If you’re looking for a comfortable time to visit when the weather is mild and the crowds are at bay, consider the months of May and October. Read our article on when to come to Jerusalem for other tips and factors to consider for deciding when to visit.
One of the highlights of a visit to Jerusalem, the Old City can be filled with throngs of tourists. To ensure you actually get to see the sights at hand and don’t get slowed down enormously by crowds, aim to visit the Old City in the early mornings or after 4:00 pm. This is particularly important if you plan on heading to the Golgotha at the Church of the Holy Sepulcher or the Garden of Gethsemane, both of which get very crowded. The Muslim Quarter is particularly crowded between 1:00 pm and 3:00 pm on Fridays, so you may want to avoid visiting at this time.
The Jerusalem Western Wall, otherwise known as the Kotel, is one of the highlights of a trip to the Old City. The best days to visit are Mondays and Thursdays when you can enjoy the Bar Mitzvah ceremonies that take place on these days. Another must (if you don’t mind crowds) is visiting over the three Jewish high holidays of Passover, Shavuot, and Sukkot when the Birkat Hakohanim ceremony takes place. There is generally a festive atmosphere on the streets before and during each of the Jewish holidays.
If you are interested in visiting the Via Dolorosa and would like to do the Walk of the Cross and trace Jesus’s footsteps, make sure to head there on a Friday at 3:00 pm in winter or 4:00 pm in summer.