Ein Kerem Travel Guide

Discover the best places to visit, where to stay, and what to do in Ein Kerem, Jerusalem. Find out about its history, culture, food, and more.

Introduction to Ein Kerem

Located in the Jerusalem Hills, in the Middle East, Ein Kerem is a charming suburb of Jerusalem renowned for its rich history and cultural significance. According to tradition, this small village is where John the Baptist was born and lived with his parents, Elizabeth and Zacharias. Ein Kerem is a must-visit destination for anyone touring Jerusalem and its surroundings.

List of Places to Visit in Ein Kerem

There are plenty of attractions worth visiting in Ein Kerem, including historical landmarks, natural wonders, and cultural exhibits. Here are some of the top places to visit:

Culturally Important Attractions: Museums and Historical Places

  1. Ein Kerem House Museum: A restored traditional house from the Ottoman period that showcases historical life in Ein Kerem, including traditional crafts, music, and cuisine.

  2. Mary’s Spring: According to Christian tradition, this is the spot where Mary stopped to rest and drink water on her way to visit Elizabeth. The spring still flows today and is visited by numerous pilgrims.

  3. Church of the Visitation: A beautiful church located on a hill overlooking the village, where it is said that Mary visited Elizabeth during her pregnancy.

  4. St. John the Baptist Church: A stunning church that stands on the spot where John the Baptist was born. The church features beautiful frescoes and intricate stonework.

Natural Attractions of Ein Kerem: Outdoor Adventures and Scenic Views

  1. Ein Kerem Forest: A stunning forest that surrounds the village, offering hiking trails and breathtaking views of the surrounding hills.

  2. Ein Kerem Spring: A natural spring that is located in the center of the village, with water that flows through the streets and into small pools.

  3. Ammunition Hill: A historic site on the outskirts of Ein Kerem that was the site of a fierce battle during the Six-Day War. It has been transformed into a memorial and museum.

  4. Jerusalem Botanical Gardens: Located on the edge of Ein Kerem, the gardens are home to various plant species from Israel and around the world.

Hiking/Biking Routes of Ein Kerem

Ein Kerem is a great place for hiking and biking enthusiasts. Its scenic views and natural surroundings make it an ideal destination for outdoor adventure. Some of the most popular hiking and biking trails in Ein Kerem include:

  • The Jerusalem Railway Park Trail: This trail follows the old train tracks that once ran through Ein Kerem and offers beautiful views of the surrounding hills.

  • Ein Kerem Forest Trail: A picturesque trail that leads through the forest, offering hikers and bikers stunning views of the village and surrounding hills.

  • Yad Kennedy Trail: This trail leads to the impressive Yad Kennedy Memorial, which is situated on a hill overlooking Jerusalem.

Best Things to Do in Ein Kerem: Activities and Tours

Ein Kerem offers a variety of activities and tours that are tailored to visitors of all ages and interests. Here are some of the best things to do in Ein Kerem:

  1. Take a Walking Tour of the Village: For a firsthand experience of Ein Kerem’s unique character and heritage, consider joining a guided walking tour of the village.

  2. Visit the Ein Kerem House Museum: This fascinating museum provides visitors with a glimpse into the daily life of residents of Ein Kerem during the Ottoman period.

  3. Explore the Churches and Religious Sites: Ein Kerem is home to several significant religious sites, including the Church of the Visitation and St. John the Baptist Church.

  4. Attend a Cultural Event: Throughout the year, Ein Kerem hosts a variety of cultural events, including music festivals, art exhibitions, and culinary fairs.

Week-Long Itinerary for Ein Kerem

Day 1: Visit the Church of the Visitation and the Ein Kerem House Museum, and enjoy a delicious meal at one of the village’s many restaurants.

Day 2: Explore the Ein Kerem Forest and hike the Ammunition Hill trail, followed by a visit to Yad Kennedy.

Day 3: Visit St. John the Baptist Church and Mary’s Spring, and take a guided walking tour of the village.

Day 4: Take a day trip to Jerusalem and visit its many cultural and historical sites.

Day 5: Enjoy a leisurely day exploring the Jerusalem Botanical Gardens, followed by a visit to Ein Kerem Spring.

Day 6: Take a cooking class and learn how to prepare traditional Israeli cuisine, followed by a visit to the Ein Kerem Wine Cellar.

Day 7: Round off your stay with a trip to one of Ein Kerem’s local markets, where you can sample local foods and purchase handmade souvenirs.

Food and Drink Scene of Ein Kerem

Ein Kerem offers a wide variety of culinary delights, including traditional Jewish and Arab foods, as well as contemporary Israeli cuisine. Some must-try dishes in Ein Kerem include:

Must-Try Dishes

  • Shakshuka: A traditional Israeli breakfast dish made with eggs, tomatoes, and spices.

