Category Archives: Old City

Christian Guesthouses in Jerusalem

CHRIST CHURCH GUESTHOUSE

Upon entering Christ Church, guests are immediately taken aback by the quiet and private gardens and interior courtyard, offering guests solace and a peaceful refuge from the crowded and bustling walkways outside the premises. Guest rooms are small and plainly furnished but are clean and comfortable and provide private bathroom facilities. The guest rooms situated in the Nicolayson wing are modern and air-conditioned, while those in the historic Alexander Wing recall the Imperial glory of the Ottoman and British Empires.


LUTHERAN HOSPICE

This very popular guesthouse is situated inside the Old city off a narrow alleyway.  This well-run historic German Lutheran guest house occupies a series of lovely restored stone buildings and terraced gardens overlooking the main bazaar and is just a short walk from the Jaffa Gate.

Location

Situated close to the heart of the Old City, positioned between the Christian and Arab quarters, the guest house is proximate to many of the city’s most treasured sites. The guest house is situated within a secure enclave of stone buildings and offers a secluded setting with some of the best views of the Old City from its terraces. The Jerusalem stone architecture evokes an ambiance of historic magnitude and the simply furnishings are modern and clean.

Facilities

Most units do have showers and coffee and tea are available to guests. The site is shared by, but separated from, the Evangelical Lutheran Hostel. Some visitors may be uncomfortable walking to the guest house but the area is safe.


THE BRIDGITTINE SISTERS – MARY’S HOUSE

The Bridgettine Sisters opened this new guesthouse devoted to inter-religious dialogue on December 8th 2006. The guest house offers a tremendous view of the Old City of Jerusalem and is within a five minute walk to Gethsemane and several other shrines. The building now provides a safe guest house for pilgrims and other visitors as well as a conference center and meeting hall.

 

 

Background Information

 

The houses sits on two hectares and is located at the foot of Mount of Olives. The complex was originally built during the period of 1974-76 as a medical research centre, the Gedda Institut. Later, the property was donated to the Holy See and in 2004, Pope John Paul II entrusted it to the Bridgettine Order in order to establish a foundation devoted to Christian Unity and to Inter-Religious Dialogue.

 

 

Location

 

The Old City of Jerusalem is approximately a 20 minute walk however, the 75 bus offers frequent transportation to the Damascus Gate.

 

 

Facilities & Amenitites

 

14 Rooms (Sgl: 4, Dbl:7, Trp:3) with en suite bathroomFull Board available

Elevator

Heating and air conditioner

Telephones in Rooms

Dining RoomChapel

Internet Service

Garden

Lecture Hall for 60 Persons


Guesthouses can only be booked for groups of 7 or more rooms.


ECCE HOMO

The 31-room convent is owned and managed by the Sisters of Notre Dame de Sion. Central to this ministry is the study of the Word of God and its focus on reconciliation between peoples. Also housed in the convent is the Chemin Neuf Community which is a Roman Catholic community with an ecumenical vocation of Christians of different denominations. Accordingly the convent offers a renowned biblical school in English, French and Spanish. Room furnishings are modest, and common facilities include a beautiful, historic chapel, on site dining room, and lecture halls.

Location

 

Within the ancient walls of the city of Jerusalem situated between the Damascus Gate and the ‘Lion’s Gate and just steps away from the Arab Souk is a beautiful convent known as Ecce Homo.

Background

 

The terraces of the hospice afford guests some of the most spectacular views of the Temple area with the Dome of the Rock, the Western Wall and the Holy Sepulcher as well as the surrounding hills. Beneath the convent, ancient years of history have been discovered including the Strouthian cisterns from the time of Heron as well as pavement (lithostrotos in Greek) fro the ruins of the Antonia Fortress (35 BCE).

Facilities and Amenities

 

31 Rooms (Sgl. 3, Dbl. 25, Trp. 1, Qdp. 2)

BB / Half board / Full board available

Elevator in some parts of the House

Telephones in Rooms / incoming calls only

Dining Room

Chapel

Lecture Hallas for 50/35/20 Persons


Guesthouses can only be booked for groups of 7 or more rooms.


SAINT THOMAS HOME

The Saint Thomas Home is owned by the Syrian Catholic Patriarchal Exparchate of Jerusalem and is primarily a guest house for pilgrims.

 

Background

 

The Syrian Catholic Church, a breakaway from the monophysite Syrian Orthodox church, has been in communion with Rome since 1663. The Syrian Catholics have their own patriarch (resident in Beirut), and since 1890, a patriarchal vicar in Jerusalem has served as spiritual leader of the small local community there and in Bethlehem, which totals about 350. In July 1985, the community consecrated the new patriarchal church in Jerusalem dedicated to St. Thomas, apostle to the peoples of Syria and India.

 

Location

 

Centrally located near to the Damascus Gate, and situated opposite the Ecole Biblique of Dominicans, the hospice is ideally situated for guests seeking to explore the old city, as well as meander through the outdoor markets found just outside the property. The Church of the Holy Sepulchre is a fifteen minute walk way.

 

Facilities & Amenities

 

28 Rooms (Sgl. 7, Dbl. 11, Trp. 10)Half Board Available

Parking

Elevator

Heating

Telephone in Rooms

Dining RoomSoft Drinks

Chapel

Garden

Lecture Hall for 50 Persons

TV Room


Catholic guesthouses can only be booked for groups of 7 or more rooms. 


