Ben Yehuda Street is one of the main streets of Jerusalem downtown, and it is also known as the Midrachov. This beautiful street connects Jaffa Road and King George Street, and it forms the Downtown Triangle central business district. Moreover, Ben Yehuda Street is a pedestrian area with many shops, and it is closed to all the vehicles. The street goes from the junction of King George Street eastern to Zion Square and Jaffa Road. The street is called after the author of Modern Hebrew, Eliezer Ben-Yehuda.
Ben Yehuda Street in Jerusalem
Since 1983, the street Ben Yehuda has been closed to vehicle traffic, and in Hebrew, this kind of street is called a midrachov, which means pedestrian mall.
In Ben Yehuda Street, most of the businesses are Judaica, gift and souvenir shops, besides the many cafés and eateries that crowd the pathway. Moreover, during the day, artists and street musicians are performing. Indeed, this gorgeous street of downtown’s Jerusalem is well-known as the “secular heart of Jerusalem“. The centre of Jerusalem is international; hence it is common to hear English and Hebrew. The street was named in honour of the author of the modern Hebrew language, Eliezer Ben-Yehuda.
Ben Yehuda Street is the centre of Jerusalem’s downtown business district and the pole around which most tourism circulates. Restaurants and eateries serve typical Israeli food such as falafel and hummus and original gourmet recipes, besides delicious icecreams. The crowd of Ben Yehuda Street is a blend of locals, visitors, street artists and musicians, Chabad emissaries with their tefillin tables, yeshiva boys and Anglo girls, and much more. Ben Yehuda always enchants the visitors and Israelis. There are delicious restaurants such as Café Rimon that offer kosher dairy and meat food separately in two different rooms; hence whatever you are craving, this restaurant will satisfy your desires.
Ben Yehuda is Jerusalem’s favourite place for buying Israeli t-shirts and hats, Judaica, Dead Sea cosmetics and other souvenirs. After Shabbat, the street is packed with teenagers and young adults who meet together to hang around, gather with friends and grab a slice of pizza or ice cream on Thursday nights and Saturday nights. And it is widespread to listen to a lot of English on the midrechov on these occasions. Street performers of every genre and artists exhibit directly in the centre of the pathway, selling their artworks and other unique handicrafts right from the creators.
And as it was already mentioned, it is prevalent to see Chabad religious men behind a stand allowing Jewish men to wear tefillin and offering Shabbat candles to Jewish women. Since Ben Yehuda Street in Jerusalem is very central, many political gatherings and live concerts occur in the southern part of Ben Yehuda at Kikar Tzion, which is also known as Zion Square.
Meanwhile, at every hour of the day until late night, the Jerusalem Light Rail operates up and down Jaffa Road providing an accessible entrance to the Ben Yehuda area.
There are many excellent shopping centres and boutiques of every sort on Ben Yehuda Street’s streets, mainly King George Street, Jaffa Road and Yoel Moshe Solomon Street. Moreover, some bakeries bake authentic French desserts and other gourmet shops in the area, such as King George Street. In the evenings, there are many places to visit, such as Mike’s Place, which is an Israeli chain of bars very diffuse in the country.
At the end of your exploration of the centre of Jerusalem, you will never miss Ben Yehuda Street with all the surprises it reveals every time you take a stroll on this beautiful pathway.