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Michelle H United States of ...
A few hiccups getting started but it was a trip worth taking. I was picked up at the designated hotel but taken to another spot where I was left with two other people who had booked the same tour in a parking lot for about 15 minutes without any good information about what would happen next. The tour company apparently called a taxi driver who eventually did come to pick us up and things smoothed out from there. Our guide, once in Bethlehem, was 'opinionated' regarding the neighboring 'population' - an opinion that I found slightly off-putting but that I was nonetheless interested to hear. Perspectives certainly differ in this part of the world and it is part of the education. Go to Bethlehem. Go to Palestine. And learn.
Wonderful tour. Tour guide was very informative. Saw the main sites in Jerusalem and Bethlehem. Being catholic, this was absolutely amazing for me but you dont need to be religious to appreciate the history and beauty of Jerusalem. If you are going to Israel, this is definitely a tour you must do.
Michael United States of ...
Liat and Avi are excellent Tour Guides and Driver. I've had this same team from last year and they didn't disappoint. I took my Mom with me this time and had an amazing time.
Special thanks to our guide in Bethlehem. I forgot his name I thought it was Christian but he was an excellent caring guide. My elderly Mom cannot keep up with the pace of the walking tour so he advised the rest of the tour group to proceed on his instructions while he escorted my Mom through out the Bethlehem tour. He was able to talk to the right people and get permission to allow my mom to use the elevator. My Mom and I were very grateful for his help and we really appreciate it. We gave him our heartfelt thanks and a generous tip.
Please don't forget to tip your guides and drivers as they are kind and supportive people who are doing their best to ensure you enjoy the tour and go out of their way to ensure your safety and enjoyment.
Doing what: Day Tour of Jerusalem and Bethlehem
I participated in Dec 30 2016 tour to Jerusalem and Bethlehem. Mr Zahi, our tour guide was very friendly and always gave us concise and interesting explanation of the sites and life in Israel. I really want to participate in the tour to Nazareth next time.
The tour was good in general, but I felt the guide was always in a hurry and there was not much time to take pictures or digest the information he was sharing. Probably it was because we had to go to Bethlehem before a certain time. If that's the case, I would recommend going to Jerusalem only as it is too much of a hassle to go to Bethlehem to see the one and only thing the have to offer: the site of the nativity...
Be careful. I paid X but get Y. It was quite frustrating: we did not visit Church of the Nativity. Regarding Grab a light snack and beverage at a local Christmas shop: I recommend you bring your own snack - there was zero snack. The tour guy from Israel was a little bit rude. And the tour guy from Bethlehem did a very poor job. The Jerusalem tour was very short the Bethlehem tour was too long. I do not recommend this company. Find another trip to Bethlehem in a different company. Good luck!
It was not a great experience with Ben Harim tours who operate this tour. Firstly, I had to call Viator to see if the local operator were confirmed to pick us up from our hotel. Viator were great and contacted the Ben Harim to confirm but the lack of direct and pro-active contact was poor. Secondly, it is actually a seven 7 hour expedition starting with an 8:30am pick up and almost half the time was actually spent in Jerusalem. We did not arrive in Bethlehem until 11:00am - the 3 hours of which were spent being driven from our hotel to a car park where we waited for 1.5 hours for our Bethlehem bus to arrive, 1/2 hour spent at a look out point over looking Jerusalem, and 1/2 hour driving from Jerusalem to Bethlehem.
Yes we did see the religious sights as promised in the tour but we were forced to spent 40 mins in a shop selling religious artifacts - as opposed to being sent to an area where we could shop as we pleased. I hate tours that force its guests to spend time in a chosen shop where Ben Harim presumably has a relationship with the shop. Same again for the food/restaurant option which was not part of the tour and was only suggested at the last moment when many of us complained we were getting hungry - as we had anticipated having lunch back in Jerusalem since it was apparently a 1/2 day tour. Our Ben Harim guide sat us down and said it was USD16 for a buffet which had a long queue and we had 20 minutes to eat....We went to a local kebab shop and meet the lovely and friendly guys who worked there - I felt much better supporting them. Finally our Israeli Ben Harim guide - he was initially charming, but although he promised not to speak about politics, he spent much time espousing certain strong political view points over the PA system on the bus. Tiring. I also saw the Israeli Ben Harim guide take a cut of the tips that our Palestinian Bethlehem guide had got from the group - disgraceful.
A positive - the Bethlehem guide was excellent and friendly.
