A cafe is a place that offers many services to attract visitors to entertain themselves and to exchange different cultures.

Cafes in the Old Town have a long history that reflects the literary life of the Jerusalemites.

In the Old Town in Jerusalem, there are four historic cafés: Al Sa’alik, Al-Basti Cafe, Siam, and Za’atara Cafes.

  • Pick a point from the map
  • Café Siam

    Landmark History:
    The Café existed for nearly 130 years.

    Reason of the name:

    Named like this because it is owned by the Siam family.

    Additional Information about the landmark:

    -In the middle of the Café there is a corner that leads to the Church of the Holy Sepulcher and another one that leads to Al- Aqsa Mosque in the Old City of East Jerusalem.
    – This Café still keeps its old details, and the reservoir in which the water kept after removed from the well is still present. Not only is this evidence of the Café’s foot, but also the old tile, which broken, and in a stone corner at the top of his door are a collection of old lanterns.
    -Before the Zionist siege that began in 1993, the Café was full of visitors from all over the West Bank, now our work is limited to customers only, residents of the surrounding area of ​​the Old City or those who are able to get here from nearby neighborhoods.
    -Al-Aqsa Mosque also had a history with the coffee shop. At the opening of the Café, its owner brought water from a well in the mosque, which he used to prepare coffee and tea. Over time, the Café has its own interior, before shops and homes connected to water networks. The owner of the current Café, who pointed out that it begins work at nine o’clock in the morning closes the doors of the shop at 10 o’clock in the night except for the days of clashes between young Palestinians and the forces of the entity. Which many these days: “After the war of the Zionist entity on Gaza, the Zionists grew up on us, the police arrest young men, beat them and chase the children in the alleys, we also suffer
    from the heavy taxes imposed by the occupation, I pay 16,000 shekels (4,300 dollars) a year, In addition to taxes, electricity and water, what is left?

  • Café Zaatara

    Landmark History:
    Return to the Ottoman era.

    Reason of the name:

    It was named after its owners; Al-Zaatara family.

    Builder Name:

    Built by Aref Tawfiq Zaatara.

    Landmark position:

    Located at Bab Al-Amoud from the inside.

    Additional Information about the landmark:
    -The café has large lounges.
    – Close the Café in 1967:-
    The closing of the café doors was a sign of the protest strike, after the 1967 war, in which several decisions of the national and trade union movement taken. Four days after the declaration of war and the demonstration that
    entered from Bab Al-Amoud and the right of armed clash lasted more than five hours can change the course of events. After that, Khalil Za’tara deported to Jordan two years, and closed the Café doors about the Zionist entity for ten days, hoping for an intelligence officer. The people of the city negatively affected by these events, which followed the death of Egyptian President Gamal Abdel Nasser in 1970 and the outbreak of the October 1973 war.
    The report on”Za’tara coffee” came in 1979 through newspapers and in bold: “Believe it or not, the 1967 War The Café’s halls, which accommodate a large number of people, were a place for meetings of candidates for the Jordanian parliament elections, when the West Bank was part of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan at the time.
    It is used currently as a shoe Shop.

  • Al Basti Café (Hospace Café)

    Landmark History:
    Reason of the name:
    It was named after the Hospice Café because of its proximity to the Austrian hospital "Hospice".

    Builder Name:

    Built by Hajj Suleiman Musa al-Basiti.

    Additional Information about the landmark:

    -In 1978, the coffee shop transformed into a restaurant named Al Basti by Haj Arif Bin Sulaiman Al Basti, he participated in the management of the restaurant, which was the first restaurant selling pizza in Jerusalem, in the Pasti Pizza.
    -There is a corner for historical pictures of the Café / restaurant, and the changes that took place in the neighborhood, as if the customers not only taste the pizza, but also the taste of Jerusalem, when the pizza entered the menu “the end of the seventies of the twentieth century”. The customers surprised by this Western variety, after the return of the Jerusalemites and the tourists, it was very popular.
    -The building that houses the restaurant is an Islamic waqf from the time of the Turks, and the occupying entity restricts the residents of the family home by imposing heavy taxes on building without permits from the Jerusalem Municipality. The Café served as a club where men and at night, the houses cramped, so the Café was the most suitable for men. The children had no presence at the Café at all, the workers came to the lemon early in the morning and came to the snow from the Kazuz factory in Jerusalem and heated the water to protect the sheet that holds the charcoal for the nargile

  • Café Al-Saalik (Café Al-Mukhtar)

    Landmark History:
    The Ottoman Empire, in 1908.

    Reason of the name:

    named after a group of intellectuals who called themselves the "Hizb Al-Saalik." It called the Mukhtar Café because it was the home of Palestinian intellectuals during the Turkish and British covenants.
    Builder Name:
    The writer and educator of Jerusalem, Khalil Qustandi Sakakini, one of the pioneers of modern education in the Arab world.

    Landmark position:

    Located at Al-Khalil gate.

    Additional Information about the landmark:
    -The Café building is an old house roof based on what is between the bow and node low in some of its corners, and others are more than two stairs and more, in which overlaps win him strange and adds to him an additional degree of horror on the place enjoyed by the majesty and greatness imagined. The building is adjacent to the Great Wall in the Old City of Hebron Gate; its exterior appearance is in harmony appears to be adjacent and surrounding buildings, in the past. The elegance of the past and the elegance of the present, which features similar contemporary architectural models, and the Shdrawan “Al Barka”, as well as the fountain of water that was in the center of the Café back garden, still exist to this day. Without sitting around the same as the skakini and paralyzed, and the same type, if there are some remnants of the trees of the park, which shadroan shade, is still alive and looks proud of its tallness, which is ready for the skyscraper. The car birds and a ground bath are climbing the branches, while the wide cages that contained the pigeons and Indian chickens and domestic birds that It was Nastas Ananias and other Coterie spend some time in fondled also monitored.
    – The coffee shop has different names: “Café Almokhtar”,”Café Al-Taba” and “Café Abu Michel”, but the most famous name among them is “Café Alsaalik”. The name of this Café is not only in Jerusalem and in other
    cities of Palestine, but also reached fame abroad, because Mukhtar Issa Taba was ambassador to the people of Jordan and Haifa and Jaffa Acre, Ramlah, Lod and Nazareth, who were on their way to Jerusalem, asking the Mukhtar for guidance and guidance. Those who wanted to make pilgrimages to Jerusalem from Beirut, Aleppo, Damascus or Karak meant the Mukhtar upon his arrival to Jerusalem to secure his sanctuary and visits to the holy places, entering Alqiama Church on the Holy Saturday, which preceded by Mukhtar Abu Michel.
    -The historical references say that the foreign fame enjoyed by the Café made it a title for the correspondence of Arab writers and intellectuals with their Palestinian counterparts, especially by the pilgrims who brought with them some newspapers, magazines, cultural and literary books, as well as literary and literary news in the cities from which they came.
    -Al-Sa’alik Café was the addressee in which the writer Khalil Sakakini received his guests, if a guest came to him, he not take him to his house, rather he would point him to a certain place in the Café, the guest sat with the bride and knew whom he did not know and knew. Sakakini of the Palestinians, but also of the Arabs, said hosted a large number of them in it, including Ahmed Zaki Pasha, Khalil Mtran and Maarouf Rusafi and others. Khalil Sakakini cut off from the coffee shop because of his travel to Cairo, and most of the newspapers and magazines moved to Jaffa and Haifa, which led to the interruption of coffee shop owners who worked in these newspapers. The other reason is the involvement of the intellectual circles in engaging in national political parties or in municipal policies, the city exposed to the Café for neglect, and the Café is still in its former state until now.