From ancient temples to markets and landmark museums, Jerusalem invites travelers to explore the past, sample local cuisine, and discover traditional culture. Since key sites are found in the compact center, you can cover the essentials with just one day in the city. Here’s how.
Behind Old City Walls, Jerusalem, Israel
You can explore Kidron Valley’s historic tombs, churches, and gardens on many tours of Jerusalem. The valley is included in walking tours of the Old City and can also be visited on the way to other Israel highlights such as Tel Aviv and the Dead Sea. Kidron Valley is also an integral part of tours that trace the footsteps of Jesus, which are popular among Christians.
The tour was great! Tour guy so friendly and knew a lot about the history of the place. Fear transportation too.
Sebastin_E, Dec 2021
Things to Know Before You Go
- Kidron Valley is a key biblical site not to be missed by history buffs and religious pilgrims.
- Dress and act respectfully when visiting the religious sites and tombs in the valley.
- Bring water with you because some parts of the valley are hot and remote.
- To avoid navigating the valley’s steep trails, view it from the Temple Mount or Mount of Olives.
How to Get There
The Kidron Valley stretches across the Judean Desert from Jerusalem to toward the Dead Sea and can be accessed from the Lions’ Gate of the Old City of Jerusalem or by walking down from the Mount of Olives overlook. You can walk through the valley on your own or join a guided tour to make sure you don’t miss any important sites.
When to Get There
You can visit the valley year-round, but if visiting in the summer arrive in the early morning or late in the evening to avoid the midday desert heat. Tourist attractions in Israel are typically busiest during religious holidays such as Easter and Passover so to avoid crowds, skip visiting around these holidays.
Significant Sites in Kidron Valley When passing through the valley from the Old City to the Mount of Olives, you can visit many ancient burial sites and see tombs that date back to the second temple period such as the Pillar of Absalom, the Tomb of Benei Hezir, and the Tomb of Zechariah. When you near the Mount of Olives you’ll reach the Garden of Gethsemane, an ancient olive grove known amongst Christians as the site where Jesus prayed the night before his crucifixion.
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- Tomb of the Virgin Mary (Mary's Tomb)
- Church of All Nations (Basilica of the Agony)
- Church of St. Anne
- Pool of Bethesda
- Dominus Flevit Church
- Dome of the Rock
- Temple Mount (al-Haram al-Sharif)
- Al-Aqsa Mosque
- Way of the Cross (Via Dolorosa)
- Western Wall Tunnels
- Mount of Olives Cemetery
- Chapel of the Ascension
- Old City of Jerusalem
- Hezekiah's Tunnel (Siloam Tunnel)
- Damascus Gate (Bab al-Amud)