5 Healthy Days in Jerusalem8 min read
For the next stop on our healthy travel tour, we’re heading to one of the most diverse, historic, and religious cities: Jerusalem.
The “Holy City” is the place where the three main western religions (Christianity, Judaism, and Islam) converge—and the influences of each can be found throughout the city. Between ancient temples, churches, and other religious sites, it’s no wonder Jerusalem is one of the most popular destinations for pilgrims and non-religious travelers from all of over the world. Travel through the winding narrow streets of Old City, or explore the more modern sites and attractions in Western Jerusalem.
Since it is a very religious city, be sure to research common cultural norms, such as dress (which is typically conservative), cuisine, as well as holy days and holidays. Although the touristy spots of Jerusalem are usually safe, concerned travelers should check with their embassy for travel alerts.
Here’s to an incredible five days of traveling through the city of Jerusalem!
Breakfast: What better way to kick off vacation than with an Israeli breakfast at Roladin? The standard breakfast includes an omelet with your choice of fresh vegetables, a salad (yes, salad), and more.
Workout: Sign up for a Zion Walking Tour, which brings travelers through various attractions in Old City.
Lunch: There’s something for everyone at the Aroma Café—even gluten-free and vegan options. We recommend the Sweet Potato Lentil Salad or the Jerusalem Salad, which includes diced tomatoes, cucumbers, red onions, olive oil, and parsley.
Mind/Body Balance: The Temple Mount is one of the holiest historic sites in the city for both Jews and Muslims. Even if you’re not a believer in either faith, it’s certainly worth seeing for its historical significance and the beauty that is the Dome of the Rock. Note that visiting hours vary and you need permission to enter from the guards, so plan accordingly. Additionally, you will be denied entry if your legs and shoulders aren’t covered.
Must-See Attraction: The Western Wall (Wailing Wall) dates back to the first century B.C. and is one of the most important Judaic sites in Jerusalem. Millions of pilgrims visit the wall every year to pray and write their prayers on small pieces of paper that are placed between cracks in the wall. You can also take a guided tour of the Western Wall Tunnels.
Dinner: There are plenty of delicious dishes at the Focaccia Bar, including a refreshing chicken and avocado salad.
Breakfast: Enjoy eggs and a cup of coffee at Café Yehoshua.
Workout: Rent a bike and take a ride through the city.
Lunch: For the best hummus in Jerusalem, make your way to Humus Ben Sira. You’ll find various Middle Eastern dishes on the menu as well.
Mind/Body Balance: The Church of the Holy Sepulchre is an incredible building and one of the holiest sites for Christians, dating back to 326 A.D. Visitors can tour through the church and visit what is believed to be Jesus Christ’s tomb.
Must-See Attraction: The Israel Museum houses millions of artifacts, both modern and ancient, and even includes the famous Dead Sea Scrolls.
Dinner: Head over to Moshiko and try the shawarma, which is grilled meat of your choice in a pita pocket.
Breakfast: Start the day with breakfast at Tmol Shilshom. Go for the traditional Israeli breakfast or try the shakshouka (poached eggs in a spiced tomato sauce). If that sounds too decadent for breakfast, opt for the yogurt parfait with seasonal fruits.
Workout: Attend a yoga class at Flow Power Yoga Studio.
Lunch: Enjoy a light lunch at Café Bezalel.
Mind/Body Balance: The Mount of Olives was a popular burial ground for many important biblical figures, such as Absalom and Zechariah. The hill also features other religious sites, as well as incredible views of the area.
Must-See Attraction: Take an afternoon trip to the Dead Sea, which is so salty, you can float on the surface without even trying.
Dinner: Head back to Jerusalem and grab dinner at Chakra. You’ll find a wide variety of menu items, including vegan or vegetarian options, fresh seafood, steak, and more.
Breakfast: Try the muesli (yogurt, granola, fresh fruit) at Zuni.
Workout: Go for a peaceful walk or jog through the Wohl Rose Park.
Lunch: Grab some delicious Middle Eastern cuisine at Ha’Motzie.
Mind/Body Balance: After lunch, hike around the Jerusalem Forest—the beautiful landscape will provide tons of photo opportunities.
Must-See Attraction: Visit Yad Vashem, a center dedicated to researching, documenting, and educating others about the Holocaust. Visitors can learn more about the tragic events at the Holocaust History Museum, the Museum of Holocaust Art, and various memorial sites. Although difficult to go through, travelers say the display is very respectful and well designed.
Dinner: Unwind at the end of the day with dinner at Mantra. The menu features steak, lamb, grilled chicken, and a fish of the day.
Breakfast: Enjoy a traditional Israeli breakfast at the Nadi Café.
Workout: Go indoor rock climbing at the Israel Sports Climbing Center.
Lunch: Rejuvenate with lunch at Mahaneyuda.
Mind/Body Balance: Visit the Garden Tomb, which has a natural garden that’s sustained by an underground spring.
Must-See Attraction: Take a guided tour through the City of David, which was founded over 3,000 years ago by King David. Discover the remains of the ancient city, including Hezekiah’s Tunnel, an ancient underground waterway that is open to the public.
Dinner: The Armenian Tavern is a beautiful historic building filled with lots of great food and items from the past.