Welcome in the VISITOR INFORMATION CENTER!
Your trip is short and you would like to have the best of it? We would like to give you some tips about the places worth a visit in Bethlehem. Let the VIC lead you today!
Morning Coffee or Tea
Morning is a perfect time to try the aromatic Arabic coffee with cardamom. If you don’t drink coffee order tea with mint – the traditional Palestinian tea is sweetened.
Just after your breakfast (maybe kaak and falafel?) head toward the Nativity Church and experience the spiritual atmosphere in this beautiful monastery from the 4th century – the building, which is built right over the grotto where Jesus was born. Don’t miss the Milk Grotto Church – beautiful chapel in the cave, where the Holy Family took a shelter from King Herod’s soldiers.
Visit Souvenir Shops & Antique Stores
Take home a piece of the Holy Land. Bethlehem is famous around the world with its hand crafted olive wood and mother of pearl items. The pieces are made from the natural sources from the region. You could buy as well a colorful scarf or koffiyeh (characteristically black and white Palestinian scarf) to protect your head from the sun or wind, or have one of the laboriously embroidered Palestinian bags or pillow cases.
There are also couple of Antique shops in the Old Bethlehem. Sometimes a crystal vase or antique Arabic coffee pot can be a better deal there!
Bethlehem’s Old Town Tour
Enjoy the old Arabic architecture in Bethlehem. Stony buildings, arches, rounded beautifully decorated windows and doors – the showcase of the city. Explore the seven family quarters of the Old Bethlehem. Follow the Star Street – the street nominated to the UNESCO list, known as the way which Virgin Mary and Joseph followed to The Nativity Cave. Also, in the middle of the Old Town is located the Old Market, a bazaar where you could find fresh vegetable and seasonal fruits.
Museums and Heritage Centers
Get to know more about Bethlehem’s past! After visiting museums located in the Old City you will be richer in this knowledge. You can check Arab Woman Union Museum, where can be find a lot of information about arts and crafts of the region, old architecture in Bethlehem, etc. The Al Bad (means olive press) Museum is a Museum of Olive Oil; there you will see how people used an ancient press to produce virgin olive oil, etc. The International Nativity Museum hosts one of the richest and most valuable collections of cribs in the Holy Land.
Now came the time to relax a bit and probably eat something. Try some of the local dishes like shish kebab, grilled meat or something lighter like delicious falafel and fresh Palestinian salads and deeps. You need a lot of energy to continue your day in Bethlehem, so maybe a traditional meal (mainly consisting of meat and rice) would be your choice.
Events in Bethlehem
Ask the Visitor Information Center assistance about upcoming events in Bethlehem. You may catch some cultural evening with traditional music and dance, a film screening, theatre play, exhibition or just relax with a cup of the mint tea (or a bottle of the local beer) and the famous Argileh (water pipe, hubbly bubbly).
If you are planning to stay longer – just ask the VIC for an advice. There is still so many things to do! We can help you to book your accommodation too!
We wish you a great, sunny day in Bethlehem!