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Things to do in Bethlehem

Our most recommended things to do in Bethlehem

From Jerusalem: Tour to Bethlehem, Jericho, and Jordan River

1. From Jerusalem: Tour to Bethlehem, Jericho, and Jordan River

After being picked up from Jerusalem, travel to Bethlehem where you will meet your guide before heading into the old city of Bethlehem. Enjoy a guided visit to the Church of the Nativity.  Continue your tour with a visit to the Milk Grotto Church before riding to the city of the shepherds, Bayt Sahur where you will visit the Chapel of the Shepherds Field before getting to visit an olive wood factory where you will see artisans crafting wooden sculptures.  Then journey through the wonderful Judean Desert to the lowest point on earth. Have chances to stop and take pictures at the sea level point in the desert overlooking the oldest continuously inhabited city in the world, Jericho.  Stop and have lunch then pass the Mount of Temptation and drive into Jericho where you will see some of the famed sights in the city including Zaccheus's Tree which is mentioned in the bible.

From Tel Aviv: Jerusalem and Bethlehem Guided Day Trip

2. From Tel Aviv: Jerusalem and Bethlehem Guided Day Trip

On this full-day tour of the Holy Land, enjoy pick-up from your hotel in Tel Aviv in a comfortable air-conditioned coach and travel along highway no' 1 to Jerusalem. You’ll be accompanied throughout the day by a knowledgeable, professional guide. You’ll enjoy a panoramic overview from Mount Scopus, overlooking the new city of Jerusalem and the Temple Mount Esplanade of the old city. As you travel along the Kidron Valley, you’ll be able to take in views the Garden of Gethsemane as well as the walls of the city. On reaching the Armenian Quarter you'll enter the Western or Wailing Wall square via the local bazaar. See the Christian Quarter and the Stations of the Cross, also known as the Via Dolorosa. Visit the Church of the Holy Sepulcher, which is considered to be the site of the crucifixion of Jesus. You'll also walk along the 1700-year-old Byzantine Cardo, the main street, and see the renovated Jewish Quarter. Transfer to Bethlehem (Palestinian guide and vehicle). Bethlehem, meaning “City of Bread”, was the birthplace of Jesus according to Christian tradition. Your drive to Bethlehem takes you by way of Nativity Circle. Visit the Church of Nativity, and also the cave where Jesus was born. You’ll see Manger Square, where Jesus was placed after his birth. Before completing the tour, visit St' Catharine - a Roman Catholic Church. You’ll enjoy an overview of the Shepherd's Fields on the return drive to Tel Aviv.

From Jerusalem: Full-Day Bethlehem and Dead Sea Day Tour

3. From Jerusalem: Full-Day Bethlehem and Dead Sea Day Tour

Discover the famous old city of Bethlemen and the Dead Sea on a guided day trip from Jerusalem. Swim in the Dead Sea, visit an olive wood factory and see the famous Church of the Nativity. Following pickup in Jerusalem, ride to Bethlehem to meet your guide before heading to the Old City of Bethlehem. Begin with a guided visit to the Church of the Nativity. Next, if availability allows, visit the Nativity Star and the Cave of St. Jerome. From there, head to the Milk Grotto Church, where it is believed that the Holy Family found refuge from the Massacre of the Innocents before they could flee into Egypt. Next, drive to the City of the Shepherd's, Bayt Sahur. In Bayt Sahurt, enjoy a guided visit to the Chapel of The Shepherd's Field, the church where the angels first appeared to the shepherds to announce the birth of Jesus Christ. Continue your trip with a visit to an olive wood factory and watch the artisans crafting wooden sculptures. Continue through the Judean Desert to reach the lowest point on Earth. Hop out and take pictures at sea-level in the desert . Continue to the Dead Sea to enjoy the rest of the day, either floating in the rich water or relaxing at the beach.

From Jerusalem: Half-Day Bethlehem Guided Tour

4. From Jerusalem: Half-Day Bethlehem Guided Tour

After meeting at the David Citadel Hotel, you will begin your 4 to 5-hour tour, depending on the season. You will explore some of the religious highlights of Bethlehem, including the Church of the Nativity, St. Catherine, and the Shepherds' Fields. You will begin with the chance to visit the 1,500-year-old Church of Nativity where Jesus was born. From there you will enjoy beautiful views of the Old City of Bethlehem complete with the Manger Square. You will then take a ride through the city of Bethlehem and Beit Sahour passing by the main sites. A special visit to the Milk Grotto is also available, as well as a tour to the Shepherd’s Field where the Angels first announced the birth of Jesus Christ.

