Having Fun

Recreation Complexes


In Jerusalem, there are a few recreation centers in which the main restaurants, cafes, and bars are located. Among these centers are:
  • In the center of the city – Ben Yehuda pedestrian mall, Nachalat Shiva St. Over the last few years, the recreation part of the center of the city was widened towards Shlomzion HaMalcha St. and the streets leading off it, which comprise the heart of Jerusalem's pubs and bars district.
  • Malcha Mall – From the Azrieli Mall group, the largest mall in Jerusalem.
  • The German Colony.
  • The Mamila-Alrov Avenue, close to the Old City – a new and prestigious recreation and shopping center in Jerusalem (since 2007).
  • These areas are filled with life at all hours of the day, and some of them, especially the German Colony and the city center, are crowded with people having a good time until the wee hours of the morning.

Cinemas in the City

  • Gil, Malcha Mall
  • Rav-Hen, Talpiot
  • Lev Smadar, German Colony
  • Jerusalem Theater, Talbia
  • International Convention Center, at the entrance to the city
  • Jerusalem Cinematheque, Gay Ben-Hinom

Main Theaters and Concert Halls

Jerusalem Theatre

20 Marcus David St., Talbia. In addition to its plays, the theatre also hosts dancing shows, music, and films. The theatre also presents drawing exhibitions, and includes a café and bookstore.
Website: http://www.jerusalem-theatre.co.il

Khan Theatre

2 David Remez Square. The only creative repertory theatre in Jerusalem, it also serves as a popular recreation center with the atmosphere of a typical Jerusalem yard.
Website: http://www.khan.co.il

Gerard Bechar Center

11 Bezalel St. – A theatre and show hall in the center of the city. The place consists of two halls, the central theatre, and the Leo Model hall for smaller-scale shows.

Shmuel House

6 Shama'a Eliyahu St. – An international culture and education center of the world union for advanced Judaism. Its events include a variety of quality activities, which are aimed at a crowd seeking Jewish-Israeli culture, which is both dynamic and constantly developing. The place includes very impressive 400-seat theatre, study classrooms of various sizes, and a spectacular events hall roofed by a glass dome, which overlooks the Old City walls.
Website: http://www.beitshmuel.com

Concert Hall in the YMCA Building

26 King David St. – One branch of the Christian organization, which is active all across the world. The house serves as a youth hostel, and as a culture and sports center, and is considered to be one of the most prestigious buildings in Jerusalem. The construction of the Jerusalem branch was started in 1926, designed by the American architect Arthur Loomis Harmon, who also designed the Empire State Building in New York. The building and its large yard were opened in 1933 in the presence of General Allenby, who in command of the British Army during the conquest of Jerusalem in 1917.
Website: http://www.jerusalemymca.org

The Lab

28 Derech Hebron – A new center for stage arts, established by the JVP non-profit organization in order to advance the artistic community in Jerusalem through unique productions that present different and innovative ways of expression in the stage arts field. The Lab is active in a stone hangar next to the old train station in the heart of Jerusalem. The hangar has been renovated, and tailored to the needs of the Lab's activities. It now includes a 180-seat theatre, and a restaurant bar, which is open until late.
Website: http://www.maabada.org.il

The Yellow Submarine

13 HaRehavim St. – A multi-field music center, located in the heart of the Talpiot industrial zone in Jerusalem. The Submarine consists of a large show hall, and a diverse drinks bar serving snacks and food.
Website: http://www.yellowsubmarine.org.il/

Music Center in Mishkanot Shaananim

A unique musical institution, which allows the students and musicians to meet and work with top-level colleagues from across the globe in artistic classes, workshops, seminars, shows, and special projects. Most of the activities are open to the music-loving public.
Website: http://www.jmc.org.il/

HaKaron Theatre

Gan Paamon Hadror, 1 Jabotinsky St., corner of King David St. – A puppet theatre – the creative force behind and the main inspiration for Israeli puppet theatre. In the early years, the theatre also produced shows for adults, but today its productions are mainly aimed at children.
Website: http://www.traintheater.co.il

