Hebron, Palestine

Al Dahriya

Al Dahriya is a large, bustling town with a rather magical Old City just waiting to be discovered. This is one of the real hidden gems of Palestine, and arguably the most beautifully restored Old City in the entire West Bank. It should be a tourist hit, but a total lack of marketing means it is virtually empty every day. It is also amongst the few Old Cities – outside of Palestine’s big cities – to boast a charming coffee shop, with indoor and outdoor seating overlooking domed rooftops, elegantly decorated with a water fountain too.

The town of al Dahriya, by contrast, is a bustling, somewhat hectic place, with supermarkets, businesses and a service taxi depot all along the main road. There is usually music emanating from the various coffee shops, while regulars sit outside sunning themselves during the day. Dahriya mosque is unmissable, rising tall and proud above everything else in the town and visible for miles around. While there is also a big sports facility with a football pitch for residents to use.

The Old City is centred on Haruja Square, where there is a map detailing the various restored buildings including a mosque, a hostel and an old bakery. There is also a plaque thanking RIWAQ for the excellent renovation project, carried out between 2011-13. Al Dahriya is located 23km southwest of Hebron.

Population: 29,356 (2007)

What To Do

The Old City of al Dahriya is one of the best kept secrets in Palestine; an exquisitely renovated maze of old buildings, with steps up to various rooftops where the views will leave you speechless, and a charming coffee shop to relax in and enjoy the atmospheric setting some more. This is a true, hidden gem, so far off the beaten path it is not even visible. There are no signs pointing to the Old City and no tour groups. The Old Mosque, various houses, an old bakery and other buildings can be explored, as well as the winding narrow streets and domed rooftops.

In the newer part of town, there are many coffee shops to relax in as well a rather chaotic market to explore with carts piled high with fresh produce. Also, Hebron, 23km away, is a bustling city with an atmospheric Old City, market and plenty of shops and restaurants

Where To Eat

Snacks can be purchased in the coffee shop in the Old City, while there are the typical restaurants in the town centre serving up Palestinian fare including shawarma, chicken, falafel and hummus. For a proper meal out, Hebron, 23km away, has a neighbourhood with plenty of restaurants.

Where To Stay

There are at least four good hotels in Hebron.

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