Jerusalem Travel Guide
Where to Eat
While Jerusalem’s culinary scene is not as “cosmopolitan” as its sister city, Tel Aviv, you can still find excellent eatery choices in the Holy City. Modern Israeli fare puts more emphasis on fresh produce and fresh fruits and vegetables. Jerusalem’s diners feature equally diverse and delicious options, where the dietary restrictions are hardly distinguishable. Here are some of them.
Delicious food, excellent ambience, superb service – need I say more about 1868? Serving world-class French and Kosher cuisine, 1868 exudes an aura of classicism as it sits in an edifice built in – you guessed it – the year 1868. Specialties include 28-day aged Entrecote and Organic Chicken in Soy Caramel. Prices range from USD 28 to USD 43.
Address: King David Street
When it comes to sumptuous Mediterranean fare, Chakra proves to be the best place in all of Jerusalem. Headed by Chef Ilan Garusi, the menu features special herbs and fresh produce. Try out the “Land” and “Sea” menu options, as well as Asian-inspired fare such as meat kabobs and fish stews. The menu price ranges from USD 18 to USD 28.
Address: Shlomzion Hamalka Street
If you want to experience dining at its finest, then be in your best attire when you eat at the high-end Arcadia restaurant. Famous for its Israeli-French fusion food, the upscale restaurant brings the city’s best Jerusalem artichokes, slow-cooked lamb stews and bulgur wheat. After feasting on its world-class fares, make sure to sample the several wines from its extensive list. Entrees are priced anywhere from USD 20 to USD 40.
Address: Agrippas Street
For affordably-priced fare, better try Colony, a hip bar-restaurant situated in a renovated train station. Its wide range of Middle Eastern offerings, ranging from meat, fish and poultry fares, never fails to draw academicians for lunch and funky clubbers for dinner. A tourist’s must-try: Colony’s gazpacho recipe. Expect to pay anywhere from USD 25 to USD 30 per entree.
Address: Derech Bet Lechem
Who says a tourist cannot enjoy affordable food in Jerusalem? If your budget is limited, then your best choice is Sima’s, an affordable restaurant that continues to draw crowds, despite being close to Agrippas Street’s fine dining restaurants. Sima’s must-try cuisine is meurav Yerushalmi, a hearty pita bread filled with lam slivers, chicken heart and liver. Food ranges from USD 17 to USD 28.
Address: Agrippas Street
Where to Stay
Whatever concerns you have over accommodations, Jerusalem’s finest hotels can address them! Here are the city’s top choices according to price (luxury or budget) and purpose of travel (romantic getaway or a fun trip with the family).
1) American Colony Hotel
Experience Casablanca right at the heart of Jerusalem by booking a night or two at its well-renowned American Colony Hotel. A short distance from the Damascus Gate of the Old City, the hotel is adorned with fine architectural designs, such as high ceilings and Arabian arches. The Swiss-owned hotel (ironically) has played home to numerous esteemed visitors, such as former British Prime Minister Winston Churchill and actress Lauren Bacall. Rooms start at USD 450.
Address: One Louis Vincent Street
2) Prima Royal Hotel Jerusalem
If you are traveling on a tight budget, you do not have to worry about sacrificing your comfort because the Prima Royal Hotel offers excellent services at half the usual price. Located in the heart of Jerusalem, the hotel is highly-accessible to the city’s top attractions. As for accommodations, it offers elegantly-designed rooms that prove to be irresistible to tourists and businessmen too. Room rates range from USD 150 to USD 170.
Address: Talabia Neighborhood
3) The Jerusalem Hostel
Jerusalem’s many touristic offers make it a haven for backpackers, especially for those who opt to stay at the homey Jerusalem Hotel. This 2-star hotel features rooms that are very affordable, with rates starting at just USD 69 per night. It is definitely a dime a dozen, since the hostel is the only backpacker-friendly place available in the western part of the city. Equipped with a kitchen, a dining room, and internet-connected lobby computers, the hostel promises a memorable stay for backpackers and tourists on a budget.
Address: Yafo 44
4) Alegra Hotel
When it comes to romantic thrills, nothing beats Ein Kerem’s famed Alegra Hotel. Designed with just 7 suites, the hotel truly makes for a romantic getaway with its spacious beds and marble-tiled bathrooms. While the sights outside the hotel are truly beautiful, Alegra’s scenic fish pools, beautiful waterfalls and lovely wading pools will make you want to stay in the compound for the entire day. Rates start at USD 403 per night.
Address: Ein Kerem
5) The David Citadel Hotel
If you have your rowdy kids in tow, you can keep them all in snappy attention by booking a room at the family-friendly David Citadel Hotel. Your children will enjoy frolicking in its swimming pool, which, by the way, provides excellent views of Jerusalem’s Old City. As for food, you will not have to worry about an empty stomach with its wide-ranged continental breakfast buffet. Rooms are simple yet modern, with rates that start at USD 580.
Address: King David Street
What has not been said about the holiest city in the world– a neglected city that hasn’t crumbled even with the toughest tests of time? Such is Jerusalem, Israel’s capital that is small in size yet has so much to offer. If, all your life, you have dreamed of embarking on a trip that guarantees a true religious experience, exciting gastronomic adventures, and fascinating historic tours, you can never go wrong with planning a Jerusalem vacation. It is your portal to the history of heaven and earth.