Magical, mystique, and integration of faiths abound in Jerusalem, Israel, one of the world’s most ancient cities. It lies around an hour southeast of the caltural capital Tel Aviv, and its Old City is holy to Muslims, Christians, and Jews alike. So, you can imagine how surprising it is to hear that Jerusalem is a very gay friendly city. It might be orthodox and conservative, but it’s also liberal and vibrant. That is evidenced by the growing number of gay friendly hotels in Jerusalem, which range from luxurious spaces to boutique hotels nestled in heritage structures. What’s more, Jerusalem Pride has only gone from strength to strength since its inception in 2002. And, despite there being only one prominent gay bar, the number of gay safe spaces are far more than ever before.
Jerusalem’s magnetism lies in the fact that it’s one of the Oldest Continuously Inhabited Cities In The World, and there’s so much to explore and discover here. For instance, the Dome of the Rock Mosque ranks amongst one of the World’s Most Beautiful Mosques. What’s more, the city is home to a slew of legendary sites like the Church of Nativity, Temple Mount, Tower of David, and more. Also, besides being one of the World’s Most Religious Cities, Jerusalem is also one of the World’s Most Impressive Walled Cities. So, at every turn, there’s something new for you to discover here.
Just like gay friendly hotels in Tel Aviv, gay hotels in Jerusalem include luxury and boutique hotels, guesthouses, B&Bs, and the ever-popular hostels. So, you have a plethora of choices depending on your likes and budget. To that end, here are the top 11 gay friendly hotels in Jerusalem, Israel.
The American Colony Hotel
If a romantic gaycation is what you’re looking for in Jerusalem, then the stunning American Colony Hotel is one of the best gay hotels in Jerusalem. The dreamy hotel lies just a 10-minute walk north of Old City, making this the perfect base for indulging in romance as well as exploring the city. So, what makes the hotel so romantic? For one, it features a standout secluded courtyard nestled in stunning lush gardens. When you want to enjoy some quiet time, spread out on the cushy daybeds by the heavenly turquoise pool. The surrounding lush foliage only heightens its intimate vibe, making it the perfect place to laze.
There are many many restaurants on-site, including a brasserie and a wonderful cellar bar. That said, head to the mulberry tree-shaded courtyard to dig into a romantic, lip-smacking Middle-Eastern meal. When it comes to accommodations, you will be most impressed. You have the choice of 95 colonial-style bedrooms, each of which features soft four-poster beds that are begging to be tried out. Take your romance to new heights by getting rooms that come with private spas and sunken baths.
Villa Brown Jerusalem
Hardly a four-minute walk from the gay friendly Video bar lies the boutique hotel of Villa Brown Jerusalem. Tucked in a restored 19th-century Ottoman Villa in Jerusalem, the plush gay boutique hotel blends Arabic styles with British touches. A stunning, flower-filled garden leads to the hotel, complete with modern photography adorning the original sandstone walls.
Furthermore, plush velvet fabrics, gold latticework, and marble tabletops lend it a luxurious feel. Despite being a heritage hotel, Villa Brown packs a punch with its facilities. These include everything from free bike rentals to a gym nearby, with the highlight being a decadent rooftop mini-spa. The sunbeds and hot tub on the terrace is the perfect place to soak in some sun, especially if you’re traveling with your partner. The standout is the breakfast which features both Middle-Eastern options and fresh mezze delicacies. The best part? It’s open until 2 p.m., which is an antidote for those hangovers.
Coming to the accommodations, you can choose from 24 gorgeous and regal bedrooms which boast luxurious touches like soft carpets and gold bedside tables. If you want to splurge, then go for the Junior Suite which has its own jacuzzi set in indulgent bathrooms. What’s more, some of the rooms even feature stunning exposed stonework of the original structure.
The Templer Inn
If you’re looking for an offbeat yet rich cultural experience in Jerusalem, then the Templer Inn is perfect. One of the best gay hotels in Jerusalem, the Templer Inn is authentic Jerusalem at its very best. The inn lies in an old 19th-century home in the scenic and intimate German Colony and is within walking distance of the Old City. While it’s modern, it preserves much of the original features to lend it as authentic a feel as possible. Begin your day with a country-style breakfast, which you can tuck into in the stunning courtyard. What’s more, you can even have it in the comfort of your room. The gardens are primed for romance, and you can enjoy a lovely morning walk here.
With just four suites to choose from, staying at the Templer Inn is as intimate as it gets. Every suite features a plush bed as well as a living room with a sofa-cum-bed. Moreover, there’s even a kitchenette with appliances, so you can whip up quick and cheap meals. Rounding up the suites are the modern bathrooms, which make staying here as comfortable as it gets.
