As a top Holy Land destination, Jerusalem is home to the Old City, where the famous Western Wall and the four quarters (Muslim, Christian, Jewish and Armenian) are located.
However, Jerusalem also has a “New City.” If you look at Jerusalem’s map, you will realize that the more recently established part of Jerusalem takes up a much bigger area than the Old City. It means that there are lots to see outside the Old City walls. Check out some of the top attractions you should visit in the New City of Jerusalem.
1. Israel Museum
A Jerusalem tour is never complete without paying a visit to the Israel Museum. It is the country’s foremost cultural institution and one of the leading comprehensive museums in the world. It would likely take you days to complete your tour around the museum, situated on a hill in Givat Ram’s neighborhood. The most famous and visited hall, though, is the Shrine of the Book, which houses the Dead Sea Scrolls and recovered Masada artifacts.
2. Yad VaShem Holocaust Museum
Yad VaShem (“a memorial and a name” in Hebrew) is Israel’s official museum and memorial to the victims of the Holocaust during the Second World War. It was established in 1953 and is spread over a large complex on Mount Herzi’s western slopes. The museum displays numerous authentic Holocaust-related artifacts, such as photographs, historical documents, and filmed testimonials by Holocaust survivors.
On the complex also lies the Children’s Memorial, which honors the young victims of the Holocaust. There is also another memorial that’s dedicated to the gentiles who risked their lives to save the Jews during the German Third Reich.
Not far from the Israel Museum lies the Knesset, Israel’s parliament. The current building was completed in 1966. Guided tours are possible, or just view the building from the outside. If you are lucky to tour inside the Knesset, though, you will be able to see the original copy of the Declaration of Independence. You can also visit the committee rooms, the Chagall Hall featuring artworks by the celebrated Russian-French artist (including stunning floor mosaics and tapestries), and the Plenary Chamber.
4. Mahane Yehuda Market
Mahane Yehuda Market (popularly known in its other name “The Shuk”) Founded in the late 19th century, Mahane Yehuda used to be an open-air market, but is now partially covered. In Mahane Yehuda, you can find anything and everything – stalls selling fresh fruits and vegetables, spices, nuts, clothing, household items, and arts and crafts.
Choose weekdays if you plan to go to Mahane Yehuda Market. Fridays are the busiest days, as most people shop there in preparation for the Shabbat the following day, where businesses are closed.
5. Ben Yehuda Street
There are also streets named “Ben Yehuda” in Tel Aviv and Haifa, but of course, we’re talking about Ben Yehuda Street in Jerusalem. Also known as Midrachov, Ben Yehuda is the name of a major street in downtown Jerusalem, lined with small shops selling clothing, jewelry, souvenirs, restaurants, and street food stalls. After experiencing the Old City’s somber, solemn atmosphere, Ben Yehuda Street provides a lively and vibrant change to your Jerusalem visit.
Visited by local and foreign tourists alike, its central location makes Ben Yehuda Street ideal for artists, street performers, and occasional political rallies.