Mount of Olives picture1 of 2
Mount of Olives2 of 2
Courtesy of www.goisrael.com

Key Info

Mount of Olives

Price & Hours

Free

Details

Monuments and Memorials, Sightseeing, Free Type
1 to 2 hours Time to Spend
4.6scorecard
  • 5.0Value
  • 0.0Food Scene
  • 4.5Atmosphere

Named after the olive groves that once covered its slopes, this 2,900-foot mountain stands opposite the Old City across the Kidron Valley. For more than 3,000 years, the Mount of Olives has served as Jerusalem's primary burial ground and the final resting place of notable biblical figures, such as Zechariah and Absalom.

There are also several notable religious sites found on the hill's slopes. For example, the Dome of the Ascension contains the last footprint Jesus made on earth before he ascended into heaven, and the Garden of Gethsemane marks the location of Jesus' prayers before the crucifixion (you'll also find olive trees that are roughly 1,000 years old). But above all else, come to the Mount of Olives for the views. According to one TripAdvisor user, "You look over the Kidron Valley to Jerusalem and Temple Mount. You can imagine Jesus as he looked over Jerusalem and saw a vision of the destruction."

The Mount of Olives is located in East Jerusalem about a 20-minute walk east of the Old City. You can access the Mount of Olives at any time (although individual sites feature their own hours of operation), and there is no entrance fee. Learn more about the Mount of Olives (and available tours) on the official 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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