How to find things to do in Jerusalem

Even on nights when you think there’s nothing to do in Jerusalem, there is! Here is a list of seven cultural institutions and venues in Jerusalem that offer events such as concerts, plays and lectures on an ongoing basis.

I’ve tried to keep it a mix and for each I include the most useful link I’m aware of for finding out what’s going on in each place, with a focus on info written in English whenever possible.

Feel free to add your suggestions in the comments below.

Jerusalem Cinematheque

jerusalem cinematheque wiki commons
Jerusalem Cinematheque (photo from wiki commons)

The Jerusalem Cinematheque has unique movie screenings all the time. They also have movie-related events that can be very cool.

Either visit the Cinematheque’s English homepage or try the monthly program (also available in English).

Please note that the second link might take you to a Hebrew page because they have the technical issue that the English and Hebrew links for the same material have the same links – it’s very annoying.

Blue Hall

blue hall space picture

Blue Hall is a music pub just off Yoel Solomon Street in the city center. They have live music basically every night. They are also kosher lemehadrin, by the way, which is a cool benefit! Blue Hall is part of the Kikar Hamuzika which is a huuuuge cultural project in the works – it’s actually fascinating what’s going on there. Maybe more on that another day.

Anyway, once a month they post the schedule of performances for that month. Here is February’s schedule but also join their Facebook page for updates.

blue hall feb 2015 schedule

Yellow Submarine

The Yellow Submarine is a long standing live music venue in Jerusalem. You’ll see in their schedule nothing listed for today (Tuesday) but my sister recently went to their free jazz night which is every Tuesday and said the music was amazing.

Here is the Yellow Submarine schedule in English. But I sometimes wonder if their Hebrew one is more up to date so maybe keep an eye on that too.

Zappa Jerusalem

zappa jerusalem space photo

Zappa Jerusalem hosts some of the best Israeli musicians. I barely share their events because they are usually pretty expensive but I guess it’s the best and if you’re ready to splurge, this is one of the places you should consider doing it in. Located minutes from the First Station, the venue is very cool so it’s definitely worth going there for something at some point.

Zappa doesn’t have their events listed in English. Here is the Hebrew list of events at Zappa Jerusalem.

Jerusalem Theatre

Besides the free Etnachta concerts that they have every Monday at 5pm (confirm with them), they offer lots of cultural events including music, dance, theatre and cinema.

Best to start on their English homepage and work from there. By the way, they have the same issue as the Cinematheque – individual links in their site will take you to both the English and Hebrew pages so often the default is Hebrew, making it difficult to share their information.

Beit Avi Chai

For events more on the Jewish cultural side including concerts, lectures and more, see what’s doing at Beit Avi Chai on Keren Hayesod Street. They are a huge institution with lots of things going on that will definitely make you feel intellectual and maybe spiritual too. But at the very least, it’ll make you feel very Jewish.

Here is their homepage in Hebrew.

Tahrir Bar

tahrir in the shuk

This is an eclectic bar in the Mahane Yehuda Market, the Shuk, that offers live music I’d say at least once a week. Their stuff is always funky with a focus on world and Middle Eastern music.

Here is the Tahrir Facebook page. The info is in Hebrew.

And that’s only the tip of the iceberg

I’m holding myself back (it’s so hard!) because otherwise I’ll never get my workday started!

But one final word about Jerusalem culture. It is not only here and readily available, it’s also funky, creative, fun, interesting and meaningful. It is worth getting to know it because yeah, you might get disappointed here and there, but getting out there means opening yourself up to the local culture which, in my opinion, is nothing if not enriching and enlightening.

You’re invited to join the “Things to do in Jerusalem” Facebook group and bookmark the (very mobile-friendly) online calendar to get ongoing info about handpicked cultural events in Jerusalem.

About the Author
Deena is a new mother, a project manager and a writer living in Jaffa.