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Church of the Nativity (Basilica of the Nativity) Tours

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Church of the Nativity (Basilica of the Nativity)
The Church of the Nativity encompasses a grotto where, according to Christain scripture, Jesus was born. Situated in Manger Square in Bethlehem, on the West Bank of the Palestinian territories, the UNESCO World Heritage-listed church is one of Christianity’s holiest places.  

The Basics 
Rebuilt several times since its construction in the 4th century, the Church of the Nativity is one of the world’s oldest surviving churches. Explore its unassuming interior on a self-guided tour—admiring frescoes, mosaics, and altars—before descending into the Grotto of the Nativity, which marks the birthplace of Jesus.

Nearly all Bethlehem day trips visit the church; some combine Bethlehem highlights with stops in Jerusalem, Jericho, and the Dead Sea. Other options include Christianity-focused excursions that cover biblical locations; multi-day vacations that showcase the West Bank; and Christmas Eve tours that typically combine a Jerusalem tour with time in Bethlehem to watch the midnight mass service broadcast to crowds in Manger Square.

Things to Know Before You Go
  • Due to its historical significance, the Church of the Nativity is an essential for Christian visitors and history enthusiasts.
  • Entry is free yet visitors should dress modestly and wear clothes that cover shoulders and knees. 
  • Wheelchair-users can access the church, but not the Grotto.
 
How to Get There
Church of the Nativity is in central Bethlehem, 6 miles (10 kilometers) from Jerusalem. Cabs don’t run from Israel into the town itself so unless you want to hire a car, the easiest way to reach the church is as part of a tour. Alternatively, catch one of the regular Egged company buses or the number 21 Arab bus from Jerusalem—the latter depart from near the Damascus Gate.

When to Get There
The church attracts crowds year-round, so expect to join sometimes-chaotic lines to enter and visit the Grotto. To avoid the busiest times, plan on an early or late visit: the church is open between 6:30am-7:30pm, April-September, and 5:30am-5pm at other times. The Grotto is closed on Sunday mornings when the church hosts mass.
 
Church of the Nativity Highlights
While the star marking Jesus’ birthplace in the Grotto of the Nativity is the highlight, there’s plenty more to see around the Church of the Nativity. Crusader paintings, floor mosaics dating from the original basilica, and the church’s low-roofed entrance—which was designed to prevent entry by cart-driving looters—are all interesting details. And while you’re in Manger Square, visit other must-sees such as the neighboring Church of St. Catherine and the Milk Grotto, where it’s believed that Mary nursed the baby Jesus.
Address: Bethlehem, West Bank, Israel
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54 Tours and Activities to Experience Church of the Nativity (Basilica of the Nativity)

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Bethlehem & Dead Sea Full-Day Tour

Bethlehem & Dead Sea Full-Day Tour

star-5
Tour to Bethlehem the city where Jesus Christ was born including the Church of Nativity Drive through north of the Judean Desert to the Dead Sea region. Bathing at the Dead Sea. Immerse in the muds and float in the salty waters. Start heading back towards Jerusalem Drop off in Jerusalem David Citadel Hotel Drop off in Tel Aviv for Tel Aviv Pick up option only *Please bring your passport because it's required sometimes when passing the checkpoint
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  • 8 to 10 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$60.00
Price varies by group size
From
$60.00
Price varies by group size

Bethlehem Half Day Tour - Pick up from Jerusalem & Tel Aviv

Bethlehem Half Day Tour - Pick up from Jerusalem & Tel Aviv

star-5
Visit Bethlehem highlights on a tour that combines transport and a guided walking tour to maximize your sightseeing time. From Manger Square to the Church of the Nativity, Milk Grotto, and the Shepherds’ Field, you’ll cover important Biblical sites with a guide who can help unlock the history behind each destination; pickup at a central location in Jerusalem or Tel Aviv gets you on the road with no fuss.
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  • 4 to 6 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$50.00
Price varies by group size
From
$50.00
Price varies by group size

