Travel to Sacred Space Project

Stage 2: Itinerary of Sites


Make a list of sites you would like to see and how much time it will take to visit (including travel, waiting, and time to experience). Defer for now questions of how culture might make it hard or impossible to experience the site as you would like. Also defer for now questions of lodging and travel to the region. Plan five days with a focus on sites of religious, cultural, and historical significance rather than fun and sun. For the five graded days, avoid lengthy visits to museums, though I do encourage museums in real life and if you want to go beyond the five days. At this stage your research should be deeper than the previous stage. A couple of sites are worth using, but I don’t think you’ll be able to complete this stage using only ad-supported resources. A book in the Lonely Planet series can be had as an eBook for about $15, and you are likely to find a copy in a public library. The Internet Archive is essentially a public library that allows you to “check out” books scanned from paper.

UPDATE: To be clear, the use of a guidebook with page numbers is an expectation, not just a suggestion. Cite page numbers in the text and provide full reference in the bibliography.


For each of five days, six points are possible for accurately covering:

  1. The most significant cultural and religious sites
  2. With some “personality” or creativity to tailor to your own interests
  3. Reasonably planning how much time they will take
  4. Identifying how to get around from site to site at a low cost


I would like to spend most of my time in Jerusalem with side trips to Bethlehem, Nazareth, and the Sea of Galilee. As a Christian, I want to prioritize the Christian holy sites but also want to observe Jewish and Muslim sites as appropriate for an outsider. I will try to observe social and cultural issues across different groups including Arabs and Jews, and different Jewish groups.

The Old City should take at least a day. I would like to see the Dome of the Rock, but I will research more later whether I should go near or inside the area. Now a golden dome, it is believed to be the spot where the Jewish temples stood, where Abraham proved willing to sacrifice his son, and where Muhammed ascended to Heaven. The Western Wall is all that remains of the temple from when Jesus lived. People go there to pray and slip prayers on pieces of paper between the stones. From there I would like to walk the Via Dolorosa, the route on which Jesus carried the cross on which he was to be crucified. The narrow streets today are filled with shopkeepers. The Church of the Holy Sepulchre is the site believed (I'll do more research later on exactly who believes what) to be where Jesus died, was buried, and rose from the dead. As time permits I'd also like to visit the Church of St. Anne. I don’t need tickets for any of this but access might be restricted around holidays. All travel this day will be on foot.

For my second day I would like to focus on contemporary Jewish Israeli culture in Jerusalem. I’ll start the day at the Holocaust Memorial “Yad Vashem” and plan to spend about three hours there. I don't plan to buy anything, but I would like to spend about an hour in the “Mahane Yehudah” open-air market. I should be able to buy street food, probably falafel, around there. I will do more research on whether it is appropriate for me to walk through the ultra-orthodox Jewish neighborhood “Mea Shearim.” I will end up for some shopping and dinner in “Zion Square.” The best way to get around today is with a bus pass.

For my third day I would like to focus on the Christian sites and Arab culture around Jersualem. I’ll spend the morning in Bethlehem, where Jesus was born. I’d like to see the church and I hope the exact spot where the birth is remembered. With time left in the morning I would like to walk the streets and visit some shops in Bethlehem. Because Bethlehem is in Palestinian jurisdiction, I might be delayed at checkpoints. I might be better off with a shared taxi or taxi. Other than checkpoints, the journey shouldn't take more than half an hour. Back in Jerusalem, I’ll visit the north and east side in the afternoon. I'll start in the east on the Mount of Olives, where there is a church commemorating Jesus’ agony in the garden before his death. The walk up the Mount of Olives is worth it for the pictures of the Old City. I'll also observe the practices in the cemeteries. I'll end up at the Damascus Gate to see what I can of the ruins of the ancient gate and watch people interact.

The fourth and fifth day I would like to head north to Nazareth and Galilee. I'll take a bus to Jerusalem Central Station (Tahana Mercazit) and then a 2.5 hour bus to Nazareth. I'll start in the Catholic Church of the Annunciation, where I will spend at least two hours. Then I'll head to the Orthodox Church of the Annunciation. After lunch, I'll visit the Basilica of Jesus the Adolescent because the idea of a sinless adolescent male blows my mind. I'd like to spend the night at one of the traditional pilgrim hospitality sites or hostels, such as the Sisters of Nazareth Convent. The next day I'll take a bus for about an hour to Tiberias, where I'll explore Roman and Crusader ruins. I’ll try walking on water, then catch a bus back to Jerusalem (about 2.5 hours).


  1. Daniel Robinson, et al., Israel and the Palestinian Territories. Eighth Edition; Lonely Planet; Footscray: Lonely Planet Publications, 2015.
  2. Municipality of Jerusalem, “Public Transportation.”
  3. Google Maps.
  4., “Jerusalem to Bethlehem.”