How to Spend a Day in Bethlehem

How to Spend a Day in Bethlehem, Bethlehem, Palestinian Authority (B)

One of the most visited cities in the Palestinian territory of the West Bank is Bethlehem. It’s a short 30-minute bus ride from Jerusalem, and whether you’re staying overnight or not, the small town of Bethlehem is ideal for one day of sightseeing. These are some of the things not to miss.

For being in an area that is 85% Muslim, Bethlehem is one of the most Christian cities you’ll ever visit. This is in part because the Church of the Nativity was erected on the ground where Jesus was born. The streets leading up to the church are full of stores selling crosses and depictions of the nativity scene. The church itself is one of Bethlehem’s top attractions, so as you can imagine, the lines to enter the church and especially the underground nativity alcove can be long. During peak hours, you might wait up to 2 hours to see this little room:

One workaround is to go very late in the day. The Church of the Nativity is open until 7:30 pm during the summer and until 5 pm in the winter months. Since most visitors coming to Bethlehem are usually part of day tours, the site gets slammed in the morning and the afternoon by large tour groups. But about half an hour before it closed, we strolled right in with no wait and were able to visit the Grotto of the Nativity with no line. Very early in the day is also an ideal time to visit, but note that it opens at 5:30 am and 6:30 am in the winter and summer, respectively. ...... (follow the instructions below for accessing the rest of this article).
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Sights Map

Guide Name: How to Spend a Day in Bethlehem
Guide Location: Palestinian Authority » Bethlehem
Guide Type: Self-guided Walking Tour (Article (B))
Author: Ana Montano
Read it on Author's Website:
Sight(s) Featured in This Guide:
  • The Church of the Nativity
  • Manger Square
  • Chapel of the Milk Grotto
  • dove
  • Flower Thrower
  • The Walled Off Hotel
  • Afteem
  • Hosh Jasmin Jala Jungle