Five "Beyond the Obvious" Things for Students to do in Jerusalem
Best Places for Students to Visit in Jerusalem
Though not necessarily known as a “college town,” this is only because Jerusalem is a town of so many other things: history and religion to name only a couple. Yet there are few cities that rival Jerusalem, both for the heavy concentration of students studying everything from medicine to arts and architecture, law, politics and more, and for the wide range of activities that would be of interest to students.
Here are five of our top picks:
1. Bezalel Street on Friday afternoon: Tel Aviv has its Nahalat Binyamin and Jerusalem has its Bezalel Street. On Friday afternoons, this stretch of “midrachov” (pedestrian pathway) is covered with craftsmen selling their creations, booksellers peddling their books, artist exhibiting their work, and funky clothes stands pushing their wares. You will find there representatives from all segments of Israeli society.
2. Machane Yehuda on Thursday and Saturday nights: Known mostly for what goes on there during the day, the atmosphere of Jerusalem’s shuk changes as the fruit and tehina merchants close their shops. The beautiful and unique street art comes into focus on the shutters of the shops, local bands begin to play music, and the bar scene is open in full force.
3. Austrian Hospice: If you are looking for something a bit more serene and relaxing, hop over to the Austrian Hospice, located on the Via Dolarosa in the Old City. Enter the façade of the mid-19th century structure and you will feel like you are stepping back into the glory of the Habsburg Empire. The elegance of Central Europe permeates the walls of the hospice and its busy location belies the quiet that lies within. While you can certainly dine on (non-kosher) schnitzel, we recommend ascending to the roof and enjoying one of the most breath-taking views in Jerusalem.
4. Pickup soccer and basketball games in Gan Sacher: There is no better way to get to know the locals, and the other adventurous students, than to get sweaty with them. Most times of day there are games going on and people are generally open to new participants joining. Don’t be shy, jump right in to play!
5. Jerusalem’s cultural scene: As Israel’s largest city, Jerusalem is also home to a vibrant cultural scene. The Jerusalem Philharmonic, Vertigo Dance Company, and multiple Hebrew and English language theater companies have their bases in Jerusalem. Even those groups that are not based in the city regularly visit it. The Jerusalem Theater is a wonderful place for enjoying all of the cultural opportunities available in the country.
You can also check these places out if you decide to extend your Birthright Israel trip! Jerusalem has all of this to offer and so much more - be sure to check all of it out.