The Walled Off Hotel, Bethlehem


The hotel with the absolute worst view in the world. A hotel that you will remember forever nonetheless. Five steps from the separation wall. Masterpieces by Banksy accessible to absolutely everyone. Meet – The Walled Off Hotel in Bethlehem.

The Porter at The Walled Off Hotel
The Porter at The Walled Off Hotel

The Walled Off Hotel is one of the places in Bethlehem that is definitely worth a visit. It is located just a few steps from the separation wall – a concrete barrier between the territory of Israel and Palestine. The hotel is decorated with masterpieces by the anonymous artist Banksy, which strongly draw attention to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

The Walled Off Hotel interior
The Walled Off Hotel interior

On the ground floor of the hotel is a bar that is accessible to everyone. For the price of just one coffee, you can get acquainted with probably the widest collection of Banksy’s works. Bethlehem or nearby Jerusalem is full of religious motifs, being some of the most religiously significant places in the world. The Walled Off Hotel thus shows the indiscriminate other side of the same coin.

The Walled Off Hotel interior
The Walled Off Hotel interior

Whether it’s an ancient statue protecting itself against tear gas or Jesus with a laser sight on his forehead, the works make you think.

Coffee in the hotel lounge
Coffee in the hotel lounge

On the ground floor of the hotel, there are several seating tables, the staff speaks excellent English and is very helpful. As I mentioned earlier, entry to the bar is free, and during our visit on Saturday morning, the bar was practically empty except for two other guests. A well-prepared double espresso with a glass of iced water cost 12 shekels, which is approximately 3.20 EUR.

The Walled Off Hotel interior
The Walled Off Hotel interior

The hotel also houses a museum focusing on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Admission to the museum costs 20 shekels (approximately 5.60 EUR). You won’t find Banksy’s works in the museum, but I still recommend visiting it.

The Walled Off Hotel interior
The Walled Off Hotel interior

Tickets to the museum are sold by the hotel employee before the main entrance. If you don’t want to visit the museum, simply refuse and order a drink at the bar inside. You will have access to all of Banksy’s works anyway.

Immediate surroundings of the hotel
Immediate surroundings of the hotel

Visiting the hotel may not be for everyone. Walking past the burnt guard towers and the long concrete separation wall does not evoke positive thoughts. I felt safe here, but caution and familiarization with the current situation is appropriate.

Immediate surroundings of the hotel
Immediate surroundings of the hotel

The Israeli-Palestinian conflict is very complicated, and I don’t want to evaluate it in any way. But one thing I know for sure – I have never thought so much about coffee as I did here.

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