Safed (Hebrew: צפת Tsfat) is a city in the Upper Galilee region of Israel, and is one of the oldest centers for Jewish learning and spirituality, home to the Kabbalah movement which is popular with celebrities.

23 things to do

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SouzaKohn Gallery

Keren SouzaKohn graduated from the Ravensbourne College of Art and has since been exhibiting her prints, drawings, watercolours and oils widely, both in London and internationally. Her work references among others that of El Greco, Titian, Rembrandt, Goya, Matisse, Hilton, Eva Hesse, Sandra Blow and Philip Guston. Keren is the daughter of the late Francis Newton Souza. Aware of her heritage she is able to forge new ground, speaking a new beguiling but poignant Language of our time. She is interested in abstracted figuration, in the co-existence of divinity within our physical planet. Her love of colour is evident. Hot, spicy or cool. A juxtaposition of the unexpected produces dramatic composition with a strong narrative, sometimes subliminal, sometimes overt, obvious and for the taking. Dreams and journeys, moments seen and caught, sometimes struggling to emerge, revisited through further drawings and paintings.

Safed Tourist Information Center

A good place to get a first overview of Safed. The Center provides maps and guidebooks as well as information about tour guides, accommodations, and more. There is a 10-minute movie that gives an overview of the history of Safed, as well as 500-year-old antiquities which, now uncovered, offer visitors an opportunity to see the original rooms and buildings of Safed of the 1500s and 1600s. Through the Information Center, individuals and groups can experience Safed through hiking, Tzfat-Theatre, storytelling, musical tours, discussions and lectures about Judaism, sessions of Ask the Rabbi, and explanations of mysticism in Safed. There are also interactive workshops and seminars which include writing tefillin, challah-baking, candle-making, tying Tzitzit, songs, etc.

Artist Quarter Guesthouse

The Artist Quarter Guesthouse (B&B) is centrally located in the heart of the Artist Quarter of the Old City of Tzfat. The guesthouse combines ancient Tzfat charm with modern amenities. It has newly renovated 200-year-old stone domed rooms, with Moroccan lights, stained glass windows, AC/heat, kitchenettes and free Wi-Fi. The rooms are beautiful, clean, light and airy. The guesthouse is open daily and equipped for Shabbat. The rate is 450 NIS/couple for a week night or 500 NIS/couple for Shabbat, and for the suite the rate is 650 NIS/couple for a week night or 750 NIS for Shabbat. Women's Swedish massage and catered Mehadrin Shabbat meals are available.

Cave of Shem and Ever

According to Jewish sources, Shem (son of Noah) and his great-grandson Ever ran a yeshiva (house of Jewish study). There is a tradition that this unimpressive-looking cave in Safed was the site of their yeshiva. How did this cave come to be identified as such? The Torah is divided into two parts - hidden and revealed - and one might assume they were not studying the revealed Torah, since Moses had not yet been born. So they must have been studying the hidden Torah. And where better to do that than in Safed?

SEE   —  Map

Ancient Cemetery

the burial place of many famous Rabbis and is a common destination for visitors to Safed looking for answers to their prayers. Some famous Jewish personalities buried there include: ** The Arizal (Rabbi Isaac Luria), the famous kabbalist of the 16th century. ** Rabbi Joseph Karo, the author of the Shulchan Aruch, the definitive code of Jewish Law. ** Rabbi Moshe Cordevero (the Ramak), a famous kabbalist predating the Arizal. ** Chana and her seven sons, the martyred family from the time of the Temple.

SEE   —  Map

Dreams and Visions Gallery

A graduate of Princeton University, Safed artist, Sheva Chaya draws on her professional artistic training to bring Dreams and Visions to life through her vibrant artwork. Sheva Chaya utilizes glassblowing demonstrations and her lively watercolor paintings to elucidate Jewish mystical concepts and traditional liturgy which inspire her work. Small and large group presentation topics include: The Kabbalah of Glassblowing, The Precious Land of Israel, Expressionist Watercolor, and Women's Wisdom.

