Finding a place to stay in Jerusalem is not hard: scattered around the best Jerusalem neighborhoods you will find all sorts of accommodation options – from luxury to boutique hotels; from mid-range places to budget friendly hostels. However, your experience of the city will vary a lot depending on where you opt to stay. Some areas are best suited for sightseeing; others are perfect for a younger crowd looking for a thriving nightlife – so your choice of accommodation in Jerusalem should be based on what you plan to do there.
Picking Where To Stay In Jerusalem
The largest city in Israel by population (around 970,000 people currently live there), Jerusalem is actually fairly compact and easy to navigate, thanks to a good public transport system that connects the various parts of town, and plenty of bike lanes.
The only thing you need to consider when looking for places to stay in Jerusalem is that public transport does not work on Shabbat (the roughly 24 hours between sunset on a Friday and on a Saturday) – so depending on where you stay you’d have to rely on sherut (shared taxis) or cabs typically run by Palestinian drivers from East Jerusalem (which you can book via the app Gett). This can easily blow your budget in what is a fairly expensive city to begin with!
Make sure to read my post What You Need To know About Shabbat In Jerusalem.
This is a city I know through and through, and that I honestly love. I have visited so many times that my Israeli friends say by now I qualify as a local. Each time I go, I try to stay in a different part of town – just so that I get a different feel, and a different experience. I am a fan of the City Center and Musrara – especially Nachlaot, where most of my local friends also live. But I occasionally move to the outer parts of town in Ein Kerem to get a break from the chaos. This means I can easily help you pick the best hotels in Jerusalem – because I have tried so many!
So, continue reading for a great overview of where to stay in Jerusalem.
Where To Stay In Jerusalem: The Best Jerusalem Neighborhoods And Places To Stay
Old City: Where to stay in Jerusalem for sightseeing
Jerusalem’s Old City is just under a square kilometer of walled city set inside the modern city of Jerusalem. There are several important religious and historic sights here. As you’d expect, it is UNESCO World Heritage listed. While this is one of the nicest Jerusalem neighborhoods, moving around can be quite a hassle if you have lots of luggage, as this part of town is actually closed to traffic. The choice of restaurants can also be a bit limited.
Check out my post The Best Things To Do In Jerusalem.
One of the nicest places to stay in Jerusalem, this stylish hotel is located just 400 meters from the Western Wall and is also close to the Dome of the Rock. Surrounded thus by the history of the area in the heart of the Old City, the hotel itself is also located inside a historic building.
The view from the guest rooms offer up glimpses of life in this part of town. The decor is minimalistic and modern, allowing the old structure of the building to take center stage. There is a large terrace where guests can enjoy relaxing and soaking up the atmosphere of the Old City.
Situated inside a building that is more than 425 years old, the Hashimi Hotel provides unfussy but comfortable rooms, and all close to attractions such as the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. Guests staying here can enjoy enchanting views of the Old City and further afield from the hotel’s rooftop terrace.
Other amenities at the hotel include relaxing dining on offer in a historic vaulted cellar converted into a restaurant complete with original stone walls.
Staying in the Old City of Jerusalem certainly doesn’t mean you need to break the bank by doing so. This hostel offers up affordable rooms for travelers on a budget. The entire building is made up of Jerusalem stone, and so it evokes the atmosphere of the Old City.
Rooms at Chain Gate Hostel are simple and charming, with tiled floors and bare stone walls, making for an atmospheric place to stay. Its location – down a narrow street – puts guests close to traditional restaurants and sights such as the Dome of the Rock.
Musrara: Best Jerusalem neighborhood for a younger crowd
Bordering the Old City, Musrara is a trendy, up-and-coming neighborhood of Jerusalem with a creative scene that has revitalized timeworn buildings. This is where to stay in Jerusalem to have easy access to everything: you will be minutes away from the attractions of the Old City, and at easy walking distance from the best restaurants and bars too.
One of my favorite hotels in Jerusalem, Mamilla is a chic hotel boasting immaculately clean rooms all decorated in a cool, contemporary style. The whole hotel feels comfortable and has cleverly used historic buildings to create an up-to-date accommodation. Think old stone walls mixed with glass ceilings and marble floors.
Mamilla Hotel features a rooftop terrace with views of the old city, a trendy bar with live music, and even an indoor swimming pool and spa to unwind after a busy day of exploring the city.
