Where to Stay in Jerusalem in 2024 • 6 BEST Areas by a Local

Panoramic view of Jerusalem with the Dome of the Rock in the foreground and modern cityscape in the background.

Howdy traveler! As the road takes you to the Holy Land, I’ll be your trip-planning gal for where to stay in Jerusalem!

I live close to Jerusalem and have visited this ancient city countless times, and I’m thrilled to share my experience with you!

The best area to stay in Jerusalem is the City Center. If the Old Town is the soul of the city, the City Center is its palpitating heart with many things touristy.

In this Jerusalem neighborhood guide, I share 6 areas for all traveler interests, accompanied by the best hotels. I compared hundreds of properties and cherrypicked the best-rated ones to save you time on planning!

In the end, all that’ll be left for you to do is book a room and hit the road! The important part is to book in advance because Jerusalem is packed with tourists all year round.

Quick Picks for Your Stay

Book the best Jerusalem hotels now and get the adventure started:


Watch my video, it will give you a visual explanation of all the areas:


This map will help you visualize the Jerusalem neighborhoods I talk about in this post:

A colorful map highlighting the best areas to stay in Jerusalem, with numbered locations and labels for easy navigation
  1. DOWNTOWN: for first-timers
  2. OLD TOWN: for history
  3. MUSRARA: for art lovers
  4. THE GERMAN COLONY: for families
  5. MAMILLA & YEMIN MOSHE: for luxury
  6. EAST JERUSALEM: on a budget

1. Downtown Jerusalem – where to stay for first-timers

The writer of this post and her partner taking a selfie with a large 'I love JLM' sign in the background on a sunny day with historical buildings and palm trees.

Downtown Jerusalem is my favorite place to stay whenever I visit Jerusalem, Israel! It’s ideally nestled between the Old Town and the Central Train Station, it has delicious bakeries, art galleries, quirky shops, and everything in between. 

Major sites include Zion Square, the very center of the city abutted by vibrant Jaffa Street, Ben Yehuda Street, and Yoel Salomon pedestrian mall. All three are a must-visit during the day and evening, featuring fabulous attractions (think colorful umbrella streets, cute ceramics shops, and hipster eateries)! 

Jaffa Street is the longest road of the three leading to the City Hall, just outside of the Old City. Hop on the light rail passing through Jaffa Street, and you’ll be in the Old City in minutes!

Take the light rail in the opposite direction, and you’ll shortly reach Machane Yehuda, probably the Middle East’s most popular market, in the Nachlaot sub-district! We always stop by Marzipan Bakery for fresh pastries (try their rugelach!). The smell coming out of this place is SO amazing!

There are many museums and institutions here commemorating Jewish history and culture. The two most important ones are The Friends of Zion, dedicated to non-Jewish communities who helped build Israel, and the Hebrew Music Museum, with super fun musical instrument displays.

Head to Sacher Park, west of the City Center, and have a lasagna at Gan Sipur Café! They have the best lasagna, plus a charming atmosphere! Verified by me and my foodie husband.

Luxury hotel
A collage of three hotel photos to stay in Jerusalem: A luxurious rooftop lounge area overlooking the historic cityscape, a spacious and elegant suite with a modern aesthetic and city views, and a serene hotel pool reflecting the ambient lighting and architecture.

This 4-star hotel has an excellent location just 800m from the Old City. Enjoy their upscale amenities like a wellness center, swimming pool, AC in rooms, and an on-site bar! They serve a delicious breakfast, too!

Other accommodation options in City Center

mid-range
Elegant hotel room with a grey upholstered bed, a large window, and soft natural lighting.

Enjoy the best sights in this spacious private room in Jerusalem that has a terrace and free Wi-Fi

budget
Hotel lobby with vibrant fuchsia walls, modern furniture with colorful upholstery, and sheer white curtains.

A great place to stay with an excellent location, featuring a rooftop terrace and complimentary breakfast

airbnb
Bright and airy living room with a minimalist design, featuring a blue accent wall, light grey sofa, and a mustard yellow armchair.

