Palestine Travel Guide

Uncover the wonders of Palestine like never before!

Palestine is a true cultural hub, teeming with a rich tapestry of travel-based traits that interest intrepid souls. The captivating blend of history and culture doesn’t miss a beat, often unfolding at its every cobblestone turn.

This week, KHAMSA takes a glance into the intriguing attributes of Palestine with a detailed travel guide by Yasmeen Mjalli (@simsim.jpeg on Instagram), a Palestinian entrepreneur, photographer, and fashionista. Yasmeen is the proud founder of Nol Collective, a fashion brand housing garments made exclusively in her country.

Palestine presents itself as a destination of profound human connection and travel experiences. Yasmeen is keen to point out its unique features and charms, all of which linger in the heart. Through her eyes, KHAMSA explores this uncharted gem in the world of travel and see how it can mark a new adventure for the curious traveller.

Top must visit food spots?

١. Ghuwar, Ramallah Old City

“The yummiest dishes like fried cheese, shakshuka, and tea — tastes like home.”

٢. Al Nawraj, Birzeit

“A traditional restaurant with heartier middle eastern dishes in the most beautiful Syrian style home dating back at least 400 years.”

٣. Abu Jamal Falafel, Ramallah Old City

“Delicious falafel and hummus, family-owned and dates back a few generations.”

٤. Bajjal & Ko, Jerusalem Old City

“A Palestinian-Korean fusion restaurant newly opened in the old city.”

٥. Al Quds Knafeh, Nablus Old City

“The most delicious Knafeh dating back generations and made fresh right in front of you. Stop here while meandering in the old city’s beautiful labyrinthine streets!”

٦. Yaffa Knafeh, Yaffa

“A Palestinian-owned shop in the Yaffa. Knafeh with pistachio ice cream on top….need I say more?”

Best places for sundowners/rooftop places?

٢. Qattan Foundation, Ramallah

“A cultural centre with a beautiful restaurant and view onto the hills, perfect for watching the sunset and even catching a cool event.”

٣. Turquoise Rooftop, Nablus Old City

“A rooftop café in a beautiful building dating back some 300 years, with a 360 view of Nablus, also perfect for sunset.”

Photo by Simsim

٤. Austrian Hospice Rooftop, Jerusalem Old City

“Not too far from Damascus Gate, a little secret in Jerusalem, a great spot to see the old city from above.”

Photo by Simsim

Best places for shopping?

١. Nol Collective, Ramallah

“Locally made, slow contemporary fashion incorporating traditional elements like weaving and embroidery.”

٢. Hilweh Market, Yaffa

“A local artisanal boutique concept store featuring handmade houseware, textiles, jewellery, and other contemporary items from Palestine and the Arab world.”

٣. Touch of Heritage, Ramallah

“A humble, but powerful shop selling hand-embroidered traditional Palestinian thobes (dresses), scarves, and accessories.”

٤. Irth, Ramallah

“A craft shop featuring a carefully curated selection of Palestinian and Arab artisanal pieces like ceramics and embroidered pieces.”

٥. Educational Bookshop, Jerusalem

“With a couple of locations in Jerusalem, the bookshop features a beautiful selection of fictional and non-fictional books about Palestinian and Middle Eastern culture and politics.”

Must-visit cultural spots?

١. An-Nabi Musa Compound, Jericho

“A hidden Oasis of beauty and history in the hills cushioning the Jordan valley. Be sure to dress modestly and wear a headscarf to respect the modesty requests of the keepers of the compound.”

Photo by Simsim

٢. St. George Monastery, Wadi al Qilt

“Be sure to get here around midday before the sun sets behind the steep hills onto which this beautiful monastery is built. For the hikers out there, you can actually hike the most beautiful one, starting at Wadi Qelt and ending at the Monastery. It’s a couple of hours long with the most incredible views.”

Photo by Simsim

٣. Nablus Old City Market

“Spend the day exploring the labyrinthine streets of the Old City of Nablus, exploring and visiting the family-owned shops dating back generations.”

Photo by Simsim

٤. Wonder Cabinet, Bethlehem

“A space for art production and cultural development, not too far from checkpoint 300. The space features an ongoing schedule of music and food events.”

٥. Sakakini, Ramallah

“A cultural space in Ramallah in a beautiful old Palestinian home, often scheduling theatre productions, poetry and music performances, and film screenings.”

Best boutique hotels to stay in?

١. Kassa Boutique Hotel, Bethlehem

“A luxury boutique hotel in the heart of Bethlehem’s old city, featuring carefully designed interiors with hand-made items from both Palestinian and Chilean artisans, complimenting the traditional Palestinian architecture.”

٢. Locanda Farah, Ramallah

“A more affordable option, a boutique hotel in a newly restored old family home.”

Photo by Greg Holland

٣. Turquoise Guest House, Nablus

“This option is perfect for visitors coming to Nablus and looking to meet other travellers to explore Palestine with. The hostel is in a beautiful building dating back some 300 years and showcasing traditional Palestinian architecture, also boasting one of the best rooftop views of Nablus.”

Underrated places?

Source: Greg Holland

Sebastia Village! It is a beautiful day-trip to see the amphitheatre and the remains of a Byzantine church, on a hilltop with panoramic views of Palestine. A must-visit, especially in the Spring, when the winter rain water results in the most lush green grasses and colourful wildflowers cushioning the ruins and rolling out over the hills.

What should you avoid?

Spending too much time in one city! Palestine is so rich and has so much to see in so many places — Jericho, Nablus, Ramallah, Bethlehem, Jerusalem, Yaffa, Akka, Haifa, etc. Don’t come to Palestine thinking that all that there is to see is only in Ramallah and Jerusalem. There is beauty everywhere, so be sure to explore as much as you can, because each place offers something different. 

Must-pack items?

If you’re visiting in the summer, pack more flowy clothes — not only because modesty is typical and respectful of most places in Palestine, but also because it’s actually more cooling to wear flowy linens and cottons than it is to bare skin in the hot sun. 

Any tips and tricks to tackle the city? 

You can’t really Google things! Most of Palestine is discovered through word-of-mouth. If you want to know what to do and where to go, you’ve got to just chat with people! And we are all excited to help, and excited and proud to share the beauty of our country with you!