If you’re looking for the ULTIMATE Christmas experience while in Israel, you’re going to have to head to Bethlehem! We’re BIG fans of Christmas (check out our comprehensive guide to enjoying Christmas in Israel), but to experience the Christmas of a lifetime, in the birthplace of Jesus, we highly recommend joining one of the two options below.
Our Bethlehem Christmas Tour takes you to the little town of Bethlehem on Christmas Eve during the day, while in the evening we also offer transportation to the Midnight Mass celebrations in Bethlehem.
Bethlehem Christmas Eve Tour
Come celebrate Christmas in the place it all began! Join us for an unforgettable Christmas in Bethlehem, see the city, visit the Church of Nativity, dine in a local restaurant and join pilgrims from around the world in celebration. Christmas in Bethlehem is a unique experience, unlike any other.
Start your journey in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv early, setting out to beat the crowds. We’ll stop off at the Shepherds’ Field on the way, where the shepherds are said to have seen the Star of Nativity shine over Bethlehem. A short drive takes us into Bethlehem itself, and we will stop at Manger Square in the center of town, where we will go to visit the most prominent holy sites in Bethlehem – the Church of Nativity and the Milk Grotto. The Church of Nativity is a huge complex divided between the different Christian sects, and we will see the chapels of the Roman Catholics, the Greek Orthodox and the Armenian Apostolics. In the grotto under the church, an altar marks the spot where Jesus was born.
Then we’ll visit Manger Square and watch the celebrations of scouts and the Patriarch. In this square is where Midnight Mass will be broadcast later that night, and the atmosphere will already be building.
After visiting the churches and Manger Square, we’ll sit for lunch in a local restaurant in Beit Sahour near the Shepherds Fields where we can relax, dine, and see the beautiful scenery. Then it’s a short drive back, arriving early in the afternoon.
Midnight Mass in Bethlehem
The Basilica of the Nativity in Bethlehem marks the place where most Christian denominations believe Jesus was born. Its significance at Christmas cannot be discounted, and each Christmas Eve it is home to a Midnight Mass celebrating Christmas and the birth of Jesus, with many guests and dignitaries attending each year.
While entrance to the Basilica itself is restricted to those holding invitations, the service is broadcast on large screens each year in Manger square, directly outside the basilica.
Join pilgrims, locals and tourists as they gather for this unique experience and see Bethlehem come alive with the Christmas spirit!