Before visiting Jerusalem, I imagined that it was just a small city with dirt roads and camels everywhere. Maybe this was the case a couple thousand years ago, but since then it has turned into a sprawling and fascinating city. Jerusalem is still historical and has many religious sites, but there are so many other things that make this an incredible place to visit as well, keeping it one of the best holidays for wheelchair users. Here are 7 wheelchair accessible things to do in Jerusalem, Israel –
Enjoy awe-inspiring views
The best way to begin your visit to Jerusalem is by taking in the views of the city. Aside from just getting some pretty epic wheelchair travel photos, this will give you a chance to figure out the lay of the land since you can see almost everything from these view points. I visited Mount Scopus and the Haas Promenade, and both locations offered wonderful views of all the things to do in Jerusalem. I was able to see everything from the Dome of the Rock to the Mount of Olives. Taking in these views also made me realize how large Jerusalem is. There is a lot to explore in the city, so if you only have time to visit one view point I’d recommend just going to the one that is nearest to your hotel. They honestly both offer equally amazing views.
Find your religion in the Old City
The Old City is my absolute favorite part of Jerusalem. I was moved to tears while wandering around the Old City because it is the Jerusalem that I’ve always dreamed of visiting. It was surreal to finally be there. Start your time in the Old City at Judaism’s most sacred site, the Western Wall, and then wander the alleyways until you reach the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, where Jesus was crucified and buried in the Christian religion. Whether you are religious or not, the Old City is a must on the list of things to do in Jerusalem and no visit would be complete without seeing it. In fact, I loved the Old City so much that I actually wrote an entire post about Old City holidays for wheelchair users and specifically navigating the Old City for wheelchair travel.
Hear the sounds and see the lights
Once day turns to night, you won’t have to roll far from the landmarks of the Old City to get to the Tower of David Citadel, one of the most incredible things to do in Jerusalem. The Citadel hosts a spectacular sound and light show that tells the story of Jerusalem. Stunning pictures are projected onto the outside walls of the Citadel while music is played. It’s quite a sight and what better place to learn about the history of Jerusalem than at the Citadel! The show is about 45 minutes long and since you’ll be outside for the duration of it, be sure to wear warm clothes.
Learn about Israeli history
The Israel Museum is one of the world’s leading art and archaeology museums, and it’s certainly the largest museum I have ever visited. I only had a couple hours to stroll around the museum, but you could easily spend an entire day, or a couple days, here. The highlights of the museum for me included seeing the Dead Sea Scrolls and the Second Temple Model. The Dead Sea Scrolls are the earliest known biblical manuscripts and the Second Temple Model is a 50:1 scale model of ancient Jerusalem at its peak. It was really a great experience to see these, but the museum offers so much more and it easily makes my list of accessible stops for holidays for wheelchair users and wheelchair travel. To learn more about accessibility at the museum, click here.
Learn about the Holocaust
Yad Vashem is Israel’s national memorial to the martyrs and heroes of the Holocaust and is one of the most important things to do in Jerusalem. While it was the saddest experience that I had in Jerusalem, I think that it is a necessary one for any visitor to the city. It’s truly a sombering museum and very well structured for wheelchair travel. You can hear stories from survivors of the Holocaust and learn about the people who saved them at their own risk. Yad Vashem is free to visit and is Israel’s second most visited attraction after the Western Wall (and for good reason!).
Shop till you drop
If shopping is your thing, Jerusalem has plenty of places for you to do it. For a unique and authentic experience, shop in the alleyways of the Old City. There are tons of souvenir shops with reasonable prices. For a more upscale shopping experience, visit Mamilla Mall. It is an open-air outdoor mall near the Old City, one of the most fun things to do in Jerusalem if you have a little extra cash. You’ll be able to buy anything from jewelry to clothes (including stores such as Nautica and Diesel) here. There are also plenty of restaurants to choose from if you work up an appetite while shopping. The ultimate holidays for wheelchair users will include great cultural experiences, so don’t miss the opportunity to try new food. Lastly, you could shop at Mahane Yehuda Market. It is Jerusalem’s colorful fruit, vegetable, fish, and poultry market. Markets are an absolute must when in the Middle East and the ones in Israel are fantastic. Wheelchair travel at these markets is definitely doable.
Taste the flavors of the Middle East
Who doesn’t love eating their way through a new city?! I certainly do! Clearly, this is one of the best things to do in Jerusalem. When I think of Israeli food, I think of delicious hummus and falafel, but there are many more choices in Jerusalem that will delight your tastebuds as well. I ate at several restaurants in the city, all of which were excellent, but my absolute favorite was Sofia Restaurant. This restaurant is located inside the Inbal Jerusalem Hotel, but is worth visiting whether you’re staying at the hotel or not. The food at Sofia has an Italian flare and it blew me away. For more yummy food in a good location, check out Adom Restaurant. Its location at the old train station is perfect, as this is one of the hottest spots in Jerusalem. Another option: pick up this phenomenal cookbook and try your hand at a few of Jerusalem’s best recipes!
Jerusalem is one of the best cities in the world and even though it’s a very historical city, that doesn’t mean that it has nothing for wheelchair users to enjoy. Thanks to an increase in accessibility awareness in recent years, there are plenty of things to do in Jerusalem as you can see, whether on wheels or by foot.
*Thanks to the Israel Ministry of Tourism and Israel4All for making this trip possible. All opinions are authentic and my own.
*A Note from Curb Free with Cory Lee: This post includes affiliate links. When you click on a link, I may receive a small compensation, which will help this blog grow into a better resource for disabled travelers.