This cozy minimalist space is ideally located next to Machane Yehuda market, making it a perfect choice for foodies

Things to do in Downtown Jerusalem

  • Go souvenir shopping on Ben Yehuda Street
  • Take a tour of Machane Yehuda Market
  • Walk past Zion Square and Jaffa Street until you reach Old City
  • Explore the Nachlaot architecture’s own unique charm 
  • Broaden your horizons at the FOZ Museum and Hebrew Music Museum 
  • Check out the local art galleries
  • Have a picnic in Sacher Park and eat lasagna in Gan Sipur

2. The Old City – where to stay in Jerusalem for history

The writer of this post, Darija, seated in front of the Dome of the Rock, wearing a headscarf, with the iconic golden dome and blue tile work in the background.

A history buff’s heaven, the Old City of Jerusalem is home to the most important religious sites for Christians, Muslims, and Jews. It’s located east of the City Center, only a short light rail ride away.

FUN FACT: The oldest part of Jerusalem was inhabited around 4,000 BC, making it one of the oldest cities in the world!

Stay here to explore the Old City’s four quarters in detail: Muslim, Christian, Jewish, and Armenian. Here’s a quick overview of the top landmarks:

  • The Dome of the Rock, a 7th-century mosque with impressive tile work in Temple Mount 
  • Church of the Holy Sepulchre, where Christ’s tomb is 
  • Western Wall (+ tunnels), the last remaining part of the ancient Jewish temple
  • Via Dolorosa, the road traveled by Jesus before the crucifixion
  • Tower of David, the remains of the ancient citadel with spectacular light shows at night
  • Old City Market, narrow labyrinth streets in the Arab and Christian quarter with small shops selling quirky souvenirs, ceramics, and anything in between
  • Cardo, a lively street in the Jewish Quarter with Judaica shops, eclectic eateries, and artisan stores

When I walk around the Old City, I always enter through Jaffa Gate and exit through Damascus Gate or Lion Gate. Just grab a map and follow the attractions along the way, and you’ll see the major sites!

In 3000 years, Jerusalem was destroyed twice, attacked 52 times, and captured and recaptured 44 times! Unbelievable!

We have an entire article dedicated to Jerusalem’s TOP attractions! Check it out here for extra tips and ideas!

INSIDER’S TIP: Climb to the rooftop terrace of Austrian Hospice to admire stunning views of Jerusalem, then sit in its garden to freshen up! I can never get enough of this place!

NOTE: The only reason why I wouldn’t recommend the Old City for first-time visitors is because Downtown has many more restaurants, shops, and cafés where you can relax in the evening or at night.

Luxury hotel
A collage of three hotel photos to stay in Jerusalem: An elegant room with white bedding and yellow accents, a stone archway leading to a cozy hotel entrance, and a chic bedroom with a curved window and decorative ironwork.

This luxury boutique hotel has an elegant design and is located in a historic building for an authentic Jerusalem experience! Selected rooms come with a balcony, and they all have ACs and flat-screen TVs.

Other accommodation options in The Old City

mid-range
Evening view of a hotel courtyard with lit lanterns, outdoor seating under umbrellas, and a historic stone building in the background.

This 19th-century pilgrim guesthouse is my favorite place to stay in Jerusalem; fabulous breakfast & best coffee are included

budget
Rustic outdoor setting of a countryside accommodation with a small white table, decorative stones, and potted plants near a stone-paved path.

One of Jerusalem’s cheapest hostels with a central location, great views of the Sepulchre Church, and private rooms

airbnb
Cozy hotel room with two single beds dressed in white linen, a wooden wardrobe, and a large abstract painting on the wall.

A renovated, modern studio near the Western Wall; I LOVE that they have Ahava toiletries (Israel’s premium Dead Sea cosmetics!)

Things to do in the Old City

3. Musrara – best area to stay in Jerusalem for art lovers

The author of this post visiting an outdoor café seating with colorful street art in the background, creating a vibrant urban atmosphere.

If you’re an art lover looking for where to stay in Jerusalem, Musrara is the place for you!