Bethlehem and Jerusalem Day Biblical Tour from Tel Aviv

Bethlehem and Jerusalem Day Biblical Tour from Tel Aviv

star-5
Experience the Holy Land’s two most sacred locations, Bethlehem and Jerusalem, in just one day on this convenient guided door-to-door tour. Start in Jerusalem, taking in views from the Mount of Olives, following the way of Christ down the Via Dolorosa, and paying our respects at the Wailing Wall and the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. Continue to Bethlehem, with visits to the Church of the Nativity and Shepherd’s Field.
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  • 10 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$121.00
From
$121.00
Taking safety measures

Half Day Travel to Bethlehem & Grotto Visit - Trip from Jerusalem

Half Day Travel to Bethlehem & Grotto Visit - Trip from Jerusalem

star-5
Bethlehem Trip Half Day - Take the chance to visit one of the most important biblical cities, Bethlehem, The City of David. Beside the rich cultural side and the tasty food of the city, During our trip we will have the opportunity to have a guided visit to all three major churches in Bethlehem. We Travel to City in Bethlehem Distract Called Beit Sahour is one of the two highest cities in christian population, We will take a closer look on the lives of the local people and get to see the amazing hand crafted souvenirs they make as well as the Shepherds Field. * Make Sure to bring your passport as it is required sometimes. * On This Tour we will wait on line to See the Grotto - sometimes there is delays with this tour make sure you don't have anything booked for afternoon. * Please message us prior to booking for the best organizing of the tour.
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  • 5 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$45.90
From
$45.90

Bethlehem Holy Biblical Half-Day Trip from Jerusalem

Bethlehem Holy Biblical Half-Day Trip from Jerusalem

star-5
Holy Bethlehem Half-Day Trip See the birthplace of Jesus on this guided half-day tour from Jerusalem to Bethlehem. On arrival, we stop in Manger Square and go into the historic Church of the Nativity. The silver star on the grotto floor marks the site of the nativity. From here the tour continues to the Church of St. Catherine. The tour goes beneath the church into ancient grottoes to see altars, tombs and where St Jerome translated the Hebrew Bible to Latin. We leave Bethlehem passing Shepherds Field and the Biblical Field of Ruth before returning to Jerusalem. • Guided tour of the popular Holy Land sights by local experts • Guided tour of the scenes of the Nativity • Experience Bethlehem, the birth town of Jesus • Drive through the Judean Hills to Bethlehem • Explore Bethlehem's Christian landmarks • Includes all entrance fees
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  • 5 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$72.00
From
$72.00
Taking safety measures

Ashdod Shore Excursion: ALL Jerusalem Highlights + visit to Bethlehem

Ashdod Shore Excursion: ALL Jerusalem Highlights + visit to Bethlehem

star-5
When arriving in Israel at the Port of Ashdod, visit the holy sites in Jerusalem and Bethlehem on this guided, full-day shore excursion. Discover the history of the different religions of this region and witness the mix of cultures. See the Dome of the Rock, an iconic Jerusalem landmark; the Church of the Nativity, where Jesus was born; the famous Western Wall, the holiest of Jewish sites; and many more. Port of Ashdod pickup and drop-off included.
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  • 7 to 10 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$101.29
From
$101.29
Taking safety measures

Day Tour of Jerusalem and Bethlehem

Day Tour of Jerusalem and Bethlehem

star-4
For Christians, Jews and Muslims alike, the holy lands of the Jerusalem region are the spiritual centers of the world. On this full-day guided tour, discover the history of the different religions that make up these regions and witness the mix of cultures currently living here. See the Dome of the Rock, an iconic Jerusalem landmark; the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem, where Jesus was born; the famous Western Wall, important in Jewish and Muslim history, and many more. Jerusalem hotel pickup and drop-off included.
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  • 9 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$106.00
From
$106.00
Taking safety measures

Bethlehem and Jericho Day Trip from Jerusalem

Bethlehem and Jericho Day Trip from Jerusalem

star-4
Experience the biblical cities of Bethlehem and Jericho on this full-day guided trip from Jerusalem. Travel through the Judean Desert to Jericho, the oldest city in the world. See the Mount of Temptation, where Jesus was tempted by the devil and the sycamore tree that Zacchaeus, the tax collector, climbed to get a better view of Jesus. In Bethlehem, see the Church of the Nativity, where Jesus was born, plus Manger Square, Shepherds' Field and more. Hotel pickup and drop-off are included on this tour.
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  • 9 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$125.00
From
$125.00
Taking safety measures