If you want to combine luxury and sightseeing in one package, then the Mamilla Hotel is where you should be. It’s one of the best gay friendly luxury hotels and sits on the eponymous Mamilla Avenue right on the fringes of the Old City of Jerusalem. So, it’s within easy walking distance of almost every important historic and scenic sights in the city. Despite being one of the newer luxury hotels in Jerusalem, the contemporary and sleek hotel is rife with tradition. For instance, the lobby features limestone from the Judaean Mountains. Right off the lobby is a fabulous lounging space, complete with ultra-chic lighting fixtures and cushy sofas. Cool off in the serene basement swimming pool or you can choose to relax in the lovely outdoor courtyard. It’s filled with rooftop sunbeds and lush, overflowing foliage, and is one of the prettiest places in the city.
Rounding up the amenities are four kosher restaurants, including a rooftop one with sweeping vistas of Old City. Accommodations at the Mamilla are spot-on when it comes to trends, complete with neutral hues and white beds accented by vibrant throws. The huge windows with awe-inspiring views are the best. The most sensuous touch is the glass wall that separates the bedroom and bathroom. Although it has a ‘cloudy’ setting, we think you’ll like the cheeky, non-cloudy view.
The Cinema Hostel is the newest addition to the coolest gay hotels in Jerusalem! Sitting in a 1938-built old movie theater, the eclectic and lovely hostel sits right in the center of Downtown. So, it’s the perfect base for exploring Jerusalem. The entrance is reminiscent of a traditional movie cinema. On the inside, the décor combines vibrant furniture and metal accents with photographs of Audrey Hepburn and Marilyn Monroe. You can also find themed female-only/mixed dorms and private rooms, each of which comes with an ensuite shared or private bathroom. Moreover, each is decorated with backdrops of modern classics, giving it a completely lively feel, unlike other clinical hostel rooms.
The heart of the hostel is the lounge, which also features a foosball table as well as table tennis set up. It’s the perfect way to break the ice with fellow travelers and meet some interesting people. The shared guest kitchen is a blessing for whipping up untimely or cheap meals, and impressing cute travelers with your culinary skills! The standout is the terrace with comfy couches, bean bags, and chairs and tables that makes it a lovely hangout space. Finally, besides free Wi-Fi and a tour desk, the place even has a nightclub with an excellent roster of performances.
Alegra Boutique Hotel
There’s more than one reason why the Alegra Boutique Hotel is one of the Best Hotels in Jerusalem. Firstly, it sits in a century-old home which is famous for the love story of a Jewish-Arab couple, a la Romeo-Juliet! Secondly, it blends utter historic charm and excellent contemporary creature comforts. If that wasn’t enough, this Jerusalem hotel is also gay friendly! Added to the fact that it sits 20 minutes away from the bustle of the city, and you have yourself a winner. With just seven rooms to choose from, staying here is one intimate, B&B-like experience. All spacious rooms are named after famous lovers from history and flaunt oodles of old-world charm with exposed stone walls and arched windows. Plush Persian rugs, sheer drapes, and comfy beds not only add comfort but also add to the romantic atmosphere.
The rest of the hotel only ups the ante with its romantic and novel touches. Tuck into a gourmet meal in the intimate dining room (read: romantic courtyard), which is also where a hearty Jewish breakfast is served. The standout is the heavenly rooftop plunge pool, complete with daybeds and lush gardens. Moreover, it boasts once-in-a-lifetime views of the Ein Karem valley. After a languid dip and a lounge, head straight for a pampering session to the sauna and unwind.
Abraham Hostel is famous not just in Jerusalem, but all over Israel. In fact, its Tel Aviv outpost is amongst the Best Hotels In Tel Aviv! The energetic, jazzy Jerusalem version is no less and is easily one of the best gay hotels in Jerusalem. It lies a little north of Old City in the heart of the city and a 10-minute walk from the Video gay bar. So, most of the Top Things To Do in Jerusalem are within walking distance. Given the price they charge, their accommodations are some of the best you’ll see among hostels – ever. You can choose from a litany of female-only/mixed dorms and private rooms. All dorms feature reading lights, privacy curtains, lockers, and spotless shared bathrooms, apart from space heaters when it gets cold. The private rooms are also excellent for the price, especially compared to other hostels in the city.
That said, the hostel is a frenzy of fun-filled events and activities. The hub of the hostel is the vast lounge-cum-event space/party hall. The rooftop space is another excellent place to hang out, complete with comfortable couches, swings, and even bean bags. What’s more, there’s a lip-smacking Israeli breakfast on the offer. If that wasn’t enough, the hostel’s roster features an unending list of events and activities. Think hummus-making classes, traditional Friday Shabbat dinners, Indian food nights, pub quiz nights, bar crawls, language exchange, and even open mic night. The standout is performances by a local band. Phew!
YMCA 3 Arches Hotel
Located in the heart of Jerusalem, the gay friendly YMCA 3 Arches Hotel probably has the best location in town. It lies right opposite the famous gay friendly King David Hotel and is a mere 10-minute walk from the Old City of Jerusalem. At the same time, it offers the history and character of the opulent King David at more wallet-friendly prices.
