Budget travelers will have to search a bit for affordable accommodation in Jerusalem, but it can be found and may even make your trip to Israel more interesting than a stay in one of the deluxe hotels.
If you plan on spending most of your time in and around the Old City, there are a number of clean, simple and friendly guest houses and hostels within the walls that will not only save you money, but travel time too. Most of the guest houses are located in the Christian Quarter, so you’ll be able to wander to your heart’s content through the different quarters of the Old City from your base close by.
St. Mark’s Hostel is a popular choice for budget travelers. Built in the 19th century, the building is full of character, and rooms have been recently updated and renovated. There’s a lovely garden and courtyard and fantastic views of the Temple Mount and Mount of Olives from the rooftop. It’s operated by the Lutheran Church but full of guests from all over the world.
Across town, just a few minutes walk from the popular Machane Yehuda outdoor market, is the Abraham Hostel, opened in 2010 and popular with the younger crowd. The forty rooms include singles, doubles and family rooms, all with air conditioning, bathrooms and mini-fridges. There’s a good travel info desk in the lobby and Wi-Fi access is free. The Abraham Hostel is just steps away from the Light Rail that will take you to Yad Vashem and the Old City.
Budget price hotels are mostly located in central Jerusalem, around the Jaffa Road area. The Palatin is good value for money for those concerned with location. Rooms are small, but the central location can’t be beat.
Slightly more upscale, but still on the lower price side is the Montefiore Hotel on Schatz Street, a pleasant pedestrian-only side street filled with cafes and boutiques. Friendly staff, clean rooms and a plentiful Israeli-style buffet breakfast make the Montefiore a popular choice for independent travelers.
For a unique architectural budget accommodation experience try the YMCA 3 Arches on King David Street. Located directly across the street from the venerable 5-star King David Hotel, the YMCA is an art deco building (designed by the same architect who designed the Empire state Building) with modest guest rooms but good facilities. A lovely terrace cafe and access to the indoor swimming pool are a couple of the bonuses of a stay at the YMCA.