Pargod Theatre

94 Bezalel – For over 30 years, Pargod has produced and presented fringe theatre, jazz, ethnic music, reggae, blues, etc. In addition to cultural events, literature, and poetry, Pargod also promotes the work of young local artists.
Website: http://www.pargod.org

Vocal Concerts at the Dormition Church

The Dormition Church, founded in 1906, is one of the most grand and beautiful of the many churches scattered throughout Israel. The church is located at the peak of Mount Zion, next to the southern wall of the Old City of Jerusalem. Concerts have been held at this church for about a decade, on Saturday mornings at 11:00am. Featuring the church’s two large organs, as well as the majestic artistic décor of its architecture and stained glass windows, the church has extraordinary acoustics. After the concerts, fascinating tours of the area are held by the finest tour guides. These walking tours of Jerusalem intensify this human-artistic experience from an historical perspective, and attract visitors from across the country.
The Voices 2000 Dormition Church Website: http://www.edut-art.com/jerusalem.asp?menu-04
For a schedule of events: http://www.edut-art.com/calendar.asp?menu=07&submenu=6

The Abu Ghosh Vocal Music Festival

The Abu Ghosh festival is the main vocal music festival in Israel, and takes place twice a year, for 3-5 days during the Shavuot and Sukkot holidays in the village of Abu Ghosh. An absolute paradise for vocal music aficionados, the Abu Ghosh festival features a unique combination of a beautiful village with spectacular scenery, magnificent churches with the finest acoustics in Israel, rich and diverse musical programs, and a unique audience that both listens and sings. The festival manages to attract diverse audiences, young and old, due to its creative wealth and its successes in Israel and overseas, and many international artists ask to perform at the festival.
Festival website: http://www.agfestival.co.il/

Central Events

Israel Festival

Multi-field festival which takes place each year in the spring (May-June) for a few weeks. Its center is in Jerusalem. Alongside classical music, it includes dancing shows, theatre, jazz, plastic art exhibitions, and lectures from experts. Throughout, it emphasizes multicultural plans, which combine with international shows alongside quality Israeli shows.
Website: http://www.israel-festival.org.il

Jerusalem Film Festival

An international film festival that takes place each year in July. It is considered to be one of the most important festivals in Israel, and opens with a festive screening of a new movie in the Sultan Pool. During the days of the festival, different movies are screened in the Jerusalem Cinematheque and other halls in the city. Furthermore, there are conventions, workshops, and lectures, and open shows and activities for the public in the Cinematheque and in different Jerusalem locations. The festival closes with an open outdoor screening of the feature-length movie and short film which are the winners of the Volgin Prize for Israeli cinema, under the auspices of the "Moonlight Cinema" project.
Website: https://www.jff.org.il/

Vocal Concerts at the Dormition Church

The Dormition Church, founded in 1906, is one of the most grand and beautiful of the many churches scattered throughout Israel. The church is located at the peak of Mount Zion, next to the southern wall of the Old City of Jerusalem. Concerts have been held at this church for about a decade, on Saturday mornings at 11:00am. Featuring the church’s two large organs, as well as the majestic artistic décor of its architecture and stained glass windows, the church has extraordinary acoustics. After the concerts, fascinating tours of the area are held by the finest tour guides. These walking tours of Jerusalem intensify this human-artistic experience from an historical perspective, and attract visitors from across the country.