FRANCISCAN DE MARIE – WHITE SISTERS

The Franciscan de Marie guest house is a charming little guesthouse situated across the  street from the Garden Tomb on Nablus Road in Jerusalem. The Catholic guesthouse opened in 1972 and provides simple accommodations that are quite plain, but very clean. Ample secure parking can be found on site, which is a very important advantage in this area. Additionally, there is a nice chapel on site as well as a spiritual leader affording both pilgrims and independent travelers an opportunity for prayer. Unlike most of the other guest houses in Jerusalem, Franciscan de Marie is air conditioned and telephones are available in the guest rooms. Other facilities include a bar, garden, lecture hall, and dining facilities.

 

Background

 

The guesthouse was established by the Franciscan de Marie for the purpose of assisting  pilgrims who visit the Holy Land and to offer them accommodation. The house became a place where the pilgrims can rest, pray and receive help during their stay in Jerusalem. The accommodation is known by pilgrims worldwide and is especially favored by French pilgrims.

 

Location

 

The Franciscan de Marie guest house is centrally located on Nablus Street one block away from the Damascus Gate and directly across the street from the Garden Tomb.

 

Facilities & Amenitites

 

29 Rooms (Sgl: 4, Dbl: 21, Trp:4)

Telephones in Rooms

Heating / Air Conditioner

Elevator

Service for Disabled

Internet Service

Parking

Payment in Cash or Cheques

Dining Room

Bar

Half/Full Board Available

Garden

Panoramic view of the Old City

Chapel

Lecture Hall for 58 Persons

Public Telephones


Christian guesthouses can only be booked for groups of 7 or more rooms. 


FOYER DE MAROUN

The Foyer de Maroun guesthouse, located in the Old City of Jerusalem, features 27 guest rooms equipped with private bathrooms. Guest rooms are plain, comfortable, and are very suitable for pilgrim groups and individual traveler seeking simple, but quiet accommodations away from the bustle of the nearby markets. The house is situated within a short walk of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre and other holy sites, ideal for travelers seeking proximity to many area attractions. The friendly and warm atmosphere of the guest house is enhanced by its on site chapel and spiritual directors.

Background on Foyer de Maroun

The Mar Maron guest house within the building of the Maronite Patriarchal Vicariate was founded in 1895. The Maronite Nuns from the congregation of St. Therese of the Child Jesus manage the guest house. The nuns are also responsible for other parochial activities concerning the Maronite Parish in Jerusalem.

 

Location of Foyer de Maroun

The Mar Maron guest house is located within the building of the Maronite Patriarchal Vicariate in Jerusalem, in the Old City of Jerusalem near Jaffa Gate.

Facilities and Amenities at Foyer de Maroun

27 Rooms (Sgl: 4, Dbl: 19, Trp: 2, Qdp: 2)

Telephones in Rooms

Heating

TV Room

 Dining Room – Soft Drinks

 Full Board available

 Chapel

Lecture Hall for 40 Persons


Christian guesthouses can only be booked for groups of 7 or more rooms


CASA NOVA JERUSALEM

Located between New Gate and Jaffa Gate in Jerusalem’s Old City sits a historic and quaint Catholic guest house- the Casa Nova. The Franciscan run guest house represents one of the largest pilgrim-oriented lodging houses in the country and provides a range of room types as well as several dorms which combined provide accommodations for up to 200 persons. The Casa Nova is a quiet and spiritual property, combining Christian hospitality with a deeply spiritual atmosphere. Rooms are sparsely furnished and are most attractive to pilgrims seeking quiet, yet affordable accommodations. The guest house is ideally located for pilgrims wishing to explore the old city. Most sites are just a few blocks away from the Casa Nova such as the Church of the Holy Sepulchre and the Via Dolorosa, making it the perfect location for travelers that want to be close by the Old City and holy sites.

The majority of Casa Nova’s guests are Catholic pilgrims from Italy, Spain and Argentina. The Casa Nova is better equipped to house large groups and can only be booked for groups of 15 or more people.

 

Background and History

 

The Casa Nova Jerusalem guesthouse has a rich history. The original guest house was built in the 16th century to accommodate pilgrims visiting Jerusalem. With the increase of travelers to Jerusalem the guesthouse expanded- first in the 1780s, again in 1870 and finally in the 1980s the Casa Nova was renovated once again to better suit the needs of pilgrims. Its colorful history includes the accommodation of Polish soldiers from 1941 through 1946 on the premises.

 

Other Facilities and Amenities

There is no on site parking so most guests are dropped off at the New Gate. Portage for luggage can be arranged by request.

 87 Rooms (Sgl.3, Dbl. 67, Trp. 14, Qdp. 3)

Full board available for groups

Elevator

Garden

TV Room

On Site Chapel and spiritual Director

Private service available aupon request

Three dining rooms

Cafetieria

Two Lecture Hall (for 150 or 50 persons)


*Christian guesthouses can only be booked for groups of 15 or more persons.


NOTRE DAME

Notre Dame Center in Jerusalem represents the largest and most comprehensive Christian guest house in the Holy Land. The 145-guest rooms are in the process of being completely renovated and most offer twin-bedded accommodations and private washrooms. In 2004, Pope John Paul II entrusted the care and management of Notre Dame to the Legionaries of Christ. The Lady of Peace Chapel, located inside of Notre Dame, offers daily mass in English as well as adornation in the afternoons between 5:00pm and 6:15pm. Legionary priests are available for mass and confessions.

