Jerusalem Walking Tours

Jerusalem Panorama: An introduction to the Old City.
A great way to get to know the Old City of Jerusalem.  Soak up the atmosphere in a city that is at once ancient and modern, spiritual and down to earth, Middle Eastern and European.  Jerusalem has five thousand years of history and is holy to Jews, Christians and Muslims.  You will walk through oriental bazaars, visit some of the major holy and historic sites and view magnificent panoramas over the city.  Choose a half-day or a full-day tour.
Rebuilding Jewish Jerusalem 1267 - 1860: from the Ramban to the Old Yishuv.

When Rabbi Moshe ben Nachman (the Ramban) arrived in Jerusalem in 1267 he found the city in ruins and just two Jews living there.  By 1860 the Jewish population had grown to 8,000.  All Jewish life was confined within the single square kilometre inside the walls of the Old City which was overcrowded and horribly unsanitary.  In response to Christian missionary activities Jewish hospitals and schools had begun to be set up.  The first Jewish housing project had been built.  The gates of the city were locked at night. 

Old City
Montefiore Meets Rav Kook - Breaking Out of the Walls of the Old City.

Although in the 1850’s living conditions in the Old City were dire, people were too frightened to live outside the safety that its walls and locked gates offered them.  This tour takes you from Montefiore's windmill to HaRav Kook's house.  You will visit the first few Jewish neighbourhoods to be built outside the Old City and hear the stories of the benefactors and communal leaders like Moses Montefiore, Rabbis David ben Shimon and Yosef Rivlin who built them.

Nachlaot from Even Israel to Batei Minsk - Stone Houses and Goodly Dwellings .
Encouraged by the success of the first neighbourhoods, by the last quarter of the 19th Century the Jews of Jerusalem sensed that their future lay outside the walls of the Old City.  Neighbourhoods began to spring up along the Jaffa Road and elsewhere.  Come and explore some of the picturesque 19th Century neighbourhoods of Nachlaot and hear the stories of the pioneers who built them and the people who lived there
Nachlaot - The Far Side: Yemenites, Persians, Kurds and Aleppans.
From Kurdistan and Persia, the Yemen and Syria poor families set out on the long and difficult journey to Jerusalem, often losing what little they had along the way.  At first they lived in makeshift huts and little by little established themselves and their communities.  This tour tells their stories and visits their early neighbourhoods.
Exile and Return - The Battle for the Jewish Quarter 1948 and 1967. 
In the 1948 War of Independence the Jewish Quarter of the Old City was under siege.  Despite the valiant fight of its defenders it fell to the Arab Legion just two weeks after the establishment of the State of Israel.  The fighters were taken into captivity and the rest of the residents expelled.  For 19 years until its recapture by Israeli troops in the Six Day War in 1967 Jews did not set foot in the Old City.  This tour tells the story of exile and return.
Ramat Rachel
Ramat Rachel: from the time of the First Temple to the Six Day War.
The history of this strategic hilltop high above Jerusalem spans 2,700 years.  There are remains here of a royal palace and citadel from the time of the First Temple, a village from the time of the Second Temple, a Roman villa, a Byzantine monastery, trenches from the 1948 War of Independence and a Jordanian outpost from the Six Day War.  See all this and more including amazing views over Jerusalem while you hear the history of this special site. 


Europe Stakes Its Claim – From Christ Church to the Italian Hospital.  
In the 19th century, the European powers gave Jerusalem some of its most impressive buildings – hospitals, churches, post offices, and more.  They weren’t just being generous!  This tour will give you the low-down on what they built and why and on their impact on Jewish Jerusalem.

Crusaders in Jerusalem. 

In 1099 the Crusaders conquered Jerusalem and massacred its inhabitants.  They turned the city into a well developed pilgim destination.  When they were finally driven out they left behind a rich architectural heritage.  We'll explore some of their buildings and follow the story of the Crusader Kingdom of Jerusalem.

Ethiopia Street.

To some this was a “treife gasse” but to others it was the intellectual heart of Jerusalem in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Here lived Eliezer Ben Yehuda who played a major part in reviving the Hebrew language.  Priests, libraries, schools, the Hagana, the Joint and Jerusalem's intelligentsia all found a place in this intriguing neighbourhood and many countries had their embassies here.  On this tour you will visit Jerusalem’s Ethiopian church, the home of Eliezer Ben Yehuda and much more.
In the Shadows of the Temple: Southern Wall Excavations and the Davidson Centre.
Herod's magnificent Temple was destroyed by the Romans in the Year 70 CE.  At the foot of the Temple Mount lies a beautiful archaeological park with remains that span 2000 years of Jerusalem's history.  Come and explore!

Rechavia - Yekkes in Spanish Streets. 

Built in the 1920s as a "garden suburb" the upscale neighbourhood of Rehavia was home to many of Israel's early leaders.  We'll take in the neighbourhood's architecture and history, hear the stories of some of its more famous residents and find out why Yekkes were living in Spanish streets.


