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10 Things to Do in Bethlehem

Explore the ancient city of Bethlehem and discover its hidden gems! Visit iconic sites such as The Church of Nativity, stroll through Manger Square, try delicious Palestinian cuisine, take a Graffiti Tour, and much more. Discover history from a new perspective with captivating experiences to treasure for years to come.

Are you looking for a unique and unforgettable experience? Look no further than Bethlehem! This ancient city on the West Bank is full of incredible sites, delicious food, and vibrant culture.

In this blog post, we’ll be exploring the top 10 things to do in Bethlehem so you can make the most of your time there. From visiting ancient churches and tombs to taking a tour of the Shepherds’ Fields, this is an opportunity you won’t want to miss. So what are you waiting for? Let’s get started!



1. Visit the Church of the Nativity

It’s located in Manger Square and is closely associated with some of the most significant events in Christian history. As soon as you enter, take a moment to marvel at the immense size of this unique church constructed by Emperor Constantine over 1,600 years ago.

As you venture inside, be sure to take note of some of its defining characteristics, such as its distinctive balconies, supporting arches, and domes crafted from stone.

1. Visit the Church of the Nativity

Don’t forget to explore further into the building too – many consider the Grotto of Nativity, which is believed to contain Jesus’ birthplace, as especially sacred. Whether or not you’re religious, appreciate all that this holy site has to offer and grasp its incredible significance in Christianity.

Navigate here to see the location’s actual view.


2. Visit the Milk Grotto

While exploring the city of Bethlehem, be sure to visit its iconic Milk Grotto. This unique attraction is believed to be the sacred site where St Anne nursed the Virgin Mary before she gave birth to Jesus.

When visiting the Milk Grotto, you can see beautiful frescoes and take part in local traditions such as leaving a note with a wish for a child or loved one inside its small cave-like opening. There will also be plenty of opportunities to purchase souvenirs made by local artisanal artisans who craft their items using traditional designs and techniques.

2. Visit the Milk Grotto

For a truly memorable experience, consider attending one of the many mass celebrations that occur during special feast days at The Milk Grotto. These events bring people together from all over, allowing visitors to get an intimate glimpse into Palestinian history and culture while paying homage to this sacred location.

Opening Hours:

  • Sunday Closed
  • Monday – Saturday 8:00 AM – 4:45 PM

Navigate here to see the location’s actual view.


3. Walk Along Manger Square

Bethlehem is home to some of the most magical points of interest in the Middle East. Taking a walk through Manger Square and its surrounding areas is an experience that should not be missed.

The square itself is bordered by grand structures such as the Church of Nativity and Saint Catherine’s Church, both of which tower above visitors from all around the world. Shopping can also be done here with a variety of vendors selling anything from petite souvenirs to larger artwork in various forms.

3. Walk Along Manger Square

Street performers also often show off their musical talents to those who pass by, inviting others to appreciate the local culture. Furthermore, guided tours can also be arranged to get a closer look at all that Manger Square has to offer. No visit to Bethlehem is complete without taking in the sights and sounds of this historic spot.

Navigate here to see the location’s actual view.


4. Enjoy Palestinian Cuisine

Bethlehem is well-known for its delicious Palestinian cuisine. Traditional dishes, sweets, and snacks can be found all around the city, from small street vendors to typical sit-down restaurants.

When visiting Bethlehem, it’s important to try out some of these special recipes that have been passed down throughout generations. Dishes like the popular Musakhan, a traditional dish featuring succulent chicken cooked on taboon bread with sumac and onions.

4. Enjoy Palestinian Cuisine

Sfouf ma’laresh, an almond-flavored dessert made with semolina and coconut milk; Awarma, thin slices of lamb stewed in herbs and pomegranate; as well as many other local favorites make Bethlehem’s cuisines a must-try experience. Indulge your taste buds with some authentic Middle Eastern flavors during your visit!


5. Take a Tour of the Shepherds’ Fields

The Shepherds’ Fields in Bethlehem are a must on any tour of this ancient city. Here, visitors can immerse themselves in the story that has become such a celebrated part of the world’s religious and cultural heritage.

Stemming from its Christian context, the site provides visitors with an opportunity to experience a hint of what it must have felt like to hear the angel choir sing at Christ’s birth. Additionally, there is a charming hotel nearby where you can sit and relax while admiring the landscape of Jerusalem, one of the oldest cities in world history.