 

 

Location

 

The property is ideally situated across from the New Gate, considered one of the primary Old City Fathers in the early 1880’s which were seeking a French pilgrimage home.

 

Background

 

The first foundation stone was laid in 1885 and in 1886, Monseighneur Poyet of Lyons, the Vicar General of the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem proposed the name “Notre Dame de France”.  Badly damaged during the war of 1948, it was eventually turned over to the Holy See on March 2, 1972. By special decree of Pope John Paul II on December 13, 1978, it was erected as a Pontifical Institute.

 

Facilities and Amenities

 

145 guest roomsOn-site chapel

On-site spiritual leader

RestaurantLarge Conference Hall for 500 persons

Secured Parking


YMCA-JERUSALEM

History of YMCA Jerusalem

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Established in 1878 and operated by YMCA of the USA since 1920, the Jerusalem International YMCA (JIY) is a safe haven for religious, cultural and intellectual freedom for the people of Jerusalem. Jewish, Muslim and Christian people of all ages come to JIY to enjoy the atmosphere of understanding and unity.  For its efforts in promoting the dignity of humankind and peace in the region, JIY was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize in 1993.

The YMCA has a deep and colorful history. Numerous well known dignitaries have visited the property including Madaline Albright, Hillary Clinton, Warren Christopher. The kindergarten is world renown and unites Jewish, Christian and Moslem children together for daily school activities.

With its elegant arches, domes and 152-foot observation tower overlooking Jerusalem‘s Old City, JIY is a designated city landmark.  JIY is acknowledged as a center of cultural, athletic, social and intellectual life in Jerusalem and is visited by more than 500,000 people annually. In addition to offering amenities such as fitness, dining and hotel facilities, JIY’s auditorium often hosts the most socially and culturally significant events in the region.  JIY’s presence serves as a foundation of optimism and offers a message of hope and reconciliation for all in the Holy Land.

Like YMCAs in the United States, JIY serves the needs of its local community through programs focused on the holistic development of children and youth, health and well-being for all and family strengthening.  A key difference, however, is that JIY must face the daily challenges of serving a community where divisions between belief systems pose a threat to the well-being of children, youth and adults.

In an effort to end the cycle of prejudice and violence, JIY offers a variety of programs designed to stimulate positive connections among people of all faiths and backgrounds. From the integrated Peace Preschool to coexistence programs for young adults, JIY is helping to impact a generation of future leaders who will have the tools to advocate for and secure peace in the region.  Financial support from U.S. YMCAs and the international community has played an invaluable role in the continuation and success of JIY’s unique programs which foster harmony and the building of spirit, mind and body.
View YMCA 3 Arches – Jerusalem in a larger map

Rates including breakfast.

 Facilities

  • 56 rooms
  • Air conditioning
  • Heat
  • On site Restaurant
  • Television
  • Outdoor pool

PAULUSHAUS – ARCHIDIOSES DE COLOGNE

Paulushaus was established in 1908. Because of the political situation it had been used for different purposes, although originally it was built as a pilgrims’ house. There is also a girls’ school attached to it which is called Schmidt’s Girls’ College. The whole property belongs to the German Association of the Holy Land and is run by this Institution.

Location

Paulushaus is located near the Damascus Gate.

Facilities & Amenities

 

32 Rooms (Sgl: 4, Dbl: 23, Trp: 3, Qdp:2)Full Board available

Parking

Internet Service for Guests

Elevator

Heating

Telephone in Rooms

Dining RoomSoft Drinks

Chapel

Garden

Lecture Hall for 35 Persons

TV Room

Laundry Service


Guesthouses can only be booked for groups of 7 or more rooms

 

Sleeping in Jerusalem Old City

Again I’m sharing guide-information with you, but this time it’s about hotels and hostels in Jerusalem, especially the old city. Most budget accommodation is located in the Old City’s Muslim, Christian and Armenian Quarters or in the city center. Decent mid-range options are thin on the ground, but there are plenty of choices in the top-end category, including atmospheric Christian hospices in the Old City and boutique hotels in the city center.

There are no hotels or guesthouses of note in the Old City’s Jewish Quarter. If you want atmosphere, by all means stay in the Old City. But if you are after proximity to restaurants, bars, cafes and public transport, you are much better off staying in the city center, Mamilla or Yemin Moshe. If you have a car you’ll need to stay in the New City or pay NIS 48 per 24 hours for a space at Mamilla Parking near Jaffa Gate.

Room rates can fluctuate wildly between seasons and in response to political disturbances. I have quoted high-season rates in my reviews; these apply from April to June and from September to October, as well as during Easter, Christmas and the New Year.

Before I go, some words about hotels and (especially) hostels in Israel in general and the hotels and hostels in Jerusalem specific and I will be brief. The inside of the hotels in Israel are in general more or less shabby (with exceptions) and compared with anywhere else pricey. Hotels in Jerusalem have the same problem, but the hostels are worse compared with the rest of Israel (with exceptions)! So please, don’t let you be fooled by prices as the means to make a choice in hotel or hostel. The best way to indicate the shabby-state of hotels and hostels are the bedrooms.

