The Midrahov is the central part of Jerusalem Street, and is marked in pink on city maps. Whether you are looking for cashews, chatskas or curtains; jeans, jewellery or Judaica; paint, pizza or pumps, you can find it on the Midrahov.
Jerusalem Street (Rechov Yerushalayim) encircles the central part of the city and is the main shopping street for the whole of Safed, which is situated on the top of a mountain. The street goes in a circle around the mountain, so whichever way you go, if you keep walking in the same direction, you will eventually get back to where you started from.
Location of the Midrahov
The Midrahov starts at the gesher, or bridge that takes Palmach Street over Jerusalem Street and officially goes up as far as the Great Stairs on your left and one of the sites of the local Community College, which used to be the British Police Headquarters on your right.
Just by the bridge on the right going up the street you will find the first set of public restrooms. These were rebuilt and refurbished after the 2nd Lebanese War in 2006. There is another set of toilets on the right at the top of the Midrahov. Unfortunately Safed doesn't have enough restrooms around the city for all the tourists who come to visit, so take advantage while you can.
Public bathrooms in Israel normally charge 1 shekel for both men and women so make sure you keep some small change for this purpose.
Shops in Safed generally open between 9.00am and 10.00am and stay open until 1.00pm, 1.30pm or 2pm when they close for lunch. They then reopening again at 4 or 4.30pm and stay open until 7pm or even later in the high season. Each shop has its own unique hours. Shops in Safed are generally closed on Tuesday afternoons.
Due to the one-way traffic system in Safed and limited parking available on the Midrahov it is almost always quicker to park your car elsewhere, e.g. the large parking area outside the Saraya and walk around the center of town. There are several paid parking areas throughout the main section of town with nearby meters to obtain parking passes.
Money & ATM's
Most shops and restaurants in Safed accept the major credit cards; however some of the older ‘mom and pop' stores or smaller businesses only take payment in shekels. As you walk up the Midrahov on your left you will see a small plaza in front of the Bank Hapoalim building. This bank has an ATM outside that accepts Israeli cash cards. The ATM at Bank Leumi, further up Jerusalem Street, past the municipality on the right (across from Bank Ben Leumi), accepts foreign cash and credit cards so visitors can draw money from their home checking or credit card account in shekels.
Places To Eat
There are no Israeli or American restaurant/ coffee chains here in Safed, so go local and try your luck at one of many kiosks, cafes and restaurants on the Midrahov serving everything from a quick bite to a leisurely lunch or evening meal.
There are several places on the Midrahov where you can stop and admire the view of the wadi and Mount Meron across the valley. If you continue past the Great Stairs at the top of the Midrahov you will see the Davidka on your left which has a large amount of seating for groups. Continue a bit further past the Municipality Building (City Hall) and you will find a little paved park with shady trees and benches.
For more information about local banking, postal services, places to eat, and tourist sites mentioned check tourist information.