Bethlehem Tour from Jerusalem

Bethlehem Tour from Jerusalem

star-4
Travel from Jerusalem to Bethlehem in an air-conditioned shuttle on this guided, half-day tour. Visit the birthplace of Jesus and one of the world’s oldest churches, the Church of the Nativity. See the Grotto of Lady Mary, also called the Milk Grotto, where it is believed Mary, Joseph and Jesus sought refuge from King Herod before fleeing to Egypt. Learn about the ancient city’s landmarks and history from your guide.
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  • 4 hours 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
From
$55.00
From
$55.00

Bethlehem Half Day Private Tour - Pick up and Drop Off from Tel Aviv & Jerusalem

Bethlehem Half Day Private Tour - Pick up and Drop Off from Tel Aviv & Jerusalem

star-5
On this half-day, private tour, you’ll get an in-depth introduction to historic Bethlehem, known as the birthplace of Jesus Christ. Head from Tel Aviv or Jerusalem into the heart of the West Bank, with door-to-door hotel transfers in an air-conditioned vehicle. Then, enjoy guided tours of the city’s standout sights, from the Church of the Nativity to Shepherd’s Field. Please bring your passport with you for this tour.
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  • 4 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$119.00
Price varies by group size
From
$119.00
Price varies by group size

Jerusalem and Bethlehem Day Biblical Tour from Tel Aviv

Jerusalem and Bethlehem Day Biblical Tour from Tel Aviv

star-5
Between Jerusalem and Bethlehem, Israel is full of sites considered holly by many religions. This tour takes you to some of the highlights of Israeli holy sites in just one day. Leave Tel Aviv behind as you travel to the Mount of Olives, the Western Wall, Bethlehem, and more, all with the benefit of a guide to share stories and information about the sites along the way.
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  • 10 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$122.00
From
$122.00
Taking safety measures

2-Day Best of Israel Tour: Old Jerusalem, Bethlehem, Masada and the Dead Sea

2-Day Best of Israel Tour: Old Jerusalem, Bethlehem, Masada and the Dead Sea

star-4
Indulge the mind, body and spirit on this memorable 2-day adventure through Jerusalem, Bethlehem, Masada and the Dead Sea. Visit the Dome of the Rock, an iconic Jerusalem landmark; the Garden of Gethsemane, where Jesus prayed and the famous Western Wall, the holiest of Jewish sites. See where Jesus was born and where he was crucified. Experience the incredible view from the top of Masada and bask in the rejuvenating waters of the Dead Sea. Overnight accommodation plus hotel pickup and drop-off included.
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  • 2 days
  • Taking safety measures
From
$337.00
From
$337.00
Taking safety measures

Bethlehem and Dead Sea Full Day Private Tour

Bethlehem and Dead Sea Full Day Private Tour

star-5
Tour to Bethlehem the city where Jesus Christ was born including the Church of Nativity Drive through north of the Judean Desert to the Dead Sea region. Overview to Jericho, the world's oldest city and continue to the lowest place on earth. Bathing at the Dead Sea. Immerse in the muds and float in the salty waters. Start heading back towards Jerusalem Drop off in Jerusalem and drop off in Tel Aviv for Tel Aviv Pick up option only *Please bring your passport because it's required sometimes when passing the checkpoint
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  • 8 to 10 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$199.00
Price varies by group size
From
$199.00
Price varies by group size
Taking safety measures

West Bank Tour from Jerusalem and Tel-Aviv

West Bank Tour from Jerusalem and Tel-Aviv

star-5
07:30 - Pick-up at David Citadel Hotel 08:30 - Qasr el-Yahud baptism site 09:15 - Tour of Jericho 11:15 - Tour of Ramallah 12:45 - Lunch (approximately) 14:15 - Tour of Bethlehem 17:30 - Approximate return to Jerusalem *Please bring your passport because it's required sometimes when passing the checkpoint
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  • 8 to 10 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$149.00
From
$149.00