Old City

If you arrive in Jerusalem by taxi or sherut (taxi-bus) and are staying in the Old City, you’ll need to alight at one of the city gates and walk to your hotel. Note that the call to prayer can be a problem for light sleepers in the Muslim Quarter – bring earplugs.

  • Hashimi Hotel & Hostel (02-628 4410; http://www.alhashimihotel-jerusalem.com; 73 Souq Khan al-Zeit St, Muslim Quarter; dm/s/d US$35/60/95, Map)
    Slap bang in the middle of the market, this Palestinian-owned hostel imposes a number of rules on its guests (no alcohol, no unmarried couples in the same room, no credit cards, no mixed dorms, no breathing (joking 🙂), etc), but all is forgiven when the newly renovated rooms are inspected and the extraordinary view from the rooftop is admired. Some of the rooms have views of the Dome of the Rock (request 313 or 311). Each of the two dorms has air-con, private bathroom and TV; the one on the 3rd floor has a view. Wi-fi is available in the lobby and on the 4th floor only (buy a SIM to be and stay independent and always have Internet).
Hashimi Hotel & Hostel
Hashimi Hotel & Hostel
  • Jaffa Gate Hostel (02-627 6402; http://www.jaffa-gate.hostel.com; Jaffa Gate; dm 100NIS, s/d 250/320NIS, with shared bathroom 200/280NIS, Map)
    Arab-run, this small and friendly hostel has one dorm (sleeping four) and 23 small and very basic rooms (more like extended coffins). There’s a lounge, a small roof terrace with wonderful views and a communal kitchen. Note that Muslim house rules prevent alcohol on the premises, breakfast isn’t served and credit-card payments aren’t possible.

    Jaffa Gate Hostel
    Jaffa Gate Hostel
  • Golden Gate Inn (02-628 4317; http://www.goldengate4.com; 10 Souq Khan al-Zeit St, Muslim Quarter; dm/d/tr 80/250/350NIS, Map)
    Set inside an atmospheric old home, this family-run guesthouse near Damascus Gate has single-sex dorms and clean rooms with en-suite bathroom, cable TV and air-con. The communal kitchen is spacious and well maintained, and there’s a rooftop with views. Note that wi-fi only works in the lobby and alcohol is forbidden on the premises.

    Golden Gate Inn
    Golden Gate Inn
  • Citadel Youth Hostel (02-628 5253; http://www.citadelyouthhostel.com; 20 St Mark’s Rd, Armenian Quarter; mattresses on roof 55NIS, dm 70NIS, d 320NIS, s/d with shared bathroom 180/200NIS, Map)
    A perfect example of a hostel with unrealized potential, the Citadel is only worth considering if the Abraham, Hashimi and Jaffa Gate Hostels are full. A labyrinthine 500-year-old building with plenty of Jerry-built additions, it offers thin foam mattresses on the rooftop in summer, old mattresses on the dorm beds, cramped and smelly shared bathrooms and overpriced private rooms.

    Citadel Youth Hostel
    Citadel Youth Hostel
  • Petra Hostel (02-628 6618; http://www.newpetrahostel.com; Omar Ibn al-Khattab Sq, Jaffa Gate; mattress on roof 50NIS, dm 70NIS, s/d 220/320NIS, Map)
    Built in the 1820s, this is the oldest hotel in Jerusalem. Some of its illustrious former patrons include Mark Twain and Herman Melville (and me of course). Unfortunately, the antiquated charm counts for little when the hot, stuffy and grubby rooms and dorms are taken into account. Only worth considering if you’re on a very tight budget and don’t mind roughing it.
    The only thing still very special about this guest house is the roof! Don’t forget the roof when you are there. And for the price you pay, no complaining.

    Petra Hostel
    Petra Hostel
  • Austrian Hospice (02-626 5800; http://www.austrianhospice.com; 37 Via Dolorosa, Muslim Quarter; dm/s/d/tr  €26/76/118/165, Map)
    This castle-like guesthouse first opened in 1863 and has plenty of heritage features. Rooms are simply furnished but are large and have good beds; three have a balcony and two have air-con (€5 surcharge). Single-sex dorms are in the basement, where there are also squeaky-clean shared bathrooms. The cloistered garden cafe is a popular retreat for guests. The hospice is on the corner of Al-Wad St and Via Dolorosa. Ring the intercom to enter (reception is open 7am to 11pm).

    Austrian Hospice
    Austrian Hospice
  • Lutheran Guest House (02-626 6888; http://www.luth-guesthouse-jerusalem.com; St Mark’s Rd, Armenian Quarter; s/d/tr €?, Map)(I never managed to get to know their prices. The man kept on talking and talking …)
    Beyond the heavy steel door are a welcoming lobby, a variety of rooms, a courtyard garden and rooftop reading room and a lounge. Guest rooms are simply furnished but comfortable, and there’s a generous buffet breakfast. From Jaffa Gate, walk down David St, then take the first right up a narrow staircase; the guesthouse is 100m down on the left.

