More than 5,000 years old, Jerusalem is an epicenter of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. The city is rich with holy sites, including the biblical locations of Bethlehem, Nazareth, and the Sea of Galilee. To make the most of your visit, see below for some of Jerusalem’s most sacred destinations.
Way of the Cross (Via Dolorosa)
Begins at Herod's Palace at Jaffa Gate, Jerusalem
Visitors can follow the path Jesus is said to have taken while carrying the cross to his crucifixion. The Way of the Cross is open to the public, and visitors can choose to make their own way or book a guided tour to add context. Many pilgrims stop to pray and reflect on the events believed to have taken place at each station, although it should be noted that it’s a busy and often noisy route, with a bustling outdoor market going on around it.
Things to Know Before You Go
While well-marked, the path winds through busy streets with lined with snack stalls and tourist shops, so it can be hard to follow.
It’s not always easy to see each plaque, but there are many tours that guide visitors with commentary.
There is a weekly procession along the Via Dolorosa led by Franciscans every Friday afternoon at 3pm.
The Franciscan procession begins at the Pilgrim’s Reception Center near by the Lion’s Gate.
The number of pilgrims to Via Dolorosa swell to thousands when Franciscans flock to the site during Holy Week.
How to Get There
The Way of the Cross (Via Dolorosa) begins at the Lion’s Gate in the Muslim Quarter of the Old City and stretches about a third of a mile (500 meters) to its end at the Christian Quarter at the Church of the Holy Sepulcher.
When to Get There
The Via Dolorosa (Way of the Cross) is open to the public year round, but the Franciscan procession at 3pm on Fridays is a popular time to follow the path.
Arab Souk in the Muslim Quarter
The Muslim Quarter of Jerusalem’s Old City stretches across 76 acres (31 hectares) and can be accessed through Lion’s Gate, Damascus Gate, and Herod’s Gate. It’s easy to get lost in the winding maze of lively streets that make up the Arab Souk in center of the Muslim Quarter. Stalls selling everything from spices, breads, and pastries to freshly squeezed pomegranate juice and hummus are tightly packed along the narrow streets. The buzzing outdoor markets are a sight to behold, with traders hawking wares on streets that are thousands of years old.
Frequently Asked Questions
The answers provided below are based on answers previously given by the tour provider to customers’ questions.
What are the nearest attractions to Way of the Cross (Via Dolorosa)?
What else should I know about attractions in Jerusalem?
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- Pool of Bethesda
- Damascus Gate (Bab al-Amud)
- Church of St. Anne
- Dome of the Rock
- Temple Mount (al-Haram al-Sharif)
- Old City of Jerusalem
- Al-Aqsa Mosque
- Western Wall Tunnels
- Christian Quarter
- Kidron Valley
- Jerusalem Jewish Quarter
- Tomb of the Virgin Mary (Mary's Tomb)
- Church of All Nations (Basilica of the Agony)
- Church of the Holy Sepulchre