Jerusalem was really amazing however there was very little time to actually see and soak in the surroundings. The guide was very knowledge in the history but wasn't keen on people asking questions. There was A LOT of information and we saw a lot in Jerusalem all on a fast track. I do not appreciate being herded to a specific tourist gift shop or restaurant. I would suggest they give people an hour or so of free time to shop and eat on their own. I went off on my own and found lovely, reasonable priced place and it was delicious. The other people on the group said the designated restaurant was awful and expensive. Bethlehem should not have been included in this tour. We were late getting there and the site was closing and we were pushed through. That was a complete waste of time. Overall, I would have preferred to have taken a Jerusalem only tour and a separate Bethlehem tour.
Thank you, it was a great tour very well explained and the tour guide was great, please do thank him as I have lost his details. Going to Bethlehem was so easy and no problem at all crossing the border, dont believe what you see on TV about Israel, the Israel and Palestinian are very nice kind people we met on the tour. We could have had a bit more time to walk around.
Doing what: Day Tour of Jerusalem and Bethlehem
Fantastic tour to Jerusalem, which is a must see for everyone visiting Israel. The tour is informative, and visits most historical and religious sides in Jerusalem and Bethlehem. The tour is heavy on religious aspects, however, but is still interesting even for people that are not religious. A small downside has been the small bus provided by the company, which has seats that only fit people that are less than six feet tall.
You get to see just Bethlehem and the most important sites in Bethlehem, just a simple, relaxing, half-day tour. Our guide was very knowledgeable, super friendly, told us lots of amazing stories, saw a side to Bethlehem that I thought I'd never see! My advice to people booking this tour is that it might be a little easier to book on any day other than a Sunday cause the Church of the Nativity was VERY crowded, and also BRING YOUR PASSPORT
Miguel Angel D Spain
Very good tour...lots of information and biblical places. Good introduction to Jerusalem I would recommend to come back one more day by yourself to see more and slowly.... The guide was pretty good but would be helpfull if he speaks a little bit more slowly.
In Bethlehem very interesting the visit but shocking how dirty can be the West Bank of Israel...something difficult to understand having in consideration the number of tourists that they recieve annually.
Be aware of the hot summer in this country if you do not handle high temperatures well.
My boyfriend and I really loved this tour!! The guides (both in Jerusalem and Bethlehem) were really good. The guide Norbert seemed really passionate about what he was doing and we liked listening to him. I would recommend this tour.
Nonstop excitement! Guide Amir was an absolute wealth of information. Picked us up right on time at our hotel. Bus was comfortable and we pretty much saw everything there was to see in Bethlehem and Jerusalem. Walked all over the city. Great lunch with a fantastic view of the city of Jerusalem. Would do it again tomorrow if I could.
Excellent exploration of three main sites in Bethlehem and usefully dropped off in Jerusalem to make your own way back I recommend the train as it goes through some epic countryside.
A really good day trip. The driver/guide Ron was very good - especially as he had to improvise. It was the Orthodox Easter and the Christian Quarter was closed so we were unable to see the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. However, King David's tomb and the Room of the Last Supper were worthy replacements.
Lunch at Bethlehem was well organised and the opportunities for shopping were appreciated.
I was collected on-time by the tour bus at the collection point which was a two minute walk from my central Jerusalem hotel.
Remember to take to your passport as Bethlehem is located in the West Bank and you actually have to leave Israel to visit it.
We changed guides once we were in the Palestinian Territories and our guide Elijah, a Palestinian Christian, was friendly and knowledgeable. He took us to see all the main sites and secured access for us to the Grotto of the Nativity.
The tour ends in a local gift shop where your purchases help to support local Palestinian Christian families and most people on the tour bought one or two items.
My only complaint about the tour, and the reason that I didn't give it five stars, is that I would have liked to have been taken to the so-called Separation Wall to take a few photographs.
Great tour! Itamar, our guide, was very friendly and knowledgeable.
I took a star off for 2 reasons:
1. The lunch place we were taken to was not good. Expose tourists to better and more authentic lunch places.
2. The Bethlehem part of the tour felt a little tense and not pleasant. I wish it was under the Israeli authority that way we would have had a more consistent experience.
The guide was knowledgeable and showed us the main sights in Jerusalem. However, she didn't count us properly and lost me, it took me 30 min of wandering alone through the small streets of Jerusalem to find the group and I was very worried as I did not feel safe alone. In that sense she did her job poorly. I had to phone the agency to get her mobile number and agree a place to meet. Not cool. The ride to Bethlehem was short, we only saw the nativity church and an overpriced souvenir shop.. and the local Bethlehem guide did not speak much about the sights.
Doing what: Day Tour of Jerusalem and Bethlehem
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