Going on a date in Jerusalem? Here are some good places

Jerusalem’s summer nights (and the odd breezy day!) are perfect for spending time with that special or yet-to-be-declared special someone. Here is a selection of date places to get you started.

 Your guide to romantic dating attractions in Jerusalem (Illustrative). (photo credit: Bruno, Germany/Pixabay)
Your guide to romantic dating attractions in Jerusalem (Illustrative).
(photo credit: Bruno, Germany/Pixabay)

Dates around town in Jerusalem

♥ First Station

This is a great place to go at any time of the day. If you go in the morning, pick up a smoothie from ReBar and a cup of Joe from a coffee stand to demonstrate your support for local coffee stands. For lunch or dinner, pick through the dining options that abound in the open and cheerful space that fills with people when evening comes. Sometimes musicians play at the First Station – an added bonus for all you music lovers.

There’s also a little train experience for kids that runs along the First Station. Want to feel like you’re at Disney? Take a ride together with kids and their parents, who’ll be confused by your presence. Whether it’s your first or 10th date, the First Station will keep you and your date excited to keep walking through life together a little longer.

♥ Tours

Once you get into the late 40s on Trip Advisor’s list of top romantic couple ideas in Jerusalem, you start getting inundated with different tour guide options. Go on 10 tours with your partner and write online reviews about what distinguished each tour guide from the last, culminating in a blog post where you outline what to look for in a Jerusalem tour guide. Your online voice as a couple will leave a beautiful mark on a small, unnoticed segment of the Internet. 

 TAKE AFTERNOON tea at KumKum (Illustrative).  (credit: Christopher Furlong/Getty Images) TAKE AFTERNOON tea at KumKum (Illustrative). (credit: Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)

♥ Western Wall Tunnels

For a more adventurous date, venture beneath the Old City and visit the Western Wall Tunnels. If you join a tour, you can learn about the history of the tunnels and the Old City while getting a glimpse into the life of a tunnel digger hundreds of years ago. 

♥ Mahaneh Yehuda 

There are several ways to go to Mahaneh Yehuda for date night. If you go on a Thursday night, you’ll find yourself stuck in a crowd of sweaty bodies and will be barely able to push through the masses. If you’re into dancing, don’t really want to talk to your date or love having your eardrums lose a bit of their structural integrity, goc on a weekend night. 

Some tips for going on a weekend: Bring shoes you’re ok getting dirty, bring earplugs if you want to be able to hear past your forties, and leave all expectations of a thought-provoking conversation at the entrance. 

Another option is to go on a weekday night if you’re on a date with someone you want to converse with. Grab a falafel or a burger at a restaurant, nurse a beer (or buy a cheap bottle of wine from the convenience store across the street) and get ready to delve into your date’s sexy soul. 

The third way to tackle Mahaneh Yehuda as a dating venue is to go during the day. Maybe it’s your first date, maybe you want to take it slow, maybe you like to get to bed early. There are plenty of reasons for a date during the day. No need to justify your decision for a noon stroll through a fruit market with someone you’re potentially interested in. There’s a beauty in finding the best fruit or largest possible bag of popcorn with someone you’re going out with. 

The shuk is a place that inspires a lot of topics to talk about, and if the conversation lags, it’s not awkward because there’s so much going on around you. One tip for a day or night time date is to choose a restaurant or place that you can find on Google Maps so you’re not left wondering which apricot location your date is standing near. 

Romantic dates in Jerusalem

♥ Kumkum Tea House

We all want to feel dignified sometimes, and there’s no better fix for that than a cup of tea. Kumkum is a tea house on Bethlehem Road serving traditional British afternoon tea in their outdoor garden.

If you want to feel like Eloise at the Plaza, order a tea tower for two that comes complete with little sandwiches and desserts and a lot of love for finger food. Kumkum features live music every Thursday from 5-8 p.m., so you can revel in the simple joys of life: tea, music and scones.

♥ Kikar Hamusica

Kikar Hamusica Jerusalem is home to a handful of dining options for a date night. It has a music restaurant called Blue Hall that boasts a kosher restaurant, an alcohol bar, and a live performance stage. Every evening local artists play at the hall to serenade the crowd. The Kinor Bakikar restaurant offers a menu of gourmet kosher food and a wine menu fit for the most sensual of evenings. 

If you’re looking for some Italian fare, check out Nachman, which serves pizzas, pastas, and desserts made on-site in the restaurant’s confectionery. Are you full but you still need to satiate your mind? Check out the Hebrew Music Museum nearby and learn about the instruments and melodies that keep humankind humming.

Culture dates in Jerusalem

♥ Ticho House

Ticho House is a Holy City cultural center, home to a handful of galleries that include permanent exhibition spaces dedicated to Israeli painter Anna Ticho (1894-1980) and temporary galleries. Ticho was renowned for her drawings of the hills of Jerusalem, and the gentle beauty of her art will set you up for a peaceful date filled with introspective conversations. During a recent period of renovation, ceiling paintings were discovered on the upper floor of the building. There’s no better way to kick off a romance than by viewing long-lost treasure that sparks a need for adventure. 

♥ Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra

For lovers of refined culture or those who like to seem like they’re lovers of refined culture, take a trip to the Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra at the Jerusalem Theatre. When you check out their website to find out their programs, just make sure that your date also wants to go. Classical music has to be a consensual undertaking. If you’re feeling ever classier, you can eat at Talbiye, located in the theater.

