Nachlaot is one of Jerusalem’s most interesting areas. A cluster of neighborhoods in the center of the city, Nachlaot is characterized by its narrow, windy lanes, quaint, stone houses, and aesthetic courtyards tucked behind the bustle of the city. Visiting this gorgeous neighborhood should be on everyone’s Jerusalem itinerary as there’s much to see, explore, and do here.
The neighborhood was built in the 1870s – during the Ottoman Empire – by Jewish immigrants looking to construct a vibrant community away from the noisy Old City. In recent years, Nachlaot has grown to become one of Jerusalem’s most popular neighborhoods, drawing international tourists, curious locals, and spiritual enthusiasts.
Nachlaot had the highest number of synagogues in the world at one point, (with 300 in the radius of just a few blocks). These synagogues served both the Ashkenazi (European) community as well as several Sephardic (Spanish, North African) sects. Over time, however, Nachlaot’s dense population created a need for change. As older residents moved out, the government granted approval to artists, musicians, as well as many young American Jews to give Nachlaot the creative facelift it needed.
This resulted in a stunning collection of alleyways catering to the spiritually devout. The walkways today are adorned with whimsical street art and a hippie-esque atmosphere borne of traditional and even kabbalistic ties. Of the 300 synagogues that were once here, only 100 or so remain. Today, wander the magical streets with our Hidden Gems of Jerusalem Tour, and be captivated by the original stone houses and historical richness seeping throughout. Though Nachlaot serves as one of Israel’s lesser-known marvels, there are more hidden treasures to be experienced around the Holy Land.
Nachlaot’s individual sectors are made up of Mishkenot Yisrael, Ohel Moshe, Mazkeret Moshe, Zichron Yosef, Sukkat Shalom, Zichron Yaakov, Shevet Ahim, and Nahalat Ahim. These fuse into one vibrant expanse that can be appreciated best during the Jewish festival seasons, especially Sukkot and Hanukkah. Nachlaot lights up with traditional huts, brightly-lit menorahs, and an overall exceptional ambiance as ornaments decorate the alleyways and a great comradery is felt all around.
Explore this beautiful neighborhood with day tours like our Best of Jerusalem Day Tour or Hidden Gems of Jerusalem Tour, where you’ll explore charming Nachlaot as well as other unconventional neighborhoods like Mea Shearim.
If you want to extend your enchanting day tour into a multi-day adenture, join our 3 Day Insider’s Jerusalem City Tour for an enthralling insider experience. If you are seeking an immersive Jewish experience, consider taking our Jewish Heritage Tour, over the course of 3 days to see Nachlaot among other religious highlights.
You can always browse our phenomenal Jerusalem Bucket List to find the best things to do in the holy city.