We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.
The latest reviews. The lowest prices. The perfect place to shop for hotels.

“its very touching to visit this place”

Church of the Nativity
Book In Advance
More Info
$25.00*
and up
Small Group Bethlehem Old Quarter Walking Tour
Ranked #1 of 29 things to do in Bethlehem
More attraction details
Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: 2-3 hours
Owner description: Built over the Grotto of the Nativity by Constantine in 325 A.D., destroyed and rebuilt in the 6th century and renovated in the 11th century by the crusaders, this is the oldest Church in the Holy Land that is still in use.
Prague, Czech Republic
Level Contributor
90 reviews
13 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
“its very touching to visit this place”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 25, 2013

I visited during my stay in Bethlehem. Its very touching place. It was full with different groups of tourists and pilgrims but I was able to get a guide that explained history and showed me arround. Place to see

Visited June 2013
Helpful?
Thank Veronika C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a Review

1,344 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    821
    337
    140
    33
    13
Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Traditional) first
  • Chinese (Simplified) first
  • Danish first
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Greek first
  • Hebrew first
  • Indonesian first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Korean first
  • Norwegian first
  • Polish first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Slovak first
  • Spanish first
  • Swedish first
  • Any
English first
New York City, New York
Level Contributor
65 reviews
33 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 58 helpful votes
“Interesting but cluttered”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 18, 2013

Although the place has a pretty good claim to fame, I found it a little bit difficult to be there. The surrounding area is a fun hodgepodge of shops and vendors, but the area by the church itself is quite open. There are guides outside who will try and heckle you, and as we were a group of five it was fairly cheap to hire one for the afternoon. Otherwise, I'm not too sure about whats supposed to happen as far as entry or fees go. Inside the church it was a bit chaotic, and without a guide I probably wouldnt have known where to go. Furthermore, its very crowded, though it was cool to get to watch the procession of people go by. Unfortunately it is very unclear about whats supposed to happen within, and I got stuck around the back side of the church and was kind of locked out of where I'd come from, which was complicated, and no one could tell me where to go. Overall just an ok experience.

Visited June 2013
Helpful?
Thank NatalieSteinberg
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Baltimore
Level Contributor
54 reviews
28 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
“A must see.”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 7, 2013

The Church of the Nativity is a must see when visiting Israel. While it is, as some people have pointed out, disorganized and chaotic, that is to be expected when visiting such an historical spot, considering the number of visitors. We visited in April, and I think the crowds were a bit better than many have described. Go with a guide to get the most out of the visit and to move through the more crowded areas. Just to be in this historic place is amazing. As a Catholic this was a pilgrimage, but the history is amazing no matter what religion. Also, the experience of traveling through the checkpoints and visiting is interesting. The church itself is somewhat unassuming in it's architecture, but the interior decoration varies from simple to opulent.

Visited April 2013
Helpful?
Thank CindyBaltimore
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Toronto, Canada
Level Contributor
53 reviews
35 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 37 helpful votes
“Could be better”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 5, 2013

The church is very old and lots of beautiful details, the floor tiles date back to the 4th century, but is cluttered with rosary beads, and christmas ornamanents hanging off the chandeliers. I was looking forward to visiting but overwhelmed with the crowds lined up in a disorganized manner to enter the grotto to visit the site where Jesus was born (denoted by a silver star on the ground). I felt very claustrophobic. By the way, do not sit down and cross your legs. After entering the grotto, I had to sit down, I simply crossed my leg to give it a good stretch, and I got yelled at for it is not permitted to cross your legs in the church... be aware of your behaviour.

Visited May 2013
Helpful?
Thank CatGal_10
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Francisco, California, United States
Level Contributor
9 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
“Very interesting and sacred spot”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 31, 2013

It is amazing to think that this was identified as the spot Jesus was born back in abut 300 CE by the mother in law of Constantine. I would score it higher but for the in fighting between Christian denominations for control of the building, and the crowds. Definitely hire a local tour guide for the walk through. Don't just drop in from a bus from Jerusalem and think his is still part of Israel - it isn't. Take time to walk around the area surrounding the church to get a feel of the community,

Visited May 2013
Helpful?
Thank Chris J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Travelers who viewed Church of the Nativity also viewed

 
Jerusalem, Jerusalem District
 

Been to Church of the Nativity? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Owners: What's your side of the story?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing