Bethlehem (בית לחם) is a small city in the West Bank, and attracts millions of visitors every year for its historical and religious significance. Known in the Christian faith as the birthplace of Jesus, its attractions are chiefly religious, but are intriguing even for people outside of the faith.

The most popular destination in Bethlehem is undoubtedly the Church of the Nativity (كنيسة المهد) on Manger Square. Allegedly the exact place of birth of Jesus, the church dates back to the Roman Emperor Constantine in 330 CE. While the actual structure is somewhat dark in appearance, the adjoining Franciscan Church of St. Catherine is in beautiful shape, and is definitely worth the visit.

The second most visited attraction in Bethlehem is Rachel's tomb (קבר רחל), where the wife of Jacob was supposedly buried. Be aware that access to the tomb is limited for security reasons, but it is visible from the surrounding fortress.

Other exciting sites include the Mosque of Omar (مسجد عمر بن الخطاب), Solomon's Pools (שְׁלֹמֹה), and the Milk Grotto Chapel (המערה של מריה הגבירה). The Old Town (העיר העתיקה) also provides a beautiful place for walks, or if you feel like getting a little out of the city, take a taxi to the dividing wall between Bethlehem and Israel to see the infamous Bansky graffiti.

Practical Info

Bethlehem is located a mere 6 miles (9 kilometers) away from Jerusalem, and is easily accessible by public transportation, either by buses 21 and the 124 direct, running at the Arab bus station Damascus gate in East Jerusalem, or by cab, which remains relatively inexpensive.

Many pilgrims will prefer to hike to Bethlehem by foot, just make sure to be weary of the scorching weather conditions.

Tours & Tickets

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Christmas Eve in Israel: Jerusalem Sightseeing Tour with Dinner and Midnight Mass Viewing in Bethlehem

See popular sites of the Holy Land on this full-day Christmas Eve tour of Jerusalem and Bethlehem! Visit revered Christian basilicas like the Church of the ...  Read more

Location: Jerusalem, Israel
Duration: 11 hours (approx.)

From USD $125.00

Christmas Eve in Israel: Jerusalem Sightseeing Tour from Tel Aviv with Dinner and Midnight Mass Viewing in Bethlehem

3 star rating: Worth doing 2 Reviews

Spend Christmas Eve in the Holy Land on this full-day tour of sacred Christian sites in Jerusalem and Bethlehem from Tel Aviv. See religious sanctuaries such ...  Read more

Location: Tel Aviv, Israel
Duration: 12 hours (approx.)

From USD $135.00

Day Tour to Jerusalem and Bethlehem from Tel Aviv

4.5 star rating: Recommended 89 Reviews

Escape the hustle and bustle of Tel Aviv, and discover the roots of different religions on this inspiring day trip to Jerusalem and Bethlehem.  These ...  Read more

Location: Tel Aviv, Israel
Duration: 10 hours (approx.)

From USD $115.00

Little Town of Bethlehem Half Day Trip from Jerusalem

3.5 star rating: Worth doing 27 Reviews

Take a half day tour from Jerusalem to Bethlehem, and discover the town famed as the birthplace of Jesus. Tracing the events of the Nativity, this ...  Read more

Location: Jerusalem, Israel
Duration: 5 hours (approx.)

From USD $70.00

Day Tour of Jerusalem and Bethlehem

4 star rating: Recommended 44 Reviews

Discover the roots of different religions and cultures on this inspiring day trip to Jerusalem and Bethlehem. These ancient Holy Land towns will provide you ...  Read more

Location: Jerusalem, Israel
Duration: 10 hours (approx.)

From USD $104.00

2-Day Best of Israel Tour: Old Jerusalem, Bethlehem, Masada & the Dead Sea

4 star rating: Recommended 8 Reviews

Indulge both body and soul on the 2-Day Best of Israel Tour. After an action-packed day exploring the ancient biblical cities of Jerusalem and Bethlehem, ...  Read more

Location: Jerusalem, Israel
Duration: 2 days (approx.)

From USD $270.00

Little Town of Bethlehem Half Day Trip from Tel Aviv

4 star rating: Recommended 15 Reviews

Take a half day tour from Tel Aviv to Bethlehem, and discover the town famed as the birthplace of Jesus. Tracing the events of the Nativity, this comprehensive ...  Read more

Location: Tel Aviv, Israel
Duration: 5 hours (approx.)

From USD $88.00

4-Day Christian and Jewish Sacred Sites Tour: Jerusalem, Jericho, Bethlehem and Nazareth

This immersive 4-day tour from Jerusalem takes you on an inspiring journey into Israel’s religious history. Gain fascinating insight into biblical tales from ...  Read more

Location: Jerusalem, Israel
Duration: 4 days (approx.)

From USD $630.00

4-Day Christian and Jewish Sacred Sites Tour from Tel Aviv: Jerusalem, Jericho, Bethlehem and Nazareth

Immerse yourself in Israel’s religious history and heritage on this incredible 4-day tour from Tel Aviv. Visit the most noteworthy Christian and Jewish holy ...  Read more

Location: Tel Aviv, Israel
Duration: 4 days (approx.)

From USD $630.00

2-Day Best of Israel Tour from Tel Aviv: Jerusalem, Bethlehem, Masada & the Dead Sea

4.5 star rating: Recommended 17 Reviews

Indulge both body and soul on the 2-Day Best of Israel Tour from Tel Aviv.  After an action-packed day exploring the ancient biblical cities of Jerusalem ...  Read more

Location: Tel Aviv, Israel
Duration: 2 days (approx.)

From USD $270.00

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