Tel Aviv, Israel
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12 hours (Approx.)
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Make Christmas Eve truly special on this Jerusalem and Bethlehem trip from Tel Aviv. With an expert guide, explore Old Jerusalem’s holy Christian sites, including the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, and see the sights of New Jerusalem. Then, visit Bethlehem to experience the traditional celebrations in Manger Square. Soak up the magical atmosphere and admire the Church of the Nativity, built where Jesus was born 2,000 years ago. Lastly, savor Christmas dinner at a Manger Square restaurant and watch the stirring Christmas Eve midnight mass on the outdoor screens.
  • 12-hour Christmas Eve tour of Jerusalem and Bethlehem from Tel Aviv
  • Admire panoramic views of the Holy Land from the Mount of Olives and Mount of Evil Counsel
  • Explore the Old City’s Christian Quarter on foot
  • Visit sacred Christian sites like the Church of the Sepulchre
  • Celebrate with a Christmas dinner in Bethlehem
  • Watch midnight mass, on screen, held at the Church of the Nativity
  • Hotel transport from Tel Aviv included
After early afternoon pickup from your central Tel Aviv, travel by air-conditioned coach to Jerusalem, one of the world’s oldest cities and central to the Christian faith down the ages.
After roughly an hour on the road, arrive at the Mount of Olives. Gaze out from here over Old Jerusalem, and then keep your camera ready as you drive around the walls of the UNESCO-listed Old City. On route, see the Kidron Valley and pass the Garden of Gethsemane, where Jesus and his disciples spent time the night before his crucifixion.
Stop at the walls and enter the Old City on foot. Follow your guide into the alleyways of the Christian Quarter, and visit the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, built on the site of Jesus’ crucifixion. Wander around the revered church and see the treasures and Stations of the Cross that make it one of Christianity's most sacred spots.
Afterward, leave the Old City for a panoramic drive around New Jerusalem. Drive by top Jerusalem attractions such as the Knesset, the Israel Museum and the Valley of the Cross, home to the magnificent 11th-century Monastery of the Cross. As darkness falls, stop at the Mount of Evil Counsel viewpoint to behold views of Jerusalem below, just as the city lights twinkle to life. 
Then, continue by coach to Bethlehem. On arrival, take a break for light refreshments at a prettily decorated Christmas souvenir shop, before strolling into Manger Square to enjoy the traditional celebrations. Admire the Christmas tree and floodlit Church of the Nativity, built on the site of Jesus’ birth, and listen to the carols sung by locals and pilgrims.
Then, if time permits, head inside the church to soak up the deeply spiritual atmosphere that comes with Christmas night. Afterward, sit down to a delicious Christmas dinner in a restaurant overlooking the square. Soak up the emotion of the evening and setting as you eat, and watch the live outdoor screen broadcasts of the Church of the Nativity midnight mass.
Take your leave of Bethlehem and finish your trip with a drop-off at your Tel Aviv hotel.


Viator Traveler's Reviews

2 Reviews
5 Star
4 Star
3 Star
2 Star
1 Star
, Feb 2014

This tour was all about getting all of us to a souvenir shop in Bethlehem that the tour guide had a deal with. They were so blatant about it they left his commission sheet right by the cash register and he repeatedly was checking it.
They had us in a restaurant and asked that we return by 12:30. When we got back, our guide was sleeping on a couch.So as one of the others on the tour put it, "We ate cafeteria food and watched the mass on TV."
The only reason I gave it 2 stars was that we were two of the fortunate ones that got to see the shrine where tradition states that the manger actually was. Most of the people on our tour didn't.
Also, the tour of Jerusalem was all about rushing through everywhere but the 'Wailing Wall'. No time to speak of in the Church of the Sepulchre.We had taken a free tour of the city the day before that was far more informative. The guide on the Viator tour was either misinformed or simply lying when talking about many of the different places in the Old City.

, Jan 2014

Going to Bethlehem on Christmas Eve is an amazing experience. Our bus was clean and comfortable. Our tour guide was nice and informative. He went out of his way to get us into the church. I could have done without spending up to an hour in one designated gift shop, which was overpriced.

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Product code: 5209CHRISTMAST

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