Events in the Old City of Jerusalem
The Old City comes alive with special events that take place throughout the year. Some are ongoing, some are seasonal and some are one-time only.
The Night Spectacular at the Tower of David Museum (Many Showings Every Week)
"The Best night show in Israel. Period." - The Marker magazine
Among the archaeological remains scattered about the Tower of David Citadel’s courtyard and soaring above its fortress-like walls, the story of Jerusalem unfolds through breathtakingly larger-than-life virtual reality images set to the tunes of pulsing original music.
The Night Spectacular utilizes trompe l’oeil technology – the stones of the walls and structures fade into the scenes and the screened images envelop the viewers and transport them into a one-of-a-kind multi-sensory experience. A wordless, politically-neutral tale of Jerusalem from its ancient foundings down almost to the modern day unfolds as the priests, poets and conquerors whose names are indelibly etched into legend come to life before your very eyes.
Innovative techniques and a sophisticated computer system operate 20 projectors, 10 video players, 14 computers and 14 loudspeakers, run through some 10 kilometers of cable and two projection rooms, all to recreate the sound, fury and epic sweep of the Holy City's vaunted history.
The Night Spectacular, the first of its kind in the world, is for everyone – tourists from Israel and abroad, families, speakers of all languages and all Jerusalem lovers. Ticket purchase required. For more information, including pricing and availability, click here. Combination tickets to the Night Spectacular and the Museum are also available.
Jerusalem Knights in the Old City (Every Fall)
In celebration of Jerusalem’s perfect fall weather, the Old City welcomes the spirit of the Middle Ages back to its stone streets.
Every Thursday night for one month each fall, heroes of the Middle Ages - including knights, kings, princesses, magicians, troubadours, court jesters and peddlers - entertain as they roam the alleys of the Old City dressed in colorful period costumes. Enjoy the sounds and chants of times gone by as you happen upon dance, acrobatics and theater performances in alleyways and public circles within the Christian Quarter. The enchanted experience begins at the Jaffa Gate, through to the Muristan square and back.
For more details, including arrival information and a map of exact event locations, call the Jerusalem Municipal hotline at 106 or 02-531-4600.
Hamshushalaim (Every Early Winter)
A slang-inspired contraction of Hebrew words that decodes as “loads of weekend cultural offerings at little or no cost in Jerusalem,” Hamshushalaim is a city-wide extravaganza that takes place over four weekends in the late fall-early winter. Every part of the city takes part in this exciting festival, from cultural institutions that open their doors free of charge to hotel rooms that are specially discounted for tourists; from dance troupes performing in the hallowed theaters to acting troupes leading historical tours of Jerusalem neighborhoods; and from children’s shows in public parks to price fixe culinary menus from leading Jerusalem chefs.
In the Old City, Hamshushalaim hosts a range of exciting street performances, extended museum hours and experiential walking tours.
Events range for participants of all ages. For more information about upcoming offerings, visit the official Hamshushaim festival website.
The Festival of Light (Every Early Summer)
The Festival of Light attracts hundreds of thousands of visitors each year to Jerusalem’s Old City, introducing a new trend in Jerusalem nightlife, appropriate for the entire family and all ages.
Each year, the night-time festival (generally taking place between the hours of 8:00 and 12:00) focuses on a unique aspect of light, exploring the ability of light to reveal and highlight elements within urban landscapes. Artists from Israel and abroad come together to develop works of art using lights - from site-specific installations to sculptures to performances and beyond.
For more information, check the festival’s English website.
Chutzot HaYotzer (Every Late Summer)
One of Jerusalem’s most anticipated summer festivals, Chutzot Hayotzer has been welcoming thousands every evening to its fairgrounds for more than 30 years. As the largest handmade arts and crafts festival in Israel, Chutzot Hayotzer, which roughly translates as “The Creator’s Courtyards,” celebrates craftsmanship from Israel and around the world with an outstanding array of paintings, prints, ceramics, jewelry, textiles, Judaica, gadgets, woodworking and more, all for sale.
Craftspeople from dozens of countries participate in the outdoor celebration, which also includes an international food court, featuring ethnic dishes from across the globe, live musical entertainment including performances by Israeli superstars, and children's attractions. Located just outside the Old City, in the Sultan’s Pool amphitheater-fairgrounds, the festival is open every evening (except Fridays) for a three-week period in the later part of the summer. Entrance tickets can be purchased on site.
For more information, visit their website.