From Tel Aviv: Jerusalem, Dead Sea & Bethlehem Full-Day Tour

5. From Tel Aviv: Jerusalem, Dead Sea & Bethlehem Full-Day Tour

Explore the holiest cities on earth on a guided tour from Tel Aviv. Travel to three of Israel's highlights, including Bethlehem, Jerusalem's Old City, and the Dead sea. Enjoy plenty of free time to shop and swim. Start your guided tour in the "City of Gold." Visit Jerusalem's Old City, including the Via Dolorosa and the Church of the Sepulchre. Explore local Markets, Byzantine Cardo, and the Western Wall.  Next, embark on a tour of Bethlehem and witness the Church of the Nativity, the city where Jesus Christ was born. Those who are not interested in Bethlehem can instead opt to enjoy free time in Jerusalem. In the afternoon, journey east through the Judean Desert and head to the Dead Sea, the lowest point on earth. Bathe in the therapeutic waters before your return to Tel Aviv in the late evening.

Best of the West Bank Full-Day Tour from Jerusalem

6. Best of the West Bank Full-Day Tour from Jerusalem

Embark on a comprehensive full-day tour of the West Bank of the Jordan river to discover the rich history behind this region. Beginning with the ancient baptism site of Qasr el Yahud on the banks of the Jordan river, you'll be able to visit the marble steps leading into the river, said to be the very place where Jesus was baptized. Move on to the the city of Jericho itself, the oldest city in the world, where you will visit the ruins of ancient Jericho and view the nearby Mount of Temptation in the adjacent hills.  Continue to Ramallah and walk the streets of this modern city and see life in the big city in the West Bank. The tour will head to Manara Square, the thriving commercial district, and visit Yasser Arafat's tomb.  The final stop of the day is the holy sites of Bethlehem, with a visit to the Nativity Church and ending with a visit to the Separation Wall.

From Tel Aviv: Best of the West Bank Full-Day Tour

7. From Tel Aviv: Best of the West Bank Full-Day Tour

Embark on a comprehensive full-day tour of the West Bank of the Jordan River to discover the rich history behind the region. Depart Tel Aviv at 6:30 AM and then arrive on the West Bank after one hour and meet your guide.  Beginning with the ancient baptism site of Qasr el Yahud on the banks of the Jordan River at around 8:00 AM, you'll be able to visit the marble steps leading into the river, said to be the very place where Jesus was baptized. At 8:45 AM, move on to the city of Jericho itself, the oldest city in the world, where you will visit the ruins of ancient Jericho and view the nearby Mount of Temptation in the adjacent hills. Then continue to Ramallah at 10:15 AM and walk the streets of this modern city and see life in the big city on the West Bank. The tour will head to Manara Square, the thriving commercial district, and visit Yasser Arafat's tomb.  Stop for lunch at around 1:00 PM before continuing onto a tour of Bethlehem at around 2:30 PM. In Bethlehem visit the Nativity Church, and end with a visit to the Separation Wall. Return to your hotel in Tel Aviv at around 6:00 PM.

From Ashdod Port: Jerusalem and Bethlehem Day Trip

8. From Ashdod Port: Jerusalem and Bethlehem Day Trip

Your guide will be waiting for you when you disembark from your cruise ship in Ashdod and the tour will begin with a pleasant drive to Jerusalem in a comfortable vehicle with A/C. At Mt. Scopus, the tour stops for a panoramic view across the city rooftops. Then drive towards the Old City passing biblical sites like the Garden of Gethsemane that stands on the Mount of Olives alongside the Church of All Nations. Also, spot the ancient Jewish tombs in Kidron Valley, and the Ophel Promenade as we drive parallel to the Old City walls. We enter the Old City on foot through one of the massive gates in the 16th-century walls and pass the Western Wall excavations as we walk towards the Western Wall. This sacred Jewish site is all that remains from the 2,000-year-old holy Jewish Temple that once stood on Temple Mount. In the Jewish Quarter, we see the Byzantine Cardo lined with columns, then we walk along a section of the Via Dolorosa, as Jesus did bearing his cross. The Via Dolorosa culminates at the Holy Sepulcher Church which was built in the 4th century to encompass Christ’s tomb and the site of the crucifixion at Golgotha (Calvary). The tour stops for a lunch break in the Old City and you have time to meander through one of the traditional markets. Leaving the Old City we can see Mount Zion as we drive towards the town where Christ was born. In Bethlehem, we tour the Nativity Church and see the Holy Grotto where the nativity took place. The tour ends with a drive back to Ashdod port where you can rejoin your cruise ship and continue to your next port of call.