This small area is known for the social protests that took place here in the 1970s. It’s located between The Old City and the City Center, and nowadays, it’s a peaceful space filled with art galleries.

This area has its own unique charm and architecture, combining Arab and Jewish influences as both communities took part in building this neighborhood. 

Popular attractions include the Muslala Cultural Center with urban exhibitions, the Museum of Underground Prisoners commemorating Jewish underground organizations and their prisoners, and the Musrara School of Art (no wonder why they have those beautiful graffiti everywhere). 

Musrara is a residential district, so you’ll mostly find budget-friendly bed and breakfasts here. For luxury options, check out the City Center or Mamilla, both a short walk away.

Other accommodation options in Musrara

mid-range
Classic living room with white sofas, a large antique cabinet, and an array of artworks, creating an elegant and homey atmosphere

A cozy B&B tucked in a narrow alley surrounded by lush vegetation, perfect for romantic souls

budget
Contemporary twin bedroom with sleek headboards, white bedding, and a window with black shutters overlooking an urban area

A B&B a stone’s throw from the Old City, with private bathrooms and cozy beds

airbnb
Stylish rustic interior with exposed brick walls, two navy blue upholstered chairs, and a wooden cabinet with books and decorative items.

An authentic pilgrims’ guesthouse just next to the Old City walls

Things to do in Musrara

4. The German Colony – where to stay for families

Walkway leading to a large historic bell set within a modern arched structure, surrounded by green foliage.

A cosmopolitan neighborhood in southern Jerusalem, the German Colony was home to the German templars in the 19th century. Today, its vibrant streets are filled with upscale cafés and green spaces.

Emek Refain is the heart and soul of the German Colony neighborhood, where you’ll find shops, cinemas, eateries, and open-air fairs all year round. 

The Museum of Natural History in the German Colony is a gem for kids with educational shows and dinosaur replicas, while the Hansen House is a nice place for music and art shows!

As you stroll past the charming streets of the German Colony, you’ll see historic buildings built by Templars, Ottomans, and modern-day Israelis.

The abundance of parks (like the Beit Elisheva Park, Mood Groove Garden, or the Community Garden) makes the German Colony great for families or anyone who’d like a relaxed stay. You’ll still be less than 30 minutes away from the Old City on foot and around 10 minutes by car.

Luxury hotel
A collage of three hotel photos to stay in Jerusalem: A rooftop swimming pool overlooking the cityscape, a sophisticated room with a balcony offering scenic views, and a comfortable lounge area with artful decor.

The most glamorous of all luxury hotels in the German Colony has a spa and a wellness center, which will do wonders after a day of sightseeing! Their lounges on the terrace are so comfy. Grab a glass of wine, relax, and admire Jerusalem’s stunning views! 

Other accommodation options in The German Colony

mid-range
Hotel room with vibrant yellow and blue decor, large windows, and a view of the outdoor surroundings.

A colorful German Colony villa located in a historic building that has a garden and free Wi-Fi

budget
Bright bedroom with a minimalist design, featuring a large bed with colorful artwork above the headboard.

A well-equipped apartment with a kitchen, family rooms, and free parking

airbnb
Living room with a red sofa, white tiled flooring, and a television set against a minimalist decor.

A cozy and modern studio featuring large windows and a spacious kitchen

Things to do in The German Colony

5. Mamilla & Yemin Moshe – where to stay for luxury

Cityscape showing a mix of modern and traditional architecture with manicured trees and Israeli flags.

Welcome to Mamilla and Yemin Moshe, Jerusalem’s prime destinations for luxury! Many Jerusalem hotels with 5 stars, like Mamilla Hotel, King David Hotel, and Waldorf Astoria, are here! These are, hands down, some of the best luxury hotels in Israel!

The Alrov Mamilla Avenue is the hotspot for upscale shopping and chilling out in cafés with Old City views. I love walking past the avenue on my way to the Old City, and I suggest you do the same itinerary!

However, it’s not all about luxury and glamor here. Walking south on King David Street, you’ll reach the Montefiore Windmill, a famous landmark in the bohemian Mishkenot Shaananim neighborhood (with an AWESOME Old City viewpoint!). 

