Center of Bethlehem Tours
- Nativity Church
- Milk Grotto Church
- Old City Market
- Museum of Traditional and Popular Art
- Manger Square
Length of Tour: 2 Hours
Cost: $30 per person
A walking tour where you will meet with a Palestinian guide at Manger Square next to Nativity Church.
Nearly all travellers arrive via Jerusalem. Since Bethlehem is administered by the Palestinian Authority, an Israeli military checkpoint stands on the road connecting the two locations. If entering from Jerusalem on a direct route, one will pass through the "Rachel's Crossing" Israeli checkpoint into Bethlehem. One simply flashes his/her passport to an Israeli soldier, places his/her bags into an x-ray machine, and then walks through a metal detector, much like airport security, to get into/exit Bethlehem.
You can get to Bethlehem from Jerusalem either by car or by bus. You can easily hire a taxi in Jerusalem to take you to Bethlehem. The taxi must have a yellow license plate and the driver should be able to go to Area A in Bethlehem. Any Arab taxi driver who has a yellow license plate can take you to Bethlehem and back to Jerusalem. If you need assistance finding a driver ask your hotel or go to Damascus Gate in the Old City where many West Bank taxis and buses operate from.
By bus; there are three Arab/Palestinian bus stations nearby the Damascus Gate ("Bab el-'Amoud") that host buses going to various West Bank Palestinian cities - the one to Bethlehem is on your left when you leave the Old City via Damascus Gate (if you have trouble finding the bus station, ask a local). Arab bus 231 runs via Beit Jala to Bethlehem. These buses do not always display their numbers, the number is inaccurate, or it changes, so it is best to ask the driver. The average trip length is 30 minutes and costs ₪6.80 (June 2016).
The bus terminates here at Bab Iz Qaq (Gate of the arches), a busy intersection at the center of Bethlehem. From there you can either take a cab to the main area (Manger Square, Church of Nativity, ₪10 is the fixed price for a taxi in Bethlehem as of June 2016), or just walk 15 minutes or so up the hill at the intersection when you get off the bus (the road is listed as Children St on Google Maps).