Bethlehem, a Palestinian city in the West Bank, is one of the most historical and culturally rich cities in the Middle East. Known as the birthplace of Jesus Christ, it has become a popular destination for tourists and pilgrims from all over the world. But Bethlehem offers much more than just religious sites. From ancient markets and museums to modern art galleries and delicious food, this city has something for everyone. In this post, we’ll take you on a journey to discover the best attractions and things to do in Bethlehem, so you can make the most out of your visit to this enchanting city.
The 2 Best Fun Activities to Do in Bethlehem
The 2 Best Fun Activities to Do in Bethlehem
1. Bethlehem Full Day Tour
Visit Bethlehem’s top historical and religious sights during a full-day multi-stop tour of the picturesque Palestinian city. This tour includes a visit to the Church of the Nativity where you’ll enjoy a guided tour, learn the history behind King Herod’s Palace in Herodian National Park, get a peek at millennia-old waterways at Solomon’s Pools, and venture outside the city for a stop at 5th-century Mar Saba Monastery. This full-day guided tour offers the opportunity to explore each site at your own pace with one guided tour of the Church of the Nativity. The tour includes A/C transportation from Jerusalem Tel Aviv or Bethlehem pickup points and is limited to a group of 30 participants. Please note that lunch is included, but a visit to The Nativity Cave is not always possible, and the entrance fee to Herodion National Park is not included. Meeting points are flexible and can be arranged during booking.
2. Bethlehem and Dead Sea Tour
Combine a guided tour of Christian historical sights with a chance to float in the mineral-rich waters of the lowest point on earth during this full-day combo tour of Bethlehem and the Dead Sea. Departing from either Tel Aviv or Jerusalem travel to the West Bank by comfortable air-conditioned vehicle. Visit the Church of the Nativity and the Shepherds’ Field with a guide before enjoying free time at the salt lake. Relax with comfortable A/C transfers, tick off Bethlehem’s top sights, enjoy free time to relax at the beach shop for Dead Sea cosmetics or float. The tour includes an air-conditioned vehicle, licensed tour guide in Bethlehem, tour taxes, lunch, and sunscreen bathing suits hats and towels for The Dead Sea. The activity ends back at the meet. Dead sea ticket is 45 nis each pay at the day of the tour.
FAQ about Bethlehem: What every Tourist Should KnowExploring Bethlehem can be an enriching experience. Known for its biblical associations with the birth of Jesus Christ, it is a city packed with historical, cultural, and religious significance. Every year, tourists from all over the world visit Bethlehem to explore its rich history and cultural heritage. However, if you are planning a trip to Bethlehem, there may be some questions you have about this historic city. Here are some answers to the most commonly asked questions by tourists about Bethlehem.
What is Bethlehem?Bethlehem is a city situated in the Palestinian territories. It is known as the birthplace of Jesus Christ and holds an important place in Christianity. It is located less than 10 kilometers south of Jerusalem and is a lively city filled with historical and biblical significance.
Why should I visit Bethlehem?Bethlehem has a rich cultural and religious history that attracts millions of tourists every year, especially for its association with the birthplace of Jesus Christ. The city has many historical and religious sites, such as the Church of the Nativity, and many museums that showcase Bethlehem’s cultural heritage. Bethlehem is also surrounded by scenic beauty, such as the Judean Hills and the Shepherds’ Field, making it an ideal destination for those interested in history and nature.
Is Bethlehem safe?Like any city, Bethlehem has its share of problems, but it is considered generally safe for tourists. The Palestinian authorities have made significant efforts to provide a safe environment for tourists, and the city is generally peaceful. However, it is always advisable to take some precautions to ensure your safety, such as staying within the tourist areas, and keeping away from any protests or demonstrations.
What is the best time of year to visit Bethlehem?The best time to visit Bethlehem is during the cooler months, between September and May. The weather is pleasant, and the skies are clear, making it easier to explore the city’s historical sites and enjoy outdoor activities. The summer months, between June and August, can be very hot and humid, which can make exploring the city less enjoyable.
What are the main attractions in Bethlehem?Bethlehem has several attractions that tourists can explore, including:
The Church of the Nativity:It is one of the oldest churches in the world and is the site where Jesus Christ is believed to have been born.
The Shepherds’ Field:This is the site where the angels are said to have announced the birth of Jesus Christ to the shepherds.
The Milk Grotto Chapel:It is believed that Mary breastfed Jesus in this cave, and the stones in the cave are said to have miraculous healing powers.
