Day 1: Old Town and Mount Olive
(This tour is hard with a stroller, take a carrier if you can. The schedule is just a recommendation to give you an idea of how much time we actually spent. If you’re in Jerusalem during shabbat, this is actually a great tour to take on a saturday, because most of the rest of the city will be closed then. Also the other two tours are not possible during shabbat.)
9:00 Hummus Breakfast
Enter through Jaffa Gate and have Breakfast like a real Israeli – go for a bowl of hummus at Tala Hummus
Stroll trough the Shouk before it becomes too crowded and hunt for some treasures to take home with you. I usually stay well clear of tourist souvenirs but this time I went a bit crazy for the painted crockery and left quite some money there. It was a good investment, since I still really enjoy setting an oriental tea table with our hand painted breakfast plates.
12:00 Western Wall
Visit the Western wall, bring your prayer on a little piece of paper if you’re religious and hide it in the wall, while the kid chases some birds
13:00 Zion Gate
Walk over to Zion Gate, listen to a free guided audio tour while kiddo is napping in the carrier (we took this one from the official Jerusalem website) and/or have some falafel from the street vendor for lunch and enjoy watching the tourist groups
15:00 Coffee break!
Go find the Lutheran Church of the redeemer, have a great Austrian coffee and let the kid play in the charming little hidden garden, while you take a break
Late afternoon/ sunset on top of Mount Olive
Hike up the many stairs of the Mount of olives. It’s worth it. I’d plan about two hours for this, especially if your kid wants to walk up the stairs by himself. If you can, watch the sunset from here. When we visited Israel, it was recommended that you leave the Old Town before it gets dark due to recent knife attacks, so we made sure to get back while it was still light outside.
Listen to the muezzins
Head back through Lion gate and walk up Via Dolorosa
This is the street that Jesus had to carry up his cross before being crucified and I recommend taking the free audio tour again if your kid lets you. Ours was fast asleep in the carrier by this time, so we had some time to actually soak up some more knowledge. But just listening to the muezzins calling their people to prayer from all around the Old Town is also pretty cool.
Dinner at Tmol Shilshom (not open on shabbat)
If you are still up for it after this culture filled day, consider joining the cities authors, poets and students for a relaxed dinner at Tmol Shilshom. Hidden at the sidelines of the busy shopping zone, this charming bookshop also serves delicious food (great Shakshuka!) while sending out a very calm vintage vibe. They also apparently host book launches for young authors and open mic night for young poets.. Ha, I know, I know. Maybe we can come here again when the kids are a bit older, right?