What It’s Like To Visit Jerusalem’s Gay Bar

What it's like to visit Jerusalem's gay bar. My Normal Gay Life Blog
The counter at Video Pub, Jerusalem’s only gay bar. Credit: Courtesy Video Pub.

Sitting on a stool near the wall, I look around at the quaint decorations lining the wall. Old VHS tapes sit behind a glass display case, a substantial bar liquor bar with one beer tap, and fun colorful lighting all catch my eye. Other than our group, there are only a few people hanging out and one of them continuously makes flirting looks at me even sticking his tongue at me in, what I assume is, a sexy, seductive gesture. Some people head outside to smoke and others are all about the dance floor. It’s your typical bar scene on week night except this is Video Pub and it Jerusalem’s gay bar…the only one. 

Jerusalem: The Historic Side

Jerusalem is known for its status as one of the holiest places in the world. It’s chockfull of ancient buildings, beautiful churches, old alleyways, and everywhere you look there is something holy. This is the reason people visit Jerusalem. It’s an incredible experience to walk through the areas where Jesus Christ was presumably entombed (there are multiple), seeing the Western Wall, and gazing on the Dome of the Rock. I mean, who doesn’t want to have these experiences? These religious beliefs changed the world and visiting such ancient historic sites is a must-do.

What it's like to visit Jerusalem's gay bar. My Normal Gay Life Blog
Western Wall
Nightlife…There is A Lot

So you can imagine my surprise to learn the city actually has a pretty awesome nightlife scene. There are bars and dance clubs all across the city. From a bar in the basement of an old abandoned house to your typical hipster bar, you will find the perfect place to grab a drink to suit your tastes. My favorite nightlife hot spot in the city is the famous Shuk Machne Yehuda located fairly close to the Old City. During the day you can get your produce and other vittles but at night all the food stalls close and the bars open. It’s such an awesome transformation! Jerusalem is surprising like that…it’s a city of contrasts.

* You’ll want the best place to relax while you’re in Jerusalem! Check out these great accommodations perfect for a little r&r in Jerusalem!

What it's like to visit Jerusalem's gay bar. My Normal Gay Life Blog
Old City Jerusalem at Night
Jerusalem’s Gay Bar

Given the religious nature of Jerusalem, I definitely didn’t expect to find a gay bar. But lo and behold, Jerusalem’s gay bar is pretty awesome and I found it! The only gay bar in Jerusalem called Video Pub is super small but lively even on an off night. But don’t let it’s size deter you, it plays some of the best music out of all the bars and a small dance floor where everyone just has a good time. It was also one of the friendliest bars I visited and the bartender was super nice while totally into dancing. Located at Jerusalem, הורקנוס 1, it isn’t immediately obvious that the bar is there.  You’ll need to walk through a little alleyway/courtyard, go up a set of stairs and enter the bar through a second floor door at the back of the building. The best part is it’s located fairly close to the Old City so you can walk around the tourist sites at night and stop by the bar on your way back to your hotel. It’s so much fun! But in conservative Jerusalem you never know how long it’ll be open. It’s been around for a while even when there were multiple other gay establishments in the city. But, for now, Video Pub holds the title as Jerusalem’s gay bar…the only one.

Jerusalem’s Gay Bar: What I Think…
What it's like to visit Jerusalem's gay bar. My Normal Gay Life Blog
Israeli Flag

As I’ve always said, Jerusalem is a city of contrasts and pleasant surprises. You can explore the history and make your own pilgrimage if you’d like and then you can have a crazy time hopping from one bar to another. Video Pub is an awesome bar! It’s lively, friendly, everyone wants to dance because the music is so great, and the drinks are affordable. Jerusalem’s gay bar doesn’t disappoint and it was actually the best bar I visited (I’m not just saying that because I’m gay either).  And it’s not just for gay people. There were some pretty awesome heterosexual people hanging out and having a good time.

Want to learn from my adventures? Check out the travel lesson I learned in Jerusalem here! 


Did you know there is a gay bar in Jerusalem? 
Would you expect that?