The Bethlehem Museum:It showcases Bethlehem’s rich cultural heritage through a collection of art, artifacts, and archaeological finds.
What traditional foods should I try in Bethlehem?Bethlehem is known for its delicious cuisine, which is influenced by Palestinian and Levantine cooking styles. Some of the must-try foods when in Bethlehem include:
Musakhan:A dish made with roasted chicken, onions, and sumac served on top of a bed of flatbread.
Makluba:A layered dish of rice, meat, fried vegetables, and spices.
Falafel:Fried balls made from chickpeas and herbs, often served in a pita bread sandwich with hummus and vegetables.
What is the currency used in Bethlehem?The currency used in Bethlehem is the Israeli Shekel (ILS) and the Jordanian Dinar (JOD). The US dollar (USD) is also widely accepted. However, it is always advisable to check the exchange rates before exchanging your currency.
What is the dress code in Bethlehem?Bethlehem is a conservative city, and it is advisable to dress modestly, especially when visiting religious sites. Women should avoid wearing revealing clothing, and men should avoid shorts and sleeveless tops. It is also advisable to carry a scarf to cover your head when visiting religious sites.
What is the language spoken in Bethlehem?The official language of Bethlehem is Arabic. However, most people in Bethlehem speak English, and many locals also speak Hebrew.
How do I get to Bethlehem?The easiest way to get to Bethlehem is by taking a shared taxi or a bus from Jerusalem. There are frequent buses that connect Jerusalem and Bethlehem, and the journey takes around 30 minutes. You can also hire a car or take a taxi, which is a more expensive option. If you are coming from other parts of Israel or from Jordan, you can also take a bus or car rental service.In conclusion, Bethlehem is a city that is worth exploring for its rich history, culture, and religious significance. By knowing the answers to these frequently asked questions, you can plan your trip to Bethlehem, and explore its many attractions confidently.
How to Spend Your Time as a Tourist in BethlehemBethlehem is a popular destination for tourists from all around the world. With its rich history, traditional markets, and religious significance, there’s something for everyone to enjoy. In this guide, we’ll take you through the best ways to spend your time in Bethlehem.
1. Visit the Church of the NativityThe Church of the Nativity is one of the most important religious sites in the world. It marks the spot where Jesus Christ was born over 2,000 years ago. Visitors are able to enter the church and explore its many chambers and halls, which have been impeccably preserved over the centuries. Make sure to look out for the stunning mosaics that line the walls – they’re truly breathtaking.
2. Go Shopping in the Old MarketsBethlehem’s traditional markets are a hive of activity, with vendors selling everything from clothing and jewelry to spices and traditional Palestinian sweets. Don’t be afraid to haggle with the vendors – it’s expected and part of the fun! Make sure to sample some of the delicious street food on offer – hummus and falafel are especially popular.
3. Visit the Milk GrottoLocated just a short walk from the Church of the Nativity, the Milk Grotto is a peaceful and serene cave that’s revered by Christians the world over. It’s said that Mary, Joseph and the baby Jesus took refuge here during their flight into Egypt. The cave’s walls are white and chalky, making it a serene and almost otherworldly experience.
4. Explore the Shepherds’ FieldJust a few miles outside of Bethlehem is the Shepherds’ Field, where the Bible tells us that the angel Gabriel appeared to shepherds and announced the birth of Jesus Christ. Today, visitors can explore the fields and surrounding hills, which offer some truly stunning views of the surrounding area.
5. Visit the Mar Saba MonasteryLocated in the Judean Desert just outside of Bethlehem, the Mar Saba Monastery is a place of deep spiritual significance. It was founded in the 5th century and is home to a community of Greek Orthodox monks. Visitors are able to explore the monastery’s many chapels and rooms and admire the stunning Byzantine architecture.
6. Take a Guided TourIf you want to make the most of your time in Bethlehem, it’s worth considering taking a guided tour. This will allow you to see all of the main sights and attractions, as well as learning about the history and culture of the city from an expert guide. Look out for tours that include the Church of the Nativity, the Old Markets, and the Shepherds’ Field, as these are some of the highlights of the city.
Book Your Tour NowBethlehem is a city of deep cultural and historical significance, and there’s plenty to see and do here. Whether you’re interested in religion, architecture, or simply soaking up the local culture, there’s something here for everyone. Make sure to visit the Church of the Nativity, explore the Old Markets, and take a guided tour of the city to make the most of your time here.
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