Jerusalem Neighborhoods Tours



One of the most fascinating hiking routes in Jerusalem is the acquaintance with the neighborhoods outside the walls. The process of exiting the walls of Jerusalem began in the middle of the 19th century. After thousands of years in which the residents of Jerusalem lived in the area of ​​the walls and even locked their gates at night as a result of demographic growth and a multiplicity of diseases, the residents of Jerusalem were forced to find housing alternatives beyond the walls. The process was so intense that in less than fifty years the urban center of gravity in Jerusalem was tilted toward the “new city” outside the walls. Simultaneously with the Jewish exodus from the walls, a Muslim exodus from the walls also took place in Jerusalem, which was characterized mainly by private residences. The Christian exit from the walls occurred out of a religious or educational need, a political need a kind of political peg or a demonstration of the power of Western European countries and of course the need of private individuals to improve housing.

A walking route between the various Jerusalem neighborhoods outside the walls of the Old City is a must-see experience that every traveler in Jerusalem must experience. On such a trip you will find plenty of historic houses, cultural institutions, pleasant cafes and a special atmosphere. For dessert today you will arrive at the restaurant and you can stay in one of the boutique hotels scattered around the city.


Routes and Schedule


Jerusalem Neighborhoods Outside the Walls Sights

Mishkenot Shaananim

The first Jewish neighborhood built outside the walls was Mishkenot Sha’ananim, established by Minister Moshe Montefiore in 1860. The land was purchased in 1855, the year of Moshe Montefiore’s fourth visit to Israel. Montefiore designated the land for the construction of a hospital for the city’s Jews, he himself was a kind of entrepreneur in modern terms. The idea of ​​the hospital was shelved and finally, Montefiore decided to build a spacious and new residential neighborhood with a manufacturing plant in the center – a flour mill that would support its residents.

The local Arabs, who feared that their livelihoods would be plundered, took care to curse the flour mill, which was built according to an English model. But for their sake, whether because of the curse or because of the weak wind – the mill was unable to operate and did not provide flour. Over the years the equipment broke down, and the place closed. Today, the space of the mill has been renovated, and a local boutique line store operates there.

Opposite the mill stands Montefiore’s restored chariot, after the original chariot – the one used by the couple on their visits to Israel – was set on fire and burned to the ground. The current chariot was almost exactly restored from that molten iron, except for the chariot wheels that were painted blue in the reconstruction, to mark the difference.

The neighborhood was actually built on a third of the land that Montefiore purchased and it was built as two buildings one after the other one long and a shorter building behind it. The buildings included 16 relatively spacious apartments in the terms of those days, each of which had a tiny plot of land. Two synagogues were also established – Ashkenazi and Sephardi – and Mikveh Tahara. Both buildings are built as a fortress for fear of the locals against the various rioters. The buildings are now used as guest houses for intellectuals and the other as a house for music.

From here we will continue north to the Yemin Moshe neighborhood.

Yamin Moshe

The Moshe Wine neighborhood, established by the Moshe Montefiore Foundation, is now considered one of the most expensive neighborhoods in Jerusalem. But you should know that this was not always the case and certainly not at the beginning of the neighborhood. After the War of Independence, it became an abandoned border neighborhood, populated by immigrants and migrant workers. After the Six-Day War, when the two parts of Jerusalem were united, the authorities decided to develop the place and attract a wealthy population. The locals were evacuated with only meager compensation, which would later, along with other factors, lead to the establishment of the “Black Panthers” movement. Today, the neighborhood is inhabited by wealthy people and it is well-groomed, but it has a thorn in its side: many homeowners live abroad and come only a few times a year, which gives the walkers a ghost- neighborhood feeling. The northern part for Ashkenazim and the southern for Sephardim.

We will wander for our enjoyment in the neighborhood and be determined by the special atmosphere that surrounds the special cafes and visit the Sephardic synagogue and the Ashkenazi synagogue in the neighborhood. At the end of our visit, we will head northeast to the Camp Israel neighborhood. 

Mahne Israel

The second Jewish neighborhood outside the walls was the Mahne Israel neighborhood, which was the first to be established by the residents of the Old City for themselves. The Mahne Israel  is the “Ada neighborhood” and was built in 1865 by the Western Mughrabi Jews. The neighborhood was founded under the leadership of the Rabbi David (Ben David Shimon), known as the Honey Nectar. The Jews of North Africa, the Mughrabi, numbered more than 2,000 people at the end of the 19th century – about a quarter of the Sephardic community in Jerusalem. Until the late 19th century. From the Sephardic community, but with the arrival of the Radash and also due to a sense of discrimination on the part of the Sephardic kollel regarding the distribution of funds, they established a separate neighborhood and as a result the ‘Western Community Committee in Jerusalem’ was established.

Topographically the neighborhood is located in a low place hence the cheap price of the land. Due to its low location, floods were caused to the neighborhood. The Muslim cemetery around the corner did not add prestige to it either. If we enter the center of a bridge, and also wander around the neighborhood, we will notice the remains of an iron gate that was closed every evening for security reasons. Like most neighborhoods at the time, here too the courtyards are surrounded by houses. The full beauty of the neighborhood can be imagined upon entering the courtyard of the World Center for North African Jewish Heritage. The place, which recently opened, is dedicated to the communities of origin of this neighborhood and restores some of its charms.

From here we will continue a short walk to the Nahalat Shiva neighborhood.

