If there is one place in the world where you can get the ultimate Christmas experience, it would have to be the Holy Land itself, Israel!
And probably first up on your Holy Land checklist is Tel Aviv, the Middle East’s version of “The City That Never Sleeps”. Realistically however, Christmas in Tel Aviv isn’t marked by grandiose Christmas celebrations. Yep, sorry to tell you this, but the festive spirit of Christmas isn’t exactly wafting through the air.
However, being the party animal that it truly is, Tel Aviv has plenty of cool bars where you can get very merry and indulge in a few good drinks. The nightlife is legendary, and even if everyone isn’t celebrating Christmas (don’t forget, here in Israel Christmas is a normal working day – OMG!), you’ll find plenty of bars that will keep you smiling into the wee hours, even on Christmas Eve, long after Santa has stuffed your stockings right and proper!
Still, if you want to imbibe authentic Christmas in Tel Aviv feels, one of the renowned places to go for some Christian spirituality is the Immanuel Church in Jaffa. More information on official services is posted on their website.
Still in the spiritual feel and still in the same neighborhood, Old Jaffa has had Winter Opera festivities taking place on Friday mornings in the Flea Market. Hopefully again this year!
In addition, in the weeks leading up to Christmas, in Tel Aviv there are various festivities happening around the city. Don’t forget to witness the lighting of the Tel Aviv-Jaffa Christmas tree, which happens at the Clock Tower at the entrance to Jaffa. Incidentally, there are other tree lighting activities in Tel Aviv to watch out for, usually at major entertainment areas, such as HaTahana (The Station). We’ll post here any additional lighting events we come across.
If it’s food you’re after, there has been a Jaffa Christmas Festival in recent times, so watch out for that – they collaborated with the Israel Food Channel in past years so expect some decent Christmas grub! Please do check back here for more details on this (when we get it).