The 1933-built limestone structure with its famed domed bell tower has long been a Jerusalem landmark. Armenian tiles, exotic murals, and stone arches lend it both character and charm. Despite being a budget hotel, 3 Arches packs a lot of offerings, including an incredible outdoor pool. What’s more, it even features a gym as well as a non-kosher restaurant, complete with a gorgeous terrace that’s perfect to sit during summers. However, the highlight is the lush gardens and grounds that brim with Jerusalem blossoms on any given day. The live Arabic music performances on the weekends are the icing on the cake.
Albeit basic, the rooms are comfortably spacious and stunning and feature landscape prints by artist Anna Ticho. Aside from mod-cons, they offer fabulous views of the Old City.
The Post Hostel
It’s not difficult to see why the Post Hostel is considered by many as one of the best gay hotels in Jerusalem. To begin with, it offers superb value for its Old City fringes location. Secondly, it radiates lots of charm sitting in a historic structure. If that wasn’t enough, then it offers a lot of activities and amenities perfect for a social butterfly. The hostel lies in a 1938-built building from where Jerusalem’s post office till operates. It lies just steps from the Tower of David and the Old City Jaffa Gate, so exploring the city becomes very easy. The vibrant urban décor, beginning with a postal theme in the lobby, lends it a very lively vibe. The relaxing, artistic, and open common area is a very inviting space.
The tiny, shared kitchen is perfect for quick or ready-to-eat meals. You can even leave your unwanted clothes here, and there’s even a book exchange here. Moreover, this place offers a tour of Mea Shearim for free on Fridays at 11 a.m. The cherry on top is the quintessential Israeli breakfast, complete with canned fruits, cheese, tuna, boiled egg, and tomatoes.
You can choose from 40 shared dorms or private rooms which features USB plug sockets, private lockers, and bedside lamps. If you’re a light sleeper, then you can go for the private rooms, then you get privacy as well as a fitful sleep.
The King David
If you have the urge to splurge, then look no further than the majestic King David Hotel, one of the most luxurious retreats in the city. What’s more, it lies right next to Old City, which makes it the ideal base to explore this striking old-world city. The hotel, which was built as far back as 1940, features original touches in the form of dark wood accouterments and furnishes and Art Deco touches in the rooms. So, it’s no surprise that King David has hosted actors, presidents, and even kings and royalty. In fact, you can see some famous names etched into the floor in the main lobby. The staff is unfailingly efficient and helpful, and the hotel is home to a slew of restaurants as well as a fitness center.
The piece de resistance is the deliciously inviting pool, complete with white umbrellas and daybeds. It’s nothing short of a decadent and relaxing space, and it’s worth taking a day off just to lounge here. Plus, you get to order cocktails and snacks from the amazing poolside bar. Begin your day with a sumptuous breakfast with mezze items. If you were impressed by the facilities, then wait till you see the rooms. All of them are expansive and utmost comfort with classic décor and cushy sofas. If you can splash, then go for the best rooms which hands-down promise the best views of Old City.
The Colony Hotel
The Colony Hotel is one of the most serene and tranquil gay hotels in Jerusalem. The small inn-like hotel sits on a quiet street in the German Colony part of town and shares space with one of the most beloved cinemas in the town. As you enter, the creaking wooden floors are a testament to its European roots. The entire property is filled with gorgeous foliage that lends it a homely charm. Begin your day with a fantastic kosher breakfast, which is included in the rates. If you have your own rental car, then the hotel has free parking spaces around too. There are even an internet point and a shared fridge. Finally, the staff at the hotel make the experience worth it and are available round-the-clock.
Albeit simple, the rooms at this hotel are pleasing and elegant, complete with wooden floors and standard mod-cons. If you’re looking for more space or luxury, then go for the Gottlieb Suite which even has a plant-filled patio with two chairs and a table.
Just So You Know:
- Jerusalem Open House for Pride and Tolerance is the most famous and important space for Jerusalem’s LGBT public and scene. The organization not only arranges the annual Pride march and other events, but also provides support and information to the LGBT community.
- Israel is known as the “gay capital of the Middle East.” So, it’s no surprise that Tel Aviv had the only annual gay pride parade in the Middle East for a very long time.
Get Some Culture in Jerusalem:
- Jerusalem Pride – Jerusalem’s gay pride parade has been taking place since 2022. Its motto is and always has been “Love Without Border,” and its one of the most established events in the country. Even though the pride parade takes place under high security, thousands of LGBT people and their supporters march the streets nevertheless. Moreover, Jerusalem’s Pride signals the beginning of the Pride month events in Israel.
Best Gay Bars / Clubs in Jerusalem:
- Video Bar – This might be the only gay bar in Jerusalem, but that doesn’t mean that its any less amazing. Open until as late as 4 a.m., the bar features a DJ playing pop, electro, and 80’s hits and music. Moreover, it also features theme nights, and it boasts a wildly welcoming ambiance in an otherwise largely conservative city.
Best Gay Saunas in Jerusalem:
There are no gay saunas in Jerusalem, unfortunately. However, there’s a very well-known and popular cay cruising area called Independence Park. It’s also where the gay Pride parade is held.