Lesser known by tourists, Ades Synagogue boasts typical, well-kept interiors, with chandeliers and a walnut ark inlaid with mother-of-pearl. If you're visiting in winter and you're interested in Jewish religious culture, come early on Saturday (Shabbat) morning and listen to bakashot, songs based on Kabbalistic poetry.
The Bible Lands museum focuses on the history of various cultures listed in the Bible, mixing archaeological findings, information from sacred texts and historical research. You will see religious representations and funerary art as well as jewellery, secular artwork and everyday items. The collection is so extensive it can easily become overwhelming: it's best to get an audio guide or join a free guided tour (in English or Hebrew).
Shmuel Stefan Wise Street 21, Museum Row, Jerusalem
If you feel in need of a break from cultural sightseeing, find some natural beauty and light-hearted entertainment in this 62-acre-big zoo. Children will enjoy exploring the zoo and seeing the animals up close. The facility hosts a variety of endangered species. The zoo's main theme is peculiar: it focuses on animals mentioned in the Bible — you're in the cradle of western religion, after all.
The Church of St Peter of Gallicantu, a Byzantine-style Catholic church located on Mount Zion, offers stunning views of the City of David and the village of Silwan, a Palestinian community. The current building, which has some interesting decorations such as stained glass windows, was completed in the 1930s on the site of earlier churches, including a Byzantine monastery. Inside, visitors can admire mosaics and remains from previous churches.
According to tradition, the church marks the spot where the Apostle Peter wept in regret after denying Jesus before his death. The Roman stairs next to the church are believed to have been used by Jesus on his way to Gethsemane.
At the City of David, you can explore the remains of the oldest part of Jerusalem and walk through the meanders of a subterranean stream. The archaeological site spans two levels: an aboveground area and underground excavations. It is much older than Jerusalem's Old City, with the ancient Canaanites building it near the waters of the Gihon Spring before 2,000 BCE. The biblical King David later conquered it and made it the capital of his domain.
Located in the underground part of the site, Hezekiah's Tunnel was used to channel water from the spring. The half-hour walk inside will take you past many archaeological remains, including a millennia-old pool that was said to have healing powers.
If you plan to walk through the water, be sure to bring your swimsuit and suitable shoes.
The Dormition Church and Monastery is an imposing, elegant complex just outside the Old City, near the Sion Gate. It belongs to Benedictine monks, and showcases beautiful decorations and Romanesque revival architecture. The luxuriously decorated crypt celebrates the Assumption of the Virgin Mary, which is believed to have happened here.