What Have The Romans Ever Done For Us?


“What have the Romans ever done for us?” asks Reg of the People's Front of Judea in the film The Life of Brian, “… apart from the sanitation, the medicine, education, wine, public order, irrigation, roads, the fresh-water system, and public health.”  In this tour we’ll take a look at Roman Jerusalem and find out what they did for us and to us!


When Jews Lived in the Muslim Quarter.


Is the Old City of Jerusalem divided into four quarters each with its own population?  It sounds neat and tidy but it was never as simple as that.  Populations have moved from place to place and the boundaries of the “quarters” have always been fluid and porous.  This tour follows the story of the many Jewish homes, businesses and institutions to be found in the Moslem Quarter between 1850 and 1936.

In Sickness and In Health.


Roman Jerusalem had a healing centre and a temple dedicated to Aesculapius the Greek-Roman god of healing.  The knights of Crusader Jerusalem ran a huge hospital to care for the many pilgrim visitors.  How come then that in the 1840s Jerusalem had no hospital at all until the missionaries arrived?  Come and explore health and health care through the ages in the Old City of Jerusalem.

The Burnt House and Herodian Mansions.


On the eve of the destruction of the Temple the Jews were torn apart by internal struggles; rich against poor, Sadducees against Pharisees, Zealots against the peace faction.  On the 8th of Elul, a month after they burned the Temple, the Romans set fire to the upper city.  Some of the wealthiest families and priests had homes on the slope of the Western Hill with a wonderful view of the Temple.  Their power and position did not save them from the disaster that was to come. We'll visit their houses and learn about their lifestyles and the strife that led to their downfall.

