An integral part of many Christian tourists’ visit to Israel is the religious and spiritual experience. Pilgrimages to the main ritual sites, churches, monasteries and historical sites are central to the itinerary of a Christian tour of the Holy Land. To heighten this experience, it is worth trying out alternative, less well known accommodation options, such as staying at one of the Christian hostels located in seven Israeli cities. Most of these hostels are adjacent to monasteries or churches.
Christian hostels were first built in Israel over 1,000 years ago. The Crusaders, who ruled this country at that time, sought accommodation for the Christian pilgrims who came to tour the Holy Land. The greatest number of Christian hostels was built in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, when there was a constant stream of pilgrims, mainly from Europe. During that period a total of over 1,000 beds were added to several hostels, mostly in Jerusalem. There are now 38 Christian hostels in Israel, from Tiberias in the north, to Mt. Tavor, Nazareth, Haifa, Acre, Petakh Tikva, Tel Aviv and Jerusalem.
The hostels belong to the various Christian groups and are open to the general public, regardless of religion or race, though visitors must obviously respect and comply with the rules of each place. These hostels are simple and modest. Some are located in buildings with interesting architecture with well-tended gardens and an atmosphere of sanctity that complements the visitor’s spiritual experience. They offer good value for money, as the price range is reasonable and the enjoyment guaranteed.
The Christian Information Center in Israel