With two days in Jerusalem, linger in the Old City, plan a museum afternoon, and get a taste of the local food and nightlife scene. Plan strategically so you can take it all in without rushing, since this ancient city is deeply layered with history and culture that’s well worth slowing down for. Here’s how to plan a 2-day trip to Jerusalem.
Day 1: Old City, Fresh Nightlife
Morning: Rise early to beat the tour-bus crowd, and enter the Old City through one of the historic gateways. Take advantage of this quiet time to check out the landmarks, from the Western Wall to the Dome of the Rock and the Church of the Holy Sepulchre.
Afternoon: Some of the Old City’s treasures have been buried by time, so go underground to see the City of David, an archaeological site that’s uncovering the very oldest areas. It’s an active site with few signs; opt for a guided tour to understand the history on display.
Night: Now that you’ve got the past down, sample the city’s up-to-the-minute nightlife, which goes from laid-back pubs to energetic discos. Since pub crawls come with a ready-made crew of fellow travelers, they’re a fun way to ease into the scene (often with perks like skip-the-line entry and included drinks).
Day 2: Markets and Museums
Morning: Pick one of Jerusalem’s museums for a morning of history, art, archaeology, or Jewish heritage, taking advantage of pre-booking options so you don’t get held up in line. The Yad Vashem Holocaust History Museum has an intimate take on wartime stories, while the Israel Museum appeals to history and art buffs alike.
Afternoon: Browse sweets, crafts, and farm-fresh produce at the Mahane Yehuda Market, and taste your way through some of Jerusalem’s most delicious treats. Because self-guided and guided options let you sample the best of the market, there’s no reason for a sit-down lunch at all.
Night: Head back into the Old City for a night of sound and lights with ancient stones for a backdrop; the audiovisual show is an immersive way to experience the landmarks that’s worthwhile even if you’ve already done a daytime tour.