These are all incredible places to visit and this trip covers them way better than youd be able to do yourself. Day 1 starts in Jerusalem which was completely overwhelming, its a complete shock to the senses, all this ancient history, incredibly diverse cultures and religions all crammed between the old walls, it was great to have the guided tour as you see and learn so much in the short time you have. Next is Bethlehem, and even getting there is quite an experience. Overnight in Jerusalem. Day 2 starts at Masada, amazing, then off for a mud bath and floating on the dead sea. A brilliant trip. The only negatives I would mention is the very average overnight hotel in Jerusalem (upgrade if you can) and the tour guide on day 2 must have been doing the tours in King Herrods time as she appeared pretty bored of doing the tour again.
It is ridiculous that they trip picks you up in Tel Aviv and ends in Bethlehem and then they have the nerve to tell you it will cost $140 each to get back to Tel Aviv. It is more problematic as Tel Aviv is in one country and Bethlehem in another (Palastine) with all the problems that implies. I would not recommend this trip to anybody! If you cannot do better than then JUST DROP THE TRIP.
Excellent!! This all day tour provided a satisfying taste of Jerusalem and Bethlehem. The tour operated to schedule and provided safe, clean and efficient transportation in a van/mini-bus.
The visit to Jerusalem included an initial stop on Mount Scopus overlooking the old city to provide perspective. Once inside the city walls the tour included visits to all the quarters as well as the 'Wailing Wall' and the CHurch of the Holy Sepulcher.
The visit to Bethlehem provided an in-depth visit to the Church of the Nativity.
Our guide, Amir made all the difference. He was by far the most knowledgable tour guide I've ever had, anywhere. He was informative, outgoing, friendly, and exceptional at engaging the group and stimulating discussion and curiosity. His liberal perspective was refreshing and he encouraged the group to draw their own conclusions where no definitive answers or evidence exist, whether it be religious, political or social.
The pick up in Jerusalem was disorganised chaos. The majority of the tour consisted of queueing for an eventual 30 seconds to see the birthplace of Jesus. The guide in the West Bank seemed tired and uninterested and robotically trotted out the staid old lines. He wasn't particularly interested in answering questions that weren't in the script. I would not recommend it if you are short on time. There are pobably better ways to spend the time it takes. It was interesting to go to Bethlehem and go through the wall into the West Bank, but I think a different tour company may have made it a better excursion. Beware some pickpockets in Bethlehem as well.
The tour was marvelous. We saw many of the important sights in Jerusalem and Bethlehem. Our tour guide Eyal, was both polite and informed and definitely made it a better tour for his enthusiasm. I felt safe the entire time in both Israel and Palestine.
Doing what: Day Tour of Jerusalem and Bethlehem
Good tour of Jerusalem. Well balanced with Old City and the other sites (Masada, Dead Sea). Really enjoyed the Old City experience, Masada was incredible, and Dead Sea was great to float around in. Not as much to see in Bethlehem. This was my least favorite portion. Tour guides were good. Only downside was the hotel which was very poor quality. Would recommend booking on your own.
enjoyable walking tour of jerusalem and on to bethlehem in the afternoon
Doing what: Day Tour of Jerusalem and Bethlehem
This tour is an absolute must in Israel!!! It was incredibly informative, worth every penny and Eli the tour guide was great as well! It is a long day but you get to see so much of the Old City. I would definitely recommend good walking shoes and a hat. Also, you walk through all of the markets of the Old City but you are not able to stop anywhere. You will have an opportunity to shop in Bethlehem only. This is one very minor drawback to an otherwise awesome tour.
This was a wonderful trip;well organised and very informative. The Guide in Jerusalem was excellent and gave you lots of information with suiificent humour. You need to be reasonably fit to do the tour of Jerusalem.
The Wailing Wall was breathtaking.
The trip to Bethlehem was disappointing and rushed.