    Lutheran Guest House
    Lutheran Guest House
  • Ecce Homo Pilgrim House (02-627 7292; reservation@eccehomoconvent.org; 41 Via Dolorosa, Muslim Quarter; dm/s/tw US$35/63/106, Map)
    If staying a few nights in a convent sounds intriguing, book yourself into this 150-year-old pilgrim guesthouse on the Via Dolorosa. The stone walls and dim corridors certainly evoke the feeling of a time gone by, and the rooftop terrace and comfortable reading lounge are lovely. Rooms are simply furnished and can be hot (no air-con). There’s a curfew.
    I slept there one time for 5 nights because of a Pilgrim tour in Jerusalem. I lost 5 kg that week, it was so hot. That means that it’s good.

    Ecce Homo Pilgrim House
    Ecce Homo Pilgrim House
  • Hotel East New Imperial (02-628 2261; http://www.newimperial.com; Jaffa Gate; s/d US$70/120, Map)
    Owner Abu el-Walid Dajani provides a warm welcome to his family’s hotel (they’ve owned it since 1949) and can spin some nice stories about its history. The labyrinthine layout can be confusing and B&B rooms are of varying quality; ask for a newly renovated one overlooking the side street, as the others aren’t great. A four-course dinner costs US$20.

    Hotel East New Imperial
    Hotel East New Imperial
  • Armenian Guesthouse (02-626 0880; armenianguesthouse@hotmail.com; 36 Via Dolorosa, Muslim Quarter; dm US$39, s US$97, d US$136, Map)
    Recently renovated and reasonably priced rooms make this guesthouse in the Armenian Catholic Patriarchate worth considering. There’s no garden and no atmospheric common areas (the things that make the guesthouses run by other religious orders in the city so special), but the very clean rooms are modern with good bathrooms and comfortable beds.
    And there are the same beds my grandmother slept in in Holland. Amazing!

    Armenian Guesthouse
    Armenian Guesthouse
  • Christ Church Guesthouse (02-627 7727; http://www.cmj-israel.org; Omar Ibn al-Khattab Sq, Jaffa Gate; s US$128, d US$194, Map)
    This wonderfully maintained guesthouse gets high marks for its period atmosphere, multilingual staff, prime location and garden setting. The simply furnished rooms have stone floors, domed ceilings and comfortable beds, and there are lounges where guests can relax over free tea and coffee. Breakfast (included), lunch (20NIS to 60NIS) and dinner (65NIS) are served in the on-site cafe.
    It’s still quite pricey, and the food is reasonable (except that awful salad)!

    Christ Church Guesthouse
    Christ Church Guesthouse

East Jerusalem

Muslim Cemetery along the Eastern Wall of the Old City of Jerusalem near Lions Gate.
Muslim Cemetery along the Eastern Wall of the Old City of Jerusalem near Lions Gate.

The area immediately east of the Old City’s Damascus Gate is predominantly Palestinian and has a pronounced Middle Eastern vibe – street traders hawk their wares to housewives wearing hijab, Arabic music blares from cars, and shopfronts and streets are decidedly less manicured than their often-staid West Jerusalem equivalents. There is a mix of Arab- and multinational-owned hotels here, but few are worthy of recommendation. The Damascus Gate, Shivtel Israel and Shimon  HaTzadik JLR stops are close by.

  • American Colony Hotel (02-627 9777; http://www.americancolony.com; 1 Louis Vincent St; s US$265, d US$310-640, ste US$675- 955, Map)
    This historic hotel, built in 1902 and now Swiss-run, was a popular lodging for wealthy Westerners in the early 20th century and is still is a destination of choice for many VIPs. There’s a variety of rooms spread across three wings; all are elegant and comfortable, but those in the original building are definitely the best. The breakfast buffet is excellent. The facilities here include a pool, a well-equipped gym, a courtyard cafe, a lobby lounge, a cellar bar and a garden and the black haired receptionist with her smoldering green eyes and hot voice makes you not sleepy.
    If you have the budget, this is the hotel to stay when you are in Jerusalem. The one and only.

    American Colony Hotel In Jerusalem
    American Colony Hotel In Jerusalem
  • Jerusalem Hotel (02-628 8982, 02-628 3282; http://www.jrshotel.com; Derekh Shchem (Nablus) Rd; s/d US$160/240, Map)
    With tile-clad stone walls, high ceilings and antique furnishings, this small and friendly hotel in an 1890s building opposite one of the East Jerusalem bus stations can rightfully claim boutique status. The vine-covered courtyard restaurant is a lovely spot for dinner in warm weather.
    I love this hotel, because the rooms are amazing. And their stories are amazing too, especially when you cant sleep.

    Jerusalem Hotel
    Jerusalem Hotel
  • St George’s Guesthouse (02-628 3302; stgeorges.gh@j-diocese.org; 20 Derekh Shchem (Nablus) Rd; standard s/d US$110/150, deluxe s/d US$150/180, Map)
    Located on the property of a 110-year-old Anglican church, this tranquil guesthouse has twin guest rooms set around a lovely courtyard garden. Amenities are good – each room has beds with crisp linen, satellite TV and a kettle; the deluxe versions with their stone walls, extra space and modernized bathrooms are worth the extra charge.

    St George’s Guesthouse
    St George’s Guesthouse
  • Legacy Hotel (02-627 0800; http://www.jerusalemlegacy.com; 29 Derekh Shchem (Nablus) Rd; royal s/d US$150/185, executive s/d US$175/195, Map)
    After changing its name and having a major facelift, the former YMCA hostel in East Jerusalem is looking pretty snazzy. There are two types of room (deluxe and standard), both of which have kettles and cable TV. It’s worth paying extra for a deluxe version as these have larger bathrooms and balconies with views over the Mount of Olives. Facilities include a 5th-floor restaurant with great views over the Old City, a lobby bar and a garden cafe. Guests are given free entry to the YMCA gym and indoor pool in the building next door.

