays. The City of David closes its doors on Saturdays and major Jewish holidays. Admission ranges from 27 to 35 ILS ($7 to $9.20 USD) for adults, depending on which tour you choose. For more information, visit the City of David website.

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Type
Time to Spend
#1 Old City

Chances are that you'll spend much of your time here. The Old City is home to many of Jerusalem's most sought-after attractions, including the Western Wall, the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, and Temple Mount. Originally built by King David in 1004 B.C., the walled Old City comprises four distinct areas: the Jewish Quarter (or the Cardo), the Muslim Quarter, the Christian Quarter, and the Armenian Quarter. Each quarter exudes its own unique atmosphere, with religious sites, shops, and food offerings reflecting its respective heritage. Yet the Old City's winding alleyways and ancient stone plazas allow mixing and mingling among these cultures, making a very eclectic environment.

It's easy to lose yourself (both metaphorically and geographically) in the Old City, but make sure you devote some attention to its boundaries. You can access the Old City from seven entryways: the New Gate, Damascus Gate, Herod's Gate, Lions' Gate, Dung Gate, Zion Gate, and Jaffa Gate. Each doorway marks a significant era of Jerusalem's history. For example, Jaffa Gate is where the Tower of David (the city's primary defense point) can be found.

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