Jerusalem, filled with ancient history and modern culture, is an amazing city for anyone to visit. But it can be especially magical and meaningful for families. We have put together this list of the top 10 places to visit in Jerusalem—some famous and some lesser known–and what makes them great destinations for families.
Some of the Top 10 Places to Visit in Jerusalem are Outdoors
With nice weather much of the year, Jerusalem is filled with places that combine nature with history. Here are some of the best:
Teddy Park: Named after Jerusalem’s iconic Mayor Teddy Kollek, who led the city from 1965 to 1993, this park near the Old City walls features fountains and a splash area for kids to enjoy. There is also a visitor’s center that tells the story of the city’s development, and plenty of green space to relax in the shade of trees.
During the day, from spring through fall, the fountains run every couple of hours. There is also a sound and light show each evening at the fountains.
The Jerusalem Botanical Garden Gardens: Near Hebrew Univerity’s Givat Ram campus, these gardens feature plants from around the world, along with mazes, water activities and plenty of other fun things for children and adults to explore. Bring a picnic, or enjoy a meal at Caffit, the restaurant that overlooks the garden’s stunning pond filled with fish and lily pads. A day here definitely ranks it among the top 10 places to visit in Jerusalem.
Ein Lavan: This natural park on the outskirts of the city, just beyond the Biblical Zoo, is a great place to spend an entire morning or afternoon. There are two freshwater springs, surrounded by olive and fig trees, giving the area a lush and relaxed feel. There are also hiking and mountain biking trails that lead past the springs, making it a great place to swim and cool off while exploring the Jerusalem hills.
Old City Walls: A walk around the top of the Old City’s 16th century walls offers some of the most unique and breath-taking views of the city. Called the Ramparts Walk, the wall path has two routes: One passes over the Armenian and Jewish quarters and ends near the Western Wall; the other goes over the Christian and Muslim Quarters, with an options to exit at the famous Damascus Gate.
Exploring Markets and Food
Jerusalem is filled with colorful markets, offering fresh fruits and vegetables, spice and other food experiences. This is what makes them stand out among the top 10 places to visit in Jerusalem.
Machane Yehuda Market: For more than a century, this has been the place to buy fresh produce and other food in the western part of Jerusalem. It is one of the busiest places in the city, making it a great place for children to take in a variety of sights and sounds. Today, in addition to some of the country’s freshest fruits and vegetables, the market has dozens of interesting restaurants, meaning that it is a great place for families to enjoy a snack, ranging from ice cream to pastries to freshly-made halva to falafel.
First Station: Set in the heart of southern Jerusalem, near the German Colony, this old railroad station is now filled with food and art markets, as well as plenty of other fun activities, including bike rentals, carnival rides and a children’s train. An afternoon or evening out here ranks among the top 10 places to visit in Jerusalem.
Old City Markets: The shops along David Street, which begins just inside the Old City’s Jaffa Gate, are one of the most interesting places for families to stroll. Whether you are looking for hand-painted ceramics, religious items or or souvenir stuffed camels for children, there is something here for everyone.
Indoor Highlights of the Top 10 Places to Visit in Jerusalem
When it rains or is very hot, these indoor options are a great way to experience some of the top 10 places to visit in Jerusalem.
Bloomfield Science Museum: This interactive museum has hands-on activities for everyone from toddlers to adults. This is where you can make your hair stand up on its ends, check a teddy bear’s heartbeat and blow giant bubbles.
Interesting displays include a mezuzah that traveled to space, the most famous questions that Leonardo DeVinci asked, and architectural models.
The Israel Museum: Whether you are interested in art, science or Jewish history, the Israel Museum has something for everyone. View the famous Dead Sea Scrolls, relax in the children’s library or walk amid a collection of synagogues from the Jewish Diaspora. The museum’s grounds are also filled with sculptures, beautiful gardens and fountains. Children enter for free on Tuesdays and Saturdays.
Time Elevator: Located in the Mamilla Mall, this attraction is one of the most entertaining ways to learn about Jerusalem’s long and complex history. The Time Elevator takes visitors through more than 3,000 years of history, and the motion-filled attraction, which moves up and down though various eras, makes visitors feel like they particiatong, in, rather than just watching the city’s history.
The top ten places to visit in Jerusalem for families include famous places like the Machane Yehuda Shuk and Israel Museum to hidden gems like the Time Elevator. This list offers a variety of both indoor and outdoor activities that can be enjoyed by those of all ages.