New Jerusalem Walking Tour, Jerusalem (Self Guided)

West Jerusalem or New Jerusalem is made up entirely of westernized, modern neighborhoods. This part of the city was built around the wall of the Old Jerusalem city. The following self-guided tour will lead you to some interesting streets, art galleries, museums and shops in New Jerusalem:
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New Jerusalem Walking Tour Map

Guide Name: New Jerusalem Walking Tour
Guide Location: Israel » Jerusalem (See other walking tours in Jerusalem)
Guide Type: Self-guided Walking Tour (Sightseeing)
# of Attractions: 7
Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 5.5 km
Author: vickyc
YMCA Tower

1) YMCA Tower

This attraction is part of the YMCA in Jerusalem. It was built as a symbol of peace and coexistence for the world to see. It is located across the street from the Kind David hotel. The whole complex is architecturally stunning. Beside the tall structure, there is a beautiful stand of Cyprus trees there, which really depict the spirit of Israel.

By comparison to other hotel offerings, the YMCA is simple. You will get a clean room at a fair price. But that is not the reason to stay here. The big draw is that it is a place that is dedicated to serving everyone who comes to the Holy Land. This part of the building is known as the Three Arches. It currently has 56 rooms, and is simply equipped (bring your own toiletries). The lobby is spacious and quiet. The restaurant serves breakfast, and the pool and gym are free for hotel guests.

The idea was the brain child Dr. A.C. Harte, the head of the this famous Christian organization in the 1920s. It was designed by Arthur Harmon. In case the name doesn't ring the bell to you, he was the creative force behing the Empire State Building.

There is a lot of symbolic meaning that has been designed into the building also. The twelve trees at the entrance recall the tribes of Israel. Forty pillars represent the years the people were in exile, awaiting the entrance into the Promised Land.

You can take a trip up the tower for a mere five shekels. There are a lot of stairs to climb, though, so be ready for that. At the top is a grand room with openings to the outside. There are four balconies in all. Each of them looks off in a different direction. So, there is some great photo opportunities of Jerusalem to be had here.
Museum for Islamic Art

2) Museum for Islamic Art (must see)

The Museum for Islamic Art is a premier museum in Jerusalem, located very close to the residence of the President of Israel. The location was opened to the public in 1974 and was founded by Mrs. Vera Bryce Salomons. You may not find a better art gallery either, for the presentation of the art of the Muslim people.

Though not of that faith tradition, Mrs. Vera Bryce Salomons had a great love of the culture of Islam. She was very interested in helping the world know that religion alone did not define this people. She was expressly interested in the beautiful calligraphy that was some common in the handwriting of this area. She noted also that the various Muslim regions of the world had their own “flare” in the art of the writing as well.

The institute itself was dedicated to Ms. Salomons’ professor: L.A. Mayer, who passed away in 1959. It was her hope that opening this place would allow art to help bridge the gap between the Israeli and Arabs.

There are nine galleries in total, which depict the culture, faith, and art of the Islamic people across the world. The museum also is home to Professor Mayer’s personal collection. Displayed here are some of the world’s finest examples of chess pieces, eye masks, daggers, swords, helmets, textiles, glass items, etc. The rooms are laid out in chronological order. One spot also houses the pieces owned by David Salomon, the husband of the founder. Some of the finest examples of handmade clocks from the 1700s through the 1800s are kept here. You can also find some exquisite artisan-style music boxes from that time in history.

Why You Should Visit:
Untainted by political commentary, the museum tells the story of Islam itself, accompanied by exquisite pieces of art that capture the importance of the religion's various aspects.
Lately, the museum went through a process of innovation, bringing to the public highlights of modern artists linked with Islamic arts.

If possible, try to see the film about the clocks & timepieces before looking at the world-class collection thereof.

Opening Hours:
Mon-Wed: 10am-3pm; Thu: 10am-7pm; Fri, Sat: 10am-2pm
Jerusalem Theater

3) Jerusalem Theater

The Jerusalem Theater is a center for the performing arts. It opened to the public for the first time in 1971. The complex consists of “the Sherover Music Hall,” which can hold 950 people. There is also the “Henry Crown,” which also has a Symphony Hall that is used by the Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra. You can also visit the “Rebecca Crown Auditorium.” It has 450 seats. Finally, the “Little Theater” which can hold 110 persons. Various art exhibits are on display everywhere. You can also visit their restaurant for a bite before or after a show. A bookshop is also located on the main level of the complex.

In 1958, the Jerusalem Municipality organized a design competition to decide who would start the project. The Architectural firm of Nadler, Nadler and Bixson won this competition. The project got a real boost, monetarily, from a benefactor from Venezuela. His name was Miles Sherover.