Mount of Temptation, Saint George Monestary, Saint Saba & Bethlehem One Day Tour

Mount of Temptation, Saint George Monestary, Saint Saba & Bethlehem One Day Tour

star-4.5
Bethlehem is one of the important christian sites in the holy lands as it contains one of the oldest churches in the world The church of Nativity. A guided tour of the church is provided as well as Saint Catherine's church and The Church of Milk Grotto. Then we continue our trip to Beit Sahour the city of The Shepherd's. Beit sahour is one of the highest cities in christian population. We will visit The Chapel of The Shepherd's where the angles first announced the birth of Jesus. Lastly we will go to The Mount of Temptation & Saint George Monastery. As mentioned in the gospels the Holy Spirit led Jesus into the desert.s. The summit of the mount, about 360 meters above sea level, offers a spectacular panoramic view of the Jordan Valley, the Dead Sea and the mountains of Moab and Gilead. * Make sure to bring your passport as it is required sometimes when passing the checkpoints. * If you want to be picked up from Tel Aviv please message us in advance for the best organizing.
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  • 8 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$101.54
From
$101.54

Bethlehem & Jericho Tour - Trip from Jerusalem

Bethlehem & Jericho Tour - Trip from Jerusalem

We will start our tour driving through the Judean hills to Bethlehem. Upon arrival, we will ride through the city and see the important attractions before arriving to Manger Square. There we will have a guided visit to Church of The Nativity where Jesus was born in an underground cave that the church was built on. Then we will take a short walk with the guide to the Church of Milk Grotto. After we finish we will ride to the town of Beit Sahour, the city of the Shepherd’s. There we will have a guided visit to the Chapel of the Shepherd’s Field. Continuing our tour we will have a 20 minute visit to a local olive wood factory and have an insight on the local crafts of the Christian families in Bethlehem. Lastly we will visit one of the most unique in history and geography cities in the world, Jericho. We will visit the most important biblical and historical sites in the city. *Make Sure to bring your passport as it is required sometimes
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  • 8 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$50.00
From
$50.00

Bethlehem & The Dead Sea Full Day Tour from Jerusalem

Bethlehem & The Dead Sea Full Day Tour from Jerusalem

Explore the most important christian sites in the holy lands with this tour. This private tour is designed so you don't waste any time waiting for a big group to finish and move around. So you get to have a comprehensive tour. All Private tours are operated with the newest cars and the most comfortable. Bethlehem is one of the important christian sites in the holy lands as it contains one of the oldest churches in the world The church of Nativity. Then we continue our trip to Beit Sahour the city of The Shepherd's. It is one of the highest cities in christian population. We will explore the daily lives of the locals and visit The Chapel of The Shepherd's where the angles first announced the birth of Jesus. Lastly we will treat ourselves to a relaxing and refreshing visit to one of the most unique seas in the world, The Dead Sea, It's rich and healthy water makes it a special experience to have. *Make Sure to bring your passport as it is required when passing the checkpoint sometimes
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  • 8 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$50.00
From
$50.00

Bethlehem Half Day Tour from Jerusalem

Bethlehem Half Day Tour from Jerusalem

We will start our tour driving through the Judean hills to Bethlehem, The city of King David. Upon arrival, we will ride through the city and sight see the historic and important attractions before arriving to Manger Square. There we will have a guided visit to Church of The Nativity where Jesus was born in an underground cave that the church was built on. Then we will take a short walk with the guide to the Church of Milk Grotto where The Holy Family took refuge from the Massacre of the Innocents. After we finish we will ride to the town of Beit Sahour, the city of the Shepherd’s. There we will have a guided visit to the Chapel of the Shepherd’s field where the angels appeared to the Shepherd’s to announce the birth of Jesus Christ. Continuing our tour we will have a 20 minute visit to a local olive wood factory and have an insight on the local crafts of the Christian families in Bethlehem. *Make Sure to bring your passport as it is required sometimes.
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  • 5 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$40.00
From
$40.00

