1. Israel is full of religious Christians exploring the cradle of their faith. To be completely honest with you: I am not a very religious person. In fact, I have been struggling with my faith for the last 20 years. Nevertheless, it was important for me to spend some time in Jerusalem and get to know the foundation of my religion. Why? Well, this particular corner of the world is not just the cradle of Christianity but also the cradle of my culture. Whether I like it or not, I was born and raised in Germany, a country built on Christian values, I celebrate Christmas, I was taught brotherly love by my parents and was raised to be empathetic and compassionate. Our religion is the foundation of our upbringing and culture and by traveling to Israel you get to explore that even further.
2. If you have been to a middle eastern country before you have probably already experienced the wonders of a traditional bazaar. Well, the bazaar in Jerusalem is colorful and crazy and if you ever get the chance to see it you should definitely take it! I spent two days looking at everything the locals had to offer and just couldn’t get enough.
3. As I’ve mentioned before I am not the most religious person on earth. Still, there is something fascinating about religious buildings and most of the time I can’t help myself but enjoy their architectural features. Jerusalem is full of beautiful religious buildings: simplistic monasteries are located next to pompous orthodox churches, you can hear muezzins calling muslims for prayer while standing in front of a synagogue. Jerusalem’s religious diversity is pretty unique and left a huge impression on me.
4. You love fresh and exotic food? Well, Jerusalem is the place to be then. Mahana Yehuda Market, which is located close to the old city centre, is a beautiful labyrinth of alleys full of the most amazing food you can imagine: fruits, vegetables, sweets, fish, meat, pastries, fresh bread and hundreds of locals negotiating the prices. You could easily spend have a day exploring this market and discovering the amazing taste of Israel. In the evening, when most of the booths are closed, the area is crowded with young Israelis drinking delicious wine and dancing through the night.
5. Finally, there probably is no city in the world that is mentioned more on the news. Political struggles, demonstrations, suicide attacks, religious dispute, military… that’s what comes to most people’s minds when they think about Jerusalem. Nobody seems to ever talk about the diversity, wealth and beauty of this amazing city. In order to experience the beautiful things Jerusalem has to offer, you simply have to go there and see for yourself. Don’t let yourself be fooled by all the prejudices implanted in your head; you will find the city to be a warm, inviting treasure trove full of people, food, colours, architecture and smells waiting to be discovered.