Construction began in 1964, but would not get finished until October 1971. The theater is built of concrete and local stone from the area. The designers used both of these elements in a very artistic way, to really make the place striking. It is located in a square that is often used for concerts and plays. If you are a lover of the arts, then you will want to plan on attending one of the events that are held here, while you are visiting.
Monastery of the Cross

4) Monastery of the Cross

The Monastery of the Cross is home for the Byzantine order. It is located just outside the Old City of Jerusalem. Popular myth holds that a tree was located on these grounds that could have been used to construct a crucifix that was used for Jesus’ execution. This tradition and mythos dates back to the 5th Century.

In that time period, a house of worship stood in the location where the monastery is now. It was destroyed in circa 614 A.D. by the Persian Empire. By stroke of luck, part of the original mosaic tiles of the floor, around the altar, has survived. The art is a classic example from the period.

The current structure was erected in the 11th century by Orthodox monks from Mount Athos. The major funding came from the King of Georgia. The walls have been built very high for extra protection. This may have been done because the fortress was built outside the walls of the city. They were, no doubt, needed to keep the people inside safe.

Three hundred years later, the monastery became the social and economic center of the area. By 1685, grounds came under the managerial control of the Greek Orthodox Church.

The very Spartan style dome is one of the features of the building. The frescoes housed here are also worth seeing. They were repainted in the 1600s from the 13th century original pieces. The artwork set in the paintings show that the artists used religious images from many faith traditions and beliefs. The refectory is very typical of structures of this type. The kitchen also provides a good look into what life must have been like for the clerics living there. A tiny gallery shows off the monastery's treasures. The Order is still active today. It is not a cloistered community of faith though. Visitors are permitted to come and enjoy the grounds year round.
Jerusalem Botanical Gardens

5) Jerusalem Botanical Gardens

The Botanical Gardens is centrally located in Nayot, on the southeastern edge of the Givat Ram campus of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. The place is designed in sections, which feature flora and fauna of various regions of the world. The attraction opened to the public in 1985. In 1986, a tropical conservatory was opened to the general public. The famous South Africa section was planted in 1989. The Hank Greenspan Entrance Plaza, Dvorsky Visitors’ Center, which constitute much of the rest of the campus, were built in 1990. They also added a lovely restaurant.

The original grounds were procured in 1926, on the Mount Scopus side. Plans were created by Alexander Eig, who was the chairman of the Botany department of the University at the time. Planting started in 1931.

During the Israeli War of Independence, access to the university campus was cut off. An alternative campus was opened for a bit, through 1956. Some additions were then added over the years, but the real boom started in 1975. In that year, “the Society of Friends of the Botanical Gardens” was established to care for the place. The group was composed of lots of members of the former governing authorities, such as the JNF, the city of Jerusalem, and the local University.

In 1981, the Garden Association was started. The grounds were opened to the public in 1985. In 1994, it broke all formal ties with Hebrew University. Since that point in time, the Botanical Garden Association has been responsible for the maintenance and upkeep of the place.

Among the things to see here is the Japanese garden. It holds the biggest collection of bonsai trees on the planet. There is also the "Bible Path" which is home to 70 species of plant life that have been known to have existed during the times in which the Bible was written. The organization is highly committed to creating a gene pool to protect rare flowers and plants in Israel.
Israel Museum

6) Israel Museum (must see)

The Israel Museum, or Muze'on Yisrael, Yerushalayim is located in Jerusalem. It was founded in 1965 as Israel's national archive. It is located in the local region of Givat Ram. The National Campus for the Archaeology of Israel, Knesset, the Israeli Supreme Court, and the Hebrew University of Jerusalem are very near to this location also. Mayor Teddy Kollek was perhaps the most instrumental person in the development of the institution. In terms of similar places, it is world famous for art and archaeology. In its walls are housed ancient artifacts from the days of the Bible, Judaica, local ethnic graphic art, as well as archaeological pieces from every major continent in the world. You can also find treasures from the Orient, glass, clay and porcelain sculptures and rare documents from around the world. Perhaps the most famous exhibit here is the Shrine of the Book. In a specially shaped building, the Dead Sea Scrolls and artifacts discovered at Masada have found a home.

The museum owns over 500,000 collectible pieces. At any one time, there are around 7500 items that can be viewed or seen online. The location, under the directorship of James Snyder, underwent a multimillion-dollar campaign to modernize the structure. In addition, the construction would be designed to double the gallery space available for exhibits. It opened on July 26, 2010. The current building covers nearly 150,000 sq. feet. It attracts 800,000 patrons yearly. Well over 100,000 children visit each year. It holds the biggest public display of Israeli artifacts in the world.

Why You Should Visit:
The most interesting and magical museum there is in Israel, hands down – outstanding sculpture garden included.
Wide range of work from contemporary art to Jewish life (full-on synagogues included)!

Don't try to do it all at once. The collections of archeology and art are each huge and incredible and could take hours. Do the Dead Sea Scrolls on your first visit.
Remember to bring an ID card (not passports), in order to use the audio guides.

