Places To Visit
Although a small city, Safed has a vast array of places to visit and things to do. Armed with an accurate and up-to-date site list, any visitor to Safed can keep entertained for days without end. Take a look below at some of our choices for ‘must visit' when in Safed.
Since Safed's history dates back thousands of years, it naturally has many historical sites you won't want to miss. At the bottom of the city pay a visit to the centuries old Safed Cemetery and visit the graves of some of the most well known rabbis in Jewish history. If a walk among the deceased is not your thing, then check out the Citadel (Metsuda) at the top of the city with ruins dating back to the time of the Crusaders and the Mamluks.
For a bit of Ottoman history pay a visit to the Red Mosque, a historical mosque which is today used as a wedding hall, or to the Old Turkish Headquarters of Safed which is now used as a community center.
If more modern history is your passion then defiantly take the time to seek out the Davidka, a model of the Davidka weapon used by Jewish defenders of Safed in the 1948 War of Independence. Also check out the Great Stairs which is a very long staircase cutting the city of Safed in two and which was used by the British to separate the Arab and Jewish Quarters of the Old City prior to 1948. In the Defenders' Square in the center of the Old City you can view the former headquarters of the Palmach and take the opportunity to learn more about the fierce battle for Safed during Israel's War of Independence.
By far, the best way to tour around is via walking tours. Most of the best sites are accessed only via walking and on foot, you can discover many hidden gems along the ancient, cobbled alleys. Be sure to bring a good pair of walking shoes and a camera.
Food, Drink, Shopping and More
When the historical sites begin to become too much for you, give yourself a rest and try something a bit different. Pay a visit to the Yoshbe Winery in Safed or enjoy a pale ale from the Dancing Camel Brewery to help get yourself into a merry spirit. A mandatory stop for all visitors in Safed is the HaMeiri Cheese shop, with cheese recipes dating back more than 168 years. Grab a loaf of bread and some cheese and you can enjoy a relaxing picnic, maybe in Steven's garden, while taking in the majestic view of the Galilee.
To satisfy the need to shop, take a stroll down the Gallery Street where you will find a vast array of artistic shops, galleries and tourist souvenirs. On the main street you can find great little shops for inexpensive gifts, places to eat, and even the necessities like banks and the post office. Every Wednesday Safed hosts a shuk, which is an outdoor Middle Eastern market that sells everything from produce, ready-made food, clothes, and much more. Also pop into the famous Safed Candle shop or explore Eliezer's Book shop, the Cave of Shem and Ever.
Off The Beaten Trail
If you are looking to see behind the curtain and get to know the real Safed, then try venturing off the beaten trail and visit the Tree of Life Shtender where you can meet a Safed artist and his shtender.
You can also pay a visit to Shemen Tov Naturalpath which promotes healing through natural means. If you are looking for an educational visit then check out Derech Hamelech, a parent training center that helps with raising challenging children.