This hotel is located just two kilometers from Dome of the Rock, as well as other sights, and is a vibrant spot to take a break in Jerusalem. Featuring polished rooms that feel upscale, guests can enjoy drinks in the hotel bar and relax in many of the hotel’s shared seating areas. There’s a fitness center where you can workout, while other amenities include a buffet breakfast that you can tuck into each morning.
Reflecting the trendy credentials of the area, the Post Hostel Jerusalem provides a fashionable, youthful spot to enjoy the city and is one of the most budget friendly places to stay in Jerusalem. Guests can choose from dorm beds or private rooms, both of which are decorated in a selection of eclectic furnishings. The dorms are clean, and if you like, you could also opt for a female-only dorm.
There are various smart spaces to hang out scattered throughout the hostel. These include a bar and a rooftop terrace with views of the city – great for socializing and getting to know the fellow travelers staying here.
City Center: Where to stay in Jerusalem for nightlife
Including the areas of Mahane Yehuda, Nachlaot – with its endless street snacks and high-end restaurants – and the historic ‘hood of Yemin Mosche, the City Center is the modern heart of Jerusalem. Think nightlife, dining, and culture. Some of the best hotels in Jerusalem – as well as excellent hostels – are located there.
For a long time, each time I was in Jerusalem I picked to stay at Inbal – it’s a fabulous place! Conveniently located a short walk from both modern Jerusalem and the Old City, this sizeable hotel features a range of facilities for guests to enjoy. There’s an attractive 25 meters indoor / outdoor pool surrounded by sun loungers, a modern fitness center, saunas, and a hot tub too. You’ll also find a huge balcony and a restaurant to make good use of as well.
The hotel itself is built entirely using Jerusalem stone, and provides guest rooms that are relaxing, with a muted grey color palette and marble bathrooms. Rooms come in a range of sizes, including family rooms (a good option for those traveling in a group).
For somewhere to stay in the City Center on a budget, look no further than Abraham Hostel – I have stayed there a bunch of times and love it! This is a bright, fun place to stay. Dormitories here are colorful and clean, but there is also a selection of private rooms to choose from (each with their own private bathrooms too).
Staying here also means that guests can enjoy breakfast included in the nightly rate – further making this great value for money – as well as a bar and nightly entertainment to look forward to. There’s also a sunny terrace, perfect for enjoying time socializing with your fellow guests, and a bar. Location wise, it’s perfect: a minute walk from Jaffo Street, from where you can walk to all the attractions in town.
This accommodation in the City Center provides studio rooms for guests who would like a little more space and independence during their stay in Jerusalem. Each of the rooms come complete with seating areas and small kitchenettes, allowing you to prepare meals if you need to. Some also come with outdoor seating areas as well.
Location-wise, the accommodation is a 15-minute walk from the sights of the Old City, while there are also public transport links within walking distance (a light rail stop and bus stop). On the doorstep, you’ll find coffee shops, bars, and restaurants to sample during your trip.
Emek Refaim and the German Colony: The most stylish area of Jerusalem
The German Colony, once populated by German Christians until World War II, is now a fashionable district with Emek Refaim street right at its heart. Prepare yourself for stylish boutiques, chic cafes, and leafy streets. It’s one of the coolest Jerusalem neighborhoods.
For those looking for a luxury place to stay in Jerusalem, the Orient Jerusalem is the place to be. Guest rooms at this upscale hotel are decked out with designer furnishings and polished finishes. Some even come with their own gardens for some relaxation.
The elegance continues throughout the hotel thanks to the hotel’s restaurant and bar serving up delicious meals throughout the day. There’s also a wellness center, complete with hamam, as well as an outdoor swimming pool to splash around in.
Situated in a historic 19th-century house that has been lovingly restored, here you’ll find an authentic Jerusalem atmosphere. Lots of original features have been maintained throughout, including in the guest rooms – these are intimate and homely. Some have small kitchens and outdoor spaces really helping to make you feel you’ve got a home base in the city.
The bed-and-breakfast serves up a daily vegetarian breakfast, served either in the sun-dappled courtyard or in your room – a great way to start the day. In terms of location, it’s within walking distance to the Western Wall and the Old City with many restaurants and cafes nearby too.
