Like every country, Israel has hostels. Unlike every country, some of the hostels in Israel are really quite special, whether it be their location, their philosophy, or simply the service they are offering. These are places that embrace travel and go further than simply offering accommodation. They act as a place for travelers to meet, to talk, to share wisdom and stories, and hostels which are run by people passionate about showing their guests their homeland and giving them a unique experience that, by staying in more luxurious accommodation, would be diluted. This article showcase the best hostels in Israel. It started as a list of five, but as Israel’s buoyant hostel scene has seen more great hostels open, has grown to a longer list.
Best for Jerusalem: cinema Hostel, Jerusalem
Cinema Hostel in Jerusalem is a new, cinema-themed hostel located in the heart of Jerusalem. Built inside the legendary old Orion Cinema, the hostel has a warm environment with backdrops of classic films. Perfectly located for exploring, the Cinema Hostel also offers guests tours and activities, from jam sessions and movie nights to pub crawls, there is always something exciting to do. The hostel has a dormitory as well as private rooms, each with its own, unique theme from a different movie.
Best for the Negev: The Green Backpackers, Mitzpe Ramon
The Ramon Crater is one of the highlights of the Negev Desert in southern Israel, a large crater in the landscape created by the power of water erosion thousands of years ago when oceans covered the area. Only one town, Mitzpe Ramon, overlooks this natural wonder, and The Green Backpackers Hostel is there. Run by two tour guides who love this land and love to show it to their guests, The Green Backpackers is an eco-friendly hostel, with a renowned atmosphere and a great selection of activities and events.
Roger’s House is located in a Templar building in one of the best neighborhoods of Tel Aviv, Neve Tzedek. The hostel is located within walking distance of the top attractions in the city, like the Mediterranean Coast, the Carmel Market, Jaffa, and Florentin. At Roger’s House, you have the option to stay in a dorm room or private room. You can drink Roger’s Beer, a Tel Avivian amber ale brewed by Roger himself. At the hostel, you can get your laundry done, access free Wi-Fi, drink free coffee and tea, use their fully-equipped kitchen, and rent bikes.
Best in the Golan Heights: Golan Heights Hostel, Odem
For a long time, the Golan Heights truly lacked a good hostel, but all that has changed since the Golan Heights Hostel opened in late 2014. Set in the small village of Odem, the Golan Heights Hostel has a brilliant location, easily accessible by public bus, and at the same time perfectly located for those wanting to explore the region thanks to Odem’s rich list of activities – from wineries, to hiking trails, ATV’s, and so on, and easily accessible to other highlights. The hostel itself is brand new, with great facilities and an atmosphere which reflects the calm and rural pace of life in the Golan.
Most Off-the-Beaten-Track: Juha’s Guesthouse, Jizr az Zarqa
The first hostel in Jizr az Zarqa, the only Arab village on Israel’s Mediterranean Coast, and one of the poorest villages in Israel, Juha’s Guesthouse opened in early 2014 and has already had a marked impact on the local area. Despite it’s small size, the hostel brings to the Israel’s coast a top-class backpackers hostel, set right on the Israel National Trail, 30 minutes walk from Caesarea, in a fascinating authentic Arab fisherman’s village with a picturesque beach in a natural cove, and great opportunities to join local families for evening meals and truly immerse yourself in this culture.