5. Take a Tour of the Shepherds’ Fields

If modern-day adventure is more your style, why not drop into our local art shops and galleries to explore some handmade crafts that take inspiration from our storied past? These activities give you the chance to thoroughly enjoy your visit and make some treasured memories to look back on for years to come.

Navigate here to see the location’s actual view.


6. Attend a Traditional Palestinian Wedding

From the delicious aroma of gigantic plates of food to the nostalgic music playing through the night. To be surrounded by relatives and friends, it’s an unforgettable and unique experience.

Dressed in their traditional garments, family members give heartfelt speeches about the joyous couple embarking on the beginning of a new journey. Women typically have large processions entering the wedding hall decorated with candles and vibrant colors from one end to another.

At the same time, men greet one another with stories and handshakes that seem like a long-lost reunion of never-ending friendship. It’s truly a sight to behold! Whether you’re partaking in traditional dance performances or admiring ornate jewelry. There’s something for everyone at a Palestinian wedding in Bethlehem.


7. Stroll Through Solomon’s Pools

A stroll through Solomon’s Pools near Bethlehem is a breathtaking experience that must not be missed. Located in the Judean Mountains and surrounded by lush vegetation, this enchanting site stands tall to remind visitors of its profound history.

It is said that this pool complex dates back over 2000 years and was used to collect and store water for the city of Jerusalem during the Third Temple times. During the summer months, this area also turns into an untouched oasis filled with fresh babbling brooks and blooming flowers.

7. Stroll Through Solomon’s Pools

The site also houses many attractions, like a reconstructed hydraulic system, ancient quarries, and stunningly decorated Byzantine-style churches. Lengthy trails invite adventurous visitors to wander around and admire its beauty from different viewpoints. All in all, a visit to Solomon’s pools can truly take you on a timeless journey back in time!

Address: بيت لحم

Phone: +970 2 277 0376


8. Visit Rachel’s Tomb

Visiting Rachel’s Tomb is an unforgettable experience while in Bethlehem. As the final resting place of one of the Hebrew matriarchs, the tomb has been an important pilgrimage site for centuries.

Those visiting this solemn and peaceful site will be mesmerized by its beauty and grandeur. The large monument consists of a hexagonal building surrounding a domed structure containing the tomb, with ornate wood carved into the inner walls.

8. Visit Rachel’s Tomb

Inside, visitors can light memorial candles or write prayers to celebrate their visit to this significant site. Outside the main structure, markers line the path that leads to Rachel’s Tomb with stories giving insight into her important role in Jewish history and why she is celebrated today. For those wishing to honor her memory, spending time at her tomb is a must-do when in Bethlehem.

Address: קבר רחל, מתחם, Bethlehem

Phone: +970 1800 800 863

For pictures, booking, and more information, click here.


9. Visit the Aida Refugee Camp

If you’re looking for an exciting and meaningful day trip, a visit to the Aida Refugee Camp in Bethlehem should be at the top of your list! It is an inspiring reality to witness how such a community can still function despite the restrictions they’re under.

You can hike around the camp and get a real sense of their culture, history and struggle by learning about their ancient graffiti art and talking with some of its inhabitants. You may also have the chance to listen to traditional Palestinian music or explore some gardens and murals painted by local artists.

When it’s time for a break, you will find various cafes and restaurants in the area serving delicious Palestinian dishes that are sure to satisfy your hunger! Visiting the Aida Refugee Camp will leave you with unforgettable memories that will stay with you for years to come.

Navigate here to see the location’s actual view.


10. Take a Graffiti Tour

Bethlehem is one of the best places to experience street art in the world. With a walk around, you can take in breathtaking views of some of the most iconic works of graffiti art, such as El Mac’s mural and The Birds of Bethlehem by Jake Lamagno.

On a guided tour, you’ll learn more about the artist involved and the stories each piece tells. See how religious themes mix with local symbolism and examine the intricacies of their compositions. Whether it’s your first time in Bethlehem or you’re a seasoned visitor, this is an experience that is not to be missed.

The lasting impact graffiti has had on culture, and its presence in historic sites like the Church of Nativity, only adds to its significance and makes these tours a way to uncover history from a new perspective.


In conclusion

Bethlehem is a wonderful place to explore and discover new cultures, religions, and customs. From the Church of Nativity to Solomon’s Pools, there are plenty of exciting things to see and do in this ancient city.

Whether you’re looking for historical sites, outdoor activities or unique local experiences, Bethlehem has something for everyone. So, bring your family and friends along to appreciate the beauty of this sacred city and discover its hidden gems together! Have a safe and enjoyable journey!

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