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Top 10 authentic Israeli homes for rent

The most unusual apartments, tents, houses, caves and studios that you can rent in Israel

Israel attracts tourists despite the ongoing war and intolerable summer heat. Curious travelers don’t stay at hotels, and in order to get a feel for the local culture, they stay in apartments and houses of local residents. This is often more expensive than in chain hotels, let alone in hostels… but local color is worth it!

In continuation of the article “A Kosher Dinner With Strangers”, where we told you how to dine with an Israeli family, Jewishnews.com.ua has compiled a selection of Israeli homes on AirBnB, where you can stay “like a local”.

1. Kosher retreat, Mevo-Modiim

In the gardenGarden

For the life of Orthodox Jews, you should go here, to the remote religious community settlement of Mevo-Modiim. The hostess called Fay offers guests a separate room, with two beds for two people, and a kashrut atmosphere.

My house is absolutely kosher,” she says. “We not only prepare meat and dairy products in different dishes, we have separate surfaces and sinks for preparing these dishes.” There is a diagram of ingredients on the fridge — where the meat and dairy products go.

There are vegetables in the garden, and not far away fresh eggs and goat’s milk are sold. The hostess makes breakfasts for guests at all times, apart from the summer months. Fay’s neighbors are religious ex-hippies, who had a musical group, and they still rehearse from time to time, so good quality music is guaranteed.

Cost: $61 per day and $387 per week.

2. Bedouin’s tent on a farm, Modiin-Maccabim-Reut

Immerse yourself in the life of modern Bedouins! The hosts of the hut and tent in Bedouin style will give you a place to stay the night and invite you to take part in agricultural celebrations. The program includes picking and salting olives, making olive oil, feeding chickens, making the amazing mixture of spices known as zatar, baking pita, gathering herbs and making teas.

The tent (140 meters) is divided into rooms, and the guests (up to 16 people) sleep on mattresses and pillows, like inhabitants of the desert. The kitchen is inside the tent, and four toilets and a shower are outside. The Middle Eastern breakfast with hot freshly-baked pita is included in the price.

For one night on the farm - $50.

3. Panoramic desert view, Mitzpe-Ramon

The view from the oval orange house provides a 180-degree view of the Negev desert. An incredible house on the outskirts of town, built of wood and stone, with windows that look out on to the endless desert. Although the desert landscapes begin literally outside the house, there is a cozy garden by the house.

The two-story house at a height of 1000 m above sea level has four bedrooms, two bathrooms, a kitchen, a semi-circular balcony and a spacious living room with a fireplace. The hosts recommend visiting with a family — they have six children themselves, but during their visit they will stay elsewhere.

The house in the desert costs $308 per day.

4. Artists’ House, Safed

The guest house for four people in the center of the old town of Safed is next to the house of the artists Shani and Sheva Chaya. The studio with high ceilings has a separate entrance, a bathroom with a jacuzzi, four beds and its own courtyard, and you can park the car outside.

The house is on the edge of the artists’ quarter — it is five minutes to the main attractions of the town, including the famous synagogues and galleries. Cheerful paintings by the owners hang on the walls, and they have their own gallery next door.

The house costs $99 per day and $500 per week.

5. Garden on the roof, Tel Aviv

This cozy apartment with a private garden on the roof is only rented out by the week — the hosts don’t offer rent by the day. The apartment has one bedroom and one bed, so it’s only suitable for one person or a couple. Recently the owner renovated the apartment and the terrace of 40m2 with the garden, installed new equipment for water heating from solar batteries, planted new trees in the pots and installed lighting for the garden.

There is no lift in the building, but this is the only apartment on the top floor, so the sun and the fresh breeze are also just for you. Museums, restaurants, bars and shops are in walking distance.

One week costs $130.

6. Mini-apartment for Spartans, Tel Aviv

This studio apartment in Jaffa is the complete opposite of the last one. It is very low-budget, but atmospheric — an option for people who only need somewhere to stay the night. The main attractions of the city are in walking distance — the surfing club, beach and Carmel market.

The owner Mati says that the place is “suitable for people with the most basic needs”. The tiny kitchen, one bed for two people, a washing machine, air conditioner and even micro-yard closed off from the others — although the shower is outside. Guests praise the host in their comments, saying that he’s hospitable, energetic and glad to help and feed you. Mati himself lives on the floor above.

Cost: $36 per day and $10 for each additional guest.

7. Old house, Jerusalem

This house of Jerusalem stone that was built 120 years ago is a real find for connoisseurs of old things. The two-room apartment in a quiet part of Jerusalem, with shops and transport stops nearby. The apartment with authentic domed ceilings was recently renovated, and now the old atmosphere is combined with modernity and comfort.

Although a century ago the standards of architecture were different, the hosts assure you that the apartment is suitable for people with disabilities, and that it can accommodate wheelchairs.

A day in the old Jerusalem apartment costs $140, and a week costs $900.

8. Cave bedroom, Bethlehem

And here’s another old, if not to say ancient apartment — a one-room “cave” in a house that is 500 years old. Despite its age, the apartment has wifi and everything a modest traveler needs. The apartment, which the owner calls the “Bethlehem Cave” is a few minutes’ walk (or as the owner says, just 30 seconds) from the Church of the Nativity.

The guests have a washing machine and dryer, kitchen and television at their disposal. There is parking. The owner is a musician who likes to receive guests, drink coffee with them and watch films. He is prepared to meet guests at the train station or airport, so they don’t waste money on taxis, and organize city tours.

Cost: $50 per day

9. Creative House, Tel Aviv

The Yafo Creative guest house is both a hostel and an international creativity hub in the 100-year-old building of the Ottoman architectural style in the center of Jaffa. The ceilings are 15 meters why, with enormous eucalyptus beds made by hand, vintage furniture bought at local market and antique shops, constantly changing pictures on the walls and a common “creative salon”.

Creative people often gather at Yafo Creative, from Israel and other countries. “We bring local culture to a wider audience around the world, as well as international culture to Israel,” the owners say. One Friday every month they hold a dinner where they invite the guests of the house and creative people of Jerusalem to talk, find partners for future projects and listen to live music.

For two people in a separate room one day costs $80, and a week costs $200.

10. Eco community, Tel Aviv

A group of young vegans offer travelers to stay at CityTree, a five-room commune apartment. Guests get a room with a futon — taking into account the modest size of the room, one person or a couple can fit there. There are no beds, alas, or fortunately.

The hosts also open their fridge for guests, which is full of fresh vegan products from the local market. If Tami Zori, the founder of this green commune in the city center, and a teacher of cooking courses for vegans and raw vegans, has spare time she will tell you how to make a raw Israeli breakfast.

The owners of the apartment also hold master classes on green topics: how to prepare healthy chocolate and vegan meals, and how to make your own natural cosmetics.

The owners are opposed to air conditioners because of their negative effect on the environment, but there is a ceiling fan in each room, so it won’t be too hot. During the cold months there is heating. The toilet uses recycled water – its grey color always surprises guests a little.

The house is vegan from the threshold to the balcony, so guests are asked not to bring meat, fish and dairy products.
You can bring your cat (there is already one in the apartment), but dogs are not allowed.

One room costs $46 per day, and $258 per week.

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