Bethlehem & Hebron Full Day Tour from Jerusalem

Bethlehem & Hebron Full Day Tour from Jerusalem

We will start our tour driving through the Judean hills to Bethlehem, The city of King David. Upon arrival, we will ride through the city and sight see the historic and important attractions before arriving to Manger Square. There we will have a guided visit to Church of The Nativity where Jesus was born in an underground cave that the church was built on. Then we will take a short walk with the guide to the Church of Milk Grotto. After we finish we will ride to the town of Beit Sahour, the city of the Shepherd’s. There we will have a guided visit to the Chapel of the Shepherd’s field where the angels appeared to the Shepherd’s to announce the birth of Jesus Christ. Continuing our tour we will have a 20 minute visit to a local olive wood factory and have an insight on the local crafts of the Christian families in Bethlehem. Lastly we will visit The City of Abraham, Hebron. Hebron translates from Hebrew to 'Friend' which refers to Abraham.
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  • 8 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$99.00
From
$99.00

Bethlehem, Mar Saba, Mount of Temptation and Saint George Monastery Private Tour

Bethlehem, Mar Saba, Mount of Temptation and Saint George Monastery Private Tour

A guided tour of the oldest church in the world is provided as well as Saint Catherine's church and The Church of Milk Grotto.  Then we continue our trip to Beit Sahour the city of The Shepherd's. Beit sahour is one of the highest cities in christian population. We will explore the daily lives of the locals and visit The Chapel of The Shepherd's where the angles first announced the birth of Jesus. Mar Saba Monastery dates back to the fifth century. Founded by Saint Sabas, it's been extensively expanded and fortified over the years. Lastly we will go to The Mount of Temptation & Saint George Monastery. As mentioned in the gospels the Holy Spirit led Jesus into the desert.s. The summit of the mount, about 360 meters above sea level, offers a spectacular panoramic view of the Jordan Valley, the Dead Sea and the mountains of Moab and Gilead. * Make Sure to bring your passport as it is required sometimes. * Please message us before booking for the best organizing of the tour.
More
  • 8 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$183.59
Price varies by group size
From
$183.59
Price varies by group size

Bethlehem & Dead Sea from TLV/JLM

Bethlehem & Dead Sea from TLV/JLM

star-4.5
A guided tour in Bethlehem that will give you enough time to explore the Nativity Church. After that, you will have some relaxation in a private beach in the Dead Sea.
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  • 12 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$60.83
From
$60.83

Christmas Eve in Bethlehem Tour (and Jerusalem) – Midnight Mas from Tlv/Jlm

Christmas Eve in Bethlehem Tour (and Jerusalem) – Midnight Mas from Tlv/Jlm

It is a very special tour where travelers will experience a very divine feeling while visiting the most sacred places in the world where Jesus Christ was born, crucified and buried. A very professional guide will give the travelers detailed information about the places that will be visited. People from all over the world come every year to enjoy Christmas in the Holy Land. With Eliaa Tours, travelers will spend unforgettable moments.
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  • 12 to 13 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$102.07
From
$102.07

Bethlehem Half Day from Tlv/Jlm

Bethlehem Half Day from Tlv/Jlm

star-3.5
After we have seen that almost in all the times there is no enough time to stay in the Nativity Church, and the reason that many people cannot enjoy enough time in Bethlehem, so we though that this kind of Tour will be a great choice for our wonderful customers who needed and wanted more time especially in the Nativity Church. all of this with an Expert Local Guide.
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  • 7 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$56.71
From
$56.71

Bethlehem & Jericho from TLV/JLM

Bethlehem & Jericho from TLV/JLM

star-4
Travellers will enjoy spending enough time in two important locations like Bethlehem & Jericho. We could also insert in the Itinerary on the way to Jericho an Observation at the Sea Level Point.
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  • 8 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$71.14
From
$71.14

Frequently Asked Questions

The answers provided below are based on answers previously given by the tour provider to customers’ questions.
Q:
What's the best way to experience Church of the Nativity (Basilica of the Nativity)?