Gay Jerusalem Jerusalem City Guide

Curation by Jamie McGhee, words by Ian Packham

Much of what is written about Jerusalem talks of division: political, ethnic, and religious. However, in many ways it’s better to speak, if not of unity, then of integration. Thousands of years of history are intertwined within the modern cityscape; religions have been brought together by the city’s sanctity to Jew, Christian, and Muslim adherents, and east and west not so much collide as envelop each other, with democracy and civil rights as important as the souqs and coffee houses. Conservative and orthodox it may be, but it’s also vibrant and liberal, as our Jerusalem travel guide will show. Jerusalem Pride has grown and grown since it was first staged in 2002, leading to an increase in gay-safe spaces, while homosexual relationships (if not gay marriage) have been legal since 1988.

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The best hotels in Jerusalem

With an enviable position a short distance from both the new and old sections of the city, the five-star Inbal Jerusalem blends effortlessly into its surrounds through the use of traditional Jerusalem stone, while providing exquisitely modern facilities. In addition to an indoor and outdoor pool, there’s an impressive fitness centre and spa, while the spacious interiors and large windows douse the entire building with natural light throughout the day. As one of the city’s best-known hotels, the King David has sumptuous gardens with views to many of the most important Jerusalem points of interest, along with equally impressive interiors. It has an old-world charm – ornate ceilings, fine wood furniture, and gently-ageing oriental carpets – that matches the city perfectly. Contrasting the King David is the contemporary Mamilla Hotel, designed by Italian architectural maestro Piero Lissoni. Ten minutes from Jaffa Gate, one of the main entrances into the Old City, it has a rooftop terrace boasting unmatched views over the area, and an airy and contemporary vibe throughout.

To the north of the Old City, just over a mile from Temple Mount and the Dome of the Rock, Sergei Palace Hotel certainly lives up to its palatial name, and although some of the interior decoration may not be to everyone’s taste (ask to check out the kitsch religious iconography of the meeting room to see what we mean), the modern take on the traditional, and the spacious enclosed garden more than makeup for it. As modern as they come, Hotel Yehuda on the hills west of the historic centre is a great option for those seeking a little more tranquillity, while this family-friendly establishment also boasts a supervised children’s play area among its many facilities. The well-finished rooms pack in a lot, though the pièce de résistance has got to be the 25-metre outdoor pool.

Photo: Cole Keister

Photo: Cole Keister


Recommended hotels in Gay Jerusalem - Jerusalem
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