Jerusalem Art Festival

The festival, which has taken place each year since 2002, is aimed at advancing the creative fields (dancing, theatre, music, and singing) in Israel, and to present quality shows at modest prices to a wide audience.
Website: http://www.arts-festival.jerusalem.muni.il
The Sabras – Israeli Arab Folklore Evenings at the YMCA – the Israeli folklore show has taken place since 1979, and takes place three times a week on Monday, Thursday, and Saturday night at the YMCA show hall (26 King David St.). The show features singers, dancers, and musicians of a very high artistic standard, who present a look at all of the cultures that exist in Israel, showing the most interesting and special aspects.
Website: http://www.jerusalemdance.com

Hutzot Hayotzer Fair

A fair of artists and creators, which takes place every summer in August, in the Hutzot Hayotzer (a complex of artists' workshops between the Sultan's Pool and Mamila in Jerusalem, down at the bottom of the Jaffa Gate and the Tower of David). The fair takes place during the evening hours, and the area, including the city walls, is lit up with special colorful lights. Starting in the 1990s, the fair was expanded from the Hutzot Hayotzer to the new Sultan Pool, while it includes music shows, creative workshops, activities for children, and exhibitions of international artists.
Website: http://www.jerusalem.muni.il/yotzer/all.asp?str=1

Jerusalem International Book Fair

Takes place every two years at the International Congress Center in the International Convention Center in Jerusalem, produced by the Jerusalem Municipality and the Ariel Company.
Website: http://www.jerusalembookfair.com

"Autumn Nights in the Old City" Project

In September-October, the Jerusalem municipality organizes a project in which the public is offered guided tours and shows in the Old City at no charge.
During Hol HaMoed ("intermediate days") for Passover and Succot, and on Jerusalem Day, there are parades in the city to celebrate these holidays and, as a symbol of identifying with the city and its inhabitants. The famous Flag Dance takes place on Jerusalem Day.

Fun with the Kids

The Time Elevator Jerusalem

37 Hillel Street, Beit Agron (next to the Nahalat Shiva pedestrian mall) – The Time Elevator is an interactive, multi-sensory experience that takes visitors on an incredible journey through time spanning Jerusalem’s amazing 3,000 years of existence. Ninety out of 102 seats move in 6 different directions inside a unique, effect-filled auditorium, making the spectators feel as if they have taken flight or descended into the depths of history until they have become a part of it. The actor Chaim Topol stars in this experiential exhibit. This experience is suitable for the entire family and for all ages (entry is for ages 5 and up) and is also accessible to people with disabilities.
The Time Elevator website: http://www.time-elevator-jerusalem.co.il/en/index.asp 

The Biblical Zoo

A zoo, located close to the neighborhoods of Givat Masua and Malcha in Jerusalem. The zoo is on the northern slopes of the Refaim river, close to the Ein Yael Spring (Ein Yalu) and Ein Levan.
Website: http://www.jerusalemzoo.org.il

Ein YaelActive Museum

Opposite the Biblical Zoo, an activity for children in Ein YaelActive Museum Located in Nahal Rafaiim in the heart of Jerusalem's natural world. The site reveals ancient terraces, springs, gardens, and agricultural devices, a reconstructed Roman street, and flourishing gardens inspired by the Song of Songs – all of these take the visitors and place them into the world of country inhabitants in Biblical times.
The site offers a variety of workshops and activities centered around all kinds of ancient works and agriculture such as mosaics, frescoes, ceramics, tailoring, making paper, baking pita, constructing old musical instruments, and additional agricultural activities including the pressing and preparing of grapes, milking cows and making cheese, and picking olives and producing olive oil.
Website: http://www.einyael.co.il

Route 99 – Tour around Jerusalem

We recommended discovering Jerusalem and its historical and tourist sites via Egged’s Route 99 Tour Bus, which operates in cooperation with City Tour. With Jerusalem City Tour, you can enjoy a relaxing and enjoyable ride which passes by all of Jerusalem’s spectacular historic and tourist sites, allowing its passengers to get on and off the bus at any one of the 28 stations along the route during all hours of operation. The bus is equipped with a sound system (including personal headphones), which enables passengers to listen to explanations about the various sites in eight different languages – English, French, Spanish, Italian, Russian, German, Hebrew, and Arabic.
Visit the Egged website for the bus’s route, operating hours, and fares:
http://www.egged.co.il/Eng/main.asp>IngCategoryID=2773