    Legacy Hotel
    Legacy Hotel
  • National Hotel (02-627 8880; http://www.nationalhotel-jerusalem.com; As-Zahra St; s/d/tr US$170/200/270, Map)
    It wouldn’t win any awards for its design, but this modern hotel near Herod’s Gate has a number of things working in its favor, including good service, free parking and an on-site restaurant with views over the Mount of Olives (no alcohol, though). Wi-fi is available in the lobby only.

    National Hotel
    National Hotel

City Center

The commercial heart of predominantly Jewish West Jerusalem, this area is full of sleeping, eating and drinking options but almost totally closes down over Shabbat. The JLR travels down the city centre’s spine, Jaffa Rd, and both the Old City and the Central Bus Station are within walking distance.

  • Abraham Hostel (02-650 2200; https://abrahamhostels.com; 67 HaNevi’im St, Davidka Sq; dm 114NIS, s 300NIS, d 480NIS, Map)
    Put simply, the Abraham is an exemplar for hostels everywhere. The best backpacker option in the city (none of the others come close), it’s conveniently located next to the Davidka tram stop, its en-suite rooms are basic but clean, the convivial lounge-bar has an attached communal kitchen and – best of all – there’s a huge entertainment and tours program. Try to be here on Shabbat, when the hostel holds a dinner for up to 40 people (40NIS). You should also take advantage of the free Hebrew and Arabic lessons, enjoy happy hour (6pm to 8pm) at the bar and sign up for at least one tour. The entrance is on HaNevi’im St, near the bus stop.

    Abraham Hostel
    Abraham Hostel
  • Jerusalem Hostel & Guest House (02-623 6102; http://www.jerusalem-hostel.com; 44 Jaffa Rd, Zion Sq; dm 90NIS, s 220-340NIS, d 270-360NIS, Map)
    A fine option for budget travelers keen to base themselves in the city center, this hostel offers clean en-suite rooms, single-sex dorms, a communal kitchen and a rooftop. There’s a healthy traveler vibe, with lots of info tacked onto the walls and plenty of other guests willing to lend free advice. In addition to the main backpacker wing the hostel has a new section in a separate building with private rooms (300NIS).
    Many in those rooms tend to separate them from those in the dorms. That’s a pity, because they miss loads of socializing and traveling info.

    Jerusalem Hostel & Guest House
    Jerusalem Hostel & Guest House
  • City Center Suites (02-650 9494; http://www.citycentervacation.com; 17 King George St (cnr HaHistadrut St); d US$130-150, ste US$165-190, economy studio s/d without breakfast US$110/130, Map)
    ‘Plenty of character, but looking a bit worn’ is a common descriptor for accommodation in this ancient city. And that’s why the existence of this spick-and-span modern hotel should be wholeheartedly celebrated. Spread over two buildings in a conveniently located part of the New City, it offers 38 comfortable rooms with kitchenette; the economy studio is the least impressive. The same owners operate the equally impressive Shamai suites.

    City Center Suites
    City Center Suites
  • Shamai Suites (02-579 7705; http://www.shamaisuites.com; 15 Ben Hillel St; studio r US$140-160, ste US$200-220, Map).
    What hey call suites are nothing else then normal or ordinary rooms.
  • Hotel Palatin (02-623 1141; http://www.palatinhotel.com; 4 Agrippas St; s US$110, d US$155, Map)
    Located near the hub of Jerusalem’s shopping and cafe district, the Palatin has small but reasonably comfortable rooms that are overpriced at the rack rates cited above but can be found at much better prices on booking sites. The friendly service almost (but not quite) compensates for the polyester sheets.

    Hotel Palatin
    Hotel Palatin
  • Arthur Hotel (02-623 9999; http://www.atlas.co.il; 13 Dorot Rishonim St; s/d US$275/325, Map)
    There are plenty of small hotels in Jerusalem, but few are as well run as this classy place near Zion Sq. Rooms come in many shapes and sizes, but the best are those at the rear of the building (ask for one with a balcony). The breakfast here is impressive, and the complimentary afternoon aperitif is a hit with guests.
    The breakfast is really impressive and you can eat a wonder full breakfast with loads of sweets (that’s for me of course). I took a bag with me the last time with a German group. When I talked with the owner last Sunday he asked me if I take a bag with me again, so he could guard his sweets …

    Arthur Hotel
    Arthur Hotel
  • 7 Kook Boutique Hotel (02-580 8068; http://www.7kookhotel.com; Ticho St; d US$240-380, s without breakfast US$216-342, Map)
    There aren’t too many boutique hotels in Jerusalem, so the 2014 opening of this well-located example of the genre was a welcome occurrence. Part of an upmarket apartment development, 7 Kook offers four stylish room types – studio, deluxe, family and suite – all of which have comfortable bed, excellent bathroom with tub, espresso machine and kettle.
    It’s a beautiful hotel from the inside and outside too.

