The Western Wall Tunnel in Jerusalem offers a behind-the-scenes exploration of one of the most significant holy sites in Judaism: the Western Wall (or Wailing Wall). An underground continuation of the sacred prayer site, the Western Wall Tunnel provides worshipers and visitors a unique perspective on the history of the ancient limestone wall.
The Western Wall Tunnel can only be visited as part of a guided tour, which offers a wealth of information on the wall’s construction, its fascinating history, and its 100-plus-year excavation. Tours include a walk along the Hidden Passageway; landmarks such as the Great Bridge and Warren’s Gate, the closest point to the Holy of Holies; and archaeological marvels including a Hasmonean-period aqueduct. Visitors can also see the Western Stone, thought to be one of the heaviest objects ever lifted by human beings without powered machines at an astounding 551 tons (500 metric tons).
Visitors often combine a visit to the Western Wall Tunnel with a sightseeing tour of Old Jerusalem, including nearby sites such as Zion Gate, the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, the Stone of the Anointing, and the Mount of Olives.
Things to Know Before You Go
- Guided Western Wall Tunnel tours, available in multiple languages, take around 1.5 hours and must be booked in advance—ideally well in advance.
- Wear comfortable shoes as there’s quite a bit of walking to do.
- The tunnels are wheelchair accessible, and discounted entrance is available for disability-badge holders.
- Remember that the wall is a sacred site, so dress modestly—shoulders and knees should be covered.
How to Get There
The Western Wall plaza is at the heart of Jerusalem’s Old City. The nearest access point is the Dung Gate, from which buses and taxis run to the rest of the city. The entrance to the Western Wall Tunnel is at the northern end of the Western Wall plaza, signposted ‘Kotor Tunnels.’
When to Get There
Tours of the Western Wall Tunnel are held early morning to late evening Sunday to Thursday and until noon on Friday. If you want to combine your tour with a visit to the Western Wall, it’s worth opting for an early morning or late evening tour to avoid the huge crowds of day-trippers.
The Western Wall
The Western (or Wailing) Wall is one of the most sacred sites in Jerusalem and one of the most visited sites in the Old City, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The last standing remnant of the Second Temple, built by Herod in 19 BC and rising up the side of Temple Mount, the wall is a Jewish pilgrimage site of great significance. Pilgrims come from all around the globe to pray and tuck their prayer papers into the cracks between the stones.