Another historic building in the German Colony, the refined Villa Brown Moshava reflects the history of the area. For example, it’s got a large, elegant dining room, replete with high ceilings and original fireplace. The boutique hotel features 24 guest rooms, all with classic Jerusalem aesthetics but each one slightly different.
Shops, cafes, and restaurants are right on the doorstep of this polished hotel. When you’re done exploring for the day, spend an afternoon at Villa Ba’Moshava’s spa for a relaxing massage to unwind.
Ein Karem: Where to stay in Jerusalem for a quieter stay
Ein Karem – meaning “Spring of the Vineyard” – is a small, ancient village situated at the foot of the Jerusalem Hills. With its own set of historic sights, staying in Ein Karem is an escape from the hustle and bustle of the city center. It’s also claimed to be the birthplace of John the Baptist.
As you can expect from the name, this is a boutique offering in Ein Karem. Staying in this historic building, complete with gardens and courtyards, feels like you’ve entered a lush oasis. Amenities here include a rooftop terrace, a fine dining restaurant and bar, a plunge pool and hamam, and even a complimentary breakfast.
Though upscale, Alegra Boutique Hotel is a modern and relaxed space to use as your retreat from the busy city. It’s also LGBTQ+ friendly. The location is great too – it’s just steps from the Church of the Visitation.
Rosary Sister Guest House Ein Karem is actually a convent that was founded in 1886. Opening its doors in 1996, the guest house provides simple rooms that are clean and comfortable. Featuring a garden that’s dotted with flowers and amazing views out across the valley, there’s a quiet atmosphere here – that’s probably got something to do with the fact that it’s still run by the nuns.
The whole hotel is calm and easygoing, and a good breakfast is included in the price of the room, too (and free parking). You’ll find it just a five-minute stroll from the attractive Wohl Rose Park, while the International Convention Center is close by too.
Staying here means staying in a beautiful traditional villa, allowing you to comfortably soak up the atmosphere of Ein Kerem. Guest rooms are decked out in a charming boho style, and boast original exposed stone mixed with eye-catching yet tasteful furnishings.
The spacious rooms also have their own kitchens, great for cooking up a meal or two (and keeping costs low) as well as seating areas so you can really spend time unwinding. But in terms of shared spaces, there’s a rooftop with views of the surrounding area and a hot tub to enjoy soaking in too.
East Jerusalem: Where to stay in Jerusalem for the best views
Situated outside the Old City walls, East Jerusalem makes up an eastern portion of this city. It’s home to numerous interesting sights, including the Mount of Olives and the ancient City of David. Here you’ll find cafes, art galleries, and a whole other smorgasbord of things to do. It’s the best part of town to catch a splendid sunset!
Read my post Where To Find The Best Views In Jerusalem.
This former Ottoman villa turned landmark hotel is one of the most splendid places to stay in Jerusalem. Colonial era elegance is found throughout with romantic rooms, lush gardens and courtyards, and lounges bursting with antique furnishings.
There are many perks – the outdoor swimming pool provides a sunny afternoon swimming spot; the restaurant, which includes courtyard dining; as well as the brasserie and cellar bar are fantastic. In fact, I recommend going even if you don’t plan to stay there.
The 95 guest rooms at the American Colony Hotel – spread across four buildings (the Main House, the East House, the Palm House and the Cow Byer) – boast four poster beds, sunken baths and dark food furnishings making for a luxurious spot to return after a day of exploring the city.
Offering large, spacious rooms, Leonardo Hotel is another of East Jerusalem’s premiere spots to stay. The guest rooms here are modern and spotlessly clean with wood floorings, large windows, and tiled bathrooms. Some come with their own private balconies and picturesque city views too.
Elsewhere, the Leonardo Hotel has a selection of social spaces for guests to use. These range from a large outdoor pool, a restaurant, a gym, and a children’s playroom. Staff here are professional and friendly, and speak a range of languages, helping your stay to go smoothly. A great option for families.
Set in a building that dates back to 1923, the St. George’s Cathedral Pilgrim Guesthouse is a down-to-earth guesthouse situated within the tranquil grounds of a cathedral. The low-key rooms here are full of atmosphere with stone walls and high ceilings pointing back to the building’s historic past.
The hotel is centered around a cobblestone courtyard complete with a landscaped garden. It’s all tucked away behind a big gate which makes the property feel private and secluded. Furthermore, the location is ideal – it’s just over half a kilometer from here to the Old City.