I want to go back and see more of Jerusalem,
WOW! What a trip. Was picked up from my hotel in central Tel Aviv, taken to the bus station, where everyone on the pick-up bus was then re-distributed to your particular tour. I was on the English/Spanish language tour1. We set off towards Jerusalem. The guide was excellent with his languages and very informative to the passing views. We stopped off for local facilities (toilets and refreshments) just inside Jerusalem, and then we started..... We went to Mount Scopus instead of the Mount of Olives, we had our panoramic view of the city, plenty explaining of everything, then we drove past the Mount of Olives and into the car park and left the bus, this is where we started the 3.5hrs YES 3.5hrs walking tour of old Jerusalem. I enjoy walking, and I am over weight, but heart sank when the guide said "3.5hrs walk " no one had mentioned this in any other review, otherwise I would have gone else where, it was a very hot day, which didn't help but none-the-less off we trotted thru the Jaffa Gate, the Armenian Qtr, The Jewish Qtr, the Muslim Qtr and The Christian Qtr, some steps, some slippy marble sections, and all very interesting, but all that was going thru my mind was 3.5hrs..... We did stop once for twice for fresh fruit drinks, which was nice. At lunchtime, we had a kebab! I travelled 2000 km for a kebab... there was a choice, chicken or lamb and a cold drink of your choice (water, coke sprite or orange Fanta). Just before lunch, we were taken to the obligatory souvenir shop, where, just by chance, the was a 50% reduction on everything (oh how lucky were we, 50% reduction on TAT) Everything was billed in US$, Why?, the Israeli currency is Shequels! The man in the shop, did say, you could pay in any currency, what they didn't tell you, it was their own exchange rate!!! After lunch, our party split, I went to Bethlehem with 1 other chap from America, were we taken to "The Wall" See Part 2,
excellent tour historically speaking, however the Bethlehem part was a little too quick, having said that our guide Farraj(probably not spelt right,sorry}was excellent
Doing what: Day Tour of Jerusalem and Bethlehem
The lady guide at Bethlehem was good. The places were interesting.
We were looking forward to this trip and it was dissapointing. Mainly because there were too many people in the group, people keep stopping in shops and therefore we felt rushed. In Jerusalem some people got lost and the whole group had to wait for a while. I didn't like the fact we had to go into pre-selected shops and it took a while to get everybody out (an hour and a half it's too long!!) We did really see the via dolorosa as we were rushing to get to the next place. There was a colombian woman who was always late to meeting points and everybody had to wait. So we were either rushing or waiting!! we coudldn't hear the guide either cos the group was too big and there was a lot of noise (as you would expect) in the city.
In Bethlehem the guide was quite rude and didn't let us take pictures around. We just went to the place were Jesus was born and back out. After waiting for ages to go in the nativity place the guide rushed us so we felt we couldn't take any pictures. He shouted at us to hurry up so my friend shouted back and said we have been waiting a long time to come in and now we were going to take pictures. The bus they used in Bethlehem was rusty, very old and very dirty (I've got pictures) We paid quite a lot of money for the tour and we expected better quality buses and guides. We didn't feel we saw much as again we were rushed only to go to yet another pre-selected shop, where people took exactly an hour and 10 minutes. We could have seen something else in that time! It is also strange how they take you to eat to places where there is nothing else about. So if you don't want to eat there, you were stuck. Some clever people took packed lunches though
My advice would be better services and less people in the group. Also some kind of audio system so everybody can hear the explanations.
The tour of Jerusalem was 5 star. An excellent, knowledgeable and friendly driver who talked us through the journey to and from Jerusalem and guided us through the city itself. Immensely enjoyable and rich experience.
I wish I could say the same for Bethlehem. The guide there couldn't get us round quick enough and was so disinterested he could have been talking about fish and chips rather than Christ's birthplace. The entrance and exit from Bethlehem through the ghastly passport control cages was distasteful, if not actually quite frightening. And the whole experience felt like an engineered tourist trap. Don't go, is my advice. Stay in Jerusalem for the whole day or go to the Dead Sea instead.
This tour was awful. It should have been the best! The old city is magical and I couldn't even enjoy it because our guide was a rude old lady who didn't speak loud enough in the crowded quarters and then she told (as rude as possible) that you aren't listening if you didn't hear her. She was AWFUL..the only thing missing was the broom she rode in on.
But Bethlehem was the saving grace. The guide in Bethlehem was amazing!!!! It was great.
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