7 Great Jerusalem Neighborhood Tours
You don’t need to rush off to the popular touristy attraction each day to immerse yourself in this great city. Some of the great attraction of the Holy City of Jerusalem are right outside your door but you may not realize it. Everything street and every stone in Yerushalayim tells its own unique story; how it got started, which great person lived there, or what event took place there.
Here are some of our favorite Jerusalem Neighborhood Tours. If you’d like to take one of these tours just contact us and we will set you up with someone who lives and breathes the area, someone whose passion will make your pulse rush from excitement as your are taken back in history and watch the story unfold before your eyes.
1. Old City of Jerusalem
Continuously settled by at least a core of religious Jews (save from numerous interruptions) for almost 3000 years, the old city of Jerusalem is the story of Jewish glory and devastation, with each stone telling a unique story. Highlights of any tour include the Kotel, the Hurva, and the Cardo, which tell the trials and tribulations of our nation throughout our tumultuous history.
2. Yemin Moshe – Mishkenot Shaananim
The first Jerusalem neighborhood built outside the Old City walls back in the mid 1800s by Sir Moses Montefiore. It overlooks the Old City walls, and today is populated by artists, after extensive renovations. The landmark Montefiore Windmill, which was built to generate income for the local population, still stands, as does a display of Montefiore’s chariot that he used when in Israel. This charming neighborhood is a favorite place to stroll and hear the tales of Jerusalem of Old.
The most eclectic neighborhood in Jerusalem. Nachlaot is a composite of a number of smaller neighborhoods, and as diverse a neighborhood as you will find anywhere, with hippie types and devoutly religious Jews living side by side. From the early Yemenite settlers, to the Eastern European Jews, to the students of Bezalel Art Academy, each one has carved their own niche and carried on their individual tradition. Come see the people and walk the quaint streets of a neighborhood that sings so many different tales!
4. Mea Shearim-Geula
Although just a few hundred meters separates the Ben Yehuda the Mea Shearim neighborhoods, these two neighborhoods are many worlds and many centuries apart. Stroll the streets and be taken back to the lost world of the Shtetl, or at least as close as you can get to it in the 21st century. But be aware not to offend the locals or their sensitivities, as they are fiercely protective of their lifestyle and their adherence to modest dress.
Established in 1891 by Jews from the Russian Caucasus, the Bukharim section was built as a luxury neighborhood, not only surpassing its poor neighbors in Mea Shearim and Geula but even European standards of the day. Bukharim may be from the most interesting neighborhoods in the city and certainly worth a tour of its abundance of landmarks.
6. Shaarei Chesed
Established in the early 1900’s, with its cornerstone laid by the then Chief Rav of Yerushalayim Rav Shmuel Salant, the neighborhood quickly gained fame thanks to the piety of its residents. Come see the homes and hear the stories of its stars from Betzalel the Holy milkman to the tzaddik Rav Shlomo Zalman Auerbach and his brother-in-law Rav Shalom Schwadron. But come fast as the original neighborhood is disappearing, with lavish homes taking its place.
7. Har HaMenuchot Cemetery
Not exactly what most people refer to as a neighborhood, but on the outskirts of Yerushalayim is one of the “liveliest” neighborhoods in the city. Here you will meet the great personalities who made Yerushalayim what it is today, as well as legendary Jewish leaders from the entire world who were brought here to be interred. You will be awestruck standing at their feet and hearing their stories, and praying for your needs in their merit. They may not communicate with us directly, and we cannot enter their homes, but through their words and accomplishments they are still among us, alive and well!