Wealthy Sir Moses Montefiore built this Windmill so the residents could mill flour in the first Jewish neighborhood outside the Old City walls. 

Did you know that Simon Sebag Montefiore, the author of Jerusalem: The Biography, one of the most iconic books on Jerusalem, is related to Sir Moses Montefiore?

My personal highlight of the area is The First Station, a 19th-century train station repurposed into an urban pedestrian mall featuring fancy shops, a small Luna park, and quirky souvenir shops. It’s open during the Sabbath, too!

Other attractions include the Begin Museum, commemorating one of Israel’s most beloved leaders and soldiers called Menachem Begin, and the Liberty Bell Park, perfect for children to run free. Finally, I recommend Zappa at the Lab venue for music shows.

Mount Zion, another one of the most sacred places for Jews, is located just outside of the Old City, also bordering the Yemin Moshe area!

Luxury hotel
A collage of three hotel photos to stay in Jerusalem: A cozy bedroom with a plush white bed adorned with yellow accent pillows, a rustic stone interior with a welcoming entrance, and an inviting bed with an arched window featuring traditional ironwork.

One of the city’s best 5-star luxury hotels has the perfect location if you ask me! It’s right outside the Old City Walls, next to Jaffa Street, and adjacent to the trendiest shopping mall. There’s a fabulous indoor pool, a rooftop lounge and restaurant, a free airport shuttle, a fitness center, and the most amazing room décor!

Other accommodation options in Mamilla & Yemin Moshe

Mid-range
Luxurious hotel bedroom with an ornate wooden headboard, plush red bench at the foot of the bed, and gold-toned bedding with a decorative pillow.

A place on King David Street with its own unique charm with an authentic Israeli flair both inside and out; it also has a swimming pool and a gym

Budget
Spacious living room in a modern apartment with a large grey sofa, yellow ottoman, blue accent chair, and sheer curtains filtering natural light from a balcony.

The closest to budget hotels you’ll find in Mamilla, this hotel is near the City Center, Old City, and has cozy family rooms

Airbnb
Quaint garden seating area with a wrought iron table and chairs set on a rustic stone patio surrounded by greenery.

A lovely bohemian apartment with stone Ottoman walls, a cute garden, and an excellent location


I’d also like to recommend a hotel where I once stayed with my husband, the Brown JLM. Everything was perfect here, from the location near the City Center to the staff, rooms, and even bathrooms! 

Things to do in Mamilla & Yemin Moshe

  • Walk and shop in the Alrov Mamilla Avenue
  • Roam around King David Street
  • Capture the beauty of the Montefiore Windmill
  • Visit the Liberty Bell Park
  • Explore the Menachem Begin Heritage Center
  • Catch a sunset from the Bible Hill

6. East Jerusalem – where to stay on a budget

View of the Church of All Nations, also known as the Basilica of the Agony, with its colorful facade and golden domes, set against the Mount of Olives.

The East Jerusalem neighborhood encompasses the North and East of the Jerusalem Old City. 

Just outside the Lion’s Gate (East of the Old City), you’ll find the tomb of the Virgin Mary and Gethsemane, a small Biblical garden where Jesus is believed to have been arrested. The area is also known for the Mount of Olives, the oldest cemetery in the world that is still active! 

Did you know that a burial place in Mount of Olives costs more than $30,000? This is one of the most expensive cemeteries in the world!

When you leave the Muslim Quarter through the Damascus Gate (North of the Old City), you’ll step into a typical busy Arab neighborhood with shops, fresh bread stalls, and the crowd mingling in all directions. 

Other attractions in East Jerusalem include the City of David (ancient Jerusalem neighborhood), the Church of All Nations (where Jesus used to pray), the Museum of the Seam (socio-political art museum), and the Garden Tomb (another possible place of Jesus’s tomb and resurrection).

East Jerusalem is best for budget travelers because it’s part of the Palestinian Territories, and life there is much cheaper than in Israel! What’s best, I’ve been here dozens of times and never felt unsafe!

