Festival Dates (2023)
The Festival of Lights Jerusalem is always expected to set the date of the event every year on the month of June, and this would occur for an estimated 8 days long. But this year 2023, the festival period has been 5-13 of July from Friday nights, that is. For the 2024 Festival of Lights Jerusalem, the organizers are yet to announce the dates, so stay tuned for the latest updates.
Where It’s Located and How to Get There
The Festival of Lights Jerusalem has always adorned its lights in the scenic and marvelous lanes of Old City. The walls and architecture that could be found within the city are embroidered with a variety of bright, colorful fairy lights, bringing the night to life with its different sparkling hues.
The tracks for the event are different each year, but each and every route is sure to be located in and around the Old City. You can choose the own tracks you would like to see first from those that are offered once you go.
You can go to the Old City by taking the light trail that is situated near the municipality hall of Jerusalem City. From there, you take a walk to Jaffa Gate that would take you 10 to 15 minutes or 5 minutes towards New Gate.
If you are at the Damascus Gate Station, you can directly walk your way towards the Old City by going through the Damascus Gate.
There are no taxi stations present in the Old City itself, but despite that, taxis are still free to enter the city as they would please—which means that if you wish to go to Old City, you can do it via taxi rides. Rest assured that taxis are easy to find and hail outside the roads of Old City and that you would get a ride in no time.
Most taxis could be found just outside Dung Gate, Jaffa Gate, and The Western Wall. Tell them that you are headed to the Festival of Lights Jerusalem, and they are sure to know where to go.
If you liked Festival of Lights Jerusalem, you can also check out these other amazing lights festivals:
The Festival of Lights Jerusalem is ready to grace its amazement during the hours of 6 p.m. until late 11 p.m. You are free to visit as long as it is within the scheduled opening period of the festival.
You can still go and sightsee the other wonders situated in Old City even though the festival of lights has not opened yet. The early bird catches the worm, they say, and going early even before the light festival starts to guarantee you more time to explore around the Old City.
Aside from the light exhibition, you can visit multiple tourist spots and fancy restaurants to dine in. You can even grab some souvenirs while you’re at it. With that, you’re able to enjoy the light festival and Old City all in one day.
Cost to Visit the Festival
Would you believe it when you hear that the Festival of Lights Jerusalem offers a lot of attractions during their opening hours, and all of those are for free? Well, you should! The light festival does not require any admission fee for any ages, so you can enjoy sightseeing without worrying about the cost.
However, the restaurants and other attractions inside the Old City are an exception. Of course, you have to pay for the food you eat, even from the stalls that you could find along the street. Rest assured, spending a lot of time indulging in food and souvenirs can fit within a $100 budget.
Weather and What to Wear
Since the light festival takes place during the summer, it is expected that most days, it would be humid and hot. A lot of locals wear sleeveless casual clothing during this time, so feel free to pack and wear lots of casual outfits, as well.
You can bring a jacket if you would like, since even though it is summer, the Festival of Lights Jerusalem opens when it is already dark, and summer nights also have sudden tendencies of being chilly and windy. The jacket is just in case you suddenly feel cold during the event.
A fair-weather is always expected during the Festival of Lights Jerusalem, so the most that you should do with what you wear is to be comfortable in it – sport a look that would make you feel confident enough to include pictures of yourself in your social media posts!
Where to Sleep
The hotels nearby the festival are just as beautiful as the event itself. There are multiple places that you could stay in when you’re visiting the town for the Festival of Lights. Even if you’re a local and would just like to stay in a hotel for the night, the places nearby are sure to accommodate you well.
The Inbal Jerusalem
This hotel tops everything else on the list, as it is dubbed as the number 1 luxury hotel of Jerusalem. It boasts its nice breakfast, superb accommodation, and lush rooms.
The Inbal Jerusalem rooms include a minibar, private balcony, interconnected rooms, air conditioning, room service, and a whole lot more. The hotel itself offers high-speed free Wi-Fi, free breakfast, and parking, along with a gym room and pool if you want to unwind first before going to the fest itself.
The place is an exclusive boutique hotel that is sure to give you only its best services. The venue is filled with a rich history, but now it has been renovated into a more modern and contemporary vibe.
Leonardo Boutique lets you enjoy its free, high-speed Wi-Fi. Its room is also accommodated with a coffee/tea maker, bath/shower, and flatscreen TV. However, if you want to park your car, it will cost you extra.
