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Families love the city of Jerusalem for its history, great things to do with kids, and its diversity. Many people know about the Old City. However, there are so many exciting things to see in Jerusalem beyond its beautiful architecture and historic sites.
In addition to the unique history, Jerusalem also offers food markets, interactive museums, and culture. Families enjoy the attractions, light shows, and a biblical zoo. This list will guide your family through many of these incredible sites.
Is this your first trip to Israel? Check out our best Israel travel tips.
Best Things to See in Jerusalem
10. Wander Around the Jerusalem Biblical Zoo
Located in the city’s Judean Hills, visitors love the Jerusalem Biblical Zoo. It’s known for its vast collection of animals mentioned in the Bible. Some of the zoo residents include: the Persian fallow deer, lions, cheetahs, Nile crocodile, Arabian Oryx, and bears.
The zoo has an emphasis on educating its visitors about social and environmental awareness. In fact, the zoo breeds endangered species including the Golden Lion Tamarin and macaw.
Parents appreciate the zoo’s dedication to teaching and keeping kids engaged. The zoo also offers families the opportunity to get to know these animals through a petting zoo, animal feedings, storytelling, and nighttime tours.
9. Go Roaming (and Eating) Through Mahane Yehuda Market
Mahane Yehuda Market is one of the most memorable things to see in Jerusalem. Talk about sensory overload in the best way possible! Kids will enjoy the smell of Israeli spices, the sight of colorful fruits and vegetables, and the taste of delicacies specific to the State of Israel, such as falafel, sabich, and hummus.
It’s a good idea for families to take a food tour led by a native Israeli. On the tour, kids flip Malawach and bake bread. Plus, they get to taste food from various vendors. Tova in Israel is a great tour guide. A mom herself, she introduces families to the best of the best in the market.
While at the market, explore the murals on the sides of the stalls. Created by artist Solomon Souza, a British street artist, the spray-painted portraits feature contemporary and historical figures.
Ready to explore beyond Jerusalem? How about adding a family trip to Tel Aviv?
8. Join the Western Wall (or Kotel) Tunnel Tours
To visit the Western Wall Tunnels, we suggest that you join a guided tour. The Western Wall Tunnels Tours in Jerusalem offer families a behind-the-scenes exploration of one of the holiest sites in Judaism: the Western Wall (also known as the Wailing Wall or Kotel). Kids will love it!
The tour heads down into an underground excavation site under Western Wall Plaza. These tunnels tell a story about the history of the Hasmonean period to modern times. Be prepared to nurture your burgeoning archaeologists through this exhilarating tour as history comes alive.
7. Get Electrified with the Tower of David Night Experience
One of the best things to see in Jerusalem with the family is the new Tower of David Night Experience at the Tower of David Museum in the Old City. This family show is projected on the walls of the citadel when the sun goes down. The show tells the story of the most famous king in history, King David.
If your child is a tech junkie, they’ll love the show as it uses cutting-edge technology. It utilizes everything from laser projectors to a computerized system of operating projectors to audio players, computers, speakers, and amplifiers.
Trekaroo Tip: Book your tickets in advance to avoid disappointment and bring a light jacket in case of colder weather. The Tower of David Night Experience will most likely be a trip stand-out for everyone in the family.
6. Join the Crowds on Ben Yehuda Street
For a lot of people, nighttime in Jerusalem is equated with a trip to Ben Yehuda Street. Here, adults and kids alike hang out. You’ll find Ben Yehuda sandwiched between King George Street and Jaffa Road in downtown Jerusalem.
The street is lined with shops and restaurants. In addition it’s closed off to traffic so there are no cars on the road making it safe for kids to run around.
At Ben Yehuda, people are likely to bump into someone they know from anywhere in the world.
Stop at one of the ice-creameries or falafel stands. Listen to musicians. Browse loads of souvenir stands. For the best shakshuka (a tomato and egg dish), visit the legendary restaurant Tmol Shilshom.
5. Learn about Israel’s Past and Present at the Israel Museum
The Israel Museum is one of the world’s leading art and archaeology museums in the world. It has a collection of nearly 500,000 objects that are important to the history of Israel. While visiting, look for the Shrine of the Book, Model of Jerusalem, and an outdoor Sculpture Garden.
The Ruth Youth Wing for Art Education presents a wide range of programming for kids. Some of the fun things for kids include: exhibition galleries, art studios, classrooms, a library of illustrated children’s books, and a recycling room. The museum offers special programs that foster intercultural understanding between Arab and Jewish students.
Trekaroo Tip: Children can enter the museum for free on Tuesdays.
4. Explore the Old City
Exploring the Old City is one of the best things to do with kids in Jerusalem. Attractions not to miss include the Western Wall, the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, the Temple Mount, and the Dome of the Rock. The main gates are the Jaffa Gate and the Damascus Gate. The city is filled with wonderful diversity so be sure to explore the Muslim Quarter, Jewish Quarter, and Christian Quarter.
In the Old City, history becomes real. First, kids can trace Jesus’ steps. Then, they can visit the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, where he was crucified and buried. Finally, at the Kotel, they can visit the site of the destruction of the Second Temple, one of the holiest places for Jews in the world.
Be prepared to shop in the “shuks”, Hebrew for markets, lining the streets of the Old City. The main entrance near Jaffa Gate leads to a stretch of markets, and the Damascus Gate has every type of market stall you can imagine.
Ready to book a trip? We have all our tips for planning a family trip to Israel!
3. Teach Your (Older) Kids About the Holocaust at Yad Vashem
Yad Vashem is Israel’s Holocaust Museum and has one of the most significant collections in the world. Note that children under the age of 10 aren’t allowed into Yad Vashem, as the materials covered are very, very serious.
However, if you want to bring your older kids along with you, try to spend more time in those sections of the museum that highlight Jewish life before the war. This section talks about being in the ghettos and people who saved Jews by hiding them. This museum one of the most important things to see in Jerusalem because it reminds us of a chapter in our history that should never be forgotten.
2. Buy Rugelach at Marzipan Bakery
Kids love a trip to Marzipan Bakery in Mahane Yehuda. The chain sells all sorts of cookies and pastries. The main attraction is the bakery’s signature gooey chocolate rugelach. In addition, this bakery makes cinnamon buns, challah, Moroccan cookies, Syrian cakes, cream puffs, and croissants.
Trekaroo tip: The bakery is especially crowded on Fridays before the Jewish Sabbath, as well as on Jewish holidays. So, plan your visit carefully and be prepared for your child to want everything in sight.
1. Visit the Old Jerusalem Train Station, The First Station
If you are looking for a unique night out in Jerusalem for every member of the family, head to The First Station. This outdoor mall is located on the site of the Old Train Station in Jerusalem. The train station has plenty of restaurants and eateries that are are very family-friendly. There is something for everyone.
Plus, the venue also has art installations, live events on their main stage, a model train exhibit, a climbing station, an antique carousel, a kiddie train, and a 4D movie.
Lead image byBigstock.