    7 Kook Boutique Hotel
    7 Kook Boutique Hotel
  • Harmony Hotel (02-621 9999; http://www.atlas.co.il; 6 Yo’el Salomon St; s/d US$275/325, Map)
    A spacious lounge with pool table, books and a fireplace is the major draw at this well-run hotel near Zion Sq, especially during the free afternoon aperitif. There are 50 rooms in total; those on the 1st floor are new and the others are being renovated (opt for a corner one if possible). Free parking is available.
    A strange hotel. The interior designers were or color blind or there is something wrong with me. I got the feeling of being seasick.

    Harmony Hotel
    Harmony Hotel
  • Notre Dame Guest House (02-627 9111; http://www.notredamecenter.org; 3 Paratroopers Rd; d/tw US$240-290, tr US$290, ste US$450-550, Map)
    Most of the rooms at this splendidly located Vatican-owned guesthouse have wonderful views of the Old City and the Mount of Olives. The building dates from 1904 and its recently refurbished rooms are a great choice, especially as the guesthouse also has a Mediterranean restaurant with a garden terrace downstairs, and a cheese and wine restaurant on the rooftop.
    This so called guest house is pricey, and not family owned, but it’s fancy and well maintained and run. When I slept here during a Catholic tour, I couldn’t sleep the whole night, like I was counting the mosaic above my head. Beautiful guest house though.

    Notre Dame Guest House
    Notre Dame Guest House

Mamilla & Yemin Moshe

  • St Andrew’s Scottish Guesthouse (02-673 2401; http://www.scotsguesthouse.com; 1 David Remez St, Yemin Moshe; s US$135, d US$180, tw US$200, ste US$240, apt US$380, Map)
    St Andrew’s feels like a bit of Scotland transported to the Middle East, stone for stone, nun for nun. Set on a hill overlooking the Old City, with leafy gardens and an imposing stone facade, it has simple rooms and one two-bedroom apartment sleeping four. The more expensive rooms include balconies with a view; those that don’t have access to a large sun deck. All have kettles.
    I knew once a Scottish cook, who hated Scotland, but always slept here for some reason. He also couldn’t cook, but that’s my personal opinion.

    St Andrew’s Scottish Guesthouse
    St Andrew’s Scottish Guesthouse
  • Mamilla Hotel (02-548 2222; http://www.mamillahotel.com; 11 King Solomon (Shloma HaMelekh) St, Mamilla; r US$510- 635, ste US$785, Map)
    The best location in Jerusalem (near Jaffa Gate, on the edge of the Old and New Cities) is but one of many inducements on offer at this luxury hip hotel. Rooms are large and well equipped, and leisure B&B facilities include spa with steam room and hamam, gym, indoor pool, two bars, cafe and rooftop Italian restaurant.

    Mamilla Hotel
    Mamilla Hotel
  • David Citadel Hotel (02-621 1111; http://www.thedavidcitadel.com; 7 King David (David HaMelekh) St, Mamilla; r US$510-634, ste US$1000, Map)
    Like airports, some large hotels are microcities, populated with different people, housing, businesses and leisure facilities. The 400-room David Citadel fits this description, providing a city within a city for its pampered guests. Rooms are spacious and beautifully appointed (the suites are knockouts), there are three restaurants, and facilities include executive lounge, outdoor pool, children’s play centre, spa and gym.

    David Citadel Hotel
    David Citadel Hotel
  • YMCA Three Arches Hotel (02-569 2692; http://www.ymca3arch.co.il; 26 King David St, Yemin Moshe; s/tw/tr/ste US$200/220/250/290, Map)
    This 1933 building is an important local landmark and a decent place to spend a few nights. The hotel’s 56 rooms are simply furnished and could be cleaner; all have twin beds and cable TV. There’s an on-site restaurant, a gym and a pool.

    YMCA Three Arches Hotel
    YMCA Three Arches Hotel

German Colony & Rehavia

  • Little House in Rehavia (02-563 3344; http://www.jerusalem-hotel.co.il; 20 Ibn Ezra St, Rehavia; s 450NIS, d 600-690NIS, Map)
    There’s a boutique feel to this hotel in a restored 1942 stone building. Located in  one of Jerusalem’s prettiest neighborhoods (a 1.5km walk to the Old City), it has 28 rooms, a roof terrace, a garden and a strictly kosher dining room where a daily breakfast and Shabbat lunch and dinner are served.

    Little House in Rehavia
    Little House in Rehavia
  • Arcadia Ba’Moshava (02-542 3000; http://www.arcadiahotels.co.il; 13 Yehoshua bin-Nun St; s/d midweek US$240/270, weekend US$270/300, Map)
    Opened in 2014 after a major restoration, this hotel occupies a gorgeous Arab-style villa dating from 1935. ‘Ba’Moshava’ means ‘in the Colony’ and its location in a residential street off the Emek Refa’im shopping and entertainment strip is excellent. Rooms are smallish, but that won’t matter, as you’ll spend most of your time in the elegant lounge or leafy garden. The hotel provides bikes for the use of its guests.