Luxury hotel
A collage of three hotel photos to stay in Jerusalem: A bedroom with traditional decor and a balcony, an inviting hotel pool lined with loungers, and a lush hotel courtyard garden brimming with colorful flowers and plants.

A corner of paradise with a beautiful terrace overlooking the garden where you can have breakfast! The rooms are elegant and spacious and have a balcony. Also, you can always relax by the pool with a cocktail and treat yourself to a day at the spa!

Other accommodation options in East Jerusalem

mid-range
Modern hotel room with two single beds with green pillows, a grey headboard, and colorful armchair.

Conveniently located near the main shopping street, this hotel has a gym and 2 restaurants; I passed here many times, and the hotel looks very decent!

budget
Elegant hotel room with arches, soft lighting, and a classic decor featuring a large double bed with white bedding.

A cozy hostel in Jerusalem with a traditional design, a bar, and family rooms

airbnb
Modern apartment living room with tiled flooring, stone accent wall, and open-plan kitchen.

Spacious budget place in Jerusalem with a patio and free parking

Things to do in East Jerusalem

👑 Luxury price:$300
💵 Mid-range hotel:$150
🛏️ Budget:$100
📍 Best area:The Old City
🛎️ Best luxury hotel:Mamilla Hotel
🧳 Best mid-range hotel:My Jerusalem View
👛 Best budget hotel:Hashimi Hotel

FAQs about where to stay in Jerusalem

the author of this post visiting a bustling marketplace in Jerusalem with diverse shoppers, stalls with dried fruits and nuts, and a sign in Hebrew script.

🧭 Where should I stay in Jerusalem, east or west?

East Jerusalem is home to the major sites for tourists, it’s cheaper, and has fewer late-night dining options. West Jerusalem is modern, more expensive, and offers more nightlife opportunities. Pick your favorite!

🏙️ How many days do you need for Jerusalem?

I recommend spending between 3 and 4 days in Jerusalem to experience all the magic the city offers.

🇮🇱 What should you not miss in Jerusalem?

You can’t miss the Old City for its important historic landmarks. Mahane Yehuda Market, Jaffa Street, Israel Museum, and Yad Vashem Holocaust Remembrance Center are other important attractions.

❓ What area is best to stay in Jerusalem?

Downtown is best for first-timers, Old City for history buffs, and Mamilla for luxury! Jerusalem is a captivating city with so much to offer to different travelers, so pick your area depending on your interests!

✅ What is the safest part of Jerusalem?

All of it! I’ve been to Jerusalem many times and felt safe everywhere, from the Old City to Downtown to East Jerusalem. So don’t worry about safety! Police are present everywhere to do that part for you.

🚶🏻‍♀️ What is the best way to see Jerusalem?

Walking! Especially the Old City! And if you visit other areas like Downtown or go further West, use light rail and buses. A car is always a good idea for traveling long distances, especially if you’re visiting with a family.

🪩 Where to stay in Jerusalem for nightlife?

The area around Zion Square is packed with pubs and live music bars open until late at night! Any hotel nearby, like Ibis or Eyal, will do!

Conclusion

The author of this post posing in front of a traditional door with intricate blue and white tilework, exuding historic charm.

I hope my Jerusalem neighborhood guide helped you decide where to stay in Jerusalem! This multifaceted city is full of history on every corner, but it’s also modern and has something to offer to all types of travelers!

During my trips to Jerusalem, Israel, I visited all the areas I mentioned above, but I’m always eager to see more of this magical city! Now, here are 2 of my favorite Jerusalem hotels:

  • Mamilla Hotel – one of the best Jerusalem hotels with posh amenities and a perfect location 
  • Austrian Pilgrim Hospice – the most charming accomodation to stay in Jerusalem with a European flair

Again, my friendly reminder to book your stay in advance to secure the best deals!

Finally, feel free to ask me anything about Jerusalem in the comments! I’ll be quick to answer!

Have a pleasant stay in Jerusalem,

Darija


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One Response

  1. Dejan 29.01.2024 at 13:04

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