Gay Guide • JERUSALEM | What to See, Where to Stay, Best Gay Bars and Restaurants | LGBT Guide
Discover this City with our Quick and Practical Guide to Visit the Best Attractions, Savor Typical Dishes and Have Fun in the Best Gay Bars. All this through the Rainbow Eyes of the World Mappers
What to See, Best Places to Sleep, Where to Eat and to Have Fun in JERUSALEM?
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LGBT FRIENDLY JERUSALEM
Israel's stance on LGBTQ issues is considered the most tolerant in the Middle East. While same-sex marriages are not performed in the country, Israel recognizes cohabitation between same-sex couples, as well as marriages performed elsewhere. Adoption by same-parent couples, on the other hand, was legalized in 2008. Jerusalem, unlike what one might think, is not reserved exclusively for religious pilgrimages. Jerusalem also hosts an annual Pride event and has gay-friendly hangouts, though the vibe is certainly more laid-back than nearby Tel Aviv.
WHAT TO SEE in JERUSALEM?
10 THINGS TO SEE in JERUSALEM
It is also called the 'Western Wall' and the peculiarity is that men and women access it from different areas (men on the left and women on the right). The Wailing Wall is the holiest site in Judaism. Jews from all over the world come to the wall to pray and stick prayer slips into the cracks in the wall. The latter must have their head, shoulders and legs covered in order to access the wall. Respect this place and the people who frequent it, remember that it is forbidden to take pictures of the sacred area!
Basilica of the Holy Sepulchre
The Basilica of the Holy Sepulcher is the holiest site of the Christian religion. We can say that it is undoubtedly the Church of Churches since it is capable of bringing together six different Christian groups: the Greek Orthodox, the Franciscans, the Armenians, the Syrians, the Copts and the Ethiopians and all of them share the same space and the same respective traditions. It stands where the Holy Scriptures narrate that Jesus was crucified, died and was resurrected. It is not easy to find the basilica because it is immersed in the alleys and markets of Old Jerusalem, between the Christian and Muslim quarters. The most common access route is from Christian Quarter Road.
The Via Dolorosa, or via Crucis, corresponds to the path along which Jesus was guided to the place of his crucifixion. The route starts from the Church of the Flagellation up to the Church of the Holy Sepulcher (inside there are the last five stations of the Via Crucis).
Temple Mount & Dome of the Rock
The Temple Mount (Haram el-Sharif) (for Jews) or Temple Mount (for Muslims) is one of the holiest and most important places in the world as it is a place of worship for Christians, Jews and Muslims. In this large square, the Dome of the Rock stands out, a golden dome that represents one of the first examples of Islamic architecture and the al-Aqsa Mosque, which is the third holiest site in the Islamic world after the Ka'ba located at the Mecca and the Prophet's Mosque in Medina, Saudi Arabia. There are nine gates leading to the Spainata of the Mosques, but non-Muslim visitors can only enter from the Moorish Gate (reached up a flight of steps on the southern side of the Wailing Wall plaza). Instead, you can exit the site from any port. To access this place, respectful attire is required (long trousers or skirts, no shorts, shoulders, back and décolleté covered).
Church of the Assumption of Mary or Tomb of Mary
The Church of the Assumption of Mary (also known as Mary's Tomb or Tomb of the Virgin) is a church in Jerusalem located at the foot of the Mount of Olives. He gave us a strong feeling of mysticism that we still remember today. The Tomb of Mary is located below the church, under an underground stairway from the 12th century.
Mount of Olives
The Mount of Olives is where God will resurrect the dead on Judgment Day. That is why many Jews wish to be buried here. The road to climb to the top is steep and tiring and it takes about 40 minutes on foot to get there, but the effort is rewarded with a wonderful view of the city.
Old City of Jerusalem
Walk through the old city and get lost in its alleys. Here's what we recommend you do. Different cultures intertwine here. You will pass by the Jewish, Muslim and Christian quarters without even realizing it. On Saturday these streets are practically deserted for Shabbat (the feast of rest). If you want to truly understand Jerusalem you will have to take a walk along the walkways that run around the ancient city. It starts from the Jaffa Gate, to the west, where you step on stones dating back to 1538 until you touch the eight ancient gates of Jerusalem. The most scenic stretch is the one between the Jaffa Gate and the Damascus Gate.
