Jerusalem’s Cool and Hot Checklist of Summer 2016

By Eliana Rudee


Cool Off When You Need it the Most

This summer is guaranteed to be a scorcher.

With temperatures at all time highs, you’re going to want a way to cool off.

Here’s your cool Jerusalem checklist for summer 2016:



Ramat Rachel Pool © Kibbutz Ramat Rachel

Swim at the Ramat Rachel pool

The Ramat Rachel semi Olympic pool is perfect for the summer. Grab a lawn chair in a shaded area and stay the day. Accompanied by a full restaurant and a snack bar, you could easily spend a summer day enjoying what Ramat Rachel has to offer. There is also a sports center if some pre-pool exercise sparks your fancy. Prices range between 75-80NIS depending on the day, Saturday being the more expensive, and it is even open on Shabbat. Did I mention there’s a water slide in July and August?


Mousseline French Ice Cream ©

Try the ice cream at Mousseline

Cool off the sweet way with some refreshing ice cream at Mousseline. Located in the shuk at 6 HaEshkol Street, this shop is a must-visit for this summer. The owner left the high tech industry to go to France to learn the art of ice cream making. And an art, it is. Mousseline features interesting flavors like grapefruit with basil and sour cherry. Using only fresh fruit from the shuk, the fruity ice creams are incredibly local and especially thirst quenching.

Browsing-for-a-bathingBrowsing for a bathing suit © Marc Israel Sellem/The Jerusalem Post

Buy a bathing suit

Although you may not think of Jerusalem as the place to buy a bathing suit, you may be surprised. Last summer’s BikiniFest at the First Station was Israel’s first swimwear festival and it was proudly held in Jerusalem. Over 4,200 participants showed up to the festival that featured “leading online bikini manufacturers and swimwear boutique owners from around the country”. The jury is out whether or not this wildly successful festival will continue again this summer- but if not, you can always find a good bikini at Forever 21 at the Malcha Mall, or for a more modest alternative, at MarSea Modest Swim and Casualwear on 12 Eliezer HaGadol Street.  


Fan © Texas Leather Furniture in San Antoinio/Flickr

Search electronics stores for a good fan

High heat demands high-quality cooling technologies. But not every apartment in Israel is lucky enough to have an air-conditioning unit.  If that is the case in your apartment or home, it is highly recommended to find a good fan or air conditioning unit before the hot hits! For lower-priced alternatives, start at stores like MaxStock in Talpiyot and electronics stores on Yaffo and Agripas, towards the Shuk. For more expensive but high-duty AC units, try these installation businesses in Jerusalem. If you’re not sure which kind of fan to get for your place (ceiling fans, box fans, floor fans, oh my!) here is a great buying guide in Hebrew.  


Beer Festival © Quinn Bombrowski/Flickr

Attend the Beer Festival

The Jerusalem Beer Festival is one of the best summer festivals in Jerusalem. The festival features two consecutive nights of 150+ different types of beer for sale, both international and locally brewed. Accompanying the beer are food stands, street performers, and live music. The summer outdoor atmosphere is perfect for Jerusalem, as the weather cools down at night. Last year’s performers included HaDag Hanachash and drew hundreds of beer lovers. 40 NIS with discounts for soldiers and students.


Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat Plays with Water © Courtesy: Nir Barkat Timeline Photos

Pick a fight (water fight, that is)

If there’s anything you can learn from Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat (and trust me, you can learn a lot, because he’s amazing) it is that you’re never too old for a good water fight. You can buy a water gun from a store on Ben Yehuda or near the Shuk. Grab some friends, put on a bathing suit or clothes you don’t mind getting wet in, head to Independence Park or Gan Sacher, and fire! Water fights are a fun way to cool off and are guaranteed to make you feel like a kid in summer yet again.

 Hot: Spice Up Your Summer

With summer weather comes hot summer activities. Make sure not to miss any of these events and opportunities:



Musical Performance at the First Station © First Station

Attend a movie screening at the First Station

No matter the day, there’s something going on at the First Station. Whether you’re interested in restaurants, concerts, dancing, shopping, movie screenings, or yoga, there’s something happening for you at the First Station. This is also a great budget activity, as most of the events at the First Station are free! Make sure to check the schedule to see the list of the upcoming events. The summertime evening movie screenings are a great way to unwind and enjoy the Jerusalem summer.  