Opening Hours:
Sun-Thu: 10am-5pm; Tue: 4-9pm; Fri & Holiday Eves: 10am-2pm; Sat & Holidays: 10:30am-4pm
Bloomfield Science Museum

7) Bloomfield Science Museum

The Bloomfield Science Museum in Jerusalem serves as the country’s premier tribute to science. The location is well known for its family oriented activities and events that can keep the interest of everyone. The goal of the institution is to act as a kind of bridge between the scientific community and the general public.

One of the things that you will note right away is that the structure is quite well suited to children, with exhibitions that will interest the young visitors. The displays can teach a kid to be an entertainment park owner, or how to be an architect, and even how to better understand the laws of physics that keep our Universe in tact. However, the place is not just designed for kids. There are a lot of interactive displays designed to be of interest to adults, to keep them just as involved as the little ones who come to this place to play and learn.

The Israeli flavor of the building is expressed in specialized exhibits. They have been created by members of the local academic community. Often, they are based on current projects from the University. The location is also capable of hosting a party for various occasions.

The Bloomfield Science Museum is a mere five minutes from the Israel Museum. Admission for adults is 45 NIS. Children under 5 are admitted free. There are also special prices for Soldiers, Disabled, Students, and Seniors.

Opening hours: Monday - Thursday: 10:00 - 18:00; Friday: 10:00 - 14:00; Saturday: 10:00 - 16:00

Walking Tours in Jerusalem, Israel

Create Your Own Walk in Jerusalem

Create Your Own Walk in Jerusalem

Creating your own self-guided walk in Jerusalem is easy and fun. Choose the city attractions that you want to see and a walk route map will be created just for you. You can even set your hotel as the start point of the walk.
Famous Architecture of Jerusalem Walking Tour

Famous Architecture of Jerusalem Walking Tour

Traditionally, Jerusalem was said to be the center of the universe. It is a very old city with many ancient buildings, with architecture dating back to Roman times and later reflecting both European and Islamic influences. The following self-guided tour will take you to the most interesting architectural highlights of Jerusalem.

Tour Duration: 3 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 7.1 km
Jerusalem Old City Gates Walking Tour

Jerusalem Old City Gates Walking Tour

The Old City of Jerusalem is very old indeed. It probably existed more than 4500 years ago. It is surrounded by gates, which, too, are old constructions built by Suleiman the Magnificent in the 16th century. There are archaeological gardens along the wall and near the gates. Prophesies about some of these gates are written in the Bible and the Koran. This self-guided tour will lead you from gate...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 4.0 km
Following Steps of Jesus Walking Tour in Jerusalem

Following Steps of Jesus Walking Tour in Jerusalem

Jerusalem was considered for centuries to be the center of the universe. The most famous figure in the history of mankind, Jesus Christ, fulfilled his divine mission in this city. This self-guided tour will retrace the steps of Jesus to show you some of the holiest places in the world.

Tour Duration: 3 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 5.7 km
Art Galleries of Jerusalem Walking Tour

Art Galleries of Jerusalem Walking Tour

Jerusalem is considered sacred by the three great monotheistic religions of the world. There are art galleries that reflect the influence of these religions on the artists of Jerusalem. This self-guided tour will lead you to the most visited art galleries of Jerusalem.

Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 4.2 km
Kids Self-Guided Tour of Jerusalem

Kids Self-Guided Tour of Jerusalem

Jerusalem is also a city of much fun. Both your children and you will enjoy the unique and unforgettable experiences that you can have in the Bible lands historical museum, the youth wing of the Israel Museum, and Jerusalem's fascinating playgrounds. This self-guided tour will lead you to the most visited children's attractions of Jerusalem.

Tour Duration: 3 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 7.0 km
Souvenir Shopping Part 1

Souvenir Shopping Part 1

It would be a pity to leave Jerusalem without having explored its specialty shops and bringing home something truly original. We've compiled a list of gifts and souvenirs, which are unique to Jerusalem, that a visitor might like to purchase to reflect their visit.

Tour Duration: 1 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.0 km

Useful Travel Guides for Planning Your Trip

16 Uniquely Israel Things to Buy in Jerusalem

16 Uniquely Israel Things to Buy in Jerusalem

Modern day Jerusalem is a mosaic of neighborhoods, reflecting different historical periods, cultures, and religions. The influx of repatriates in recent years has made the cultural and artisanal scene of the city even more colourful and diverse. To find your way through Jerusalem's intricate...

Tips for Exploring City on Foot at Your Own Pace

Whether you are in Jerusalem for a quick stopover or have a few days to see the city in more detail, exploring it on foot, at your own pace, is definitely the way to go. Here are some tips for you to save money, see the best Jerusalem has to offer, take good care of your feet while walking, and keep your mobile device – your ultimate "work horse" on this trip - well fed and safe.

