Baka - A Neighbourhood Guide

Baka (or Baq'a) is a beautiful, green neighbourhood located in the South West of Jerusalem. Whilst Baka is mainly residential, it is fantastically well located in terms of local amenities, being within a short walk/drive to many local points of interest. Nearby attractions include the First Station (a complex of restaurants, cafes and shops), the Park HaMesila (the former train track, now converted to a great park), The Jerusalem Theatre, not to mention the close proximity to the Old City (30-40 min walk or free shuttle bus from the First Station).

Baka was somewhat rundown for many years, but has seen a resurgence, with some of the most luxurious developments and homes in the city being built and renovated there. That being said, there are still plenty of large blocks that have apartments that can be obtained at reasonable prices, though these tend to be somewhat older blocks.

As a quiet residential area there’s not much of note within, but Baka is bordered on all sides with some great amenities. To the West; the “Rakevet” (see below) and the German Colony’s Emek Refaim Street with its shops & restaurants. The North; The First Station and Yes Planet (cinema complex), to the East the trendy shops and cafes that line Derech Beit Lechem and finally to the south, the shops and supermarkets of Talpiot.

The streets of Baka are named for the twelve tribes, plus a sprinkling of other Biblical figures that managed to sneak in (Shimshon, Gidon and Boaz).

History

Ulpan Etzion

For around 60 years, Baka was home to the ‘famous’ Ulpan Etzion, the hebrew language school that has had it’s doors open since the founding of the state. The end of 2008 saw the transfer of the school to it’s new facility in the Beit Canada centre in Armon HaNetziv in the south east of the city..

Real Estate

Baka has developed a reputation for luxurious property, and rightly so, but affordable apartments do exist within the area too. The neighbourhood is home to what can only be referred to as mansions, often located in Baka’s quiet leafy backstreets. These properties can command 7-8 figure prices in both shekel and dollar amounts and having been lucky enough to visit many of these, the price is certainly justified for those that have the budget.

Baka has a number of new construction projects, such as Bustan Baka and Park8 with additional projects in the pipeline. We are also seeing a number of TAMA 38 projects being undertaken in the neighbourhood. These projects see brand new apartments being added to existing buildings in return for upgrading them to current earthquake resistance standards. These properties can often be obtained at a discount if you are willing to buy them ‘off-plan’ but have construction schedules that are significantly faster than a development that is being planned and built from scratch.

There’s also a vibrant rental market in Baka, with apartments of varying sizes and prices suitable for sharers and families alike, whether you’re looking for a luxury apartment or something more affordable.

If you are interested in finding out more about properties in this area, please be in touch with ben@capitil.com (+972-53-822-4336) who will be more than happy to help you further.

Entertainment

Activities & Points of Interest

Baka is a largely residential zone and as such, there’s not much in the way of entertainment here, but that’s not to say it can’t be found close by with both the ‘Tachana Rishona’ and the Yes Planet cinema complex being located within easy walking distance of the area.

Derech Beit Lechem Street is also home to a lively cafe scene, with some great options like Grand Cafe or Kalo. The street is also home to an annual street fair, which shuts the road down to car traffic and brings in food stands, street performers and musicians for a fun filled evening.

Parks & Playgrounds

Park HaMesila/The Rakevet

Way back when, Jerusalem used to have a train line that ran through Baka. When the train stopped running, the track was abandoned and left desolate as a scar running through the neighbourhood, but in 2010, work commenced to turn the tracks into a park. Now spanning over 7km with a bicycle path and a running track, the park is always busy, particularly in the evenings, when the city’s exercise fanatics are out in force. 

Profile of Park Hamesila

Sports Pitches

On Gad, you’ll find a mixed basketball/soccer court

Nearby Attractions

Large Development Projects

Adjacent Neighbourhoods

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