  • Hummus: A Middle Eastern dip made of chickpeas, olive oil, and tahini.

  • Falafel: Deep-fried balls made of chickpeas, herbs, and spices, often served in a pita pocket with vegetables and tahini sauce.

  • Malabi: A sweet milk pudding, often served with pistachios or other toppings.

Local Beverages

  • Israeli Wine: Ein Kerem and the surrounding hills are home to several boutique wineries that produce excellent Israeli wines.

  • Arak: A Middle Eastern liquor distilled from aniseed.

  • Mint Tea: A traditional hot drink that can be found in cafes and restaurants throughout Ein Kerem.

Where to Stay in Ein Kerem: Hotels, Hostels, and Guesthouses

Ein Kerem offers a range of accommodation options, including hotels, hostels, and guesthouses. Below are some of the top picks for lodging in the village.

  • Alegra Boutique Hotel: A beautiful boutique hotel located in the heart of Ein Kerem, with a garden and spa.

  • Neve Shalom-Kisalon Guesthouse: A cozy and welcoming guesthouse located in a beautiful garden setting.

  • Lev Yerushalayim: A modern hotel located next to the Mahane Yehuda market in Jerusalem, just a short drive or bus ride from Ein Kerem.

What to Buy in Ein Kerem: Souvenirs and Local Products to Bring Home

Ein Kerem offers a variety of unique souvenirs and local products that make perfect gifts for friends and family back home. Some popular options include:

  • Traditional Olive Oil: Extra-virgin olive oil is produced in the surrounding hills and can be purchased from local markets and shops.

  • Handmade Pottery: Ein Kerem is known for its ceramic artists, who create beautiful and unique pieces that can be purchased from local galleries and shops.

  • Traditional Textiles: From traditional embroidered fabrics to contemporary knitwear, Ein Kerem has a wide variety of textiles to choose from.

Local Culture and Customs of Ein Kerem

Ein Kerem is a melting pot of cultures and religions, with a rich history and diverse local community. Visitors to the village should be prepared to show respect for local customs and traditions, including dress codes for religious sites and modest attire for women.

Best Time to Visit Ein Kerem

Ein Kerem can be visited year-round, but the best time to go is during the spring and fall months, when the weather is mild and comfortable. In the summer, Ein Kerem can get very hot, while in the winter, it can be quite chilly.

Do’s and Don’ts of Ein Kerem


  • Dress modestly when visiting religious sites.

  • Respect local customs and traditions.

  • Try the local cuisine and wines.


  • Bring non-kosher foods into the village.

  • Take photographs of locals without their permission.

Safety and Health

Safety in Ein Kerem

Ein Kerem is considered a safe destination for travelers, with relatively low crime rates. Visitors should still exercise caution and avoid carrying valuables with them.

Health in Ein Kerem

Ein Kerem has a range of medical facilities, including hospitals and clinics. Visitors should have adequate medical insurance before traveling to Ein Kerem.

Getting to Ein Kerem: Transportation Options and Logistics

Airports Near Ein Kerem

Ben Gurion Airport is the nearest international airport to Ein Kerem, located about 30 minutes away by car.

Bus Stations Near Ein Kerem

The nearest bus station to Ein Kerem is located in the nearby neighborhood of Kiryat Hayovel, with regular bus connections to Jerusalem and surrounding areas.

Other Options

Taxis and private cars are also readily available in Ein Kerem and can be hired for private tours and transportation.

How to Get Around in Ein Kerem

The best way to explore Ein Kerem is by foot or bicycle, with many of the main sights and attractions located within walking distance of each other. Taxis and public transportation are also available for those who prefer not to walk.

Where to Go Next from Ein Kerem: Nearby Destinations and Excursions

Ein Kerem is located close to many other popular destinations in Israel, including:

  • Jerusalem: Just a short drive or bus ride from Ein Kerem, Jerusalem is one of the world’s most famous holy cities, with a rich history and numerous cultural attractions.

  • Dead Sea: Located just east of Ein Kerem, the Dead Sea is a world-renowned natural wonder, renowned for its therapeutic properties and breathtaking scenery.

  • Bethlehem: Located south of Jerusalem, Bethlehem is a significant destination for religious pilgrims, being the birthplace of Jesus Christ.


Ein Kerem is an enchanting and culturally-rich destination that should not be missed by anyone traveling to Jerusalem and its surrounding areas. With its numerous attractions, activities, and culinary delights, Ein Kerem is a must-visit destination for any traveler looking to experience the best of Israel.