Travel Guide: Jerusalem
One of the oldest and holiest cities in the world. Jerusalem is considered holy for the three major Abrahamic religions: Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. Jerusalem is the capital of modern-day Israel and is an advanced, dynamic city. The city is modern with some of the best restaurants, bars and hotels in Israel, but this capital city is also incredibly historic with an old town filled with landmarks, important monuments and markets reminiscent of a bygone era.
Food & Drink
- Machneyuda • We walk in Thursday night (the busiest night of the week in Jerusalem) and are told that tables were booked one month in advance for this night. Luckily, we snag a 10pm table later that week. This place is busy, vibrant and trendy.
- Jacko Street • Hip, cool and kosher. The charm starts with ingredients from Yehudah market. The open kitchen lets you watch the food get cooked right in front of you
- Azura • Easy going restaurant serving up homestyle cooking such as falafel, hummus and kebabs. Close to Yehudah market.
- Yedule • Across the street from Machneyuda, this hotspot is part of the MachneYuda Group. It is authentic Jerusalem serving up the best drinks and food as good as Machneyuda. This place may be a restaurant, but it has the vibe of any good cocktail bar.
- Rabbit Hole • The Rabbit Hole is not your classic cocktail room. With a homey vibe and no snobby attitude, we offer superb drinks and amazing service that appreciates you.
- Gatsby • A homage to the opulence of the Roaring ‘20s, Gatsby impresses with its grand vintage decor, exquisite classic cocktails, and creative modern concoctions.
- Machaneh Yehudah Market • We've been to a lot of markets worldwide and Yehudah market could be our favourite. Not only is it a great place to buy food/produce for meals, it also has amazing restaurants, bars and cafes. The crowded and chaotic atmosphere makes this place mesmerizing.
- Old City Market (Arab Souq) • Jerusalem’s Old City market makes you feel as if you've stepped back in time. With a Middle Eastern atmosphere straight out of Aladdin, these narrow alleys comprise the "suks" (Arabic for market) of the old city. We didn't really buy anything, but we visited three times during our one week stay!
- Alrov Mamilla Avenue • In the seam between old and New Jerusalem, opposite the breathtaking view of the Old city walls and only few steps away from Jaffa Gate and the western wall, you'll find Alrov Mamilla Avenue. The modern open-air street mall, became popular with locals and tourists alike thanks to its proximity to the Old city and because it bring together the best of all worlds - Rich history, local culture, and sophisticated retail experience in a word-class prime location.
Other Food & Drink
Other Food • King David Hotel (best breakfast that we've ever had), Ayesha (awesome falafel bar in Yehuda market), Ishtabach, Piccolino (great ambience with food that is good, but not outstanding), Atalya, Chakra, Satya, The Eucalyptus, Pergamon restaurant, Mamilla restaurants (Happy Fish, Luciana & Cafe Rimon)
Other Drink • Deja Bu, Rooftop (Mamilla hotel), Cafe Sira, Ruhan, Glen Whisk(e)y bar, Wine Bar, Hatch Brewery (Yehudah market), John Smith Cocktail Bar (Famed for being in the old Orion cinema. A cocktail bar that combines a classic & playful design with special & high-quality cocktails.)
Coffee Shops • Cafe Nadi, Cafe Bastet, Roasters (Yehudah market)
Activities & Attractions
- Masada sunrise hike & Dead Sea • These two locations are so close together that it makes sense to do as a day trip (even add in Ein Gedi, a nearby oasis). Masada is an ancient fortification on a mountain and in a national park with the same name. This is an experience of a lifetime: (1) a 30 minute hike to the top of a mountain (2) in the middle of the desert (3) UNESCO listed (4) well preserved ancient ruins (5) as you watch the sun rise across the Dead Sea in Jordan. The Dead Sea is famous for being the lowest point on earth with hypersalinity (a lot of salt) so you float on the surface (10x more salt then ordinary sea water). Covering yourself in the mud of the sea is also a ritual for most visitors—meant to be good for your skin!
- Old City (Western Wall, Church of the Holy Sepulchre, Dome of the Rock) • The Old City is divided into four quarters: Muslim, Christian, Armenian and Jewish. It is one of the holiest places on earth. We highly recommend a guided tour because there is so many landmarks and historically famous monuments and buildings
- Yad Vashem • Holocaust memorial museum that contains the world's largest collection of information on the Holocaust. We visited other Holocaust museums including Auchwitz & Birkenau and this museum blew us away with how comprehensive it was.
Sites • The Knesset, Mount of Olives, Jerusalem Great Synagogue, Ein Gedi, Ben Yehuda Street (a "pedestrian friendly street" and less of a market, Ben Yehuda Street is arguably the most famous street in Jerusalem, along with Jaffa Road)
Mamilla, Old City, Yehuda