    Arcadia Ba'Moshava
    Arcadia Ba’Moshava
  • Jerusalem Garden Home (050 524 0442; http://www.jerusalemgardenhome.com; 74 Derech Beit Lehem; s/d/tr US$140/185/210, Map)
    Run by a friendly couple, this B&B near the German Colony has a real home-away-from-home feel. It offers four rooms sleeping between two and four persons; each has a kitchenette and cable TV. The same owners operate a garden restaurant across the road, where breakfast is served.
Jerusalem Garden Home
Jerusalem Garden Home

Romema & Mekor Baruch

  • Allenby 2 B&B (052 396 3160; http://www.dahliaandnirbnb.com/ALLENBY-2; Allenby Sq 2, Romema; s 180NIS, d 330NIS, d with shared bathroom 250NIS, Map)
    One of the most popular B&Bs in Jerusalem, Allenby 2 combines a warm and convivial atmosphere with excellent service. With 11 rooms spread over a few properties, it’s also one of the larger B&Bs in the city. The shared kitchen and location close to the Central Bus Station and JLR line are definite draws. There’s no reception, so call ahead.

    Romema & Mekor Baruch Allenby
    Romema & Mekor Baruch Allenby 2

Jerusalem by Night Gallery

This gallery is an impression of Jerusalem old city by night. In any tour, which will visit Jerusalem, we have an evening tour, which of course will show Jerusalem in its full glory at night. If the weather cooperates and the schedule too, we also show the people from the group the Tower of David and it’s light show.


Classical Israeli-Gems Tour, 7 Days – from $537 per person all in.

For this (multiple day) tour, you need to have the following:

  1. Wim Vincken
    Wim Vincken, Guide

    An itinerary (this one for example. Click here to customize this tour for you)

    A guide. You can use the information here instead of renting a guide, but in the end it’s more expensive and a huge hassle.

  2. Transport. Transports can be that you hire a mini-bus with driver, or you rent a car or let your guide do it for you (click here for more info).
  3. Hotels. You can use the info here, or on bookings.com or generally the Internet or let your guide negotiate the best deals for hotels for you.
  4. Food. You can use the restaurants here in this itinerary or ask the guide.
  5. What you need to supply is
    1. Airplane tickets
    2. Visa and insurance

For costs, questions, queries and other related information, click here. For pricing, click here.

This tour is for visitors to the Israel. It will bring you to Jerusalem, followed by Masada, Dead Sea, Nazareth, Sea of Galilee, Caesarea, Haifa, Acre and Tel Aviv and visit 44 sights. The tour is designed for the individual, as for groups, with or without a professional guide. The guide can speak English, German and Dutch. This is an Israeli Gem tour and that means that the guide will show you the special side for each sight of the tour. This is now the normal tourist tour.

You will visit the following cities or places in this tour:

Day 1 – Jerusalem
Day 2 – Jerusalem
Day 3 – Masada and Dead Sea tour
Day 4 – Nazareth
Day 5 – Sea of Galilee
Day 6 – Acre, Caesarea and Haifa
Day 7 – Tel Aviv

Itinerary:

Day 1 – Jerusalem

Hop-On Hop-Off Tour Bus 99
Hop-On Hop-Off Tour Bus 99
  1. Hop-On Hop-Off Tour Bus 99
  2. Israeli Parliament Building
  3. Model of ancient Jerusalem
  4. Yad Vashem Holocaust Museum
  5. Children’s Memorial

Day 2 – Jerusalem

Ein Karem
Ein Karem
  1. Ein Karem
  2. Kidron Valley
  3. Akaldema
  4. Western Wall
  5. Western Wall Tunnels
  6. Warren’s Shaft
  7. Hezekiah’s Tunnel
  8. Underground Jerusalem tour

Day 3 – Masada and Dead Sea tour

Dead Sea
Dead Sea
  1. Neot Kedumim
  2. Ein Gedi National Park
  3. Masada Mountain & Cable Car
  4. Dead Sea
  • Evening: Dead Sea beach with barbecue
  • Hotel near Dead Sea

Day 4 – Nazareth

Greek Orthodox bishop’s house
Greek Orthodox bishop’s house
  1. Church of the Nativity
  2. Basilica of the Annunciation
  3. Grotto of the Annunciation
  4. Church of St. Joseph’s Carpentry
  5. Nazareth Village
  6. Greek Orthodox bishop’s house
  7. Nazareth market
  • Evening: Night city tour
  • Hotel in Nazareth

Day 5 – Sea of Galilee

Arbel cliffs
Arbel cliffs
  1. Kfar Cana Wedding Church
  2. Khurvat Minya
  3. Mount of Beatitudes, St. Peter’s Primacy, Tabgha
  4. Meshushim Pool in the Yehudiya Nature Reserve (hike)
  5. Mount Tabor
  6. Mount Arbel National Park
  7. Tiberias

Day 6 – Acre, Caesarea and Haifa

Bahai Gardens and Shrine
Bahai Gardens and Shrine
  1. Acre
  2. Caesarea from the Romans
  3. Caesarea Aqueduct
  4. Muhraka
  5. Universal House of Justice (Bahai)
  6. Bahai Gardens and Shrine
  7. The Carmel Mountain
  • Evening: Shopping
  • Hotel in Haifa

Day 7 – Tel Aviv

Sheinkin Street
Sheinkin Street
  1. Jaffa
  2. Jaffa Flea Market
  3. Tel Aviv – Jaffa Promenade
  4. Nachlat Binyamin Arts & Crafts Fair
  5. Rothschild Boulevard, Sheinkin Street, Neve Tsedek Neighborhood and Dizengoff Street
  6. Tel Aviv beaches