J Harvey

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J. Harvey

J Harvey is a travel writer based in North Carolina. With two masters degrees, he decided to forget working a normal 9-5 job and instead create a travel blog focusing on travel for a more inclusive community. He hopes to increase LGBT representation within the travel industry while inspiring others to travel in whatever capacity.

mynormalgaylifegmail-com has 105 posts and counting.See all posts by mynormalgaylifegmail-com

16 thoughts on “What It’s Like To Visit Jerusalem’s Gay Bar

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  • September 19, 2017 at 3:32 am
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    I’m actually also quite surprised to hear that Jerusalem has a thriving nightlife scene – not something I would have expected. And same again on the gay scene – I would have thought that homosexuality in a religious place like this would have been viewed as taboo – so it’s incredible to hear that the reality of Jerusalem today is much more open minded than I gave credit for. Thanks for the tip on Video Pub – I can’t wait to visit if it’s good for heterosexuals too 🙂

    Reply
    • September 20, 2017 at 2:35 pm
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      The nightlife obviously doesn’t compare to a place like Barcelona or Tel Aviv but it’s a pretty cool scene on its own merits. Video Pub is small but sooo much fun and you’ll have no problem with being heterosexual, haha. They also play the best music out of all the bars I went to.

      Reply
  • September 18, 2017 at 3:26 pm
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    I am indeed astonished that Jerusalem has such a vibrant nightlife. You are definitely correct, Jerusalem is a must-see. I hope to visit one day and check out the places like the Western Wall and so on. Sounds like the drinks flow at Video Pub.

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    • September 20, 2017 at 2:49 pm
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      It’s funny because it just goes to show we often have preconceived notions of places which can ultimately prove to be inaccurate. Video Pub is just so much fun for everyone regardless of orientation!The nightlife is definitely worth exploring in Jerusalem!

      Reply
  • September 17, 2017 at 4:57 am
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    Jerusalem and night life?
    Well thats an eye opener for me.
    Always thought of it as a pious and quiet place to be frank!

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    • September 20, 2017 at 2:56 pm
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      Exactly! Me too! But that’s why we travel isn’t it? 🙂

      Reply
  • September 17, 2017 at 4:18 am
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    Wouldn’t have expected to find a gay bar there! Same same for the nightlife! Did you do some research or did you just run into it? I’ve never been to the Middle East but the region is definitely on my bucket list; so as Jerusalem.

    Reply
    • September 20, 2017 at 2:58 pm
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      I actually learned all of this by participating in a pub crawl put on by Abraham Hostels! It was so much fun…I highly recommend!

      Reply
  • September 16, 2017 at 6:33 pm
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    I had no idea Jerusalem had a booming nightlife; I love a fun bar! I have yet to make my way out to the middle east, but posts like this put it on my radar.

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    • September 20, 2017 at 3:00 pm
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      You absolutely should make it out that way. It’s rather surprising and awesome. I wouldn’t call it booming but it certainly is fun!

      Reply
  • September 16, 2017 at 2:46 pm
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    There has been a bit of a hubbub about Israel being prejudice but every traveler who returns tells the same story. They are fun, young and very welcoming.The video pub sounds interesting. The last time we saw VHS tapes we were in an anarchist enclave called slab city in the middle of the California desert. They seemed to fit right in there but it’s quite the juxtaposition in Jerusalem.

    Reply
    • September 20, 2017 at 3:05 pm
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      Yeah, there is a lot about Israel that is true and there is a lot that is not. Just like any place, there is good and bad. While I was there, I heard some anti-Semitic language and I heard anti-Muslim language. But I try not to focus on just the bad. Because there is soooooo much good!

      Reply
  • September 16, 2017 at 9:58 am
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    Interesting post. My friend is visiting Jerusalem in October and I will tell him about this bar. Are there many gay bars in Jerusalem?

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    • September 20, 2017 at 3:09 pm
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      Well, this post is about the only gay bar in Jerusalem. So, as far as a I know, no there aren’t very many. 🙂

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  • September 16, 2017 at 5:57 am
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    I must admit I am shocked about the nightlife there too, and that there is a gay bar. But in my town it is the same, the smaller bars play the best music and have the best atmosphere. I am glad you found somewhere so fun and interesting on your trip

    Reply

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