It’s summer in Israel, and I just can’t stand the heat. Unlike other cities in Israel, where it’s also warm at night, Jerusalem usually gets chilly after dark. That’s one of the reasons I love this city. So, if you also don’t like the heat – you can take advantage of Jerusalem’s night hours. What can you do in Jerusalem at night? Here are some ideas.
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First – Is it safe to walk around Jerusalem at night?
Yes, it’s safe to walk around Jerusalem at night. The city center is filled with people hanging out in restaurants and nightlife venues. And unlike other places in the world, there’s rarely any crime on the streets. Even as a woman, I feel safe walking around Jerusalem at night.
In the Old City, all restaurants and shops are closed, so it can feel quite deserted. But in the early hours of the night, people still walk around the Old City, so you won’t feel alone. And like other areas of Jerusalem, it’s safe to walk around at night just like it is safe to walk around during the day.
Best things to do at night in Jerusalem
Enjoy the nightlife at the Machane Yehuda Market
The top nightlife venue in Jerusalem is the Machane Yehuda Market, also known as the “Shuk.” During the day, it’s filled with fruit and vegetable shops, vendors shouting out their prices, and people shopping for fresh ingredients. When the night comes, the market transforms into a trendy spot filled with bars, pubs, music, and fun places to eat.
The closed market shops reveal beautiful graffiti works on their shutters, created by graffiti artist Solomon Souza. You can walk around the main street of the market as well as its alleyways and view graffiti work showing famous figures, biblical scenes, and market scenes.
So, if you love nightlife and art – the Machane Yehuda Market is a great place to spend your night. Most bars are open till the early hours of the morning.
You can also join a guided experience by Abraham Tours >> Book a Jerusalem Pub Crawl.
Attend a night show
There are three main night shows in Jerusalem: the Night Spectacular Show, the King David Show, and the Hallelujah Show. The first two shows take place in the Tower of David, while the third one takes place in the City of David. Most people go to the night shows at the Tower of David because it is more accessible, but personally, I think the Hallelujah Show at the City of David is much more impressive and totally worth the extra time getting there.
The Night Spectacular Show shows the history of Jerusalem on the walls of the Tower of David citadel. The King David Show shows the story of King David. They combine images and beautiful soundtracks, but there’s no explanation or talking. If you want to view one of the shows, you may also want to get a ticket to the Tower of David Museum with the combined ticket. Check the ticket options here.
The Hallelujah Show screens the story of Jerusalem on the ancient ruins of the City of David. The show focuses on the Return to Zion, when the Jews returned to Jerusalem after the destruction of the First Temple. And unlike the other shows, this show includes a narrator who tells the story. The fact that the show takes place right amongst the ruins of the city destroyed by the Babylonians in 586 BCE adds a lot of value and connects you to the story. Find more info and tickets here.
Discover the Old City after dark
The Old City is magical during the day but is also charming at night. If you want to see the Old City of Jerusalem from a different angle, you can walk around it at night. The stores and restaurants are closed, there are fewer people in the alleys, and only a few attractions remain open. It’s a real contrast from the day.
Here are the top sites to visit in the Old City of Jerusalem at night:
- The Western Wall: This is probably the top thing to do in the Old City after dark. The Western Wall is open 24/7, so you can also visit it at night. The whole place is lit, and if there’s no special event, it’s less crowded than during the day. You can also see the Dome of the Rock lit up on Temple Mount.
- The Church of the Holy Sepulchre: If you want to visit the Church of the Holy Sepulchre when it’s less crowded, one of the best times to go is close to the closing hour. In summer, it’s at around 8:45 PM. In winter, it’s around 7 PM. It’s best to check on the Christian Information Center website for the most accurate hours. Learn more by reading my complete guide to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre.
- King David’s Tomb on Mount Zion: Another place that is active at night is the traditional tomb of King David, located on Mount Zion just outside the Old City walls. Nobody really knows where King David is buried, but a 10th-century tradition positions his tomb here. From Sunday to Wednesday, it’s open almost all day and night, from midnight to 10 PM; on Thursdays, it’s open all day; and on Saturdays, it’s open all night starting from the end of Shabbat. On Fridays, it closes early, at 7 PM.
Walk the Ramparts Walk (in July-August)
If you’re coming to Jerusalem in July or August, you can use the cool hours of the evening to walk on the walls of the Old City. This experience is known as the Ramparts Walk. You can walk on the wall and enjoy the stunning views of both new and old Jerusalem close to sunset or after dark. The Ramparts Walk is open until 9 PM in July-August. It does not operate at night on Fridays and Saturdays.
Usually, you can walk both the northern and southern walls, but only the southern part is open in the evening. The ticket is valid for two days, so you can use it the following day to experience the northern portion during daylight.
If you like viewpoints – the Ramparts Walk is definitely for you. And you can check out some other incredible viewpoints in Jerusalem here.
For more information, check out the official site of the Ramparts Walk.
Explore the Israel Museum (on Tuesdays)
If you’re in Jerusalem on a Tuesday, the Israel Museum is another site you can explore at night. It’s also free for children on Tuesdays, so if you’re traveling with your kids, it’s really worth planning for this day!
The Israel Museum is one of the top cultural institutions in Israel. When visiting the museum, you can see the 2,000-year-old Dead Sea scrolls, the Model of Jerusalem in the Second Temple Period, and the most comprehensive collection of Holy Land archeology. If you like history and archeology – it’s definitely worth your time. Recommended read >> The Highlights of the Israel Museum.
For more info, visit the official site of the Israel Museum.
There’s a lot to do in Jerusalem at night. You can attend one of the beautiful night shows at the archeological sites, party in the nightlife venues of Machane Yehuda Market, or explore the Old City of Jerusalem after dark. On Tuesdays, you can also visit the Israel Museum till late. If you come in July-August, you can walk the walls of the Old City of Jerusalem and enjoy the stunning city views close to sunset.
No matter what you choose to do, I wish you a pleasant time in Jerusalem!
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