How to Choose a Jerusalem Neighborhood

So you want to move to the Holy City? Jerusalem has many different neighborhoods and different populations.

Where should you live in Jerusalem?

Here is how to choose the right neighborhood to suit your lifestyle.

Look at property in north and north-west neighborhoods if you want to live among ultra-Orthodox Jews and want to maintain the most modest Jewish lifestyle--including no driving on the Sabbath. Consider homes in areas such as Kiryat Menachem, Ramat Eshkol, anything on Bar Ilan Street (which is closed on the Sabbath) or Givat Shaul.

Choose a home in central locations if you feel more comfortable among observant, but not orthodox Jews. Look at property in conservative-religious Jewish neighborhoods such as Shaarei Chesed, Rehavia, Talbiya, Old Katamon or Kiryat Shmuel.

Go south-west if you want to be among secular or reform Jews. More "Western" type neighborhoods include the German Colony, Baka, Beit Hakerem, Gonen, Malcha or Talpiot.

Find a home to suit your budget. Rents and real estate in Jerusalem rise the closer you are to the city center or to the holy places. Some neighborhoods are notoriously pricey--such as the Germany Colony or Baka. Private homes, while not that prevalent in the city itself, are very expensive but often boast some of the finest middle eastern architecture.

Live further east if you want to live among Palestinians. The dividing line is alongside the Old City, going down Hebron Road. Check out the gorgeous architecture in the neighborhood of Abu Tor, where many foreign diplomats like to live because it's quieter and more isolated from the city noise.

Choose a home in the adjacent Jerusalem neighborhoods or Jewish settlements in the West Bank to find more private houses and to get away from the hustle and bustle of the city, but still remain close enough to it. Jewish settlements such as Maaleh Adumim and Ramot offer villas, while Palestinian villages, such as Beit Hanina in the north, boast large rural-type one or two-storey houses with plenty of land.

Things You Will Need

  • Internet access

Tips

  • Note that most apartments in Israel do not include a private parking space. Parking is a large problem in Israeli cities. If a housing listing does not mention one, it probably does not include one.
  • If you are religious, make note of local synagogues or mosques that are within walking distance from the property you are interested in renting or buying.