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Top 15 Green Activities in Jerusalem
Jerusalem can get intense, so it’s worth it to know where to escape to within the city when you’re in need of a breather and want to get a little closer to nature.
Most of the places below (ordered by area) are spread out, but are reachable by public transport. You’ll probably want to pick one or two and relax there for a few hours. The list below includes just a few parks, but the city is dotted with many other
1. Society for the Protection of Nature in Israel (SPNI)
Located in the Russian Compound in the center of Jerusalem, the SPNI is located in Sergei’s Courtyard. The courtyard is a peaceful spot for a picnic with gardens, benches, olive presses, old farming tools and ancient wells. The SPNI hold environmental-related activities including walking tours around Jerusalem in the mornings and afternoons.
Address: 13 Helene Hamalka Street
2. Sacher Park
The biggest green space in Jerusalem, Sacher Park sprawls between the areas of Nachlaot, Rehavia and Givat Ram. In particular, the area around Rechavia is manicured, clean, green and lush with the area around the Monastery of the Cross more on the wild, natural side. Sacher Park is a great place for a picnic and barbeque and there are a number of facilities for the more active such as a bike path and children’s playgrounds. Read more.
Address: Ruppin Street, Rechavia
Givat Ram & Surrounds
3. Jerusalem Bird Observatory
Located near the Knesset, the Jerusalem Bird Observatory (JBO) is open to the public to stop by for bird watching, lectures, tours, close encounters with ringed birds and an eco-experience. Don’t miss the wooden structure as you enter the site on the right, known as the hideaway, which is a great place to watch birds as they descend into a nearby fountain.
Address: Ben Zvi Boulevard
4. Wohl Rose Garden
The Wohl Rose Garden, opposite the Knesset, features around 15,000 rose bushes and more than 400 types of exquisite roses. Considered one of the 11 most beautiful rose gardens in the world, the Garden offers sprawling lawns, a pond with aquatic plants, sculptures, quarries and a waterfall. Read more >
Address: Eliezer Kaplan Street, Givat Ram
5. Jerusalem Botanical Gardens
On the southern edge of Hebrew University’s Givat Ram campus, the Jerusalem Botanical Gardens offer a vast expanse of greenery as well as colourful and unique flowers, trees, bushes, vegetation, bonsai trees and biblical flora. The Gardens include a hothouse and a visitors’ center with changing exhibitions. You can go on an organized tour of the grounds, take a relaxed stroll, or hop on the hourly “flower train”. There is a café called Caffit near the entrance. Click here to read more.
Address: 1 Yehuda Burla St, Jerusalem
6. Gazelle Valley
The Gazelle Valley is home to a herd of deer who live in the middle of urban Jerusalem surrounded by busy roads on all sides. A wonder to behold, you can take walks through the area organized by the Jerusalem Bird Observatory as well as by the Society for Protection of Nature in Israel (SPNI). If you have a car at your disposal, it’s worth driving by for the sweet sight of gazelle hopping by.
Address: Entrance at Corner Herzog and Tzomet Pat Rd, Jerusalem
7. Jerusalem Park
The Jerusalem Park is made of hundreds of acres of open, green areas and pine forests surrounding the city of Jerusalem and is a refuge for those who love nature. The park offers many activities around the year that are perfect for families.
8. Tisch Family Zoological Gardens
Situated on beautiful, tranquil grounds, the Biblical Zoo in Malha makes a great day out for those who want to enjoy a quiet picnic as well as for families with kids. Children will love the frequent train rides and the petting zoo with goats, chickens and other animals. The zoo conserves various species mentioned in the Bible as well as endangered species from all over the world. Be sure to pack comfortable shoes and enjoy a leisurely stroll through the Zoo grounds. For more information, click here.
Address: Agudat Sport HaPoel St, Jerusalem
Mount of Olives
9. Garden of Gethsemane
Known as the place where Jesus prayed for the last time, these peaceful gardens on the grounds of the famous Church of All Nations contain ancient olive trees that are thousands of years old. Read more >
Address: Mount of Olives
Phone: +972-2-628-3264 (Church of All Nations)
Katamon & Surrounds
10. San Simon Park
Bordering the neighbourhood of Old Katamon and San Simon, this gem of a find is a great place to feel the seasons and offers an expansive grassy area, shady trees, basketball courts, a bicycle path, three playground areas, and a gated dog park. The benches positioned outside the dog park offer a scenic view of Jerusalem. The park is quiet during the day but fills up with families and children in the afternoons, particularly on Shabbat.
Address: Several entrances, one from Hizkiyahu Hamelech St, Jerusalem
11. HaShomer Community Gardens
These gardens in the neighborhood of Katamon are a great place to get a feel for an ecologically-aware Jerusalem community, with an abundance of medicinal flowers, herbs and vegetables. Regular meetings and events take place in the Gardens.
Address: 2 Hashomer St, Jerusalem
12. Natural History Gardens
The Natural History Museum in the beautiful German Colony area is dedicated to local animal and plant life, and also includes a center for urban agriculture in its courtyard.
Address: 6 Muhliver St, Jerusalem
13. Brody Garden
These gardens in the clean, beautiful and small neighborhood of Kiryat Shmuel (between Katamon and Rechavia) are maintained by volunteers in the community and include herbs, flowers and bushes all grown according to organic farming methodology.
Address: Brody St, Jerusalem
14. Rose Park (Gan Hashoshanim)
This small park in the magnificent area of Talbiyeh has gorgeous manicured lawns and rose bushes, and elegant benches underneath a European-style gazebo. The Park is clean and immaculately-kept and is a great place to take off your shoes, feel the earth beneath and unwind.
Address: Talbiyeh, Jerusalem
15. The Haas Promenade
Known by most as the tayelet (the promenade), this spot offers glorious views of the Dome of the Rock, the Old City, the Kidron Valley and of east and west Jerusalem. The promenade offers many walking paths and park benches, making it a great spot to head to for a picnic or for some introspection. As a safety precaution, it’s better to avoid going alone or after dark.
Address: Armon Hanatziv, Jerusalem