 HAVE A soft spot for the Mifletzet slide? Go to the Gilo pub named in its honor. (credit: OLIVIER FITOUSSI/FLASH90) HAVE A soft spot for the Mifletzet slide? Go to the Gilo pub named in its honor. (credit: OLIVIER FITOUSSI/FLASH90)
Jerusalem dates that are off the beaten path

♥ Mifletzet Bar 

Named for the famed “monster” slide, Mifletzet is a social pub in the Jerusalem neighborhood of Gilo. If you’re looking for a cozy ambiance a bit further from the city’s hub, this is the bar for you. Mifletzet is a warm establishment that will leave you cozying up next to your date for a night filled with pints of beer, people-watching, and feeling like you’re living on the set of Cheers. 

♥ Live the Bible

Sometimes you need a plan that may be a bit ridiculous. If so, check out Live the Bible in the Jewish Quarter of Jerusalem. You can dress up as your favorite people from the Bible, have photos taken of you in ancient-looking garb, and wonder why you didn’t do it all sooner. 

While its website says that the activity is suitable for couples, I truly believe you might be the first people to actually go on a date to this attraction. What a great story to tell your kids one day when you inevitably bring them back to this attraction and have one of them dress up like baby Moses while you simulate rescuing him from the river. I can’t think of a more romantic relationship arc than that.

♥ Garden of Gethsemane

Continuing with the religious theme, the Garden of Gethsemane historic site is where Jesus was said to have enjoyed prayer and reflection. The trees are also wonderful. Whether you go there for the sacredness of the place or for its botanical magnificence, the peace of the garden will help you connect with your date. 

Three of the olive trees in this garden are some of the oldest ones in the world – any awkward parts of a new relationship are likely to slide away in the face of such awe-inspiring natural history. 

Read up about the site before your date so you will be able to offer tidbits about Jesus’s life and scientists’ process of carbon dating the trees around you. Your date will either be impressed by your knowledge or irritated that you’re detracting from the simple spirituality of the moment. Tread lightly.

High-end dates in Jerusalem

♥ 1868

As a rule of thumb, any establishment named solely with numbers is fancy. The restaurant 1868 doesn’t break the mold. If you’re looking for a fine-dining experience complete with beautiful Jerusalem stone, high arched roofs, and a lovely seasonal menu, book a table at 1868. Yankale Turjeman, the restaurant’s chef, is a native Jerusalemite who worked in European-style restaurants during his career, so you’ll be one step closer to being a citizen of the world after eating his fare.

Bonus: Check out the upscale happy hour at the intimate Zuta Cocktail Bar, accessed at the back of the restaurant. 

♥ Rooftop at Mamilla

Location, location, location. For anyone in love with a good view, this is your haven. Replete with elegantly displayed meat and fish dishes, Rooftop at Mamilla is the location of choice for any couple wanting to not just look into each other’s eyes but to revel in the beauty of the world around them. 

If you want some great photos to solidify your relationship, there’s no better place to take pictures than in front of a sun that is setting over the holiest city on Earth.

♥ Gatsby Cocktail Room

If you’re a lover of a speakeasy, check out Jerusalem’s Gatsby Cocktail Room. It’s listed on the “worldsbestbars’’ website, so you know it has to be good. Once allowed access through the secret bookcase door, you can sip on a “Star of Bombay” or a “Unicorn Martini,” because why order drinks with standard names when you can be glitzy? And, as we all know, there’s no better turn-on than feeling like you’re on the precipice of a global depression. 

The lighting at the bar is soft, so no need to worry about how your makeup is holding up. The waiters are dressed to the nines, which automatically makes the drinks taste even better. And it’s rated #1 for nightlife in Jerusalem on Tripadvisor, so if the experience is a bust you can blame the Internet.

Casual dating spots in Jerusalem

♥ Hataklit

This is the bar for music junkies. Record sleeves adorn the walls, which is fitting because the name of the bar is Hebrew for “the record.” Go for happy hour if you’re looking to cheaply knock some cold ones back with your date. Tables line the street outside, so you can enjoy the night air in Jerusalem and revel in the superiority of its coolness to that of Tel Aviv. 

♥ Servesa

If you’re looking to get sweaty to start the night off right, hit up the Servesa Bar. You can dance alongside a crowd of people all trying to make some memories. If you’ve got two left feet, you’ve got nothing to worry about because the music and alcohol will blind your date to whatever shortcomings you have in your dancing abilities.

Budget conscious dating options in Jerusalem

♥ The piano in front of the Yitzhak Navon Train Station

If your best asset is your ability to tickle the old ivories, here’s your chance to show off. Does this make sense as a first date? No, not at all. But perhaps it’s appropriate for a fifth date, when you’re familiar with each other and feel comfortable singing together in public with passersby glancing over to see what’s going on. 

For this date, I recommend going to Tel Aviv during the day, and then when you get back to the Jerusalem train station, it’s your time to shine. I recommend playing some popular love songs that you can both sing. If you’re really feeling the love, learn to harmonize and you’re guaranteed to woo your date.

♥ A free public library

Oh, so you fancy yourself an intellectual? See how your date reacts to the idea of hanging out at a free public book stand. Maybe you’ll find a new book, or perhaps you’ll find true love. If you’re on the same wavelength, you’ll leave the library with at least some new topics of conversation snatched up from the titles of books that you’re never going to read. 

Cheap date in Jerusalem

♥ Cofix

If your awareness of inflation is the main thing you want to get across on your first date, go to Cofix. The prices are cheap, coffee is indeed there, and you’d be supporting the founder’s mission of fairer prices for food, drinks and groceries. It’s not often that the most compelling part of a coffee chain is its mission to keep its offerings affordable, so if you want to live in a world where that mission proliferates, then support a Cofix near you. 

They also sell beer, so regardless if the date is in the morning or at night, there’s something to drink. If you really want to assess how your date is going, look into Cofix’s franchising opportunities. There’s no better way to see if you click with someone than knowing if you can efficiently run a franchised business together after one date. ❖