What to Eat
A trip or vacay is never complete if you haven’t gotten a taste of the place’s best foods. Before or after enjoying the festival of lights, you shouldn’t miss out on dining in these places.
The food isn’t the only thing you’d be enjoying at Pichonka, but you can also relish in the breathtaking view it has, as well. In the remote location, you’re sure to enjoy their meals and their services, no matter what time of the day it may be.
Perhaps you’re looking for something rather smaller, such as a café where you could have a quick snack in between your trip. The Nocturno Café is sure to suit your tastes, as they offer excellent foods—especially their breakfast menu. On top of that, they have a lot of vegetarian-friendly items, as well.
More Things To Do In The Area
1. Western Wall (Kotel)
- Location: Western Wall Plaza, Jewish Quarter, Old City, Jerusalem
- Description: The Western Wall, often referred to as the “Wailing Wall”, is one of Judaism’s holiest sites. It’s the remnant of the Second Jewish Temple’s external wall, which was destroyed by the Romans in 70 CE.
- Activities to Explore:
- Participate in or observe prayer sessions at the Wall.
- Write a personal note or prayer and place it in the crevices of the Wall, a long-standing tradition.
- Explore the Western Wall Tunnels to delve deeper into the history and archaeology of the Temple Mount.
2. Church of the Holy Sepulchre
- Location: Christian Quarter, Old City, Jerusalem
- Description: One of Christianity’s holiest sites, this ancient church is believed to be the location where Jesus was crucified, buried, and resurrected.
- Activities to Explore:
- Explore the various chapels dedicated to the different stations of the cross.
- Observe the pilgrims’ rituals, especially around the Stone of Anointing, where Jesus’ body is believed to have been prepared for burial.
- Climb the stairs to Golgotha (or Calvary), where it’s believed Jesus was crucified.
3. Tower of David Museum
- Location: Jaffa Gate, Old City, Jerusalem
- Description: Housed within the medieval citadel known as the “Tower of David”, this museum offers a comprehensive overview of Jerusalem’s 3000-year history through various exhibits and displays.
- Activities to Explore:
- Walk through the museum’s exhibitions that narrate the city’s history from its Canaanite origins to modern times.
- Take in panoramic views of the Old City and beyond from the tower’s ramparts.
- Attend the nightly sound and light show that projects the city’s history onto the walls and archaeological ruins of the citadel.
1. What are the parking facilities available for the Festival of Lights in Old City, Jerusalem?
Answer: Parking in the Old City is limited due to its narrow streets. However, there are several parking lots around the Old City, such as the Mamilla and Karta parking lots. It’s recommended to arrive early or consider public transportation options.
2. Is smoking allowed during the Festival of Lights?
Answer: While the Old City is an open area, it’s advisable to avoid smoking near crowds or light installations for the comfort and safety of all attendees. Always look for designated smoking zones, if available.
3. Can visitors bring their pets to the Festival of Lights?
Answer: While the Old City is generally open to the public, it might not be ideal to bring pets due to the dense crowds during the festival. If you must bring a pet, ensure it is leashed and well-behaved.
4. Are there refreshments available during the festival?
Answer: Yes, the Old City has numerous cafes, restaurants, and street vendors offering a variety of foods and beverages. During the festival, additional stalls may also be set up to cater to the increased number of visitors.
5. Are there any items or behaviors prohibited during the festival?
Answer: Visitors are expected to maintain decorum and respect, given the religious and historical significance of the Old City. It’s essential to avoid blocking pathways or touching light installations. Loud music and disruptive behavior are discouraged.
6. Is the Festival of Lights accessible for individuals with disabilities?
Answer: The Old City’s historical nature means some areas might be challenging to access for those with mobility issues. However, efforts are made to ensure main pathways and installations are accessible. It’s recommended to check the festival’s official website for detailed accessibility information.
7. What should visitors expect in terms of entertainment and displays?
Answer: The Festival of Lights in Jerusalem offers a mesmerizing array of light installations, projections, and performances. Historic buildings and walls often serve as backdrops for these illuminations, making it a blend of history and modern art.
8. In case of inclement weather, will the festival be postponed?
Answer: The Festival of Lights typically goes on rain or shine. However, in the event of extreme weather conditions, certain installations or activities might be rescheduled or canceled. Always check the festival’s official website for real-time updates.