Ein Kerem is a secluded village suburb on the outskirts of West Jerusalem. Surrounded by hills dotted with olive and cypress trees, the village is refreshingly quiet although only a 20-minute bus ride southwest of the city centre. Ein Kerem's stone houses are now mostly inhabited by Israeli artists and sculptors, and there is a wide variety of art galleries in the village. Alongside, there is also a choice of small cafes and restaurants. Travellers will be interested in visiting also the large number of religious sites (Jewish and Christian) in and around Ein Kerem, the reputed birthplace of John the Baptist, commemorated in the Church of St. John. Before 1948, the site was an Arab village called 'Ayn Karim, and before that, the Jewish village of Beit HaKerem.
Take city bus #28 from the 1 Mount Herzl light rail station.
- 1 Church of the Visitation.
- the Spring of the Virgin
- the Notre Dame de Sion monastery, guest house and garden which is open for visitors and give a marvelous experience
- 2 Church of Saint John. Franciscan church and monastery
- the Mosque of Omar Since 'Umar Ib al-Khatab visited and prayed in the village soon after the Muslim Arab conquest in the 7th century, a mosque has been erected for this occasion (which remains standing to this date).
- 3 Gorny Convent. A Russian Orthodox convent dating to the 19th century
- Ein Kerem Wadi (small valley) (walk down Hamaayan Street before Mary's Spring turn right and walk down the gravel road). This is a natural gem in Ein Kerem, one of the few places you will find relative peace inside Jerusalem. explore the ancient terraces, and in spring view the vast array of flowers. The Wadi isn't too big and it's not easy to get lost.
Take a walk in the garden of Notre Dame De Sion monastery and Guest House. It has a beautiful garden, view points and old cemetery. The sisters are very much open to every religion and nation.
A popular souvenir are the handmade chocolates from Sweet N' Kerem (which is on the way to Church of Saint John).
There are five main restaurants: "Carma", "Mala Bistro", "Pundak Ein Kerem", and "Brasserie" are more Italian - French - Mediterranean themed; "Fairus" is a relatively new Lebanese restaurant, serving grilled meats and salads with relatively large portions. All are non-Kosher and open on Shabbat. There is also "Sweet N' Kerem", a chocolate house serving ice cream, coffee and hand made chocolates, which is also open on Shabbat.
Overall, this village can be a good destination for food in Jerusalem on Shabbat, which mingles foreign and local food. There is also a cafe inside The Church of Saint John, and another ice cream shop called "Tezoro" on Hamayan Street.
If you happen to visit Ein Kerem on Friday morning, the local grocery shop sells stuffed vegetables and Moroccan snacks.
There are two grocery/mini market stores that sell soft drinks (one of which opens on Shabbat). Some restaurants (e.g. the Lebanese restaurant) also serve fresh juice.
- Ein Kerem Youth Hostel.
- Notre Dame De Sion Monastery and Guest House. Open for all visitors, beautiful rooms or apartments and full board.
- Ein Kerem Hotel, Kiryat Hadassah, ☎ .
- Rosary Sisters Ein Kerem Guest House, ☎ , fax: , e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.