If you only have a few hours in Safed here are some recommendations.
1. Candle Factory. It is like a museum as well as a great place to shop for gifts. You can sometimes see the candle makers at work.
2. Take a walk to the top of the Citadel. You can drive or walk up the set of stairs located across from the City Hall. At the top you can hear the story of the battle of Safed. As well you can see in all four directions and get a feel for the city in case you got lost...
3. The artist row. You can wander around the artist quarter and find some beautiful galleries or if you are short on time then spend some time in the artist row. You can see some of the artisans at work and find Avi's gallery in the middle across from the falafel stand. He's an artist and he makes one of a kind mezuzot from wood and he carries my line of photography as well.
4. The Ari Synagogue is a shul from the 15th century. If you ask the guard at the entrance he can tell you a few stories. Be sure to look for the shrapnel hole near the entrance and ask him to tell you that miracle story.
5. The HaMeiri Cheese factory is a great place to pick up some fancy cheeses that they make on the premises and the grape leaves are my favorite.
When you come to Safed be sure to visit Otzar HaStam.
There are Letters of Adventure, a Trivial Game Show and a Scribe's Workshop. Here you and your family will learn some kabbalistic meaning behind the Hebrew letters, how a scribe writes a sefer Torah with real ink and a quill and kabbalistic meaning behind the Hebrew letters in the garden of letters.
Pictured here is the Hebrew letter "taf", the final letter of the Alef Beis. The word truth is Emmet. Emmet is made up of 3 letters that have a solid footing. Thus spiritually when someone tells the truth they are standing on solid ground. Each letter in the garden has a spiritual painting on it connected to that letter.
As a photographer this place has an amazing view of the Kinneret since it's high up on the mountain of Canaan, one of the hills surrounding Safed. As a Mom I love this place because of the gardens. It's great for the whole family and a pleasure to walk around. Good for the body and the soul.
I'm going to let my daughter finish this blog so you'll see Otzar HaStam from a teenage perspective. Her first introduction was when she came here for a bat mitzvah.
Otzar HaStam is an amazing experience. A bat mitzvah is a really fun thing to do there. Its a meaningful experience. My favorite room is the moving chairs with 3-D. Its also great for a family outings because it is educational and fun for all ages. If you come to Safed you can't miss it.
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Pnina Sugar has lived in Safed for 8 years. This blog was created from the outlook of a mother, explorer and a photographer to help you make the most of your vacation in Safed and Northern Israel. You can find her photos at www.israelphotoart.com or join her upcoming Kabbalistic photo journey of Safed tour on your next trip to find out where she took all those cool door photos