Four reasons to make Jerusalem your next break

It may be famous for its ancient beginnings, but with young, vibrant neighbourhoods, a dynamic and flourishing food scene, as well as a varied and lively nightlife, Jerusalem is anything but outdated. Tempted? Read on for our four reasons to check out this culture-rich capital


Old is gold

Although, evidently, history is not the only one of Jerusalem’s attributes to make it such a great city break, it’d be a pity to leave town without taking in some of its most revered sites. One of the most poignant and striking of these is the Wailing Wall, an ancient limestone wall in the Old City – considered by Jews, Muslims and Christians to be one of the holiest sites in the world. In fact it is arguably only bettered in that regard by the site which it surrounds – the Temple Mount, which, according to Jewish scripture, was where Solomon’s Temple, or the First Temple, stood, before it was destroyed by the neo-Babylonians.


Food for thought

Positioned at the crux of three continents with cultural influences that span North Africa, the Middle East and Mediterranean Europe, Jerusalem’s food scene is every bit as varied as you’d expect. At the open-air Machane Yehuda Market, aka ‘The Shuk’, you’ll find more than 250 stall holders touting everything from freshly-baked pitta and pretzels, to locally-grown fruit and vegetables, and more varieties of halva (tahini-based candy) than you’d imagine was possible. And in November this year, the city will be hosting the Open Restaurants Festival 2019, a city-wide event that’ll give attendees backstage access to some of Jerusalem’s top restaurants, where you’ll be able to take part in culinary workshops, dinners and talks.


Drink it in

It’s not just a love of food that keeps Jerusalem ticking – it experiences a whole new lease of life in the evenings, as its bars start to buzz with live music and the sound of clinking glasses. Cold beer? Check out the Beer Bazaar in Machane Yehuda, which stocks more than 70 locally-produced craft brews. How about an Instagram-worthy cocktail? Keep an eye out for 1920s-speakeasy-themed Gatsby where atmospheric lighting, a secret sliding bookshelf and freshly-crushed cocktails will make you feel you’ve travelled back in time. But a night out in Jerusalem wouldn’t be complete without catching an evening show. The Tower of David Night Spectacular (tickets from £14) is a breathtakingly immersive audio-visual experience, where a digital tapestry of moving images are projected across the walls of the Citadel.


Art of the action

When it comes to art and culture, Jerusalem can more than hold its own against the big boys. As well as the contributions of around 30 street artists who were commissioned to inject some contemporary colour into the Machane Yahuna Market, painting everything from stall shutters to walls and litter bins, there are more conventional displays to be found in the city’s museums. In the Tower of David Museum of the History of Jerusalem, you’ll find beautifully-preserved examples of art and artefacts dating from as far back as the Canaanite Period, around 3,200BCE, right up to the era of British rule and the establishment of Israel as a state in the early 20th century. And be sure not to miss the exquisite examples of carpet weaving, antique watches and pottery found in the Museum for Islamic Art.

To plan your dream trip to Jerusalem, visit itraveljerusalem.com

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