Tower of David and the City of David
The Tower of David is located in the old city and was built to strengthen the city walls. The Tower of David Museum is famous for its light show that projects the story of the famous king onto the walls of the citadel every evening after dark. The City of David, on the other hand, is the most important archaeological site in all of Israel, it shows where the city of Jerusalem was born and when King David left his beloved Hebron about 3000 years ago and headed for Jerusalem with the aim of transforming the city in the political, religious and spiritual center of the Nation of Israel.
Mahane Yehuda Market
The Mahane Yehuda market is an indoor market in the city, full of life and where you can find everything: from spices, cheeses, fruit and vegetables, to small restaurants where you can taste typical products.
Holocaust Museum (Yad Vashem)
The Holocaust Museum is a true icon in memory of the millions of Jews murdered during World War II. It is located at the highest point of the Wall of Remembrance and is a truly heartwarming experience to have!
Visiting this city at its best depends essentially on how long you have to fully enjoy it. Here is a solution based on the number of days available to you:
Day 1 - Complete Jerusalem - Google Maps
Extra - Mahane Yehuda Market (by foot) - Google Maps
Extra - Bethlem (from Bus Station) - Google Maps
(By opening the Maps with Google, you can easily follow our path)
5 BEST EXCURSIONS from JERUSALEM
Bethlehem, Jerico and Jordan River Masada and Dead Sea Nazareth, Tiberiade and Galilea Sea Tel Aviv and Jaffa West Bank
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WHERE TO SLEEP in JERUSALEM?
10 BEST GAY FRIENDLY HOTELS in JERUSALEM
Mamilla Hotel ***** ® Tested by World Mappers
The Haneviim Suites - Isrentals ® Tested by World Mappers
WHERE TO EAT in JERUSALEM?
10 BEST RESTAURANTS in JERUSALEM Quality / Price
€€€ - Restaurant Rooftop ® Tested by World Mappers
€€€ - Kinor Bakikar €€€ - Modern Restaurant €€€ - Ishtabach ® Tested by World Mappers €€€ - Happy Fish Restaurant €€ - Armenian Tavern ® Tested by World Mappers €€ - Nafoura Restaurant ® Tested by World Mappers €€ - Olive Restaurant €€ - Hachapuria (Georgian Restaurant) € - JahnunBar (Vegetarian Restaurant)
GAY NIGHTLIFE in JERUSALEM
BEST GAY PLACES, BARS & CLUBS in JERUSALEM
Video Pub (Gay Bar) ® Tested by World Mappers
TRAVEL TIPS about JERUSALEM by World Mappers
The most frequent question we get asked is: Is it safe to travel to Israel? Israel is overall a fairly safe country. However, considering the ever-changing events, it is best to exercise some caution when traveling to certain areas, such as East Jerusalem. Despite the constantly unstable situation, the Palestinians are a very hospitable people. Jerusalem is super controlled and in fact inside the city you will find many armed guards, don't worry!
Getting in and out of Israel is a long process. Israel is one of the countries with the strictest security controls in the world. When you enter Israel you have to answer a series of routine questions (why are you there, how long will you stay, etc). If you have stamps from certain Muslim countries in your passport (such as Iran, Lebanon or Pakistan), you will be asked additional questions about your stay in those countries. To avoid problems for travelers who might visit some Muslim countries in the future, Israel does not stamp the passport but issues the visa on a piece of paper (to be kept until leaving the country).
In Jerusalem everything is expensive. That's right, Israel is an expensive country to visit. Almost everything here costs a lot: hotel, food, entrance fees, clothes, etc. You basically pay more for the same goods than you would in other parts of the world.
Prices are negotiable. Bartering is one of the most important tips for people traveling to Israel. Here almost everything is negotiable.
