Christmas in Bethlehem

Celebrating Christmas in the Birth Place of Jesus Christ

Bethlehem ChrismasCelebrating Christmas in Bethlehem can be a unique and even unforgettable spiritual experience, however, it can also be your worst nightmare. Understanding what to expect and in addition having a local guide by your side, can make a real difference. 

We at Bethlehem Travel will be happy to arrange for your Christmas visit to Bethlehem. Whether you are looking for a quick visit in Christmas morning or to experience Christmas Mass in the Church of Nativity, we can help!


Thinking of visiting Bethlehem? 
Contact us to book a wonderful half day or full day tour

Things You Need to Know About Christmas in Bethlehem

  1. Safety - both Israel and the Palestinian authorities are doing their best to ensure safe and smooth passage and stay for the thousands of Christians worshipers who arrive from all over the world to experience Christmas in Bethlehem. In terms of safety, Christmas is probably the safest time of the year to visit Bethlehem since all eyes is upon this historic town and it is in everyone interest to maintain the fragile peace.
  2. Hotels in Bethlehem During Christmas - If you are planning to spend both Christmas eve and Christmas day in Bethlehem, you would probably want to stay overnight. Bethlehem has some decent hotels but you have to book way in advance since they are all fully booked months before Christmas. 
  3. Crossing from Israel (Jerusalem) to Bethlehem during Christmas - The IDF which controls the crossing between Israel and the West Bank is taking extra measures during Christmas to handle the smooth passage of the thousands of Christian pilgrims. However, you should arrive early and expect to spend at least half an hour in the check post. You can of course be lucky and manage to cross quickly but don't count on it.
  4. Number of Tourists - It is hard to predict exactly how many tourists will be visiting Bethlehem during Christmas since this number is influenced by the tension and events in the region. The number of Christian visitors to Bethlehem during Christmas in 2011 was the highest in a decade mounting to 100,000 tourists. In 2012 there was a sharp decline following the Israeli military operation in Gaza.
    What you need to know is that the city will probably be packed with local and foreign visitors. The atmosphere will be festive, happy and even spiritual but if you can't stand being in a crowed you might want to consider visiting Bethlehem before or after Christmas. 
  5. Christmas Mass - The midnight Christmas Mass at St. Catherine Church is one of the highlights of Christmas in Bethlehem. However you need tickets in order to enter the Church during the Mass. Although the tickets are originally free, the vast demand create a second market for the tickets and you would probably need to buy tickets from locals who have them. In some cases we can help you obtain tickets and make sure the tickets you buy are legit.
    Please note, that even without entering the Church of St. Catherine, you can enjoy the spirit of the Mass together with the crowd that gother in Manager Square.
  6. Visiting the Church of Nativity during Christmas - Throughout Christmas night there are various Masses in the Nativity Church. You will be able to visit the Grooto where Jesus is believed to have been born as long as you are willing to stand in a longer than usual line.  


If you are planning to visit Bethlehem during Christmas, you should probably contact us. We can answer any of your questions and also provide you with a safe, smooth and fulfilling Christmas experience in Bethlehem.


Thinking of visiting Bethlehem? 
Contact us to book a wonderful half day or full day tour


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