The Bars of Jerusalem: A Drink a Day Keeps the Dr. Away
In case you haven’t heard, Jerusalem has a burgeoning and diverse nightlife scene brimming with local and expat watering holes, alternative hangouts, cocktail bars, live music venues, dance bars and more.
We’re not just talking about weekend joints either. Jerusalem nightlife runs 7 days a week, and every night there’s something special going on.
If you don’t believe us, check these out for yourself next time you’re in town…
Sunday — Free Live Music at Birman
Whether you’re winding down your weekend or starting off your week, a chill night with a surprise concert is just what the doctor ordered.
While you’re most likely to hear Jazz at Birman, you might also catch a Klezmer, gypsy folk show or just the owner on his accordion, depending on the day. The atmosphere is always casual and full of music junkies, especially on weeknights.
Meanwhile, the drinks are fairly priced, and the food menu is pretty enticing in its own right.
There’s no need to fret if you can’t make it out on Sunday because Birman has live music every night Saturday-Thursday.
8 Dorot Rishonim Street, Jerusalem
Monday — Open Mic at Mike’s Place
Got a song or stand-up routine that you’d like to perform in front of a crowd? Look no further. Mike’s Place opens up their stage to anyone with the courage to get up on it every Monday.
Mike’s Place is an iconic piece of Israeli nightlife and probably the number 1 expat hangout in Jerusalem. Aside from Monday and Friday (closed for Shabbat) nights, there is a live show with free entrance and always a warm, community atmosphere. The drinks and food (kosher) aren’t half bad either.
Mike’s Place, 33 Yafo Street, Jerusalem
Tuesday – Rocking at the Ba$tards
If you really want to check out the music scene in Jerusalem, you need to visit the Ba$tards club on their Tuesday Haze Nights. The Ba$tards is somewhere between a club and a dance bar with a young, vibrant and happy atmosphere.
Every Tuesday they bring the best local musicians to play live rock, live blues and live rock ‘n’ roll, all mixed up together. So if you want to meet some really amazing people, drink great alcohol and dance on the bar, there’s no better place than the Ba$tards.
Ba$tards, 2 Shushan Street, Jerusalem, 072-3281205
Wednesday — Dance into the night
In keeping with European tradition, Israel has turned Wednesday night into a student and youth party in Jerusalem’s center. This is the day you’ll find the most young people partying until the wee hours of the morning, and it makes a lot of sense. Why should you wait until Thursday, when you can be happy in the middle of the week?
Dorothy is a restaurant-bar which turns into Jerusalem’s central dance bar every Wednesday night. Dance to lively music, and enjoy good food and the alcohol which runs like water well into the night.
During the week, Dorothy is a quality meat restaurant, with a calmer atmosphere, and every weekend, there are parties. Dorothy’s has everything, for everyone and every mood.
Dorothy, 3 Ben Shetah Street, Jerusalem, 072-3290762
Thursday — Mahane Yehuda Madness
You haven’t experienced Jerusalem nightlife until you’ve spent your Thursday night in the shuk.
Mahane Yehuda is overflowing with bars of all kinds, and they all have a bit of extra life on Thursday since it’s the beginning of the weekend in Israel.
Some of the most popular spots are the new Beer Bazaar, the Hadag Hanahash-owned Casino de Paris and Shuka Bar.
Friday — Downtown is Funtown
There’s a common misconception that the entire city goes to sleep over Shabbat (Friday evening to Saturday night), but it’s actually one of the liveliest nights in the city center.
The younger crowd tends to flock early in the night to Rivlin Street, Jerusalem’s most famous nightlife district, where you’ll find throngs of young Israelis drinking beers and smoking shisha. Later on, the party continues at dance bars like Toy Bar and Monaco — or for the truly adventurous, the legendary Sira Pub.
Meanwhile, the more mature crowd usually frequents the Shushan district (aka hipster central) for drinks and conversation at divey hipster bars and free concerts at Hamazkeka.
Saturday — Post-Shabbat Hangover Cure
There’s nothing like ending the week with a chill and quite night out at the intimate Red & White bar at Alrov Mamilla Avenue. This dimly lit bar is the best place to listen to some nice ambient music, have a great conversation over a glass of wine and have a relaxing Saturday night.
Make sure you get some wine tastings from their automatic wine dispenser. They serve wine from Israel’s top boutique wineries. If you feel like drinking something a bit stronger, they also have a great selection of premium single-malt whiskeys and gins.
Add a boutique chocolate to your order, lay back and get ready for a new crazy nightlife week in Jerusalem.
Red & White Wine Bar, 8 King Solomon St, Jerusalem, 072-3713896
Photo: Alex Yampolsky, Maxim Dinshtein, Dorothy, Gatsby, Mike’s Place, Servesa, Red & White Bar