Tipping is not mandatory, but it is expected. Tipping in Israel is discretionary but expected, similar to most of the Western world. Unlike in the US, where a tip of between 15% - 20% of the total spend is expected, in Israel a tip of between 10-15% is expected. Waiters and bartenders get a relatively low salary, so most of their income comes from tips.
Sabbath (or Shabbath) is the emblematic practice of Judaism. The Feast of Rest, a 25-hour celebration that begins at sunset on Friday and ends after sunset on Saturday. In Israel, Shabbat is more than just a day off from work. It is a unique and special moment to dedicate to family and prayer. Wherever you go when traveling in Israel, make sure you get there before 4pm on a Friday. On Shabbat all public services are closed (except those run by Christians and Muslims), there are no trains and no buses running.
How to get to Bethlehem from Jerusalem? It's that simple! From the East Station of Jerusalem (near the Damascus Gate), bus number 21 leaves and in just 45 minutes it will take you directly to the center of Bethlehem. But even the taxi is another solution since the two cities are only 10 kilometers away, however we advise you to ask the taxi driver for information as not everyone is authorized to cross the border. And once you get there, what to see in Bethlehem? Clearly it is a small but particular and very significant city. Surely one of the first things to see is the 'Road of the Star' which has been transformed into the most famous street of Bethlehem and represents the path taken by the three Magi to adore Jesus, following the comet that took them to the cave. Continuing you can admire the 'Nativity scene square' which is located next to the famous 'Basilica of the Nativity' which according to the Bible was the place where Jesus was born. Afterwards it is possible to visit the 'Chapel of the Milk Grotto' which represents another of the places most popular sacred places and finally, even if it is not a real attraction, it is possible to stop at the 'Israeli separation barrier' which divides Bethlehem from Jerusalem. The walls feature protest graffiti, some of which is the work of famed artist Banksy.
For Bethlehem we also used this driver: Fathi - Tel: 00972 522876830 car with 7 seats, you can decide what to see and timing. Bargain on the price (we paid 450 Nis for 7 people for about 4 hours). Nice and helpful driver.
Also for Bethlehem, if you need a local guide, there is Mr Saber 00972 522287401, really nice!
Unusual and Particular Places to See in Jerusalem
Outside the classic places to visit of the city, there is a "Secret Jerusalem" that has simply bewitched us. Here are the 3 Things and Places to See in Secret Jerusalem (and Surroundings):
The Wailing Wall Tunnels – Allow you to admire the remains of the ancient temple through these underground tunnels approximately 500 meters long.
Hebrew Music Museum – Inside the museum is a display of rare and antique musical instruments from different historical periods. The tour is a real musical journey around the world, through different cultures and time periods to introduce you to the true spiritual value of music.
9/11 Memorial Monument - also in Jerusalem there is a monument in memory of the fall of the twin towers in New York. All the names of the three thousand victims of the September incident are engraved on the monument. There's also a cute picnic area right nearby, with plenty of parking.
The Most BEAUTIFUL VIEWPOINTS of JERUSALEM
Enjoy the city from one of its fantastic Best Photo Spots.Our favorites are:
The Most BEAUTIFUL STREET ART WORKS in JERUSALEM
Could we not talk about Street Art in Jerusalem? Obviously not! In this city you can find some fantastic masterpieces. Here are the main areas to discover and explore:
When the market closes its doors to the public in the late evening, it is possible to admire the vastness of airbrushed faces on the shutters.
Jaffa Road is one of the longest streets in the city along which you will find an infinite number of street art works.
The "flower thrower" is one of Bansky's most famous works and represents a boy 'armed' with a bouquet of flowers and is essentially a work aimed at social protest.
GAY FRIENDLY TOURS
Do you want to discover the city more deeply through Jerusalem's Best Gay Tours? We recommend the following local operators:
Gaily Tour - Tour Operator offering tours and excursions dedicated to the LGBT + community throughout Europe. Special Tours and Gay & Lesbian Friendly Guides ready to make you discover the beauties of this destination. Info & Booking: info@GailyTour.com
What to See near Jerusalem?