- Middle East
- Sophie Schor
While Tel Aviv is hailed as Israel’s cultural and party capital, Jerusalem is filled with its own unique style and is home to one of the most creative nightlife scenes in the country. We list the best places to head after dark.
Market by day, lively nightlife center after dark, Mahane Yehuda Market has become a must-visit spot in Jerusalem. Where better to start than at May 5th, one of the first bars to open in the renovated nightlife scene. Located in the main thoroughfare of the market, closer to the side next to Agripas Street, May 5th spills out from its tiny store-front and conquers the walkway with a smattering of tables. May 5th often has DJs on Thursday and Saturday nights.
Right next to Mahane Yehuda Market, HaTipa is a cozy bar where you sit elbow-to-elbow at the counter with good friends engaged in deep conversation. The spot behind the bar is a small nook with books. HaTipa has great beers on tap, good wine, dark lighting and prices that will make your wallet happy. Drinks come with a dish of giant sunflower seeds straight from the nearby market; the pros crack ‘em open in one bite.
4:20 is a must-visit for its outdoor vibe. Having just celebrated their third birthday, 4:20 is friendly, lively, and relaxed. Located off of Jaffa Street, the bar serves up great live DJs spinning tracks on a stunning stereo system, a great bar, and cozy lighting. During summer, the bar takes over the courtyard, which is tucked between walls covered with ever-changing street-art.
Uganda is a permanent fixture in the Jerusalem scene; home to punk shows, live DJs, hipsters, records for sale, simple hummus, and Taybeh Palestinian beer on tap. Uganda imports LPs, DVDs, CDs, and graphic novels from Europe and the USA on a monthly basis. The crowd here is hip, with a European style, the sort that can be heard discussing the merits of nihilism versus existential philosophy.
Radio: Voice of Free Jerusalem
Dark, grungy and a local classic, Radio is the HQ of many young people in Jerusalem, who congregate on tables set up on the sidewalk outside the bar. Radio caters to those who wander by and welcomes them with open arms, idiosyncratic music choices, and free-flowing alcohol. The scene picks up late; show up around 12:30-1am for prime time.
Open until late, HaChipser serves up some of the best french fries in the country, served with your choice of dipping sauces. These range from basic ketchup to peanut curry, honey-dijon, and pesto. A must-visit for snacking after a night of drinking.
Looking for a night of beats, a cool crowd and relatively cheap beers? Head to HaMazkeka. There’s live music almost every night. Check their website for the latest line-up; concerts range from Americana to avant-garde electro. The crowd packs in tight in an almost cave-like venue with incredible acoustics. In addition, the Mazkeka also serves as a recording studio, a space for workshops, and a local center for collaboration and art.
With different music every night, you never know what you’ll find in Sira; hip-hop, electro-swing, rap, reggae, punk, and more. The small dance floor is more than big enough to sway your hips, the bar is well stocked, and the street outside is always full of milling people. There is also outside seating which centers around makeshift tables that are also planters.