Saving Money with City Passes

To save yourself time and money visiting Jerusalem's multiple sights, you may want to resort to the so-called city passes, such as the Jerusalem City Pass by Ticketbar, Jerusalem City Pass by Musement, or Jerusalem City Pass by Viator.

A city pass combines all Jerusalem's top highlights, tours and experiences in one prepaid attractions pass, using which you can save incredible amounts on general admission fees as compared to purchasing tickets separately. Often, a city pass also allows user to skip lines at major attractions, thus saving precious time.

Staying at Walk-Friendly Hotels

Since you're keen on exploring cities on foot (we assume that you are, and this is why you're here), it is important that you stay at a hotel close to the city's major attractions. It saves you time and energy. Here are a few of Jerusalem hotels conveniently located for a comfortable stroll: Leonardo Plaza Hotel Jerusalem, The David Citadel Hotel, Prima Kings Hotel.

Taking Care of Your Feet

To ensure ultimate satisfaction from a day of walking around the city as big as Jerusalem, it is imperative to take good care of your feet so as to avoid unpleasant things like blisters, cold or overheated soles, itchy, irritated or otherwise damaged (cracked) skin, etc. Luckily, these days there is no shortage of remedies to address (and, ideally, to prevent) these and other potential problems with feet. Among them: Compression Socks, Rechargeable Battery-Powered Thermo Socks for Cold Weather, Foot Repair Cream, Deodorant Powder, Shoes UV Sterilizer, and many more that you may wish to find a place in your travel kit for.

Travel Gadgets for Your Mobile Device

Your mobile phone or tablet will be your work horse on a self-guided walk. They offer tour map, guide you from one attraction to another, and provide informative background for the sights you wish to visit. Therefore it is absolutely essential to plan against unexpected power outages in the wrong place at the wrong time, much as to ensure the safety of your device.

For these and other contingencies, here's the list of useful appliances: Portable Charger/External Battery Pack, Worldwide Travel Charger Adapter, Power Converter for International Travel Adapter, and Mobile Device Leash.

Exploring City on Guided Tours

We have a strong bias towards exploring a city on foot, at your own pace, because this is how you get to see things up close with a maximum freedom. You decide how much time you wish to spend at each attraction and don't have to worry about following a crowd. That said, however, we also understand that some of you may want to go with a guided tour. If that is your case, here are some guided tours to consider. Be ready to fork out a bit of money, though, as a guided tour of Jerusalem typically costs somewhere between US$10+ and US$90 per person:

- Embark on a self-balancing Segway tour of Jerusalem – this usually lasts around 2 hours and allows visitors to get a real sense of the city. Most people (even those aged 70+) find it quite fun and convenient, enabling to cover much more ground than you otherwise could have done by walking.

- Provoke your contemplating eternal matters on a mixed (coach and walking) tour of Jerusalem, the city where the ancient and religious are intertwined more than anywhere else in the world. With the help of an expert guide try and perceive the profound meaning and context behind the holy Christian and Jewish sites of Old and New Jerusalem.

- Visit the places that once saw Jesus Christ in flesh, feel the tales of the Bible become real on a walking tour of Jerusalem led by a knowledgeable local guide. Walk the stones of Via Dolorosa in the footsteps of the Messiah to his crucifixion and learn more about that pivotal day in human history.

- Explore the city of three religions through the eyes of Jewish, Christian and Muslim worshipers on a 4-hour guided walk of Old Jerusalem to the holy places and landmarks revered in Islam, Judaism and Christianity, and learn about the religious beliefs associated with them.

- Tantalize your taste buds with the scents and sights of exotic delicacies fit to arouse anyone's appetite on a 3-hour guided tour of Mahane Yehuda, Jerusalem’s biggest outdoor market! Explore the city's favorite marketplace in its variety.

- Descend into the unknown, at least until recently, deep beneath the ground to explore the ancient roots of Jerusalem on a 1.5-hour guided tour through the centuries-old tunnel dating back to the times of the Second Temple. Get a chance to touch and hear about some truly incredible artifacts found here, and more.

Day Trips

If you have a full or half day to spare whilst in Jerusalem, why not use it to explore some of the out-of-town destinations like Bethlehem and Jericho, Masada and the Dead Sea, Nazareth and the Sea of Galilee, or the West Bank. For as little as as circa US$100 to US$125 per person you will get a chance to experience first-hand the ancient and Biblical treasures, discover fascinating religious history, see the fabled Biblical and Nativity sites, scenes of the New Testament stories including places where Jesus performed miracles, plus explore legendary ruins, and so much more. For any of these tours you will be picked up either straight from your hotel or a designated place in Jerusalem, and transported either by a comfortable air-conditioned coach, minibus or a private vehicle to the destination of your choice and back again.