Yatta, Palestine


The city of Yatta is a colourful and varied place, consisting of a bustling centre encircled by a network of leafier suburban areas. The outskirts are scenic with olive grove-filled valleys, big stone houses and large patches of open green space. There is clear evidence of the city’s dependence on its rock-cutting industry throughout, but also an eclectic variety of shops to be found in the centre. Historically, the city has thrived on its agricultural industry.

Crumbling remains of historic buildings speckle the city, while many more recent homes have been built in the traditional style with arched windows and domed roofs. Yatta, just 8km south of the much larger city of Hebron, is a more relaxed and friendly place. It is also identified with the biblical town of Juttah.

Population: 48,672 (2007)

What To Do

Yatta is a commercial and economic hub for the surrounding villages, but does not yet boast any particular tourist attractions, as visitors are still not all that common this south in the West Bank. However, ruins of historic buildings can be sought out and explored, while the city centre is a busy and inviting place to wander.

The typical Palestinian architecture of domed roofs and arched windows can also be found in abundance in Yatta. Yatta is just 8km south of Hebron, a remarkable, historic city still smarting from decades of conflict and political tension but well worth a visit to see for yourself.

Where To Eat

There are various typical Palestinian restaurants serving up delicious shawarma, chicken and falafel in the centre of town. Otherwise, head to Ras al Jora, a neighbourhood of Hebron, 8km away, which is famous for its dining scene.

Where To Stay

There are four hotels in Hebron, but there is a much greater variety in the more tourist-savvy areas of Bethlehem, Ramallah and of course Jerusalem.