The Temple Mount.
The Temple Mount sits on the Eastern Hill of the Old City of Jerusalem above David’s City.   It is holy to Jews as Har HaBayit, the site of the First and Second Temples.  It is holy to Muslims as al-haram ash-sharif or the Noble Sanctuary to which the prophet Muhammad travelled on his Night Journey and from which he ascended to Heaven.  For Christians it is the place where Jesus taught as a young boy and where, as a man, he overturned the tables of the money changers.  On this tour we shall explore the history and significance of this important and controversial site and see some of the buildings which occupy it today.  Modest dress is required for this tour.
The City of David.
Is the massive building Eilat Mazar has found really King David's palace?  The Canaanite water system is 3,700 years old but did David's army climb up Warren's Shaft to conquer the city?  How did King Hezekiah defend the city against the Assyrians 2,700 years ago?  Why were paving stones of a 2,000 year old stepped street deliberately broken through?  Come and see for yourself!  
Eastern Churches in the Old City.
Orthodox churches are amongst the oldest Christian institutions in Jerusalem. To most of the city's inhabuitants they remain a mystery.  We will explore historic and richly decorated buildings, learn a little of their history and experience their liturgy as we visit churches from the Greek Orthodox, Syrian Orthodox, Armenian and Greek Catholic communities.
A Walk on the Walls 1: From the Jaffa Gate to the Damascus Gate.
Built in the 16th Century by Suleiman the Magnificent the walls have come to symbolise the City of Jerusalem.  Turkish, British, Jordanian and Israeli soldiers all stood guard these ramparts over the past 450 years.  Starting at the Jaffa Gate we'll follow the Ramparts Walk to the Damascus Gate and see the Old City and beyond from a whole new perspective.  Returning to ground level we'll walk through the colorful local markets on our way back to the Jaffa Gate where the tour ends.
A Walk on the Walls 2: From the Tower of David to the Dung Gate.
This tour starts at the Tower of David and follows the Ramparts Walk southwards past the Armenian Quarter, Mount Zion and the Jewish Quarter to the Dung Gate.  We'll come down from the ramparts near the Western Wall and walk through the Jewish Quarter on our way back to the Jaffa Gate where the tour ends.  
The Via Dolorosa and Church of the Holy Sepulchre.
The Via Dolorosa marks Jesus' journey carrying the cross from his trial and condemnation by Pontius Pilate to his crucifiction at Golgotha.   For pilgrims it is a spiritual journey but from as early as the 4th Century Christians have also followed a physical "Way of the Cross" through Jerusalem.  Over the centuries the route has varied but became settled in the 18th Century.  The tour follows the stations along the route to Jesus' tomb in the Church of the Holy Sepulchre.
Rechov HaNevi'im - from the Davidka to Ticho House.
Rechov HaNevi'im stretches from the Damascus Gate to The Davidka.  It developed in the second half of the 19th Century as the "Back Road" to Jaffa Road, Jerusalem's first and main thoroughfare.  It was called "The Street of the Hospitals" because six hospitals flanked it and "The Street of the Consulates" because it housed three consulates.  Come and explore its historic buildings and find out how it came to be called "The Street of the Prophets".
Nachlaot and the Mahane Yehuda Market.
In the last quarter of the 19th Century Jewish neighbourhoods began to spring up along the Jaffa Road. A makeshift market grew up in a nearby field in an arrangement that suited everyone.  Farmers from the local villages had found an outlet for their produce and residents of the new neighbourhoods were saved the long walk to the Old City to buy their food.  Today these neighbourhoods and the market that grew up on their doorstep are much loved features of the city.
The Cease Fire Line from the UN to Yemin Moshe.
Discover some of the quirks and crazinesses of the 1948-1967 Cease Fire Line as it cut through Jerusalem while you follow a wonderfully scenic route along the Haas and Sherover Promenades through Abu Tor to Yemin Moshe.  Where were the Lulav and Lion Posts?  What happened when a bull escaped from a Jordanian abbatoir?  Why did the building of a toilet in Abu Tor lead to 18 hours of discussions by the Mixed Armistice Commission?  Find out all this and more.
Mount Herzl and the Military Cemetery.
On this quiet and beautiful hillside overlooking the Jerusalem Hills you can trace the struggle to establish the State of Israel and to sustain it.  Theodore Herzl and his family, Ze'ev Jabotinsky and many other leaders of the Zionist movement are buried here.  Here too lie many of the nation's great leaders - presidents, prime ministers and Speakers of the Knesset,  Immigrants from Europe and North Africa who died as they tried to reach Israel's shores, the defenders of the Old City of Jerusalem and of the Etzion Bloc and those who fought in all of Israel's wars are remembered here, each group with its own unique memorial.  There are many stories to be told here.
Markets and Marketplaces in the Old City.
Everyone loves Jerusalem's bustling, colourful markets.  For three thousand years, since King Solomon built the First Temple, Jerusalem's shopkeepers have catered to the needs of local residents and to the needs of thousands of pilgrims and tourists.  The markets reflect the long history of the city and the diversity of her residents and visitors.  The tour will visit markets ancient, mediaeval and modern.
Yad Vashem - The Grounds.
Yad Vashem is the world's major Jewish Holocaust memorial site.  On this tour you will visit monuments and memorials in the grounds of Yad Vashem that reflect different aspects of the Holocaust and the way in which attitudes towards it have changed in the State of Israel over the past six decades.
Photo by Grausel
The Jaffa Road: From Mahane Yehuda to King George Street.
The Jaffa Road has been "Main Street, Jerusalem" ever since the New City began to develop and new neighbourhoods arose along its sides.  Leading from the Old City of Jerusalem to the port of Jaffa it was the first street in Jerusalem to be paved. Over the past few years it has seen tremendous changes and huge disruption.  Now, with the light rail in operation, it has been reborn.  On this tour you will visit many of the historic  buildings along the section of Jaffa road between the Mahane Yehuda market and King George Street.
Photo by Yoninah
Let's Talk Herod.
Herod the Great was an extraordinary and complex character.  Powerful and politically skilled he was the most successful client king of the Roman Empire.  His building projects defied nature and inspired awe.  He was also paranoid and ruthless to the point that the Roman Emperor Augustus commented that it was better to be Herod's pig than his son.  This tour in the Israel Museum will explore Herod's life and legacy and will visit the model of Second Temple Period Jerusalem, the Archaeology Wing and the fabulous new exhibition “Herod the Great: The King’s Final Journey”. 
The Cease Fire Line Part 2 - From Mount Zion to the Mandelbaum Gate.
For 19 years, from 1948 to 1967 Jerusalem was a divided city.  The border between one side and another followed cease-fire lines drawn on a map in an abandoned building in the Musrara neighbourhood by Abdulla a-Tal and Moshe Dayan , the local Jordanian and Israeli commanders.  The tour follows the northern part of the cease-fire line from Mount Zion, along and on the Old City wall, through Musrara to the Mandelbaum Gate - the only crossing point between Israel and Jordan.
Talpiot - A Garden City That Became a Veteran Neighbourhood.
Talpiot was planned as a "Garden City" - a modern alternative to nearby Jerusalem.  The city was never built but a neighbourhood was established that became home to Nobel Prize winner Shai Agnon, Professor Joseph Klausner, the artist Abel Pann and nearly home to Eliezer Ben Yehuda. Talpiot also housed a German Army camp, the British Allenby Barracks, Jerusalem's first airport and a huge immigrant absorption camp - the Talpiot Ma'abarah.  For 19 years it sat on the border with Jordan and has now become a veteran Jerusalem neighbourhood. 
The German Colony.
The German Colony was built by Templers, German Protestants who broke away from the Lutheran Church.  They came to the Land of Israel in 1868 to rebuild the Temple and hasten the second coming of the Messiah.  In 1873 they began to build their fourth colony in Emek Rephaim.  Their rustic homes built of Jerusalem stone were laid out like a typical German farming village.  When the Nazi Party came to power in Germany many joined and even enlisted in the German army.  During World War II the British interned the Templers as enemy aliens and many were deported.  Now the German Colony is one of the most attractive and sought after neighbourhoods in Jerusalem.