Nahalat Shiva

The Nahalat Shiva neighborhood – the third to be built outside the walls – was founded in 1869 at the initiative of seven Jerusalem Ashkenazis from the Pharisee community, members of the old families in the old settlement in the Old City. The goal of the Shiva was to improve their standard of living and get out of the overcrowding and poor conditions of the Jewish Quarter. The seven founders were Yosef Rivlin, Yoel Moshe Salomon, Yehoshua Yellin, Michal HaCohen, Binyamin (Beinisch) Salant – the son of Rabbi Shmuel Salant, Chaim Halevi, and Aryeh (Leib) Horowitz. The seven organized in the company, and even wrote down detailed regulations that determined the construction and financing arrangements of the neighborhood (later, this form of incorporation served as a model for the construction of additional neighborhoods outside the walls). According to the regulations, the land purchased was divided into seven strips of equal length in size, and the neighborhood was intended to be built in stages – at each stage two houses for two members, the order of which would be determined by fate. Yosef Rivlin was the first to establish his home in the neighborhood, on Jaffa Road. The houses were indeed built according to plan, but not all of them were inhabited by their builders or were inhabited very late. 


Talbiyah is now one of the most prestigious neighborhoods in Jerusalem. As in the past when wealthy people lived there. Here are the residence of the President and the residence of the Prime Minister, as well as diplomatic missions. The neighborhood is full of cultural and art institutions, including the Museum of Islamic Art and the Jerusalem Theater, along with many interesting sites and typical Jerusalem architecture. During a tour in the neighborhood, you will notice a number of buildings:

Villa Salma. Impressive villa from 1935 – built by Salim Abu Suan. The three-story building Surrounded by a large garden with palm trees, it is today the residence of the Belgian consul.

Jasmine House. Unlike most of the neighborhood’s houses, this building, built in a traditional Oriental style, was built in the 1930s as an apartment house for rent. It later became a school of the Order of Italian Nuns. During World War II, due to the nuns’ support for the fascist Italian government, they were placed in custody and the building was converted to a hotel. The Jasmine House Hotel hosted British government officials and foreign journalists, and in 1947 it served as a member of the UN Committee that came to decide the end of the British Mandate. After the War of Independence, the building was restored to be used for residence.

Anis Jamal House. A luxurious oriental-style two-story building with arched windows, built-in 1934 By Ennis Jamal for his family. The family fled in 1948 and the building became the Lehi headquarters The 50-year-old was offered to Ben-Gurion to live there, but he refused to live in an abandoned Arab house.

Gelat House- A magnificent house built in 1926 for the family of Elias Jalat, a businessman who served As the Honorary Consul of Hungary in Jerusalem. The family left home in 1948 following the protection demand, and the home was used by various organizations, including Aliyat Hanoar. The house is called the “Ceramic House” thanks to its decorations ,the many ceramics, including the roof of the building.

The German Colony

The German Colony is one of the most picturesque neighborhoods in Jerusalem. It was built by the Templars in 1873, abandoned during World War II and rebuilt after the establishment of the state. The Templars are members of the temple organization Protestant religious movement founded in Württemberg in southern Germany in the mid-9th century. According to the Templars, the redemption could only be accomplished through the residence and hard work in the Holy Land, in Jerusalem, where they aspired to maintain a model of ideal life through the establishment of productive villages. In the second half of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th century, hundreds of Templars settled in some colonies established throughout the Land of Israel, where they engaged in agriculture and lectures. Even Kaiser Wilhelm II visited it in 1898, In craft and commerce, and maintained a rich community life while having good neighborly relations with Arabs and Jews. The houses in the neighborhood are one- or two-story stone houses, with tiled roofs, ornate windows and manicured courtyards. The neighborhood is full of cafes, restaurants, specialty shops and entertainment venues. We will go on a tour of the various buildings in the neighborhood:

Templar Community Center. The house, built in 1882 in the Neo-Romanesque style, was the most important In the German Colony during the Templar period. It was used for prayer, social gatherings, concerts.Frank House. It is the first house built in the German colony and was used by the miller Matthias Frank.A flour mill was built near the house that operated with the help of steam) The mill was closed following the construction of the mill Yemin Moshe, who acted with the power of the wind and was much more efficient. (The two-story house built in German style is surrounded by a spacious garden where the first swimming pool was in Jerusalem.

The house – .1873- House of Paul. The house, in a classic Templar style, was built in 1878 and belonged to Paula Hoffman, the landlady. Pharmacist and granddaughter of Christoph Hoffman, the religious leader of the colony. On the lintel of the one-story house appears a verse in German from the Bible: “Ask for the peace of Jerusalem.

Zandel House. A single-story building with an impressive façade, built in the late 19th century by the architect Theodore Zandel, who also designed the Dormition Church and the Shaare Zedek Hospital building. The house is decorated with a statue of a lion, which is the symbol of the family, and above the gate there is an arch supported by neo-classical style columns. In years The poet Yehuda Amichai lived here in the sixties of the twentieth century.

Smadar Cinema, which began in 1928 as an Oriental cinema, is the oldest cinema In Jerusalem still active. The original owner, Gottlob in Virla Jr., was called “Hitler’s agent” by his competitors, and the Jewish public turned their backs on the place. This is despite the fact that Virella opposed the Nazis and refused to screen their propaganda films, so he was also boycotted by the Templars and lost a lot of money. With the outbreak of World War II, like his Templar neighbors, he too was deported from Israel. With the establishment of the state, four discharged soldiers joined together to operate the cinema, which was given the name Smadar, and since the 1990s it has been operating within the Lev cinema network. This is a great place to watch quality movies and enjoy a historic fragrance.










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