Street Festivals in Downtown Jerusalem © Ha’ira

Party with Ha’ira

Ha’ira, the official website for Downtown Jerusalem, promotes the central part of the city for Jerusalem’s residents and tourists. Ha’ira features many cultural attractions, entertainment areas, restaurants, bars, and shops that are perfect for summer days. Parties will be posted here and are updated often. This website also publicizes events, fairs, street events, theater, dance, live music, etc.  


Spices Workshop © Danielle Ben-Shushan

Jerusalem Village Events

Double decker bus tour? Check. Shabbat dinners in the shuk? Double Check. Events at JVP Media Quarter? Check Mate. Jerusalem Village is going hard this summer with fun and social events that are truly this season’s must-go. The special summer events are produced along with JV’s regular innovative community programs for young Yerushalmim such as Shalom al Lechem, Alter.Native, and Wine Wednesdays. JV events are a great way to create a sense of belonging to the city of Jerusalem among young adults from around the world, making it a hot activity for the summer. Come meet people, connect to the city’s unique culture, people, and lifestyle, and most importantly, bring friends!


Meat on the Barbie © Pixolga/Pixabay

Have a BBQ at Gan Sacher

Gan Sacher, or Sacher Park, is an expansive and green park that separates Nachlaot and Rechavia from the Knesset and Supreme Court. The park features large grassy areas, a walking path, play areas for children, basketball courts, tennis courts, soccer goals, a skateboarding park, and a dog area. On a sunny evening, bring your grill and put out a picnic blanket because Gan Sacher is perfect for barbequing. Just a 10-minute walk from the Jerusalem shuk, pick up your meat right before hand so it is fresh and ready to be grilled!


A palm grove between Hirbet Hanut and Ein Kobi ©

Go on a hike near Jerusalem

The most difficult part about hiking near Jerusalem is choosing which path to enjoy. With tens of choices of hikes near Jerusalem, it’s best to first choose your challenge and then decide. Derech Caesar is an easy 3.5-kilometer route that takes about 90 minutes, ending at a picnic spot called Beit Bad. Make sure to look up the route’s fascinating history before going. For a longer hike with the same starting location, Hirbet Hanut to Ein Kobi is a good four-hour trek. Take a dip in the Kobi Spring to cool off and enjoy the many amazing views (rocks, pine forests, and a palm grove).


Rock Climbing with Friends © Aviva Leidner

Play with friends at a sport court in Jerusalem

In addition to Ramat Rachel’s pool, they also have three great tennis courts, basketball courts, and a gym. For tennis players, check out the Israel Tennis Center near Malcha Mall and Teddy Stadium at 1 Elmaliach Street. Also nearby is an indoor rock climbing gym, Kir Yerushalaim, at Teddy Stadium’s East Gate. With over 750 square meters of climbing walls, this is your place to climb, boulder, and train. The staff is very helpful and will be happy to brief you in safety procedures.


Eyal Levit, Director of Muslala, in front of the in-construction HaMirpeset © Eliana Rudee

Check out HaMirpeset: A roof for new urbanism- OPENED THIS WEEK!

Just up the spiral suitcase in the Clal building on Jaffa road lays a groundbreaking new urban roof coming to fruition this week. The Muslala community has transformed the roof of the Clal building, making a community garden, bee sanctuary, sitting areas, library, wood workshop, and a social art gallery. During this week’s Jerusalem Design week, lectures will be held every day starting at 19:00. Don’t miss it! But if you must, rest assured that HaMirpeset will become a prime spot for leisure, gatherings, and events in Jerusalem, where Muslala community members will lead a variety of courses, workshops, and lectures So keep your eyes out for more events on HaMirpeset. See you at the top of the staircase!

Whether you’re ready to take on the heat or cool down this summer, Jerusalem is a great place to complete your summer 2016 checklist. With these fun, social, and mouthwatering suggestions, summer 2016 is guaranteed to be a season to remember.

Eliana Rudee is a fellow with the Haym Salomon Center and the author of the “Aliyah Annotated” column for She is a graduate of Scripps College, where she studied international relations and Jewish studies. Her bylines have been featured in USA Today, Forbes, and The Hill. Follow her column on


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