Villa Tiferet

Once upon a time (400 years ago) this magnificent home was part of a church. The space has been lovingly restored. Vaulted ceilings of ancient stone tower above the dining area. There is a kitchen and a cozy couch in front of a large fireplace. You can lounge on pillows in the spacious courtyard and watch the birds above as their flight path takes them between Africa and Asia each spring and fall. The house has four bedrooms and can sleep up to thirteen people.

Artists' Colony Inn

Boutique hotel, has four rooms with Jacuzzis or large showers, air conditioning, heating, inner courtyards, and views of the mountains of the Galilee, Meron Mountain and the Artist Colony. Large, comfortable beds, bathrobes, LCD televisions and a lobby with a cafe, library, and wireless internet connection. Their kosher Israeli breakfast (Rabbanut Safed Israel) includes locally-made cheeses and jams.

SLEEP   —  04 604 1101 —  Yud Zayin 9

Tzfat Pad

Guest apartment owned by an artist that only occasionally visits Safed. Apartment has large floor to ceiling windows in the living room and master bedroom with views of the Galil and Sea of Galilee. There is an additional bedroom that has a window to the other side.

Ruth Rimonim Hotel

In the Galilee Mountains. All rooms are air conditioned, have a cable television, private toilet and bath, telephone, and an internet connection. There is a restaurant and cafe, room service, and safe deposit boxes. Tours from the hotel are also available.

SLEEP   —  04-6994666 —  Artist Colony Rd

Villa Galilee Hotel

Villa Galilee has spacious penthouses with a terrace overlooking the view and is furnished with a Jacuzzi, a swimming pool and a flower garden. Also has a restaurant that offers French-inspired food and a bar. Spa treatments also available in-house.

International Klezmer Festival

Each year in mid-August, tens of thousands of people come to this festival celebrating klezmer music (Ashkenazi Jewish folk music). Free concerts by leading performers are held in the old city's ancient streets.

DO   —  Map

Yosef Karo synagogue

Another popular landmark, established in the 16th century on the site of a yeshiva run by Rabbi Yosef Karo, author of the Shulchan Aruch (the most authoritative code of Jewish law).

SEE   —  Map

Crusader fortress

Located at the very top of the Safed hill, the fortress is interesting to explore. The view from it is spectacular, overlooking Mount Meron, the Sea of Galilee, and far beyond.

SEE   —  Map

EcoGreen Guest House

Small guesthouse with lovely outdoor area leading into comfortable and quiet guest room. A/C, WiFi, coffee corner/fridge. Friendly atmosphere, centrally located.

SLEEP   —  972-52-431-7156 —  Tet Vav 60

Nerot Tzfat

Sells beautiful candles in every size, shape, and color, as well as displaying a number of scenes in wax, including David & Goliath, Noah's Ark, and a wedding.

BUY   —  Map

Mount Canaan

The very best view in Safed. Essentially the same view as from the Crusader Fortress, but better because it includes ancient Safed itself.

SEE   —  Map

Abuhav synagogue

Unique, beautiful, and most famous. It was built in the 1490s according to Kabbalistic architectural and spiritual beliefs.

SEE   —  Map

Ari Ashkenazi synagogue

In memory of Rabbi Isaac Luria. Normally open for visitors on weekdays and boasts an ornate ark.

SEE   —  Map

Ari Sepharadi synagogue

Considered the oldest synagogue in the city. Only open for prayers on the Sabbath.

SEE   —  Map

Fiddlers Inn

Inn owned and operated by Yoni Lipshutz of Simply Tsfat, a Jewish folk band.

SLEEP   —  Map

About Safed

It is the birthplace of Lurianic Kabbalah, and one of the main bastions for Torah study and the like during the centuries of Ottoman rule. It is one of the four holiest cities in Judaism, along with Hebron, Tiberias, and of course Jerusalem. While there are many stories about when it was founded, and by whom, it truly grew to prominence in the late 15th century when it became a refuge for Jews fleeing the Spanish Inquisition.

It is a cute, quaint city in the north of Israel. In more recent times, thanks to its beautiful setting surrounded by pine forests, and its agreeable, mild summers, Safed has developed into a summer holiday resort much frequented by Israelis and also foreign visitors. It has also become popular as an artists' colony apart from its religious significance, its nature and its pleasant summers.

Source: wikivoyage