We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Best place for tourists on Shabbat

Oakland
Level Contributor
60 posts
8 reviews
Save Topic
Best place for tourists on Shabbat

We're a not very religious Jewish family who will be touring Israel next week and we're trying to figure out what's the best place to be on shabbat. As far as being able to tour, eat out, etc. is it better to be in Jerusalem or up north? What limitations will we face (restaurants, tourist attractions closed, etc.)

israel
Destination Expert
for Tel Aviv, Galilee, Israel
Level Contributor
14,856 posts
62 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: Best place for tourists on Shabbat

Up north you'll find most attractions open including restaurants. The same about Tel Aviv.

Tel-Aviv
Destination Expert
for Tel Aviv
Level Contributor
9,228 posts
12 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: Best place for tourists on Shabbat

Most attractions are open on Saturday. You have to check the visiting hours on their web sites. It is not really a problem but you have to plan your itinerary accordingly.

Tel Aviv, Israel
Destination Expert
for Israel
Level Contributor
4,442 posts
70 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: Best place for tourists on Shabbat

Even if you're not religious, there is something to be said about experiencing at least one Shabbat in Jerusalem.

I wouldn't give up at least one Friday evening in Jerusalem. On Friday afternoon, go to Machane Yehuda market. In the evening, you'll feel the Shabbat atmosphere in your hotel's dining room.

On Saturday you can visit the Tower of David Museum (excellent overview of all of Jerusalem's history) at the Jaffa Gate. The Israel Museum is also open on Shabbat - there you'll find the fabulous 2nd Temple Period model and the Shrine of the Book.

Most, though not all, restaurants in Jerusalem will be closed on Shabbat. In Tel Aviv it's the opposite. Nearly all restaurants and places of entertainment will be open.

Israel
Level Contributor
1,947 posts
3 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: Best place for tourists on Shabbat

If you have the freedom to choose (hotel etc.) - go north.

Galilee
Level Contributor
55 posts
Save Reply
5. Re: Best place for tourists on Shabbat

Dave has good idea. Nothing in world is like Shabbat in Jerusalem - even if you not religious (dati) - is very special from Friday when city starts get quiet. Walk around and see people getting ready, smell Shabbat foods, city gets very quiet - is special feeling.

Jerusalem
Destination Expert
for Jerusalem, Israel
Level Contributor
2,938 posts
57 reviews
Save Reply
6. Re: Best place for tourists on Shabbat

I strongly agree with Dave's comments. I live in Jerusalem and I'm not Shabbat observant in the traditional sense, but I love the peaceful, traffic-free and laid back atmosphere here on Shabbat. And as everyone said, there's plenty to do and places to go even on Shabbat...

Cincinnati, Ohio
Destination Expert
for Israel
Level Contributor
14,398 posts
192 reviews
Save Reply
7. Re: Best place for tourists on Shabbat

Add me to the list -- Shabbat in Jerusalem is special. And I'm Christian.

Douglas Duckett

Jerusalem, Israel
Level Contributor
1 post
55 reviews
Save Reply
8. Re: Best place for tourists on Shabbat

I agree with the others, there is something to be said for Jerusalem on Shabbat. It all comes down to what you are looking for. Although beware that the Old City can get packed on Friday and Saturday afternoons. As for places to eat on Shabbat in Jerusalem, there is Lavan (in the Cinemateque), Focchacia Bar (downtown, off of Hillel St.) and Link (downtown, Maalot St.), just to name a few.

Canberra, Australia
Level Contributor
9 posts
5 reviews
Save Reply
9. Re: Best place for tourists on Shabbat

Greettings,

I'm traveling to Jerusalem on 12th September and will be staying there with family for 3 days. As we don't have any family members living in Israel , I would like to know if there are any good places to go with family to celebrate Shabbat. We are not very religious jews but would like to experience Shabbat israel style. any suggestions would be appreciated. Thanks Leon

Berlin, Germany
Level Contributor
519 posts
Save Reply
10. Re: Best place for tourists on Shabbat

One of the things we really felt afterwards that we had missed and that we should have done on our trip we made to Israel/Jordan in May, was experiencing Shabbat in Jerusalem - and we're not religious at all.

Do not avoid that, try to experience it! We wish we had.