From Jerusalem: Bethlehem, Jericho & Qasr al-Yahud

9. From Jerusalem: Bethlehem, Jericho & Qasr al-Yahud

Descend to the Judean desert, and see the Inn of the Good Samaritan on route. Look out over the remarkable moonscape of the breathtaking Judean desert. Continue on to Jericho, the oldest city in the world. Stop at Zacchaeus' Sycamore to see one of the oldest Sycamore trees, which Zacchaeus climbed in order to spot Jesus. Visit the Mound of Ancient Jericho, where 25 ancient cities were uncovered. Enter Jericho, which was founded in 8,000 BC, and is the oldest Jewish settlement, captured by Joshua and Israel in 1,200 BC. Stop for an overview of Mt. Temptation, where Satan endeavored to tempt Jesus, and see of the oasis of Jericho and Elisha's Spring. Depart Jericho to travel to the Judean mountains and the city of Bethlehem. Visit Bethlehem, the birthplace of King David, whose name literally translates as “City of Bread,” due to the wheat crop that grew in the region, the city where according to Christian tradition, it is the birthplace of Jesus, and undoubtedly one of the most biblical sites on earth. Discover the Church of the Nativity, and the cave where Jesus was born. See Manger Square, where Jesus was placed after his birth. Explore the Greek and the Catholic Church before continuing with an overview of Shepherd's Fields.  Enjoy round-trip transfers from Jerusalem and the services of an English-speaking guide, on this essential tour of biblical sites and fantastic panoramic views.

Jerusalem & Bethlehem Full Day Tour from Tel Aviv

10. Jerusalem & Bethlehem Full Day Tour from Tel Aviv

This full-day tour takes you to the holiest of holy cities, spiritual sanctuary to the 3 great religions of the Western world, Judaism, Christianity and Islam. Dating back over 4 millennia the Old City is so packed with sites that it draws visitors from around the world, whatever their spiritual leanings. You will be traveling with a government licensed tour guide in comfortable air-conditioned vehicles, although there will be some walking, so come prepared. You will stop at the Mount of Olives to take in a panoramic view of the dusty city below. Enter the Old City and tour the major attractions, such as the Wailing Wall, Temple Mount and Dome of the Rock. Walk through the Jewish and Armenian Quarters and the recently restored Roman road of The Cardo, visible on Jewish Quarter Street. Head through the bazaar towards the Western Wall, or Kotel, and proceed along the Via Dolorosa to visit the Church of Holy Sepulcher, also known as Church of the Resurrection and said to be the place where Jesus is buried and was resurrected. An essential place of pilgrimage for Christians since at least the 4th-Century, whatever your beliefs the atmosphere is mesmerizing. Leaving Jerusalem behind, you will drive to Bethlehem to get an overview of Shepherds' Field and to visit the Church of the Nativity, one of the oldest continuously operating churches in the world. Located on the West Bank in Palestine, the city is heavily dependent on tourism and thousands come every year to worship or just watch at Manger's Square where Jesus is said to have been born. Now pedestrianized, the square is surrounded by streets named after the Lord, including Star Street and Nativity Street. It is also home to the city’s only mosque and the Palestinian Peace Center. Take a moment to reflect or pop in to one of the handicraft shops, before the drive back to Tel Aviv, Netanya or Herzliy.

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What people are saying about Bethlehem

Overall rating

4.1 / 5

based on 3,086 reviews

We had a wonderful day, we really enjoyed the opportunity to see the most important sights of Jerusalem and Bethlehem. We appreciate the hard work done by the guides Udi and Camil to give us the best possible experience, content and atmosphere of the place. I didn't understand the point of the daily stop at the Elvis gas station less than 30 minutes after departure and at the same time as 10 other buses. The place is too crowded, windy, unfriendly and totally irrelevant for a trip to historical places. Two days in a row on different trips we stopped at the same place!

Perfect experience, great tour guide Abe, perfect bus driver and lot of exciting information. We really loved this trip to Jerusalem and Betlehem. Highly recommend.

It's one of the best tours we booked so far. You'll get a different glimpse/view of the culture and history behind this area.

Amazing sites, extremely knowledgeable and engaging tour guides, well worth the trip!

Great tour - there is so much to see that it is a very busy day.